September 30, 2020

Transsion launches cheap Android devices for the African market with pre-installed malware

2 min read

The little-known smartphone manufacturer, Transsion is the largest smartphone manufacturer in the African market. The company quickly occupied the African market by manufacturing extremely inexpensive Android phones.

Earlier, Transsion had also landed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and became a listed company. Although the market data was good, the cheap Android devices of Transsion were found to be malware.

According to the analysis of the Upstream security company, the Tecno W2 mobile phone under Transsion has a well-known malware. The pre-installed malware cannot be deleted and will steal sensitive data from banking applications, intercept chats/direct messages from messengers or social media platforms and also ensue cyber espionage.

Transsion explained that there was a problem with the pre-installed malware in the supply chain, but it seems that until now, Transsion has not completely solved the pre-installed malware problem.

Android devices malware

At first, some users found out that the tariff of the Transsion’s Android device they bought was abnormal. The price of Transsion W2 was only 30 US dollars, which is really cheap for African users.

Transsion also quickly occupied the African market with its low-price strategy. However, the problem of the pre-installed malware stealing user account balances has attracted the attention of security companies.

The analysis shows that Transsion W2 devices are pre-installed with programs such as Triada and xHelper at the factory, and these programs can not uninstall and delete from the devices.

Tracking operation found that these programs will consume the user’s data traffic in the background, and will automatically subscribe to certain value-added services to consume the user’s mobile phone account balance.

After the security company reported to Transsion, it was confirmed by the company. Transsion admitted that the model was pre-installed with malicious software in the supply chain