As the concerns surrounding the data collected and transmitted by mobile apps continue to grow, Whisper Systems, a small start-up, has released WhisperMonitor, a free tool that enables owners of Android phones to control exactly what each of their installed apps can do and monitor what data is sent out from the device.
WhisperMonitor is essentially a small firewall for Android devices that allows users to restrict the behavior of any installed app and make decisions about what they want apps to be able to send to publishers and other third parties. The tool has the ability to allow or deny outbound connections to various apps on a one-time basis or for specified time periods.
Security expert, Moxie Marlinspike launched the first dynamic Android firewall today, called Whisper Monitor. It monitors all outbound connection attempts by installed apps and the operating system, giving users a good idea of what's going on with their phone.
The new tool is included as a free addition to the company's existing WhisperCore security platform for Android. WhisperCore provides platform-level encryption for Android devices, as well as some other security features. Both WhisperCore and WhisperMonitor are available on the Nexus S and Nexus One Android phones.
When enabled, WhisperMonitor will monitor all outbound network traffic and issue dynamic prompts in order to determine egress filter rules. WhisperMonitor optionally records the connection history of the software installed on your device, giving you insight into where it is connecting and how often," the company says in its documentation for WhisperMonitor.
If users think an app is accessing something that it shouldn't, they have the option of blocking URLs or port numbers accessed with it. Users can also set firewall rules for individual apps and even provide connection history for apps on the phone.
We highly recommend you check this app out, so if you think that your phone is sending out data that it shouldn't, or you want some extra protection for the files on your phone, head over to the WhisperSystems website to download WhisperMonitor for your Android phone.