Cerberus Android App
Hello! This post will talk about the "Cerberus Anti-Theft App" for Android. This is another security app that can help when losing a phone since you can locate the phone, delete contents on it (and the SD card, lock the phone, and more!
What is the "Cerberus Anti-Theft App"?
Cerberus is a security app that can help you protect your device in case you lose it. The app costs about $4 US but it comes with a one week trail so you can test it out. With the app you can control your device via the website (https://www.cerberusapp.com) or by text messages (I will explain more later -- See the "Settings" section). One of the coolest features (in my opinion) is the app can protect itself from a device wipe if you are rooted unless the thief installs an entirely new ROM on the phone. That would be the only way to get rid of it if it uses the root feature to hide itself.
On the day this was posted (4/25/2014) Cerberus is/was FREE when you create your account! The Cerberus Team is giving away full licenses to newly created accounts since it is their 3 year anniversary! If it is after this date it costs about $4 US after your one week trial.
Below is the full description taken from the apps home page in the Play Store.
Cerberus is a complete anti-theft application, the best protection you can get to recover your misplaced, lost or stolen Android device. This is a free trial for one week, then you can buy a lifetime license for a small price (2.99€) from within the application: no monthly or yearly fees, just a one-time payment. License is associated to your Cerberus account, if you have multiple devices you can use all of them (up to 5) with the same account.
It has three ways to protect your device:
- Remote control through the website www.cerberusapp.com
- Remote control via text messages
- SIM Checker (for devices that have a SIM card): you will automatically receive alerts if someone uses your phone with an unauthorized SIM card
Remote control allows you to perform many operations on your device, like:
- Locate and track it
- Start a loud alarm, even if the device is set to silent mode
- Wipe the internal memory and the SD card
- Hide Cerberus from the app drawer
- Lock the device with a code
- Record audio from the microphone
- Get a list of last calls sent and received
- Get information about network and operator the device is connected to
- And much more!
Cerberus automatically enables GPS if it is off when you try to localize your device (only on Android < 2.3.3) and you can protect it from unauthorized uninstalling - more info in the app configuration.
The app works even if the device does not have an internet connection thanks to remote control by sms messages. Also, the SIM Checker feature allows you to know the new number to send texts to, if the SIM card is changed. Texts received and sent for Cerberus remote control will not start any notification and will not appear in the Messages application.
Cerberus does not drain the battery because there is no background service running: it will activate only if there is a remote control request and will stop afterwards.
More features for rooted devices: complete uninstall protection (a thief will be able to delete Cerberus only by flashing another ROM), GPS auto-enabling even on Android > 2.3.3. More info on the website in the Help section.
If you already bought SIM Checker Pro you can have Cerberus at a discounted price, contact us for information.
Download & Installation
Once you download the app from the PlayStore (https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...droid.cerberus) you will then want to open it. You will be greeted with a screen that has 2 options (3 if you are rooted).
1. The first is to enable "Device Administrator" for Cerberus. This is needed so it has Admin access to your phone so it can wipe the contents on the Internal Storage and also the SD card.
2. The 2nd option is a "SIM Checker" -- You can register your SIM as an allowed SIM so it will allow it to work in the phone. If a thief were to put in a SIM that was not on this list it would not allow him/her to use it.
3. If you are rooted you will see a "Grant Superuser" button. You simply click this and it will ask for Superuser access to your phone. Doing this allows Cerberus to embed itself within your system so it can protect itself from a device reset. Also if you are rooted you can have Cerberus enabled GPS even if it is off (unless you are on Android < 2.3.3 --- then you do not need root.)
After that it will ask you to create an account for Cerberus. Create your account and then you will see the options screen.
Note: Sorry for no screenshots on this step ... I forgot to grab them! :).
The settings for Cerberus are pretty easy to setup and understand.
As you can see there are various options here. I will explain each below.
Change Password - This is simply to change the password for your Cerberus account.
Change Dial Code - This feature is used when you have the Cerberus app "hidden" from your app drawer (explained a little more down in this section).
This way a thief would not Cerberus is even installed since he wouldn't see it in the list ... but you can always access it by simply going to your phone dialer and enter the code you setup here. For example I would dial 23723787 and hit "Call" and it would launch the Cerberus app.
On a side note the app (even if they somehow found it) always asks for the current username & password associated with the device once opened. This way they can't go in and change any settings.
Change SMS commands keyword - In this option menu you can change the command you use to initiate SMS commands to Cerberus.
The SMS command for Cerberus is used for when your phone may not have a data connection but is still connected to the cell network. It basically allows you to initiate the same commands as the Website but via SMS instead. It will not cause a notification or show in the SMS application so the theif will not even know it is happening.
There is another app called "Cerberus Client" which allows you to send these SMS messages (see below). You simply put in the phone number, the password you setup, and start initiating commands.
Device Administration - This is the setting you must enable so Cerberus has Administrator rights to your device. This is so the app can wipe the internal storage and the SD card.
Wipe] - This is so the device can wipe your device remotley
SD Wipe - Same as the above but for the SD card.
External storage - You can choose where Cerberus will delete on the SD card. Normally you could set the top directory (such as on a computer it would be your "C" drive) since that holds all folders but you could have it just delete photos and leave other things like your music. The default is the top of the SD card (the entire thing).
Screen Color - This is what you want the screen to look like when it takes a picture. There are 3 options -- Black, White, and Transparent. I personally set it to Transparent.
Wrong Unlock Code & Failed Attempts - These two options go hand-in-hand. If you check the "Wrong unlock code" it will take a picture of the person with the front camera if they enter a wrong password. To prevent multiple pictures of yourself (as well sometimes enter the wrong password when in a hurry) you can set the "Failed Attempts" at a higher number so it doesn't always do it on the first failed attempt.
Alarm Stopped - With the Website / SMS Client you can initiate a Cerberus Alarm. As it sounds it will make the phone be an alarm and when the person dismisses it the phone will use the front facing camera to snap a picture of them. It will then email the picture to the e-mail address you used when you registered your Cerberus account.
Message Dismissed - With the Website / SMS Client you can initiate a Cerberus message. This turns the entire screen white and displays a message of your choice (such as "I lost this phone please call XXX-XXX-XXXX to return with reward). After the person dismisses this message (tapping on the screen) it will snap a picture of them. It will then email the picture to the e-mail address you used when you registered your Cerberus account.
SIM Checker Configuration - This is where you can setup what SIM cards are allowed on your device. If someone places an un-approved SIM card in the device Cerberus will not allow it to work and can even notify certain numbers that your phone has had an un-approved SIM placed in it. It can then even tell you other various things such as Device Info & SIM Card Information.
The SIM Checker can go hand-in-hand with the SMS Client. If someone places in another SIM card you can actually pull that SIM Card Information from the phone and have the current phone number associated with the phone. That way you can send SMS commands to your Cerberus application even if the number gets changed.
The website is actually very easy to use from my testing. Once you log in you are presented with your device. You simply click on the "Start Tracking" to get a GPC reading for it. After that you simply use the drop down menu to initiate whatever command you want. From my tests (my phone was on 1 bar of LTE) it took about 5 seconds or so for the commands to execute.
I think this app is pretty great. I really like the root features where the app is protected from wipe (unless the thief places a new ROM but ... that is understandable) since that is probably the best protection you can get for now. I tested majority of the features and they all work as advertised. Being able to lock the phone, see who is using it by pictures emailed to me, and all the other features seems like a great app.
I hope this helps! If you any questions or concerns please post them below :).