Blackphone 2’s New Update Bricks Black Market Devices
If you haven’t heard of Blackphone as of yet, then this is an article that you absolutely cannot miss! Manufactured by Silent Circle and developed by the company’s subsidiary, SGP Technologies, Blackphone is a smartphone that is solely focused on security. The company has currently released two devices, both of which have been created with the intent to ensure complete privacy to its users.
Silent Circle has recently released an update that has the ability to brick any Blackphone 2 smartphones that have been purchased through the black market. This new feature comes with the SilentOS 3.0.8 update, which gives phones the ability to read the IMEI number of the hardware.
Once you have updated your phone, the system will automatically run a check to see if the device is an officially sold product or not. If it finds that the phone has been purchased illegally, the smartphone will immediately be bricked.
The following notification will pop-up on the display of an illegally purchased device:
“This smartphone has been identified as an unlicensed device. Only Blackphones sold through accredited vendors are authorised to operate SilentOS. SilentOS has been disabled on this device. If an error has occurred and this is an official Blackphone, please contact Silent Circle Support from your computer at https://support.silentcircle.com/customer/portal/emails/new.”
According to a report from Ars Technica, the latest update is not yet being shown on all original Blackphone 2 smartphones and is instead specifically targeting black market phones.
Earlier in January, Silent Circle advised companies and consumers through a press release that they should work along with the authorised sales companies of Blackphone 2 when buying a device. The company stressed upon the fact that it would be taking aggressive measures in order to fight the risk of fake devices.
Silent Circle Vice President of Product Management, Blair Young said, “Lately, we’ve been getting reports that unauthorised resellers and distributors are representing themselves as approved providers, seeking to capitalise on the popularity of our brand and product. Some are advertising very low prices to draw interest. Unfortunately, these grey market sellers are deceiving the people who buy from them. Those customers don’t find out until it’s too late that they are purchasing unofficial Blackphone 2 devices and won’t get access to Silent Circle’s rich software portfolio, new and enhanced applications, or customer service and support.”
This is a real danger, especially for all those who have purchased a Blackphone 2 with the specific intent of protecting their privacy. The Blackphone 2 was first debuted at the Mobile World Conference in 2015 and was priced at approximately Rs. 53,000 for an unlocked device.
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Picture courtesy – arstechnica.net, gadgets360cdn.com
by techtalks @TechTalks February 27, 2017 9:11 AM UTC