Carrier IQ: How to detect it on an Android device

Carrier IQ, CarrierIQ, or CIQ for short can be defined as a rootkit that logs all input events into the device which was found by Trevor Eckhart, the System Administrator who found Carrier IQ running on his HTC Evo.  Trevor made an interesting video that shows EXACTLY what happens when Carrier IQ is installed on a device and the effects are very serious, because when you’re visiting a secure website using HTTPS the traffic is encrypted from client to server after the HTTPS handshake and cerficiate are approved but Carrier IQ logs all the information before any part of the encryption takes place now Carrier IQ can know just about every website you visited even if it was a secure connection along with usernames, password, telephone numbers, anything that is input into the phone.

This is a quick how to if there is Carrier IQ running on your phone.


Step 1: Open the Android Market and search for “Carrier IQ Detector” or use this link from the Market Carrier IQ Detector.

Carrier IQ Detector

Carrier IQ Detector from the Market.

Step 2: Download the application to your phone, pay attention the permissions, this app only needs network access.

Carrier IQ Detector

Carrier IQ Detector Permissions

Step 3: Once the program is installed, open up Carrier IQ Detector.  This program is very easy to learn if you have Carrier IQ on the phone, it will show a green check mark if you do not have it installed.  If you do have Carrier IQ installed you will see an exclamation mark.

Carrier IQ Detector

Carrier IQ Detector shows no sign of Carrier IQ


So what do you do if you have Carrier IQ installed?  That’s a good question, a hard question to answer without having to say you would need to root your device and install a custom ROM such as CyanogenMod, I really don’t see carriers pushing out OTA updates to remove this application if they prove Carrier IQ does indeed send the data that is collected on your device back to Carrie IQ.

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