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Infecting 20 million phones with malware to profit from users, Gionee found guilty!

A verdict on a disputable issue involving Gionee smartphones has been given in a court in China. As per reports published by China Judgment Document Network, the court elaborated regarding the illegal control information system set-up in Gionee phones.

According to the publication, Gionee planted a Trojan horse via an app between December 2018 and October 2019 on devices exceeding 20 Million. The reports further continue saying that the particular app was made use for making a profit from the users by playing uninvited commercials and other unlawful means while they use the device.

The court reportedly found that Beijing Baice with a subsidiary of Gionee called The Shenzhen Zhipu Technology Co. Ltd., plotted to implant the Trojan horse through a software update using the supposedly called app “Story Lock Screen”. The malware, without the user’s acknowledgment, automatically gets updated in the affected Gionee phones through the ‘Pull method’, as per the reports.

The publication further claims that the existing ‘pull’ was found ineffectual in December 2018, following which a proposal to implant the blazing update plug-in “Dark Horse Platform” in the apps, for instance, the “Story Lock Screen” was made by Wang Dengke. After the implant, both, the application and its SDK version with Trojan plug-ins were further being upgraded, resulting which the “Living Trojan Horse” was installed and updated through the “Dark Horse Platform”, without any acknowledgment of the user.

The court also unveiled that both, Shenzhen Zhipu and Beijing Baice carried the ‘Pull activities’ from December 2018 to October 2019, which calculated a total of  2.88 billion times. The number of devices covered by the monthly “pull activity” exceeded more than 21.75 million from April 2019, out of which shockingly, 26,519,921 Gionee smartphones were involved in the month of October 2019 alone. The company has said to earn an evaluation of RMB 27.85 million from the “pulling” business.

The defendants’ Xu Li, Zhu Ying, Jia Zhengqiang, and Pan Qi were found guilty of unlawfully controlling the concerned system, and were sentenced to around 3 years imprisonment. In addition to the imprisonment, the defendants were fined 200,000 Yuan.

While this may seem horrendous to some, a few other Chinese companies including Infinix and Tecno practice the same malicious activity with their cheapest models, according to a Gizmochina report.

Sakshi Jadav
Sakshi is currently doing something she is adoring, by stepping out of her box to create who she wants to become. Other than that, she studies Psychology.
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