US government apps found using Russian code

(Image credit: Elchinator from Pixabay )

A Russian data company pretending to be an American one ended up developing code for apps used by the United States Army, as well as for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to Reuters, a firm called Pushwoosh, which listed an address in Washington, D.C. (among other places) as its headquarters, was actually based in Novosibirsk, Russia. It also claims that Pushwoosh listed addresses in California, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

As a result, more than 8,000 iOS and Android apps contain code developed in Russia. The U.S. Army since claim to have removed the offending code from their products, and the CDC have removed Pushwoosh software from seven public-facing apps, citing security concerns.

'Proud Russian'

The company’s founder, Max Konev, told Reuters a few months ago that he never hid the company’s Russian origins. He stated, "I am proud to be Russian and I would never hide this."

In fact, the business address listed on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, is a suburban home in Kensington, Maryland, belonging to a friend of the founder, who said he had no other involvement with the company.

Konev stated that the Maryland address was used to "receive business correspondence" during the Covid-19 pandemic. He also claimed that Pushwoosh now operates from Thailand, but Reuters could not find evidence of the company being registered in that jurisdiction. 

Pushwoosh is a software company that processes data, which may set alarm bells ringing. However, Reuters has found no evidence of Pushwoosh mishandling user data.

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.