Thursday 22 December 2016

Is Your Android Phone Spying On You?


Android smartphone owners have been cautioned about a new threat.

Chinese company Adups is in the firing line this time, thanks to the apps it preinstalls on Android smartphones, which can be used to siphon information on users' text messages, call history, and device information.

Adups facilitates over-the-air updates for devices made by a number of different manufacturers, and as a result, its firmware is preinstalled on lots of devices.

According to digital security firm Trustlook, the preinstalled firmware has the ability to snoop in areas it shouldn't – without users ever knowing.

Trustlook says more than 700 million Android smartphones have Adups firmware installed, which puts users at risk of having text messages, call history, and private device information collected without their knowledge or consent.


Many of the device manufacturers who use Adups' firmware are smaller companies who predominantly release Android devices in Asia, or specific smaller markets.

However there are a number of more recognisable manufacturers included on the list by Trustlook, including Lenovo, ZTE, and Blu.

Blu R1 HD was the first phone discovered to be relaying sensitive information from its users' devices back to Adups.

Manufacturer Blu took the appropriate action to halt the nefarious habits attributed to Adups' firmware.

It remains to be seen whether the other manufacturers included on the list will take the same action.

For now, the best course of action for those with one of the devices listed by Trustlook is to keep the phone updated as quickly as possible.

It's always worth installing security patches as they come down the pipeline.



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