Everyone wants to go cheaper especially when cheaper versions are almost at the same level of quality as those expensive ones. For phones, people are turning to cheaper versions more as long as the quality is reliable enough. Although cheaper prices means more savings, these cheaper phones may come at a bigger price than what users originally signed up for.
Security analysts from Black Hat has recently discovered a series of cheap phones from China that are secretly sending private information tracked from these phones back to their home country. The Chinese software provider of Blu R1 HD, the phone which researchers have detected as sending these information, have indicated that the incident was just a “mistake.” Further investigation however has proven that it wasn’t only the Blu R1 HD model contained the said “mistaken” software but also other phones to which the software provider also has access to. According to one researcher involved in the investigation, the software provider merely replaced the detected “mistaken” software with nicer versions but with the same function of sending private data back to China.
The said software can access the phone’s command and control channel. This means that the software can allow an unknown third party, such as the one it is sending the data to, to execute commands as if the phone is being used by its user at real time. This means that the third party is allowed to take pictures, make calls, install apps, download and upload files without the permission of the phone’s owner. There are also additional findings that state that the software also allows location best sms tracker and data gathering including those that are particular to the person who owns the phone such as contact lists, apps installed and used, passwords, accounts and even internet
ShanghaiAdups Technology, the developer behind this malicious software, has declared that the issues related to said tracking are “not existing anymore” and have been resolved since 2016. This statement is however contrary to the recent findings of security analysts and other researchers on different phones whose software are provided by Adups.
The Black Hat conference was held amid several reports about government hacking including the hacking that occurred during the 2016 Russian Presidential Elections. Black Hat researchers have considered their current findings as alarming. This is due to the fact that recently an influx of tracking apps and tools are now available online for download which may invade the privacy of mobile phone users without their knowledge. The finding that a pre-installed software on a mobile phone that could be tracking the user’s every move is more shocking as it consists a breach of trust between the mobile phone provider and that of their customer.
It remains a mystery as to what becomes of the private data that was sent to China by these cheaper phones. Adups has stated that the data are to be deleted once received but there has been no concrete showing that the same was actually done by the said company.