OnePlus 6 security flaw could let intruders break into device

oneplus retail store in shanghai
People line up outside the OnePlus retail store to buy a Kevlar version of the OnePlus 2 smartphone in Shanghai, China on 8 August 2015 Marc Yeo/OnePlus

OnePlus 6 has been the hottest topic in the gadget industry. The 2018 flagship by one of the most discussed smartphone brands had been a head-turner even before its release and its demand outgrew most expectations post-launch. While everyone's talking about how great its software and performance is, OnePlus 6 also appears to have a serious security threat.

According to XDA Developers, researcher Jason Donenfeld of Edge Security discovered a major flaw in the OnePlus 6 smartphone that could let anyone with physical access to the device gain unrestricted access to the device.

As per the report, OnePlus 6 could be flashed with any other firmware even when the bootloader is locked. This lax security loophole allows intruders to install custom recoveries such as TWRP and gain root access. With that, there will be no restrictions on using the device.

The security flaw has already been reported to the OnePlus security team, and they're said to be working on a fix via a software update soon. There's no timeline on when the fix will arrive, but the company is currently rolling out OxygenOS 5.1.6 update so the next OTA update (possibly OxygenOS 5.1.7) could include the fix for this loophole. Here's what a OnePlus spokesperson said, according to XDA: "We take security seriously at OnePlus. We are in contact with the security researcher, and a software update will be rolling out shortly."

As threatening as the OnePlus 6's vulnerability appears, there's little reason to panic. In order to gain unrestricted access to a device by flashing a custom ROM, an intruder needs to gain physical access to the phone and it has to be connected to the PC at least once.

Unless you lost your smartphone or someone steals it, there's no reason to worry about this security flaw. But it's a good reason to keep your OnePlus 6 close.

OnePlus has been applauded for its swift rollout of software updates and constantly focusing on users' feedback. The most recent OxygenOS 5.1.6 for OnePlus 6 includes several improvements for users, with the most important ones being front Portrait mode with studio light-like flash effect, battery percentage view on the screen and more.