Just a couple of days ago, a report went out by a security firm called Bluebox which was claiming Xiaomi’s Mi 4 smartphones could pose a great security risk to consumers, as they had tested what was thought to be a Mi 4 and found it was preinstalled with at least a few different types of Malware, Trojan’s and Adware. On Friday March 6th, Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra reached out to give an response on the situation as well as the findings of their own investigation, which stated that the Mi 4 smartphone which Bluebox had acquired was believed to be a fake because it was purchased through an unofficial channel where Xiaomi does not sell devices.
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Today we have gotten word from Xiaomi that both Xiaomi and Bluebox have confirmed that the Mi 4 device tested was a counterfeit device, purchased through an unofficial retailer on the streets of China. As stated in their earlier response to the matter at the end of last week,(March 6th) Xiaomi only sells devices through their Mi.com online store as well as official online merchants and at select partners such as carrier stores or authorized retailers. Xiaomi also mentions that because this has been proven to be a counterfeit product it is not an actual Xiaomi device, and therefore does not run official Xiaomi software, which has been reflected on Bluebox’s latest blog post about the issue. In regards to the software, Xiaomi states, “In addition, contrary to what Bluebox has claimed, MIUI is true Android, which means MIUI follows exactly Android CDD, Google’s definition for compatible Android devices, and it passes all Android CTS tests, the process used by the industry to make sure a given device is fully Android compatible. All Xiaomi devices sold in China and international markets are fully Android compatible.”
In Xiaomi’s investigation, there was a series of different steps taken to figure out the details on the device picked up by Bluebox, which included Xiaomi hardware experts looking at internal device photos provided by Bluebox. After analyzing the photos, Xiaomi concluded that the hardware used internally is significantly different from that which is used on the original Xiaomi Mi 4 smartphone. In addition, the Xiaomi Mi 4 procured by Bluebox was confirmed to have a cloned IMEI number found to be used with other counterfeit Xiaomi device in China. Xiaomi states that due to these conclusions the report given by Bluebox is inaccurate and is partially due to the language barrier of the Xiaomi verification app used to verify official Xiaomi hardware. Xiaomi has an English version of this application in the works so that consumers who are using Xiaomi devices outside of China will be able to use the app to properly identify hardware.