Published: Fri, October 04, 2019
Tech | By

Backdoor to Google services closed for Huawei Mate 30

Backdoor to Google services closed for Huawei Mate 30

The method used by them involved the use of LZPlay, which no longer works.

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.

Since the website doesn't work any more, it is not possible to download the APK installer.

The new Huawei Mate 30 flagship device has lost its ability to install Googlle Play apps, which it had been able to accomplish through a (pretty shady) third-party service. Alex Dobie of Android Central has also found out that even if GMS has been installed on a Mate 30, they no longer pass SafetyNet tests, which is Google's way of ensuring that a device is valid and secure.

The Mate 30 devices are Huawei's latest flagship phones that are shipped without full Android support.

However, Taiwan-based security researcher John Wu pointed out yesterday (Oct. 1) in a Medium blog post that these users were relying on a website with unknown ownership (it's been traced to China) to install LZPlay, and that the users may have been confused about how exactly the process worked.

When the United States put Huawei on entity list, the company has granted a 90-day exemption which allowed the company to keep using Google's services.

"This means the system framework in Huawei's OS has a "backdoor" that allows permitted apps to flag some user apps as system apps despite the fact that it does not actually exist on any read-only partitions", Wu wrote.

Huawei is not allowed to have any Google apps pre-loaded on their new devices, such as the Mate 30, due to the ongoing US-China trade war, which bans American firms from doing business with the Chinese tech giant.

In other words, LZPlay used two secret Huawei files that no one else outside Huawei seemed to know about, and which no other app seemed to use.

In an interaction with the media, Qualcomm's CEO, Steve Mollenkpof, said that the chipmaker has resumed sales to Huawei after getting the green signal from the USA government.

According to the report, Mate 30 devices had passed Google's SafetyNet anti-abuse check last week. Those are the APIs LZPlay uses to get Google apps running correctly on the Mate 30 Pro. It could install GMS packages on the Mate 30 Pro without rooting or unlocking the bootloader, both of which require security workarounds.

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