Tech

OnePlus left a backdoor in Oxygen OS that hackers could exploit

OnePlus left a backdoor in Oxygen OS that hackers could exploit

Now, a developer has confirmed that it's possible to obtain root access on OnePlus phones without unlocking them.

On the one hand, it does mean that it will be dead simple to root those three OnePlus phones without even having to unlock the bootloader. The app, developed by Qualcomm, has been essentially designed for OEMs to test hardware components or diagnostic tests on device.

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 most disturbing part is that @fs0c131y, the dev that discovered the backdoor, was capable of creating a simple root app for OnePlus devices that makes use of his findings and. even published it on the Google Play Store. "There's an activity - dubbed 'DiagEnabled" - associated with this app, which if launched with the correct password will give you the root access. The app has the ability to diagnose Global Positioning System, check root status and perform a series of tests. 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". However, it can be exploited to enable backdoor rooting.

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Cyber security enthusiast and likely Mr Robot fan, Twitter user "Elliot Alderson" spotted the backdoor in OnePlus' Oxygen OS, which according to XDA Developers, is a diagnostic testing tool supplied by Qualcomm which OnePlus appears to have accidentally left in place on its OnePlus 5, OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T handsets. OnePlus co-founder Car Pei tweeted that the company will look into the claims made by the developer.

Thanks for the heads up, we're looking into it.

Not long ago, researchers found out OnePlus phones were collecting data without informing the users. Following the allegations, OnePlus took some steps, and added the new "opt-in" option for the user experience program.


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