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October 2, 2019
There was a brief glimmer of hope for Huawei users that Google services might have been an option for its latest smartphones, but the workaround has now been closed.
Yesterday on Medium, security researcher John Wu posted a way in which Google services could be downloaded to the latest range of Huawei devices. Many would have been searching for a way to get around the Huawei ban on using Google services, and while we suspect there will be some still out there, this one has at least been closed .
Wu goes into some detail in his post, though through manually installing Google Mobile Services via an app called LZ Play, users were able to take advantage of an oversight. For a very brief period, some users were able to install Google applications such as Gmail, Maps and Google Pay on their devices, though this has now been removed.
Interestingly enough, this could open-up some uncomfortable questions for Huawei.
It might be deemed a suspect situation to download the app, which requests system-level access, though when you start to look at how it works, it becomes a little more nefarious. Wu suggests the app makes use of undocumented Huawei APIs which can somehow bypass Android’s security system.
To make the situation a bit more complicated, it is now very difficult to find LZ Play on the internet, aside from in news stories. There is one German company and a translated-page which the Google search engine is no-longer able to connect to. It does appear a lot of the traces of this app and the developer has been erased.
Perhaps this is a development US rule makers and Google should take a very close look at. How did an app developer manage to circumnavigate the security blocks which were put in place so easily? This is not proof of nefarious activity elsewhere, but it does indicate some are aware of the cracks in Google software.
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