Android phone built in China comes equipped with malware

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

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55 Comments

1. dontneedtoknow

Posts: 158; Member since: Feb 17, 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.

4. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

Devices like this are the dark side of Android.

28. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 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.

37. vincelongman

Posts: 5623; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

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

41. renz4

Posts: 319; Member since: Aug 10, 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.

54. BlackhawkFlys

Posts: 904; Member since: May 07, 2014

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

29. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 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.

48. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 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.

50. Ishmeet

Posts: 111; Member since: Sep 16, 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.

6. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 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...

12. Mxyzptlk unregistered

8:6 good over bad isn't exactly optimal

15. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 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....

31. billgates

Posts: 555; Member since: May 29, 2014

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

13. androtaku

Posts: 246; Member since: Dec 12, 2013

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

39. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 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.

51. Ishmeet

Posts: 111; Member since: Sep 16, 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).

2. Ashoaib

Posts: 3269; Member since: Nov 15, 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

16. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

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

52. Ishmeet

Posts: 111; Member since: Sep 16, 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.

3. CyberFalcon

Posts: 223; Member since: Apr 17, 2014

Thanks for the info PA...

5. Ghost04

Posts: 515; Member since: May 03, 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.

7. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

lol, exactly - our phones here are all NSA approved

30. spin9

Posts: 310; Member since: May 31, 2014

Cold War news...

40. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Wahahaha NSA approved. Nice 1.

32. billgates

Posts: 555; Member since: May 29, 2014

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

35. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 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.

47. willard12 unregistered

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

49. Ashoaib

Posts: 3269; Member since: Nov 15, 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

53. Ishmeet

Posts: 111; Member since: Sep 16, 2013

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

46. willard12 unregistered

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

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