Functional Counterfeit Smartphones May Bring New Security Threats

Functional Counterfeit Smartphones May Bring New Security ThreatsA fraudster has been selling fake Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphones online, according to a CBC News article. The 18-year-old suspect has been arrested after having sold dozens of the counterfeit mobile devices on Kijiji.

The suspect had apparently been buying the devices online from a China-based website for a paltry $100 each, and then reselling them for $450 to $600 in Alberta. While the devices actually do work as smartphones, their functionality is limited, suffering from deficiencies such as weaker batteries, a non-functioning flash, and a smaller camera. Police have not mentioned the fingerprint scanner that is meant to be on a proper Samsung Galaxy S6, but presumably the counterfeit devices’ sensors were not as reliable as the real thing, if they were even included at all.

To a degree, the scheme and its brief success are indicative of the popularity of Samsung’s latest flagship devices. But it’s also a warning about security; as more users transmit sensitive data through their mobile devices – especially with the rise of mPayment platforms – the security risks associated with hacking are also rising. And if someone starts sending that data on a knockoff device with third rate security or perhaps even built-in spyware, that could lead to disastrous results.