Since Android is open source you can get it on smartphones that cost less than $100 and more than $1000. It’s often the first smartphone platform that new users encounter when they move up from a feature phone to a cheap Android smartphone. Cheap Android smartphones do have their problems, security is often an issue, and a new report from security firm Kryptowire will certainly not instill confidence. The report reveals that software on millions of cheap Android handsets secretly spied on users and even sent their data to a Chinese server every 72 hours.
The software reportedly sent out keyword-searchable, full text message archives to the server. It even tracked users’ call logs and location. The report mentions that this software was created by the China-based Shanghai Adups Technology Company. It’s unclear whether the intended purpose was data gathering for advertising or surveillance.
The Chinese company has claimed that this software is running on more than 700 million low-end Android smartphones. It has even partnered with the likes of ZTE and Huawei but it’s unclear what the scope of the installed software is on their devices.
Blu Products, a US manufacturer of cheap Android smartphones, is reportedly affected with 120,000 handsets running this software. For its part, Blu has sent out a statement confirming that it has identified and has quickly removed a recent security issue caused by a third party application which had been collecting unauthorized personal data in the form of text messages, call logs, and contacts from customers using a limited number of BLU mobile devices.”