Smartphone spies beware, SnoopSnitch is watching you

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A new Android app dubbed SnoopSnitch has been launched to detect surveillance attempts on your smartphone.

Developed by security researchers Alex Senier, Karsten Nohl, and Tobias Engel from Berlin-based security company SRLabs, the app can detect International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) catchers by keeping a tab if someone is spying on you. IMSI catchers are eavesdropping devices that are used for intercepting mobile phone traffic and tracking smartphone users’ movement.

Security experts have discovered security flaws that could let hackers access text messages and listen to private calls on mobile networks by using IMSI catchers or ‘stingrays’.

SnoopSnitch detects and warns smartphone users if in case it founds their devices are connecting to IMSI catchers and giving up their personal information. The app checks for signals that indicate a switch from a legitimate tower to a ‘stingray’, where information may be being collected.

‘SnoopSnitch collects and analyzes mobile radio data to make you aware of your mobile network security and to warn you about threats like fake base stations (IMSI catchers), user tracking, and SS7 attacks,’ the official Google Play listing reads.

Although the app can’t prevent a smart-phone from connecting to stingrays, it does let a user know there is surveillance in a certain area. The app was presented at the recently concluded Chaos Computer Congress’ annual hackers conference in Hamburg.

It is to be noted that SnoopSnitch currently only works with rooted Android handsets that have Qualcomm chips inside, such as Sony Xperia and Samsung Galaxy models.

SnoopSnitch is now available for download on Google Play Store.