Most Popular Mobile Phone Repairs In 2017

iMend Most popular repairs header

With 2017 done and dusted, we thought it might be worth analysing the most popular repairs performed by iMend.com technicians over the last year. A similar study was undertaken in 2015, indicating that the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S5 screen replacement were by far the most popular fixes for iOS and Android models respectively.

Three years have passed and the number of new mobile releases just keep on growing. With both Android and iOS devices producing new models faster than ever, it seems only right that we update the report.

The Screen Replacement Still Remains Victorious 

As you can expect, the most popular repair goes to (drum roll please) the screen replacement! Ditto our 2015 report, the screen replacement is undoubtedly the most popular repair at iMend.com for both call out and mail in services. This is no surprise for our Commercial Director, Sarah Mcconomy;

“Screen replacements were always going to be the most popular mobile phone repair of 2017. More than a quarter of the country has been subject to an accidental drop or slip of the hand resulting in a broken screen and are walking round with a cracked screen. We repair 100’s of mobile phone screens a day so I was not surprised to see screen replacements top of the list.”

Our recent findings indicate the high demand for screen replacements, taking 40% of all repairs sent to our repair centre and a massive 70% of all call-out repairs.

Most Popular Android Repairs

imend android

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Screen Replacement sits top of the Android list. After its release in April 2017, the number of devices making their way to our repair centre has rapidly increased, particularly in the last six months of last year. With over 20 million sold worldwide, there is no surprise to see this flagship phone in the number one spot. 

Although, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Screen Replacement was not far behind taking almost 15% of all android repairs. With the device being over a year old, the number of broken screens and water damage issues has risen in comparison to 2016. This is expected, studies suggest that the average person will drop there new phone within 10 weeks of buying it.

iMend have also seen a large increase in the number of Sony devices being repaired, particularly the Sony XZ and XA models. The Sony Xperia X series has seen a resurgence in recent years, with many customers being drawn in by their sensational cameras and longstanding battery life.

Most Popular iOS Repairs

It’s time to switch sides and see the most popular repairs for iOS models. This may come as a shock, but the most common iOS repair of 2017 was the iPhone 6 Screen Replacement. It may have been released three years ago but still remains in the number 1 spot. The device features twice with both screen repairs and battery replacements making the top 5 spots. 

In second place is the iPhone 7 Screen Replacement. Being released at the end of 2016, we have seen a sharp rise in the number of repairs for this device over the last year, particularly via our call-out service. We expect by the end of next year, the iPhone 7 will surpass the iPhone 6 as the most popular iOS phone to repair.

Other popular repairs are iPhone 6S and iPhone 5 Screen Replacements. Devices just to miss out on a top 5 spot are the iPhone SE, 5C and 6 Plus, however with the recent release of the iPhone X, iPhone 8 and 8+, these devices are expected to make the top 5 this time next year. 

The Most Popular Mobile Phone Repair Of 2017 Was…

iPhone 6

Well it’s safe to say that the iPhone 6 Screen Replacement is by far the most popular repair of 2017 and it doesn’t seem to be budging as we rollover to the new year.

“It’s no surprise this phone keeps getting repaired as more people hang onto older devices and opt for sim only deals rather than brand new contracts. With some SIM only deals available from as little as a fiver a month  – the iPhone 6 remains a very popular device that has great longevity. The iPhone 6 is still regarded as a brilliant phone and offers many fantastic features”, explained Sarah McConomy.

Although these devices did not make it into our top 5 lists, there have been a number of models, particularly Android, that have seen an a substantial growth in the number of repairs for 2017. Over the past year,  HTC models such as the One M9 and the One M8 have seen an increase in over 30% and 36% repairs respectively. But it’s the LG G5 that has seen the biggest rise with a mighty 42% increase in repairs. However, recent models such as the HTC M10 and the LG G6 are expected to flood our repair centre as the new year unfolds.

If your device did not make either of our top 5 lists – do not panic. iMend.com are able to fix a wide range of mobile phone and tablet devices. Whether your phone is brand new or old and warn out, our expert technicians are on hand to repair your device to the highest quality.

 

The post Most Popular Mobile Phone Repairs In 2017 appeared first on iMend Blog.

Source: https://www.imend.com/blog/most-popular-mobile-phone-repairs-in-2017/

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Some Basic Rules for Securing Your IoT Stuff

Most readers here have likely heard or read various prognostications about the impending doom from the proliferation of poorly-secured “Internet of Things” or IoT devices. Loosely defined as any gadget or gizmo that connects to the Internet but which most consumers probably wouldn’t begin to know how to secure, IoT encompasses everything from security cameras, routers and digital video recorders to printers, wearable devices and “smart” lightbulbs.

Throughout 2016 and 2017, attacks from massive botnets made up entirely of hacked IoT devices had many experts warning of a dire outlook for Internet security. But the future of IoT doesn’t have to be so bleak. Here’s a primer on minimizing the chances that your IoT things become a security liability for you or for the Internet at large.

-Rule #1: Avoid connecting your devices directly to the Internet — either without a firewall or in front it, by poking holes in your firewall so you can access them remotely. Putting your devices in front of your firewall is generally a bad idea because many IoT products were simply not designed with security in mind and making these things accessible over the public Internet could invite attackers into your network. If you have a router, chances are it also comes with a built-in firewall. Keep your IoT devices behind the firewall as best you can.

-Rule #2: If you can, change the thing’s default credentials to a complex password that only you will know and can remember. And if you do happen to forget the password, it’s not the end of the world: Most devices have a recessed reset switch that can be used to restore to the thing to its factory-default settings (and credentials). Here’s some advice on picking better ones.

I say “if you can,” at the beginning of Rule #2 because very often IoT devices — particularly security cameras and DVRs — are so poorly designed from a security perspective that even changing the default password to the thing’s built-in Web interface does nothing to prevent the things from being reachable and vulnerable once connected to the Internet.

Also, many of these devices are found to have hidden, undocumented “backdoor” accounts that attackers can use to remotely control the devices. That’s why Rule #1 is so important.

-Rule #3: Update the firmware. Hardware vendors sometimes make available security updates for the software that powers their consumer devices (known as “firmware). It’s a good idea to visit the vendor’s Web site and check for any firmware updates before putting your IoT things to use, and to check back periodically for any new updates.

-Rule #4: Check the defaults, and make sure features you may not want or need like UPnP (Universal Plug and Play — which can easily poke holes in your firewall without you knowing it) — are disabled.

Want to know if something has poked a hole in your router’s firewall? Censys has a decent scanner that may give you clues about any cracks in your firewall. Browse to whatismyipaddress.com, then cut and paste the resulting address into the text box at Censys.io, select “IPv4 hosts” from the drop-down menu, and hit “search.”

If that sounds too complicated (or if your ISP’s addresses are on Censys’s blacklist) check out Steve Gibson‘s Shield’s Up page, which features a point-and-click tool that can give you information about which network doorways or “ports” may be open or exposed on your network. A quick Internet search on exposed port number(s) can often yield useful results indicating which of your devices may have poked a hole.

If you run antivirus software on your computer, consider upgrading to a “network security” or “Internet security” version of these products, which ship with more full-featured software firewalls that can make it easier to block traffic going into and out of specific ports.

Alternatively, Glasswire is a useful tool that offers a full-featured firewall as well as the ability to tell which of your applications and devices are using the most bandwidth on your network. Glasswire recently came in handy to help me determine which application was using gigabytes worth of bandwidth each day (it turned out to be a version of Amazon Music’s software client that had a glitchy updater).

-Rule #5: Avoid IoT devices that advertise Peer-to-Peer (P2P) capabilities built-in. P2P IoT devices are notoriously difficult to secure, and research has repeatedly shown that they can be reachable even through a firewall remotely over the Internet because they’re configured to continuously find ways to connect to a global, shared network so that people can access them remotely. For examples of this, see previous stories here, including This is Why People Fear the Internet of Things, and Researchers Find Fresh Fodder for IoT Attack Cannons.

-Rule #6: Consider the cost. Bear in mind that when it comes to IoT devices, cheaper usually is not better. There is no direct correlation between price and security, but history has shown the devices that tend to be toward the lower end of the price ranges for their class tend to have the most vulnerabilities and backdoors, with the least amount of vendor upkeep or support.

In the wake of last month’s guilty pleas by several individuals who created Mirai — one of the biggest IoT malware threats ever — the U.S. Justice Department released a series of tips on securing IoT devices.

One final note: I realize that the people who probably need to be reading these tips the most likely won’t ever know they need to care enough to act on them. But at least by taking proactive steps, you can reduce the likelihood that your IoT things will contribute to the global IoT security problem.

Source: https://krebsonsecurity.com/2018/01/some-basic-rules-for-securing-your-iot-stuff/

iPhone 8 Repairs Available Via Call Out Service

Not long after adding the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus to our mail-in repairs, it gives us great pleasure to announce that both devices can be fixed at the comfort of your own home/workplace via our nationwide call-out service.

Users with a broken iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus are now able to book a same-day or next-day repair from one of our 300 technicians. Our top iTechs will repair iPhone 8 / 8+ screens, batteries and charging ports all at a time and place that suits you.

We will fix your phone at a time or place that suits you!

Book an iPhone 8 Screen Replacement
PRICE: £139.99 plus £15 call out charge

View ALL iPhone 8 Repair Prices

Book an iPhone 8 Plus Screen Replacement
PRICE: £159.99 plus £15 call out charge

View ALL iPhone 8 Plus Repair Prices

For more information relating to our iPhone 8 / 8+ repairs contact:
Call: 0333 014 4262 / Email: support@imend.com

The post iPhone 8 Repairs Available Via Call Out Service appeared first on iMend Blog.

Source: https://www.imend.com/blog/iphone-8-repairs-available-via-call-out-service/

Serial SWATter Tyler “SWAuTistic” Barriss Charged with Involuntary Manslaughter

Tyler Raj Barriss, a 25-year-old serial “swatter” whose phony emergency call to Kansas police last month triggered a fatal shooting, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and faces up to eleven years in prison.

Tyler Raj Barriss, in an undated selfie.

Barriss’s online alias — “SWAuTistic” — is a nod to a dangerous hoax known as “swatting,” in which the perpetrator spoofs a call about a hostage situation or other violent crime in progress in the hopes of tricking police into responding at a particular address with potentially deadly force.

Barriss was arrested in Los Angeles this month for alerting authorities in Kansas to a fake hostage situation at an address in Wichita, Kansas on Dec. 28, 2017.

Police responding to the alert surrounded the home at the address Barriss provided and shot 28-year old Andrew Finch as he emerged from the doorway of his mother’s home. Finch, a father of two, was unarmed, and died shortly after being shot by police.

The officer who fired the shot that killed Finch has been identified as a seven-year veteran with the Wichita department. He has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.

Following his arrest, Barriss was extradited to a Wichita jail, where he had his first court appearance via video on FridayThe Los Angeles Times reports that Barriss was charged with involuntary manslaughter and could face up to 11 years and three months in prison if convicted.

The moment that police in Kansas fired a single shot that killed Andrew Finch (in doorway of his mother’s home).

Barriss also was charged with making a false alarm — a felony offense in Kansas. His bond was set at $500,000.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett told the The LA Times Barriss made the fake emergency call at the urging of several other individuals, and that authorities have identified other “potential suspects” that may also face criminal charges.

Barriss sought an interview with KrebsOnSecurity on Dec. 29, just hours after his hoax turned tragic. In that interview, Barriss said he routinely called in bomb threats and fake hostage situations across the country in exchange for money, and that he began doing it after his own home was swatted.

Barriss told KrebsOnSecurity that he felt bad about the incident, but that it wasn’t he who pulled the trigger. He also enthused about the rush that he got from evading police.

“Bomb threats are more fun and cooler than swats in my opinion and I should have just stuck to that,” he wrote in an instant message conversation with this author.

In a jailhouse interview Friday with local Wichita news station KWCH, Barriss said he feels “a little remorse for what happened.”

“I never intended for anyone to get shot and killed,” he reportedly told the news station. “I don’t think during any attempted swatting anyone’s intentions are for someone to get shot and killed.”

The Wichita Eagle reports that Barriss also has been charged in Calgary, Canada with public mischief, fraud and mischief for allegedly making a similar swatting call to authorities there. However, no one was hurt or killed in that incident.

Barriss was convicted in 2016 for calling in a bomb threat to an ABC affiliate in Los Angeles. He was sentenced to two years in prison for that stunt, but was released in January 2017.

Using his SWAuTistic alias, Barriss claimed credit for more than a hundred fake calls to authorities across the nation. In an exclusive story published here on Jan. 2, KrebsOnSecurity dissected several months’ worth of tweets from SWAuTistic’s account before those messages were deleted. In those tweets, SWAuTistic claimed responsibility for calling in bogus hostage situations and bomb threats at roughly 100 schools and at least 10 residences.

In his public tweets, SWAuTistic claimed credit for bomb threats against a convention center in Dallas and a high school in Florida, as well as an incident that disrupted a much-watched meeting at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in November.

But in private online messages shared by his online friends and acquaintances SWAuTistic can be seen bragging about his escapades, claiming to have called in fake emergencies at approximately 100 schools and 10 homes.

The serial swatter known as “SWAuTistic” claimed in private conversations to have carried out swattings or bomb threats against 100 schools and 10 homes.

Source: https://krebsonsecurity.com/2018/01/serial-swatter-tyler-swautistic-barriss-charged-with-involuntary-manslaughter/

Canadian Police Charge Operator of Hacked Password Service Leakedsource.com

Canadian authorities have arrested and charged a 27-year-old Ontario man for allegedly selling billions of stolen passwords online through the now-defunct service Leakedsource.com.

The now-defunct Leakedsource service.

On Dec. 22, 2017, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) charged Jordan Evan Bloom of Thornhill, Ontario for trafficking in identity information, unauthorized use of a computer, mischief to data, and possession of property obtained by crime. Bloom is expected to make his first court appearance today.

According to a statement from the RCMP, “Project Adoration” began in 2016 when the RCMP learned that LeakedSource.com was being hosted by servers located in Quebec.

“This investigation is related to claims about a website operator alleged to have made hundreds of thousands of dollars selling personal information,” said Rafael Alvarado, the officer in charge of the RCMP Cybercrime Investigative Team. “The RCMP will continue to work diligently with our domestic and international law enforcement partners to prosecute online criminality.”

In January 2017, multiple news outlets reported that unspecified law enforcement officials had seized the servers for Leakedsource.com, perhaps the largest online collection of usernames and passwords leaked or stolen in some of the worst data breaches — including three billion credentials for accounts at top sites like LinkedIn and Myspace.

Jordan Evan Bloom. Photo: RCMP.

LeakedSource in October 2015 began selling access to passwords stolen in high-profile breaches. Enter any email address on the site’s search page and it would tell you if it had a password corresponding to that address. However, users had to select a payment plan before viewing any passwords.

The RCMP alleges that Jordan Evan Bloom was responsible for administering the LeakedSource.com website, and earned approximately $247,000 from trafficking identity information.

A February 2017 story here at KrebsOnSecurity examined clues that LeakedSource was administered by an individual in the United States.  Multiple sources suggested that one of the administrators of LeakedSource also was the admin of abusewith[dot]us, a site unabashedly dedicated to helping people hack email and online gaming accounts.

That story traced those clues back to a Michigan man who ultimately admitted to running Abusewith[dot]us, but who denied being the owner of LeakedSource.

The RCMP said it had help in the investigation from The Dutch National Police and the FBI. The FBI could not be immediately reached for comment.

LeakedSource was a curiosity to many, and for some journalists a potential source of news about new breaches. But unlike services such as BreachAlarm and HaveIBeenPwned.com — which force users to verify that they can access a given account or inbox before the site displays whether it has found a password associated with the account in question — LeakedSource did nothing to validate users.

This fact, critics charged, showed that the proprietors of LeakedSource were purely interested in making money and helping others pillage accounts.

Since the demise of LeakedSource.com, multiple, competing new services have moved in to fill the void. These services — which are primarily useful because they expose when people re-use passwords across multiple accounts — are popular among those involved in a variety of cybercriminal activities, particular account takeovers and email hacking.

Source: https://krebsonsecurity.com/2018/01/canadian-police-charge-operator-of-hacked-password-service-leakedsource-com/

Bitcoin Blackmail by Snail Mail Preys on Those with Guilty Conscience

KrebsOnSecurity heard from a reader whose friend recently received a remarkably customized extortion letter via snail mail that threatened to tell the recipient’s wife about his supposed extramarital affairs unless he paid $3,600 in bitcoin. The friend said he had nothing to hide and suspects this is part of a random but well-crafted campaign to prey on men who may have a guilty conscience.

The letter addressed the recipient by his first name and hometown throughout, and claimed to have evidence of the supposed dalliances.

“You don’t know me personally and nobody hired me to look into you,” the letter begins. “Nor did I go out looking to burn you. It is just your bad luck that I stumbled across your misadventures while working on a job around Bellevue.”

The missive continues:

“I then put in more time than I probably should have looking into your life. Frankly, I am ready to forget all about you and let you get on with your life. And I am going to give you two options that will accomplish that very thing. These two options are to either ignore this letter, or simply pay me $3,600. Let’s examine those two options in more detail.”

The letter goes on to say that option 1 (ignoring the threat) means the author will send copies of his alleged evidence to the man’s wife and to her friends and family if he does not receive payment within 12 days of the letter’s post marked date.

“So [name omitted], even if you decide to come clean with your wife, it won’t protect her from the humiliation she will feel when her friends and family find out your sordid details from me,” the extortionist wrote.

Option 2, of course, involves sending $3,600 in Bitcoin to an address specified in the letter. That bitcoin address does not appear to have received any payments. Attached to the two-sided extortion note is a primer on different ways to quickly and easily obtain bitcoin.

“If I don’t receive the bitcoin by that date, I will go ahead and release the evidence to everyone,” the letter concludes. “If you go that route, then the least you could do is tell your wife so she can come up with an excuse to prepare her friends and family before they find out. The clock is ticking, [name omitted].”

Of course, sending extortion letters via postal mail is mail fraud, a crime which carries severe penalties (fines of up to $1 million and up to 30 years in jail). However, as the extortionist rightly notes in his letter, the likelihood that authorities would ever be able to catch him is probably low.

The last time I heard of or saw this type of targeted extortion by mail was in the wake of the 2015 breach at online cheating site AshleyMadison.com. But those attempts made more sense to me since obviously many AshleyMadison users quite clearly did have an affair to hide.

In any case, I’d wager that this scheme — assuming that the extortionist is lying and has indeed sent these letters to targets without actual knowledge of extramarital affairs on the part of the recipients — has a decent chance of being received by someone who really does have a current or former fling that he is hiding from his spouse. Whether that person follows through and pays the extortion, though, is another matter.

I searched online for snippets of text from the extortion letter and found just one other mention of what appears to be the same letter: It was targeting people in Wellesley, Mass, according to a local news report from December 2017.

According to that report, the local police had a couple of residents drop off letters or call to report receiving them, “but to our knowledge no residents have fallen prey to the scam. The envelopes have no return address and are postmarked out of state, but from different states. The people who have notified us suspected it was a scam and just wanted to let us know.”

In the Massachusetts incidents, the extortionist was asking for $8,500 in bitcoin. Assuming it is the same person responsible for sending this letter, perhaps the extortionist wasn’t getting many people to bite and thus lowered his “fee.”

I opted not to publish a scan of the letter here because it was double-sided and redacting names, etc. gets dicey thanks to photo and image manipulation tools. Here’s a transcription of it instead (PDF).

Source: https://krebsonsecurity.com/2018/01/bitcoin-blackmail-by-snail-mail-preys-on-those-with-guilty-conscience/

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Screen Replacement Guide

Over recent months, there has been a big increase in the number of Microsoft Surface Pro’s making their way to our repair centre. The devices are extremely popular among businesses, particularly accountants, designers and marketers. The slimline tablets are renowned for their exceptional processors, standout displays making them perfect for the ever-busy employee.

They may be extremely handy for businesses but repairing these devices is no easy task. Regarded as one of the most challenging tablets to repair, it takes a specialist with an expert eye to complete such a tricky procedure. Not many places in the UK are able to repair these devices, however, iMend.com are Microsoft Surface Pro specialists, with a dedicated team handling all types of repairs.

Screen replacements on the Microsoft Surface series are particularly hard due to its fragile display assembly. If too much force is applied when removing or reattaching the screen, the display could either break or become faulty.

Here at iMend, we wanted to showcase the lengthy and tricky process of completing a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Screen Replacement. Check out the step-by-step process below:

 

Step 1: A heat gun is used on the outer edges of the Surface Pro warming the adhesive, making it soft and easy to split the display screen from the outer framework.

 

Step 2: After the display has been heated, the technician splits the strong adhesive between the framework and display assembly with a razor tool.

 

The glass on the Surface Pro is extremely brittle.

Step 3: The technician will start to pull the display assembly from the framework in a gentle manner. Too much force can break or damage the LCD and touchscreen connectors attached to both the screen and the motherboard.

 

Step 4: The heat gun is worked around the device, heating the strong adhesive while being split with the razor.

 

Step 5: Once the three sides (top, bottom and left hand side of the screen) have come away from the framework. The screen should be free to open.

 

Step 6: The battery is then disconnected, cutting all power from the device.

 

Followed by both the touchscreen and LCD connectors.

Step 7: Followed by both the touchscreen and LCD connectors.

 

The final side of the screen is heated. Once the adhesive has warmed, the screen is then removed.

Step 8: The final side of the screen is heated. Once the adhesive has warmed, the screen is then removed.

 

The technician will use tweezers to pick away at excess glue left by the previous display assembly.

Step 9: The technician will use tweezers to pick away at excess glue left by the previous display assembly.

 

Glue removing solution is rubbed over the remaining fragments of glue, leaving a clean frame.

Step 10: Glue removing solution is rubbed over the remaining fragments lumps and bumps, resulting in a clean frame.

 

The LCD connector is removed from the old assembly.

Step 11: The LCD connector is removed from the old screen and transplanted to the new assembly.

 

Step 12: Adhesive tape is applied to the edges of the framework.

 

Step 13: The LCD connector is then reattached to the Motherboard, along with the touch screen connector.

 

Step 14: The battery connector is then reconnected to the motherboard ahead of the screen test.

 

Step 15: The display is checked for dead pixels, lines in the screen and touchscreen responsiveness.

 

Step 16: The new display assembly is then gently placed and stuck into position, completing the screen replacement.

As you can see, completing a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Screen Replacement takes time, patience and precision. Our repair centre specialists have numerous years of experience in repairing leading mobile phones and tablets including all Surface models.

It’s always worth enquiring about a broken Microsoft Surface Pro. With the some of the devices costing as much as £2,000 to buy from new, it could end up being a costly paperweight!

If your business would like to book a Microsoft Surface Pro Screen Replacement, look no further than iMend.com. Click here to see our range of repairs.

 

The post Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Screen Replacement Guide appeared first on iMend Blog.

Source: https://www.imend.com/blog/microsoft-surface-pro-3-screen-replacement-guide/