1. m3mb3rsh1p's Avatar
    Smartphone theft and the risks associated with attempts to recover them has prompted calls for a "kill switch" that would render devices unusable to thieves.

    The security measures provided by Apple's "Find my phone", Google's "Android Device Manager" and BlackBerry Protect offer users the ability to remotely locate, lock and erase their devices in the event that they are lost or stolen. There has also been a "Blacklist" database that owners could use to prevent a stolen device from being activated by any carrier.

    Excepting the Blacklist database, these features were seemingly geared towards facilitating recovery and "securing" personal data rather than deterring theft. They depend on the device being powered on, the device's location services being turned on and a connection to the parent server being made. If reachable, the owner could track the device's location, lock it and erase their personal data.

    If your device is found by a friendly person, the recovery features do make it easy to instruct the finder as to where and how they could facilitate a happy reunion. As far as theft is concerned, unfortunately, these features are "only foolproof."

    This could be the reason why device theft has continued unabated, leading many aggrieved victims to rush in pursuit of their beloved smartphones. Some have succeeded, often with the help of police. Many others will never see their devices again as they will be in the hands of new, oblivious users, courtesy of more sophisticated miscreants. Sadly, some recovery attempts have had violent, even tragic outcomes, prompting police to dissuade owners from pursuing the criminals by themselves.

    The "brick switch" envisioned by most owners is one that would make their smartphone impossible to access and unprofitable to steal. Most users store large quantities of personal data, from emails to photos, so even wiping the device is often an unpalatable course of action for what could just be a recoverable situation. It would be ideal to have a security feature that equated a stolen phone to an "assembly of non-functional components" and a lost phone to an "uncrackable safe." The former would be a certain theft-deterrent and the latter would disallow cheeky snooping before recovery.

    With BB10 version 10.3.2 BlackBerry Protect has been updated to include an anti-theft feature that appears to have finally achieved complete security, even from sophisticated attempts at circumventing the remote lock and erase facilities.

    As explained in BlackBerry's blog your BlackBerry ID combined with a device password require both remote and local authentication for your device to be useable at all. BlackBerry Protect functions invisibly during normal use. Users enter their device password according to the locking rules set by them and use features associated with their BlackBerry ID such as BBM and BlackBerry World without intervention. However, if the device password authentication fails; if the BlackBerry ID is tampered with; if the owner remotely flags the device as stolen, the device will be completely unusable. Only the owner will be able to recover it.

    It must be noted that the remote security depends on network connectivity. For local security, a device password must be set, lest the device should be vulnerable to local snooping in the period between the loss and the remote locking by the owner. Some users might find the device password bothersome, which is why Picture Password and a configurable timeout for the device lock are handy features. The personal and social benefits of the updated Anti-Theft feature far outweigh the perceived inconvenience of authentication.

    Bla1ze, CrackBerry.com's own Editor-in-Chief, recently revealed in the BerryFlow Upstream podcast - 'Social' that he experienced, first-hand, the absolute finality of BlackBerry Protect. An ill-executed attempt at switching BlackBerry IDs rendered his CrackBerry bricked and unrecoverable! Even BlackBerry's own engineers could do nothing besides recommend a picture frame from which to hang his Passport. At least it's still in his possession, a mere shell of its former self.

    As with the ubiquitous 10-attempt warnings displayed when performing carrier unlocking or entering device passwords, BlackBerry Protect should be used responsibly. "Remember" to follow the correct procedures described here when switching devices, BlackBerry IDs as well as passwords.

    Now that BlackBerry is sharing their security expertise with other platforms, this Anti-Theft feature could find its way into other devices. In fact, as IoT becomes increasingly achievable, even Vehicles, Smart Home Appliances and other personal or enterprise assets could benefit from security of this calibre.
    Last edited by m3mb3rsh1p; 07-29-15 at 07:31 AM.
    07-28-15 11:28 PM
  2. jaydee5799's Avatar
    Hmmm could you provide the link for this story? Thanks
    07-29-15 06:37 AM
  3. m3mb3rsh1p's Avatar


    The video was expanding in the post so I omitted it.
    jaydee5799 likes this.
    07-29-15 06:43 AM
  4. nesteman's Avatar
    hy. I received a BB passport, I have an ID but when I start the phone (select lang. network etc.) and try to conect a red message appear: "anti theft feature is on. you must login with the ID that was used to setup this device". I have the ID from my friend but its apper to be incorect. What can I do to be able to use the phone ?
    10-03-15 10:04 AM
  5. MobileMadness002's Avatar
    hy. I received a BB passport, I have an ID but when I start the phone (select lang. network etc.) and try to conect a red message appear: "anti theft feature is on. you must login with the ID that was used to setup this device". I have the ID from my friend but its apper to be incorect. What can I do to be able to use the phone ?
    Get the "correct" ID information and use that to login. I do not think the device can be activated until this happens. Even removing the device from BB Protect on the web site I don't think will work.
    10-03-15 11:01 AM
  6. nesteman's Avatar
    my friend have another BB Passport and he is uses the same ID. If he make e swipe from his phone then I will be able to conect to my phone and then use my ID?
    10-03-15 11:12 AM

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