Posted : 2013-08-15 11:30
Updated : 2013-08-15 11:30

'Kill Switch' upsets smartphone thieves with ultimate protection

Lost or stolen mobile smartphones are in danger of becoming contraband to overseas markets, calling for imminent safety measures.

By Ko Dong-hwan

Domestic smartphones coming out of production lines from now until second quarter of 2014 will mandatorily employ an ultimate safety function called "kill switch."

On Aug. 13, the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning introduced "Complete Preventive Measures against Illegal Use of Mobile Phone" as a response to increasing numbers of lost/stolen mobile phones that become contraband to overseas markets.

Kill switch allows users to remotely turn off their lost mobile phones. Once the switch kills it, the phone becomes completely frozen so second users cannot operate it. The switch even prevents them from formatting the device, giving them absolutely no chance of recycling it but to chuck it.

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics will soon start manufacturing smartphones with the kill switch function installed.

Pantech, which had already employed the function in February 2013, is planning to introduce a GPS function on its smartphones as additional safety measure.

Smartphones that don't benefit from the kill switch function will be supported with contingency measure, in which preliminary remote control first prevents the second users from misusing the device, while new lock applications are distributed to the devices in cooperation with ICT developers.

관련 한글 기사

스마트폰 '킬스위치' 탑재, 분실해도 안전

앞으로 출시되는 스마트폰에는 분실하면 아무 기능도 쓸 수 없도록 잠그는 ‘킬 스위치’(Kill Switch)가 도입된다. 

미래창조과학부는 이 같은 내용을 포함한 ‘휴대전화 부정사용 피해방지 종합대책’을 13일 발표했다.

삼성전자와 LG전자는 내년 상반기까지 국내에 출시되는 새 스마트폰에 킬 스위치를 탑재한다. 분실·도난 스마트폰이 해외로 밀반출되고 개인정보가 유출되는 등 문제가 발생하는데 따른 조치다. 사용자가 휴대전화를 분실·도난당할 경우 원격으로 킬 스위치를 작동하면 휴대전화는 사용이 불가능해진다. 단말기 초기화를 할 수도 없어 훔쳐가도 무용지물이 된다는 것이다. 

팬택은 지난 2월 USIM 변경시 자동잠금, 원격삭제가 가능한 킬 스위치를 도입했으며 향후 위치·이동경로 추적서비스 등을 추가할 계획이다.

킬 스위치가 없는 기존 스마트폰은 원격제어로 타인의 이용을 1차적으로 제한하고, 개인정보유출을 방지하도록 통신사업자 등과 협의해 잠금 앱서비스 등을 확대 보급할 예정이다.

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