Chinese Smartphones a security threat, says IAF

China-based leading smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi, which recently marked a successful entry into the Indian market, is allegedly a security threat. It has been accused by the Indian Air Force (IAF) of sending user data to remote servers located in China. Simply put, it is a charge that amounts to spying. In an alert issued to air warriors and their family members, the IAF has claimed that smartphones and note books manufactured by Xiaomi have been found to send users’ private data from these devices to servers based in Beijing. The IAF alert has come with ‘medium’ severity rating, which is considered serious according to an IAF official.

The same company is also facing an investigation in Taiwan for alleged cyber security threat last month and the Taiwan government is in the process of taking a decision to ban the company. The IAF note, which was prepared by the intelligence unit based on the inputs from Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), has also mentioned cases of Xiaomi mobile phones sending users’ data to its masters in China. “F-secure, a leading security solution company, recently carried out a test of Xiaomi Redmi 1s, the company’s budget smartphone, and found that the phone was forwarding carrier name, phone number, IMEI (the device identifier) plus numbers from address book and text messages back to Beijing,” the IAF note says.