I've just got a new Samsung Galaxy Y from Unique Mobiles (http://www.uniquemobiles.com.au). The package was still intact when I picked it up and the "don't accept this if this sticker is broken" sticker was still good as new. Now I'm new to the Android operating system (coming from an iPhone) and when I got my phone it had superuser already on it. I had no idea what it was so I just left it alone. Until a friend from school asked if I had rooted it, I didn't have a clue to what he was saying. He said the only way I can get it is by rooting it. I haven't given my phone to anyone to do anything with it, I've been the only one to use it and I'm 100% sure I haven't rooted it.

Now my big question is How did it get there? What does it do? Has anyone else had the same thing happen to them?

I was also just wondering about some more information on superuser, rooting and ways that it could have gotten onto my phone.

  • Look here for info on what rooting is. – gary Jul 25 '12 at 12:20
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    Rooting is not a taboo for few operators. May be your operator has rooted. Check with others who purchased from same store/operator. – Narayanan Jul 25 '12 at 12:31
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    On can install the SuperUser or SUElite apps without root (they are updaters and settings manager for rooting), root is actually the su binary on the system. Those apps will tell you it's missing if it's not there and you try to run them. – ewanm89 Jul 25 '12 at 12:39
  • My advice: Do some forensics. Look up the file date of the su binary (/usr/xbin/su with mine) and see if its rather recent or not (the firmware is fixed several weeks/months before). Maybe you get some info. Install Terminal Emulator and run the following command: ls -l /system/xbin/su. Mine came with my mod and has this: -rwsr-sr-x root root 384512 2008-08-01 14:00 su (note the 2008 date suggests it's preinstalled here). Maybe it got refurbished and the former customer had rooted it. If so, return it. – ce4 Jul 25 '12 at 13:19
  • I have the Superuser app on my Moto G, but I did not root it. I got it through an app called Motorola Migrate. I migrated info from a previous rooted device to this phone and all the apps simply came over. – abhi Dec 18 '13 at 21:36

I'd check with the operator, and see if they root their phones by default (it's a perfectly valid thing to do, it's just that the big operators tend to be control freaks). If they don't know what you are talking about, worry and ask them for help figuring out what's going on.

I'd also go into SuperUser and check it's preferences. Since you don't know how it got there, you don't know what apps might be doing. Turn on it's logging (if not already enabled) and set 'Automatic response' to 'prompt'. That way you'll have a log of what's using it, and you'll be prompted for anything that wants to do things with root access. The idea is that if something asks for root access and you don't know why, just deny it and see what breaks - very few apps should need root access, so it shouldn't come up very often.

If logging is already enabled, then you can review the log to see if any apps have been using root access.

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There are several 'root checker' apps on Play Store which do nothing but check to see if your phone is rooted or not.

The simplest thing to do would be to try one (or more) of those and find out whether or not the phone is rooted or if you just have a copy of the SuperSU app on the phone. Just because it is there doesn't necessarily mean your phone is rooted.

If it is that's fine. Root isn't a bad thing. It provides alternatives which are not otherwise available.

The larger carriers don't like it because misuse can make a phone much harder to diagnose if it screws up for some reason, at least for their techs. That's why it tends to be a warranty issue.

If the people who sold you the phone are the ones who rooted it then they shouldn't have any issues with warranty.

If the phone isn't rooted after all then just uninstall the SuperSU app. It isn't doing anything.

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It's nice to have a phone rooted (Geeksphone and maybe others do this by default?), you can use firewall apps and Titanium backup, and other system apps.

Superuser lets you restrict what apps can be root.

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