You might know already about the Carrier IQ drama that happened recently. For those of you who don’t know Carrier IQ is software that comes pre-installed on many mobile handsets without the users knowing about its presence. This software is said to be used for measuring the customer experience and typical mobile usage patterns etc. However, it has been found recently that Carrier IQ can breach user privacy by logging the messages and user keystrokes and sending this sensitive data among other pieces of information to the company servers where this information can be used to paint a complete picture of the use of the mobile device as well as the sensitive user information. Its generally believed that Carrier IQ posses a bigger threat to the Android users than the iOS users (it’s present even on many Apple devices).
Yesterday, we reported that trusted and well-known open-source Android firmware distribution named CyanogenMod don’t include the Carrier IQ and will never have it as mentioned on the official blog. But if you are on a stock Android firmware chances are that your device might be infested with this nasty service. This is deeply rooted in the kernel and low level services of the OS and may be very difficult to remove completely. However, there are guides available online to do so. If you are curious to know that if your device has Carrier IQ installed you can find easily do so using the Carrier IQ Detector app from the Android Market that is available for free.
Determine whether or not your phone contains Carrier IQ mobile diagnostic software.
Security researchers have recently determined that a number of consumer mobile devices contain pre-installed software from Carrier IQ. While this software appears to be designed to help mobile network operators improve coverage through metrics tracking, it does not provide a clear opt-out path for users. Additionally, it can be difficult for non-technical users to determine whether or not their handset is affected. We’ve developed the Carrier IQ Detector to aid in this process in an effort to keep mobile users fully informed about what their phone is doing.
I have personally tested this app to test my Samsung Galaxy SII (S2) and luckily this app couldn’t find it on my device. Just to clarify for now I am using stock firmware with a custom SpeedMod kernel on my SGS2. Point is that not all Android devices even with the stock firmware have it installed so you can download Carrier IQ Detector linked below to install and check your Android device to get piece of mind!
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