I really love smartphones from Chinese brands. No, this is not an unaccountable pathology, but a completely understandable feeling. After all, if you rewind 10 years ago, it will be clear that during this time, Chinese companies have gone through a colossal process of evolution from producers of mediocre clones to mega-advanced technology corporations with their own research centers, unique designs and leading positions in the market. But even in 2020, a Chinese smartphone is not necessarily a good smartphone.
Tecno pre-installs malware on its smartphones. be careful
I think you have already noticed that many thematic media suddenly began to massively force the new Chinese smartphone manufacturer Tecno Mobile. Despite the fact that different publications write about this company, the visits used by journalists are everywhere the same plus or minus and boil down to the fact that Tecno devices are in no way inferior to the solutions of the first echelon brands, and at the same time are cheaper. In general, the classic of paid publications. But for some reason, not a single resource indicated that Tecno poses a real danger to users.
Good cheap smartphones on Android
The Mobile Review website has published a lot of praise for Tecno. And it's not a shame
Just look at what Mobile Review writes about Tecno:
Despite all the tragic twists and turns, 2020 also has some pleasant achievements. One of them is that now you don't have to pay tens of thousands of rubles for a good phone. The development of the market has reached a stage when prices for just good devices start at 9,000 rubles, and for 15-16 thousand you can take a phone with all the properties previously inherent only in flagships – high performance, a good screen, powerful cameras and some kind of technological zest that makes the gadget unique. For example, you can take the Tecno CAMON 15 Pro smartphone.
How do you like that? Meanwhile, researchers at Secure-D have found that Tecno smartphones come pre-installed from the factory with malware. That is, before releasing a batch of smartphones for sale, Tecno introduces viral software into their firmware. But, unlike other Chinese manufacturers, which collect information about which Wi-Fi points a user has connected to and monitor his movements, Tecno's malicious toolkit harms its users more tangibly.
Viruses for smartphones on Android
This is the type of advertisement that appears in the firmware of Tecno smartphones
- Firstly, the brand's devices are dotted along and across with advertisements that appear in various areas of the firmware and can even interrupt calls with their appearance.
- Secondly, smartphones can arbitrarily consume Internet traffic and drain the battery, probably scrolling ads even in the background while the device is at rest.
- Thirdly, Tecno smartphones themselves subscribe to paid services for their users, which deduct money from their accounts against their will.
According to the researchers at Secure-D, it is obvious that this was a carefully planned action on the part of Tecno, which in this way simply brought the company money, compensating for the lack of financial revenues from the implementation of fair schemes. This is confirmed by the security software Secure-D, which telecom operators use to prevent fraudulent transactions using their subscriber numbers. Thanks to her alone, in the period from March to December 2019, more than 840 thousand unauthorized transactions were blocked, aimed at making paid subscriptions.
Advertising in the notification shade
One of the malicious programs found on Tecno smartphones was the unremovable xHelper. We wrote about it last year – read it if you're interested. But, in short, it is the so-called adware, or 'adware'. Once on the devices of its victims, xHelper integrates into the system and starts displaying advertising banners across the entire firmware – from the Notification Point to pre-installed applications like 'Calendar', 'Settings' and 'Camera', not to mention the browser.
Obviously, this is how Tecno just makes money
I wonder what Tecno thinks about this? After all, the company must clearly have some kind of justification. When asked by Secure-D, the brand representatives replied that they had nothing to do with installing malware, accusing an unknown partner in the supply chain for everything. Yes, that's that easy. And, to be sure they were believed, the cunning Chinese said that they had not received a dime from the implementation of all the fraudulent schemes that users of Tecno branded smartphones faced, and did not know how many devices were infected.
Obviously, Tecno is very afraid for its reputation in the market of the CIS countries, therefore it reacts very reverently to any negative posts. For example, according to the author of the Telegram channel Technology, Media and Society, who cited a BuzzFeed post about malware in Tecno smartphones, just 15 minutes after the publication, a brand representative in Ukraine contacted him. He specified that Tecno devices are sold on the Ukrainian market without malware pre-installed. It is gratifying. It is a pity that he did not say anything about the Russian market.