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Baidu app downloaded 6 million instances in the U.S. turns out to be leaking sensitive person information

Security scientists at Palo Alto Networks have identified that an app produced by Chinese enterprise Baidu is leaking sensitive knowledge about people.

It turns out that Baidu SearchBox and Baidu Maps, which have been downloaded more than 6 million instances in the US alone, are sending aspects this sort of as MAC tackle, mobile phone design, IMSI, IMEI, etc. to a server in China. Scientists have warned Google about the action of Android applications that have been taken out from the Play Retail outlet.

The Baidu app was gathering knowledge from the cellphone without the need of the user’s consent. Owing to the mother nature of the info gathered, people could be tracked on-line and targeted by cybercriminals. A stability researcher at Palo Alto Networks informed Google about the conclusions and notified Baidu by itself. Google responded to the “unspecified violation” by pulling the app from the retail store on Oct 28th.

Explaining the results, Palo Alto Networks says that some of the facts collected was:

  • Cellular phone model.
  • Display screen resolution.
  • MAC deal with of the mobile phone.
  • Provider (telecom company).
  • Network (Wi-Fi, 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G).
  • Android ID.
  • IMSI (Worldwide Mobile Subscriber Identification).
  • IMEI (Global Mobile Tools Identity).

Protection firm proceeds Say:

Some of this details, such as display screen resolution, is harmless, but info these kinds of as the IMSI can be applied to uniquely identify and monitor the consumer even if the consumer switches to a different phone to get the amount. The IMEI is a exclusive identifier for a bodily device that presents info these as day of manufacture and components requirements.

The IMSI uniquely identifies a subscriber in a mobile network and is commonly related with a cellphone SIM card that can be transferred in between products. The two identifiers can be utilised to keep track of and discover buyers in a mobile network.

Soon after that, the Baidu look for box was cleaned up and reappeared in the Participate in Retail outlet. Baidu Maps will be addressed equally and will quickly be readily available to Android consumers.

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