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A Replacement Screen Could Offer Hackers A Key To Your Smartphone

You might need to take extra precaution if you are getting third-party replacement parts fitted inside your smartphone — these parts could contain chips which can be used to hack your smartphone and extract important information, including your financial information and other passwords.

According to a new study by a group of researchers from Israel’s Ben Gurion University, titled “Shattered trust: When replacement smartphone components attack,” replacement displays, NFC readers, wireless charging components and other such smartphone parts, mostly sourced from third-party manufacturers can be easily used to hack into a device.

The third-party source code can be easily integrated into the vendor’s source code — the smartphone part will show a regular screen to the user while accessing information in the background. Since the part will be well-integrated into the device, it will also override the smartphone security protocols, and be assumed to be trustworthy by the software.

The researchers have showcased how a smartphone can be hacked using a replacement display in a video.

In the video, a malicious chip is integrated into the third-party touchscreen and is easily able to target the communication system of a Huawei Nexus 6P or an LG G Pad 7.0. This hack allowed the researchers to record all communication done on the smartphone including emails sent, the keyboard input used for sending messages, making calls and more. The researchers were also able to install malicious apps, which makes the scenario even scarier as a user’s device can be used for any illegal activity using such apps.

The study further claims that it is very difficult to differentiate between such malicious components and company parts — even seasoned technicians might not be able to differentiate between the two.

Also, since the hack is based on hardware and not software, even an antivirus would not be able to scan such vulnerabilities and as a result, a smartphone user would be at risk even if the person has taken all the regular precautions to protect the mobile data.

This kind of hack isn’t even expensive, cheap components can be fitted with maliciously programmed chips. In the given instance, researchers used commonly available components such as the ATmega328 single microchip controller — which is used for reading and writing files in a smartphone. When you copy a file or attach it in apps and mail, this is the hardware being used.

What is an IMSI -International Mobile Subscriber Identity

What does International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) mean?

This information is to aid Mobile Virtual Network Operator, (MVNO)

 An international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) is a unique number, usually fifteen digits, associated with Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) network mobile phone users. The IMSI is a unique number identifying a GSM subscriber.

Read more: What is an IMSI -International Mobile Subscriber Identity

3 Mobile to buy o2 Network

Hutchison Whampoa  a company which most of the UK will not know is the company behind Three mobile (networks or 3UK).  European Reseller first became aware of this company in 2000 when they over spent on the new spectrum auction all players looked ahead to the future and saw gold. They therefore took risks and made high bids, incurring large debt, raising an unprecedented  £22.5 billion (GBP).

O2 logo

At a time when finance was counted in millions and not billions.

Compare this with the recent 4G auction when bidding was cautious, with the auction raising £2.34bn, £1bn less than the UK Treasury had hoped.

Read more: 3 Mobile to buy o2 Network

EE is set to begin challenging Ofcom’s Spectrum Cap

EE is set to begin challenging Ofcom’s decision , Three is already in challenging the watchdog’s new mobile spectrum cap.

“We’re supportive of Ofcom’s goal to release airwaves quickly, and we don’t want to stand in the way of that,” said an EE spokesperson. “We pragmatically accept that we are excluded from the 2.3GHz auction for 4G, and encourage Ofcom to continue without our participation. The UK needs a clear path to the introduction of 5G, so we are suggesting restructuring the 5G auction to introduce more 5G spectrum in one go – we want this to happen as soon as possible.

Blank phone

Read more: EE is set to begin challenging Ofcom’s Spectrum Cap

Italtel and Exprivia Partner to offer Iintegrated ICT in Italy

This agreement follows ten years of collaboration and forms a joint bid for telecom infrastructure, OSS monitoring systems and IT solutions for service providers and enterprises, with first commercial results already acquired through a number of IT contracts

Italtel, an Italian telecommunications and all-IP communication company , has partnered with Exprivia, another Italian company which is a, technology services and IT solutions company offering consultancy,  have signed a partnership agreement to strengthen their presence in the domestic Service Provider market.


The partnership will allow the companies to pool skills in order to create a joint commercial penetration plan for the Service Provider market.

Italtel and Exprivia will propose a joint offer which will integrate their expertise, products and services in Operational Support Systems (OSS) and Business Support Systems (BSS), with typical IT components.

Read more: Italtel and Exprivia Partner to offer Iintegrated ICT in Italy