Chinese smartphones loaded with money stealing malware


We all know that when it comes to manufacturing of cost effective mobile phones, no one can beat the Chinese companies, especially on price point. So, to all those who are interested in buying a low-cost china made smartphone, here’s a warning.

Tecno smart phones that are fondly sold on Amazon are hitting the news headlines for all wrong reasons. As per a security research conducted by Secure-D and promoted by BuzzFeed News, the Tecno W2 smart phones are being shipped with a malware that cannot be removed through a factory reset and has the potential to subscribe to paid services- stealing money from the user.

These budget smartphones are usually sold in countries like India, Pakistan, Egypt, Ghana, South Africa, Myanmar, Indonesia, Srilanka and South America along with some states in North America.

Researchers claim that the said company Chinese gadgets are being sold with Triada and xHelper software loaded onto them that silently subscribes to apps that offer paid services and consume data more than required- eventually drilling the pockets of the users in either way.

According to a source from Android Authority, the vendor has been selling the devices with Triada loaded onto them by default since March 2018 and xHelper in late 2019.

However, Tecno claims that it has tracked down the malware down to its supply chain and has obliterated from it from its shipping devices since mid 2018.

But Secure-D, the platform that detects and blocks most of the ad frauds claims that it has detected the malware still existing on the Tecno smartphones along with Transsion & Alcatel devices sold in markets like India, Brazil, Malaysia and Nigeria. The malware tracking firm also announced that it has blocked over 844,000 financial transactions made by pre-installed malware apps on Transsion phones between March- Dec’19.

Note- Tecno has reacted to the news and issued a press statement that it takes data security and products safety seriously and runs each manufactured smartphone through stringent security checks that includes OS integrity check and scans done by Google Play Protect, GMS BTS and Virus Total Test.

Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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