In one of my previous posts I’ve showed that Sierra Wireless EM7345 firmware contained spyware called Carrier IQ that made a lot of controversy when it was first discovered in some Android phones.
Recently updated driver package for EM7345 on Lenovo website contains the new firmware version FIH7160_V1.2_WW_01.1612.00. I’ve taken my time and checked it out.
The first thing I’ve noticed about this version of firmware is that it doesn’t contain Carrier IQ modules no more. For example, the previous firmware version FIH7160_V1.2_WW_01.1548.00 contained the following strings: metrics_client_ciq.lib. That means the Carrier IQ module was compiled into firmware.
Firmware version FIH7160_V1.2_WW_01.1612 does not include the module metrics_client_ciq.lib and the above strings. Also, the AT command AT+XCIQ doesn’t seem to work anymore, it returns an error if you try to use it:
There are, however, some strings still present in firmware FIH7160_V1.2_WW_01.1612 that mention “CIQ“:
What does that mean? Either Intel, or Sierra, or Lenovo have been taking measures and changing their firmware regarding Carrier IQ. They removed something for sure, they removed AT+XCIQ command and some Carrier IQ functionality, but we still can see traces of Carrier IQ in the firmware. Does that mean that Carrier IQ is not active anymore or it’s still there, changed, recompiled and operating more covertly than before?
Personally I’ve updated to firmware version FIH7160_V1.2_WW_01.1612 as I see less mentions about Carrier IQ in the firmware. Yes, there are still something left, but at least it’s less than before. Also firmware version FIH7160_V1.2_WW_01.1612 seems to be stable enough and I didn’t have any problem with it so far.
We can appreciate this nice move of removing Carrier IQ from the EM7345 device firmware, but it would be the best when they remove it completely and we see no single trace of Carrier IQ in any cellular broadband device.