Bitdefender Releases Carrier IQ Finder for Android

Contributing Writer

Still worried that Carrier IQ's software may be installed on your Android device, but you don't want to download detection tools from unknown developers? Security firm Bitdefender has stepped up to the plate and is now offering its own solution directly from the Android Market. But like previous apps released last week, Bitdefender Carrier IQ Finder doesn't actually remove the rootkit -- it simply detects its presence.

"Earlier this week, independent developers identified a software package from Carrier IQ shipped within a number of Android-based mobile devices" Bitdefender explains. "This piece of software was apparently designed to provide metrics to help mobile carriers improve their services, but in some circumstances, the software is not optional and in many cases the users don't know it's there, tracking all interactions with their mobile phone. Designed to help mobile carriers solve customer-support and infrastructure issues, the application has been discovered to systematically syphon out location data, keystrokes and other aspects of e-mail and SMS conversations."

Last week as the Carrier IQ controversy began to heat up, Bitdefender released Mobile Security, its first security product for the Android platform. The new service includes an Application Audit (free/premium) that "keeps a watchful eye" on the permissions of installed applications, Anti-Theft features (premium) and Web Security (premium) to help fight off possible phishing or malware lurking on web pages. Basic free features include on-install scanning,on-demand scanning and remote geolocation.

On Monday Bitdefender "claimed world leader" thanks to winning 16 points in AV-TEST's July/August trials for the fourth time in a row. According to AV-TEST, Bitdefender scored top marks in detecting "a representative set of malware discovered in the last 2-3 months,” plus all “widespread and prevalent malware." AV-TEST also found that Bitdefender didn't give off false warnings or false blockings.

"The other 24 competing home user products that underwent the two months of testing scored between 7.5 and 15.5 points," Bitdefender said. "The number two spot went to F-Secure, which uses Bitdefender’s scan engine."

Bitdefender's new Carier IQ detection tool was launched on Saturday, and requires Android 2.1 "Eclair" and higher. Rooting the device is not required, so users can simply download and install the app from this trusted security expert. To download the app, head to the Android Market here.