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Tag: phone (Page 1 of 11)

Secret chips in replacement parts can completely hijack your phone’s security

Enlarge (credit: Omer Shwartz et al.)

People with cracked touch screens or similar smartphone maladies have a new headache to consider: the possibility the replacement parts installed by repair shops contain secret hardware that completely hijacks the security of the device.

The concern arises from research that shows how replacement screens—one put into a Huawei Nexus 6P and the other into an LG G Pad 7.0—can be used to surreptitiously log keyboard input and patterns, install malicious apps, and take pictures and e-mail them to the attacker. The booby-trapped screens also exploited operating system vulnerabilities that bypassed key security protections built into the phones. The malicious parts cost less than $10 and could easily be mass-produced. Most chilling of all, to most people, the booby-trapped parts could be indistinguishable from legitimate ones, a trait that could leave many service technicians unaware of the maliciousness. There would be no sign of tampering unless someone with a background in hardware disassembled the repaired phone and inspected it.

The research, in a paper presented this week at the 2017 Usenix Workshop on Offensive Technologies, highlights an often overlooked disparity in smartphone security. The software drivers included in both the iOS and Android operating systems are closely guarded by the device manufacturers, and therefore exist within a "trust boundary." The factory-installed hardware that communicates with the drivers is similarly assumed to be trustworthy, as long as the manufacturer safeguards its supply chain. The security model breaks down as soon as a phone is serviced in a third-party repair shop, where there's no reliable way to certify replacement parts haven't been modified.

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CallPlus improves the Phone app on jailbroken iPhones

If you have an iPhone, then chances are you rely on the built-in Phone app to handle your inbound and outbound calls. While the app is useful, it’s also barebones by nature and could do with some improvements.

A new jailbreak tweak dubbed CallPlus by iOS developer Elias Sfeir supercharges the Phone app, giving you more features than you’re probably accustomed to out of the box.... Read the rest of this post here

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This tweak lets you spoof your iPhone’s call history

Fake Call History is a new free jailbreak tweak by iOS developer NeinZedd9 that lets you spoof the call history in your Phone app.

Once installed, you can spoof not only missed calls, but also outgoing calls to make it look like you talked to someone or missed a phone call even when you really didn’t.... Read the rest of this post here

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US border agents: We won’t search data “located solely on remote servers”

Enlarge / International air travelers are processed by US Customs and Border Protection agents upon arrival to Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on December 10, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

In a new letter, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) has answered some questions posed months ago by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) about the agency’s policies when it comes to searches of digital devices at the border. However, that letter appears to have raised even more questions.

As Ars reported previously, there is a very broad exception to the Fourth Amendment at the border that allows officials to conduct warrantless searches. If your device is locked or encrypted and you refuse to assist agents’ attempts to open it, the device can be seized.

The recently published letter from CBP reiterated what federal officials have said before: electronic border searches are extremely rare, and the government claims the legal authority to compel assistance to open a device (including forcing someone to hand over their password). But it also distinguishes between data held on the phone and data held in the cloud.

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Keep your phone charged with the Mophie Powerstation 8X Battery Pack

Are you finding yourself having to manage your device's battery life because you never seem to have the juice to get through the day? It's manageable if you're around an outlet to keep your phone, but for those times you really need your phone to be charged you'll need a battery pack.

Save 46% on a Mophie Powerstation 8X! Learn More

Mophie is one of the trusted names in the portable battery pack segment, and the [Mophie Powerstation 8X battery pack] is one of the thinnest, most powerful universal external batteries on the market — providing 15,000mAh of power which should allow you to recharge your smartphone up to 8 times.

This battery pack includes two USB ports and allows you to charge two devices at once with 15W of output available. When it's time to recharge your Powerstation, pass-through charging allows you to charge your phone first before recharging the battery pack.

Save 46% on a Mophie Powerstation 8X! Learn More

Typically this battery pack would set you back around $150, but thanks to this deal from iMore Digital Offers, you'll save 46% and only pay $79.95. If you're frequently on the hunt for a quality battery pack to keep your devices charged, look no further than the Mophie Powerstation 8X!

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