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Constellation

Security Feature for all devices

I have been thinking about a way to combat stolen (new unopened) products at retail locations. An idea is that the firmware is either locked out initially or not directly installed. It would take verification (proof of purchase) with samsung (preferrably an automated system) to send out an unlock or update firmware to deem the device usable.  This would be a one time action for new products and would not affect older or already unlocked devices.

 

I personally see this with several advantages:

  • The antitheft firmware initially installed would act as a LoJack essentially for electronics. Retailers would be able to utilize the system. Consumers should also be able to query the system to check on a device they may purchase off of another person.
  • The antitheft firmware would reside in an embedded sub sytem fully independent of the core system but built into the board. It's core purpose would be to handle the validation of a purchase and initialize or download the core firmware. Would probably need to be hidden on the hardware (making it harder to forcibly remove)
  • The antitheft firmware would use of IP addresses and/or GPS location (if available on the device) to be able to locate devices that are stolen. This can lead to charges pressed against people who have stolen said the electronics.
  • The antitheft firmware can use a rip cord style connection to the chassis of the device to determine additionally if the stolen device has been tampered with. I tend to think of this system similar to that of servers like Dell's iDrac system. It would have something to the effect of this:
    • if (isLocked) then logInfo
    • if (isLocked && isTampered) then signal
    • if isLocked && (sideLoaded || !isFirmwareDefault) then signal
  • The tamper system would be overwritten upon successful firmware unlock to prevent any issues later on (probably removed during the firmware unlock). Or rewritten to allow for consumer usecase for similar purposes.

 

While I acknowledge this is far from a perfect solution in it's current state I think it would be a good step in that direction. Also advertising that the device is anti-theft enabled may help to deter the devices from being considered to steal. Some sort of system will prevent loss of availability of products, excessive insurance claims, loss of revenue, etc. to many businesses.