ROTechnica
Malware

Pre-installed Malware Found On Android Phones In Africa, including SA

An anti-fraud company known as Upstream has recently discovered 53,000 handsets sold in Africa with pre-installed malware.

The phones have been identified as Tecno, the Chinese brand which is one of the top three brands in Africa at the moment. 

The malware known as Triada uses dangerous code called xHelper to sign the unsuspicious user up for subscription services in the background.

The subscription consumes the user’s paid airtime, which is a widespread subscription and other digital services payment means in Africa.

After a thorough inquiry into the situation, it was established that over 200,000 Tecno handsets were showing questionable activity and exploiting some of the most unsuspecting users not just in Africa but the world.

The affected African countries are Egypt, Ghana, Ethiopia, Cameroon, and South Africa. A sad statement was made by Geoffrey Cleaves, head of Upstream’s Secure-D platform.

He said that the presence of pre-installed malware on handsets bought by typically lower-class households should give you an idea of what the industry is currently up against.

Meanwhile, Tecno Mobile says that the presence of malware on its phones is an old issue that has been solved way back in 2018.

However, with this new development, it is glaring that the brand whose parent company is Transsion Holdings has a lot more to do to bring an abrupt end to this problem. 

Earlier this year, it was also discovered that similar malicious code was present on phones given by the government to needy families in the United States.

This is a great source of concern and we sincerely hope that issue is eradicated as soon as possible.

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