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OnePlus accused of leaving a backdoor to give root access

14 November 2017

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

A potentially unsafe backdoor in multiple OnePlus devices has been just unearthed by a knowing developer, revealing a hidden app that can be potentially used to gain root access and take control over the device.

The application is called "EngineerMode" and was developed by Qualcomm for factory testing.

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The app's primary objective is to test the phones during manufacturing and make sure the device is working correctly, but the app isn't then wiped from the phone. However, it also holds a backdoor which is capable of root access, even if the device has not been unlocked.

OnePlus users can find the app pre-installed by going into Settings Apps Menu Show System Apps and search for EngineerMode in the app list.

The Engineer Mode APK is capable of diagnosing Global Positioning System, run automated tests, check root status among other things. "There's an activity - dubbed 'DiagEnabled" - associated with this app, which if launched with the correct password will give you the root access. It is alarming how easily someone can get access to your smartphones in this day and age. It's just like having a backdoor in your phone, which could be used by other apps for spying purposes. OnePlus co-founder Car Pei tweeted that the company will look into the claims made by the developer. The developer claims that the company has left behind the software intentionally, and he will come out with the application for rooting OnePlus devices without unlocking.

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Earlier, according to a post on Christopher Moore's blog, OnePlus is collecting sensitive private data like IMEI numbers, mobile network names and IMSI prefixes, MAC addresses, and more.

Not long ago, researchers found out OnePlus phones were collecting data without informing the users.

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OnePlus accused of leaving a backdoor to give root access