Chinese smartphone maker Coolpad has built an extensive "backdoor" into its Android devices that can track users, serve them unwanted advertisements and install unauthorized apps, a U.S. security firm alleged today.
In a research paper released today, Palo Alto Networks detailed its investigation of the backdoor, which it dubbed "CoolReaper."
"Coolpad has built a backdoor that goes beyond the usual data collection," said Ryan Olson, director of intelligence at Palo Alto's Unit 42. "This is way beyond what one malicious insider could have done."
Coolpad, which sells smartphones under several brand names -- including Halo, also called Danzen -- is one of China's largest ODMs (original device manufacturers). According to IDC, it ranked fifth in China in the third quarter, with 8.4% of the market, and has expanded sales outside of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and Taiwan to Southeast Asia, the U.S. and Western Europe.
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