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Bencey's Blog


Informing the world about the application of Technology.
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Post: China is installing spyware on tourists' phones

Welcome back to another blog post, Recently I have found an interesting article regarding china installing spywear onto tourists phones. This comes months after Huawei’s ban for apparently “Spying” on the US. You are able to read the full post Here

As Vice reports, tourists are being stopped at Chinese borders in the Xinjiang region and having their smartphones seized

Border guards then install an app called Fengcai or BXAQ, which proceeds to collect all personal information including text messages, calendar entries, phone contacts, call logs, and a list of the installed apps. All the data is then sent to a remote server for review.

Fengcai has been found to check the content against a list of 73,000 items flagged as being suspicious or worth further investigation. Some of these items are legitimate, for example, instructions on how to make weapons, but then the list also includes books written in Arabic, audio of the Quran being read, and documents relating to the Dalai Lama.

engcai was developed by Ninjing FiberHome StarrySky Communication Development Company Ltd. and then distributed by Chinese authorities. As you’d expect, neither is willing to talk about the use of spyware and forced smartphone seizures.

Im honestly not sure what to think about this. Personally I feel that if you have nothing to hide then whats the problem. The only problem that I would have a problem with is if this data gets saved forever, this could then cause problems. Earlier I covered a security breach where customs license plate readers got hacked and many users license plates and personal info got leaked. If something like this was to happen it would be worse since the data that got stored is personal information including text messages, calendar entries, phone contacts, call logs, and a list of the installed apps.

Im not 100% sure if this is correct but details such as bank details or passcodes could also get leaked which would be a Huge issue as the hackers would gain access to so many accounts and steal millions.

Thanks for reading

-Bencey