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Chinese Company Behind 24 Popular Apps

Shenzhen HAWK is a Chinese company that is secretly behind the app developer HiSecurity and four more other app developers. In total, this mentioned Chinese company is behind about 24 apps which has an approximate 382 installations. Some of these apps is known for containing malware and rogueware.

One well-known malware affected app is the Weather Forecast app. Unfortunately, this app has been able to acquire its users’ information and data and has been sent to a server in China. In addition to that, this application has also required users to subscribe using their personal mobile numbers which lead to huge charges on its users’ phone bills. What is worst, is that this app launches hidden browser windows and would automatically click advertisements from web pages.

Another app that has widely affected many, is the Virus Cleaner. This app has even made the Indian Government issue a warning against its army and paramilitary using the mentioned app. This app is well-known for it being a malware and a spyware.

These apps include dangerous permissions which comes with the ability to take pictures, record videos, audios and even make calls. Since these apps could be downloaded and accessed, we highly recommend that you delete them from your mobile phone as soon as possible.

Apps that are owned by Shenzen Hawk:

1. Tap Sky

  • – World Zoo
  • – Word Crossy!
  • – Dig it
  • – Puzzle Box
  • – Word Crush
  • – Music Roam
  • – Soccer Pinball

2. ViewYeah Studio

  • – Private Browser
  • – Candy Selfie Camera

3. Hi Security

  • – Virus Cleaner 2019
  • – Hi VPN, Free VPN
  • – Hi VPN Pro
  • – Hi Security 2019
  • – Net Master

4. Hawk App

  • – Super Battery
  • – Super Cleaner

5. Mie-alcatel.support

  • – Sound Recorder
  • – File Manager
  • – Joy Launcher
  • – Weather Forecast
  • – Calendar Lite
  • – Turbo Browser

6. Alcatel Innovative Lab

  • – Candy Gallery

In addition to that, Shenzen HAWK, TLC and China has listed publicly 13 apps as their own products and they are the following:

  • – Candy by ViewYeah Studio
  • – Super Cleaner by Hawk App
  • – Super Battery by Hawk App
  • – Hi Security by Hi Security
  • – Hi VPN by Hi Security
  • – Gallery by Alcatel Innovative Lab
  • – Filemanager by mie-alcatel.support
  • – Apps
  • – Calculator
  • – Net Master by Hi Security
  • – Joy recorder by mie-alcatel.support
  • – Launcher by mie-alcatel.support
  • – Weather by mie-alcatel.support

Shenzhen HAWK according to their web page has mentioned that it is a subsidiary of TCL Corporation which is also a major Chinese company based in Guangdong province.

TCL Corporation

TCL Corporation is known for having strong ties with the Chinese government and its company or corporation has continuously been growing with the help and support of its government.

TCL has about 52 subsidiaries all over the world. This includes RCA, Alcatel and BlackBerry. This means, for those who are concerned hugely on privacy, this would pose a huge problem since China is known for being defiant about privacy and has strict data retention laws which means companies that are operating in China will have to give access to the authorities and the Government.

Shenzhen HAWK’s spotty reputation

As mentioned earlier, Shenzhen HAWK has garnered quite a bad reputation in relation to malware, privacy and unethical practices.

Alcatel apps secretly infecting phones with malware and adware

In 2005, TCL Corporation has had licensing rights for Alcatel and Shenzhen HAWK has 7 apps created and developed for Alcatel phones. One of the famous default Alcatel app is Weather Forecast which is said to be compromised with malware that has infected millions of users. As a matter of fact, according to a UK-based mobile security firm, weather app has been able to collect user data and was able to send it to server in China.

The weather app runs in the background which secretly launches hidden browser windows and clicks ads on web pages using 50MB-250MB data daily.

Hi Security App Banned by Indian Government

The Indian government issued warning to its army and paramilitary to delete Chinese-origin apps from phones. About 42 mobile apps has been identified by Indian government’s intelligence agency as being spywares and malwares. This includes Virus Cleaner 2019- Antivirus, Cleaner and Booster which was developed by Hi Security which is owned by Shenzhen HAWK.

Permissions that Shenzhen HAWK apps are asking for

  • CALL_PHONE: 2/24 apps requested- apps could make a call directly from the app without the need of the dialer.
  • READ_PHONE_STATE: 14/24 apps requested- allows apps to gather information such as network information, phone number, connected registered phone accounts and even status of ongoing calls.
  • ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION: 15/24 apps requested- allows to use GPS, cell data and WiFi to know the location of the user.
  • READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE: 15/24 apps requested- allows the app to read your saved files, system logs and many more.
  • READ_CONTACTS: 2/24 apps requested – allows access to phone contacts
  • ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION: 13/24 apps requested – allows gathering of user’s general location through mobile data and WiFi.
  • GET_ACCOUNTS: 9/24 apps requested- allows access to a list of accounts in Accounts Service.
  • WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE 21/24 apps requested- allows apps to upload files to users’ device storage.
  • WRITE_CALENDAR: 1/24 apps requested- allows apps to add events to your calendar
  • READ_CALENDAR: 2/24 apps requested- allow reading through personal calendar.

Shenzhen HAWK apps under different developer names

  • Candy Selfie Camera – Kawaii Photo, Beauty Plus Cam – app permission names: Access coarse location, read external storage, camera, access fine location, get accounts, write external storage, read logs and read phone state
  • Super Cleaner- Antivirus, Booster, Phone Cleaner – app permission names: Access coarse location, read external storage, camera, access fine location, write external storage and read phone state
  • Virus Cleaner 2019 – Antivirus, Cleaner and Booster – app permission names: Access coarse location, call phone, access fine location, camera, get accounts, read contacts, read external storage, write external storage and read phone state
  • Calendar Lite – app permission names: Read calendar, get accounts, read contacts, read external storage, read external storage, write external storage and read phone state.
  • Sound Recorder: recorder and voice charger free- app permission names: Camera, record audio, read external storage and write external storage.

Reasons for unnecessary dangerous permissions

Apps requests for dangerous permissions due to the fact that they could sell your information or data to third parties. It could send your location data, which has the ability to pinpoint your location. In other words, by being able to sell your information, the app could profit about $4,000 every month just for a single user’s location data.

Illegal Uses

Your data could be sold on the black market. Your data or information which they could sell includes your contact information, pictures, private messages, videos and many more.

Conclusion:

Shenzhen HAWK comes with numerous critical issues that would and should make you think twice in using their developed apps. One of which is their malware, unethical practices and rogueware. In addition to that, their apps also request unnecessary dangerous permissions. Hence, we highly recommend if you are using any app under Shenzhen HAWK, delete them immediately.

Renee Biana

VPN Pick brings you all the latest vpn news, reviews and discounts.

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