1

I recently bought a replacement display for my smartphone on ebay from a national supplier.

I later realized that it does not have the Huawei logo printed on it, but it is working fine.

There were many displays available and I noticed that most of them did not have the logo printed on them, but one or two.

Is there a simple way to find out whether there is malicious hardware on it or whether it just is a normal mass product like millions of others?

9
  • Did you find any sign of hacking?
    – Marry
    Commented Aug 23, 2021 at 11:01
  • What would a sign of hacking look like other than my passwords being leaked? Or do you assume manipulation of the device after manufacturing, before I got it?
    – Alex
    Commented Aug 23, 2021 at 11:14
  • @Marry I just noticed that the battery drain is strong, such that even though I am charging the device, it loses charge.
    – Alex
    Commented Aug 23, 2021 at 11:24
  • 1
    That's expected from a replacement screen. Your original screen was made by the phone maker and have higher standards than a no-name replacement.
    – ThoriumBR
    Commented Aug 23, 2021 at 11:29
  • @ThoriumBR Not necessarily.
    – Alex
    Commented Aug 23, 2021 at 11:53

2 Answers 2

3

There is no easy way to scan for malware on a product like a screen replacement. Still, I would not be to worried about it.

Embedding malware in a smartphone screen sounds like a very complicated way to get access to random peoples phones - there are probably easier ways a rational attacker would choose.

Unless you have reasons to be paranoid, I would not worry. And if you are paranoid, why would the logo make any difference? Could it not be stamped on any screen? Could not Huawei produce a screen with malware in it? Could not thr phone itself have been backdoored from the day you bought it?

6
  • 1
    A smartphone screen is like a keyboard and mouse combined in addition to delivering the screen data. You have everything you need for data extraction, you only need a sender to get the data out. So a 3G network detector could work, thinking about it.
    – Alex
    Commented Aug 22, 2021 at 21:50
  • it is not a keyboard and mouse and "delivers screen data". You are looking at it from the end-user's perspective and how it is used in combination with the rest of the phone and not at the technology. You are running away with your own analogy. "you only need a sender" -- and how would that even work? A phone is not magic.
    – schroeder
    Commented Aug 23, 2021 at 12:44
  • @schroeder what you wrote does not make sense.
    – Alex
    Commented Aug 23, 2021 at 15:16
  • @Alex I can't help without more than just that. What doesn't make sense?
    – schroeder
    Commented Aug 23, 2021 at 15:17
  • Very complicated, but once you consider the number of (random) targets you could reach, maybe it's not so stupid. Commented Aug 23, 2021 at 16:10
2

Yes, it is probably possible to embed a wireless transmitter capable of joining cellular and phoning home.

No, that $30 piece of junk you got on Ebay does not have all the highly complex bits and bobs to implement it. If someone would to go that far, stamping or logo would be a non-issue for them. It heats up because it's junk. It is not designed as well as the brand screen Huawei've made with a specific phone in mind. This screen is to insanely high degree of confidence not malicious unless you consider subpar engineering malicious.

Yes, one could monitor EMI or dismantle it to see if there's something hidden inside. No, it does not make much sense as an attack vector - at least so far.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .