Micromax Accused of Installing Unwanted Adware on its Smartphones

Micromax is hijacking customers Smartphones using a back door hole that allow automatic installation of adware in the background without the user’s knowledge or consent. The Indian smartphone maker is yet to refute the allegations only promising to look out for possible “potential gaps” in its products.

If you are an Android smartphone user, you probably have learned to put with several useless pre-installed apps in your phone which lie idle clogging the storage space and consuming valuable data with every update. Well, Micromax’ android OS smartphones users  not only have bloatware to deal with, but also irritating advertising Apps that repeatedly install themselves without the user’s consent, according to a recent post on Reddit by a disgruntled Micromax smartphone user.

The user, who owns a Micromax Canvas Fire A093 smartphone device accused the Indian Smartphone maker of secretly installing application on his smartphone clogging the internal memory and consuming valuable 3G data while downloading. Considering that the Canvas smartphone is low end device with a mere 2.2 storage capacity, it would be insensible for Micromax to create a backdoor hole in its devices to allow  installation of large Apps such as Napdeal, Newshunt and Amazon India without the users’ knowledge or consent.

“These aren’t exactly light apps, mind you – they’re at least 7-8 MB each. Space is really short. I need to uninstall games if I want to update WhatsApp, it’s that bad. Meanwhile, looks like Micromax is installing apps without my permission, using up precious space and my 3G! Apps reappear after uninstalling them this is ridiculous!” says the user on Reddit adding that the Apps keeps on generating notifications every now and then.

Apparently, the problem lies with the software update App which is responsible for handling automatic software updates on Android smartphones.  An independent investigation by XDA developers revealed that Micromax has replaced the Standard Google OTA software updater with its own crafty software update known as FWupgrade.apk that responsible the bugging Ads on its Smartphones.

The Software updater is a brain child of a Chinese tech firm Adups and has features such as app push service, data mining and advertising capabilities. Notably, the data mining process is complex one and it’s difficult to determine the volume of information Micromax is siphoning from users’ smartphones.

Like with generic System Apps the third party software updater cannot be uninstalled or disabled as it automatically restarts and reinstalls if you attempt to disable or uninstall it. According to XDA developers the only way to disable the software updater is by rooting the smartphone which is very complex process for a standard smartphone user.

Micromax is yet to issue an official statement on the matter but in an exclusive statement to Technology Personalized, the Indian smartphone maker said, “Customer Satisfaction is Paramount to Micromax and therefore we have taken immediate steps to put constant surveillance across our systems. We are closely monitoring to plug any unknown potential gap and provide a resolution at the earliest.”

The statement in itself is vague and does not offer any reprieve to its customers. We hope the Indian smartphone maker will fix the “unknown potential gaps” in its product before users jump ship to other brands.

Ali Qamar Ali is an Internet security research enthusiast who enjoys "deep" research to dig out modern discoveries in the security industry. To be frank and honest, Ali started working online as a freelancer and still shares the knowledge for a living. He is passionate about sharing the knowledge with people, and always try to give only the best.
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