Spyware is not unusual but it’s something that we don’t want to deal with. It is frowned upon especially if we’re talking about mobile devices. We’ve shared with you numerous reports about different spyware discovered but the latest we learned involves the No. 1 mobile OEM in the world. A recent post on Reddit alleges that there is Chinese spyware pre-installed on all Samsung phones and tablets. According to u/kchaxcer , this particular spyware cannot be removed unless ADB is used.
This is no ordinary spyware because it communicates with Chinese servers. The Redditor is saying there is a storage scanner under the Device Care section that is developed by Qihoo 360. The latter is said to be a shady Chinese data-mining/antivirus company.
All Samsung smartphones and even tablets have this. The post was meant to warn Samsung consumers. Feel free to check Settings> Device Care to see for yourself. There is a storage cleaner there “powered by 360”. While it appears like an ordinary program by a regular company, the redditor is saying the company has been notorious for its dirty activities and tricks in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. It’s known in Chinese Internet communities for its misconduct.
At this point, it is easy to brush off the allegations but you can find reports on the web about 360 and its partnership with the Chinese government. There was once a report that 360 would be providing big data insights to the government. 360 can do this because of the Storage scanner on the phone having full access to a phone user’s data.
Device Care can’t be disabled. You need ADB or other similar tools to do so. All this information can be considered as speculations for now but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Samsung must have an explanation and the public deserves one.
Interestingly, Samsung Korea replied that it doesn’t use any function of the 360 Security app. What it does is outsource DB checking for unnecessary files like Junk Files. We’ll wait for any official statement from Samsung posted on a more proper channel. We’ll keep you updated.