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BDFL - Memuneh
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Topic # 123309 3-Jul-2013 08:05
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Someone went through a lot of effort to find out that Motorola proxies a lot of the information that goes through Moto Droid devices.


In June of 2013, I made an interesting discovery about the Android phone (a Motorola Droid X2) which I was using at the time: it was silently sending a considerable amount of sensitive information to Motorola, and to compound the problem, a great deal of it was over an unencrypted HTTP channel.


I wonder which other OEMs do this without telling users? What security and privacy breach potential exists in there?





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  Reply # 848540 3-Jul-2013 08:55
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The phones we sell shouldn't (final last words) be spying on users. There was a few out there back in the day with Carrier IQ installed on them, but it was dormant as we were not using this and I believe it was removed in the next software update to come out to them. Google know everything about you anyway. I'd say this was a sync implementation in order to save battery and/or data a bit like what Opera Mobile or Skyfire does by compressing images etc.






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  Reply # 848553 3-Jul-2013 09:18
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A lot of difference between compressing images in a webpage through a proxy and and uploading data that should live on the device only (OAUTH keys, sync server credentials, etc).




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  Reply # 848596 3-Jul-2013 10:09
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freitasm: A lot of difference between compressing images in a webpage through a proxy and and uploading data that should live on the device only (OAUTH keys, sync server credentials, etc).


Motoblur backs up your phone, and also acts as a tracking service a bit like iCloud. It's designed to lower data use whilst keeping your phone backed up and secure. I still don't think they're "spying" on you, if this guy read the terms and conditions that is on the Motoblur setup page I think he'd find this is stated:

1. HOW DOES MOTOROLA COLLECT AND USE INFORMATION FROM MY DEVICE?


In order to operate MOTOROLA MOBILE SERVICES, Motorola collects and uses certain information about you and your mobile device.


A. Information about the performance of your mobile device such as (1) your device's unique serial number; (2) wireless carrier and network type; (3) proximity to cellular towers; (4) your device's model and software version; (5) when your device experiences a software crash; (6) battery performance; and (7) statistical information such as CPU and memory activity, network connectivity, and device reboot history. Motorola uses this information to allow your device to connect to mobile networks; more effectively diagnose specific problems with your mobile device; and perform personalized services such as system restores, backups, software updates, remote diagnostics, troubleshooting, and remote deletion of information.


B. Information about the way you use your mobile device such as (1) use of hardware functions like the accelerometer, GPS, wireless antennas, and touchscreen; (2) wireless carrier and network information; (3) use of accessories like headsets and docks; (4) data usage; and (5) anonymous information about how you use certain software features like Settings and Connected Media Applications. This information also includes performance-related data that Motorola has aggregated with similar data collected from other users after removing any personally identifiable information. Motorola uses this information to: (1) develop improvements to MOTOROLA MOBILE SERVICES and other Motorola products and services; (2) provide further enhancements to its technical support capabilities; and (3) provide you with personalized information and recommendations relating to Motorola and third-party products and services that may interest you.


C. Personal Information such as: (1) your email and social network account credentials; (2) user settings and preferences; (3) your email and social network contacts; (4) your mobile phone number; and (5) the performance of applications installed on your device. Motorola uses your personal information to: (1) enable you to access your email and social network accounts, send and receive messages, and communicate with your contacts; (2) help Motorola troubleshoot and optimize the performance of your mobile device; (3) improve MOTOROLA MOBILE SERVICES and other Motorola products and services; and (4) communicate with you about Motorola products and services. MOTOROLA MOBILE SERVICES will never collect the specific content of your communications or copies of your files.


D. You may also choose to create a MotoCast ID. Your MotoCast ID is associated with other personal information about you, such as your name, email address, and mobile telephone number; as well as technical metadata about your mobile device, such as its model and serial number. Motorola collects and uses your MotoCast ID to enable you to sync and stream content from your computer to your mobile devices, let you configure your mobile devices to automatically upload photos to your computer, back up email and social network accounts and passwords and restore them to other devices using only your MotoCast ID, use your MotoCast ID to log into other Motorola-operated websites and services, and determine what software updates are available for installation on your mobile devices. Motorola may also use this information to email you information that you may interest you such as surveys, recommendations, and special offers.


Motorola will collect and use information for legal reasons such as uses described in the MOTOROLA MOBILE SERVICES Terms and Conditions, to resolve disputes and collect fees owed, and to comply with applicable laws. Motorola may also collect and use information for other purposes not listed here. Before doing so, it will describe such collection and use of data and, where appropriate, inform you of your choices.

Quote from Motorola Device Manager's privacy policy posted Here


tl:dr - They collect information from your device such as email accounts etc to make Motoblur work, in order to backup your settings etc.




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  Reply # 849168 4-Jul-2013 11:23
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In this case the device wasn't running MotoBlur.

But even if you disregard the privacy implications, the ability for the servers to send down commands to control the phone, and the weaknesses highlighted in the mechanism used to do this are very concerning.



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  Reply # 849183 4-Jul-2013 11:37
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freitasm: A lot of difference between compressing images in a webpage through a proxy and and uploading data that should live on the device only (OAUTH keys, sync server credentials, etc).


BlackBerry?




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BDFL - Memuneh
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  Reply # 849190 4-Jul-2013 11:44
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Sure. But the BlackBerry service is encrypted end to end. RTA and you will see those things are flowing in the open, over WiFi directly to Moto's servers.

No, not secure at all.




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  Reply # 849209 4-Jul-2013 12:28
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Hmmm, I have noticed in my data log, something called "Motorola Services" does send/receive data, but what?




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