Your OnePlus Device Is Prone To Hacking

Your OnePlus Device Is Prone To Hacking

OnePlus has still to fully recover from the data collection allegations it faced last month, and now fresh allegations have surfaced over user privacy. A developer has found an application that can be manipulated into to granting a backdoor root access.

A staff member from the OnePlus team explained in a forum post that EngineerMode is a diagnostic tool used for factory production line functionality testing and also for IT support as OnePlus customers call in for help.

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The app in question is a system app that was apparently made by Qualcomm and customized by OnePlus; it's called EngineerMode and arrives pre-installed on OnePlus devices like the OnePlus 5, 3T and 3 (you can find it yourself searching Settings Apps Menu Show system apps, and then search "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.

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We've seen several statements by community developers that are anxious because this apk grants root privileges. It is alarming how easily someone can get access to your smartphones in this day and age. "So it's not unsafe, it just means anybody with the password can plug your phone to a computer and take all your data". It's not something that could be achieved remotely, however, you would need the physical OnePlus device connected to a computer running the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) to exploit the vulnerability. 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.

Thanks for the heads up, we're looking into it. And it looks to be an issue on the OnePlus 5T as well.

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This exploit is just that, an exploit in the phone's security. At the time, OnePlus stated that the whole goal of collecting data was to improve the service.

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