Vendors Release Carrier IQ Scanning Tools

By Fahmida Y. Rashid  |  Posted 2011-12-05

Mobile device owners worried whether the Carrier IQ software is installed on their mobile devices now can use apps designed to scan and detect the network diagnostic tool.

BitDefender released a new tool that can detect and notify users that Carrier IQ's monitoring tool is installed on their Android devices, the company said Dec. 3. The Carrier IQ Finder determines if the user's Android device is actively being monitored by the tracking program, but cannot remove it.

"Bitdefender values users' privacy and their right to take informed decisions when entering a deal with a mobile carrier," said Alexandru Bălan, senior Product Manager of the Bitdefender Mobile Unit. Even though Carrier IQ claims "only some of the information" collected by the application is used by the mobile carriers, "the amount of personal data the app has access to raises serious privacy concerns," Bălan said.

Carrier IQ Detector is a similar program released by Lookout Mobile Security on Dec. 2. Like Carrier IQ Finder, Lookout's Detector also detects the presence of the software but cannot remove it as the "software is deeply integrated with handset firmware," Tim Wyatt, a principal engineer at Lookout wrote. "Users would be required to attain special device privileges in order to remove it," Wyatt wrote. While there are several guides available online to remove the software, users may accidentally wind up making the devices ineligible for future firmware updates or expose themselves to a serious malware infection, according to Wyatt.

Both Carrier IQ Finder and Carrier IQ Detector are available for free from the Android Market.

Rocket Fuel