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OnePlus engineering APK exposes backdoor to root access ars_ab.settitle(1204221)

15 November 2017

Now, another potential threat has arisen on OnePlus devices as an app on several of the company's phones has been revealed to carry root access.

He further claims that the company has intentionally left the backdoor on their devices.

According to one developer named as Elliot Alderson, OnePlus has an application called as "EngineerMode", which is basically used to check whether the unit is working properly or not in the factory.

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If hackers wanted to get into your phone, they would need physical access to it, so if you have any OnePlus devices, just keep it away from any of your playful tech-savvy friends until the app is officially removed.

While we don't see this as a major security issue, we understand that users may still have concerns and therefore we will remove the adb root function from EngineerMode in an upcoming OTA.

The developer, with the help of few cybersecurity experts, was able to discover the password and was able to root a OnePlus device with few commands. Having root access essentially means the user has complete control over the device, including privileged control over features that would otherwise be locked up.

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The backdoor is provided through an application called Engineer Mode that ships pre-installed on the devices. It is actually a modified version of a testing application created by Qualcomm. But on the other hand, we do hope that OnePlus patches this as well, because it is provides a legitimate backdoor to OnePlus 3, 3T, and OnePlus 5 devices.

OnePlus was in a bit of hot water earlier this month for collecting user data through OxygenOS and sending it back to the company, a practice it has since stopped. It should be a simple matter of just removing the APK in an update, but this will certainly put a damper on the launch of the OnePlus 5T, which comes out this week.

The discoverer of the app had a problem.

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OnePlus engineering APK exposes backdoor to root access ars_ab.settitle(1204221)