OEMs bake ‘System’ level apps into their devices all the time, by and large they’re quite useful, adding functionality lacking from the stock Android OS. Sony has had a backup and restore app for their devices for a while now, which allows you to backup and restore your files to the Sony Cloud. But it’s apparently been hacked overnight, with hacking group ‘HeArT HaCkEr Group’, now apparently in control of it.
As a system level app, it can’t be removed, and up until this morning the app was visible in Google Play, with a developer known as Nirav Patel Kanudo listed as the owner. Sony has understandably begun investigating the hack, with the app now removed the app from Google Play. In a statement, Sony said:
Sony Mobile takes the security and privacy of customer data very seriously. We are currently investigating these reports. More information will follow as soon as we have fully assessed the situation.
This isn’t the only sign of hacking with Sony overnight, with The Next Web reporting that Sony Pictures has been hacked. Apparently employees have received an image on their screens from a group calling themselves #GOP, demanding that their “requests be met”. A source within Sony advised The Next Web that the hack involved a single server, but has spread from there.
Not good times for Sony. We’ll have to wait and see what is happening with the Backup and Restore app, with Sony sure to issue a statement when they have completed their investigations. Until then, if you have the app on your phone, it’s advisable to not use it.
Sony has released a statement addressing the ‘hacked’ Backup and Restore issue :
It appears that an unauthorised 3rd party developer created an application using the same name and identifier as our “Backup & Restore” service, and uploaded it to Google Play.
As the app mirrored our ‘Backup & Restore’ service naming structure, it appeared as downloaded on some products within Google Play’s “My Apps”, when in fact it wasn’t actually installed. We don’t provide ‘Backup & Restore’ on Google Play – it is pre-installed on Xperia devices, with all version and maintenance updates handled directly through our Update Centre. This application posed no risk to users, but has since been removed from Google Play.