Surprisingly, the phones issued by the US government to those working for State approved assistance programs and low-income people are coming preloaded with Chinese malware says a survey conducted by a security company.
Yes, what you’ve read is right! And the survey was conducted by a team of experts from Malwarebytes and points fingers at Assurance Wireless.
Factually speaking, Assurance Wireless offers free Android phones to low-income people and those assisting the government in social service programs with a privilege of unlimited talk, unlimited text messaging service, and a 2GB limit data utilization facility per month.
As all this is being done through the Federal Lifeline Assurance Program, Assurance Wireless has turned into one of the biggest and fastest-growing companies- now owned by Virgin Mobiles.
However, last month a team of experts have inspected the cell phones being supplied by Assurance Wireless and came to the conclusion that all of them come pre-installed with Chinese apps where some are also laced with Adups malware. Furthermore, most of the devices supplied to the benefit holders are manufactured in China.
Adups is known for its notorious behavior where it is seen transmitting call data, location data, and app data to remote Chinese servers for every 76 hours.
What’s interesting in this whole saga is that the same cyber threat was highlighted in 2016 by a team of security researchers from Kryptowire. But for reasons, this cyber threat story received very poor coverage from the media and in the eyes of the officials.
Note– The cost of the services, data plans, call rates to vary from state to state in North America.