Your phone has become a part of your daily life that you can’t even think about living a day without it. The popularity of the Android platform brought tons of apps to it, giving us the ability to do almost everything we can do on a full-fledged computer.
For the same reason, we give utmost preference to the privacy provided there is sensitive details on our phones. Unfortunately, a privacy breach has (speculations) happened in the delivery of the latest Oreo update from OnePlus for 5T.
OnePlus Delivers an App with Potentially Dangerous Permissions via Stable Oreo Update for 5T
OnePlus has seduced the gadget enthusiasts all around the globe with its flagships on a budget. Right from OnePlus One, they never failed to surprise the customers with top-notch hardware and software. Although the journey began with CyanogenMod, they moved on to in-house OxygenOS from the second device.
The last phone that hit the market from the company is OnePlus 5T. Despite being the latest, the phone took some time to get the Oreo update. OnePlus 3/3T users already got the update almost a couple of months ago. Now that 5T got the update, a privacy issue has popped up.
A tech blogger, Nirmal Sarkar, who is actually a OnePlus 5T user has noticed a strange app that made its way to his phone after the update. The icon made him think it is a keyboard app from the company. However, as he went on opening the application, things occurred upside down.
To begin with, OnePlus hasn’t mentioned the name of the app (MKey) on the changelog of the new update, neither do they mentioned it anywhere officially until the users became furious about it.
The strange fact about the app is it didn’t make the way to everybody who updated their firmware to the latest one. Some got it and some didn’t! MKey tracks almost everything you do on your device. It will ask you to give permissions to access your messages, camera, contacts, location, phone, and storage. Moreover, it even seeks the screen overlay permission.
What is the best solution to keep your privacy untouched? Well, you can either choose not to upgrade to the latest version unless OnePlus comes with a convincing reason or you should uninstall the app without opening it at all (after updating to the latest firmware). We encourage doing the first one given Nougat is decent enough to serve you.
Of course, OnePlus got the best device at their price range. Still, why did they include a shady third-party application with the stable build with no mention in the changelog at all? We hope we will hear from the company soon.
Lame U. Drama says
Hey Rahul, can you comment or make an article on apps with too many permissions like all the default tmobile/Google apps that can read/ALTER your files, call logs, sms, wifi. Also the stupid Android feature of “open links in app”. Where some apps have a wildcard “*”. I don’t want my apps to have the ability to open any urls automatically. If an app had an exploit, omeone could easily rewrite your web traffic to contain a malicious URL to then open than insecure app. Then you have some internet facing app with rewrite ability to your file and comms. Android OS is the most insecure user-hostile joke software ever made. Let me explain why users should care about such security issues:
A “friend” of mine moved to New York City with a lot of money in his bank account after selling his property online. For over a year whenever he did a Google maps search for “cheap hotel near me” he only saw $100+ hotels. Then he bought a new phone anonymously and discovered that there were many dozens of hotels for $25-$50 all around him. Too bad he had already spent his $1000s of dollars on $150 per night hotels… He never knew.
People should demand the right to remain silent, because Big Business can and will use anything you say against you in a court of no laws.
Sk Shoaib says
I am using OnePlus 5T and waiting for OnePlus 6. Should I wait for OneePlus 6? Is there any good alternative that I can buy right now?