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OnePlus backdoor means hackers could take over your phone

15 November 2017, 12:26 | Megan Pierce

OnePlus backdoor means hackers could take over your phone

OnePlus 3T

The application in question is called 'EngineerMode, ' which is meant to be used in factories to confirm that the device is working properly. The application is a diagnostics tool called "EngineerMode" that Qualcomm developed and distributes to OEMs like OnePlus so they can test the hardware components of a device. They found that the application - used for factory testing - could be easily used to gain root access to phones.

The developer, with the help of few cybersecurity experts, was able to discover the password and was able to root a OnePlus device with few commands. The developer claims that the company has left behind the software intentionally, and he will come out with the application for rooting OnePlus devices without unlocking.

A potentially unsafe backdoor in multiple OnePlus devices has been just unearthed by a knowing developer, revealing a hidden app that can be potentially used to gain root access and take control over the device.

Versions of Engineer Mode were also found on a handful of other devices, including smartphones from Motorola, Xiaomi, Lenovo and Oppo. It has been found on the OnePlus 5, as well as the OnePlus 3 and 3T.

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Still, the presence of the app brings into question OnePlus' security protocols. The company recently admitted to collecting personal information of users without their permission. If it was overlooked, it is likely the upcoming 5T would have it also, which would necessitate removing the app before the device ships on November 16.

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.

The discoverer of the app had a problem.

OnePlus did not immediately respond to a request for comment.



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