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 Forum index » Off-Topic Area » Security
best hope for mobile Linux is PostmarketOS
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labbe5

Joined: 13 Nov 2013
Posts: 915
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Wed 13 Sep 2017, 15:20    Post subject:  best hope for mobile Linux is PostmarketOS
Subject description: A real Linux distribution on the phone
 

https://postmarketos.org/

On the current mobile landscape you get none of that. Even expensive phones only have few years of support. As time progresses, your phone becomes slower and slower, and the newest features will not work on it anymore. But postmarketOS builds upon a real Linux distribution, which has no reason to drop support for old devices at all and (assuming that you choose the right software) keeps the resource usage at a constant minimum instead of increasing it with every release. There's no reason to restrict features (such as full disk encryption) to newer devices either. We want to be able to use our devices until they break!

Is this mission impossible?

Outdated firmwares are a major security roadblock :
Mobile phones have dedicated chips for the cellular modem and wifi functionality. These chips only run with firmware files, which are little proprietary operating systems, that run alongside of your regular OS (such as Android or postmarketOS). In most cases they even have full access to the device's RAM, GPS and/or microphone.

As with all proprietary software, we can not look at the source code to look for security bugs and backdoors, and we can not update it when such security bugs become public. We are at the mercy of the device manufacturers to get updates, and they refuse to do so after the support of the device runs out.

Nowadays, practically every phone that is a few years old has such an issue - no matter which OS or ROM you install. Exploits are available in public, so everyone with enough IT knowledge (or money to get IT experts) can turn these older phones into surveillance devices.
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