For this app to function to its full potential you will want to have a rooted android phone. AIMSICD will alert you when your phone is attempting to connect to a suspicious cell tower
The FBI, IRS, and other agencies to include local police regularly deploy or have purchased IMSI-Catchers which can be hidden in vehicles or even aircraft while surveiling protests, gun shows, and who knows maybe even a Tea Party rally to obtain a record of everyone who attended for future audits. If you are in the targeted area where a catcher is deployed, all of your data can be intercepted quite possibly interception of your conversations, text messages, and your phones unique identification so you can be easily be tracked and identified later on by the metadata. Adversaries can use catchers to determine your location or to find out who is in a specific geographic area at any given time time. Identity thieves can use freely available tools to monitor and manipulate communications from a parked car or in an aerial platform in your residential neighborhood. At the least, criminals can use similar devices notably for stealing passwords or credit card data from people nearby who make purchases on their phones.
Cell phones today are permissive, and will connect to what appears to be a legitimate cell tower all to help keep an active link so we can receive and make calls and transmit data. Until cell phone radios and their firmware become opensource, it will remain difficult to fully control how they interact with cell towers or anything else for that matter. Fortunately a rooted phone can give us more control over the operating system interaction with the radio.
The reason IMSI-Catchers are so commonly used is that it is very easy to get away with it. They are almost untraceable and would go unnoticed by the average citizen. This app aims to make it possible to detect the IMSI-Catchers so that using them becomes more of a risk of exposing further illegal warantless wiretapping and dragnet surveillance. It also aims to make users safer by alerting on possible interception and tracking, even (optionally) automatically placing your phone into airplane mode to avoid compromise.
AIMSICD attempts to detect IMSI-Catchers through detection methods such as these:
- Check tower information consistency
- Prevent silent app installations
- Check Lac/Cell ID consistency
- Check neighboring cell info
- Signal strength monitoring
- Look for silent SMS
- Detect FemtoCells
AIMSICD does not:
- Provide secure phone calls (see RedPhone)
- Provide secure data transmission (see Tor)
- Provide app permission control (XPrivacy)
- Provide secure application sand-boxing
- Provide ROOT and remove bloatware
- Provide secure SMS (see TextSecure or Silence)
- Provide firewalls (see AFWall+)
- Provide full device encryption
- Prevent already installed rogue applications from full access and spying
AIMSICD will require a multitude of permissions, do not be alarmed. For it to do what it does you will need to allow it the permissions it requests.
Once installed, you will want to go into the preferences and request an OCID API key. You can do this manually from Open Cell ID and enter it into the required area. This API key allows AIMSICD to utilize and compare your connected towers to the Open Cell ID’s database of known legitimate towers around the world and view them on a map.
Next go into the system settings and select the options you want selected for AIMSICD. Here is some of the options I selected. For best security your should activate Femtocell protection. Your phone will go into airplane mode should there be a possible compromise. In this configuration AIMSICD will drain your battery moderately faster. I suggest having an extended battery not only to utilize this application all the time but also the convenience of having an ample battery supply. Go on Amazon and look for brands like Anker and ZeroLemon for your phone.
Alerts are color coded and will appear at the top of your device screen as to the status of your security: