Verizon Remote Diagnostics is running on my phone. Why?

rdguy1

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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!
 

Droid Firefighter

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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.
 
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rdguy1

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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.

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.
 
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rdguy1

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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?
 

badbiosvictim

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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.
 

94lt1

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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...
 

94lt1

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Welcome to droid forums by the way :)
 

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Yes welcome!

sent from my sexy Note 4
 

badbiosvictim

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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.
 

94lt1

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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...
 

badbiosvictim

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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.
 

94lt1

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

badbiosvictim

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There is no online information whether Verizon preinstalled Verizon Remote Diagnostics on Droid 4. It is extremely likely this month that hackers interdicted the shipment of the phone to infect it with spyware. Spyware includes updating my phone to Verizon Remote Diagnostics and Motorola SmartActions app.

In 2014, hackers have interdicted, infected and implanted a chip on laptops and tablets I purchased on ebay. I filed an interdiction claim with ebay, PayPal and United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) regarding the last laptop.

Autostarts app from f-droid.org detected Verizon Remote Diagnostics also runs in application updated and SMS received. Other apps running in SMS received are Verizon login, VZ Navigation, voicemail, email, Sync Service, DMService, text messaging and vehicle mode.

I never use sync service. I didnt insert a SIM card. I didnt activate service. There should be no apps running in SMS received.

Vehicle mode is enabled by enabling Motorola SmartActions app to turn on vehicle mode after placing phone in a Motorola vehicle dock. I never used Motorola SmartActions app. Though it gives notifications in the system tray, SmartActions app is missing in the apps menu.
Motorola-global-portal.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/90445

Searching SmartActions and Droid 4 using ixquick search engine brings up no article that specifies Motorola preinstalled SmartActions on Droid 4. Either hackers:

(1) removed the preinstalled app from the app menu and tampered with SmartActions settings,

(2) Installed SmartActions, tampered with settings and removed app from app menu.

Clicking or long pressing on a SmartActions notification does not bring up the app. I cannot set its settings.

Autostarts app detected SmartActions starts after startup. I cannot permanently disable it.

I never used the vehicle dock app. I didnt buy a Motorola vehicle dock. I never use bluetooth. I always disable BT.

Yet, vehicle mode runs in: new outgoing call, docking changed, BT state changed, call state changed, SMS received, Android.app.action.ENTER_CAR_MODE and
Android.provider.Telephony.SMS_RECEIVED_STORED

There is more hidden spyware. Droid 4 has 16 GB storage. Hackers left me with a mere 3.9 GB of space on internal sdcard0 to use for my personal files and open source apps I download on f-droid.org.

Though I keep airplane mode is always on, battery life is awful. Processes and apps are running in the background.

I turn off smartphone before charging because it takes a long time to charge while it is on. However, charging turns the phone back on.

Autostarts app detected the following apps running when power is connected:Facebook, maps, google+, picassa uploader, youtube, smartactions, global unplug, motocast, and motocast (lists motocast twice).

Whereas, I dont use facebook, maps, google+ (I dont have a google account) and picassa.

I attempt to disable these apps using autostart. Error message: "Unable to change the state..Most likely your device does not have root access which is required."

I downloaded Disable Manager app from f-droid.org. Disable Manager does not detect Verizon Remote Assistance, SmartActions and Vehicle Dock.
 
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94lt1

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There is no online information whether Verizon preinstalled Verizon Remote Diagnostics on Droid 4. It is extremely likely this month that hackers interdicted the shipment of the phone to infect it with spyware. Spyware includes updating my phone to Verizon Remote Diagnostics and Motorola SmartActions app.

In 2014, hackers have interdicted, infected and implanted a chip on laptops and tablets I purchased on ebay. I filed an interdiction claim with ebay, PayPal and United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) regarding the last laptop.

Autostarts app from f-droid.org detected Verizon Remote Diagnostics also runs in application updated and SMS received. Other apps running in SMS received are Verizon login, VZ Navigation, voicemail, email, Sync Service, DMService, text messaging and vehicle mode.

I never use sync service. I didnt insert a SIM card. I didnt activate service. There should be no apps running in SMS received.

Vehicle mode is enabled by enabling Motorola SmartActions app to turn on vehicle mode after placing phone in a Motorola vehicle dock. I never used Motorola SmartActions app. Though it gives notifications in the system tray, SmartActions app is missing in the apps menu.
Motorola-global-portal.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/90445

Searching SmartActions and Droid 4 using ixquick search engine brings up no article that specifies Motorola preinstalled SmartActions on Droid 4. Either hackers:

(1) removed the preinstalled app from the app menu and tampered with SmartActions settings,

(2) Installed SmartActions, tampered with settings and removed app from app menu.

Clicking or long pressing on a SmartActions notification does not bring up the app. I cannot set its settings.

Autostarts app detected SmartActions starts after startup. I cannot permanently disable it.

I never used the vehicle dock app. I didnt buy a Motorola vehicle dock. I never use bluetooth. I always disable BT.

Yet, vehicle mode runs in: new outgoing call, docking changed, BT state changed, call state changed, SMS received, Android.app.action.ENTER_CAR_MODE and
Android.provider.Telephony.SMS_RECEIVED_STORED

There is more hidden spyware. Droid 4 has 16 GB storage. Hackers left me with a mere 3.9 GB of space on internal sdcard0 to use for my personal files and open source apps I download on f-droid.org.

Though I keep airplane mode is always on, battery life is awful. Processes and apps are running in the background.

I turn off smartphone before charging because it takes a long time to charge while it is on. However, charging turns the phone back on.

Autostarts app detected the following apps running when power is connected:Facebook, maps, google+, picassa uploader, youtube, smartactions, global unplug, motocast, and motocast (lists motocast twice).

Whereas, I dont use facebook, maps, google+ (I dont have a google account) and picassa.
The easiest way to explain this is..... There are apps.. That run in the background.. Now.. Some of these apps are relevant.. Others.. Not so much.

You will see apps running that you didn't even use.. Android is built so that core apps use other apps for part of their functioning.. It's nothing to be concerned about..

As far as the apps in the background.. That's why we say you shouldn't use app killers with later builds of Android.. Because if you kill a seemingly unneeded app.. You may cause another app that is using the "killed" app... To force close..
 

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You seem genuinely concerned that your phone has been and/or is being hacked. If you wish to minimize the potential for such hacking, you should refrain from using any other source for seeking and downloading apps from except Google Play Store. You should also go into your settings and uncheck the option to allow downloading from unknown sources. Google screens and scans every app on their servers for viruses, spyware and any other forth of corruption. They prevent the kind of infiltration into your personal lives and spaces that you're concerned about by making sure every app on the service is free of any rogue code.

Sent from my Droid Turbo on Tapatalk.
 
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