Or having to pay a subscription?

I have an idea for a hypothetical Android app. Tell me if such a thing already exists.

  1. You install a server in a machine you have total control of, and is (preferably, but not obligatorily) online 24/7.
  2. You install the client app on your phone. You configure it to connect to the hostname/port the server you installed in #1 is listening to.
  3. The client app does a connect every 5 minutes or so. (Configurable.) It backs up your data to your server machine if you configured it to do so.
  4. Your phone is lost or stolen.
  5. You connect to yourcomputer:yourport and feed it the Nuking Password. The server app hashes your Nuking Password and stores it at a predefined location (i.e. yourcomputer:yourport/Nuke)
  6. Like in every watchdog connect, your phone tries to download yourcomputer:yourport/Nuke - but this time it succeeds. It then hashes its own locally stored copy of the Nuke Password and, if it's a match, it nukes all data in the phone. Before doing the pieces of nuking that will kill Internet access, it reports to the server that the nuke command went through.

Can be improved, of course. But tell me, is there a FOSS app like that somewhere? I imagine it would be especially neat for businesses that issue smartphones for a number of employees.

3 Answers 3


I don't know of an app that meets your exact requirements. But a simpler version that's (in my opinion) equally secure is an Android app that listens for a specific SMS message, and wipes the phone. Remote Wipe does this. Of course, it doesn't entirely kill the phone's software (that would be very device-specific and require a modified bootloader in most cases); and it might be useful to use one of the apps that reports the phone's physical location too, if you want to recover it.

  • 2
    I'd concur - there's a far greater chance that a cellphone will have GSM / CDMA signal but no data in a particular location. In that scenario - an SMS based solution would be better than one based on GPRS / 3G / 4G data networks.
    – Sparx
    Commented Apr 5, 2011 at 16:00

This is pretty much what happens if you connect your phone to a corporate MS Exchange server.

I think it's possible with other Exchange Active Sync compatible servers that support the Exchange mobile device security policies. If any of the FOSS Exchange/messaging clones currently implement the security policies, then this would all be possible on any Android 2.x phone without needing anything other than built-in software on the client.


Try Cerberus app for Android.

This app works on both rooted and non rooted devices (giving some additional options to rooted devices)

You create account, and login, which allows you to fully control your phone, even so that no one notices that you are doing anything (even if he who stole your phone is using it at the moment).

Some of the main features are taking GPS position every few secs, and posting it to this server as soon as it gains any kind of internet connection. You can even send SMS to your phone with special codes and messages won't appear on your phone, but it will answer you with SMS with GPS coordinates and other information without the user holding your phone knowing it.

You can take front camera or back camera photos. You can record voice, etc. It has many more features. If you are interested, you should totally check this app out.

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