Android developer Trevor Eckhart uncovered software that may be secretly installed on some Android, BlackBerry and Nokia phones. The software, Carrier IQ, tracks almost everything the user does on his or her handset and sends it back to Carrier IQ servers. Eckhart exposed this software earlier this month and called it a rootkit for your phone. Carrier IQ responded to this accusation with a cease and desist letter that was later withdrawn. The company also responded publicly on its blog and defended its software, claiming it does not log keystrokes or intercept email or SMS communications.
Eckhart fired back at Carrier IQ with a video that shows the software reading incoming SMS messages, logging keystrokes, parsing encrypted HTTPS strings and more. The software is hidden from the user and cannot be removed or force closed without rooting. In his video, Eckhart shows you where to find the traces of the software.
This story is developing, and there’s a lot we don’t know about the Carrier IQ service. We don’t know how many phones have this snooping software, nor what happens to the data when it is sent. Verizon denies that it is currently working with Carrier IQ now, but it may have in the past. Sprint reportedly confirms it uses Carrier IQ for diagnostic purposes. We will keep you updated as more information becomes available. In the meantime, you can check out Eckhart’s video on Youtube.