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eBay bans sales of smartphone with built-in spyware

Thursday, June 19th 2014 by Luke Thompson
eBay bans sales of smartphone with built-in spyware

eBay has pulled sales of a Chinese smartphone that ships with preinstalled spyware.

eBay has moved to stop the sale of a Chinese smartphone that ships with malicious software preinstalled.

The online auction website has banned sellers worldwide from listing the Star N9500, an Android handset that mimics the Samsung Galaxy S4 at a fraction of the price.

This follows a report from Germany security firm G Data, which warned on Monday (16 June 2014) that the smartphone contains spyware disguised as the Google Play Store app.

According to G Data, the trojan allows hackers to retrieve personal data, intercept phone calls and even control the device's camera and microphone remotely. It cannot be uninstalled.

"Online criminals have full access to the smartphone," warned Product Manager for Mobile Solutions Christian Geschkat.

An spokesperson for eBay told the BBC the company was "not allowing the sale of these devices as a precautionary measure".

According to 2013 figures from F-Secure, around 97 per cent of new mobile malware targets Android smartphones as opposed to iOS, BlackBerry and Windows Phone devices.

Of these threats, almost nine in ten (88 per cent) are trojans.

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