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Google Confirms Pre-installment of Trojan Triada on Android Smartphones

The report also said the supply chain attack was pulled off by one or more partners the manufacturers used in preparing the final firmware image used in the affected devices

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Google
The Google logo is seen at a start-up campus in Paris, France, Feb. 15, 2018. VOA

Two years after a banking Trojan called Triada was spotted on some budget Android smartphones, Google has confirmed that criminals did actually manage to get an advanced backdoor pre-installed devices before they even left the manufacturing facilities.

Triada’s chief purpose was to install apps that could be used to send spam and display ads using tools that bypassed Android’s built-in security protections, thus allowing the malware to directly tamper with every installed app, Ars Technica reported on Saturday.

Triada first came to light in 2016 in articles published by Kaspersky that said the malware was “one of the most advanced mobile Trojans” the security firm’s analysts had ever encountered.

Google on an Android device. Pixabay

And while Google did confirm the Dr. Web report, it did not name the original equipment manufacturers.

The report also said the supply chain attack was pulled off by one or more partners the manufacturers used in preparing the final firmware image used in the affected devices.

Also Read- Experts Believe that Facebook Restrictions will Have Little Impact on Huawei

According to Lukasz Siewierski, a member of Google’s Android Security and Privacy Team, Triada infects device system images through a third party during the production process when the manufacturer turns to a third party developer to add a feature that does not come part of the Android Open Source Project, like face unlock. (IANS)

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Absence of Google Apps Hurting Huawei the Most

Ahead of the next round of trade talks between Washington and Beijing, US President Donald Trump's administration is mulling to issue licenses to some American firms that will let them sell non-sensitive equipment to Huawei

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FILE - A man uses his smartphone outside of a shop selling Huawei products at a shopping mall in Beijing, May 29, 2019. VOA

Chinese smartphone maker Huawei has confirmed that the US sanctions were hurting it badly, especially the absence of Google’s core Android software, Play Store and popular apps like Search and Maps on its devices.

According to a Financial Times report quoting a senior Huawei executive, the company hasn’t been successful in finding replacements for Google apps which are very popular on Android devices across the globe.

“There are so many Android users in Europe and south-east Asia. They’re so used to these Google applications on top of Android phones,” Joy Tan, Vice President of Public Affairs at Huawei US, was quoted as saying on Sunday.

“We can continue to use the Android platform since it is open-source, but we cannot use the services that help apps run on it.”

Also Read: DPIIT Sends Questionnaire to Amazon, Flipkart on FDI Norms Adherence: Report

Under the terms of the previous US trade ban, Google was barred from selling Android license to Huawei, meaning its phones could use the base open-source code, but would not have access to the all-important Play Store and Google apps.

A temporary licence was issued which allows Google to support and update the Android OS currently running on existing Huawei devices.

Google, Play Store, Dark Theme, Makeover
Huawei smartphones are seen in front of displayed Google Play logo in this illustration picture, May 20, 2019. VOA

However, the trade ban has affected the development of future products. Huawei is also working on its own operating system HarmonyOS but that is far from reality.

Despite trade restrictions put in place by the US, Huawei last week generated 610.8 billion yuan ($86 billion) revenue during the first three quarters of this year, an increase of 24.4 per cent year-on-year, with a net profit margin of 8.7 per cent.

Richard Yu, the head of Huawei’s consumer business, during a media interview last month, said that if the situation does not change with the US government, the company would start using its HarmonyOS.

The newly-launched Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro doesn’t have access to Google Play services.

Ahead of the next round of trade talks between Washington and Beijing, US President Donald Trump’s administration is mulling to issue licenses to some American firms that will let them sell non-sensitive equipment to Huawei. (IANS)