Nigeriaâs cyber police have alerted of critical security risk found on Tecno phones, the popular Chinese brand in the local market.
Nigerian Computer Emergency Response Team (ngCERT) says in a cyber threat advisory reviewed by Technology Times that researchers discovered the âcritical security risk with Tecno Android phones, which has a pre-installed malware called Triada.â
Tecno is a brand from the Chinese device maker, Transsion, which leads in the Nigerian smartphone market, and also owns iTel and Infinix.
Vital learning tools: Mobile phones on display at Ikeja Computer Village in Lagos
Mobile phones on display at Ikeja Computer Village in Lagos
The Nigerian cyber police warn Tecno phone users that the pre-installed malware was found on thousands of the brand sold into the African market.
âThe malware arrives pre-installed on handsets that are bought in their millions by typically low-income households. The malware found on android smartphones installs malicious code known as xHelper which then finds subscription services and submits fraudulent requests on behalf of users, doing so invisibly and without the userâs knowledgeâ, the ngCERT alert says, citing a report by anti-fraud firm, Upstream, that spotted the malware on Tecno handsets sold in Ethiopia, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana and South Africa.
The Nigerian cyber police say âabout 200,000 Tecno smartphones are affected even though this threat was only found on 53,000 phones. It was discovered that over 19.2 million suspicious transactions have been recorded since March 2019 from over 200,000 unique devices. The xHelper Trojan persists across reboots, app removals and even factory resets, making it extremely difficult to deal with.â
âSmartphone users are expected to carry out regular and periodical system upgrade to protect themselves from unsuspected threats of this kindâ, ngCERT says.
The Nigerian cyber police say that âTecno Mobile claimed that the issue was âan old and solved mobile security issue globallyâ to which it issued a fix. Tecno has also claimed it has measures in place to prevent the re-occurrence of such security risk by ensuring that installed software on each device runs through a series of rigorous security checks.â
Nigeriaâs ngCERT says it is on to achieve a safe, secure and resilient cyberspace in the country that will also provides opportunities for national prosperity.
The local cyber police that was established to prepare, protect, and secure the Nigerian cyberspace âin anticipation of attacks, problems, or events, is also responsible for reducing the volume of future incidents.