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Adups - spyware or harmless?

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Sammy Post time 2016-11-18 23:05:47 | Show all posts |Read mode
Edited by Sammy at 2016-12-11 06:16

As you may have read some days ago, there's an OTA update software called "Adups" that acts as spyware and sends all your text messages and other stuff to China every 72 hours.

NY Times: Secret Back Door in Some U.S. Phones Sent Data to China, Analysts Say

Kryptowire Discovers Mobile Phone Firmware that Transmitted Personally Identifiable Information (pii) without User Consent or Disclosure

Security contractors recently discovered preinstalled software in some Android phones that monitors where users go, whom they talk to and what they write in text messages. The American authorities say it is not clear whether this represents secretive data mining for advertising purposes or a Chinese government effort to collect intelligence.
...
Security experts frequently discover vulnerabilities in consumer electronics, but this case is exceptional. It was not a bug. Rather, Adups intentionally designed the software to help a Chinese phone manufacturer monitor user behavior, according to a document that Adups provided to explain the problem to BLU executives. That version of the software was not intended for American phones, the company said.
...
According to its website, Adups provides software to two of the largest cellphone manufacturers in the world, ZTE and Huawei. Both are based in China.
Samuel Ohev-Zion, the chief executive of the Florida-based BLU Products, said: “It was obviously something that we were not aware of. We moved very quickly to correct it.”
He added that Adups had assured him that all of the information taken from BLU customers had been destroyed.

After looking in the system folder of my Vernee Thor with the FX File Explorer it appears to me that the Thor also uses the "Adups" firmware OTA update software (see screenshot), however I don't know if it's a clean one or the spyware one.

My question is: Are our Thor phones also affected by this Adups spyware (or any spyware, for that matter)?
If yes: Will Vernee correct this issue soon?



edit:
It seems like the phone does indeed send at least some information back to the Adups servers, according to usedbytes. But 1-2 other users said that the Adups version on our phones looks okay. Bogey, another user, said that his phone got an automatic Adups patch, but we don't know if there was a problem before and if the patch fixed something.

Until we get an answer by Vernee and/or this gets fixed you can disable Adups on your phone if you want with a tool named Debloater according to this link Regnodulous posted in the Apollo Lite forum: http://android.wonderhowto.com/h ... ne-disable-0175034/

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humble_thore Post time 2017-02-20 05:58:20 | Show all posts

This is not acceptable. I expect an answer and think I deserve it as a customer. What data does my mobile phone send here without my knowledge? What does Vernee do? Or: If I have no reason to worry, i would still like to get explained why FOTA/Adups sends several megabytes to Nirvana.

Thank you!
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sid Post time 2016-11-25 07:54:56 | Show all posts

Vernee should now officially release a statement for this action.
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zzbubu Post time 2016-11-19 23:25:01 | Show all posts
Vernee please respond!!!

On the other hand I disabled adups on my Thor using debloater, I'll apply the OTA only manually!!!
This software sucks
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usedbytes Post time 2016-11-24 04:41:55 | Show all posts
OK I logged all the network traffic from my Thor for 24 hours.
I can categorically confirm that it does contain the Adups spyware. It uploaded a list of all my apps, when they were used, and the people I sent messages to - maybe more.

I've no idea if Vernee knew about this, but to be honest I doubt I'll be buying a handset from them again. It's pretty disgraceful behaviour.
Attached are images of some of the offending packets, and the contents of a zip file which was uploaded to http://bigdata.adsunflower.com/reboot/mobileupload.do

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Thanks for your test and sharing your findings. So according to the NY Times article BLU Producs reacted quickly and corrected the issue on their phones. Let's hope that Vernee does the same soon.  Details Reply Post time 2016-11-25 16:48
sid
I dont know but may be the toast message that states "SEND SMS" is related to this spyware that sends data. This toast message appears many times in a day. See the post for detail: http://bbs.vernee  Details Reply Post time 2016-11-25 07:52
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usedbytes Post time 2016-11-23 04:29:36 | Show all posts
Also interested...

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sid
Vernee should now officially release a statement for this action.  Details Reply Post time 2016-11-25 07:54
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sid Post time 2016-11-25 07:52:11 | Show all posts
usedbytes replied at 2016-11-24 04:41
OK I logged all the network traffic from my Thor for 24 hours.
I can categorically confirm that it  ...

I dont know but may be the toast message that states "SEND SMS" is related to this spyware that sends data. This toast message appears many times in a day.
See the post for detail:
http://bbs.vernee.cc/forum.php?m ... 47&fromuid=4453
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 Author| Sammy Post time 2016-11-25 16:48:59 | Show all posts
Edited by Sammy at 2016-11-25 17:35
usedbytes replied at 2016-11-24 04:41
OK I logged all the network traffic from my Thor for 24 hours.
I can categorically confirm that it  ...

Thanks for your test and sharing your findings.

So according to the NY Times article BLU Producs reacted quickly and corrected the issue on their phones.
Let's hope that Vernee does the same soon.


On the german vernee forum a user mentioned that the Apollo lite also has the Adups software and suggests that you can disable your phone sending infos to the Adups servers (bigdata.adups.com and so on) with

1. root access and xprivacy
or
2. root access and AdAway and include the Adups servers in the hosts file (see screenshot)

Still, this is not an easy task for everybody (I don't know how to root my phone, for example). I'm hoping for a statement from Vernee and that they will correct this issue soon.

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Regnodulous Post time 2016-11-25 18:20:34 | Show all posts
Hey guys - I can confirm this. I used "debloater" earlier today to disable this on my Apollo Lite.... Grrrrr
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Moessie900 Post time 2016-11-26 18:38:28 From the mobile phone | Show all posts
Thanks for sharing, disabled it on my Apollo lite
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sid Post time 2016-11-27 02:33:46 | Show all posts
verneeee this is not good
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