Carrier IQ: What it is, what it isn’t, and what you need to know
Carrier IQ has recently found itself swimming in controversy. The analytics company and its eponymous software have come under fire from security researchers, privacy advocates and legal critics not only for the data it gathers, but also for its lack of transparency regarding the use of said information. Carrier IQ claims its software is installed on over 140 million devices with partners including Sprint, HTC and allegedly, Apple and Samsung. Nokia, RIM and Verizon Wireless have been alleged as partners, too, although each company denies such claims. Ostensibly, the software’s meant to improve the customer experience, though in nearly every case, Carrier IQ users are unaware of the software’s existence, as it runs hidden in the background and doesn’t require authorized consent to function. From a permissions standpoint — with respect to Android — the software is capable of logging user keystrokes, recording telephone calls, storing text messages, tracking location and more. It is often difficult or impossible to disable.


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Carrier IQ: What it is, what it isn’t, and what you need to know

Carrier IQ has recently found itself swimming in controversy. The analytics company and its eponymous software have come under fire from security researchers, privacy advocates and legal critics not only for the data it gathers, but also for its lack of transparency regarding the use of said information. Carrier IQ claims its software is installed on over 140 million devices with partners including Sprint, HTC and allegedly, Apple and Samsung. Nokia, RIM and Verizon Wireless have been alleged as partners, too, although each company denies such claims. Ostensibly, the software’s meant to improve the customer experience, though in nearly every case, Carrier IQ users are unaware of the software’s existence, as it runs hidden in the background and doesn’t require authorized consent to function. From a permissions standpoint — with respect to Android — the software is capable of logging user keystrokes, recording telephone calls, storing text messages, tracking location and more. It is often difficult or impossible to disable.

Read More from Engaget …

Looking back at 2011, we could call it subtitle it as The Year Of Android Malware. It started with DroidDream and reports have been issued all year that have shown exponential growth in Android malware. It is not getting any better. If Juniper’s research can be believed, it is getting much worse.

Juniper says there has been a 472% rise in Android malware samples since July 2011. Juniper says that almost all of the Android malware contains code for root access that will force the device to communicate with a command-and-control server and download additional instructions. 55% of Android malware acts as spyware and the rise of “SMS Trojans” has become a significant problem.