1. Red Squirrel's Avatar
    Hi,

    My Blackberry DTEK50 got hacked the other day, I really don't know how it happened, I suspect it may be when I opened a text, without realizing it was not someone I know, and it was just blank. It must have been a virus. A few days later I started noticing that any time the messages app was open, it would start to completely drain the battery, I think the app was doing something, either it was mass sending text spam, or maybe bitcoin mining or something, I don't know. In pfsense I was seeing lot of traffic from the phone to/from Ireland any time the app was open. Oddly enough, to Facebook Ireland too. HTTPS, so could not really make out exactly what it was.

    I also learned the hard way that I have not been getting security updates since 2018! I thought the selling point of the DTEK50 was security and that they kept issuing security updates for a long time? I also did not realize that with android the security updates don't just come through play store but from the manufacturer. I always figured it would come from play store. Kinda odd that it works that way... not BB's fault, more Android's/google's. Sounds like it's a widespread issue where most phones only get security updates for a few years. Pretty crappy and wasteful being forced to get a new phone so often.

    But anyway... So I followed the instructions here to wipe the OS:

    How to reload the BlackBerry smartphone powered by Android OS

    I downloaded the driver and the OS package and ran the script. It appeared to be working. However, the phone does not actually boot into the OS anymore, it only boots into what I assume is what is called the fastboot menu. Just the green text with the option barcodes, continue, reboot, turn off. Going continue to boot just boots back to that screen.

    So it wiped the device I presume, but it does not seem it loaded the firmware.

    So I figured maybe that tool is only meant to do that and I need to download the actual firmware from somewhere, but I searched everywhere and can't find anything, I just keep landing on sketchy looking sites that I rather not trust.

    Can someone point me into the right direction as to where I'm suppose to get the firmware, and how to load it?

    Thanks.
    10-11-20 09:55 PM
  2. conite's Avatar
    Hi,

    My Blackberry DTEK50 got hacked the other day, I really don't know how it happened, I suspect it may be when I opened a text, without realizing it was not someone I know, and it was just blank. It must have been a virus. A few days later I started noticing that any time the messages app was open, it would start to completely drain the battery, I think the app was doing something, either it was mass sending text spam, or maybe bitcoin mining or something, I don't know. In pfsense I was seeing lot of traffic from the phone to/from Ireland any time the app was open. Oddly enough, to Facebook Ireland too. HTTPS, so could not really make out exactly what it was.

    I also learned the hard way that I have not been getting security updates since 2018! I thought the selling point of the DTEK50 was security and that they kept issuing security updates for a long time? I also did not realize that with android the security updates don't just come through play store but from the manufacturer. I always figured it would come from play store. Kinda odd that it works that way... not BB's fault, more Android's/google's. Sounds like it's a widespread issue where most phones only get security updates for a few years. Pretty crappy and wasteful being forced to get a new phone so often.

    But anyway... So I followed the instructions here to wipe the OS:

    How to reload the BlackBerry smartphone powered by Android OS

    I downloaded the driver and the OS package and ran the script. It appeared to be working. However, the phone does not actually boot into the OS anymore, it only boots into what I assume is what is called the fastboot menu. Just the green text with the option barcodes, continue, reboot, turn off. Going continue to boot just boots back to that screen.

    So it wiped the device I presume, but it does not seem it loaded the firmware.

    So I figured maybe that tool is only meant to do that and I need to download the actual firmware from somewhere, but I searched everywhere and can't find anything, I just keep landing on sketchy looking sites that I rather not trust.

    Can someone point me into the right direction as to where I'm suppose to get the firmware, and how to load it?

    Thanks.
    The DTEK50 was promised 2 years of security patches and got them.

    Google, Nokia, and Samsung are currently guaranteeing 3+ years of patches and 2/3 letter upgrades.

    Stay in fastboot, and run this autoloader:

    https://mega.nz/file/cBB3VarC#fASas-...I0BNSLG0tsT5xc

    Btw, I don't feel comfortable running an unpatched phone for more than 3 months. I think it's time to look at something new.
    Last edited by conite; 10-12-20 at 10:10 PM.
    10-12-20 08:56 AM
  3. Red Squirrel's Avatar
    Is there a way to get security updates for longer, perhaps to make the google server think I have a newer phone? Seems crazy that the patches have such a short life cycle. Not just BB, but like in general. Until this incident I never realized that security patches were separate from the regular updates and would just stop so early. I'm getting all the other updates so I kind of assumed those updates would be fixing security issues too, as that's how it works with everything else like Windows, Linux etc.

    I'm looking into a new phone, I just hate having to get rid of hardware that is perfectly fine hardware wise. Absolutely hate the concept of planned obsolescence, especially in a world where we need to try to stop polluting so much. Are there certain brands that offer better long term support, like 5-10 years?

    I'm downloading that file now so I will give that a try and report back.
    10-12-20 06:56 PM
  4. conite's Avatar
    Is there a way to get security updates for longer, perhaps to make the google server think I have a newer phone? Seems crazy that the patches have such a short life cycle. Not just BB, but like in general. Until this incident I never realized that security patches were separate from the regular updates and would just stop so early. I'm getting all the other updates so I kind of assumed those updates would be fixing security issues too, as that's how it works with everything else like Windows, Linux etc.

    I'm looking into a new phone, I just hate having to get rid of hardware that is perfectly fine hardware wise. Absolutely hate the concept of planned obsolescence, especially in a world where we need to try to stop polluting so much. Are there certain brands that offer better long term support, like 5-10 years?

    I'm downloading that file now so I will give that a try and report back.
    You can't get around it.

    I gave you the 3 best Android brands for updates.

    Apple gives you 5 years.
    10-12-20 10:09 PM
  5. Red Squirrel's Avatar
    What about phones that can take custom roms? I would imagine those rom devs tend to offer updates for longer or at least new rom versions? You can install Linux on a 10 year old machine and still get security updates for example.

    And that rom download you sent me worked BTW so thanks! Setting up the phone now. I will stick with this for now and just try to avoid being on data (that puts me directly on the internet, while on wifi I'm behind a router, so safer).

    I do need to figure out my next upgrade path though. Apple sounds a tad more reasonable at 5 years, though that also means spending like a grand on a phone. Maybe I just keep getting $300 phones and dealing with the fact that I lose security updates within a few years and just stretch it out for longer and hope to not get hacked. I don't really keep anything sensitive on my phone anyway. Still not great though as who knows what that hacker did. Access my camera, mic, view my screen etc. Still a huge invasion of privacy to get hacked.

    It's actually kind of too bad there is not much market for dumb phones, I would not mind something with a full keyboard and a good camera. Texting and pictures is basically all I really use my phone for. And a glorified thermostat to adjust my hvac from bed, but I could easily replace that with something else that is arduino or RPI based.
    10-12-20 10:24 PM

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