Some Tecno Phones Are Reportedly Shipping With Hungry Money-stealing Malware

Pappi Hex

Some Chinese phones are reportedly shipping with malware to some countries around the world, a research from Secure-D and BuzzFeed News read.

According to the report, some low cost Tecno W2 phones are shipped with an out-of-the-box malware to steal money from unsuspecting customers.

The malware, Triada and xHelper, as per Malwarebytes analyst Nathan Collier explanation to BuzzFeed, is known to be insidious in its activities.

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The software is said to quietly download apps and subscribe to paid services without the users consent. This in turn, would cause the user(s) unexpected bills and as well heavy data consumption.

However, that doesn't stop there. Users are bombarded with annoying pop-up ads which interrupts chats and even phone calls. This malware can't be deleted from the phone even with a factory reset.

Transsion, the China-based company behind the Tecno brand, blamed the malware on an unnamed vendor in the supply chain process. According to the company, it said that it delivered fixes for Triada in March 2018 and xHelper in late 2019, though the issue is still present.

Mobile security service, Secure-D said that it blocked 844,000 transactions connected to preinstalled malware on Transsion phone between March and December 2019. Though there's no evidence of malicious intent on Transsion's part, Secure-D said it was still blocking the malware on Transsion phones through April 2020, and it may simply be dormant.

The Tecno W3 phones are said to have been shipped to several African countries including Egypt, Ghana, and South Africa. Some of the Tecno W3 devices also reached Indonesia and Myanmar.

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