Blu is well known for providing affordable unlocked handsets with moderate hardware across the US and Latin America. Now there is news that the US-based security Kryptowire has discovered firmware in the Blu phones that beamed across the user’s text messages, call history and contact lists and sends this device information to the server in Shanghai, China without the permission or knowledge of the user. The report also said that it also allowed for remotely installing applications on the device and collects the location data. All this happened when Blu used a third party application to roll their OTA updates to its users who are from a Chinese company called Shanghai Adups Technology which also claims that ZTE (update below) and Huawei are among its big clients.
Adups Technology uses tools to collect data from users Phone and sends it back to its servers for the customer support to identify the messages and calls. It has developed this custom software for a separate Chinese device manufacturer, and Blu has picked up the same to roll out its update to its handsets in the US. It is also said that around 1,20,000 handsets are affected by this and Blu has told that it was not aware of this issue until it was reported by Kryptowire. Blu has also claimed that it has identified the software and removed it and stated to New York Times that Adups assured to destroy all the data which got collected.
With this incident, Blu will lose its reputation that it has been building from few years. We need to see how many will discontinue using the handsets from Blu and how many will be retaining them. Recently Blu announced Blu Studio XL 2 smartphone with a 6-inch display and before that there were devices like Blu Studio G Plus, Blu Vivo 6 and Blu Studio G Max. The Blu Studio XL 2 is powered by a MediaTek MT6737 Quad-core processor clocked at 1.3 GHz that is coupled with Mali 720 GPU and 2GB RAM. There is a 13-megapixel Camera with f/2.2 aperture, Autofocus, and Dual LED Flash which is can recording videos at 1080p resolution at 30 frames per seconds.
On the front, there is a 5-megapixel camera with LED Flash to enhance the video calling and selfies. Moreover, there is a 4900 mAh battery on the back which is non-removable which will give 72 hours of standard usage and 30 days on standby. Well, do you use any of the handsets from Blu? Did you update it any recently? Comment in the section below and stay tuned to Phoneradar for more.
Update: Below is an official statement from ZTE regarding the above mentioned report.
We confirm that no ZTE devices in the U.S. have ever had the Adups software cited in recent news reports installed on them, and will not. ZTE always makes security and privacy a top priority for our customers. We will continue to ensure customer privacy and information remain protected.