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Secretly Installed, Root Kit Software Found on iPhones

12/02/2011 by: The SunView Team

If you own an iPhone, or one of the many smart phones sold by AT&T or Sprint, everything that you did or have done with your phone has been logged, tracked, and recorded. While the extent to which information is gathered and stored (or not) is disputed by Carrier IQ, the maker of the application, the scope of this is massive. With over 140 million installations of the application, it's a safe bet that it's running on nearly every modern smart phone.

According to a story at Wired.com, Troy Eckhart of Connecticut posted a video describing the Carrier IQ application as a root kit, and demonstrating the logging capabilities. Shortly after that post, Carrier IQ contacted Eckhart with threats of legal action. Stepping in on Eckhart's behalf was the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and as the article pointed out, Carrier IQ has now backed off and apologized for their initial reaction.

Apologies aside, this story has epic potential to expose a hidden threat for corporations and governments alike. In case it's still a little bit unclear, hidden software, acknowledged to be installed on all major smart phones, including the popular iPhone, has likely been logging, and storing your interactions with the web. At a personal level this is scary. From the perspective of an IT manager, this is frightening. Of course, we hope everyone has a tool like ChangeGear with its auto-discovery capabilities that would allow you to detect and find out just how many smart phones with this application may be on your network. As we know, understanding risk is one thing, but understanding exposure is invaluable.

For more on this story, check out the wired article here.

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