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  • Lithuania urges people to throw away Chinese phones.

    Home » Forums » Outside the box » The Junk Drawer » Lithuania urges people to throw away Chinese phones.

    • This topic has 11 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by anonymous.
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    #2391258

    I am not sure where this should go, so I am parking it here, in the “Junk Drawer.”

    According to the BBC, two popular brands in Lithuania: Xiaomi and Huawei have applications that, at least as I read this, censor words, besides presenting security risks:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-58652249

    This is, by the way, at the time when there is also a Chinese-Lithuanian blowup going on, because Taiwan opened an embassy in Vilnius with the wrong name, as far as Beijing is concerned, so this context, a not unheard of thing when at the government of China they do not like something, might or might not be relevant here:

    Excerpts:

    Consumers should throw away their Chinese phones and avoid buying new ones, Lithuania’s Defence Ministry has warned.

    A report by its National Cyber Security Centre tested 5G mobiles from Chinese manufacturers.

    It claimed that one Xiaomi phone had built-in censorship tools while another Huawei model had security flaws.

    Huawei said no user data is sent externally and Xiaomi said it does not censor communications.

    “Our recommendation is to not buy new Chinese phones, and to get rid of those already purchased as fast as reasonably possible,” said Defence Deputy Minister Margiris Abukevicius. “

    ….

    ” Xiaomi’s flagship Mi 10T 5G phone was found to have software that could detect and censor terms including “Free Tibet”, “Long live Taiwan independence” or “democracy movement”, the report said.

    It highlighted more than 449 terms that could be censored by the Xiaomi phone’s system apps, including the default internet browser.

    In Europe, this capability had been switched off on these models, but the report argued it could be remotely activated at any time. “

    ” The research also found the Xiaomi device was transferring encrypted phone usage data to a server in Singapore.

    “This is important not only to Lithuania but to all countries which use Xiaomi equipment,” the Centre said.

    The smartphone maker has soared in popularity with affordable models, seeing a 64% rise in revenue in its second quarter compared to a year earlier. “

    ” The report comes as tensions between Lithuania and China are rising.

    Last month, China demanded that Lithuania remove its ambassador from Beijing and said it would withdraw its envoy from Vilnius.

    The row began when Taiwan announced its missions in Lithuania would be called the Taiwanese Representative Office.

    Other Taiwanese embassies in Europe and the United States use the name of the country’s capital city, Taipei, to avoid a reference to the island itself, which China claims as its own territory.

    Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

    MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
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    • This topic was modified 1 month ago by OscarCP.
    3 users thanked author for this post.
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    • #2391321

      Thank you for sharing. This info is 100% make sense. Few years ago Israeli security company revealed embedded surveylance chip inside chinese made routers. China is evil place to trust.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2391494

        But… then again, just recently NSO – an Israeli security company – was in the news for hacking ‘unhackable’ iPhones.

        Do you know the expression “what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander

        Where and with whom does ‘righteousness’ start and end? I cannot think of a nation state that I would trust with data these days, certainly not my own.

        At least I would have the certainty that it would be as incompetent as usual… and that its efforts would probably be splashed across the front pages of news outlets the world over faster than ‘latest Boris gaffe’… for the merriment of all. Tee-hee. (But sad… SMH)

        (Mods… I know this is almost political. Feel free to delete.)

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2391495

          Or would it? 🙂

          Cue sci-fi or eerie music…

          🙂

          • #2391514

            Yes, absolutely. It would. “Incompetent” is the middle name. Because it does not have to be competent. Just destructive enough, you know? That will be just as effective. Messing up real good. And getting paid for it and being treated as someone important too. What is not to like?

            Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

            MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
            Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
            Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

        • #2391512

          I agree that pretty much any country has risk of spying when exporting communications equipment. But France, Germany never complained about Windows os, Cisco routers about spying things. But Israelis managed to reveal very craftly embedded chinese spy chip. Things are relative and not at sane time.

    • #2391417

      There are places you can check the gossip with a bit more reputation than a random Lithuanian press release, and security news a bit ahead of the BBC (who’s click offering this week is more concerned with miscreant users than miscreant devices.. printmare? Petitpotam? they’re not news.. not a mention.)

      https://nvd.nist.gov/products/cpe/search/results?namingFormat=2.3&keyword=Huawei+

      https://nvd.nist.gov/products/cpe/search/results?namingFormat=2.3&keyword=Xiaomi+

      https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/us-designates-chinas-huawei-and-zte-as-national-security-threats/

      Both the above have “blog” pages good for knowing when you need to kick Chrome up the backside to get an update before you browse if nothing else.

      https://nvd.nist.gov/general/nvd-dashboard

      https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/

      This does make the case for switching your phone off. (I haven’t got one which isn’t attached to a wall).

      Smart phones seem to choose to install updates when you do that just like our favourite operating system. I have to deal with complaints from my mum about that (Yes, you read that right. She does more actual electronics based communication than I do now, I’m trying to keep up here! No she wasn’t a “teen mum”..)

      Then again where I used to work we had a customer, a young lady of 86, who needed regular visits to update graphics drivers and the like as she thrashed those a quarter her age at Elder Scrolls, Everquest and the like!

       

       

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2391444

      Smart phones seem to choose to install updates when you do that just like our favourite operating system. I have to deal with complaints from my mum about that (Yes, you read that right. She does more actual electronics based communication than I do now, I’m trying to keep up here! No she wasn’t a “teen mum”..) Then again where I used to work we had a customer, a young lady of 86, who needed regular visits to update graphics drivers and the like as she thrashed those a quarter her age at Elder Scrolls, Everquest and the like!

      Big 😁

      Finance, social and tech founder. Managing director of new crowd sourced games in pre-release development. Director on a new consortium to bring fractional ownership of heritage antiquities to the blockchain. My planet-wide talk show for people craving new stories by which to live is Casual Saints.
    • #2391451

      Oscar, thank you. Things like these are very much worth considering in such a ridonculously politicized, polarized world. Since the desertified IT security sands on which everyone stands change frequently, I’ll look into this and form my own opinion/bases for action.

      When I was ‘Grand Vizier’ of my very thoughtfully built and secured LAN at our worldwide vintage gallery of one-of-kind or limited edition or sericel animation art, with my network and its connections to the outside world, I used a combination of a CheckPoint Technologies (an Israeli company) security appliance, Symantec Enterprise (US, but also transnational, probably with an Irish presence to pay nearly zero corporate income) network security, and a PatchLink software server to apply patches to our endless patches to our Windows DHCP server with its occasional Mac but mostly Windows clients. CheckPoint’s techs knew their stuff and probably spoke about it in their sleep. I had art collector clients in Canada, Belgium, and Japan, in addition to the U.S., and was the only one of our Art Consultants who did. I commissioned and built our 1st-ever intranet.

      Now, my far-flung fellow uber-geek, for what I write now I’m making this specifically about IT, and whom and what to trust. I follow the obviously political influence of giant money and political power and its’ direct effects on IT security or the lack of it. To find out how to do IT, I follow the money and follow the power. Kate Fazzini’s excellent thriller, Kingdom of Lies, and Shoshana Zuboff’s The Age of Surveillance Capitalism are my common points of reference in these contexts.

      In these security contexts there’s a vastly more than a mere trail of breadcrumbs linking Fauci’s willful investments in tech at Wuhan. Generally, every government is gray in nature. None are lily white (except maybe for Bhutan… but the only things I know about there are what I’ve heard or read from friend who have visited there), and most governments are not darkly black. So I also take politicized security reports with grains of salt or sometimes 50 lb. sacks of it. So, when the US says it doesn’t transfer tech to other countries, that’s not always true.

      The way I know that almost every politician is lying is that their lips are moving.

      Finance, social and tech founder. Managing director of new crowd sourced games in pre-release development. Director on a new consortium to bring fractional ownership of heritage antiquities to the blockchain. My planet-wide talk show for people craving new stories by which to live is Casual Saints.
    • #2391450

      Another excerpt from the same article, however …

      “A further 5G model by OnePlus was also examined by the team, but was found to have no issues.”

      • #2391519

        Anonymous #2391450 : I don’t see a “however” there. The Lithuanian National Cyber Security Center that did the study examined different phones from different companies. Not all were OK, they reported, but some could well have been, at least they found no fault with them. That they found some bad ones would be the issue here. Except for the real “however” in all this: the confrontation/blow up/dust up currently taking place between the Chinese and the Lithuanian governments that is the context of this throw-the-phones-away news.

        As to the BBC saying nothing about “printmare? Petitpotam”, why should they? The article was about something happening in Lithuania, not about everything that is wrong with the world.

        I kicked off this thread with the BBC article as a conversation piece for those interested to start talking about cell-phone security, not to be considered as something coming down from Heaven bringing us the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Perhaps, instead, someone in the know could explain the security wholes in the Android operating system, related to such things as its ancient age in Tech days, for example, I suspect that would be something interesting to read.

        Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

        MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
        Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
        Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

    • #2391460

      Soul Rider: On this topic, that is not restricted to possible Chinese malfeasance, but is something all major powers (and some not so major) have for centuries engaged in one form or another and are still very much at it. A topic on which there is some very articulate and informative commentary on today’s situation in a Web site created by Snowden. Remember him?, he of the huge official papers leak and now living in Russia, out of the reach of the police of the many countries set to get him, where for obvious reasons he keeps mum about the government there, about which there is definitely quite a bit to be said, and that is the shame of it. But the rest of the world is fair game, and there are interesting things to be learned from his commentary, including his recent discussion on conspiracy theories, the plague of the Internet Age, based on actual observed actions (good), or on the blind belief that what certain people say is true has to be true (bad). Plus a lot more on the theory and practice of deceptive rumor mongering.

      Another thing: you mention something about you doing “sericel animation”. I take it to mean cartoons hand-made, cell by cell, some of which are actual works of cinematographic art as, for example, Miyasaki’s “Princess Mononoke”, set in an imaginary medieval Japan, or Hatanaka’s “The tale of Princess Kaguya”, a highly poetic and dramatic retelling of an old fairy tale. Or, with a different approach, Studio Laika’s “Coraline” (stop action), etc. Although some computer animation has been used in these, particularly for the in-between work. Making one of these full-feature animation movies, even with the modern software and computers at the animators’ disposal these days, is still something that takes years to complete.

      If that is your thing (or approximately your thing), maybe you could add something to a thread on animation I started less than a year ago and that has only a few serious discussions on the topic, so more are always welcome, particularly from someone with professional insight on the techniques used.

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

      MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
      Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
      Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

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