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I am using NoRoot Firewall to block Internet access to some apps. It recently notified me that this/these app(s) are attempting to access the Internet:

screenshot of app(s) described above - text below
"Android System,BatteryWarning,com.media tek,Common Data Service,EM SIM ME Lock,FotaProvider,Fused Location,Input Devices,Key Chain,MTK Thermal Manager,Permission Control,Scheduled power on & off,ServiceMenu,Settings,Settings Storage,Video Favorites,Voice Unlock,[non-English characters…]"

I'm not exactly sure why it needs to connect to the Internet. What will I miss if I block this from connecting to the Internet? I am using a Lenovo A536 phone. Android version is KitKat 4.4.2.

  • I don't use NoRoot Firewall but I use more fine grained AFwall+. And inside it, I never allowed Android System entry or the likes of mentioned in the picture. That said, I didn't face any hiccups at all using internet in any app(including Google Apps). On a side note, because this app is a firewall and not some permissions restricting app, you can always test blocking internet for entries in pending access in your app and see if everything works fine. :-) – Firelord May 14 '15 at 7:39
  • Also, the last time I used this app I saw apps in the logs entries which were restricted from connecting to the internet. They were marked in red and individual URLs were associated with them. I guess it was the location they were trying to access. You can see it by yourself as well. – Firelord May 14 '15 at 7:42
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With respect to MediaTek's "Common Data Service" I worry about it. Reviewing what rights it has in... [Menu button -> Manage Applications -> Common Data Service] shows that it has all rights, basically.

And I've just setup the ADB (Android Debug Bridge), connected my phone to my computer and ran the following command from a prompt:

adb shell am start -a android.intent.action.MAIN -n com.mediatek.connectivity/com.mediatek.connectivity.CdsInfoActivity

...and it brings up the app on my phone. It's a menu with the following entries:

  • CDS Information
  • Wi-Fi Information
  • Radio Information
  • Network Utility
  • Multiple APN
  • Connectivity Testing
  • MTU Configuration
  • Socket Information
  • PS data control

There's a wealth of information going on here. The "Network Utility" appears to be able to get/set a variety of attributes to include running local shell commands the user enters.

It kind of looks like a backdoor.

The bad thing about this is that you can't launch it normally using the various methods given to a user. The Launch button is grayed out in the interface under Manage Applications, for example. So if this isn't a tool for users then this must be for MediaTek themselves who made the processor.

Weighing in here only against "Common Data Service" I would say that if it's trying to reach out to the Internet then that's a bad thing. DENY.

As for "MTK Thermal" they're probably trying to send themselves temperature data, in theory, about the products in the field (or so we could hope). OUCH... look at the list of rights this program has. Again, DENY.

Same goes for com.mediatek. DENY.

Unknown UNICODE string of Mandarin. DENY.

Things like Key Chain are worrisome in that you have to go fetch the public key in this sort of cryptography. But then again, what's to prevent them from uploading your credentials to some server out there? Hard to suggest in this case.

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You can acces the common data service menu on any MTK device.

You can open MTK engineer mode first by dialing the number *#*#3646633#*#* or by using the app MobileUncle Tools.

In engineer mode, go 1st tab to the right and click CDS information.

I am not an expert, but with CDS and MTK engineer mode you can use all kinds of backdoors.

I discovered it yesterday and I'm still searching for more information about it.

EDIT:

I think internet permission is required for the NETWORK UTILITY, where you have buttons with 'ping test', 'scan network', 'Wi-Fi API' and more.

You can probably mess your phone with it too, because in engineer mode you can even overclock your device and run shell commands.

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I observed that on my device Lenovo A3000 log_other_mode increases proportionally with Switch Off time when charging, about 4 MB/hour. Important to know: I dampened the two micros with PlayDo..now they creating just continious 'cracks' like a geiger counter.

You can erase log_other_mode to its bone to 4 kB

There is no file size change, when switched on.

I draw following conclusion:

  • The MTK Thermal Manager is a backdoor

  • It becomes active when you root your device and install a firewall, me, DroidWall

  • From now on the MTK Thermal Manager logs the audio, GPS?, acceleration sensor? (for camera/video the file seems to be to small) when the Android device is 'switched off & charging'

  • The data are compressed and encrypted in log_other_mode

  • log_other_mode sneaks out when you are Online

protected by Community Jun 12 at 14:14

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