U.S. Customs and Border Protection intercept counterfeit iPhones

CBP officers in North Dakota inspected a shipment from Canada which was found to contain 39 counterfeit iPhones, with a recommended retail price of $31,200 USD.

Barbara Hassler, Pembina Area Assistant Port Director – Trade, said: “Our officers and import specialists do an excellent job targeting shipments and identifying counterfeit items. Counterfeit merchandise is often made of inferior materials and can potentially threaten the health and safety of consumers.”
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Had these devices made it through customs and ended up in the hands of unsuspecting users, they may have found themselves victim of identity theft and data misuse, as quite often the default apps and programs on such devices are not as they seem. Masquerading as authentic, only the phone creators truly know what’s going on at a software level, leaving victims wide open to numerous attack vectors.

As we saw when we tore down a fake iPhone we bought online for under $100, it’s often impossible to visually tell a genuine smartphone from a counterfeit.

For businesses, this adds an extra threat as such devices can gain a foothold within a corporate network, allowing data to be exfiltrated to wherever the attacker wants.

Counterfeit devices also pose a risk to smartphone manufacturers themselves, both in terms of lost revenue and negative brand sentiment. Financial services are particularly vulnerable for obvious reasons, while Governments should be concerned with the loss of Tax & Excise revenue and dangers to public health and safety too.

This risk will only increase as workplaces embrace “BYOD” (bring your own device), making effective defence a necessity.

Get in touch if you’d like to learn more about the DeviceAssure solution to the increasing threat landscape.

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