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Dirt-cheap Android tablets from Best Buy, Walmart, elsewhere found to ship with major security flaws

Published Nov 26th, 2014 7:15PM EST
Cheap Black Friday Android Tablets
Image: The Miller Group

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Many retailers are ready to offer buyers various interesting deals on smartphones and tablets this year on Black Friday, but not all products are safe for consumers, new research from security company Bluebox Labs reveals. Apparently, certain dirt-cheap Android tablets might come with major security vulnerabilities on board.

FROM EARLIER: Here are all the most annoying Android 5.0 Lollipop bugs – and how to fix them

“Bluebox Labs purchased over a dozen of these Black Friday ‘bargain’ Android tablets from big name retailers like Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Kmart, Kohl’s and Staples, and reviewed each of them for security,” the company wrote on its blog. “What we found was shocking: most of the devices ship with vulnerabilities and security misconfigurations; a few even include security backdoors. What seemed like great bargains turned out to be big security concerns. Unfortunately, unsuspecting consumers who purchase and use these devices will be putting their mobile data and passwords at risk.”

Obviously, these tablets mostly come from unknown manufacturers, and it’s likely most savvy Android users have never even heard of some of them.

According to a list of devices provided by Bluebox Labs, the following devices are not to be trusted, as they come with vulnerabilities out of the box:

  • $49.99 DigiLand from Best Buy
  • $39.99 RCA Mercury from Target
  • $39.99 Mach Speed Xtreme from Kmart
  • $49.99 Polaroid from Walgreens
  • $49.99 Zeki from Kohl’s
  • $39.99 Mach Speed JLab Pro from Staples
  • $49.99 Craig 7 from Fred’s Super Dollar
  • $49.99 Pioneer 7 from Walmart
  • $49.00 Nextbook from Walmart
  • $49.99 Ematic from Walmart
  • $69.99 RCA from Walmart
  • $47.32 Worryfree Zeepad from Walmart

The security company advises buyers to handle these particular models with extra care, and use them for “low-risk activities like simple gaming, media entertainment, and public web browsing.”

“We recommend that you avoid conducting online banking, making purchases or storing sensitive data on these devices – if you do, you will be putting your data at risk,” the company wrote.

More details about the kind of security vulnerabilities found on these ultra-affordable Android tablets are available at the source link.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.