Google has launched a program to remotely disable Huawei’s smartphones by downloading special software to them. Such measures are necessary to implement government sanctions against the Chinese corporation, explained in Google.
The download of the corresponding software started at 12:02 pm on May 23, the researchers report. Later, the company confirmed that they were forced to do this at the request of the government.
The program that disables phones is called Cleaner.apk and is downloaded via a special backup channel commonly used to install spyware software as requested by the FBI. Next, it gets root access through the CVE-2016-288500 vulnerability, which was open in 2016, and begins to repeatedly change the processor voltage from minimum to critical. This leads to its hardware phone outage for a period from 20 minutes to 6 hours, depending on the model of the smartphone. In some cases, a lithium battery fires, users of the XDA-Developers forum report.
Huawei has already announced the release of a blocking program that prevents the phone from breaking. Owners of Huawei smartphones are recommended to urgently disable their devices, download the «antivirus» and install it using a USB cable, without activating the internet connection to prevent Google from downloading the «sanction» program.