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Dubious app pre-installed in certain Alcatel phones was malicious


According to one mobile security company "Upstream," certain weather application already loaded onto some Alcatel smart-phones carried malicious software which would without notice perform a subscription for top profile phone numbers on the handsets of the phone owners. The application is a default application which TCL loads onto the
said smart-phones; however, Google's Play Store too was another source of the app for phones powered with Android being pulled down and loaded in 10m and more instances.


Reportedly, it was in the summer of 2018 that the UK-situated Upstream unearthed dubious traffic flowing from a few of its clients' smart-phones. The mobile security company further unearthed that its security solutions blocked several transaction attempts which Alcatel A3 Max and Pixi 4 brands initiated within Malaysia and Brazil. The transactions tried subscribing to high-profile mobile numbers.


Intriguingly, the above weather application is not the sole dubious application making intrusions while garnering data that it dispatches onto a server in China. Now numerous of such apps are already around.


But more disturbingly, as observed within some specific geographical areas, the subscriptions resulted in high phone bills for the end-users, so discovered 'Upstream.' While running behind the phone's screen, the dubious weather application even activated concealed browser windows which opened web-pages where it pressed for fraudulent ad incomes. According to Upstream researchers, they recorded 50MB-250MB sized data that the running app consumed daily. www.zdnet.com posted this online dated January 10, 2019.


Evidently, after Upstream notified Google and TCL through Wall Street Journal about the malicious application known as com.tct.weather, Google suspended the application on the Play. The compromising feature has not been found from any shady phone manufacturer alternatively fake telecom service provider within the countries encountering the problem, primarily because both Play Store as well as the default loaded applications got impacted through the same manner.


According to Upstream, it is presently investigating the problem more intensely in a joint task with TCL, and while it did not examine the other applications listed onto the Play through the TCL A/C, it however, did not observe any suspicious operations flowing from those apps.


» SPAMfighter News - 1/16/2019

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