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Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. - Phones - Nairaland

Nairaland Forum / Science/Technology / Phones / Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. (1102 Views)

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Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by atheistandproud(m): 10:28pm On Aug 24, 2020
When Mxolosi saw a Tecno W2 smartphone in a store in Johannesburg, South Africa, he was attracted to its looks and functionality. But what really drew him in was the price, roughly $30 — far less than comparable models from Samsung, Nokia, or Huawei, Africa’s other top brands.

“They’re very attractive and appealing to your eyes,” Mxolosi, who asked for his last name not to be used to protect his personal safety, told BuzzFeed News. “Honestly, I was a Samsung fan but I said, ‘Let me try this new product.’”

It was another sale for Transsion, the Chinese company that makes Tecno and other low-priced smartphones, as well as basic handsets, for the developing world. Since releasing its first smartphone in 2014, the upstart has grown to become Africa’s top handset seller, beating out longtime market leaders Samsung and Nokia.

But its success can come at a price. Mxolosi, an unemployed 41-year-old, became frustrated with his Tecno W2. Pop-up ads interrupted his calls and chats. He’d wake up to find his prepaid data mysteriously used up and messages about paid subscriptions to apps he’d never asked for.

“It was expensive for me, and at some point I ended up not buying data because I didn’t know what was eating it up,” he said.

He thought it might be his fault, but according to an investigation by Secure-D, a mobile security service, and BuzzFeed News, software embedded in his phone right out of the box was draining his data while trying to steal his money. Mxolosi’s Tecno W2 was infected with xHelper and Triada, malware that secretly downloaded apps and attempted to subscribe him to paid services without his knowledge.

Secure-D’s system, which mobile carriers use to protect their networks and customers against fraudulent transactions, blocked 844,000 transactions connected to preinstalled malware on Transsion phones between March and December 2019.

Secure-D Managing Director Geoffrey Cleaves told BuzzFeed News that Mxolosi’s data was used up by the malware as it attempted to subscribe him to paid services. “Imagine how quickly his data would disappear if the subscriptions were successful,” he said.

Along with South Africa, Tecno W2 phones in Ethiopia, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia, and Myanmar were infected.

"Transsion traffic accounts for 4% of the users we see in Africa. Yet it contributes over 18% of all the suspicious clicks,” Secure-D Managing Director Geoffrey Cleaves told BuzzFeed News.

It’s the latest example of how cheap Chinese smartphones take advantage of the world’s poorest people. Current security concerns about Chinese apps and hardware have largely focused on potential back doors in Huawei’s 5G equipment. More recently, people have focused on how user data collected by TikTok could be abused by the company and the Chinese government. But an overlooked and ongoing threat is the consistent presence of malware on cheap smartphones from Chinese manufacturers and how it exacts a digital tax on people with low incomes.

A Transsion spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that some of the company's Tecno W2 phones contained the hidden Triada and xHelper programs, blaming an unidentified “vendor in the supply chain process.”

“We have always attached great importance to consumers’ data security and product safety,” they said. “Every single software installed on each device runs through a series of rigorous security checks, such as our own security scan platform, Google Play Protect, GMS BTS, and VirusTotal test.”

The spokesperson said Transsion did not profit from the malware, and they declined to say how many handsets were infected.

Michael Kwet, a visiting fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School who received his doctorate in South Africa, called the idea of Chinese-made phones extracting data and money from people living in poverty “digital colonialism.”

“If you have no disposable income, you're basically left with people preying on your data,” he told BuzzFed News. “The problem we have here is that we don't have a rational business model for a digital society.”

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/craigsilverman/cheap-chinese-smartphones-malware

3 Likes

Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by taiwosamwell(m): 10:47pm On Aug 24, 2020
Hmm. This table you're shaking ehn na only one leg remain oo

1 Like 1 Share

Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by Hakeem12(m): 10:50pm On Aug 24, 2020
From daylight robbery to background heists, transsion don craze grin grin grin

10 Likes 1 Share

Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by Madibah(m): 10:57pm On Aug 24, 2020
I'm using spark 4 ..
When I got the phone at first I was tired bcuz everything in the system advertisses something maybe in jiji or online games..

I knew it was a potential source of draining data..
Bullshit
Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by atheistandproud(m): 11:41pm On Aug 24, 2020
taiwosamwell:
Hmm. This table you're shaking ehn na only one leg remain oo

I cumming piss oh
Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by atheistandproud(m): 11:43pm On Aug 24, 2020
Hakeem12:
From daylight robbery to background heists, transsion don craze grin grin grin

I'm not surprised tho. I used Pouvoir 2 before. there's no way to turn off the ads. It was everywhere, even in the dialer app while you were making a call.

2 Likes

Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by primestreams: 1:26am On Aug 25, 2020
cheesy
Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by MJBOLT: 5:38am On Aug 25, 2020
experienced this sh1t before,the malware will install 3 to 4 apps within 5 minutes,each app will be at least 50 mb,sometimes your phone will just direct you to your browser for no reason and the sms subscription part is true,you will see dozens of failed subscription messages some even come as pop up messages asking you to subscribe to one game sh1t like that.next thing you know your data is finished,i used restrict background data to limit the access of the malware.
Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by theoneJabulani(m): 6:14am On Aug 25, 2020
Saw it on BuzzFeed yesterday, I wasn't surprised

4 Likes

Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by sunshineV(f): 6:28am On Aug 25, 2020
my sis hot 8 advertise anything once u turn on data

1 Like

Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by KrazyDave16(m): 7:48am On Aug 25, 2020
XOS defenders
Transsion keyboard warriors
Mediocrity justifiers
Thread spammers
"Rooting is a sin" babies

Where y'all at hmm

Oh right, they're not here yet. Bunch of clowns

9 Likes

Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by Karex81(m): 8:11am On Aug 25, 2020
I remember when I was using Tecno r5. the phone had
malware. Anytime I had my data on, it will be downloading other malware and showing ads all over the phone. Including porn ads, it's impossible to uninstall them since, the malware have gotten admin privileges. Since then I vowed never to use any transsion product and stick with known brands like Samsung, nokia etc.

The price you pay for using android is with your data.

3 Likes

Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by DONFRANSKID(m): 8:56am On Aug 25, 2020
All protocols due observed
Yes imagine your phone showing Maggi,indomie golden penny and milo ads and app installing on its own its feels awkward thank God I stopped t h at trash long time ago

1 Like

Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by atheistandproud(m): 9:12am On Aug 25, 2020
KrazyDave16:
XOS defenders Transsion keyboard warriors Mediocrity justifiers Thread spammers "Rooting is a sin" babies
Where y'all at hmm
Oh right, they're not here yet. Bunch of clowns
You really think they would show?
lol
Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by KrazyDave16(m): 9:27am On Aug 25, 2020
atheistandproud:


You really think they would show?

lol
Prolly holding a meeting on what comeback to use grin

4 Likes

Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by atheistandproud(m): 10:06am On Aug 25, 2020
MJBOLT:
experienced this sh1t before,the malware will install 3 to 4 apps within 5 minutes,each app will be at least 50 mb,sometimes your phone will just direct you to your browser for no reason and the sms subscription part is true,you will see dozens of failed subscription messages some even come as pop up messages asking you to subscribe to one game sh1t like that.next thing you know your data is finished,i used restrict background data to limit the access of the malware.

Exactly
Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by atheistandproud(m): 10:07am On Aug 25, 2020
KrazyDave16:
Prolly holding a meeting on what comeback to use grin
Maybe they'll accuse him of being a Xiaomi marketer.

3 Likes

Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by Jdesilentkiller(m): 2:28pm On Aug 25, 2020
I experienced this when I was using aTecno phone.. Not only the ads and annoying apps, a friend entered my picture gallery and was seeing hundreds of porn pictures, gifs etc which I had no idea how they got there. I am not even a porn addict and don't even have porn videos or pictures in my phone. The guy was just looking at me anyhow, though we use the opportunity to feed our eyes then delete them afterwards.
Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by KrazyDave16(m): 2:33pm On Aug 25, 2020
atheistandproud:


Maybe they'll accuse him of being a Xiaomi marketer.
That is one of the stalest comebacks but it cracks me up sometimes.
Any how sha...

1 Like

Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by FlipModeSquade(m): 4:40pm On Aug 25, 2020
If we talk now them go call us haters..
Meanwhile,them go be the first to say your device is full of ads..
Make I come and be going.. grin

Edoairways.. shocked

Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by atheistandproud(m): 5:05pm On Aug 25, 2020
Jdesilentkiller:
I experienced this when I was using aTecno phone.. Not only the ads and annoying apps, a friend entered my picture gallery and was seeing hundreds of porn pictures, gifs etc which I had no idea how they got there. I am not even a porn addict and don't even have porn videos or pictures in my phone. The guy was just looking at me anyhow, though we use the opportunity to feed our eyes then delete them afterwards.

Hope una eyes belleful?

Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by Flytime: 5:14pm On Aug 25, 2020
atheistandproud:



https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/craigsilverman/cheap-chinese-smartphones-malware

I can testify to what that man experienced...I have a tecno w2 at home ruined with ads until I factory resetted it,I installed few apps and it started again.
I can testify to x helper I don’t know about the other one...that apps keeps on reinstalling no matter how much you delete it and registers my number to 2 strange services on airtel,including smart number...one even took out of my airtime once and that prompted me to reset it and not install any third party app thinking it was from them not knowing it had to do with the phone.
X helper mysteriously use any data I buy on that phone to the extent I was scared to use it has hotspot thinking it could transfer malware to my main phone.

Now I only use it for calls and hotspot with no apps except those that came with it only because my phone will at least alert me of any suspicious activity.
Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by edoairways: 5:26pm On Aug 25, 2020
I don't know what the poster want to achieve with this however all the tecno phones I used never had the aforementioned problem. Most Chinese mobile phones aren't safe either so I don't understand why this post is coming up.
Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by Flytime: 5:30pm On Aug 25, 2020
KrazyDave16:
XOS defenders
Transsion keyboard warriors
Mediocrity justifiers
Thread spammers
"Rooting is a sin" babies

Where y'all at hmm

Oh right, they're not here yet. Bunch of clowns
their pilot just landed the plane bringing them.

4 Likes

Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by atheistandproud(m): 6:05pm On Aug 25, 2020
edoairways:
I don't know what the poster want to achieve with this however all the tecno phones I used never had the aforementioned problem. Most Chinese mobile phones aren't safe either so I don't understand why this post is coming up.

Oga this is from BuzzFeed.

I have a Pouvoir 2 sitting at home. Pouvoir is actually ok.

W2, W3 and Pop 2 are attacked by ads relentlessly. The barrage of ads sometimes freezes the phone and renders it unable to use for a certain period of time.
Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by edoairways: 6:21pm On Aug 25, 2020
atheistandproud:


Oga this is from BuzzFeed.

I have a Pouvoir 2 sitting at home. Pouvoir is actually ok.

W2, W3 and Pop 2 are attacked by ads relentlessly. The barrage of ads sometimes freezes the phone and renders it unable to use for a certain period of time.
I see
Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by Jdesilentkiller(m): 8:08pm On Aug 25, 2020
atheistandproud:


Hope una eyes belleful?
I find little joy watching porn... But the eyes gotta see what it had to see even if it doesn't enjoy it
Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by Jdesilentkiller(m): 8:12pm On Aug 25, 2020
atheistandproud:


Oga this is from BuzzFeed.

I have a Pouvoir 2 sitting at home. Pouvoir is actually ok.

W2, W3 and Pop 2 are attacked by ads relentlessly. The barrage of ads sometimes freezes the phone and renders it unable to use for a certain period of time.
Don't mind him.. He knows the truth and you of all people have known that for long. The back and forth is getting annoying

3 Likes

Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by atheistandproud(m): 9:24pm On Aug 25, 2020
Jdesilentkiller:

Don't mind him.. He knows the truth and you of all people have known that for long. The back and forth is getting annoying

Bless you
Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by KrazyDave16(m): 9:28pm On Aug 25, 2020
Flytime:
their pilot just landed the plane bringing them.
Ahh the chief justifier. I see him alright

1 Like

Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by Habayomie(m): 4:08am On Aug 26, 2020
what is the solution,the ads pop up are so annoying...
Re: Ads On Tecno Phones May Be Stealing Your Data. by MJBOLT: 5:17am On Aug 26, 2020
go to your settings,click apps and uninstall any app you did not install,some have fancy names to deceive you then activate restrict background data.

Habayomie:
what is the solution,the ads pop up are so annoying...

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