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Security firm discovers Chinese Android smartphone comes with preinstalled spyware

Tuesday, June 17th 2014 by Luke Thompson
Security firm discovers Chinese Android smartphone comes with preinstalled spyware

A German security firm has discovered that a Chinese Android smartphone ships with spyware preinstalled.

Consumers who buy cheap Chinese Android smartphones could end up getting more than they bargained for, a German security firm has warned.

According to G Data, at least one manufacturer from the Far East country is guilty of putting out handsets with spyware preinstalled, putting users' data at risk of theft.

The firm's researchers reported yesterday (16 June 2014) that a smartphone manufactured by Star – the N9500, which is sold online in Europe from around 130 EUR (£100) – comes complete with a Trojan masquerading as the Google Play Store.

This app, which can not be uninstalled, is capable of retrieving personal data, intercepting calls and even controlling the device's camera and microphone remotely.

Christian Geschkat, G Data Product Manager for Mobile Solutions, wrote in the firm's blog: "The options with this spy program are nearly unlimited. Online criminals have full access to the smartphone."

The device features a quad-core processor and a wide range of accessories. A comparable handset from a renowned manufacturer could cost three times as much, according to G Data.

"There's no such thing as a free lunch," Mr Geschkat advised.

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Comments (2)

bigsy
18th June 2014

Phew thank god no government spy's on its peoples communication, internet or phone. Now that would be scary!

Stephen Bryen
17th June 2014

No one knows the full extent of such spyware on Android phones, or for that matter any phone made in China. Eradicating spyware and spy phones from these platforms is not possible. Huge risk!

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