Act surprised: OnePlus phones have a hidden backdoor
Act surprised: OnePlus phones have a hidden backdoor
OnePlus has left a huge backdoor exploit app in Oxygen OS
14 November, 2017, 17:46
Unlike the user data collection issue, this new PR headache might not be entirely OnePlus's fault. In a Twitter thread, the developer explained how he was able to gain root access and surprisingly, the app has been pre-installed on all current OnePlus phones, and on OxygenOS for OnePlus One. It was unveiled that the app potentially renders all OnePlus devices open to backdoor root access. The app in question is EngineerMode APK, and it has been developed by Qualcomm for the device manufacturers to test hardware components. The startup apparently left a diagnostic app preinstalled on its smartphones since the OnePlus 3 that, with just some simple nudging, can be used to gain root access to the device, with or without the user's knowledge.
The app's primary goal is to test the phones during manufacturing and make sure the device is working correctly, but the app isn't then wiped from the phone. "There's an activity - dubbed 'DiagEnabled" - associated with this app, which if launched with the correct password will give you the root access. The user can access manual tests like root status test, Global Positioning System test or the main activity by sending a command.
Getting root access to a smartphone allows a hacker to access "superuser" mode, making it extremely easy to inject malware with surveillance capabilities.
Root implies to the highest degree of access to an Android operating system that is usually deployed to safeguard the privacy of the user. However, it can be exploited to enable backdoor rooting. OnePlus co-founder Car Pei tweeted that the company will look into the claims made by the developer.
"Thanks for the heads up, we're looking into it", Pei tweeted.
Earlier, according to a post on Christopher Moore's blog, OnePlus is collecting sensitive private data like IMEI numbers, mobile network names and IMSI prefixes, MAC addresses, and more.
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