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Blocked 3year old sony Xperia sp by mcafee

1911 Views 15 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  JayDL
Dear Members, please some advice...

Purchased phone from on 23/10/2013 (have receipt and box) arrived where I reside in Italy 11/2013 put in a "pay as you go SIM" everything fine until... Changed SIM on 29/08/2016 (my mobile provider could prove this) for all inclusive with data, everything still working fine until 4 weeks later on 27/09/2016 while on whatsapp it blocked. I don't own a computer my phone is my computer, now that it's blocked I can't access my emails to go to the reset link for a new PIN. For this email that is registered with mcafee my password is in the phone, and the email app is open.

I had no idea and was not aware that changing SIM would block my phone, and I don't recall giving them my email address or even entering a PIN. I've never paid for this service as it was pre installed and I think a 30day trial ( why would i record a pin if it was going to expire, assuming i had one) so why is it still active after nearly 3years? Phone now has previous SIM in and data services are enabled. As this is a "pay as you go SIM" I can put money on so that I can have a data limit for the day. I have all relevant information, PIN, PUK, SIM ID, IME etc etc. if I'm quick on my phone before the lock screen arrives I can read an email, but can't do the link as that requires another action, I can do 2 max. It is intermittent, but it does work, I even took a photo with my iPad to prove I can open an email! When the email is open, it never gets interrupted my mcafee because it's already open.

If I was the thief how would i know when the phone was activated? But I'm not the a thief, I'm the owner, so I know! Would you think this is sufficient security information for mcafee, as I can't access my mail? If my phone is on data/wifi, can mcafee reset my phone? You may ask why have you taken so long, that's because I've been searching my whole house for a PIN, password etc. I'm tired, angry and becoming desperate. I live In not the country of my birth, I need my property that I own back, in working order. How can something I own, be controlled by someone else, and of no fault of my own?

I come to you first for advice. I'm sure mcafee will not be happy to know they got the dates wrong when I changed SIM, that I can still do two actions on my phone with their security software blocking me, and I don't want them to think I'm a hacker! I'm not a hacker I'm not a thief, I'm just someone who wants the control back of my own phone.
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Simply go to a library or friend's house and access your email there to do the pin reset.
Thank you, that would be what you would do normally. But as I have stated, I can't access that email account, because the password is in my phone that is blocked that I can't retrieve, so no good trying to open that account on someone else's device. that email address is about 16years old, and I'm not even sure I could answer the recover questions, so that would be a last resort, as i would prefer not to loose this account after so many years. I would like to know when I get in contact with mcafee some facts first, as you can appreciate, I'm not in my country of origin, with a SIM from the country I'm presently living, on a phone purchased from amazon. As far as I'm aware I was never asked about an email account in the first place, if i had been asked I would of also entered a recovery email address. If I had purchased this software I most surely would of been asked that, but as I've never purchased this software, I wasn't asked.

But please if you could answer, why is this software still active of nearly 3years, when it was a trial version pre installed, and I've never paid any money to mcafee? I have read online that many people in my exact same situation, are furious, and quite rightly so, and this has happened to a lot of Sony and LG owners.

I the end I will contact mcafee, via another email of mine, but they will ask me the same questions, so I will have to answer the same as I've stated above, and will they/can they do anything?
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You will have to contact McAfee or gain access to your email account, but as this is an anti-theft protection we can't really offer much help, those are the forum rules. If you set the email up on the phone then you must have known the password at least 3 years ago. Also I'll state that it is important to maintain the passwords for any accounts you use as if you lose access to them then you can loose access to many other sites, software, or devices that rely on them as a result.
If I may also say. I personally believe I have a software problem with the mcafee app on my phone. Otherwise how could it happen that when I inserted my new SIM everything was fine for 4weeks, until it was blocked, that should never be able to happen, apparenty! On the date i installed my new SIM, my network provider would of had to have sent to my phone the configuration settings for me to be able to use my new SIM, proof as it were needed that fir mcafee, i changed SIM not on the date they have stated. And so if I have a software malfunction on my phone, how is mcafee going to resolve it? That's why I asked the question if data/wifi is open on my phone can they at least send something to the phone to unblock it. As I have already stated only I can say when my phone went live, and this may be a good enought answer to mcafee as I can't reset via my email account.

Many thanks in advance.
Thank you triple6, for your advice. I fully understand that because this is a anti theft software it's a sensitive issue, and I'm not asking you to resolve it, I just wanted answers to the simple questions I was asking. But thank you anyway.
If you think this is a McAfee glitch then you need to contact them, and if your question is can McAfee unlock your phone remotely if it's connected to a network then the answer is likely yes, as long as you can prove you are the legal owner of the device.
Many thanks for your reply Triple6 I am at this very moment composing an email to mcafee, prior to me calling them, this will be a costly phone call, so if they have some facts before, then hopefully it will speed things up. I was never intentionally asking any members to solve my predicament or to suggest anything illegal, just for an opinion or advice, as this is a forum discussing technology related debates. hopefully in the next few days I will have some good news. Assuming that information that I could only know, will prove I'm the rightful owner of the device!
I live in Italy, I will have to phone the uk, unfortunately even after living here a while, my Italian isn't good enough to talk technical to mcafee here! And as i bought the phone from the uk, thats where i should call. 0800 numbers are for inside the uk, so it's not free from outside, and i only have a mobile, but thank you anyway, I have the number to call them. It will be worth it's weight in gold, if I can have my phone back!
I live in Italy, I will have to phone the uk, unfortunately even after living here a while, my Italian isn't good enough to talk technical to mcafee here! And as i bought the phone from the uk, thats where i should call. 0800 numbers are for inside the uk, so it's not free from outside, and i only have a mobile, but thank you anyway, I have the number to call them. It will be worth it's weight in gold, if I can have my phone back!

If I can also say, Looking on the mcafee website, I saw they had a recognized problem before android 4.1, this is what mine is on if i recall, yes i know it's old, but it's still my phone! And it's exactly 30days from when I first put my new sim in, untill it was blocked, after nearly 3years! That is what you get with the free 30day trial version, very odd, don't you think.....?
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Where you bought the phone should not be relevant, call the tech support in the country you are in and go from there.

Or use their web chat:

You've mentioned that the issue is documented on the McAfee site, would you care to share the link for that article? It would be beneficial to see what you are reading.

Have you read this:
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Hi triple6. Unfortunately as you know mcafee being a cyber security firm, the pages expire after a certain amount of time, so I don't have the link.

But this is what I remember reading. On android before 4.1 there was an issue that a code could be attached, and it was demonstrated, obviously v4.1 and after it was fixed. I remember it can effect certain prepaid and rechargeable accounts.

Let me explain. My new mobile provider "" has a rechargeable system. It's a form of contract, every four weeks it gets recharged for a set amount of money. First inclusive calls and SMS is recharged, then data is recharged but not at the same time, usually the next day. My account was recharged on the 26/09/2016, the day after when my data would of been recharged 27/09/2016 my phone blocks.

If what I read was true the possibility as I'm running an old version of android that malware or indeed another code could of been attached somehow. If someone was hacking me, they may want to have the details of my new mobile provider, as I can see my account online, so they may be able to see how I recharged my account. Thankfully it's not via a credit card, but instore!

Obviously for my phone to carry on working for 30days after I changed my SIM, after almost three years use, the software must thought that it's restarting a 30day trial, as it was already pre installed on my phone from new. I don't believe this is a coincidence, do you? How is this even possible?

I will endeavor to find again the link I was reading online, and send you.
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I have not managed to find the link yet, but while searching I have found this article. www.computerworlduk, under features, security features. It's about serious flaws with older versions of android. It states that in 2015 there was a serious security breach with android, that effected the media playback component! Guess what I was doing when my phone blocked? Watching a video my girlfriend sent me on my bike!

If you type in security problems with older versions of android, there's a whole list!!!!
I think you are grasping at straws with your account or SIM being hacked, the video from your girlfriend that someone managed to include an exploit in; I doubt all of that. McAfee support articles don't expire and disappear; that would be an awful thing for finding support and knowledge bases. Yes there are security problems with many old versions of software but there's nothing to suggest you've been hacked, I realize that's the cool fad these days to blame everything on hackers, but I think you simply got locked out due to changing your SIM card, a glitch in the McAfee software(glitches do happen in the computer world), you losing your important login credentials, or you have obtained a phone that isn't yours; we have no way to verify that it's truly your phone. As I have stated previously stated we have forum rules dealing with a security/anti-theft measure/passwords that prevent us from helping posters too much other than pointing them to legitimate ways to regain access; in this case gaining access to your email account and/or contacting McAfee. Since we are not getting anywhere and going in circles I think we have reached the end of the support we can provide. I wish you luck with McAfee and gaining access to your email account but I have to close this thread.
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Previously I had posted on the forum "blocked 3yr old sony Xperia sp by mcafee" the tread has now been closed. I never intended to offend other members, especially member triple6, but I'm sorry to say, this is a forum to discuss technology problems. And I'm sorry triple6, you don't know me, and you had no right to imply that I am not the legal and rightful owner of my own phone.

Anyway it has been resolved, and I'm sorry to say I was correct, and I have MY PHONE THAT I OWN back in full working order!

What went wrong. The mcafee mobile security had expired over the almost 3years that I've had the device. When I put my new sim in, I was asked "welcome to your new sony, let's get started" (after 3years!). These are configuration settings, SMS/data, wifi etc etc. As mcafee had previously been installed, mcafee treated me as a new customer, as my new SIM no and email address was not recognized by them. I then got 30days from that point, as if it were a trial version, then my phone blocked. Mcafee had only recorded the date when the 30days expired from when my new SIM was changed. Since I've had MY PROPERTY back and in working order, I now have obviously removed mcafee. I then installed CM security anti virus software. CM security found a Trojan, that mcafee did not find!!!!!! Everything is now fine and in working order, and I have access to my own email account again etc etc. So in respect to member triple6, I felt that I had to share the results, as that thread is now closed. Also may I just say, if you leave a page open from the mcafee knoledge website, it does indeed have a time limit untill it expires, and almost all lower android OS, have big security issues. And it is correct that commonly viruses can attach themselves to video media files, as if they are linked to a social apps they can become more contagious. As most of us use these social apps these days, we are open to vulnerabilities, which genuine hackers exploit.

Not everyone changes phone every year for the latest and greatest, many of us are quite happy to keep our old phones. But this is like owning a Mac computer, like previously I have owned. You buy a top tier product, you then buy some nice new software. One year later the OS is changed, then you are told that you can't upgrade your OS and your previous expensive software that you have bought will no longer work! In a way the android system is the same, as it's constantly updated. So if your phone is a number of years old, it then won't work with your banking app, social apps, etc etc, then you are forced to buy another.

For me owning an old phone and being quite happy not to buy another, was the whole problem. The mcafee system when expired should of not been running on the OS for almost three years. I took a picture of my phone, on the box it came in (proof of puchase) with the mcafee app open, stating it had expired! Maybe soon I will be told when my other apps won't work, as the apps will not support and older OS!

But I will say this. Im not a thief, a hacker and don't have a degree in computer sience. I'm an ex engineer for the ministry of defense in the UK (and so I hope) I still have some intelligence. I resolved my own problem with my own phone, by my own, no other third party was ever involved in resolving the technical issue my phone had. We rely so much these days on our phones, what they can do, and what's inside them. But it's not so easy to own something that is not the latest and greatest, or the must have.
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