Thursday, December 8, 2011

IS YOUR NETWORK CARRIER SPYING ON YOU?

Last week we heard numerous reports regarding the software known as Carrier IQ. What is Carrier IQ? Carrier IQ is a diagnostic software that is used by U.S. phone networks to monitor phone usage. There are some although, that worry that maybe it monitors them too much. Is this Carrier IQ as evil as everyone is making it out to be? A security expert last week demonstrated the app reading text messages and monitoring web browsing activity and transmitting the data to Carrier IQ.

Carrier IQ has denied this and says that the software was just designed for “diagnostics”. They even went as far as to release the following statement:

“A few individual’s have identified that there is a great deal of information available to the Carrier IQ software inside the handset, our software doesn’t record, store or transmit the contents of SMS messages, email, photographs, audio or video”, a company spokesperson said. “For example, we understand whether an SMS was sent accurately, but do not record or transmit the content of the SMS. We know which applications are draining your battery, but do not capture the screen.”   

I know see why some have become alarmed regarding this little sinister app. However rest assured there is a little light at the end of the tunnel. Now Android users can install the Carrier IQ Detector app, which is made freely available. Upon running this app it will instantly inform you if you have the Carrier IQ app on your handset or tablet. This app although, does what it says, detects. It will NOT uninstall Carrier IQ.

Carrier IQ has been placed deep within the firmware of the device, it is nearly impossible to remove. The Carrier IQ Detector app was developed for non technical users to determine if their device has been affected by this software. Of all the handsets and tablets in the U.S., how many devices is it on? All of the major carriers use it. Is it on your phone or tablet?






 

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