Date
18 December 2017
The Star N9500 is embedded with a spyware that steals personal information and can remotely control certain functions. Photo: amazon.com, emsisoft.com
The Star N9500 is embedded with a spyware that steals personal information and can remotely control certain functions. Photo: amazon.com, emsisoft.com

Look out for this cheap Chinese smartphone

A low-end Chinese-made smartphone has been pre-loaded with a spyware that steals personal information and sends it to an unknown server in China, am730 reported Friday.

The Star N9500 smartphone, a Samsung Galaxy S4 look-alike, is sold on overseas websites including Amazon, for HK$1,708 (US$220.35) to HK$2,168, and is said to be available also on Alibaba online store Taobao. 

The device is embedded with a trojan spyware (Android.Trojan.Uupay.D), the report said, citing German internet security expert G Data.

The spyware can intercept information including bank transactions, phone calls, e-mails and text messages, and remotely control the camera and microphone.

It is disguised as an icon mimicking Google Play and cannot be removed because it’s part of the phone’s firmware. It can also keep users from updating security protection, according to G Data. 

The smartphone has no manufacturer label and user guide.

The Associated Press reported that the phone’s components come from several suppliers in Shenzhen. The Wall Street Journal said it is made by a Shenzhen company.

– Contact us at [email protected]

TL/AC/RA

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe