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OnePlus phones sold with root exploit backdoor

14 November, 2017, 23:39 | Author: Nadine Todd
  • OnePlus 5 Security

"Using this shell command triggers the diagnostic mode (or backdoor) and grants future ADB sessions root access, even after the device is rebooted", NowSecure stated in a blog post.

The app is called EngineerMode and it is preinstalled on the OnePlus 3, 3T and 5.

For owners of OnePlus devices who are curious to learn if the Engineer Mode app is installed on their device, it is possible to find the app by going to Settings, opening the Apps menu, tapping Menu, and Show System apps. It is actually a modified version of a testing application created by Qualcomm.

OnePlus is catching heat from its customers yet again, this time for the discovery of a pre-installed application found on several of its handsets that could allow an attacker to gain root access. Users have discovered that numerous company's phones from the past few years (including the OnePlus 5) include a Qualcomm testing app, EngineerMode, that lets you get root-level access to the phone without having to unlock its bootloader. The user can access manual tests like root status test, Global Positioning System test or the main activity by sending a command. "So it's not risky, it just means anybody with the password can plug your phone to a computer and take all your data". With the help of a few cybersecurity experts, the required password was discovered, making rooting a OnePlus phone as easy as running a few commands. 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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