OnePlus phones sold with root exploit backdoor

OnePlus phones sold with root exploit backdoor

Some of OnePlus devices come with EngineerMode APK app pre-loaded on them, which reportedly acts as a backdoor, giving people root access without the need for unlocking the phone. While the company eventually reversed course on the data collection, another discovery has been made in the software of OnePlus phones.

The application in question is called 'EngineerMode, ' which is meant to be used in factories to confirm that the device is working properly.

A developer recently discovered that an app installed on OnePlus devices (OnePlus 3, 3T, 5 according to Android Police) called "EngineerMode".

The Engineer Mode APK is capable of diagnosing Global Positioning System, run automated tests, check root status among other things. One developer found an application intended for factory testing, and through some investigation and reverse-engineering, was able to obtain root access using it.


Root implies to the highest degree of access to an Android operating system that is usually deployed to safeguard the privacy of the user. However, it can be exploited to enable backdoor rooting. However, it also holds a backdoor which is capable of root access, even if the device has not been unlocked. While the risk is low since enabling root requires ADB, it still poses a threat to users.

Robert Baptiste, a freelance security researcher who goes by the name Elliot Alderson on Twitter after the Mr. Robot TV show character, found the tool on a OnePlus phone and tweeted his findings Monday.

OnePlus did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In the meantime, you should probably avoid installing any sketchy-looking apps. If it's as widespread as it appears to be, there's a good chance you'll see a software update removing EngineerMode.

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