Verizon Remote Diagnostics is running on my phone. Why?

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by rdguy1, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. rdguy1

    rdguy1 New Member

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    Hello, hoping someone can provide some help. I have been noticing my phone - A Droid Razr slowing down, acting up, homescreen error requiring restart, etc. I saw a program called "Verizon Remote Diagnostic" but didn't think much of it at first. I did a factory reset and things stayed the same. I looked into this App as it is consistently running in my processes. Apparently, the app is a remote desktop that gives Verizon employees ability to access your phone. The list of permissions includes everything, from reading SMS and media, call logs, GPS, the whole works. However, Verizon has stated that it is not a monitoring tool, requires explicit user permission, etc. Here is a brief rundown from a Verizon spokesperson:

    “It is a piece of the new software and cannot be removed, but it does not run in the background. It only runs when a customer calls support and gives permission to use it . . . The tool will not run unless a customer gives explicit permission during a call with customer support. If customer support suggests using the tool as a way to diagnose a problem the customer will see a notification on their device after customer support initiates the Verizon Remote Diagnostics tool. A customer will then see a permission request directly on their device along with “terms and conditions” and an “Accept” or “Reject” button. A customer will need to select “Accept” in order for the tool to run. Customers are free to select “Reject” and the tool will not run.
    Customers will also be given a 4-digit PIN by customer support and that PIN must be entered in the device by the customer in order for this to work. . . it does not run in the background. It only runs when a customer gives permission to use it.” - What is Verizon?s New Remote Diagnostics Tool? We Have Answers ? Droid Life

    I have never called in, never gone into the store other than to purchase the phone, have never given any permission in any way to any Verizon employee, have never even asked a question to Verizon online, in person, over the phone, etc. I have never had an outside tech look at it or send it off for any repairs. So my question is - Why is this app running on my phone? To be clear, it is not just on my phone, I understand that the App is listed in the all apps list, but why is the app actively running on my phone when it is not supposed to without my permission?

    The person who set my phone up about a year ago was very creepy and asked me if I had any nude pictures on my phone, or if I wanted to transfer any nude pictures from my old phone to my new phone. When I told him no, he sad "Damn, that ruins me day!" and the other employees laughed and said "damn," Then he spent about 20 or minutes setting it up and making calls on the phone. My concern is that this sleezy rep gave himself access to my phone, because I most certainly did not.

    Curiously, the program stops running shortly after I discover it in the running apps list. However, I will check later and it will be running again. This is very concerning. Is there anyway to get more information on this app and why/how it is running? How about a history showing times it was accessed, by what IP address, etc.? I have searched the forum and the internet extensively, but no one else seems to have the program running on their phone. I have a screenshot available if it would help.

    Also, and possibly unrelated, is an running app called "Data Offload." I am not sure what it is doing either. Thanks so much for any helpful answers!
     
  2. Droid Firefighter

    Droid Firefighter Senior Member

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    Verizon preloads software applications onto our phones because they think that we crave all of the extra app they give us. In the android world we call it bloatware. The app is kept in the memory of the phone so that if you choose to use it, it will start up faster than if it wasn't in the memory. The android OS does this with multiple apps. It isn't a bad thing though. The apps themselves are NOT running. Say you are playing Angry Birds and you get a text message. You can hit home, messaging, read/reply to your newest message, hit home again, then restart Angry Birds. The game will restart on the pause screen instead of starting back at the loading screen. This is how android manages apps automatically. Now, if you were to leave AB, send a text, then open a different app, the OS would automatically shed Angry Birds from memory to prevent the phone from slowing to a snails pace. In the previous example AB was left running in the background, unlike the bloatware apps that do not continuously run. They are simply kept there so they seem like great apps because they start to quickly. The apps in question aren't running and sending your data to hackers. It's simply waiting to be used. Hope that helps quell some of your worry.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. rdguy1

    rdguy1 New Member

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    Thanks so much for the helpful response. I'm still a little confused because Verizon said this app should not be running at all, that its not a background process, and would only be running if I gave it permission to do so. I understand that the bloatware will be on my phone waiting to be used and will be listed among my apps, but in this case it is not just on my phone, it is an active/running process. Something Verizon explicitly said the app would not - without permission. Again, I have not given any such permission.
     
  4. rdguy1

    rdguy1 New Member

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    Would anyone browsing the thread mind going to their running processes and telling me if they have the app running actively on their phone?
     
  5. badbiosvictim

    badbiosvictim New Member

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    Last month I purchased an used Motorola droid 4 from eBay. The seller had performed a factory reset. I neither inserted a SIM card nor activated the phone.

    I downloaded Autostarts app from f-droid.org. autostarts app detected Verizon Remote Diagnostic runs after startup. It continues to run the entire time the phone is on. I always have airplane mode and wifi on.

    I am being hacked. The hackers are using Verizon Remote Diagnostic.

    I am hoping flashing a custom ROM will grant root privileges to uninstall it. Unfortunately, the security and privacy enhanced ROMs, DarkMatter, Guardian Project and Replicant do not support Droid 4.
     
  6. 94lt1

    94lt1 Super Moderator
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    No.. You're not being hacked it's a verizon app that they inserted, so that they can see what's going on with your device if you call in for tech support.. Very intrusive.. But its a legitimate app...
     
  7. 94lt1

    94lt1 Super Moderator
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    Welcome to droid forums by the way :)
     
  8. droidprincess

    droidprincess Super Moderator
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    Yes welcome!

    sent from my sexy Note 4
     
  9. badbiosvictim

    badbiosvictim New Member

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    Thanks for the welcome. The OP of this thread researched verizons policy on how this app becomes activated which is described in this article:
    bgr.com/2012/03/20/verizon-adding-carrier-iq-like-remote-diagnostics-tool-to-various-devices/

    Either Verizon is misrepresenting that the app is activated only by the customer and/or hackers are activating the app.

    The fact that Verizon Remote Diagnostics cannot be disabled by customers and second buyers of phones who are not customers makes the app spyware.
     
  10. 94lt1

    94lt1 Super Moderator
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    That's true.. The app is intrusive.. But no.. They can use the app to see into your device when they choose.. Rooting and freezing the app is a way around it...
     
  11. badbiosvictim

    badbiosvictim New Member

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    Malware can deceptively render root as fakeroot. No actual root privileges.

    Malware can unfreeze disabled apps. I need to install a custom ROM that would remove Verizon Remote Diagnostics. Miui download link for droid 4 is broken. that leaves only paranoid ROM and CyanogenMod to test.
     
  12. 94lt1

    94lt1 Super Moderator
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    Cyanogen has always been pretty popular.. But that's up to your personal tastes..
     
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