A story has been taking the Internet by storm this week about an encrypted cellphone device that has uncovered 17 “fake” cell towers across America. There’s just one problem: the “towers” aren’t necessarily towers at all.
The story seems to originate from a Popular Science article last week titled, “Mysterious Phony Cell Towers Could Be Intercepting Your Calls.” It focused on how a fancy device called the CryptoPhone 500 (available for $3,500) can detect when your call has been routed through a “phony” tower. And in fact, the phone recently discovered “17 different phony cell towers known as ‘interceptors.’” The story then spread to an obscure site and beyond. But what the original article never makes clear is that the “interceptors” are not necessarily physical towers, and such devices have been known about for several years.