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Integrate Cerberus into ROM for added security

27 mayo, 2021

We have already talked in the past about Cerberus, an application for remotely manage a lost or stolen Android. Perhaps it is one of the best applications of this style, and today we bring you a trick that allows it to be even more powerful. Integrate Cerberus into the ROM.

What can we achieve if we integrate Cerberus into the ROM? Two things. The first is to be able to activate the GPS remotely from Android 2.3.3, with which we can precisely locate the position of the Android. The second and fundamental is that Cerberus is still there even after a wipe / factory reset.

Previous requirements

To integrate Cerberus into the ROM that we have from the factory (even if it is the stock one) it is essential to be root, since we are going to install Cerberus not in the data partition but in the system partition. We have already talked about the different partitions, and at the Ice Cream Sandwich level as well, which for practical purposes is the same as before.

If Cerberus is installed in the system part, when there is a wipe / factory reset and the data part is erased, Cerberus will still be there, and the original owner of the Android can continue to track its position and interfere with its use. There is no respite from thieves.

The second requirement is have ClockworkMod or another advanced recovery manager installed. This makes life easier for us, although it is possible to install it only as root. We will explain this in the third way of integrating Cerberus into the ROM.

Integrate Cerberus into the ROM: via ROM Manager

Cerberus ROM

The easiest way to integrate Cerberus into your ROM is through ROM Manager. In this application we give you to download ROM and we select Cerberus. We select the latest version for our device (2.2 at the moment, and there are two, one of them special for ICS) and we give it to download.

Once the download is finished, it will ask us if to install we want to clean data and cache or copy the ROM current. It is not necessary, as we are not installing a ROM but a system application. Clearing Dalvik cache is not necessary but it does no harm (it takes a little longer to reboot). By accepting our phone it will restart in recovery mode and will automatically install Cerberus. There is nothing to do, when it is finished it restarts normal and we have it ready.

Integrate Cerberus into the ROM: via recovery

Another option, if we don’t want to install ROM Manager, is to do the Cerberus installation from the recovery manually. I will explain it for ClockworkMod, but in other recovery it is a similar process.

First, we download the update .zip through recovery from the Cerberus website and put this file on the SD card (or, failing that, in the / sdcard / folder). We restart the Android in recovery mode (each terminal has a form, or if there are no applications that allow it, such as ROM Manager).

From ClockworkMod you just have to click “install update from sdcard”, select, we accept the installation and wait for it to finish installing. Once this is done we give “exit”, and “reboot system now”.

Integrate Cerberus into the ROM: via command line or System Cleanup

The third method is for if we like to be root but not use applications that need it. That is, in case we like to do things ourselves. For this we will need a terminal emulator (or adb) and we will write the following:

mount -o remount rw / system
cp /sdcard/Cerberus.apk / system / app /

Of course, first we must download the Cerberus apk and place it on the SD card.

An alternative we have is to use System Cleanup to move the Cerberus application to / system / app. To do this we will install the apk (or directly from Play) and before running the application we will use System Cleanup to move it to the system partition.


Following any of these methods we will have a Cerberus more resistant to the mischief that phone thieves try to do. Even if they do a quick wipe, we can continue to locate it and interfere with its use. And it can even be interesting because we can do a remote wipe of everything (internal memory and SD Card) to protect our data but without definitely losing the phone, since Cerberus will continue running.

For me, Cerberus is an excellent application, that for only 3 euros gives many guarantees, and that with this trick, fully integrated into the ROM, it is very powerful. The only downside is that would not withstand a reflashing of the ROM

In Engadget Android | The best Android apps to locate stolen phones
More information | Cerberus