Mysterious “interceptor” cellphone towers that can listen in someone’s phone call despite not being part of any phone networks have turned up near the White House and Senate.
A company that specializes in selling secure mobile phones discovered the existence of several of the towers in and around the nation’s capitol.
“It’s highly unlikely that federal law enforcement would be using mobile interceptors near the Senate,” ESD America CEO Les Goldsmith told the technology website Venture Beat on Thursday.
The towers are also capable of loading spyware onto a mobile device before passing off a victim’s call to a legitimate network.
“My suspicion is that it is a foreign entity,” he told Venture Beat.
The reason Mr. Goldsmith doesn’t suspect U.S. agencies of placing the interceptors is that the federal government already has the capability of tapping directly into the carriers.
The devices, although often called a tower, can actually be as small as a suitcase, the website reported.
Goldsmith told the site he passed along the information he’d uncovered to the Federal Communications Commission.