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Amazon pulls sales of malware-laden Blu smartphones

(Image credit: Image Credit: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock)

Amazon has once again decided to suspend sales of the popular budget Android smartphone maker Blu as many of its devices came preloaded with spyware.

The Miami-based company has been suspended from selling its phones on the e-commerce site after cybersecurity experts at Kryptowire revealed that software on its devices was collecting sensitive user data and sending it to China.

The pre-installed software on Blu phones came from the Chiniese company Shangai Adups Technology and was found on several of the device manufacturer's smartphones.  The spyware leaves users vulnerable to remote takeovers, having their calls and texts recorded and other forms of discrete data collection. 

Amazon (opens in new tab) issued a statement to CNET regarding the spyware, saying: “Because security and privacy of our customers is of the utmost importance, all Blu phone models have been made unavailable for purchase on until the issue is resolved.” 

However, Blu has denied any wrongdoing and issued its own statement in which it stressed how the company “has several policies in place which take customer privacy and security seriously.” 

This is in fact the second time that the smartphone manufacturer has broken Amazon's marketplace rules and infringed upon US privacy regulations.  In October of last year, Kryptowire first found spyware from Adups on the Blu R1 HD.  This time though, the security firm found spyware on Blu's more expensive smartphones that collected both identification data as well as location data from cell tower IDs. 

There is always a risk involved when buying a budget smartphone and Blu (opens in new tab) users will likely think twice before trying to save on their next device. 

Image Credit: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock

After getting his start at ITProPortal and then working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches to how to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.