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Samsung warns on fakes

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Counterfeit goods in the electronic industry has become an increasingly disturbing problem in South Africa. Samsung Electronics South Africa has debunked the difference between authentic and counterfeit smartphones that consumers should note before making a purchase.

Counterfeit goods have become an increasingly worrying problem in South Africa. Not only is the clothing industry suffering under the scourge of counterfeit goods but the Electronics industry has also been under fire. Consumers who purchase a smartphone device from unauthorised dealers are at risk of losing out financially, as there are limited options they can resort to should they subsequently discover that the device is faulty.

Richard Chetty, Service Director at Samsung Electronics South Africa, says, “Samsung is committed to providing its customers with the best service, with regards to solutions and devices, which is reflected in the quality of after-sales service, customer and technical support. The problem facing consumers who do not purchase their device at a Samsung approved dealer, is that there are no consumer care or repair options available to support any of the device components, or any way of being compensated if the product turns out to be a counterfeit.”

“If the purchase price is too good to be true, then it probably is. For example, if a Samsung Galaxy smartphone is found on sale at a much reduced price, we urge consumers to check with our customer care centres before purchasing the device, or else they may be left with a fake product”, says Chetty.

Examining the physical differences between an authentic Samsung smartphone and a counterfeit model can help identify an imitation phone. The Samsung logo on counterfeits is slightly raised, like a sticker. The screen will also appear a tad lighter than on a genuine device.

“A closer look at a genuine Samsung device will reveal sensors on the forward facing camera, which do not appear on the fake unit. When a genuine product is placed next to a fake one, a customer will easily recognise the lack of quality in the counterfeit version of the phone just by comparing the rear facing cameras,” adds Chetty.

Battery size is another obvious giveaway especially on the Samsung Galaxy S4. The genuine battery is much larger, has higher quality labels and well-designed positive and negative nodes. “The battery is probably the most important determinant of a fake device as it will impact how the device is charged,” warns Chetty. “The design of the battery compartment is very different with softer connectors on the genuine phone while the sticker displays the IMEI number clearly alongside the ICASA branding.”

 

Other elements that determine the validity of authentic Samsung smartphones:

 

Authentic Smartphones Counterfeit Smartphones
·         The genuine device has around seven to eight screws. ·         The counterfeit device has only two or three screws and the rest are imitations.
·         The Samsung Galaxy S5 comes in a genuine Samsung box. ·         The counterfeit Samsung Galaxy S5 also comes in a genuine Samsung box, it is advisable to open it first to ensure it is a genuine device.
·         On screen off mode, the authentic device’s screen appears darker. ·         The counterfeit appears much lighter.
·         Samsung uses a variety of manufacturers across the globe to produce its smartphone batteries. These batteries will always specify where the ‘cell’ was made and assembled. ·         A fake battery will always say ‘Made in Korea’, with no specific mention to where it was assembled.
·         Samsung smartphones are sold at authorised Samsung dealers or local operators. ·         Counterfeit Samsung smartphones can be sold anywhere, including off the street.

·         Online purchases that do not allow for returns are not sold by genuine dealers.

·         Ensure your purchase comes with the Samsung South Africa two year Warranty ·         Samsung smartphones that do not carry a two year Warranty are not authentic.

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Earth 2050: memory chips for kids, telepathy for adults

An astonishing set of predictions for the next 30 years includes a major challenge to the privacy of our thoughts.

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By 2050, most kids may be fitted with the latest memory boosting implants, and adults will have replaced mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought.

These are some of the more dramatic forecasts in Earth 2050, an award-winning, interactive multimedia project that accumulates predictions about social and technological developments for the upcoming 30 years. The aim is to identify global challenges for humanity and possible ways of solving these challenges. The website was launched in 2017 to mark Kaspersky Lab’s 20th birthday. It comprises a rich variety of predictions and future scenarios, covering a wide range of topics.

Recently a number of new contributions have been added to the site. Among them Lord Martin Rees, the UK’s Astronomer Royal, Professor at Cambridge University and former President of the Royal Society; investor and entrepreneur Steven Hoffman, Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner, along withDmitry Galov, security researcher and Alexey Malanov, malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

The new visions for 2050 consider, among other things:

  • The replacement of mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought – able to upload skills and knowledge in return – and the impact of this on individual consciousness and privacy of thought.
  • The ability to transform all life at the genetic level through gene editing.
  • The potential impact of mistakes made by advanced machine-learning systems/AI.
  • The demise of current political systems and the rise of ‘citizen governments’, where ordinary people are co-opted to approve legislation.
  • The end of the techno-industrial age as the world runs out of fossil fuels, leading to economic and environmental devastation.
  • The end of industrial-scale meat production, as most people become vegan and meat is cultured from biopsies taken from living, outdoor reared livestock.

The hypothetical prediction for 2050 from Dmitry Galov, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab is as follows: “By 2050, our knowledge of how the brain works, and our ability to enhance or repair it is so advanced that being able to remember everything and learn new things at an outrageous speed has become commonplace. Most kids are fitted with the latest memory boosting implants to support their learning and this makes education easier than it has ever been. 

“Brain damage as a result of head injury is easily repaired; memory loss is no longer a medical condition, and people suffering from mental illnesses, such as depression, are quickly cured.  The technologies that underpin this have existed in some form since the late 2010s. Memory implants are in fact a natural progression from the connected deep brain stimulation implants of 2018.

“But every technology has another side – a dark side. In 2050, the medical, social and economic impact of memory boosting implants are significant, but they are also vulnerable to exploitation and cyber-abuse. New threats that have appeared in the last decade include the mass manipulation of groups through implanted or erased memories of political events or conflicts, and even the creation of ‘human botnets’. 

“These botnets connect people’s brains into a network of agents controlled and operated by cybercriminals, without the knowledge of the victims themselves.  Repurposed cyberthreats from previous decades are targeting the memories of world leaders for cyber-espionage, as well as those of celebrities, ordinary people and businesses with the aim of memory theft, deletion of or ‘locking’ of memories (for example, in return for a ransom).  

“This landscape is only possible because, in the late 2010s when the technologies began to evolve, the potential future security vulnerabilities were not considered a priority, and the various players: healthcare, security, policy makers and more, didn’t come together to understand and address future risks.”

For more information and the full suite of inspirational and thought-provoking predictions, visit Earth 2050.

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How load-shedding is killing our cellphone signals

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Extensive load-shedding, combined with the theft of cell tower backup batteries and copper wire, is placing a massive strain on mobile network providers.

MTN says the majority of MTN’S sites have been equipped with battery backup systems to ensure there is enough power on site to run the system for several hours when local power goes out and the mains go down. 

“With power outages on the rise, these back-up systems become imperative to keeping South Africa connected and MTN has invested heavily in generators and backup batteries to maintain communication for customers, despite the lack of electrical power,” the operator said in a statement today.

However, according to Jacqui O’Sullivan, Executive: Corporate Affairs, at MTN SA, “The high frequency of the cycles of load shedding have meant batteries were unable to fully recharge. They generally have a capacity of six to 12 hours, depending on the site category, and require 12 to 18 hours to recharge.”

An additional challenge is that criminals and criminal syndicates are placing networks across the country at risk. Batteries, which can cost R28 000 per battery and upwards, are sought after on black markets – especially in neighbouring countries. 

“Although MTN has improved security and is making strides in limiting instances of theft and vandalism with the assistance of the police, the increase in power outages has made this issue even more pressing,” says O’Sullivan.

Ernest Paul, General Manager: Network Operations at SA’s leading network provider MTN, says the brazen theft of batteries is an industry-wide problem and will require a broader initiative driven by communities, the private sector, police and prosecutors to bring it to a halt.

“Apart from the cost of replacing the stolen batteries and upgrading the broken infrastructure, communities suffer as the network degrades without the back-up power. This is due to the fact that any coverage gaps need to be filled. The situation is even more dire with the rolling power cuts expected due to Eskom load shedding.”

Loss of services and network quality can range from a 2-5km radius to 15km on some sites and affect 5,000 to 20,000 people. On hub sites, network coverage to entire suburbs and regions can be lost.

Click here to read more about efforts to combat copper theft.

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