Chinese smartphone stealing money from people in underdeveloped nations

tecno w2 money stealing malware

The digital world will always be susceptible to security threats. Data theft, hacks, and whatnot. Moreover, with the increase in the number of smartphone and internet users, these threats are only going to increase. American, Russian, and Chinese tech firms are usually at the forefront regarding cyber-security issues. And while the world is busy determining the potential spying by Huawei phones, another Chinese smartphone manufacturer is already making headway. Reports from Secure-D and BuzzFeed News suggest that Tecno W2 phones come infected with money stealing malware out-of-the-box.

Basically, these out-of-the-box malware steals money from customers by making unwanted transactions. The Triada and xHelper software are the main culprits here. Not only do they bug users by creating those irritating pop-up ads, but they also quietly download other apps. And then subscribe users to the app’s paid services. As result customers are left paying extra unwanted bills. 

This malware is especially troubling people in African countries such as Egypt, Ghana, and South Africa. However, the device has also been sold in Indonesia and Myanmar. Thus, users, there are at a risk too. Secure-D stated that it had blocked 844000 malware transactions between March-December 2019 alone.

Tecno’s Statement

Well, the statement basically comes from Transsion Holdings, the company behind the Tecno Brand. They have laid the blame on a vendor in the supply chain process. However, they have refrained from naming that particular vendor.

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The company even went on to say that they had already resolved this issue. The fixes for Triada were done in March 2018 whereas for xHelper it was done in late 2019. However, Secure-D claims that it was blocking those softwares in Tenco W2 until April 2020. 

Chinese smartphone manufacturers are already being portrayed as a threat to the digital world. And this malware issue in Tecno W2 smartphones is not helping in the cause. While there is no evidence of malicious intent from Transsion itself, this issue nonetheless hampers the image of Chinese smartphone manufacturers.

Tecon is a brand that appeals to low-income buyers in underdeveloped nations. So, they should look towards fixing these issues as soon as possible. Because customers in those countries might not have a better alternative than Tecno W2.