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carrier iq spyware

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by gvc, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. gvc

    gvc Member
    Thread Starter

    as most of us should know, this very invasive spyware app , carrier iq, is preinstalled on the samsung exhibit II.

    Carrier IQ: What it is, what it isn't, and what you need to know -- Engadget

    "Carrier IQ's keystroke logging, location tracking and ability to intercept text messages. Even information that should be transferred only within encrypted sessions is captured in plain text by Carrier IQ"

    On our devices, the "profile" file is named "archive.img and is located in the /data/data/com.carrieriq.tmobile/app_iq_archive folder. this is the file that supposedly contains all the info this app captures.

    I downloaded the Voodoo Carrier IQ app which will tell you for sure that the carrier iq app is present but when I run this app it tells me that "Carrier IQ elements found-however it seems inactive". that "inactive" part confuses me because if I run "Gemini App Manager" and filter to only show running apps/processes, I see that an app called "System Manager Application" is running and the package is listed as "com.carrieriq.tmobile".

    I killed the process but it keeps restarting and I haven't used the auto run manager part of Gemini yet to keep it from restarting. It lists about 8 events that cause this package to restart.

    So, is it active or not? anyone know for sure?
     


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  2. Nilpotent

    Nilpotent Newbie

    I do not know for sure but I believe it is active and the only way to remove it is to pass root. I froze "system manager" with titanium backup.

    For me, the file /data/data/com.carrieriq.tmobile/app_iq_archive folder/archive.img last modification was a few days ago (may be the day I froze the application but I do not remember for sure)

    The post #71 on xda forum is explaining how to remove all carrierIQ components but I do not feel yet comfortable with those kind of direct modifications
    Samsung Exhibit II 4G Root/forum? - Page 8 - xda-developers

    I believe I will wait until there's an app that removes carrier IQ or that it becomes possible (and relatively safe for a noob...) to flash everything and install cyanogen mod.
     
  3. surgerush

    surgerush Android Enthusiast

    When I ran the program it said I wasn't infected.
     
  4. gvc

    gvc Member
    Thread Starter

    look for "system Manager Application" app.

    I tried to freeze the app and shut off all autostart events, rebooted, and it still showed up in my list of running processes! persistent little devil.

    going into "manage applications" to try to force close the app doesn't work either, although I was able to "clear data" whatever that might do.

    so, only option was to uninstall the app (need root to uninstall system apps). after uninstalling you will have to reboot to get rid of the force close errors that come up right after uninstalling the app. after reboot, all is well.
     
  5. FulciLives

    FulciLives Well-Known Member

    I saw the post on the XDA Developers about how to remove it (the same post that Nilpotent quoted above) but like Nilpotent I'm not sure that I feel comfortable doing all that.

    I did manage to get the phone rooted thanks to that same thread at XDA (using the batch file that someone made).

    Anyway back to CIQ ... is this (removal) method 'safe' and/or should I wait for another 'better' method?

    How many of you have done it (removed it via these instructions) and found all to be A-OK afterwards?
     
  6. FulciLives

    FulciLives Well-Known Member

    I installed the "Carrier IQ Detector" (Lookout Labs) from the Android Market and it says my Samsung Exhibit II 4G has Carrier IQ on it. Also there are instructions on one site (see above) on how to remove it. So I don't know why your device doesn't have it unless you don't have a USA model?
     
  7. gvc

    gvc Member
    Thread Starter

    I uninstalled the system manager application(iq-tmobile)(must be rooted). I then got force closes but rebooted and all was well. I then used root explorer to manually delete these files:

    data/data/com.carrieriq.tmobile (folder and contents)
    system/lib/libiq_service_tmobile.so
    data/dalvik-cache/iq-tmobile-release-signed-zipaligned-v1.1.apk

    made backups of all before deleting.

    so far so good. it might be my imagination but I actually think I'm getting a little bit better battery performance since getting rid of the iq stuff.
     
    Nilpotent likes this.
  8. surgerush

    surgerush Android Enthusiast

    Rooted my phone and got titanium backup pro, backed up everything to dropbox. Was scrolling through stuff on dropbox, and you guys are right, carrier iq is definitely there, clicked it and it's in system manager. So is freezing system manager good enough?
     
  9. Deleted User

    Deleted User Guest

    Removing the system manager app seems to have removed carrier iq from my exhibit 2 4g... I ran a scam before deleting it and it was PRESENT, after deleting the system manager app, a rescan says it's now GONE!!! (I'm ROOTED!)
     
  10. zcarman

    zcarman Android Enthusiast

    Carrier IQ is not all that scary guys... Seriously, it's been in use for YEARS - even before smartphones were common. Carrier IQ tracks data by random number - nothing linked to you, just your phone's IMEI number. It's getting a bum wrap lately because people don't understand WHY carriers are using it.

    1) Carriers use the information obtained to control network tower selection, handle overload traffic and reroute data when at extreme levels. This is most common when one tower becomes overloaded again and again at a particular time. Carrier IQ tells the carrier the total number of devices on a tower at any time - not that Bob, Sue and Jim are on tower #1 right now, but just total numbers. By accessing this data, carriers can up coverage or bounce devices to different towers based on their GPS data.

    2) Carrier IQ does not record Text Messages. The CARRIER, however, does. If you get a court order to have Verizon or T-Mobile release a text message string, they will send you a print out of it. This means THEY are tracking this information. Carrier IQ has nothing to do with this process.

    3) Yes, Carrier IQ tracks your device's location. Again, this is for network standards and optimization. They don't care if you are at the mall, they just want to know when a device is at the mall, which tower is it on. Again, the carrier has access to this information whenever your GPS is engaged - or frankly, a less accurate point anytime your device as a cell signal.

    4) Carrier IQ does report bugs, system crashes and other failures as the phone becomes unusable. This helps carriers with updates, patches and fixes to known issues. While this is probably the scariest thing that Carrier IQ does, it's also the most helpful to the end user. The more data that is collected about crashes, the more quickly a fix can be had.

    Overall, the tech community has completely over-reacted to Carrier IQ because more people have Smartphones now. I have been carrying one for 7 or 8 years now and 'tracking' software is nothing new. I actually signed up for a tracking program that pays me to see my usage! I have nothing to hide on my phone and don't really care who sees what I am doing with it.

    As long as I am on T-Mobile's network, they should watch me to make sure I'm not breaking the terms of our agreement - like tethering without a plan or bulk messaging people from my device... That way prices will stay low for everyone - and everyone will have better service.

    Just my 2 cents on this - so feel free to dive into the system and uninstall this software if you want, but seriously, read up on what Carrier IQ really is BEFORE you panic.
     
  11. Deleted User

    Deleted User Guest

    Hey of you wanna harvest info from me, the PAY ME OR OFFER ME SOMETHING IN EXCHANGE... At least google PROVIDES a service for the use of your data....
     
  12. zcarman

    zcarman Android Enthusiast

    @Droid808 Isn't better service "something" for the use of said data? You pay for it, they track usage to help make it better. It's like a comment card at a restaurant, we usually don't take the time to fill them out, right? Imagine Carrier IQ as a person in the back that looks at the plates coming back to the kitchen to be cleaned and measures how long the plate was out there and how much of the food was eaten. They just want to find out if there are any dud dishes (or in our case, apps, coverage gaps, data issues, etc...) out there.
     

Samsung Exhibit 2 4G Forum

The Samsung Exhibit 2 4G release date was October 2011. Features and Specs include a 3.7" inch screen, 3MP camera, GB RAM, Snapdragon S2 processor, and 1500mAh battery.

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