Tecno have been accused of installing in-built malware on it’s products

Tecno have been accused of installing in-built malware on it’s products

Thousands of Tecno smartphones were found to contain malware and are sold in African countries.

Malware which automatically signed up users to subscription services without their permission has been found on thousands of mobiles in Africa.

Anti-fraud organisation Upstream found the harmful code on 53,000 Tecno handsets, sold in Ethiopia, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana and South Africa.

The Triada malware found by the firm on the Android smartphones installs hazardous code known as xHelper which then finds subscription services and submits fraudulent requests on behalf of users, doing all this without the users knowledge.

If the request is successful, it consumes pre-paid airtime, which is the only means to pay for digital services in many developing countries.

Manufacturer Transsion told Buzzfeed the malware was installed in the supply chain without its consent.

In total, Upstream found most of the suspicious activity on more than 200,000 Tecno smartphones.

According to research firm IDC, Transsion Holdings is one of China’s biggest phone manufacturers and most products are being used in Africa.

In response Tecno Mobile said that the issue was “an old and solved mobile security issue globally” to which the issue is fix in March 2018.

“For current W2 consumers that are facing Triada issues now, they are advised to download the over-the-air fix app through their phone for installation or contact Tecno’s after sales service support for assistance,” the firm told the BBC in a statement.

Security firm Malwarebytes warned that similar apps were found on another Chinese Android phone the “UMX U686CL”. This handset was given to low-income families in the US via a government scheme.