back to article Hey, what's Mandarin for 'WTF is going on?' Nokia phones caught spewing device IDs to China, software blunder blamed

An undisclosed number of Nokia 7 Plus smartphones have been caught sending their identification numbers to a domain owned by a Chinese telecom firm. The handsets spaffed the data in clear text over the internet to a server behind the domain vnet.cn, which appears to be owned by China Telecom. The HTTP POST requests from the …

  1. Timmy B Silver badge

    no excuse....

    Sending it to the wrong place - you can excuse that. Mistakes happen and if you have dozens of configurations for dozens of markets you can see that somebody could get it wrong some time.

    But sending all that in plain text - there is no way to excuse that at all. Not at all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: no excuse....

      Unless you were deliberately wanting to highlight China’s state spying activities and your employer’s complicity.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: no excuse....

      Frankly, I don't care if sensitive data are slurped encrypted - the slurper is the other endpoint.

      There's no excuse for such kind of mistakes. If you can't handle configurations properly, you're not doing your job properly and deserve an adequate fee. Plus, phones should have been changed free of charges with new handsets with different data, not just "fixed" the Facebook way.

      1. Timmy B Silver badge

        Re: no excuse....

        It's not unnecessary slurpage, though. You could argue that there is a requirement to activate a phone online quite easily. MAC address I'm not so sure about if you have the IMEI - one or the other, perhaps.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: no excuse....

          It included the cellid. The only reason for that is to track the user.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Black Helicopters

            Re: no excuse....

            so here's the scenario:

            a) (alleged) China requirement, make phones 'phone home' in plain text

            b) tracking sniffers everywhere

            c) plain text makes it easier for the tracking sniffers to track you

            there ya go!

            icon because it smells like a gummint conspiracy

        2. LDS Silver badge

          Re: no excuse....

          Activate what, and why? The only entity that needs those data is the mobile network provider to accept and manage it on the network - and the SIM is the authorization.

          Any other data sent to other party is for tracking purposes. I'm really tired of devices that want some form of "activation" when there's really no need.

    3. revenant Silver badge

      Re: no excuse.... - sending in plain text

      Pretty bad, but on the plus side it makes it easy to see the extent of their shame, as opposed to just knowing they sent something to a Chinese server.

    4. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: no excuse....

      I bet they were told to send it in this format if they wanted to sell phones, so that's what they did. China's a very big LAN with a firewall round it, after all.

  2. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Trollface

    "An undisclosed number of Nokia 7 Plus smartphones have been caught sending their identification numbers to a domain owned by a Chinese telecom firm."

    Wouldn't have happened if Nokia was still running Windows Phone...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Which part?

      Getting caught? Or the fact that "smartphoneS" impacted was plural?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Which part?

        > Getting caught? Or the fact that "smartphoneS" impacted was plural?

        Neither. Windows Phone patriotically only slurps to US based servers!

  3. Jemma Silver badge

    They mostly come at night...

    Mostly..

    That'll be the time difference then love, nothing to worry about.

    Agreed - uncontrolled spaffing is bad enough. Uncontrolled spaffing in plain is just ridiculous. I have to say though I don't think the Inbredistanis are bright enough to be running a plant or fake (ie pretending) , unless possibly it's an Aquilegia.

    I have now started to wonder what Aliens would have been like if the Marine team had been British squaddies & officers, circa Kohima ... I have a twisted mind sometimes.

    Or Carry On Up The Sulaco.

    Whole new meaning to the word "tiffin" for a start.

    /pass me the meds

    1. TimMaher Bronze badge
      Angel

      Re: They mostly come at night...

      @Jemma, what a fabulously weird post.

      Up vote for that.

      BTW Have you ever met @AMFM?

      1. Blitheringeejit

        Re: They mostly come at night...

        @Jemma and @AMFM - surely twins separated at whatever the martian equivalent of birth might be. Budding, perhaps.

        But now there are two of them, we're going to need a "weird" icon...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what's the Mandarin?

    According to Mr Google it's 他妈的怎么了? (I did have to spell WTF in full)

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