Mobile & Gadgets

New Tool to Detect Carrier IQ Tracking Package, Available for Free

Carrier IQ

 The Bitdefender Carrier IQ Finder accurately detects if a device’s firmware has been equipped with Carrier IQ code and, if so, whether the package is active.

So, what is it all about?

In mid-November, independent security researcher Trevor Eckhart identified a piece of diagnostic software originating from software developer Carrier IQ that was collecting information related to smartphone usage, location and even keystrokes, a behavior usually associated to the presence of malware. Confronted with the discovery, the manufacturer dismissed the researcher’s claims and stated that the tool is only used for identifying network issues or other technical problems affecting the smartphone. According to the researcher, the application logs all the above-mentioned details, although it is currently unclear how much of this info is stored and accessed by the carrier.

Can I remove the Carrier IQ package?

First of all, not all phone models come equipped with the Carrier IQ software package. To see if your smartphone is affected, download and run the Bitdefender Carrier IQ Finder from the product’s page on the Android Market. It’s free and can be used immediately after downloading.

The Carrier IQ package is deeply integrated with the device’s firmware, which makes it impossible to remove without special privileges on the smartphone. This is why the Bitdefender Carrier IQ finder application will only identify the presence of the Carrier IQ software package, but it will not remove it from your smartphone.

If the scanner has found Carrier IQ code preinstalled on your device, you will not be able to remove it unless you have “rooted”your smartphone. We recommend you ask your service provider to remove the package for you.

Does the Carrier IQ Finder protect me proactively?

The Bitdefender Carrier IQ Finder does not act as an antivirus solution and will not protect your smartphone against malware. It is a simple tool that analyzes the software on your smartphone and prompts you if it finds the Carrier IQ tool. For permanent mobile protection, we recommend you install the free version of the Bitdefender Mobile Security available on the Android Market.

About the author


Bogdan Botezatu is living his second childhood at Bitdefender as senior e-threat analyst. When he is not documenting sophisticated strains of malware or writing removal tools, he teaches extreme sports such as surfing the web without protection or rodeo with wild Trojan horses. He believes that most things in life can be beat with strong heuristics and that antimalware research is like working for a secret agency: you need to stay focused at all times, but you get all the glory when you catch the bad guys.