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I would like to know why not manufacturers include a protection against flashing recovery or ROM under a password like IMEI, I mean, the devices should be protected via hardware to prevent against unwanted flashing process, IMHO.

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    Locked bootloaders are more secure than any password-based measures. Unlocked bootloaders will render any password-based measures useless. – Andy Yan Dec 4 '16 at 1:00
  • And could I lock my bootloader? (to any smartphone, I mean) – JFernan Dec 4 '16 at 21:33
  • It's equivalent bootloader to recovery? By I've been reading about, ... locked bootloader doesn't allow you flash non approved ROMs but you can replace the bootloader(recovery). What I'm saying is that that should be forbidden via hardware (replace recovery/bootloader), unless you be the owner and you have the IMEI. – JFernan Dec 4 '16 at 21:40
  • Bootloader ≠ recovery; you can't replace recovery with a locked bootloader in place (unless under very specific circumstances). – Andy Yan Dec 5 '16 at 0:16
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Locked bootloaders are more secure than any password-based measures. Unlocked bootloaders will render any password-based measures useless.

Most if not all phones come with locked bootloaders by default, and the process of unlocking it isn't simple in most cases - it usually involves having physical access to device, being able to power it on (enter the OS) and having knowledge of ADB/fastboot. Some devices even make their bootloaders non-unlockable in the first place. If your OS is also protected well by PIN and/or fingerprint, the chances of breaking through are pretty minimal.

  • Ok, then I propose something intermediate, I mean, a bootloader locked under an IMEI-based passcode, always to prevent unwanted flashing process. And obviously also the capacity to lock your recovery under another personal password. – JFernan Dec 5 '16 at 7:12
  • Well, in a sense, the bootloader is already protected by device-specific info - on HTC/Sony/Moto devices, when applying for unlock, you need to get some unique code from the device itself using fastboot commands. – Andy Yan Dec 5 '16 at 12:17
  • However, pretty much nothing can prevent anyone with physical access to your device from breaking through and using it - even locked bootloader + locked OS can be circumvented via emergency download mode (if available, e.g. Qualcomm's 9008 mode). Locking emergency mode means you will also be locked out if anything goes wrong with your device. – Andy Yan Dec 5 '16 at 12:18
  • And could not be locked (security locking, I mean, under a personal code) emergency download mode also? Because in negative case, I may consider interesting the debate "More safety and haven't got emergency download mode" vs "versatility (with emergency download mode) and less safety" – JFernan Dec 5 '16 at 15:08
  • "More safety, no emergency download mode" ... and losing all your data when you take it to the repairs but forgot any one of the passwords. – Andy Yan Dec 5 '16 at 15:35

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