updated 01:44 pm EDT, Fri May 18, 2012
ZTE Score vulnerable to hardwired backdoor exploit
ZTE acknowledged today that its Score handset has a security flaw: a hardwired password that allows anyone with knowledge of it to access any handset. As Reuters reports, the company is currently working to patch the phone's vulnerability. Some contend that the security flaw extends to other ZTE models, including the Skate.
The vulnerability first emerged this week in anonymous postings on pastebin.com, a code-sharing website. The postings revealed that a hardwired password existed on the Android-powered handset. Anyone with knowledge of the hardwired password could use it to bypass any user-set security measures, gaining complete access to the phone.
ZTE maintains that the password was intended as a means of updating the phone's software. The company assures owners of the handset that it is hard at work developing a security patch, which will be delivered as an over-the-air update to affected handsets.
The news could deal a serious blow to ZTE's image at a time when the company is trying to improve its brand in order to compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung. ZTE recently announced plans to sell 100 million handsets worldwide, but its image in the United States has been tarnished in part by accusations that the company sold embargoed US computer equipment to Iran.