“Counterfeit devices are a significant problem worldwide and result in an estimated 45.3 billion EUR in lost sales to genuine manufacturers each year”
Qualcomm has decided to share its Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) for mobile devices as open-source software on GitHub.
DIRBS is a sever-based platform developed by Qualcomm to help government authorities tackle trade in stolen mobile phones and identify counterfeiting activities.
The software platform gives regulatory bodies the tools to help them classify devices and lets them create International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI)-based lists that can be used to block those numbers.
IMEI numbers are unique identifier numbers on all mobile devices, the number is used by the Global System for Mobile Communications to validate devices. (To see your device’s IMEI you just dial *#06#).
An EU Intellectual Property Office report recently found that: “In 2015, 14 million smartphones fewer were sold by the legitimate industry across the EU than would have been the case in the absence of counterfeiting. This translates to approximately 4.2 billion EUR lost due to the presence of counterfeit smartphones in the EU marketplace.”
Mohammad Raheel Kamal, Senior Director of IPR Enforcement at Qualcomm Incorporated said in a statement shared Tuesday that: “Sharing the DIRBS solution as freely downloadable open-source software will allow the mobile industry to rapidly implement this powerful technology to help address counterfeiting and related issues around the globe.”
Mobile Devices DIRBS Platform
The DIRBS platform comprises a core analytics system combined with subsystems that support the validation of IMEI numbers, this is done by the analysis of stolen device lists, import data sets, operator device data dumps and GSMA device data.
From this data it creates three lists: black, notification and exception. Black is the list of devices that should be blocked; a device reported stolen would end up on this list.
The notification category is intended to identify devices whose IMEI number is invalid or has not been reported on an import list. Exceptions are devices that are allowed to work on the country’s network due to mitigating circumstances.
The DIRBS platform is currently been utilised in Pakistan, while Qualcomm hopes that by making the software platform open-source more countries will adopt the system as a benchmark for dealing with the issue of stolen phones.
John Han, senior VP of Qualcomm Incorporated commented in a release that: “We are excited to share the DIRBS software platform to help enable regulatory agencies to further fight the proliferation of counterfeit, illegal and stolen devices.”