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[Q] wiping IMEI number

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15th February 2014, 03:09 PM   |  #1  
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Hello, Im a user from India. Recently I lost my Nexus 4. It was pick-pocketed. After filing a complaint with the police and hoping for the Phone to get traced through IMEI I discovered that you can change the IMEI of the phones.
Thieves in India, after stealing your phone, crack your phone through a software. Later they wipe the IMEI number and replace it with another one. This IMEI is usually obtained form cheap Chinese made phones. After using its IMEI number, the chinese phone is usually discarded.
Is there a way to safegaurd your phone form IMEI wipe, so that thieves cant replace it and further increasing your chances of tracking the phone?
Can the developers come up with a way to make our phones steal proof?
15th February 2014, 03:26 PM   |  #2  
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Are you sure it's a software thingy to wipe IMEI? I don't think it's that easy to do it
15th February 2014, 03:46 PM   |  #3  
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Originally Posted by silv3rfox

Are you sure it's a software thingy to wipe IMEI? I don't think it's that easy to do it

The police here have released an official statement stating this fact. They have published their case statistics, less than 10 percent of Lost phones get traced. Many Experts have stated that IMEI is not foolproof. Thieves have found a way to bypass it.
15th February 2014, 04:00 PM   |  #4  
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wiping imei is not easy,but possible i think.and,if only the phone send another imei to network,tracing will be invalid.

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15th February 2014, 04:41 PM   |  #5  
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Yeah but what I mean, maybe it's a hardware hack, which will be pretty impossible to make any phone theft-proof.
Most of the counter measurement in mobile theft are done by just tracing softwares or remote lockdowns, I highly doubt that you can save your phone from hardware hacks.
The only thing you can do to prevent such disaster is to really be careful :/
Though I'm not an expert in mobile security, but speaking hypothetically.
15th February 2014, 05:50 PM   |  #6  
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Originally Posted by silv3rfox

Yeah but what I mean, maybe it's a hardware hack, which will be pretty impossible to make any phone theft-proof.
Most of the counter measurement in mobile theft are done by just tracing softwares or remote lockdowns, I highly doubt that you can save your phone from hardware hacks.
The only thing you can do to prevent such disaster is to really be careful :/
Though I'm not an expert in mobile security, but speaking hypothetically.

I thought IMEI was software :/ One of its major purpose is for security. If 90 percent of stolen phones get their IMEI changed, doesnt it make it pointless.
Is there a way to enable your phone traceable like how apple does it with their iStore login. I am not fully aware of the iOS security.
15th February 2014, 06:43 PM   |  #7  
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Quote:

I thought IMEI was software

Actually after some googling, it turned out that changing IMEI is not really that hard. There are some tricks here and there. I don't think there are really efficient counter measures. There is an app from google, Android Device Manager, where you can track the location of your phone, and there is lots of other 3rd party apps, but they needs internet connection and location ticked, I don't think thieves are that stupid. They don't even need to turn on the device, they can change the software easily. And with IMEI restriction removed by changing the IMEI there is really not much you can do to get back your phone.
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16th February 2014, 06:09 AM   |  #8  
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Originally Posted by silv3rfox

Actually after some googling, it turned out that changing IMEI is not really that hard. There are some tricks here and there. I don't think there are really efficient counter measures. There is an app from google, Android Device Manager, where you can track the location of your phone, and there is lots of other 3rd party apps, but they needs internet connection and location ticked, I don't think thieves are that stupid. They don't even need to turn on the device, they can change the software easily. And with IMEI restriction removed by changing the IMEI there is really not much you can do to get back your phone.

The developers should take security measures seriously. Losing your expensive phone along with the data is quite harrowing. Along with other developments, the traceability and other such security measures should be high priority. I sincerely hope we get to see new and effective features on this front soon. Android developers please help!

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