Is your personal data at risk on an HTC smartphone?

Is your personal data at risk on an HTC smartphone?
An investigation is looking into allegations that more recent versions of HTC's Sense UI is storing personal data. Android Police and custom firmware maker Trevor Eckhart are taking a look at the situation and claim that logging tools such as HTCLogger in the Taiwan based firm's Sense UI store personal data insecurely. Certain models from HTC, if compromised, could actually be accessed remotely thanks to the VNC client that HTC loads on some of its phones.

This is not to say that HTC or a spy is sifting through your personal data as we write this, but only to suggest that it theoretically can occur. The phones involved include the HTC Evo 3D (Sprint), the HTC Evo 4G (Sprint) and the HTC ThunderBolt (Verizon). Other models like the myTouch 4G Slide (T-Mobile) and the HTC Sensation 4G (T-Mobile) might also be involved. Even models that have yet to launch like the HTC Vigor (Verizon) could be collecting your data.

So far, HTC has been totally silent about this situation. It was only advised of the problem a week ago and there is speculation that the manufacturer is looking into the problem with its own investigation, but this has not been confirmed or denied. Because of the open source nature of Android, while Google requires consent before information can be read off a device, third parties can change the underlying code and hardware firms can also leave doors open that invite rather than thwart those who like to take personal data from devices. The data that is vulnerable include phone numbers, your recent movements tracked via GPS, SMS, emails, user accounts and more.

source: AndroidPolice via electronista

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24 Comments

1. AdamW33

Posts: 39; Member since: Aug 25, 2011

Sounds like a plot point for an action-thriller blockbuster.

2. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

I really hope this is not true

6. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

It is, It has occurred with Skype once the data is not encrypted (an whoops from HTC maybe) lucky devs have already informed HTC about it and its possible solutions too, hopefully a patch will fix this soon

3. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Well, if this is true then I'm sure HTC will fix the problem post haste with minimal fuss.

14. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Plus, as others have posted, there needs to be a convergence of a few remote probability items for a breach to occur. I am not losing sleep over a potential data breach with my EVO 3D. I suspect that HTC will have a patch out before the end of October.

16. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

Like how HTC fixed the Thunderbolt issues or the fact that it took them several months to give the Thunderbolt Gingerbread lol?

4. Muhannad

Posts: 455; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

I'm started to get worried because I have a Sensation 4G.

5. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

its not worth getting too worried about. you would first have to randomly run into a hacker that not only knows about the exploit, but how to exploit it without getting his hands on your phone or making you do something... and they would have to know that you infact have an HTC phone,or your phone number was randomly chosen to see if the exploit would work.. sounds like a 1 in a billion chance to me...especially since HTC is normally very good about fixing code errors quickly.

8. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

So it is worth knowing, but not worth losing sleep over. Glad there are watch-dog groups that choose to keep an eye open for holes in security like this, and know how to find them. I agree with Sniggly- HTC has been good about owning up to and fixing problems or areas of concern.

7. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

people where adviced not to download apps from outside the android market and not visiting strange websites should reduce the risk of getting anything at all, hope this helps

9. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

Android steals data, privacy, info, etc. This is why Android is a poor OS.

10. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

Lol such a poor argument you come up with.

11. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

lol, like an Android fan can talk

12. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

Why I can't? You have the right of speech, but I have the right to say you aren't even using brain cells to do so. Did you even saw What the video was about? Do you have the slightest clue of the context? If so please say so. If no why should I bother proving you wrong?

17. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

The fact that these security holes keep happening in Android is just proof that the entire OS is a buggy disaster and really needs fine tuning. Course, Android fans will continue defending the trash heap of a OS despite overwhelming evidence that the OS has various security problems. And why mention Android when this is regarding HTC? Because HTC has their stuff ontop of Android build plus the Android settings and lockdown is what prevent people from preventing this. But go on ahead and defend your precious OS for the security flaws it has.

19. Miz_Eats_My_Asshole unregistered

Miz, you are infamous on this website for defending your buggy, outdated pile of crap you call an iPhone. Course, iSheep will continue defending their outdated piece of junk despite the numerous phones that are clearly better(both in hardware AND software).

20. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

Just like I said you know nothing about what's going on and again failed to understand and in an attempt to pretend being smart you made little sense try again because this its not the Android system, but calling me fanboy makes things really clear, as if your Os was far from being more secure

13. matzapatza unregistered

Not Android, tard. HTC. It's an HTC .apk, not that anything like facts would ever get in the way of your trolling.

15. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Another benefit of an "open" OS

18. Nuadar unregistered

Another benefit off open OS is that you can remove it like Trevor did...thing that would be impossible in any other ecosystems...

21. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

Yes that nasty bug would have been going on for a year without people noticing and we would be safe, but that horrible hacker that contacted HTC told them about the issue and how it could be fixed is a monster for telling us to be careful, Lucky we have an os without flaws, we just need to get it running on a device...... /s

23. willywill_evo

Posts: 162; Member since: Jan 05, 2011

9 out of 10 news about the htc thunderbolt are not good lol

25. maidou

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 03, 2011

To cheer me up from that devastating loss by Italy, I've been listening to some funny jokes.This joke is super Hey, truly good web site. I actually came across this on Bing, and I am happy I did.north face denali I will undoubtedly be coming back here far more normally. Really like is an active power in man, a power which breaks through the walls which separate man from his fellow men, which unites him with other people;

26. Uzzelien

Posts: 131; Member since: Feb 22, 2011

Nope mine isn't being I have WP 7. :)

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