Filed Under: Tech

Disguised Russian software from Pushwoosh found in US Army, CDC apps

By ,

According to an exclusive report from Reuters, thousands of apps on Apple’s App Store and Google Play contain software from a Russian technology company that has disguised itself as American. The company is called Pushwoosh. Notable apps affected include apps belonging to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the U.S. Army.

According to company documents publicly filed in Russia and reviewed by Reuters, Pushwoosh is headquartered in the Siberian town of Novosibirsk, where it is registered as a software company that also carries out data processing. It employs around 40 people and reported revenue of $2.4 million last year. Pushwoosh is registered with the Russian government to pay taxes in Russia.

On social media and in U.S. regulatory filings, Pushwoosh presents itself as a U.S. company based at various times in California, Maryland and Washington, D.C. The Russian software company’s founder, Max Konev, told Reuters in a September email that the company had not intentionally disguised its Russian origins.

“I am proud to be Russian and I would never hide this,” Konev said. He added the company “has no connection with the Russian government of any kind” and stores its data in the United States and Germany.

The CDC “said it had been deceived into believing Pushwoosh was based in the U.S. capital,” according to Reuters. After learning about its Russian roots from Reuters, the CDC removed Pushwoosh software from seven public-facing apps, citing security concerns.

The U.S. Army said it had removed an app containing Pushwoosh code in March because of the same concerns. That app was used by soldiers at one of the country’s main combat training bases.

Pushwoosh provides code and data processing support for software developers. This enables them to profile the online activity of smartphone app users and send tailor-made push notifications from Pushwoosh servers.

On its website, Pushwoosh says it does not collect sensitive information. Reuters found no evidence Pushwoosh mishandled user data.

RUSSIAN SOFTWARE HAS BEEN USED TO DEVELOP SMARTPHONE APPS USED HERE IN THE U-S…INCLUDING APPS BELONGING TO HIGH-PROFILE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES.
THE USE OF A RUSSIAN CODE TO DEVELOP THE SOFTWARE HAS PROMPTED A NEW WAVE OF SECURITY CONCERNS.
THE RUSSIAN SOFTWARE COMPANY IS CALLED “PUSH-WOOSH.”
IT LISTED ITSELF AS BEING A U.S. COMPANY…BUT IS HEADQUARTED AND REGISTERED IN RUSSIA.
[BULLET 2: USED IN 2.3 BILLION DEVICES]
THE SOFTWARE HAS BEEN USED IN THOUSANDS OF APPS FOUND IN YOUR GOOGLE OR APPLE STORE.
IT’S BEEN USED IN MORE THAN 2.3 BILLION DEVICES.
THE SOFTWARE IS ABLE TO COLLECT USER DATA INCLUDING ONLINE ACTIVITY AND GEOLOCATION.
THE CODE HAS BEEN FOUND INSIDE GOVERNMENT AGENCY APPLICATIONS…PREVOUSLY USED BY THE C-D-C AND THE U.S. ARMY.
WHILE THERE’S BEEN NO EVIDENCE OF THE RUSSIAN COMPANY MISHANDLING USER DATA…IT HAS SPARKED FEARS OVER INTERNATIONAL SPYING.
THE ARMY AND CDC HAVE REMOVED APPS AFFILIATED WITH THE RUSSIAN SOFTWARE….THEY BOTH CITED SECURITY CONCERNS FOR THE REASON.

Media Landscape

more +

17 Other sources covering this story

Bias Distribution

L 20%
C 60%
R 20%

60% of the sources are Center

Powered by Ground News™


According to an exclusive report from Reuters, thousands of apps on Apple’s App Store and Google Play contain software from a Russian technology company that has disguised itself as American. The company is called Pushwoosh. Notable apps affected include apps belonging to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the U.S. Army.

According to company documents publicly filed in Russia and reviewed by Reuters, Pushwoosh is headquartered in the Siberian town of Novosibirsk, where it is registered as a software company that also carries out data processing. It employs around 40 people and reported revenue of $2.4 million last year. Pushwoosh is registered with the Russian government to pay taxes in Russia.

On social media and in U.S. regulatory filings, Pushwoosh presents itself as a U.S. company based at various times in California, Maryland and Washington, D.C. The Russian software company’s founder, Max Konev, told Reuters in a September email that the company had not intentionally disguised its Russian origins.

“I am proud to be Russian and I would never hide this,” Konev said. He added the company “has no connection with the Russian government of any kind” and stores its data in the United States and Germany.

The CDC “said it had been deceived into believing Pushwoosh was based in the U.S. capital,” according to Reuters. After learning about its Russian roots from Reuters, the CDC removed Pushwoosh software from seven public-facing apps, citing security concerns.

The U.S. Army said it had removed an app containing Pushwoosh code in March because of the same concerns. That app was used by soldiers at one of the country’s main combat training bases.

Pushwoosh provides code and data processing support for software developers. This enables them to profile the online activity of smartphone app users and send tailor-made push notifications from Pushwoosh servers.

On its website, Pushwoosh says it does not collect sensitive information. Reuters found no evidence Pushwoosh mishandled user data.

Related Reports


Get unbiased straight facts, context, and perspective!