It's possible to obtain root access on OnePlus phones without unlocking

OnePlus 3T

OnePlus has still to fully recover from the data collection allegations it faced last month, and now fresh allegations have surfaced over user privacy.

A potentially risky backdoor in multiple OnePlus devices has been just unearthed by a knowing developer, revealing a hidden app that can be potentially used to gain root access and take control over the device.

According to one developer named as Elliot Alderson, OnePlus has an application called as "EngineerMode", which is basically used to check whether the unit is working properly or not in the factory. According to Alderson, the app is installed on some of the OnePlus devices. The application is present in all OnePlus devices including 3, 3T and 5.

The Engineer Mode APK is capable of diagnosing Global Positioning System, run automated tests, check root status among other things.

In this app, the developer has found activity known as "DiagEnabled", if enabled with a specific password, grants the root access. It is alarming how easily someone can get access to your smartphones in this day and age. Speaking to Hindustan Times, Alderson said, "This loophole is a backdoor". The app gives unprecedented access to a host of security-sensitive features of your phone, with the worst offender being the "all clear" command, which would erase all data on the phone, internal storage and all. The developer claims that the company has left behind the software intentionally, and he will come out with the application for rooting OnePlus devices without unlocking. OnePlus has been alerted to the exploit and CEO Carl Pei has confirmed that the company is looking into it.

Will it affect OnePlus 5T sales?

OnePlus' co-founder clarified that the company was collecting data to "better understand general phone behavior and optimize OxygenOS for a better overall user experience".

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