A propaganda app developed by the Chinese Communist Party could enable the government in Beijing to spy on users’ phones.
Since its launch in January, More than 100 million Android users in China have downloaded the “Study the Great Nation” app.
According to Sarah Aoun, the director of technology at the Open Technology Fund, in doing so these users have “essentially” given the Chinese Communist Party access to all of the data on their phones,
“The Chinese government was expanding its surveillance into citizens’ day-to-day lives”, Ms. Aoun, whose organization is financed by the US government via Radio Free Asia, told.
The Open Technology Fund contracted a German cybersecurity firm called Cure53 to forensically analyze the code of the app on Android phones in a process known as reverse engineering.
Cure53 found that the app had been designed to resist these analytic attempts, yet that it did contain a back door allowing a remote user to take control of the phone as if they were its owner.
The Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda department representatives denied that the app was capable of spying on its users.