NSA Whistleblower Releases Security App for Android

Edward Snowden has released a security app that allows your smartphone to monitor its surroundings. Learn how it works.

Knowing whether your devices have been compromised can be a challenging task to accomplish. Allowing your computer or smartphone to become breached can result in private information becoming public. In some circumstances, an attacker may even be able to monitor your environment, infiltrating the most private aspects of your life.

NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has released an application that allows a spare Android device to act as a security system for your gadgets. The app, Haven, enables users to oversee the device’s environment for intrusions. First, however, you must ensure that your machine isn’t being compromised from the inside. An AV-TEST approved app such as DFNDR Security can be your watchdog against viruses, malicious content, and infected applications.

Once you are all set internally, you can take a deep dive into Haven’s abilities. A spare Android device can be set up with the app, monitoring data from your smartphone’s cameras, light sensors, accelerometers, and microphones. Leave the smartphone with your computer in a hotel, dorm room, or other environments, and it will let you know if someone has intruded upon the space. Just set the device down on a desk and go.

Haven is aimed at anyone who may want to keep close tabs on their stuff, such as journalists, activists, and security personnel – one of the reasons Snowden developed the app in connection with the Freedom of the Press Foundation. However, the Android creation is also a way to ensure roommates aren’t accessing your machine, parents aren’t snooping on your content, and hotel maids aren’t getting too curious.

Once the application notices a possible intrusion, Haven will store the data locally while also transmitting a real-time notification via either an encrypted message or standard SMS text. Instantly hear what your device has heard, see what your smartphone has seen, or know if it has been moved.

Your spare Android device doesn’t need to have active phone service, but the feature would enable the device to work anywhere there is cell service and communicate via text message. Otherwise, you can connect your device to a trusted WiFi network to get the job done.

Something to remember is your device should be secured both inside and out. The Haven app is one way to help protect your device and, as the application matures, it can provide an efficient way to monitor your surroundings.