Manufacturer Alcatel phones secretly wrote customers

Jan

4

2019

into payment service
TCL, the manufacturer of BlackBerry and Alcatel phones, has tried with its Weather app to secretly register customers to a payment service, reports a British security company. The Weather app also committed click fraud. The app still collects all kinds of data from users.

Upstream Systems: Weather app TCL The fraud has been stopped following a report from the British security company Upstream Systems and business newspaper The Wall Street Journal, writes the newspaper . That happened by an update in November. However, the app still collects e-mail addresses, imei numbers and geographical data from users and sends them to a server in China.

The weather app in question, Weather Forecast , is pre-installed on Alcatel phones. He is not on BlackBerry. TCL releases phones under both brand names, but the software of BlackBerry phones comes from the Canadian company BlackBerry. Users of other Android phones can also download the app. Including TCL’s own models, the number of installations in the Play Store is over ten million.

In July and August, the app secretly registered customers and users with a paid vr service, after which they started paying. The app also opened in the background web pages, where the app automatically clicked buttons to commit click fraud. Users found out, because the battery went empty faster , Upstream Systems reports . That happened in total in seven countries.

TCL says nothing about the data collection in a reaction. It says about the fraud that it is going to look at the security of its apps with consultants. This makes it unclear whether the fraud was the work of a single employee or whether it is the policy of the company.

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