Amazon halts sales of Blu smartphones over privacy concerns

US budget smartphone maker Blu has been suspended from selling its devices on Amazon, according to a recent report by CNET. This is due to a “potential security issue” within the devices. The move came after security firm Kryptowire demonstrated back in November 2016 how software in Blu smartphone discreetly collected SMS and other private data, and sent them to servers in China, all without the permission of the user. In light of the issue, Blu requested the software maker, Shanghai Adups Technology, to disable the functionality.

Amazon halts sales of Blu smartphones over privacy concerns

Kryptowire further found out that Adups, through the Blu R1 HD, continued to transmit data from users’ phones, sending them over to a Command & Control (C&C) server. This was reportedly capable of taking screenshots, recording the screen, making calls, and installing more apps.

“Because security and privacy of our customers are of the utmost importance, all BLU phone models have been made unavailable for purchase on until the issue is resolved,” Amazon announced in a statement to CNET.

It was one of the participants for Amazon’s “Prime Exclusive Phones” program, which offered large discounts on phones, in exchange for displaying ads and offers on the lock screen. The smartphone maker has now been taken off this program, but Blu is reputedly working to bring back its products on Amazon.

The Brand is popular within Latin America and parts of the US, where the company is headquartered. It has released various Android devices and a number of Windows phones.


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