Comments
The Trouble With Smartphone Kill Switches
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jaysimmons
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jaysimmons,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/20/2013 | 4:19:25 AM
re: The Trouble With Smartphone Kill Switches
There really isn't a clear solution out there for tracking and security phone software. Even if they develop apps that have the capability to track phones remotely and are unable to be wiped out by whoever took it, there is also the task of recovering it. From what I've seen it really isn't too easy to have law enforcement officers take phone recovery seriously when most of them are already over worked and busy with more pressing matters.

Jay Simmons
Information Week Contributor
rradina
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rradina,
User Rank: Ninja
8/15/2013 | 1:27:44 AM
re: The Trouble With Smartphone Kill Switches
Agreed. And by brick, you have to completely fry the whole phone. If you just fry the SOC, cell radio or flash memory, there will still be a market for "chop shops" that resell the display, battery, buttons, switches and enclosure.
Of course the problem with truly frying it (i.e. short-circuit the battery and melt the innards) is the risk of fire and personal injury -- to both legitimate owners and criminals. Yes, criminals. I guarantee you that the first criminal that gets burned will find an ambulance chasing lawyer and quickly go public and go loud. Of course they will be an extremely economically disadvantaged teenager that was only stealing so they could buy medications for their terminally ill mother and/or feed their younger siblings.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
8/14/2013 | 7:59:51 PM
re: The Trouble With Smartphone Kill Switches
I hope that whatever gets implemented is under user rather than manufacturer control.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
8/14/2013 | 6:38:29 PM
re: The Trouble With Smartphone Kill Switches
I think the key is ubiquitousness and prioritizing the "brick" part of the "brick it and recover it" equation. Once thieves believe the chances are 90% or better that a stolen phone will be unusable even in Asia, the problem will abate. At that point, recovery becomes moot.
iminmessaging
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iminmessaging,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/14/2013 | 4:29:35 PM
re: The Trouble With Smartphone Kill Switches
Nice article to save your mobile from thieves. But what should Samsung's existing customers should do for security purpose?
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
8/14/2013 | 3:49:23 PM
re: The Trouble With Smartphone Kill Switches
Lots to think about in this article. Seems like the perfect mix of hacker-proof location tracking and remote wipe capability is still out of reach. Leaving it to a third-party app is risky because it's too easy for a hacker to infiltrate the app, and same goes for manufacturers baking kill-switch tech into the hardware. No easy answer. Manufacturers have to make mobile security a priority. In the meantime, password protect your phones people!
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
8/14/2013 | 2:17:05 PM
re: The Trouble With Smartphone Kill Switches
To be certain you'd killed the phone, you'd probably need to make it self destruct, frying the circuits Mission Impossible style. Then you'd probably have misfires where phones are blowing up for no good reason.


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