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Chinese Smartphones Come Preloaded with Spyware

2014-06-18 09:45 by
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A cheap brand of Chinese-made smartphones carried by major online retailers comes preinstalled with espionage software, a German security firm said Tuesday. The company G Data warned that a smartphone manufactured by Star - the N9500, comes complete with a Trojan masquerading as the Google Play Store. The Star N9500 is a Galaxy S4 knockoff smartphone available online through various Internet retailers including Amazon.com. According to the security company, the spyware, called Uupay.D, is capable of intercepting personal data transmitted over the phone, such as banking data, phone calls, email messages and text messages. It then transmits that data to a server in China. G Data said Uupay.D can also remotely control the phone's camera and microphone and covertly install more malware onto the device. Bjoern Rupp, chief executive of the Berlin-based mobile security consultancy firm GSMK, said such cases are more common than people think. Last fall, German cellphone service provider E-Plus found malicious software on some handsets delivered to customers of its Base brand.

"We have to assume that such incidents will increasingly occur, for different commercial and other reasons," said Rupp.

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