Flashing a Samsung S5 G900I back to stock

Posted on Tue 19 December 2017 in Tech • Tagged with Android, Tech

I got a second-hand Samsung Galaxy S5 for my mum yesterday (a G900I model, from Telstra), and I spent some time getting it ready.

Firstly, I downloaded the most-recent Telstra firmware image. At time of writing, that's G900IDVU1CQJ2. Telstra appears to be the only carrier still releasing stock firmware for this phone, so I downloaded the Telstra version even though we're connecting to Spark New Zealand. This means the phone will at least be running the most up-to-date baseband and modem firmware.

Note - if you try this, and find that …

Continue reading

Compiling Heimdall without installing Qt

Posted on Wed 13 September 2017 in Tech • Tagged with Android, Tech, Linux

During my recent Wrecked-phone Saga, I had some trouble flashing my firmware. My phone was broken at the time, so I couldn't enable ADB Debugging - therefore adb wasn't an option. OEM Bootlock was on, so fastboot wasn't an option. My Recovery bootloader was also broken. I thought my phone was bricked.

That's until I remembered Heimdall.

Heimdall is specifically a tool for working with the partitions on Samsung phones - other visitors need not apply. It works a treat for my Samsung Galaxy S5 (kltedv) though.

Heimdall, however, is old. The …

Continue reading

When Encryption Attacks!

Posted on Tue 12 September 2017 in Tech • Tagged with Android, Tech

So... I wrecked my phone last night. :-(

Android's phone encryption feature has been around for aaaages, so I was confident when I started the encryption process last night. Unfortunately, something went wrong, and last night I discovered that everything was toast.

After a bit of digging, I found someone else with exactly the same problem!

"unable to boot into my phone as it sits at the boot screen. When I try to boot into TWRP, it asks for my password. [...] it appears to decrypt the partition and mount, but then …

Continue reading

Updating the modem and radio firmware on a Samsung Galaxy 5 (G900I)

Posted on Thu 27 October 2016 in Tech • Tagged with Android, Security, Linux

A couple months ago, Check Point revealed their discovery of the Quadrooter vulnerability affecting the Qualcomm chipsets in oodles of Android phones.

I use --CyanogenMod-- LineageOS on a Samsung Galaxy S5, so thankfully I received patches for three of the four vulnerabilities in only a few days.

However, that last vulnerability was part of a proprietary binary blob for controlling the Qualcomm LTE chipset, only patchable by Samsung themselves. It took a while for the Samsung updates to roll out, and then I got distracted for a while, but I …

Continue reading