Friday, June 19, 2015

Removing Malware and Bloatware from Lenovo K3 Note (K50-T5)

I’ve recently purchased a Lenovo K3 Note from Gearbest and it came with preinstalled malware and bloatware. Here are the things I had to do to bring the phone into a usable state.

Root it

Lot of the malware was preinstalled system apps which cannot be removed without root mode.

I’ve rooted using the CWM (ClockworkMod) method, installing the CWM recovery image then installing SuperSU. The KingRoot method should be easier but didn’t work for me.

Remove apps - Bloatware

I’ve used Titanium Backup because I wasn’t sure which app would break the phone if removed. I removed the following preinstalled apps (that I remember):

BSPTelephonyDevTool 1.0
DU Batter Saver 3.9.9
DU Speed Booster 1.4.0
Mcube
Mobile Assistant 3.0.4.0835
Power Manager 1.1.287.150113.c3631eb
SYNCit 4.0.54
Theme Center 2.70… UPDATE: needed for ringtone selection
User Experience 4.4.1

Remove apps – Malware that was display popup ads

The malware that was hijacking my browser was hidden in a modified YouTube app (this Android Adware was pretty hard to find). I simply uninstalled that using Titanium Backup and installed the correct YouTube app from the Play Store.

Remove apps – Virus and unofficial apps

The next step was to get rid of the virus, which was hidden in a modified Twitter app. The package name was com.twiter.android; see how it’s misspelled?

Unfortunately the infected Twitter app is a system app so cannot be uninstalled, but can be disabled. To do this, I connected the phone in USB debug mode to the computer and run an adb shell in root mode, and then disabled all unknown or unreliable packages:

./adb shell
su
pm disable com.twiter.android
pm disable com.skymobi.mopoplay.appstore
pm disable com.uc.browser.en
pm disable store.antivirus
pm disable com.cleanmaster.mguard_cn
pm disable com.android.dc
reboot

Things that cannot be uninstalled

I’ve tried to remove the SafeCenter as I have no idea what it does, but it removed the Apps menu from the System menu – so had to reinstall it. Luckily I made a backup with Titanium Backup before deleting it, so everything is back to normal.

Unfortunately the battery usage breakdown is either gone as well or was never installed in the System menu, but I can’t figure out which app I should reinstall to have it back.

Viber (or other app) doesn’t work after reboot

Lenovo by default disables auto starting of the apps so Viber won’t start the next time the phone is rebooted and as a result no messages or calls are received. To enable it, go to System Menu, Apps, Viber, Permission Management, and enable Auto-start.


Comments? Please let me know!

41 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Received a k80m last week which was loaded with malware (easylocker),amongst others. This is my first Chinese order and to say I'm pretty disgusted is an understatement. I did a lot of research to get the best phone at the best price and ultimately I'm here with a trojan-rid phone.As someone who doesn't really understand rooting it is going back to Gearbest. Now, why the hell are they sending out infected phones?

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    2. Received a k80m last week which was loaded with malware (easylocker),amongst others. This is my first Chinese order and to say I'm pretty disgusted is an understatement. I did a lot of research to get the best phone at the best price and ultimately I'm here with a trojan-rid phone.As someone who doesn't really understand rooting it is going back to Gearbest. Now, why the hell are they sending out infected phones?

      Delete
    3. It's actually not the manufacturer himself that puts the malware on there I believe, if I understood everything right. It's the reseller or someone else that's in the processes of getting it sold to you (I don't know if this means Gearsbest). You should definetely try to delete the malware. I had a K3 Note full of it too but managed to remove it and now I have nothing at all. No annoying popups in browsers or x apps loading up on my phone. What's cool about it though is that it comes prerooted (at least on my device) so it's ready for a rom (be careful which one you install though, often bugs, I haven't tried any yet).

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  2. Hi Adam, I'm having the same problem as you. Except I've hit a huge snag atm, the google play services has stopped working (i've tried everything on google to try fix it) and nothing seems to be working. The phone is pretty much useless without the play store, etc - if you have any ideas of how to fix it let me know.

    p.s. the phone came pre-rooted from gearbest... is that normal?

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    Replies
    1. That's not normal. I've ordered two of these phones (not from Gearbest) and they were NOT rooted.

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    2. I also got mine from gearbest and it came prerooted.

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  3. What are the process to root the phone, I've tried the once from xda and it didn't work.

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  4. What are the process to root the phone, I've tried the once from xda and it didn't work.

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  5. i'm having the same issue that's why i'm here today

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  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  7. Delete with root explorer those folders in system to get bloatware off device. Worked for me. Just reboot after and bye bye crap apps. Youtube and Google Music app were possible to delete in titanium backup.

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  8. Can you please share your theme center? I deleted mine with no backup.

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  9. can you please share your safe center i already deleted it without creating a backup

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  10. Seems like you missed a lot of bloatware or were these apps not installed on yours?

    Baidu Browser
    Black Hole
    "Browser"
    Bubbles
    Clean Master
    Live Wallpaper Picker
    MtkFloatMenu
    Music Visualizations Wallpapers
    MusicFX
    Phase Beam
    Photo Screensavers
    Smart Scene

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Morgan,
      how to remove these bloatware, my battery is draining
      Pls help

      Delete
  11. I did an antivirus scan and theme center seems to be infected but you cant delete it cos it allows you to choose the ringtone right?

    Any bright ideas?

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  12. I took the same steps: removing all bloatware but in the end I still wasn't happy with the phone's stock ROM. On YouTube there is a guy (RootJunky) showing how to install CWM and how to install a ROM after that with CWM. It's easy to do. I found a great Multilanguage rom (Limonchelo 5.1 MDSTeam Mod) on this page and this ROM really made me a very happy guy: http://forum.xda-developers.com/android/development/organized-thread-lenovo-k3-note-k50-t3158522 I have never had a cleaner and responsive phone:-) Everything just works now and no more Chinese characters and apps to bother about, and Lollipop 5.1 rocks!

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    Replies
    1. hi jacco, do u need to do this after removing bloatwares or you go straight to limonchelo?thanks

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    2. First install cw and supersu, after that go straight To limoncello

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    3. Is your mobile network affected via limoncello ROM? Somehow i am unable to catch any 4G network now!

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  13. Hello Jacco, did you find issues on LTE after installing the new ROM. Do you know if portuguese language is available in this ROM ?

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  14. My phone was rooted by gearbest and full of malware. Iinstalled a program that could uninstall system app but I uninstall something unrelated while trying to remove ads and now I have no access to my desktop on the phone :(. Everything else still works like I can go to settings and what not but I can't launch any apps. In setting I tried to factory reset the phone but I don't think it affect what I removed since after reset it still doesn't work. What a nightmare. I will try to install drivers to computer and flash the rom using CWD, hoping I don't need to do anything on the phone and can do everything from computer...

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  15. guys i have problem . icant root or update this phone .when i start root program i see this error .you dont have root/superuser acces on your device. how fix this problem

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  16. Hi Gamanivo, Purtuguese is present in 2 flavours: Brazil and Portugal. The only thing that does not work is the led. The rest is fully functional and looks and feels great

    regards,
    Jacco

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  17. Hi Leo, first have a look at videos of Rootjunky on YouTube, this will give you an idea of what to do, it is quite easy to root this phone

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  18. i am root K3 remove app from list buth sms and mesenger brake down, its work buth when want open mesage app break down.
    rest is ok , plz. help ..
    Zoran

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  19. By mistake I have removed bluetoothshare app using titanium backup, but unable to restore, pls suggest any quick remedy pls

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  20. my lenovo k3 note k50-t5 doesnt have any system updates, is my phone fake?..also i tried to root it rootjunky's way but after my phone turned off i cant locate it anymore in the computer eventhough my phone says fastboot..
    please help..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you bought it online, like China, it's probably fake. Me myself bought a fake Lenovo K3 Note from fastcardtech. I installed original Lenovo rom and it was bricked. Luckily, I found the original fake firmware from youtube and my phone is back from the dead. My problem with this fake K3 Note is there are lots of bloatware and "viruses" preinstalled. I am still trying to find a way to root it to remove the virus apps from the system.

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  21. After rooting and installing limonchelo 5.1 MDSteam Mod my LED do not work at all... could any1 help somehow, please ?

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  22. I too reboot my phone to remove malware applications and now my phone has got hang after every few minutes and restarted. Being frustrated wtih this phone, anyone can help to rectify this issue in Lenovo K3 Note.

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  23. Hello,

    I bought this phone in july of 2015 and when I realized that bloatware drained my battery from 100 to 30% in one night, I realized I had to do something. So I uninstalled with some kind of system app uninstaller and uninstall whatever bothered me the least. And I deleted the Theme Center and ever since wasn't able to change ringtone/wallpaper although I found a way to change wallpaper through another launcher.

    I have been on the searxh for the Theme Center app but when installing it doesn't work, or rather it says "Can't install" when trying to. Do you, or anybody reading this have an idea as to how to bring the Theme Center back, or at least know how to get the custom ringtone feature back, because I'm stuck with the default tone...

    Thanks in advance to for any help or advice!
    Passi

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  24. hey guys i bought my lenovo k3 note from to2c.com and it was already rooted and i uninstalled the theme center because i thought that it was just a market type app for themes but now i have a problem with the wallpapers and i can't find the same app what should i do..? :(

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  25. I have same problem ever since I bought it in 2015. I tried to install theme center apk's but none wanted to install. I haven't tried to reset my phone yet, but I don't think that would solve the problem. You can change wallpapers easily though. Install an app called "Backdrops" or any kind of wallpaper app you want and it works perfectly. The biggest problem that I couldn't solve was the ring tone. I can't change my ring tone and when I get a message (any kind) it only vibrate.

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    Replies
    1. thanks kenzo i reseted it but it didn't work beacause i used an app alled ''system app remover'' for rooted phones only and i just screw it up a little thanks for the app you mentioned. have you tried to tap on a song you have and press set as..?

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    2. Yeah I used the same app I believe. I've tried pretty much everything I could but nothing works. Cheap phone with good specs but with compromises too :d

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