The rootkit of all evil — CIQ

November 17, 2011
CIQ on a Samsung device

Carrier iQ software log (credit: xdavevelopers)

CarrierIQ (CIQ), hidden surveillance software, is embedded into most mobile devices, including Android, Nokia, Blackberry, and likely many more, with root access (a vendor or hacker could take over the device), xdadevelopers reports.

A developer discovered that this hidden software, normally used to provide feedback and relevant data, is given root rights over the device, which means that it can do everything it pleases, without the user’s knowledge or control.

For example, if Google’s vision of Android@Home comes true, manufacturers will know how long you spend in each room of your house, based on when you flip the light switch, and so on. There is the very real possibility of exploits that could also give criminals all this information, xdadevelopers reports in a follow-up article.

At the moment, the only people with Android phones who are able to escape CarrierIQ are users who are brave enough to root their own phones and flash a ROM that does not have the CarrierIQ software integrated with the operating system, like CyanogenMod, reports.