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eBay Halts Sales of Chinese "Spyware Phone" Star 9500

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posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 12:20 PM
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The Star N9500 which looks eerily similar to the Galaxy S4 has been pulled from sale by eBay after claims from a German security firm that the phone has pre-installed spyware that cannot be removed.

EBay is barring listings for a smartphone after reports the model is pre-installed with spyware in its Chinese factory. A German security firm reported on Tuesday that the Android-powered Star N9500 sent personal data to a computer server in China, adding that the Trojan could not be removed.
www.bbc.co.uk...


As of a few minutes ago the Star N9500 is still available on eBay but I guess these things take time.

One security researcher from Kaspersky sums up the Star N9500 by saying that "the device comes from the factory with an extensive espionage program."
www.phonearena.com...


So if you have a Star N9500 or know someone that does let them know it's not only the NSA spying on them



edit on 18-6-2014 by gortex because: Add pic




posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 12:34 PM
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Yep. I bought a cheap chinese smartphone not too long ago, and 2 days after using it for the first time both my email accounts were hacked.



posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 12:42 PM
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a reply to: Flatcoat

I guess it proves the old saying you get what you pay for , in some cases these days you get more than what you paid for.



posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 01:00 PM
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a reply to: gortex

Yeah, It struck me as an odd coincidence at the time seeing as how the phone was my only form of internet connectivity. Still, the bloody thing crapped out after about 2 weeks and went straight in the bin. So I actually got a lot less than I payed for.....


ETA. Actually just read the story yesterday here in Spain....was thinking about starting a thread myself.
edit on 18-6-2014 by Flatcoat because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 01:40 PM
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a reply to: Flatcoat

I had one earlier this year and it was hinky as as hell. The front camera always came on and sometimes it'd go through Chinese screens.

Luckily I suspected mischief and never entered passwords that mattered. I even joked with mates that it was loaded with spyware.It bricked after 2 months and I got a full refund off Amazon.

Funnily enough it crossed my mind that it'd been bricked because there was nothing of value being inputted lol. Maybe it was fixed and resold to a better mark?



posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 01:40 PM
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One of many reasons why if you buy one first thing you do is root it and install custom rom to it .
With rooting you have full control of your device.



posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 02:05 PM
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originally posted by: Expat888
With rooting you have full control of your device.


Oh you do do you? muhahaha does even a fairly competent techy person really understand ALL of that various software code that is running?



posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 02:08 PM
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also, don't buy Lenovo computers, those are also made in mainland China. they bought out the old IBM retail computer business.
edit on 18-6-2014 by jimmyx because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 02:14 PM
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a reply to: Expat888

You never know who's behind the custom OS. It's best to assume mischief and change passwords regularly. These scams are too global and extensive to have passwords being exploited within hours - they often seem to get parked for bulk sales on dark websites.

Of course, that's assuming these Chinese kits aren't an extension of nsa-style espionage from China itself. Who knows?



posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 02:37 PM
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a reply to: Kandinsky




Of course, that's assuming these Chinese kits aren't an extension of nsa-style espionage from China itself.

That's a possibility that had crossed my mind too , I've tried to find who manufactures the phone but had no luck , no maker website for support is a bit odd.
Others have tried to trace the manufacturer as well.

“The manufacturer is not mentioned,” he said. “Not in the phone, not in the documentation, nothing else.”

The Associated Press found the phone for sale on several major retail websites, offered by an array of companies listed in Shenzhen, in southern China. It could not immediately find a reference to the phone’s manufacturer.
www.pressherald.com...

Could an organised crime syndicate pull this off or is it more likely a state operation ? .... curious.



posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 03:08 PM
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China wants to compete with the NSA, but they`re not stealthy enough.



posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 03:11 PM
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a reply to: gortex

The one I had was a great copy of the Samsung S4 down to the icons and tones. Some of the hardware was way below par - speakers etc. The android OS was blocked from updating...

Over the years, malware has been found bundled and built-in to all types of Chinese imported kit and it's been hard to say for sure who was responsible. The Register has been reporting these incidents for as long as I can remember.

Maybe some of the assembly lines have been infiltrated by crime gangs or perhaps they've been a deliberate effort on the side of official espionage? It's possible that elements of either side are in collusion. I'm thinking of the associations of CIA with drug-trafficking ops and how a modern Intel branch might associate with criminal tech-outfits instead. These all have precedents.

No offence to China or Chinese brands...I wouldn't buy a cheap generic android phone again. Not for fear of spyware, but because the £100 was a waste of money.



posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 03:15 PM
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a reply to: gortex

..think about all the spychips out there in various military hardware



posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 03:26 PM
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a reply to: gortex

I have a friend with one of these, he cracked the glass face/screen and I was going to buy it from him for $10 and fix it. Glad I didn't now LOL.

Cheers - Dave



posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 03:33 PM
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originally posted by: Skyfloating
China wants to compete with the NSA, but they`re not stealthy enough.


...or USA wants to ensure people avoid using phones the NSA doesn't have full control over, and will be lambasting any phone not manufactured by their "partners" at Apple, Nokia, Samsung, and Motorola. Also likely the reason the feds outlawed jailbreaking/rooting your phone from those manufacturers last year.



posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 03:55 PM
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Wait, a second...

People actually buy those phones off of ebay and use them?



posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 04:45 PM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom




People actually buy those phones off of ebay and use them?


Trying to get a deal without paying the big price is the American way...


I forgot ATS is international, so not only is it an american way it is also a human way. (don't want to leave anyone out)
edit on 18-6-2014 by tsurfer2000h because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 04:51 PM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

I sold over 30k worth of phones on ebay last year.....

The phone in the op I bought a few of them when they first came out for 200$ each. I sold them all on ebay within 24 hours of getting them for 500$ each. There is a massive market for used phones if you just browse occasionally local and online. All the cell phones in my home are free. They were all bought with other phones which I sold for enough to keep the phones and make a profit. We have galaxy s4, s4 mini, s3 and (blah) an iphone my kid wont let me take out in the yard and shoot.

As far as the op I would have never used one if the clones as my personal phone. Not for concern as much since I do custom roms an root soon as I get anything, but because of quality and performance.



posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 08:08 PM
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originally posted by: gortex
Could an organised crime syndicate pull this off or is it more likely a state operation ? .... curious.
I have no idea but I was considering the same two possibilities. Three if you count being under contract to NSA either directly or indirectly though some front, but that's less likely.
I wonder if they will find out who is really behind it?


originally posted by: burdman30ott6
the feds outlawed jailbreaking/rooting your phone from those manufacturers last year.
Wow, really? I missed that.


originally posted by: drivers1492
As far as the op I would have never used one if the clones as my personal phone. Not for concern as much since I do custom roms an root soon as I get anything, but because of quality and performance.
So can you still root them given what burdman30ott6 said? I rooted mine before last year and I haven't been keeping up.



posted on Jun, 19 2014 @ 05:07 AM
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a reply to: Arbitrageur

Yes you can still root and do whatever. They had outlawed unlocking but never rooting to my knowledge. Wouldn't matter if they did I would still root, my phone I will do what I want with it, up to and including unlocking the sim. They have started locking most bootloaders on samsung phones which makes it a bit trickier but you can still do it.



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