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How to test your Android device for the Carrier IQ rootkit

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Trevor Eckhart's logging test tool is available to Android owners with rooted devices. It tests for the existence of Carrier IQ.

Carrier IQ test
Carrier IQ test

If you have a rooted Android device then you can check it for the Carrier IQ rootkit right now. Trevor Eckhart, aka, TrevE over at xda-developers, the security researcher who exposed the whole Carrier IQ debacle, posted an .APK you can install yourself to test for logging services like CIQ. Trevor also has a paid ($1) version of the tool that can remove CIQ on certain devices but we can't recommend it after seeing a few reported issues in the related forums.

We ran the test on a Samsung Galaxy S II (GSM) running on the UK carrier Three. It came up clean (see image above), unsurprisingly given the custom Cyanogen ROM that we're using. Dutch site Tweakblogs has readers reporting back their findings and thus far, only a single device, the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab GT-P1000, returned a match for CIQ.

Back in the US, Jeffrey Nelson, of Verizon claims that Carrier IQ is not installed on Verizon phones. We'll be testing that claim soon enough. Meanwhile, let us know how your own testing goes in the comments below.

Update: A new app called Voodoo Carrier IQ Detector has been released to the Android Market that doesn't require root access. However, be aware of the author's disclaimer that the "results are not reliable yet" and it still generates "false positives." Regular updates are promised so it might make sense to bookmark this one, or install and set to auto-update while the developer works out the kinks.