Malware Alert! Barnes & Noble’s Nook Contains Malware
Have you ever looked at something and thought it was too good to be true? Unfortunately, that seems to be the case with Barnes & Noble’s newest Nook. The newest version of the tablet, the NOOK 7, sold for $50 this holiday season. The price for the Android-powered tablet made it a perfect Christmas present for many people. However, the Nook malware rumors have been confirmed.
ADUPS ‘Firmware’ Infects NOOK 7
ADUPS is an Andriod based ‘firmware provisioning’ company based out of Shanghai, China. Recently, though, the company has been blacklisted by Google in the Andriod Compatibility Test Suite (CTS). The blacklisting followed shortly after the company was caught compromising BLU-phones in America. Over 120,000 BLU-phones in the U.S. had their call logs, SMS, contacts, and location transmitted to Chinese servers over a weak DES encryption. Luckily, BLU-phones was able to update their software and remove the ‘firmware’. Unfortunately for Barnes and Noble’s, though, their newest model of NOOK contains the same malware.
“The latest tablet from Barnes & Noble, the newly-released $49 BNTV450, has been found to include ADUPS. In the aftermath of the BLU data theft, ADUPS hostile data collection and control over Android may (or may not) be temporarily quelled, but harmful capability remains with the ADUPS agent. Devices running ADUPS should be considered under malicious control, and they should not be used with sensitive data of any kind.”
Unlike the case with BLU-Phones, the NOOK malware can’t simply be blocked. Part of this is caused by the MediaTek chipset installed to the devices. Because MediaTek often protects malware from Google’s security scans, it makes it nearly impossible for Google to block it.
Barnes & Noble’s is currently working on removing ADUPS from their NOOK software, but it could take a few weeks before the update is ready to be downloaded.