Thanks To A Backdoor, Hackers May Get Root Access To OnePlus Phones

15 November, 2017, 01:57 | Author: Shannon Newton
  • OnePlus Left Behind a Testing App on Its Devices With Backdoor to Root Access Report

This is not the first time that OnePlus has been accused of compromising privacy of its users.

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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If it's there, anyone with physical access to your device can exploit EngineerMode to gain root access on your smartphone.

Security researcher Robert Baptiste says the EngineerMode APK is made by Qualcomm and is meant to be used by factory staff to test phones for basic functionality before they are shipped out to the public.

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Root access was still hidden behind a password, but once that was cracked, that developer was able to obtain root access on the phone.

We've seen several statements by community developers that are anxious because this apk grants root privileges. It should be a simple matter of just removing the APK in an update, but this will certainly put a damper on the launch of the OnePlus 5T, which comes out this week. It is alarming how easily someone can get access to your smartphones in this day and age.

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While it appears OnePlus is responsible for leaving Engineer Mode on its devices, it is not directly responsible for the application itself or the backdoor it creates. However, it was left in the software builds that ship with the OnePlus 3, 3T, and 5. It's used to run system tests for things like GPS, vibration, screen brightness, and also root checking. OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei says that the company is "looking into" the presence of EngineerMode, assessing just how widespread the issue is and ways to prevent users from being subject to the security fault. Following the allegations, OnePlus took some steps, and added the new "opt-in" option for the user experience program.

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