Is Carrier IQ Sneaking Around Your Smartphone?


The latest mobile news is that someone has been sneaking around in the cell phones of millions of people. Carrier IQ is the name of the fingered company. They were caught red-handed doing the things that some people got booted out of the android market for. If you have an android smartphone odds are they are tracking you also.

The Legal Antics Of Carrier IQ Look Cagey

Buttons, emails and text messages. A video by a good Samaritan has proven that Carrier IQ was tracking all of this. Trevor Eckhart is the IT specialist from XDA forums that outed this company’s rootkit software that is found on android, Blackberry and Nokia smartphones. Soon afterward Mister Eckhart received a threatening “cease and desist” order from Carrier IQ. The threat was quickly removed and an apology put in its place. Trevor Eckhart was just doing his job since he is also a security researcher.

Even Text Messages Are Monitored

A video by Mister Eckhart showed clearly that Carrier IQ is tracking things like when the volume button is pushed, when the power button is pushed, what phone numbers are called and much more. It is quite sickening for someone to find out this is on their smartphone if they put a value on privacy. Yes, text messages are tracked with the Carrier IQ rootkit software.

Who is Carrier IQ?

The company in focus call themselves a “leading provider of mobile service intelligence solutions”. They are certainly “leading” in numbers because HTC devices are some of the most popular smartphones being sold in the United States. HTC is currently beating Apple in sales, and their smartphones have the Carrier IQ software lurking within. It has also been reported that older iPhones also have references to the Carrier IQ rootkit in them, but Apple has already pointed out that they stopped using Carrier IQ with version 5 of iOS. Some iphones are running older versions, which means the rootkit is still active in them.

A Little Exposure Is Good For Some Events

Carrier IQ denies doing very much with the information they get from the vast sea of information their software generates. They have denied recording or storing or even transmitting several forms of personal information. Nevertheless, connections over such things as https are somehow not encrypted as it passes through the Carrier IQ program. The https protocol is supposed to guarantee that there is no one sniffing what is going on between a browser and the target web page. Nothing could be farther from the truth with Carrier IQ. Google has denied being affiliated with the company and HTC claims they are searching for ways to turn it off. All this thanks to one person, an Eagle Scout, speaking up and telling the truth; Trevor Eckhart.

Do you want to learn more on our author? Karen Robinson is a freelance writer that loves to write on everything pertaining to the mobile industry as well as finance. You can have a look at her articles on Consolidation Loans as well as Credit Line if you want to learn more.

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