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

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

The most disturbing part is that @fs0c131y, the dev that discovered the backdoor, was capable of creating a simple root app for OnePlus devices that makes use of his findings and. even published it on the Google Play Store.

He was able to find a system app named EngineerMode that is actually a Qualcomm factory app with the ability to toggle components such as the charging chip, GPS, NFC and others - as this app shouldn't be included in consumer-side ROMs, it's a target app that malicious actors will want to crack into. A developer has found an application that can be manipulated into to granting a backdoor root access.

Some of OnePlus devices come with EngineerMode APK app pre-loaded on them, which reportedly acts as a backdoor, giving people root access without the need for unlocking the phone. The application is found on all OnePlus 3, OnePlus 3T, and OnePlus 5 devices, and is easily accessible through any activity launcher.

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Root implies to the highest degree of access to an Android operating system that is usually deployed to safeguard the privacy of the user. The company already drew criticism earlier this year over its onerous data collection practices, in which the company sucked up sensitive data from user devices and transmitted that information with each device's serial number attached. 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.

Not long ago, researchers found out OnePlus phones were collecting data without informing the users. The company claimed the data was simply for performance analytics but agreed to scale back what it collected. From there, just search for Engineer Mode to see if it is installed.

OnePlus did not immediately respond to a request for comment.