Huawei’s bespoke app store, AppGallery, turned out to be filled with games infected with malware.
Antivirus software maker Dr Web has discovered the existence of a Trojan horse that exists in around 190 Android games offered on the AppGallery.
The Trojan itself is a variant of the Cynos malware and is known as Android.Cynos.7.origin. After a user grants permission to the host application to access their phone calls, the Trojan gets to work by transferring their information to a remote server.
This information includes mobile phone numbers, device location, network information, device specifications, etc. To top it off, the infected apps are then filled with ads.
This information-stealing, ad-spitting malware is claimed to have been downloaded at least 9.3 million times. Many of these games are aimed at children, while some are aimed at Chinese and Russian speakers, with full language localization.
Dr Web reportedly informed Huawei of this AppGallery malware issue, and the manufacturer removed the affected apps from its store.
Huawei has had huge problems since the previous US administration effectively cut off its access to the Google Play Store. In its place, the company pushed its pre-existing AppGallery storefront alongside a Petal Search system to find apps from other sources.
In this transition away from the general public powered by Google, Huawei has made a big splash in the security of its app store provision.
News broke recently that Huawei is looking to license its enviable smartphone hardware designs to third-party manufacturers. This would be seen as another way to get around those US sanctions, as well as to mitigate the huge decline in the company’s revenue and market position.