A flaw in Huawei Matebook laptops, found by Microsoft researchers, could have been used to take control of machines, reported by Ars Technica.
First things first: Huawei fixed the driver and published the safe version in early January, so if you’re using a Huawei system and have either updated everything or removed the built-in applications entirely, you should be good to go.
The interesting part of the story is how Microsoft found the bad driver in the first place.
The “sophisticated flaw” had probably been introduced at the manufacturing stage, one expert told BBC News.
Prof Alan Woodward, a computer security expert based at Surrey University, told BBC News the flaw had the hallmarks of a “backdoor” created by the US’s National Security Agency to spy on the computers of targets.
That tool was leaked online and has been used by a wide variety of hackers, including those who are state-sponsored and criminal gangs.
“It was introduced at the manufacture stage but the path by which it came to be there is unknown and the fact that it looks like an exploit that is linked to the NSA doesn’t mean anything,” Prof Woodward said.
“It could be organised crime gangs, which are increasingly interfering with the supply chain, or it could be someone playing geo-politics to discredit Huawei.
“There is no evidence that the company has done anything malicious or any evidence they were under pressure from the state.”
The question remains, however, according to Prof Woodward: “How did the software engineering processes allow this on?
“This is not going to help their case or reduce people’s concerns,” he said.
The British intelligence community last week said that it could offer only “limited assurances” that long-term security risks from Huawei could be managed.
Prof Woodward said: “Huawei is critical to 5G, which in turn will be critical to a whole range of things, including future cities and autonomous cars.
“Disrupting this network could cause huge disruptions to society and I can see why people are worried about Huawei supplying this technology.
“They are headquartered in a country that has coercive laws and has made it clear that companies have to co-operate with the government and keep that secret.”
Huawei Petal One: An all in one package for Cloud, Music and Video services
The Petal One integrates 3 premium services at relatively less costly compared to individual purchases. This service is similar to what Apple offers under the Apple One subscription bundle.
This all-in-one package includes Huawei Cloud Space Premium Package with 200GB capacity, Huawei Super Music VIP, and Huawei Video Gold Member & Partner Zone VIP membership.
What services Petal One includes:
The premium music service in Petal One has millions of libraries with all kinds of audio and music, while the premium video subscription offers high-quality video programs and movies. Meanwhile, the 200GB of Cloud storage can be shared between 5 family members.
People with Petal One can cancel their membership anytime. Currently, Petal One only comes under monthly subscription, though Huawei could offer lengthy plans such as quarterly or half-yearly in the future.
To be mentioned, Petal One provides a multi-scenario membership service and can be supported on multiple devices including mobile phones, tablets smart wearables, and smart screens.
Huawei Cloud service
The Huawei Cloud service offers a safe place to store your crucial data. It takes automatic backup of the whole device that can be restored anytime very conveniently.
Talking about privacy, this service is completely secure and has a ‘Time Machine’ feature that can help you manage all your data in a single place. Furthermore, all this data can be synchronized on multiple devices to manage it over different smartphones and tablets.
Price and Availability:
As per the Huawei Member Center app, the Petal One will be available for early buyers from August 28 to August 30. While full access to this service will be opened from September 1. The starting price for the Petal One bundle is 79 yuan (12 USD) for a monthly subscription.
It’ll be interesting to see whether this package will enter on the global market. We’ll keep you posted on further updates.
Huawei Sound X 2021 launched with new design and powered by HarmonyOS
Huawei has launched its latest smart speaker – Huawei Sound X 2021. This new speaker comes with an elegant design and colorful lights that provide an ergonomic appearance while listening to music.
Huawei Sound X 2021 is inspired by electronic tubes and pays tribute to the classic tube amplifiers. The smart speaker has a 360-degree all-metal soundhole, 3D curved surface seamless technology, highlighting the high-end quality design.
Huawei Sound X 2021 comes with a 175.6mm diameter, 224mm height, and 3140g of weight. Similar to its processor, the Huawei Sound X comes in interstellar black.
48 full-color LED lights surround 360-degree, creating 7+1 kinds of magical lighting effects. The indicator light shows Guidance connection, voice response, status indication, music dynamic effect, light wallpaper, etc.
The new generation of Huawei Sound X is the first three-way smart speaker jointly designed by Devalet. The speaker unit has one 4.75 inch woofer, four 1.5 inch full-range speakers, one 1.25 inch tweeter, and two passive radiators.
Huawei Sound X 2021 comes with a 6 microphone ring array with a design that supports volume increase and decrease buttons, microphone button, play and pause keys as well as a light control button placed on the center top of the device.
The high, mid, and woofer unit sound independently, allowing the three-tone level to be distinct, bringing the bass sound and deep, the midrange is warm and clear, and the treble is bright and transparent.
Huawei Sound X 2021 is the world’s first smart speaker equipped with HarmonyOS 2. HarmonyOS doesn’t need to patch a 3rd party app to connect with the corresponding app, use the super device feature and fetch audio directly from PC or the smartphone.
With HM OS 2 support, the Huawei smart screen can be used to build a home theater with one click. The easy voice interaction allows you to integrate into the world of the Internet of Everything.
Huawei Sound X 2021 Price and Availability:
Huawei Sound X 2021 is priced at 2199 yuan. It’s already opened for pre-sale in China and the first sale is targeted for August 12 in China.
Google Play Store safety section will show new security information about apps
Google Play Store is bringing a new safety section, which will provide Android users features and accessibility to apps security, user permissions, and data it collects before downloading the app on a device.
According to Google, all of the Google Play Store apps will be required to share information in the safety section. Developers don’t need to panic, because Google also announced that developers will be given time to make these changes in their application sections.
So, let’s jump to more information regarding the Google Play Store safety section.
How will it look?
You will now be able to see the new summary section on the app’s store listing page. The section will describe all of the data that the corresponding app collects from your device.
Some of the highlights of these details are:
- Whether the app uses data encryption methods
- Whether it follows Families policy
- Whether the app has been independently validated against a global security standard.
Check details of the data collected by the app:
You will also have the power to view more information regarding the data that’s collected by the app and why you should grant permission.
Such examples for these are:
- Information collection – location, contacts, personal information (name, email, and other), financial information, and more.
- Where your data will be utilized in the app.
- More importantly, you will also be able to see, which data is optional or required to provide to the app.
Furthermore, the developers will have to mention whether the app uses any of the user data for research purposes.
Design could change:
Google confirmed that the design of the safety section may change as the features may receive further optimization with continued development.
Deadline for Developers to declare the information:
The new Google Play Store safety section will launch for the app in the first quarter of 2022.
To prepare for the listing, developers can submit information on Google Play Console for review from October this year. However, interested developers can start early if they want to.
Also, the last date for developers to meet the deadline to submit the app privacy details will be in April 2022. Without the approved section, the app won’t be submitted on Play Store.