US Army And CDC Seizing Popular Russian-Made Smartphone Apps Due To Security Concerns

With tensions between the United States and Russia running high due to the war in Ukraine the CDC and Ary collaborated to remove Russian-made app Pushwood that may have been collecting sensitive information.

By Tiffany Velasquez | Published

Pushwood, a Siberian headquartered app development company that presented itself as an American firm, has been removed after security concerns. Within the app were Russian-based codes providing evidence that this was, in fact, a Russian-made app. The company itself is proving to be extremely untrustworthy with the sea of wish-washy information.  

The company Pushwood is a Russian-made app that provides software and processing support for data. According to the Russian-made apps’ social media accounts, the company is located in Washington, DC, and Kensington, Maryland. However, the company is registered to a residential address in Maryland. The company owner, Max Konev, apparently operates that company in Thailand, but the main headquarters are in Novosibirsk, Siberia.

It seems incredibly unclear where the location of the Russian-based app really is and where it actually operated from. With such conflicting information, the CDC and the United States Army were right to make the call to pull the codes from the seven apps that it was on. Though the codes are no longer being used in the apps that the CDC and the Army were using, it’s alarming that a company could deceive the CDC and the United States Army in the first place. 

The Russian-based apps company apparently misled the CDC into thinking it was an American-based company, although Pushwood denies this claim. The owner claims to be proud of his Russian heritage and that he would never hide this fact. Additionally, Konev has stated that he has absolutely no connection with the Russian government. 

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Pushwood claims to have clients that are government entities, huge corporations, and non-profit organizations as well. Some of these organizations that utilize coding from the Russian-based app include the Union of European Football Associations, Britain’s Labour Party, and others. The company denies the collection of any sensitive information, and the information that is collected is stored in the United States and Germany

Despite this claim from the Russian-based app company, the Russian government could potentially demand that the company provide them with the information they have. If the company is, in fact, being deceiving in how they present itself, it could find itself in legal trouble. A stunt like this would be a direct violation of contracting laws and United States Federal Trade Commission regulations.

Tensions have been high between Russia and the United States government for quite some time.  The war in Ukraine made the tensions between the two even higher. Now, this Russian-based app company is causing even more tension, and the United States fears that Russia may, in fact, be attempting to spy on the United States and collect sensitive information. 

Codes from the Russian-based app company were being used by personnel at a United States Army base. Additionally, codes were taken off from seven apps utilized by the CDC. Pushwood also claims to have code within over 8,000 apps on around 2.3 billion devices. 

These numbers are incredibly alarming at the sincerity and security of the Russian-based app is currently under question. The legal outcome of this current situation is currently unknown. Let’s hope for the sake of national security that the government will now allow anything like this to ever happen again and will handle this situation the best way possible.