Malware of Chinese origin preinstalled on phones whose price the US government subsidizes found the cybersecurity company Malwarebytes.
Such equipment is purchased by low-income families with significant discounts thanks to the Lifeline Assistance program, which the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established three decades ago.
The affected model is the U686CL of the UMX brand, which is manufactured by a company based in China called Unimax. In the United States, it is distributed by Assurance Wireless, a subsidiary of Virgin Mobile.
For a price of $ 35 dollars, the mobile includes free calls, text messages and data, in addition to two malware applications, inform Digital Trends.
Malwarebytes said that the UMX U686CL has a program called Wireless Update that was configured with unlimited privileges and was able to install applications in the background without the user's consent.
Being a system-level application, it is impossible to uninstall it, since it could negatively affect the rest of the phone's functions, which operates with the Android operating system, added the medium.
According to the report, the aforementioned app was programmed with the same name as Adups, a Chinese company that was discovered "collecting user data, creating backdoors for mobile devices and developing automatic installers."
In particular, the Asian firm was responsible for the massive violation suffered by Android in 2016, which affected more than 700 million phones and put both Google and the Department of Homeland Security in check.
Digital Trends He pointed out that the second malware was deeply integrated into the configuration application, which means that removing it could cause the phone to not work.
The app installs a Trojan called Hidden Ads in the terminal, configured to display ads even when not in use. Since the source code was plagued with encrypted Chinese characters, Malwarebytes could not determine its true purpose.