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Malware with Assurance Wireless Phones


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Hi, I seen in a recent article posted on Google by author Nathan Collier that is not accurate. He wrote, the first sentence below.

We discovered yet another phone model with preinstalled malware provided from the Lifeline Assistance program via Assurance Wireless by ...
I want to make it clear to anyone reading this that Lifeline Assistance does not provide phones nor do they have any involvement in issuing any phone. Lifeline wireless is a federal program that helps assist in payment to the provider for cell phone or internet. Lifeline does not choose who the individual chooses for a provider they just assist in helping pay a portion to the provider. I wanted to clear that up for anyone who reads this that doesn't know that Lifeline Assistance does not issue any products to anyone.                                         Thank you, Monica Labeaud
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17 minutes ago, Monnie said:

Hi, I seen in a recent article posted on Google by author Nathan Collier that is not accurate. He wrote, the first sentence below.

We discovered yet another phone model with preinstalled malware provided from the Lifeline Assistance program via Assurance Wireless by ...

It is best to actually include the item you are quoting.  https://blog.malwarebytes.com/android/2020/07/we-found-yet-another-phone-with-pre-installed-malware-via-the-lifeline-assistance-program/

19 minutes ago, Monnie said:

I want to make it clear to anyone reading this that Lifeline Assistance does not provide phones nor do they have any involvement in issuing any phone.

He never said it did.

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Hi @Monnie,

Let me start by saying I'm very pleased to see that they updated the program to use any carrier you like!  The blog you highlighted along with previous blogs about United States government-funded phones come pre-installed with unremovable malware received quite of bit of news coverage at the time, and could have lead to this decision along with many other complaints from customers using the Lifeline Assistance program.

I can see the confusion here.  You are correct that it is not the Lifeline Assistance program that provides the phones.  However, at the time of the writing, the only carrier that you could use with the Lifeline Assistance program was Assurance Wireless by Virgin Mobile.  Regardless, the blog exclusively targets Assurance Wireless.  It is Assurance Wireless, which was setup for the Lifeline Assistance program, that provided the phones.  We even provide a screenshot:

image.png.33830bfcf86a895182474cae462142dc.png

Even though Assurance Wireless provided the phones, because at the time this was the only carrier available, it was up to the Lifeline Assistance program to do there due diligence on the carriers they provided.  Thus, they were not free of guilt at the time.

I hope that clears up any confusion,

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