The ongoing controversy about Carrier IQ’s software has now entered the courts.
Browsing Category: Mobile Security
Many of the apps that come pre-installed on a variety of Android devices from manufacturers such as HTC, Samsung, Google and others have access to more services and capabilities on the devices than they should or that users are aware they have, according to new research. These “capability leaks” can sometimes be inherited from other apps, but the researchers say that they constitute significant security weaknesses on the Android devices.
The fallout from the controversy surrounding the presence of Carrier IQ’s software on millions of mobile devices on several different platforms has now reached Washington. Sen. Al Franken on Thursday sent a letter to the company, demanding answers to a series of questions about the software and its capabilities, and saying that the data that Carrier IQ collects “may violate federal privacy laws”.
A group of researchers is claiming that they’ve found a root exploit that enables them to jailbreak the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet made by Research In Motion. In a video demonstration of the jailbreak, one of the researchers shows off the ability to change the settings on a PlayBook and says that he also has the ability to install the Android Market app on the tablet.
Security researcher Trevor Eckhart discovered that many Android devices come pre-loaded with a piece of software made by Carrier IQ. In this video, he demonstrates how the software works and what it’s capable of monitoring. It’s since been revealed that versions of the app may have been on other devices, but likely don’t log users’ actions but provide analytical information for the carriers.
Micro blogging site Twitter has acquired Whispersystems, a maker of mobile security software, according to a statement posted on the WhisperSystems Web site.
SMS Trojans that ride along on supposedly benign mobile apps and then send out messages to high-priced numbers have been a problem in some Asian and Eastern European countries for several years now, most notably in Russia and China. But now the attackers have realized that there’s a whole big world of users out there to target and have begun going after people in other countries with new strains of SMS malware.
When CrowdOptic, a Silicon Valley, venture funded startup, developed a cool application that could stream real-time, context-aware information streams to mobile devices, the applications seemed straight-forward (and lucrative) enough: a blend of advertising and broadcasting that sports franchises and concert promoters might use to create an enhanced and “immersive experience” for fans attending live events. Along the way, however, the company discovered another, even more powerful use for their technology: crowd control.
As Android market share has shot up in recent months, so has the volume of malware designed for the mobile platform. There’s been a whopping 472 percent increase in Android malware samples in the last three months alone, according to research from Juniper Networks.
Google, which has faced a pile of criticism over its privacy policies and practices, especially as they relate to wireless and mobile devices, says it is changing the way that it maps people’s wireless access points in its efforts to provide accurate location information. The company said it is now encouraging users to add a “_nomap” extension to the SSID of their access points if they don’t want Google to map them.