IAF personnel and their families have been asked to desist from using Chinese ‘Xiaomi Redmi 1s’ phones as these are believed to be transferring data to their servers in China and could be a security risk.
“F-secure, a leading security solution company, recently carried out a test of Xiaomi Redmi 1s, the company’s budget smartphone, and found that the phone was forwarding carrier name, phone number, IMEI (the device identifier) plus numbers from address book and text messages back to Beijing,” says an advisory issued by the IAF to its personnel.
The IAF note, issued some weeks back, has been prepared by the intelligence unit based on the inputs from Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), according to IAF sources.
Emails were sent by PTI to the company for its response on this development but those remained unanswered.
However, in a general statement two days back, the company had said it was fully committed to storing its users’ data securely at all times.
The company said it is migrating some data on non-Chinese customers away from its servers in Beijing due to performance and privacy considerations.
It said that earlier this year, its e-commerce engineering teams started migrating its global e-commerce platforms and user data for all international users from their Beijing data centers to Amazon AWS data centers in California (USA) and Singapore.
This migration process will be completed by the end of October and will benefit users in all of our international markets – Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Taiwan.
Incidentally, the Taiwanese government is investigating whether Xiaomi Inc is a cyber security threat due to privacy issues.