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13 December 2011, 15:28

Carrier IQ finds bug that has been saving SMS texts

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Carrier IQ, the mobile diagnostics and analytics company, has admitted in a reportPDF that it has been saving some SMS text messages, but that the contents were not readable. Carrier IQ is still responding to enquiries after it tried to silence a security researcher with a cease and desist order. The company later lifted that order but the researcher's further disclosures have put the company on the defence.

The latest issue is that the company says it discovered a problem when it was auditing its software and this resulted in the discovery of a bug in that software. Carrier IQ says that the bug only occurs "in some unique circumstances", when SMS messages are received during a call: the messages would be embedded in layer 3 radio messages and not decoded. It says it has now remedied this bug. The disclosure came as Carrier IQ is under further pressure to disclose more of how it operates its business. The report it has issued also gives further details on how Carrier IQ collects and processes data from mobile devices including some details on its Mobile Service Intelligence Platform (MISP).

But the denial of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the FBI for any "manuals, documents or other written guidance used to access or analyze data gathered by programs developed or deployed by Carrier IQ", has raised other questions. The request, filed by Government watchdog MuckRock, was denied on the basis that although there were "responsive documents", the FBI was exempt from handing them over as they "could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings". MuckRock claims this is a "telling denial" and are appealing the decision.

Meanwhile, tomorrow, 14 December, is the deadline for Carrier IQ to respond to Senator Al Franken's letter which requested answers to a wider range of questions, including questions about the legality of Carrier IQ's operations.


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