Chinese firm under radar for sending data to China secretly

Security contractors recently discovered preinstalled software in some Android phones that monitors where users go, whom they talk to and what they write in text messages.

By: PTI | Beijing | Published:November 18, 2016 1:19 pm
china, Chinese software company, US data, US android users data, data leak, user data, cyber crime, world news, indian express news International customers and users of disposable or prepaid phones are the people most affected by the software.

A global Chinese software company is under the radar after the US media reported that it “left a backdoor” on its American users’ Android phones to secretly send massive amount of user data to China every 72 hours. US media reported Wednesday that Kyptowire, a mobile security firm, discovered that Shanghai Adups Technology Co, a software provider of end-to-end device management and software solutions to leading firms, transmitted full contents of text messages, contact lists, call logs, location information and other data to a Chinese server. The code comes preinstalled on phones and the surveillance is not disclosed to users.

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“Security contractors recently discovered preinstalled software in some Android phones that monitors where users go, whom they talk to and what they write in text messages. The American authorities say it is not clear whether this represents secretive data mining for advertising purposes or a Chinese government effort to collect intelligence,” a New York Times report said.

“International customers and users of disposable or prepaid phones are the people most affected by the software. But the scope is unclear,” it said.

“Kryptowire, the security firm that discovered the vulnerability, said the Adups software transmitted the full contents of text messages, contact lists, call logs, location information and other data to a Chinese server. The code comes preinstalled on phones and the surveillance is not disclosed to users, said Tom Karygiannis, a vice president of Kryptowire, which is based in Fairfax, Virginia.

Adups on Friday refuted the media reports. It told China’s state-run Global Times that no information associated with the functionality of its software on users’ mobile phones, such as text messages, contacts, or phone logs, was disclosed to others.

“We are very regretful to see that some overseas media, without knowing the company’s business well, made subjective conjecture and published a distorted report, which caused a bad effect,” the company said.

On October 28, Adups agreed with BLU to stop the software’s operation and any information received from a BLU phone was then deleted, the Chinese daily quoted the company as saying.

Adups has since apologised for any error in a written statement. “This is a private company that made a mistake,” Lily Lim, a lawyer who represents Adups, told the New York Times.

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    Sanjiv Dutta
    Nov 19, 2016 at 6:16 am
    I and my colleague (Sameedha) returned Redmi Note 3 sets recently as we both saw data consumption (about 10 / 20 bytes occasionally) in spite of revoking data permission from all installed apps and putting data connection off. I don't know about other carriers but with Idea prepaid, the data report is immediately visible.
    Reply
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      Sanjiv Dutta
      Nov 19, 2016 at 6:02 am
      I and my colleague (Sameedha) returned Redmi Note 3 sets recently as we both saw data consumption (about 10 / 20 ocaasionally) in spite of revoking data permission from all installed apps and putting data connection off. I don't know about other carriers but with Idea prepaid, the data report is immediately visible.
      Reply
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        Bandra
        Nov 18, 2016 at 4:57 pm
        The chinese are well known for industrial and other espionage- infringement of Patent rights- copycats who cannot be trusted- They will steal your secrets manufacture products dump them on the markets at below cost prices till they ruin their compeors in free market economies
        Reply
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          Mahendrasing Girase
          Nov 19, 2016 at 11:58 am
          Strict punishment with heavy penalties must be taken from traders as they have nothing to do with national security.They think about their personnel benifits only so trading chinese items must be considered as criminal antinational act.China will not stop its activities unless we punish our own people.
          Reply
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            ambu
            Nov 18, 2016 at 11:21 pm
            even now Xiomi, Meizu are sending data from indian network, where you guys able to block them?
            Reply
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              Mahalingappa.M.
              Nov 19, 2016 at 7:41 am
              As an Indian I've heard that China has been taking measures to distablise India. China is an expantionist and illegally occupied our territoryñ during 1962 by wahing unprovoked war and accepted the cede of a pottion of occupied Kashmir. She built Karakoram high way in POK and bed Pak as all weather friend. She claims Arunachal Pradesh as disputed territory. They've been opposing India's entry into NSG. There are many more reasons that make me oppose purchase of Chinese goods.
              Reply
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                Anand Ch
                Nov 19, 2016 at 1:16 am
                Why are you buying plastics from a rogue country and what are you expecting ?
                Reply
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                  SIVAJI
                  Nov 19, 2016 at 5:33 am
                  Do not buy any of china products, is prime responsibility as Indian.
                  Reply
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                    Sudhanshu
                    Nov 19, 2016 at 3:06 am
                    After demonetization it should be namo's next surgical strike...hope people claiming their patriotism towards our motherland.. hope fir the next strike.. jai Hind.
                    Reply
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                      Sudhanshu
                      Nov 19, 2016 at 3:11 am
                      Needed a strong support in part of public and execution in part of government...I could have said that investigation also should have done by govt. but the slow pace of various committees could turn the situation worse and epidemic in future..
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                        Vick
                        Nov 19, 2016 at 1:38 am
                        All Chinese companies are involved in spying one or other way. They are all chinese government sponsored. Huawei has installed bugging device in many country through their communication hardware they sell to telephone exhchange and mobile operators. India should be well aware and possibly ban all these notorious cheap chinese stuff
                        Reply
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                          Yash Pal
                          Nov 19, 2016 at 6:43 am
                          The successive Govts have, through wrong policies, ensured that imports are cheaper than local manufacture. We will continue to be spied upon and be easy targets for all the countries, big or small.
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