Is Barnes & Noble's Nook 7 Tablet Shipping With Stealthy Spyware Program?

Barnes & Noble's e-Book reader, the Nook Tablet 7
Reports are claiming that Barnes & Noble's latest Nook, the Nook Tablet 7, is shipping with data-gathering spyware.
Photo : Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

It has been recently found that the $50 Nook 7 tablets recently launched by Barnes & Noble's come pre-installed with the ADUPS spyware program that quietly sends user data to a third party.

Nook 7's Spyware

The Nook 7 tablets from Barnes & Noble went on sale in time for the holidays but reports are claiming that they are shipping with a data-gathering spyware. The tablets are not a partnership of Barnes & Noble with Samsung, as in however these tablets are outsourced products rather than a partnership with Samsung, as in previous years, but they are rather outsourced products to a third-party manufacturer.

The Barnes & Noble chief digital officer Fred Argir stated that the issue has been addressed and that Noon 7 tablets are safe to use. He added that the company is working on a software update in order to completely remove ADUPS from them.

According to CNET, the Noon 7 tablets run on Google's Android operating system. They would automatically update to a newer version of ADUPS when first connected to Wi-Fi. The ADUPS, while being considered by some security analysts as a spyware program, it has been certified as complying with Google's security requirements.

Argir assured the Nook 7 tablets' users that their devices never collected any location data or personally identifiable information and also won't do that in the future. He added that Barnes & Noble is currently working on an update that will become available in the next few weeks and it will completely remove ADUPS.

Barnes & Noble's Nook 7 tablets were launched with complete access to millions of magazines, books, and graphic novels.  But unfortunately, the gadget also comes with the unwanted spyware.

Previous ADUPS Issues

Linux Journal reported that the ADUPS firmware present on the $50 e-Reader monitors how the device is being used without the user's permission. The same spyware program was found recently in some Android Blu smartphones.

Last month, researchers discovered that the ADUPS program was sending Blu owners' texts to a server in China, according to PC Mag. Various reports were claiming that a large number of Android smartphones in the United States had been affected by the ADUPS spyware. The unauthorized data-gathering software is spying on users and sending data captured from the infected devices back to certain servers in China.

The software has been discovered by a security company called Kryptowire. The security experts from Kryptowire announced back in November that the spyware ADUPS was affecting not only BLU phones but also mobile devices from various different manufacturers, including ZTW and Huawei.

The ADUPS spyware program was reportedly sending data including location, call logs and text messages back to the servers belonging to the Chinese contractor of ADUPS. The manufacturers of the smartphone models affected moved to prevent the software from sending more details home.

The Digital Reader reported that ADUPS pushed out a fresh version that is claimed to no longer spy on users. But in the case of the Nook 7 tablets, it seems that the pre-installed spyware is an older version that still transmits data to China.

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