The US-China Trade War is far from over and Huawei is stuck in the middle as collateral damage. The telecommunication giant has faced a plethora of challenges this year and there’s no long-term solution in sight.
In a quite surprising revelation, Huawei alleges the US Government is launching “cyber attacks” against it. The claim is one of many made in a press release, and heightens an already tense relationship between the company and US authorities.
US gov’t bullying Huawei
Huawei stressed that in addition to pushing other countries to ban its products, the US government “has been using every tool at its disposal — including both judicial and administrative powers, as well as a host of other unscrupulous means — to disrupt the normal business operations of Huawei and its partners.”
The company further added that the US Government is threatening its employees. The release went on to say the US Government has been “instructing law enforcement to threaten, menace, coerce, entice, and incite both current and former Huawei employees to turn against the company and work for them.”
Although it isn’t entirely clear what the desired outcome of this statement actually is, it is a new approach. So far, we’ve only seen Huawei take a back seat and absorb all the allegations and sanctions being thrown at it. They’ve been diplomatic in their communication and refrained from being on the offensive.
(1/4) For months, the U.S. has leveraged its political and diplomatic influence to lobby other governments to ban Huawei gear, using every tool at its disposal to disrupt normal business operations of Huawei and its partners. Read more here: https://t.co/xVDt2lzwXx pic.twitter.com/VPRfYjhveN
— Huawei Facts (@HuaweiFacts) September 3, 2019
All this on the heels of the Mate 30 launch
The company is all set to launch the Mate 30 series and unfortunately, it won’t be having Google Play services. This is a huge drawback for the company and it has already kicked-off a secondary route of creating its own operating system. But, that’s still a long way down the road.
The US Government or the President, are yet to directly respond to these allegations. There are no signs of the Trade War cooling down and we expect to see more allegations being thrown at each other in the coming weeks.
Apple is trademarking the slofie
Is the slofie a thing now?
“Selfie” will always be a part of our everyday lexicon. Even if you don’t like taking selfies, you still know what a selfie is. Since the invention of the front-facing camera, everyone has taken a selfie in one form or the other. Likewise, most people also know what a groufie is — the selfie’s group-oriented cousin. Both the selfie and the groufie have seemingly covered all the bases in the front-facing phenomenon. Besides, we have enough of these terms to last us a lifetime.
Apparently, Apple doesn’t think so. At its latest iPhone 11 launch event, the company introduced another monstrosity into our packed vocabulary — the slofie, a selfie but shot in slow motion. The slofie promotes Apple’s newest camera feature. The iPhone 11 Pro’s front-facing camera packs in a slow-motion shooting capability. The camera shoots at an astonishing 120 frames per second.
As with the Animoji years ago, Apple is going all-in on the slofie. The company has applied for a trademark on the term. The trademark application covers all software involved in shooting the slow-motion selfie. Basically, Apple wants to control the market when the iPhone 11 drops. If the slofie does gain traction, it will likely face competitors and imitators. (For example, the Animoji had its fair share of imitators.) A trademark can prevent that from happening.
In another vein, Apple is still trying to make slofies a thing. Apple, please don’t make slofies a thing.
SIM card vulnerability puts your sensitive information at risk
It’s called the SIMjacker
SIM cards are very important. However, a new SIM card vulnerability found out by AdaptiveMobile Security might be putting our information at risk. The Simjacker exploit, which was recently found out and still being investigated on, allows malicious hackers to steal sensitive information from your phone through a SIM card.
Mechanism of attack
How does the Simjacker vulnerability work?
First, a hacker sends a malicious code to your phone through SMS. Then, the malicious code is read directly by your SIM card. The code then causes the [email protected] browser to send sensitive information to an accomplice device through SMS.
According to the report pulished by AdaptiveMobile Security regarding the vulnerability, the [email protected] browser is found on most SIM cards even though its development was abandoned many years ago. [email protected] browser was never updated, so it carries the risk of sending sensitive information to hackers when exploited successfully.
Sensitive information retrieved and transmitted by the [email protected] browser include location and the IMEI of an exploited device. The IMEI is a shorthand for International Mobile Equipment Identity, which is a 15 digit number unique to your smartphone that has some information about your device including its brand and model. As such, hackers can determine your exact location if you have a compromised SIM card, regardless of what device you have.
And the worst part of the attack is that you have no way of knowing that it has already been done since it all happens within the SIM card.
Origin and scope of the attack
The purpose for carrying an attack varies. However, the report traces the origin to an unspecified private company that works with governments to monitor individuals. So, there is a real possibility that it has been used to spy on us. And rightly so, since specific individuals were targeted in a certain country.
The report also warned that over one billion smartphones across all continents could be at risk to the vulnerability — and you could be one of them.
Response to the attack
In response to the discovered vulnerability, industry association SIMalliance has already put up recommendations for network providers to secure their networks. At this point in time, you can’t do anything to secure yourself from the vulnerability, unless you decided to go SIM-free.
But as a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t just give your smartphone number like a free lunch. It also pays to update your smartphone once in a while, since some updates are designed to secure your phone from these kind of vulnerabilities and attacks.
Huawei thinks about selling its 5G business
Will hopefully appease Western tensions
Once again, Huawei is weighing all its options. As time rolls by, the company is slowly losing its grip on the Western market. Even after a temporary wave of full support, the US government has gone cold turkey. Huawei is still on the blacklist. In the meantime, the company’s temporary operating license is merely receiving extensions. Unfortunately, extensions don’t mean much without a definitive end.
Huawei is in dire straits. According to a recent interview with The Economist, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei is mulling over a drastic move: selling its 5G business to the highest bidder.
Throughout the entire controversy, Huawei’s detractors have often decried the company’s 5G technology as a potential security threat. According to the detractors, the Chinese government can seize control of the company at any time.
Hence, a potential sale can alleviate geopolitical pressures. If a sale is concluded, the purchasing customer will have access to the technology’s inner workings. The customer can check if the network does have a Chinese backdoor built into it. Further, they can tailor the technology in any way they want.
Since plans are plans, the Huawei boss still doesn’t have any potential customers in mind. Likewise, the company has not announced a price yet. If you’re eyeing your wallet for a huge purchase, you’ll have to wait for when Huawei announces the sale.
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