Pakistan takes the fight to the sellers of fake smartphones


To crack down on the sale and registration of counterfeit devices, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has announced plans to target the sellers of such devices.

Shopkeepers and traders who are caught registering fake devices for customers could face up to 7 years in jail under strict new guidelines introduced to protect consumers and the environment from the many dangers that can lurk in counterfeit smartphones.

Citing many of the same issues we highlighted in our launch at MWC19, the Pakistani authorities are trying to combat:

“preinstalled malware and exploits since they can’t be accounted for. The devices could also cause physical harm since they don’t adhere to physical standards that devices from known manufacturers have to go through.”

Manufacturers of counterfeit smartphones don’t usually consider the impacts on the end user. Often, they contain sub-standard components to increase their profit margins. This can lead to health concerns, risks of battery leaks and explosions, not to mention the software vulnerabilities contained within.

Also mentioned were duplicate or invalid IMEI numbers, which can cause issues for network operators and law enforcement. In neighboring India, 2017 legislation introduced a maximum 3-year jail sentence for IMEI duplication or tampering.

In setting a 7-year jail sentence as the maximum punishment, Pakistan is sending a clear message to sellers of counterfeit smartphones. As their distribution and manufacturing is almost impossible for any single country to counteract, attacking the point of sale could help save consumers from the risks involved.

Learn how DeviceAssure can help protect your customers, citizens, employees or corporate network from the threats counterfeit smartphones can introduce.

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