Jul 28th, 2017

Late last year we reported that several Chinese manufacturers like BLU, ZTE, and Huawei were using tracking technology from Shanghai Adups Technology Company, with the intention of tracking personal user data. When the issue first came to light, Adups said the data they gathered is “anonymous usage data” designed to check out UI and UX interactions. 

However, it was confirmed that the company was doing more than tracking anonymous habits. BLU said that 120,00 of its phones had the software on it and issued an update in order to remove it. The company says they were unaware of the software’s habits in tracking its users.

Adups is back at it again, as researchers at a Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas have revealed. The Adups software is still sending device data to Shangai servers without alerting people, but since being busted last November the company has gotten more secretive about how it collects this data. Here’s how one researcher describes the issue.

“They replaced them with nicer versions. I have captured the network traffic of them using the command and control channel when they did it.”

Researchers from the Kryptowire security firm say they’ve caught Adups doing the same across three different phones varieties.

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