Barnes & Noble’s $50 NOOK Tablet Came Pre-Installed With Malicious ADUPS Software

Barnes & Noble debuted its $50 NOOK last month, but forgot to announce that it came with spyware pre-installed on its device. The new NOOK came with an ADUPS program that granted a third-party access to the device’s data and controls, according to Engadget. This means anyone could’ve wiped your personal information from your NOOK, if it had the ADUPS software pre-installed. The software can also read all of the data on that device including text messages, location info, phone calls and more.

ADUPS malware was also found in more than 120,000 BLU smartphones.

The reason why ADUPS was installed on the device is because of the MediaTek chipset. A report details that MeditaTek plans to protect malware apps similar to this from Google’s security scans. Barnes & Noble told 9to5Google that it’s working on an update that will remove the ADUPS from the $50 Nooks. ADUPS said it didn’t collect any “personal identifiable information or location data,” and that it didn’t plan to.

The NOOK Tablet is a $50 Android tablet running on Android Marshmallow with pre-loaded NOOK software, low-end specs and access to Google Play.

“NOOK Tablet 7” went on sale on Nov. 26. By that time, the device automatically updated to a newer version of ADUPS (5.5), which has been certified as complying with Google’s security requirements, when first connected to Wi-Fi. ADUPS has confirmed to Barnes & Noble that it never collected any personally identifiable information or location data from NOOK Tablet 7” devices, nor will it do so in the future,” Fred Argir, Chief Digital Officer said.

The update will be available to download in the next few weeks.

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