Barnes & Noble's NOOK Tablet 7'' uses the same malicious ADUPS software as BLU phones (UPDATE)
UPDATE: We've been contacted by Barnes & Noble regarding the ADUPS software that comes pre-installed on the NOOK Tablet 7'', so here is their official statement.
It turns out that BLU Products is not the only company in the United States that sells devices affected by a serious security issue. Barnes & Noble's new NOOK Tablet 7'' has been found to run the same malicious piece of software as BLU phones, ADUPS.
But this isn't bad news for customers who already paid $50 for Barnes & Noble's tablet. BLU phones that were infected with ADUPS had a “Wireless Update” entry in the Application menu, which allowed the US-based company to disable the ADUPS agent.
Unfortunately, the same functionality is not available on the Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet 7'', which means that the ADUPS agent can't be removed via software update.
But what exactly is ADUPS? The software that comes pre-installed on many smartphones and tablets launched by Chinese companies usually replaces Google's OTA software responsible for pushing updates.
ADUPS software can also be found on many devices powered by MediaTek's CPUs, a Taiwanese chipset maker that many claim it tries to conceal malicious software for whatever reason.
Aside from handling software update, ADUPS also monitors the user's data on the phone/tablet, including contacts, calls, calendar, location and so on. The bad news is all the information is then sent to servers in China without the user knowing that his/private data has been compromised.
The NOOK Tablet 7'' is powered by a MediaTek MT8163 processor, and unlike previous Barnes & Noble tablets that feature OMAP / Snapdragon designs, it must have been contracted to Shenzen Jingwah Information Technology Co., Ltd.
That might explain the presence of the ADUPS software inside the NOOK Tablet 7''. Barnes & Noble has yet to comment on the matter.