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Gullible buyers falling for this clever fake phone

The abundance of fake goods and cheap knockoffs circulating nowadays is astounding. And fraudsters are getting better each time! If you’re in the hunt for a discounted smartphone, you need to be extra careful about what you’re buying.

Counterfeiters are at it again and now, they’ve managed to mimic Apple’s flagship device down to its screws! If you don’t look twice, that $100 price tag may sound like the deal of the century. But is it?

Read on and see why this fake iPhone X is not only a bad deal, it is a big security threat, as well!

This fake $100 iPhone X looks like the real deal

Motherboard recently published an in-depth look at a $100 fake iPhone X from China.

And get this, unlike other cheap iPhone imitations, this one does pretend to be the real deal!

The phone totally mimics an iPhone X – the “Designed by Apple in California” box, the form factor, the edge-to-edge screen, the buttons, all the way down to the speaker holes and the working Lightning port!

Fake iPhone X. Image Credit: Motherboard

And that’s just the physical side of things. When you boot this knockoff up, the Apple logo actually appears and it goes on to a system that looks like iOS.

It has the same iPhone lock screen, same stock apps, home screen, settings, and shortcuts. It even has a working serial number (which was most likely lifted from another iPhone X).

Completing the “iPhone X” experience is its own version of Face ID. And according to Motherboard, although this system does unlock the phone, it worked for anyone who put their face in front of the phone. Not really that secure, is it?

Fake iPhone X. Image Credit: Motherboard

However, one dead giveaway that this iPhone X is not what it seems is the absence of the trademark notch and in its place is an utterly useless cosmetic software version. Other signs that it’s not what it seems? The device itself is too slow to be legitimate and its camera is a blurry abomination.

What a security mess

Physical design woes aside, the fake iPhone X was sent to Trail of Bits, a New York security research company for closer scrutiny.

Now, here’s where it gets scary. According to Trail of Bits, although the fake iPhone X looks like it’s running iOS, its system is actually pieced together from an old version of Android and various code lifted from different sources. The phone is also filled with malicious apps and backdoors that are designed to elude security features that are virtually useless.

“If it isn’t outright malicious its overall security is pretty much non-existent,” Trail of Bits researcher Chris Evans told Motherboard.

For example, some of the preinstalled “Apple” apps like Compass, Stocks, and Clock request for invasive permissions like text message access while its fake Safari browser can open backdoors that allow hackers to run code on the phone remotely.

Fake iPhone X. Image Credit: Motherboard

To top off this security nightmare of a phone, it logs your iCloud username and password in a database that’s readable by any service and application that’s installed in its system. Evans warns that you definitely should not log in with your iCloud account on this fake iPhone.

Should you even get it?

All in all, even at $100, if you care about your security, this fake iPhone is not even worth the trouble since it can be downright unusable.

However, Motherboard calls it “the most interesting piece of technology” they’ve come across this year. If you’re curious about how far counterfeit goods from China have come, then this fake iPhone X will surely make a good case study.

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