View Full Version : New Android App Finds Carrier IQ Fast, Free, and Easy

Teh One Who Knocks
12-04-2011, 10:15 PM
By David Murphy - PC Magazine


Whether you believe Carrier IQ or not that its software, embedded on certain smartphones, is a malicious, keylogging entity or a tool that helps operators improve the smartphone user experience, you have a choice. Namely, there are ways to eliminate this question from the equation by detecting and removing Carrier IQ from your device, if you really want.

And Lookout Mobile Security makers of the "Lookout" security app for both IPhones and Android smartphones have given you an easy way to do just that. Detect, we should specify, and only for Android devices.

Why Android only? Carrier IQ is no longer supported as of iOS 5 (Apple insists its customers have to opt-in before any information about their smartphones is shipped off to Apple HQ), and blocking its effects on your iOS 5-based iPhone is super-easy: Click on your Settings button, then General, About, Diagnostics & Usage, and select " Don't Send."

However, Carrier IQ is a bit more integrated within the Android OS so much so, that you'll need to root your device prior to attempting any removal efforts. But the first step in the process is finding out whether your smartphone has Carrier IQ installed to begin with. And Lookout's new app makes this a one-touch affair.

Install Carrier IQ Detector (https://market.android.com/details?id=com.lookout.carrieriqdetector&feature=search_result) from the Android Market and fire up the app. That's it; you're done. Carrier IQ Detector immediately tells you whether Carrier IQ is installed on your phone, and you're welcome to hit the "More Info" button to receive more details about what that could mean for you.

While useful for detecting whether any manual removal efforts have succeeded, Lookout's Carrier IQ Detector doesn't actually perform any of the removal process for you. For that, you'll have to either flash your Android device with a custom ROM that doesn't contain Carrier IQ or you can try grabbing the app "Logging TestApp Pro," contributing a dollar for the registration key, and using the app's full version to remove Carrier IQ in a more automated method.

As Extreme Tech's Sebastian Anthony notes, "this doesn't always work, though." But with Lookout's new easy-to-use detection app, at least you'll be able to find out whether your dollar was successful in helping you to strip this buried software off your device.

12-05-2011, 01:10 AM
Too bad they can't remove it or at least disable it yet.

Shady stuff....

Teh One Who Knocks
12-05-2011, 01:37 AM
Yeah, it would be nice if it was easy to remove, but unfortunately it isn't. At least this app will let you know if you have it. I ran it and I don't have it, so I'm happy

Teh One Who Knocks
12-05-2011, 12:39 PM
7 Things You Need to Know About Carrier IQ and Your Smartphone
By Dan Howley, Laptopmag.com


The public outcry over wireless network diagnostics maker Carrier IQ and its eponymous software for smartphones has a reached a fever pitch. The application, which sits on more than 141 million devices, is taking some serious heat from privacy advocates, legal experts, and law makers, not to mention everyday users, who fear that the software is capturing data ranging from the content of users' text messages to the websites they visit. As the controversy cloud continues to mushroom, more users are beginning to ask what Carrier IQ is, how it functions, and if it can be disabled or uninstalled from their phones.

Here's a quick Carrier IQ FAQ to get you up to speed.

What is Carrier IQ?

Developed by California-based Carrier IQ, Inc., Carrier IQ is, according to the company's website, a diagnostic tool that is built directly into a host of smartphones from carriers, including T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T, to help them develop a better understanding of network and handset performance issues.

How does it work?

The software functions by collecting "operational information" from users' smartphones, feature phones and tablets. That information is then anonymized, stripped of all personally identifiable information, and carriers then use the information to improve network performance. [More...]

Does it read your keystrokes?

Much has been made about the initial YouTube video posted by Trevor Eckhart, the developer who first brought the Carrier IQ issue to light. In it, Eckhart shows the software running on his HTC Evo while it's in airplane mode. As he presses keys on his phone, the Carrier IQ software immediately registers his keystrokes. Yet in a press release, Carrier IQ specifically states that it does not record users' keystrokes.

In an interview with SecurityNewsDaily, a sister site of Laptopmag.com, , Dan Rosenberg with Virtual Security Research points out that in his video Eckhart never claims that the content Carrier IQ picks up is being collected and sent to the software company, nor does Eckart try to prove as much. "At no point does he enter a debugger and look inside the Carrier IQ applications, and at no point does he run a network sniffer and look at what data is being transmitted to Carrier IQ."

In an open letter he posted on Pastebin, Rosenberg said that after reverse engineering Carrier IQ he was unable to find any evidence that the company is, "collecting anything more than what they've publicly claimed: anonymized metrics data. There's a big difference between, "look, it does something when I press a key," and, "it's sending all my keystrokes to the carrier."

Carrier IQ has repeatedly gone on the record since the controversy first erupted stating that its software does not store or send keystroke information. To top it all off, the Carrier IQ software can be customized for whatever carrier happens to be using it. That means that the information it collects is determined by your carrier and not Carrier IQ itself, according to Engadget. For now, it's still not completely clear whether the software is collecting data through keystrokes. And until the company reconciles what was shown in Eckhart's video with its own statements, it will remain unclear.

Can Carrier IQ track your location?

The short answer is that we're not sure yet. According to Eckhart's video, Carrier IQ is fully capable of tracking users' locations. But again, Carrier IQ denies this notion, saying it "does not provide tracking tools." The software can, however, tell carriers where a customer was when his wireless signal failed. While information like this may help service providers better understand potential network issues, for some consumers it's a scary proposition.

Is Carrier IQ on your phone?

Chances are that you have at least some form of Carrier IQ sitting on your phone at this moment. T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T have all come forward with statements indicating that they have a version of Carrier IQ's software on their Android devices. AT&T and Sprint iPhone users will also find a variant of Carrier IQ on their devices.

"In line with our privacy policy, we solely use CIQ software data to improve wireless network and service performance," explained Mark Seigel, executive director for media relations with AT&T.

Verizon Wireless and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion have both denied that they use the software. And the "reference" Android models, the Nexus S and Nexus One, which use "pure" Android builds unsullied by carrier alterations, don't have it installed.

Can you disable Carrier IQ?

If you're an iPhone user, disabling Carrier IQ is a fairly simple affair. Just tap "General" under your phone's Settings menu, open the "About" section, tap "Diagnostic & Usage" and press "don't send" under "Automatically Send." Carrier IQ will now be deactivated on your phone.

If you're using an Android device, disabling the software requires that you root your phone with a base Android ROM. As LifeHacker points out, modded versions of your device manufacturer's ROM will still have Carrier IQ active.

Is Carrier IQ a privacy threat?

That's the million-dollar question. The truth is, the answer is still unclear. Rosenberg says the software isn't a true threat in its current form, but could be manipulated and abused later. Still others claim the software is a serious issue that needs to brought to users' attention.

John Graham-Cumming, vice president of engineering for the British software company Causata, meanwhile, calls for real research into what the CarrierIQ software is doing with the user information it sees.

"Otherwise, these claims about all my keystrokes being sent to some third-party company are just claims without any substance to back them up," he wrote on his personal blog.

Arguments like this haven't stopped Senator Al Franken from calling on Carrier IQ to step forward and answer allegations that the company isn't tracking users' personal data.

There is still a lot of information coming out on this topic, so be sure to check back here for further updates.

Acid Trip
12-05-2011, 06:04 PM
I wonder if Carrier IQ made it onto any of the Android based tablets. Mine is Wifi only but I think I'll check none the less.

12-05-2011, 08:52 PM
Friggin Android and T mobile... What a bunch of criminals...

12-06-2011, 05:48 PM