The Coolpad devices, however, are ripe for much more malicious abuse, researchers at Palo Alto Networks said today, especially after the discovery of a vulnerability in the backend management interface that exposed the backdoor’s control system.
The CoolReaper backdoor not only connects to a number of command and control servers, but is also capable of downloading, installing and activating any Android application without the user’s permission. It also sends phony over-the-air updates to devices that instead install applications without notifying the user. The backdoor can also be used to dial phone numbers, send SMS and MMS messages, and upload device and usage information to Coolpad.
The manufacturer has also taken steps via modifications to its version of Android to keep the backdoor hidden from users and security software that could be installed on the phone. For example, Olson said Coolpad has disabled the long-press system that allows a user to find out what application generated an pop-up advertisement or notification, for example."
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