Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Technology | By Russell Knight

OnePlus devices feature backdoor for root access, to be removed with update

OnePlus devices feature backdoor for root access, to be removed with update

OnePlus, an electronics manufacturer based in China, has reportedly been shipping its line of popular smartphones with a hidden backdoor that could allow a hacker to hijack the device relatively effortlessly. This app is used by OnePlus to ensure that a device is working properly before it leaves the factory.

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. It was unveiled that the app potentially renders all OnePlus devices open to backdoor root access.

Alderson said that he would publish an app soon to allow users to simply gain root access to their devices.

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The application is called "EngineerMode" and was developed by Qualcomm for factory testing.

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.

This app is a system app made by @Qualcomm and customised by @OnePlus. The developer claims that the company has left behind the software intentionally, and he will come out with the application for rooting OnePlus devices without unlocking.

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In this app, the developer has found activity known as "DiagEnabled", if enabled with a specific password, grants the root access. Check the name of native library used to check the code: door...

The application in question is EngineerMode, in which its goal is to test Qualcomm processors easily.

"If you have an OnePlus device, I'm pretty sure you have this app pre-installed". Later, Pei confirmed in a blog post that OnePlus it will scale back on data collection on its devices.

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The inclusion of the app appears to be an oversight on the part of OnePlus, and company founder Carl Pei said the team is looking into it.

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