U.S. Funds Program With Free Android Phones For The Poor — But With Permanent Chinese Malware
The US government has provided cheap cell service and free smartphones to low-income households for years through its Lifeline Assistance program. However, according to security researchers, the provided Android phones come with previously installed Chinese malware, which allows personal information and data held on the phones to be accessed through a backdoor onto the device.
One of the malware types discovered is impossible to remove, according to security experts. Malwarebytes researches tried to warn Assurance Wireless, the company that provides free Android devices and free data, texts, and minutes to low income families in the program, has not responded to the claims. Many have expressed outrage that the government is providing phones riddled with security flaws to low-income families using taxpayer money.