Aug 20 AT 2:46 PM Dima Aryeh 10 Comments

CyanogenMod unveils Device Finder, a secure way to track a lost device

CyanogenMod Generic

Google recently released a device tracker that allows you ring your device, see your device’s location or completely wiped the device, all from a web interface. It is without doubt an awesome feature that will help with the recovery of your lost phone. But according to the folks at CyanogenMod, it’s simply not secure enough. See, if Google’s servers were compromised (by a hacker, or even the government), everyone would suddenly be traceable. The info is sent to Google’s servers, and it can be used by someone else.


CyanogenMod’s upcoming service is a bit different. Instead of sending the information through the server, your browser instead sends a public key. The phone authenticates the public key and sends an encrypted key back. The server cannot decrypt this key; only the browser can. This establishes a secure connection that cannot be decrypted on the server side, even if someone manages to get hold of that data. Using this connection, you can track or wipe your device.

It isn’t a foolproof service. If the server was compromised and you entered your password, you would become traceable. However, that would make one user traceable, instead of all users at once. It’s not perfect, but it’s far better than Google’s service.

The service is not out yet, but will be eventually. The source code has been fully published, and the CyanogenMod devs encourage people to check the security and safety of the service. Remember, services like this are improved with the help of the users. Would you be interested in using this over Google’s service? Is this important to you? Leave a comment!

Source: CyanogenMod Blog, +CyanogenMod
Via: Engadget

Dima Aryeh is obsessed with all things car and tech. His time is split between gaming and fixing his racecar. He also does photography in his spare time.

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  • apo

    First time CM introduces a feature after Google does.
    Is this the fall of root?

  • ihatefanboys

    CyanagonMOD is secure ? Please. Just using a cell phone makes u traceable. “IF” is a big IF. Whos gonna track me and why ?

    • Whistleblower hero Edward S.

      NSA does!

      • NSA

        So does a few other three-letter agencies.

    • Alan

      I think the point is that the servers are insecure so why add anything to an insecure service? regardless of whether you have anything to hide or not who says that in future you may not wish to have some organisation with the ability to easily track your movements

  • donger

    Wow, go CM!

  • Nitesh Kunnath

    Pretty nice feature :)

  • Alex

    YES CM… Please do as always and make a good service even better! NO ROOT necessary Please! Keep up the great work!

  • scubabum

    Folks worry too much about tracing. You are traceable if you use a phone (or connect to the internet), period. But I will check this feature when it’s available.

  • Mike Bandy

    Heck follow my neighbor, follow my wife. But if this could “follow” my dog and change red lights to green for me, I am sold.