Listen: Is Huawei's Worst Google Nightmare Coming True?
"Love these tech stories where it seems to be almost like a soap opera or reality show so well. Let's go back to the reality show of alway the P thirty and P thirty phones that they released recently and the ongoing trade a dispute that forced google to sever their relationships with Wa wa Wa way was stuck in a certain watercraft without a certain implement because what good is an android phone that has no access to the Google play store glee services only Jammie. I think Jami doesn't have Google play services and that one is the only one that's but anyway but there's a reason why you don't see a lot of phones on on the subway yeah you don't see any of the US exactly okay so that the trade ban came into effect in May and the EP thirty in the P thirty pro where the first way phones to be released after that ban and we're all prepared to feel real sorry for Weiwei until Oh gee. There's there's this Chinese APP called L. Z. Play that Gosh almost immediately after the release of these two phones that allows the installation of official official Google apps including the all important Google playstore like wow. I don't know who created this miraculous. L Z play APP but they must have some mad add skill as those of us who were cognizant in the late eighties to early nineties might have put it well more power to you. How wonderful well? Well okay. There's there's an update on that security researcher. John Woo wrote a medium boasts about his investigation into the APP because as a security expert it occurred to him that Gosh these are kind of like important low level APPS. I wonder how they met this APP minister work. He himself wrote the T. L. Semi Colon are are on this. I'm quoting him here the current widespread method to install google services on newly released while devices relies on undocumented Weiwei specific acidic. MD M. A. P. is although this quote back door. Unquote requires user interaction to be enabled the installer APP which is signed with a special certificate from Wa Wa is granted privileges nowhere to be found on standard android systems so what this cuts down to is that why phones have special android permissions that include the ability to install super super level system level APPS two of those permissions missions that they've created are completely and totally undocumented anywhere which is definitely on the superlatives side of sketchy sketchy so demonstrating that if you want to get things done one of the most wonderful ways to do it is to simply create a medium post was to how many of our stories over the past couple years that were really really important interesting started with so and so wrote a medium post with their experiences and or investigations so the follow up was pretty quick well first of all whatever website that was hosting the L Z play APP was taken offline alway revoked the certificates that allow it to work to sort of cover tracks but I guess it didn't appease anybody because if you're not familiar with safety fifty nine this is Google's own tool and own process that will certify that a phone that runs android is safe and secure and hasn't been tampered with meaning that you can trust trust to run APPS on it and know that they're probably they're excuse me according to safety net at the test it has nothing weird about it that might result in like your credit card information being stolen or the hardens a secure area of the hardware being accessed by something that's not secure and well you know now how the Pe- thirty and the P thirty pro are now fail the safety net test so Google's tool no longer will certify to apps that run on the phone with this is a trustworthy APP with the immediate fallout that Google pay no longer works and any other APP that asks asks the Android android system. Hey has this phone. Can you tell me that this phone has not been tampered with and can trust it with this thing that I'm telling the user should be really really secure now. ANDROID android itself will say no. You really shouldn't do you. Should you should trust a hamburger that you found on the sidewalk on package more than you should trust this this phone right now share assessment I do. I do have to know so last night are all about android we had Michelle Rahman from exceed developers on and they had written about this back door and it's actually like quite it's quite involved to try and get it down. Ah installed on a walkway device but it's just like an interesting. I don't know to me it. Just it like you said earlier. It feels like it's just political theater at this point that and it's also it's also just indicative the time where we are living in this very league binary operating system mobile operating system world where you just have either ore and I can understand and why people would be freaking out over way not having access to the Google play store and Google apps but it just this doesn't feel like the way to do it folks you know and the thing is those alway phones have that back door right because there's those phones are sold in markets where Google is is company Non Gratis. I'm thinking Russia and China and Russia has its own like APP store sort of situation I think it's yen decks and China has its own and so I think that's why they were able to kind of make this happen but the way it all sounds is so sketchy and shady and I and I actually feel I mean you never should feel completely bad for like a giant corporation because again they'll oh yeah they don't corporations are not people people. All people are but we know the Supreme Court sometimes but I also kind of feel bad because this narrative has been in the press since Twani any way before twenty twelve when there was that actual security issue found with wall way not smartphones. I think it was like wow way. Conferencing devices were like a part of this and so it's it's kind of a thing and it just it yeah it just kind China it sucks or Wa but also don't don't use a backdoor to install things 'cause that's super unsafe no matter how badly when it use a phone in a certain country Oh my God just just don't do that. That's that's why side loading one of the things that I most appreciate about android the fact that you can go deep into settings and flip a switch to side low dance from that aren't necessarily that aren't signed by the Google play store because I feel as though if you've spent either two hundred dollars or twelve hundred dollars on the phone you own the phone and you can do whatever you want with it. Yeah however that's Oh that is just like that's like hanging out a welcome mat for every bad thing that can happen as a result of open owning phone but if you're going to be that if you're going to be that bold shall we say absolutely it is it does we should say it does look as though this was th there's nothing super suspicious about this Weiwei's intentions while this is something that wow a deaf back back door that while away from evidence clearly put in themselves to facilitate the installation of Google services however it does appear as though that was their sole intent content with us that it wasn't a back door that could then be exploited by other governments or whatever not that it couldn't be but that was it and it is still kind of one of the reasons why why we became so open to scrutiny and speculation is that we don't know for sure who owns it and it's supposedly owned by this one person however who owns the majority of the stock however once you start going one or two layers deep deep you see get to the point where okay we don't know who owns while way so a given yeah so I do. I do think that the trade wars that are going on are not good at all. I don't think that they're rationally founded. I do believe that industrial espionage is a real a threat. I also believe that if a government owned telecommunications hardware company wanted to take advantage of the fact that the world was basing a five there five did you network on hardware built by a company based in their country that they would coerce or ask the this company say Yeah we want you you just put this little component inside all of your five G. Hardware and it looks like a resistor but it's not a resistor that is definitely something to be. What for? I don't believe that the the the machinations that are pursuing this trade war are towards the our wealth out or designed to do the effect is best for people at just goes to show. We're plugging you know the podcast to we were talking about this on macrey yesterday. That's just so much uncertainty about the future than there are a lot of companies apple included Google included that they're part of their solution to a lot of these problems. Does let's wait to see if there's a new president next year because Republican or Democratic everything could change and a lot of horrific problems looms for tech businesses could go away if there is a different president in that"