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Android phone built in China comes equipped with malware

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Android phone built in China comes equipped with malware
An Android phone made in China comes with an unusual and unwanted extra feature: malware. The Star N9500 comes from the factory with the Uupay.D trojan acting as the Google Play Store. The trojan will collect and copy personal information, and the microphone will broadcast your phone calls as well as conversations you have near the phone, to unwanted listeners. Text messages will be sent to premium services.

The hook is that the device is available for as low as 160€ ($217 USD). But that price is subsidized by all of the illegal activities that someone is getting to enjoy. One security researcher from Kaspersky sums up the Star N9500 by saying that "the device comes from the factory with an extensive espionage program."

The Star N9500 is said to come out of the box with malware

The Star N9500 is said to come out of the box with malware

Normally, malware isn't included with a new phone out of the box. Hopefully this doesn't become a new trend. If you limit your hardware purchases to handsets manufactured by the major smartphone producers, the odds favor that your malware concerns will come from third party app stores. Earlier this year, we passed along the results of a report that claimed that Android was the target of a whopping 97% of malware attacks last year.

We happened to find the phone available on eBay, priced at £119.00 ($202 USD). 55 units had already been sold. For the sake of those who purchased the device, let's hope that they read this story before too much personal information is stolen.

Thanks for the tip, Niels!

source: Heise (translated), AmongTech

55 Comments
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posted on 15 Jun 2014, 12:23 8

1. dontneedtoknow (Posts: 158; Member since: 17 Feb 2014)


That's so bad! This is one aspect of android I don't like about the openness. However, the good out weighs the bad.

posted on 15 Jun 2014, 12:30 13

4. ihavenoname (Posts: 1693; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


Devices like this are the dark side of Android.

posted on 15 Jun 2014, 14:12

28. Liveitup (Posts: 1798; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


That is one of different advantages that closed OS lil WP and iOS will have over Android openess, that being said I hope the day comes when malware is a thing of the past.

posted on 15 Jun 2014, 16:28 2

37. vincelongman (Posts: 4575; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


I use Android and Windows, never had any virus or malware issues
How much people actually get viruses or malware?

posted on 15 Jun 2014, 18:08

41. renz4 (Posts: 318; Member since: 10 Aug 2013)


malware as a thing of a past. to me either it is keep increasing or it will go to a phase where they become much more advance than it is today in the future.

posted on 16 Jun 2014, 15:04

54. BlackhawkFlys (Posts: 427; Member since: 07 May 2014)


Yeah with iOS and WP only Apple and Microsoft is able to steal your data and give it to the NSA

posted on 15 Jun 2014, 14:12

29. Liveitup (Posts: 1798; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


That is one of different advantages that closed OS lil WP and iOS will have over Android openess, that being said I hope the day comes when malware is a thing of the past.

posted on 15 Jun 2014, 22:14 2

48. joey_sfb (Posts: 6010; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


If that is true then there should be zero virus and malware on the desktop windows.

Being smart and savvy is the only protection a user has, not platform.

posted on 16 Jun 2014, 06:58

50. Ishmeet (Posts: 111; Member since: 16 Sep 2013)


Probably you don't know much here, I guess.
Not your fault though, the security firms and government create and distribute the most of malware just to lead people into using their premium and paid services for so called protection.
And just to explain you, I can make a full page writeup about why is open-source more secure than closed, and why android is a big target for hackers, not in the favour of android but rather Open source.

posted on 15 Jun 2014, 12:34

6. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


It would be easy to remove the malware - I would not buy it if I were in the U.S. because it will lack 4G/3G, more than likely, depending on the network being used...

posted on 15 Jun 2014, 12:43 3

12. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 14191; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


8:6 good over bad isn't exactly optimal

posted on 15 Jun 2014, 13:14 10

15. shuaibhere (Posts: 1986; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


So how much of these devices would have sold you think???
8:6 compared other androids huh???
People like you are darkest side of ifans....

posted on 15 Jun 2014, 14:50 1

31. billgates (banned) (Posts: 555; Member since: 29 May 2014)


Don't be so sensitive, he just wants your attention sir

posted on 15 Jun 2014, 13:09

13. androtaku (Posts: 242; Member since: 12 Dec 2013)


yea....no big deal as long as 1) its an android, and 2) cheap

posted on 15 Jun 2014, 17:08 3

39. techperson211 (Posts: 1236; Member since: 27 Feb 2014)


So that means apple has malware as well? It is assemble in china? I'm sure China knows the software and hardware equipped in every iPhone so it would be easy to alter it and have malware on it. Just saying.

posted on 16 Jun 2014, 07:02 1

51. Ishmeet (Posts: 111; Member since: 16 Sep 2013)


Definitely is, but they don't do so because the user base isn't as large as android OS, and thus they don't do it because it won't be profitable to use nano-equipment, which costs a bit high, to just track a bunch of people(in millions, mind the iFans).

posted on 15 Jun 2014, 12:24 4

2. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


This manufacturer is stupid or what? they are going to make the people to be scared from new starters or small players... it will effect the business and will make harder for small companies and new starters to sell the product... may be this is a planted effort from some big player

posted on 15 Jun 2014, 13:15

16. shuaibhere (Posts: 1986; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


They probably don't want to sell the phone but the data..

posted on 16 Jun 2014, 07:05 1

52. Ishmeet (Posts: 111; Member since: 16 Sep 2013)


China's been doing this for long, trying to cripple other country's economy by preventing profit for new startups, and also to gain power and increase sale of their own fake or tracking devices so as to know more about what they can do to cause a further decay. While chinese people are good, as I have met some, but their government and military are equally screwed up.

posted on 15 Jun 2014, 12:29

3. CyberFalcon (Posts: 223; Member since: 17 Apr 2014)


Thanks for the info PA...

posted on 15 Jun 2014, 12:30 20

5. Ghost04 (Posts: 347; Member since: 03 May 2014)


Not phones from all Chinese brands has such thing .
And in USA you don't need such thing in your phones , because their is always NSA .
Lol.

posted on 15 Jun 2014, 12:34 11

7. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


lol, exactly - our phones here are all NSA approved

posted on 15 Jun 2014, 14:15 5

30. spin9 (Posts: 310; Member since: 31 May 2014)


Cold War news...

posted on 15 Jun 2014, 17:10

40. techperson211 (Posts: 1236; Member since: 27 Feb 2014)


Wahahaha NSA approved. Nice 1.

posted on 15 Jun 2014, 14:57 3

32. billgates (banned) (Posts: 555; Member since: 29 May 2014)


Yes because no other country does that smh
China has the best products and is a stand up country.

posted on 15 Jun 2014, 15:10 4

35. Napalm_3nema (Posts: 2227; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)


Are you under some illusion that the U.S is somehow unique in spying on its own citizens? IF so, you are delusional. As for the Chinese, they have been a surveillance state since 1949, at the very least.

posted on 15 Jun 2014, 19:49 1

47. willard12 (Posts: 1722; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)


Google "tiananmen square" in China and the cops will be at your door before your search results come up.

posted on 15 Jun 2014, 23:31 2

49. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


Google roits about blacks and history of native american's, so called red indians genocide... see yourself before pointing out finger on others, you will find more uglier inside than others

posted on 16 Jun 2014, 07:08

53. Ishmeet (Posts: 111; Member since: 16 Sep 2013)


Is the internet there so slow? Guess the people need some better srvices around :P

posted on 15 Jun 2014, 19:39 1

46. willard12 (Posts: 1722; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)


I imagine the NSA is looking at handsets in China and other places as well as the USA.

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