Root access was still hidden behind a password, but once that was cracked, that developer was able to obtain root access on the phone. Users have discovered that numerous company's phones from the past few years (including the OnePlus 5) include a Qualcomm testing app, EngineerMode, that lets you get root-level access to the phone without having to unlock its bootloader.
This is not the first time that OnePlus has been accused of compromising privacy of its users.
A developer recently discovered that an app installed on OnePlus devices (OnePlus 3, 3T, 5 according to Android Police) called "EngineerMode". The app in question is EngineerMode APK, and it has been developed by Qualcomm for the device manufacturers to test hardware components.
The Engineer Mode APK is capable of diagnosing Global Positioning System, run automated tests, check root status among other things. According to Alderson, the app is installed on some of the OnePlus devices. It is alarming how easily someone can get access to your smartphones in this day and age. The app has the ability to diagnose Global Positioning System, check root status and perform a series of tests.
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This exploit is just that, an exploit in the phone's security. However, it also holds a backdoor which is capable of root access, even if the device has not been unlocked.
He further claims that the company has intentionally left the backdoor on their devices.
OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has acknowledged the issue, and insisted that the company is looking into it. "Thanks for the heads up, we're looking into it", Pei said on Twitter.
Will it affect OnePlus 5T sales? Later, Pei confirmed in a blog post that OnePlus it will scale back on data collection on its devices. Following the allegations, OnePlus took some steps, and added the new "opt-in" option for the user experience program.
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