Revealed: The 'secret' app installed on millions of mobile phones that records your keystrokes, your browsing and reads your messages
Monitoring app on millions of phones 'reads' and transmits SMS messages
Installed as standard on U.S. phones to let networks see how customers use their phones
Also reads every Google search
Transmits data to software creator
Company has attempted to suppress reports
By Daily Mail Reporter
UPDATED: 03:16 GMT, 2 December 2011
Over the past few months, Google's Android phones have been subjected to increased attacks by malicious software.
But it seems millions already come with spy software 'pre-installed'.
Carrier IQ - a software package often used by US phone networks to monitor how phones are used - seems to not only read private text messages and Google searches, but transmit that data to Carrier IQ.
HTC's Evo 4G handset runs Google's popular Android software: But the internet giant's anything-goes approach to its app store has led to an increase in cyber attacks on users
HTC's Evo 4G handset runs Google's popular Android software: But software used to 'monitor' how Android users use their phones appears to seriously violate privacy
'Why is this not opt-in and why is it so hard to fully remove? Why is my browser data being read?'
The company denies that its software is designed to spy on users.
An Android app developer Trevor Eckhart showed that Carrier IQ - installed as standard on phones such as HTC's handsets, many Android handsets and some BlackBerries - can 'read' what users type.
Eckhart demonstrated that not only does the software 'read' every keystroke put into a phone.
The software also appeared to read every text message sent to the phone.
It also appeared to 'log' location data - and transmit all of this to Carrier IQ.
Carrier IQ immediately tried to suppress Eckhart's report.
The Electronic Freedom Foundation, an activist group which promotes free speech online, said, 'Carrier IQ fired off a cease-and-desist letter to Eckhart, claiming that he infringed its copyrights and made unspecified false allegations about its software.
The success of phones running Google's Android software has meant cyber-attacks have risen 472 per cent in just three months - from cyber-spying apps to apps that add to your phone bill
The Carrier IQ software is used by phone networks to monitor how customers use their handsets - but it appears to significantly overstep the mark by 'reading' private messages and web use
'Among other things, the company demanded that Eckhart turn over contact information for every person who had obtained the files from him, and that he replace his analysis with a statement - written for him by Carrier IQ - disavowing his research,' said Electronic Freedom Foundation.
Carrier IQ is installed as standard on many U.S. handsets to allow phone networks to monitor usage.
The company says, 'Carrier IQ delivers Mobile Intelligence on the performance of mobile devices and networks to assist operators and device manufacturers in delivering high quality products and services to their customers.'
The company specifically denies that its sotware is used to 'monitor' customers - which appears to directly contradict Eckhart's demo.
'We are counting and summarizing performance, not recording keystrokes or providing tracking tools,' said Carrier IQ in a recent media statement.
'The metrics and tools we derive are not designed to deliver such information, nor do we have any intention of developing such tools.'
Dekchart's demonstration, however, showed clearly that the app was not only recording the information, but also transmitting it to Carrier IQ.
Eckhart questioned why some of the software's functions were even there at all, 'Why does SMSNotify get called, and shown to be dispatching messages to Carrier IQ?'
Eckhard also asked, 'Why is my browser data being read?'
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