Using anything that is connected to internet these days is walking on thin ice, you need to be experienced enough to know where to step foot. And smartphones that have become the essential parts of our lives can be exploited easier than you would think. A recent report by TrustLook said that ADUPS firmware applications collected private user data for about six months, and of course without users’ knowledge.
Reports of this Chinese spyware surfaced back in November and smartphone companies like Blu, ZTE, Gionee and Lenovo along with several small companies were affected by the threat. The New York Times had estimated the number of ADUPS affected devices to be around 700 million, which is a big number in any scenario.
According to New York Times, the code comes preinstalled in smartphones and its presence cannot be determined till specifically looked up for. TrustLook found that the firmware was secretly collecting user’s call information and reading texts, which were then stored in a remote database.
According to the NYT report, the software from Shanghai Adups is used on over 700 million devices, including on phones made by ZTE and Huawei. According to the list of affected manufacturers, India is not affected by the spyware. But considering the possibility that people also buy phones from unauthorised retailers, as well as buy phones abroad may still be affected by this vulnerability.
To determine if your phone has ADUPS firmware or not install TrustLook anti-virus and security app from Google Play store. The app runs a usual virus scan and you can also run a separate ADUPS check to know if your firmware is stealing your personal info or not.
What to do if your phones is running ADUPS:
— Burn the phone. Just joking. But seriously, there is not much you can do if your firmware is corrupt. Even a factory reset can’t help with this situation.
— Wait for your manufacturer to roll out a security patch. Keep the phone off till then.
— Talk to your phone company and ask them to replace it with a clean device.
— Buy a new phone. You can even check our smartphone buying guide if you need help deciding the right phone for your needs.
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