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There are so many attack vectors now on phones ranging from the SIM Card (which has an OS as well) to all the baseband chips to the actual OS and the different app privileges (like the old SMS listening port).

What's interesting to me about the Taiwanese tech industry is their nimbleness and how MediaTek pivoted from a primarily DVD chip maker to dumb phone chip provider running on Pluto OS to now a smartphone chipmaker. Surprised the folks at Intel never tried to acquire them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MediaTek




There are quite a few “Mediateks” - Intel never had any interest in them - and they willingly sold off just about every embedded asset they had. Maybe look into the history of StrongARM and xscale to start.


Mediatek was also strongly tied to ADUPS FOTA.

This is not an ARM environment designed for high security.

https://www.blackhat.com/docs/us-17/wednesday/us-17-Johnson-...


They are good and reliable, but they are not cutting age. The Toyota to M1's Ferrari. There is no point for Intel to acquire them when right now what Intel needs above all is tech and manufacturing advancements.


MediaTek's latest D9000 is pretty cutting edge.

https://www.phonearena.com/news/world-first-tsmc-4nm-chipset...

Should also be more affordable than the Qualcomm equivalent.


So this would probably be the first MediaTek chip that isn't crap, then? Whenever I looked at the options in the past, MediaTek was always the "it's cheap alright but don't expect it to be good" option.


It will still be crap because Mediatek. At least if you are interested in installing solid aftermarket firmware/ROMs and not some haphazardly mixed together 'mods' based on obsolete and vulnerable versions. It's an uphill battle, even steeper than with the other players on the market. I'd avoid it. Until they change their policy regarding openness, open source, and so on. But why would they? Has worked for them so far.


I’d much prefer Toyota’s sales to Ferrari’s.


And Toyota's reliability, pricing, parts availability, practicality and comfort.


(Yes, ) But without the current privacy policies, thanks. (Context: I was informed two years ago, by resellers, that Toyota was sending data from the cars to their own servers - just this very capability embedded in the car already some find completely unacceptable - and that they intended to demand the signature of agreements loose about privacy.)


Agreed. That's why I bought an old car and restored it to new state rather than to go with the more current crop. A couple of near misses on account of software bugs that tried to kill me were enough to convince me to opt out, and that's before I got into tracking the vehicle and sending other data.


> near misses on account of software bugs that tried to kill me

Absolutely.

Engineering issues (samples of episodes reported): * steering wheel not responding (and user driving on motorway); * car unlock mechanism not responding (and user in the desert); * necessary electronics placed in external rear view mirror... Security issues: * steering wheel remotely hijackable through BT security hole... Now add the privacy issues.

This is largely OT in the current submission, but we should have a good exploration and discussion about these matters in other pages. The big issue is: alternatives. Surely many of us have been finding themselves with a problem of options.


The analogy does not stretch that far


> what Intel needs above all is tech and manufacturing advancements.

Intel needs a reliable door into the phone industry. Currently they don't have anything to offer and people will think twice before choosing Intel chipsets if it's not sure Intel will even stay in the market. Acquiring MediaTek would bypass that.


> Intel needs a reliable door into the phone industry.

Intel had 100 reliable doors in the past, and they foregone all of them.

Even today, Intel would have no problem making something well sellable.


Could Intel acquire, and then leave them alone (not mess with success)?


Theoretically. But my experience with acquisitions is that "leave them alone" never ever happens.


they are most certainly capable to license arm standart cores and make an soc themselves, they made a decision that they will not do that. why would they buy someone who does not so well?


> why would they buy someone who does not so well?

IIRC, MediaTek is the largest SoC vendor by volume. Hardly the definition of "doing not so well".

Yes, the MediaTek quality is ... not exactly the greatest, I agree. But that is where Intel could shine... Intel would save the money to invest in starting in a green field, and provide MediaTek with a (desperately needed) injection of quality.


MediaTek is the local industry's largest fabless chip designer. I am not quite sure the Taiwanese government would allow it to be acquired.


Nice to see you on HN. Been following your channel from the early days.


Do esims mitigate or eliminate an attack vector?


SIM attacks target vulnerable/unnecessary applets that some clueless providers leave there, which can also affect esims according to some articles. And since no one bothers to setup actual SIM PINs anymore that too probably doesn't help.




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