LG and Samsung to implement smartphone 'kill switch' in Korea

LG and Samsung to implement smartphone 'kill switch' in KoreaIf you've ever had a phone or laptop stolen, you'll be familiar with the slightly violated feeling of knowing your digital life has been laid openly at the fingertips of a complete stranger.

Korean heavyweights Samsung and LG, however, plan to introduce a “kill switch” on their smartphones and tablets that would give owners the power to render them completely inoperable if they are stolen.

The initiative is a combined effort between the two companies and South Korea's Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, and would give manufacturers and mobile networks the power to lock a device instantly, even if the SIM is replaced or the firmware is hacked.

Korea has seen an explosion in mobile phone thefts over the past few years, with the reported number of stolen devices having risen from 5,575 in 2009 to 31,075 last year.

The UK has its own problems with mobile phone theft – back in January the Metropolitan Police said that on average more than 300 phones are stolen in London alone every day.

Rolling out a similar “kill switch” facility here would surely be welcome, then, but would require government, phone makers and mobile networks to co-operate for it to happen. In other words, don't expect progress to come quickly.

Via WSJ

Add a comment
9 comments

JanSt / MOD  Aug. 28, 2013 at 18:24

It'll be a hackers' April Fools Day every day! To make this work properly so much cooperation and coordination will be required... Like, will the NSA provide us with a copy of our data to set up a new phone?

Treab  Aug. 28, 2013 at 19:00

It'll be a hackers' April Fools Day every day! To make this work properly so much cooperation and coordination will be required... Like, will the NSA provide us with a copy of our data to set up a new phone?

ROFL Like the mention of the nsa ;)

AhmadCentral  Aug. 28, 2013 at 23:01

It'll be a hackers' April Fools Day every day! To make this work properly so much cooperation and coordination will be required... Like, will the NSA provide us with a copy of our data to set up a new phone?

Is it just me or do you mention the NSA in everyone of your posts now?

Kind of ironic i guess because the NSA read everyone of your posts ;)

Treab  Aug. 28, 2013 at 23:53

It'll be a hackers' April Fools Day every day! To make this work properly so much cooperation and coordination will be required... Like, will the NSA provide us with a copy of our data to set up a new phone?

Is it just me or do you mention the NSA in everyone of your posts now?

Kind of ironic i guess because the NSA read everyone of your posts ;)


its because he knows they are on to him... jan is actually osama bin laden and the americans staged the attack in pakistan to look good... THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE PEOPLE

AhmadCentral  Aug. 29, 2013 at 00:04

It'll be a hackers' April Fools Day every day! To make this work properly so much cooperation and coordination will be required... Like, will the NSA provide us with a copy of our data to set up a new phone?

Is it just me or do you mention the NSA in everyone of your posts now?

Kind of ironic i guess because the NSA read everyone of your posts ;)


its because he knows they are on to him... jan is actually osama bin laden and the americans staged the attack in pakistan to look good... THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE PEOPLE


http://static3.fjcdn.com/thumbnails/comments/...I+m+just+gonna+back+away+slowly+_eff93797838bdcf72f3d49e405a525e0.gif

Treab  Aug. 29, 2013 at 02:15

It'll be a hackers' April Fools Day every day! To make this work properly so much cooperation and coordination will be required... Like, will the NSA provide us with a copy of our data to set up a new phone?

Is it just me or do you mention the NSA in everyone of your posts now?

Kind of ironic i guess because the NSA read everyone of your posts ;)


its because he knows they are on to him... jan is actually osama bin laden and the americans staged the attack in pakistan to look good... THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE PEOPLE


http://static3.fjcdn.com/thumbnails/comments/...I+m+just+gonna+back+away+slowly+_eff93797838bdcf72f3d49e405a525e0.gif


seeing if prism still exists ...so far inconclusive...

AhmadCentral  Aug. 29, 2013 at 02:20

Unexpected plot twist!

Jan is PRISM!

JanSt / MOD  Aug. 29, 2013 at 06:58

The irony (pfft) is that nobody else wants to mention it. I'm embarrassed for most tech bloggs, actually. But sure, I can not mention it. What else shouldn't we mention? Just so I know?!

socialjeebus  Aug. 29, 2013 at 09:15

This killswitch is completely pointless.

Most phones stolen in Korea, are not actually "stolen" many foreigners simply don't bother paying the rest of their contract at their year long stay (who cares about paying for the rest of your two year contract when you don't have any intention of returning to Korea).

The few phones that are stolen are stolen because people by and large don't keep watch over them like they do in other countries.

When my mate from the Met Police came to Seoul he was shocked that people leave their mobiles in public charging stations unattended.

People leave them unattended in coffee shops, restaurants, and even bars.

Not just phones either, expensive handbags, wallets, purses, shopping bags, laptops - people are just very trusting here - because the crime rate is so low.

Bizarrely the countryside has far more crime than cities. Statistically it's more dangerous.

Email:

You don't need an account to comment. Just enter your email address. We'll keep it private.

Comment: