[ad_1]




The “Weather Forecast—World Weather Accurate Radar” app raised red flags from some security experts.

NEW DELHI — A popular weather app built by a Chinese tech conglomerate has been collecting an unusual amount of data from smartphones around the world and attempting to subscribe some users to paid services without permission, according to a London-based security firm’s research.

The free app, one of the world’s most-downloaded weather apps in Google’s Play store, is from TCL Communication Technology Holdings Ltd., of Shenzhen, China. TCL makes Alcatel- and BlackBerry-branded phones, while a sister company makes televisions.

The app, called “Weather Forecast—World Weather Accurate Radar,” collects data including smartphone users’ geographic locations, email addresses and unique 15-digit International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers on TCL servers in China, according to Upstream Systems, the mobile commerce and security firm that found the activity. Until last month, the app was known as “Weather—Simple weather forecast.”

The weather app also has attempted to surreptitiously subscribe more than 100,000 users of its low-cost Alcatel smartphones in countries such as Brazil, Malaysia and Nigeria to paid virtual-reality services, according to Upstream Systems. The security firm, which discovered the activity as part of its work for mobile operators, said users would have been billed more than $1.5 million had it not blocked the attempts.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

Write to Newley Purnell at newley.purnell@wsj.com

Also popular on WSJ.com:

Popular weather app collects too much data, security experts say.

Rewards credit cards gained a fanatic following — now banks are pulling back.

Want news about Asia delivered to your inbox? Subscribe to MarketWatch's free Asia Daily newsletter. Sign up here.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

[ad_2]

Source link

Load More By admin
Load More In Security

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

IPhone owners can sue Apple for monopolizing App Store, Supreme Court rules – CNN

[ad_1] Justice Brett Kavanaugh, in the majority opinion, said that when “retailers e…