November 30, 2011

A background app on your droid smartphone sniffs all your info

Well, this is tough. After the Applegate scandal that followed after we found out that Apple was tracking the location of its users with their iPhones, now Google's Android, and HTC in particular, could be finding themselves in much the same situation.
After a thorough research, Android developer Trevor Eckhart has found out that his HTC EVO 4G phone has been tracking every keypress, message or location he's been to. The software used to do so comes from a Silicon Valley company Carrier IQ, which records in real time what has been happening on not just Eckhart phone, but million other droids and, as the developer states, also Nokia and Blackberry devices alike.
Using a packet sniffer, the developer was able to track every single packet going in and out of his stock EVO 4G smartphone. That way, he managed to show how each tap on the numeric keyboard, the contents of SMS messages and HTTPS browsing data have been tapped by the Carrier IQ software.
As you'll find out in the video below, the software in question is developed by Carrier IQ, who recently went after Trevor Eckhart and threatened to sue him for his allegations of the software being "rootking", but who also withdrew their demands shortly after. The Carrier IQ VP of Marketing Andrew Coward rejected the developer's claims in an interview last week saying that the software never captured keypresses.
Here is a part of his answer from the interview:
Our technology is not real time. It's not constantly reporting back. It's gathering information up and is usually transmitted in small doses.
And finally, here's the 17-minute-long video itself, which comes to show you just what is been happening on both HTC devices he owns behind his back. Mind you, this is not yet confirmed to be the case for HTC or any Android devices outside the US. We'll keep you posted for any updates to come.



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