Anti-Virus Vendor Accused of Installing Viruses Onto Mobile Phones
Published on: 23rd Mar 2011
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
A C hinese anti virus software company has been accused of deliberately installing viruses onto people's mobile phones in order to charge them to remove it. A report by the Chinese State TV service claimed that NetQin which has recently filed for a stock market listing in the USA would covertly install a malware app into a handset whenever its own anti virus program was installed.
As some point afterwards, the anti-virus software would allegedly trigger an alert, and inform the user that they need an update to their anti-virus software to remove the problem - for which they would be charged 2RMB (US$0.30).
It is also being claimed that the NetQin software removed any other anti-virus software the user may have running on their handset so that its actions would not be detected.
China's three mobile network operators have already blocked sales of the NetQin software through their own App Stores, and it is reported that they have shut-down the company's ability to charge customers for software upgrades directly though their phone bill.
NetQin does not appear to have issued any formal statement about the allegations.
Update: 24th March 2011: We have received a legal letter from NetQin stating that the article above is based on incorrect information - we have requested a statement confirming the facts.