App on several OnePlus devices grants backdoor root access

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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. Earlier this year BLU was revealed to have some serious security concerns, and even OnePlus has had issues revealed. If you have a OnePlus phone, you may be interested - and a little disturbed - to learn that the company is preinstalling an app that acts as a backdoor to root access.

OnePlus likely kept Engineer Mode installed on the devices because it assumed it was secure and would remain unnoticed, given that the app is hidden behind a password.

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

If it's there, anyone with physical access to your device can exploit EngineerMode to gain root access on your smartphone.

Unfortunately, it seems someone at OnePlus forgot to remove or disable the package before kicking the handsets out to the general public, and as a result multiple users now have access to what is effectively a back door in their Android phones. With root access, an attacker could change just about anything about the device's software. However, it can be exploited to enable backdoor rooting. It is actually a modified version of a testing application created by Qualcomm.

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This app is a system app made by @Qualcomm and customised by @OnePlus. However, it was left in the software builds that ship with the OnePlus 3, 3T, and 5.

OnePlus users can find the app pre-installed by going into Settings Apps Menu Show System Apps and search for EngineerMode in the app list.

Dubbed "EngineerMode" the tool has been designed as an easy way for phone makers to test the hardware on their devices.

The discoverer of the app had a problem.

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