OnePlus backdoor means hackers could take over your phone

OnePlus backdoor means hackers could take over your phone

OnePlus backdoor means hackers could take over your phone

OnePlus has still to fully recover from the data collection allegations it faced last month, and now fresh allegations have surfaced over user privacy.

The app has been found in previous OnePlus phones with OxygenOS installed - those still on CyanogenOS with the OnePlus One apparently don't see it.

The app is called EngineerMode and it is preinstalled on the OnePlus 3, 3T and 5. This also means that it's possible for any Android app to achieve root using this method, which opens up OP devices to massive security issues.

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OnePlus has recently accused of collecting a vast amount of sensitive private data from users' smartphones in the past and now, the company has been blamed for leaving a backdoor on its devices that is capable of granting root access. It is actually a modified version of a testing application created by Qualcomm. Hopefully, that ends with an update that removes the app.

While the vulnerability allows attackers to use the EngineerMode app to fully compromise devices, a mitigating factor is that local access to devices is needed - no remote exploit is available. The user can access manual tests like root status test, Global Positioning System test or the main activity by sending a command.

The app and the subsequent backdoor access was discovered by Twitter user Elliott Alderson (a reference to the Mr. Robot character), who then went into a lot of detail about how to gain root access to the device.

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The inclusion of the app appears to be an oversight on the part of OnePlus, and company founder Carl Pei said the team is looking into it.

"Thanks for the heads up, we're looking into it", Pei tweeted. At the time, OnePlus stated that the whole goal of collecting data was to improve the service.

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