The phone and its “extensive” spyware presence was first noted by a German security firm called Gdata which said that the pre-installed malware looks like an app downloaded from the Google Play store, but does not act like one.
The phone, called the N9500 and built by a Chinese company called Star, sends user information back to China and has access to its camera and messages.
The only thing users see is an app with the Google Play Store icon in the running processes; other than that, the application is completely disguised… Unfortunately, removing the Trojan is not possible as it is part of the device’s firmware and apps that fall into this category cannot be deleted.”
eBay has confirmed the removal of listings.
“Due to reports that some Star 9500 smartphones are loaded with spyware,” it said. “eBay is not allowing the sale of these devices as a precautionary measure.”
Customers might be persuaded by the specifications on offer, as the handset is a quadcore number with a 5in screen, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage.
Source: The inquirer