Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Installing Cerberus on Nexus5

Update: Came across this link (http://www.kingoapp.com/android-root/devices.htm). Looks like rooting just became easier. Haven't tried this software though.

Note: I have been struggling with this for a few days now. This is the first time I have tried to root an android phone & install an app as a system app. As such, I could not quickly grasp the lingo used in different DIY (do it yourself) articles which explained this procedure. The aim of this article is to explain the procedure in as many steps as you may possibly need to understand it without feeling intimidated.

Note: At any point, if the phone asks to grant superuser access to ROM Manager, Clockworkmod or Cerberus, choose 'Yes'.

Warning: This procedure involves rooting your phone. If your phone is already rooted, you can skip that step. If it is not, then rooting will erase all data & essentially RESET your phone. So backup all your data before rooting. Once the phone is rooted, it will remember all your apps & reinstall them. However, the data in the apps would be absent. So for example, Whatsapp will not contain the messages that are in it now, your SMSs will be deleted, call logs will be deleted, etc.

What do you need

1. Nexus5 is the phone that I have used. You can read this article & then refer to articles specific to your phone.
2. Data cable to connect the phone to pc
3. Phone's USB drivers need to be installed on your PC. This will help the PC identify your phone & show your phone's memory/SD memory as a drive in 'My computers'
4. Rooting your phone
5. Loading ROM Manager
6. Copying the Cerberus Disguised.apk to your phone
7. Installing through ROM Manager
8. Post install actions

Detailed steps

1. Don't need much battery but try to keep atleast 50%

2. Connect the phone to the laptop using the phone's data cable

3. My phone requires the Google USb Drivers (https://dl-ssl.google.com//android/repository/latest_usb_driver_windows.zip). This is available at (http://developer.android.com/sdk/win-usb.html)

4. Now the tricky part. I used this tutorial (http://nexus5.wonderhowto.com/how-to/root-your-nexus-5-an-easy-guide-for-first-timers-0150493/) which uses a utility called CF-AutoRoot. To explain this tutorial simply, please find steps below:-

    4.1 Download autoroot to your desktop
    4.2 Open the autoroot folder on your desktop, press Shift key & right click in the folder & select ' Open command window here'. This will open a DOS command prompt window.
    4.3 Restart phone in bootloader mode. For nexus5, you need to press 'Volume Down' & 'Power' keys together & hold them that way for 5-10 seconds to restart in bootloader mode
    4.4 Once phone has restarted in bootloader mode, goto the dos prompt on the pc. type 'root-windows.bat'. now just sit back while your phone is rooted.

5. To install cerberus as system app, i used ROM Manager. To install it, simply goto Google Playstore from your phone & install it.

    5.1 ROM Manager will suggest installig a Recovery Manager if not already installed. I used Clockworkmod. Install the free one. You can install it from within Rom manager or from Google Playstore

6. Download the Disguised version from here (https://www.cerberusapp.com/download.php). Copy it to the phone

7. Open ROM manager on the phone. Locate & install the disguised cerberus zip file. Check this tutorial (http://www.technobuzz.net/use-rom-manager-install-cwm-recovery-android/)

8. The phone will restart & optimize apps. Once phone starts, open cerberus, create an account & do the necessary settings.

8.1 It is likely that Cerberus icon wont be present in your app drawer (The different screens that you scroll through to see apps, is called app drawer). Instead, there will be an unusual green android icon. That's cerberus. Open that to access cerberus from phone. Once inside, click 'hide from app drawer'. This way, no one will know that you have cerberus installed. Also, remember/change the dial code. Once you hide cerberus from app drawer, you can goto your phone's dialpad (from where you dial numbers/make calls) & simply dial that number and try to call the number. That will open cerberus app.
8.2 you can also launch cerberus from the website (https://www.cerberusapp.com/dashboard.php). 
8.3 Try different commands from teh website (like track phone) & enjoy the fun :)

Using Cerberus
1. If your phone's data or wifi was switched off when you lost it, the cerberus website wont be able to track it. You will need to turn on data/wifi on your phone first. You can do that by sending sms commands to your phone, from someone's else's phone (https://www.cerberusapp.com/help.php). This website provides list of SMS commands.

2. Once data/wifi has been turned on, use the website to track the phone :)