eScan – Total security solution, have recently come up with a study that shed light on the setbacks of Xiaomi smartphones. Undoubtedly, India has a dominant position in the Mobile Data User World and is about to surpass the US and become the second largest smartphone market after China. The number of mobile internet users in India is estimated to reach around 420 million by June 2017 with the rural India growing at a much higher rate than urban India says a report published by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) & market research firm IMRB. With the growing number of mobile users, there is a spurt in demand for latest mobile handsets. And, the latest report by Counterpoint media indicates that the Chinese phone maker Xiaomi with its MIUI OS based handsets has a 13 percent market-share in India, going by the number of devices shipped into the country.
However, a very few are aware of the laxity MIUI OS has about security. eScan warns Xiaomi users of multiple flaws in MIUI system apps which are capable of introducing unintentional vulnerabilities into end-user as well as security apps. Unlike other operating systems, MIUI OS by design has multiple security lapses. In particular, the MI-Mover App can override the application sandbox of the android OS thereby posing a significant threat to the installed apps.
Why it’s a concern for Xiaomi’s users? In the research, eScan found the following security loopholes that need to be addressed: 1. MI-Mover App overrides the application sandbox of the Android OS; 2. Any device-administrator app can be uninstalled without revoking its device-admin rights; 3. Unlike other smartphones, Xiaomi with MI-Mover can be cloned in few minutes without needing to root the device; 4. MIUI devices rather than deleting, hides the Work-Profile Admin app; 5. Not easy to delete the Work-Profile; and 6. Workspace profiles cannot be differentiated from the personal profile posing a serious challenge from the security point of view in Enterprise Mobility Management.
Fortunately, smartphones have become an integral part of our lives and enable us to become smarter individuals (or at least more informed). Hence, in order to ensure the safeguarding of interests and using a smartphone to its fullest potential, one needs to think/analysis the technical specifications before opting it.