Feeds

Carrier IQ VP: App on millions of phones not a privacy risk

Like tiny fish through a net, key taps dropped from memory

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Looking for my mantra

What percentage of that 200KB do you reckon is radio conditions? Would it be 80 percent, 20 percent?

It varies depending on the customer. It could be as much as 80 percent. Our advice to customers is to keep it within that 200KB framework. Just doubling it to 400KB or doubling it to twice a day obviously doubles the amount of processing power you need to deal with it.

Our mantra has always been to throw away as much information as early as possible. Throw away what you don't need on the handset first. Throw away what you don't need as you start bringing it into the cloud, into the data center, and go from there. Less is more in this case. Even at 200KB per day, if you start multiplying that out by thousands, ten thousands, hundreds of millions [of users], it ends up to be a lot of data.

What kind of legacy is there on handsets that run carrier IQ for the collected data? Is it possible for a very determined individual to grab that phone and pull data off of it?

It's really a function of how often the information has left the phone because once the information has left the phone there's no reason to keep it on the phone. And let's just say you did get hold of that information we gathered with whatever tool you had, you'd still have to understand and decode that entire format and what we did. Unless you're going to guess what we did, you'd kind of have to use our tools to be able do that, i.e. you'd have to do what essentially happens when that package gets to the data center.

But that's exactly what reverse engineers do.

Correct. But again, if customers are uploading once a day, you've got the last 24 hours [of data stored]. And if the uploads take place once a week, the level of information that's going to be recorded is going to be way less.

We all know that stuff is never really deleted unless it's specifically wiped, and that's very processor and battery intensive, so I'm guessing Carrier IQ isn't wiping this stuff clean.

We're operating in the RAM space.

Is it fair to say you can't rule out the possibility that a phone recovered by law enforcement or somebody else may be able to pull some of the data that was collected by Carrier IQ and glean information about key taps that were made, phone numbers that were called, etc.?

The key taps, remember, are being filtered and dropped so that's never making its way into any captured [data]. It's in and out in the same way as the fish net analogy with the little fish. It's a memory copy function, so I see this copy, does the pattern match? No, so discard, please.

The other thing to think about is that while you potentially jump through all these hoops, the operators themselves are going to have all this information one way or another. The operators themselves will comply with law enforcement. They will have a huge amount of information even without our technology.

®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.