ZTE confirms security hole in U.S. phone

May 18, 2012

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Categories: Old News

Source: Jeremy Wagstaff and Lee Chyen Yee, Reuters

ZTE Corp, the world’s No.4 handset vendor and one of two Chinese companies under U.S. scrutiny over security concerns, said one of its mobile phone models sold in the United States contains a vulnerability that researchers say could allow others to control the device.

The hole affects ZTE’s Score model that runs on Google Inc’s Android operating system and was described by one researcher as “highly unusual.”

“I’ve never seen it before,” said Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder of cybersecurity firm, CrowdStrike. The hole, usually called a backdoor, allows anyone with the hardwired password to access the affected phone, he added.

ZTE and fellow Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturer, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, have been stymied in their attempts to expand in the United States over concerns they are linked to the Chinese government, though both companies have denied this.

Most such concerns have centered on the fear of backdoors or other security vulnerabilities in telecommunications infrastructure equipment rather than in consumer devices.

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