By Tony Winterburn • 03 May 2020 • 7:53
Gabi Cirlig, a seasoned Cyber Security analyst said “It’s a backdoor with phone functionality,” He was talking about his new Xiaomi phone…
Cirlig discovered that his Redmi Note 8 smartphone was watching much of what he was doing on the phone. That data was then being sent to remote servers hosted by another Chinese tech giant, Alibaba, which were ostensibly rented by Xiaomi.
The seasoned cybersecurity geek found a worrying amount of his behaviour was being tracked, whilst various kinds of device data were also being harvested, leaving Cirlig spooked that his identity and his private life was being exposed to the Chinese company.
When he looked around the Web on the device’s default Xiaomi browser, it recorded all the websites he visited, including search engine queries whether with Google or the privacy-focused DuckDuckGo, and every item viewed on a news feed feature of the Xiaomi software. That tracking appeared to be happening even if he used the supposedly private ‘incognito’ mode.
The device was also recording what folders he opened and to which screens he swiped, including the status bar and the settings page. All of the data was being packaged up and sent to remote servers in Singapore and Russia, though the Web domains they hosted were registered in Beijing.
Security agencies from all around the world are checking the devices to see if they pose a national security threat and if so they will be withdrawn from the market.
Huawei equipment also under scrutiny
So far, the US and Australia have banned Huawei from providing equipment for their 5G networks, while Canada’s relationship with the firm is under review. There is also concern among European telecoms network operators, with some considering removing Huawei’s equipment. BT, for example, has removed Huawei equipment from key parts of its 4G network.
Share this story
Subscribe to our Euro Weekly News alerts to get the latest stories into your inbox!
By signing up, you will create a Euro Weekly News account if you don’t already have one. Review our
Share your story with us by emailing [email protected], by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page www.facebook.com/EuroWeeklyNews
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Download our media pack in either English or Spanish.