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HTC Phones May Be Leaking User Data Through Internet-Connected Apps

by Killian Bell | October 3, 2011October 3, 2011 5:00 am PDT

HTC is famous for its extensive range of (mostly) impressive Android-powered smartphones, and so it’s no wonder that the Taiwanese company is one of the most popular handset vendors. It may not be so popular, however, when you discover that your snazzy new HTC handset may be leaking your personal information through internet-connected applications.

According to researchers Artem Russakovskii, Justin Case and Trevor Eckhart, the HTC Evo 3D and the HTC Thunderbolt — among a number of other HTC handsets — may be leaking private information from your device that includes text messages, location data, system logs, and address book details.

On these two handsets in particular, any internet-connected application can currently make a single “android.permission.INTERNET” request and gain access to all kinds of personal data that none of us would like to have leaked from our handset.

According to TechRadar, it’s all thanks to a recent update that introduced a script for collecting user data that enables HTC to better troubleshoot your handset. The script became a concern shortly after the update went live when it was claimed that HTC was using it to track its users. HTC then issued a statement to explain the real reason for the script, however, it seems users were right to be concerned:

The 3.5MB log file exposes details like CPU info, file system logs, a list of installed apps and permissions, battery info and status as well as the location data, address book access and text message details.

Those who own HTC handsets will be pleased to know that the company has issued a statement to confirm that it is promptly looking into the issue:

“HTC takes our customers’ security very seriously, and we are working to investigate this claim as quickly as possible. We will provide an update as soon as we’re able to determine the accuracy of the claim and what steps, if any, need to be taken.”

Keep your eyes peeled for a software update from HTC very shortly. In the meantime, it doesn’t seem as though there is much you can do to protect yourself, other than using only trusted applications.

Are you concerned about what your HTC handset might be leaking?

[via TechRadar]


Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...

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