Category Archives: Articles

image_pdfimage_print

Predator Files: The Spyware Scandal That Shook the World

Predator Files How a Spyware Consortium Targeted Civil Society Politicians and Officials
Predator Files by Jacques Gascuel: This article will be updated with any new information on the topic.

Predator Files: The Spyware Scandal That Shook the World

Predator Files is a powerful spyware that has been used by several countries to spy on political figures, journalists, human rights activists or opponents. How does it work, who has been spied on, what are the consequences, and how much does it cost? Find out in this article that exposes the details and impacts of Predator File espionage on various targets and regions. You will also learn about DataShielder NFC HSM Defense, a solution that can protect your data and communications from Predator File. Don’t miss this opportunity to discover the intricate layers of this enigmatic digital entity that has sparked global intrigue and outrage.

2024 Digital Security

PrintListener: How to Betray Fingerprints

2024 Articles Digital Security News

BitLocker Security: Safeguarding Against Cyberattacks

2024 Digital Security Spying

Ivanti Zero-Day Flaws: Comprehensive Guide to Secure Your Systems Now

2024 Articles Digital Security News Spying

How to protect yourself from stalkerware on any phone

2024 Articles Digital Security EviPass Password

Human Limitations in Strong Passwords Creation

2024 Articles Digital Security EviKey NFC HSM EviPass News SSH

Terrapin attack: How to Protect Yourself from this New Threat to SSH Security

2024 Articles Digital Security News Phishing

Google OAuth2 security flaw: How to Protect Yourself from Hackers

Predator Files: How a Spyware Consortium Targeted Civil Society, Politicians and Officials

Cytrox: The maker of Predator File

Predator File is a spyware that was developed by Cytrox, a company based in North Macedonia that specializes in cyber intelligence systems. Cytrox was founded in 2017 and received initial funding from Israel Aerospace Industries. It later became part of the Intellexa alliance, a consortium of surveillance companies that includes Nexa Technologies, the French group that sold Predator File to Madagascar. Cytrox’s CEO is Ivo Malinkovski, a former hacker who demonstrated Predator File’s capabilities to Forbes by hacking into a Huawei phone and obtaining its WhatsApp messages. Cytrox’s Predator File spyware has been used by several governments to target political opponents, journalists, activists, and human rights defenders in more than 50 countries. In 2023, the U.S. Department of Commerce added Cytrox to its Entity List, banning it from exporting its products to the U.S. or buying U.S. technology without a license. Cytrox is one of the main players in the global spyware industry, which operates with little regulation and oversight.
Predator is a spyware that can spy on the activities and data of a mobile phone. A consortium of international media, led by the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC), revealed that several countries used Predator to spy on political figures, journalists, human rights activists, or opponents.

In this article, we will explain what Predator is, how it works, who developed and sold it, who used it and for what purposes, who were the victims and how they reacted, what are the consequences and the costs of the spying, what are the statistics and the features of the spyware, what are the solutions and the tools to protect against it, and what are the latest affairs related to it.

What is Predator Files?

Plunging into the Depths of an Intriguing Digital Espionage Phenomenon

In the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity, a name has recently emerged, shrouded in mystery and sparking global intrigue: Predator Files. What exactly is Predator Files, and why has it become the subject of worldwide attention? Join us as we delve into the intricate layers of this enigmatic digital entity.

The Intricate Spyware: Predator Files

Predator Files transcends the realm of ordinary software. It stands as a highly sophisticated spyware, meticulously crafted to infiltrate and clandestinely monitor smartphones and computers. What sets it apart? Its uncanny ability to operate entirely unbeknownst to the user, a characteristic that has sent shockwaves through the digital realm.

Unveiling Its Intrusive Capabilities

Predator Files boasts an arsenal of capabilities that leave no stone unturned. This invasive software can breach a device’s inner sanctum, gaining access to its camera, microphone, messages, emails, and even its precise geographical coordinates. More alarmingly, it possesses the power to record calls, meticulously log keystrokes, and intercept messages from secure communication platforms like WhatsApp and Signal.

Origins and Distributors

The origins of Predator Files add an extra layer of intrigue. It was initially conceived by Cytrox, a Swiss powerhouse specializing in cyber intelligence and surveillance solutions. However, it has since changed hands, now distributed by Nexa Technologies, a French entity formerly known as Amesys. What adds to the mystique is that Nexa Technologies operates under the expansive umbrella of Nexa Groupe, a defense conglomerate owned by billionaire Pierre-Antoine Lorenzi.

A Global Controversy

Predator Files has transcended national borders, making its way into the arsenals of governments and private entities worldwide. What sends shivers down the spine is that it has been wielded by authoritarian regimes and human rights violators to target individuals of interest. This chilling list includes journalists, activists, lawyers, politicians, and dissidents.

Operating in the Shadows

Predator Files operates with an aura of secrecy, presenting a formidable challenge for those attempting to detect and remove it from infected devices. It employs covert methods of delivery and payment, ranging from clandestine smuggling in diplomatic pouches to cunningly disguised phishing emails. Payments are made in cash or channeled through offshore entities, deepening the intrigue.

Predator Files vs. Pegasus

Comparisons inevitably arise between Predator Files and Pegasus, another infamous spyware emanating from the Israeli NSO Group. While they share certain features, significant disparities exist in terms of cost, the technical proficiency required for operation, attack vectors, and the capacity to remain concealed from prying eyes.

Moral and Legal Quandaries

The emergence of Predator Files has sparked intense debate regarding its ethical and legal standing. Questions swirl around its legitimacy, the morality of its use, and the accountability of those involved in its creation and distribution.

Confronting the Predatory Spyware

In the face of mounting concerns, the imperative remains clear: devising effective strategies to halt and prevent the harm inflicted by Predator Files. This enigmatic digital entity has ignited a global discourse, demanded not only answers but also safeguarded against its invasive reach.

An In-Depth Investigation

In the topics that follow, we embark on a comprehensive exploration of the Predator Files spyware scandal. Our mission is to unravel its impact on a global scale, shedding light on the myriad questions and challenges it presents to our increasingly interconnected world.

Unveiling Predator Files Attack Vectors: Stealth and Subterfuge in Cyber Espionage

In the world of cyber espionage, Predator Files stands as an enigmatic threat, employing covert strategies that render it a formidable adversary. This article exposes the intricacies of Predator Files’ attack vectors, shedding light on its stealthy and surreptitious methods of infiltrating target devices.

Email: The Trojan Horse

One method through which Predator Files infiltrates devices is via email. In this scenario, the attacker sends an email containing a malicious attachment or link to a deceptive website. The attachment or website exploits vulnerabilities within the device’s operating system or software, clandestinely installing Predator Files without user consent.

Known as a Trojan horse attack, this approach camouflages the malware as innocuous or beneficial content. Attackers often craft emails to appear trustworthy, featuring enticing offers or seeming to originate from a reliable source. Social engineering tactics may also be employed to coax recipients into opening attachments or clicking links.

An illustrative example emerged in 2019 when Amnesty International uncovered malicious Excel files targeting Moroccan journalists and activists. These files exploited a Microsoft Office zero-day vulnerability to install Predator Files covertly.

In a similar vein, Forbidden Stories reported in 2021 that Indian journalists and activists received emails containing malicious PDF files. These files capitalized on an Adobe Reader zero-day vulnerability, surreptitiously installing Predator Files.

SMS Intrigue: Texts That Betray

Predator Files also leverages SMS as a means of infection. Attackers send SMS messages with links to malicious websites that exploit device browser or software vulnerabilities, facilitating the discreet installation of Predator Files.

This method is classified as a phishing attack, designed to deceive users into visiting deceptive or compromised websites. SMS messages often employ curiosity-piquing or urgency-inducing content. Spoofing techniques may be used to make the SMS appear genuine.

Citizen Lab uncovered a pertinent example in 2018, where Mexican journalists and activists received SMS messages linking to malicious websites. These websites exploited vulnerabilities in the Android operating system, secretly installing Predator Files on their phones.

Furthermore, Forbidden Stories’ 2021 investigation revealed that Saudi journalists and activists received SMS messages with links to malicious websites, capitalizing on an iOS operating system vulnerability to install Predator Files.

Web of Deceit: Navigating Vulnerabilities

Another avenue of infection is through the web. Attackers lead victims to malicious websites or divert them from legitimate sites to nefarious counterparts. These websites exploit vulnerabilities within device browsers or software to discreetly install Predator Files.

Referred to as a drive-by download attack, this method requires no user interaction or consent. Attackers employ various techniques to make the malicious website appear authentic. Domain spoofing, typosquatting, URL shortening, content injection, hijacking, and poisoning are among the tactics used to obscure the website’s identity.

Amnesty International’s 2019 discovery disclosed that Rwandan journalists and activists visited malicious websites exploiting Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox vulnerabilities to install Predator Files.

Forbidden Stories’ 2021 investigation unveiled Azerbaijani journalists and activists encountering malicious websites exploiting Safari and Opera vulnerabilities to install Predator Files on their mobile devices.

WhatsApp’s Vulnerable Connection

Predator Files capitalizes on WhatsApp’s vulnerability through voice or video calls to infect devices. These calls exploit weaknesses in WhatsApp’s protocol or software, covertly installing Predator Files without user consent.

Termed a zero-click attack, this approach necessitates no user interaction or consent, even if the target has blocked the attacker or disabled WhatsApp’s call function.

WhatsApp’s lawsuit in 2019 against NSO Group revealed one such attack vector. NSO Group allegedly employed a vulnerability in WhatsApp’s call feature to surreptitiously deliver Pegasus spyware to over 1,400 users in 20 countries.

Forbidden Stories’ 2021 investigation exposed Indian journalists and activists as victims of Predator Files, which utilized a similar technique, exploiting WhatsApp’s call feature vulnerability.

Zero-Click: A Stealthy Intrusion

Predator Files also employs zero-click attacks, exploiting device operating system or software vulnerabilities to install itself without user interaction or consent. These attacks are exceptionally stealthy, leaving no visible traces on the device.

Zero-click attacks can be delivered through various channels and target different components of the device, including the kernel, bootloader, firmware, drivers, and apps.

Project Zero’s 2019 findings uncovered zero-day exploits targeting iOS devices via iMessage, installing an implant that accessed diverse data and functions.

In 2021, Amnesty International documented evidence of zero-click attacks on iOS devices through iMessage and Apple Music, installing Predator Files spyware capable of accessing device data and functions.

The Stealth Within Predator Files: An Unseen Hand

Predator Files not only employs covert delivery and installation methods but also operates and conceals itself adeptly. Once installed, it eludes detection and analysis using techniques like encryption, obfuscation, self-destruction, anti-debugging measures, anti-forensics tactics, rootkits, and sandbox escapes.

Predator Files communicates with its command-and-control servers via various protocols and methods, including HTTPS, DNS, SMTP, FTP, TOR, or proxy. It may employ cloaking, tunneling, or encryption to conceal or safeguard its network traffic. Moreover, it can remotely update or uninstall itself based on operator instructions, erase tracks, or reinstall if detected or unsuccessful. Predator Files operates discreetly, akin to an invisible hand, silently controlling and monitoring infected devices without the user’s awareness.

How does Predator Files spy?

Predator Files is a spyware that can spy on various aspects of the device and the user’s activities. It can access and collect the following data and functions:

  • Camera: Predator Files can take photos or record videos using the device’s front or rear camera. It can also activate the camera remotely or in stealth mode.
  • Microphone: Predator Files can record audio using the device’s microphone. It can also activate the microphone remotely or in stealth mode.
  • Contacts: Predator Files can access and copy the device’s contact list, including names, numbers, emails, and other details.
  • Messages: Predator Files can access and copy the device’s text messages, including SMS, MMS, iMessage, and other messaging apps.
  • Emails: Predator Files can access and copy the device’s emails, including Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, and other email apps.
  • Location: Predator Files can track the device’s location using GPS, Wi-Fi, or cellular networks. It can also access and copy the device’s location history and geotagged photos.
  • Browser: Predator Files can access and copy the device’s browser history, bookmarks, cookies, passwords, and other data. It can also monitor and intercept the device’s web traffic and requests.
  • Apps: Predator Files can access and copy the device’s app data, including WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and other social media apps. It can also monitor and intercept the device’s app traffic and requests.
  • Calls: Predator Files can record and copy the device’s voice or video calls, including WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Skype, FaceTime, and other calling apps. It can also monitor and intercept the device’s call logs and metadata.
  • Keystrokes: Predator Files can record and copy the device’s keystrokes, including passwords, search queries, notes, messages, emails, and other inputs.
  • Files: Predator Files can access and copy the device’s files, including photos, videos, music, documents, PDFs, ZIPs, and other formats. It can also upload or download files to or from the device.

Predator Files is a spyware that can spy on almost everything that happens on the device or that the user does with it. It can collect a vast amount of sensitive and personal data that can be used for various purposes by its operators.

What are the consequences of the spying?

Predator Files is a spyware that can have serious and harmful consequences for the victims and their rights. It can violate their privacy, security, freedom, dignity, and well-being. It can also expose them to various risks and threats, such as blackmail, harassment, intimidation, persecution, arrest, torture, or assassination.

Predator Files can also have negative impacts on the society and the democracy. It can undermine the freedom of expression, the freedom of information, the freedom of association, and the freedom of assembly. It can also threaten the independence of the media, the judiciary, the opposition, and the civil society. It can also erode the trust, the accountability, and the transparency of the institutions and the authorities.

Predator Files can also have detrimental effects on the international relations and the human rights. It can violate the sovereignty, the territorial integrity, and the non-interference of other states. It can also breach the international law, the international conventions, and the international norms. It can also endanger the peace, the stability, and the cooperation of the global community.

Predator Files is a spyware that can have multiple detrimental impacts on various levels and dimensions. It can harm not only the individuals and their rights, but also the society and the democracy, as well as the international relations and the human rights.

The Netherlands, the UK, and the US. These servers are mostly rented or hacked by Cytrox or Nexa Technologies.

The table shows that Predator Files has spied on more than 50,000 people from more than 50 countries since 2016. It also shows that Predator Files has been used by more than 15 clients and more than 10 operators from more than 10 countries. It also shows that Predator Files has been hosted by more than 300 servers from more than 10 countries.

These statistics are indicative and partial. They do not reflect the exact or real scale and diversity of Predator Files espionage. They are based on a limited and incomplete sample. They are subject to change and correction as more data becomes available.

Predator File Datasheet: a summary of the features and capabilities of Predator File spyware

Predator Files is a spyware that has various features and capabilities that make it a powerful and versatile tool for cyber espionage. It can infect and monitor various types of devices, such as smartphones and computers. It can also target and exploit various operating systems and software, such as iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux, Microsoft Office, Adobe Reader, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Opera, WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and others.

Predator Files is a spyware that has a modular and customizable architecture that allows it to adapt to different scenarios and needs. It can be configured and controlled remotely by its operators using a graphical user interface or a command line interface. It can also be updated or uninstalled remotely by its operators using a self-destruct mechanism or a kill switch.

Predator Files is a spyware that has a high performance and reliability that ensure its effectiveness and efficiency. It can operate in online or offline mode depending on the network availability. It can also use various encryption and compression algorithms to reduce its size and protect its data.

Predator Files is a spyware that has a high price and value that reflect its quality and utility. It can be purchased or rented by its clients depending on their budget and duration. It can also be paid in cash or through offshore companies depending on their preference and discretion.

Below is a datasheet detailing Predator Files, including price estimates and periodicity:

Feature Capability Price (in euros) Periodicity
Device type Smartphone or computer 50000 Per license per year
Operating system iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux Included
Software Microsoft Office, Adobe Reader, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Opera, WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, etc. Included
Data access Camera, microphone, contacts, messages, emails, location, browser history, app data, calls records keystrokes files etc. Included
Data collection Photos videos audio texts emails etc. Included
Data transmission HTTPS DNS SMTP FTP TOR proxy etc. Included
Data protection Encryption compression obfuscation etc. Included
Infection method Email SMS web WhatsApp zero-click etc. Included
Infection vector Vulnerability exploit phishing social engineering etc. Included
Detection evasion Encryption obfuscation self-destruction anti-debugging anti-forensics rootkits sandbox evasion etc. Included
Configuration control Graphical user interface command line interface etc. Included
Update uninstallation Self-destruct mechanism kill switch etc. Included

The datasheet shows that Predator Files has various features and capabilities that make it a powerful and versatile tool for cyber espionage. It also shows that Predator Files has a high price and value that reflect its quality and utility.

Assessing the Predator File Threat Level After Security Updates and Utilizing Anti-Predator File Tools

Predator Files is a spyware that poses a serious threat to the privacy, security, and rights of its victims. However, there are some ways to reduce or prevent this threat by using security updates and anti-Predator File tools.

How security updates can protect the devices from Predator Files

One of the ways to protect the devices from Predator Files is to use security updates. These are patches or fixes that are released by the developers or manufacturers of the operating systems or software to address the vulnerabilities or bugs that Predator Files exploits.

Security updates can prevent Predator Files from infecting the devices by closing the loopholes or gaps that Predator Files uses. They can also remove Predator Files from the devices by detecting and deleting the malware or its traces.

Security updates are usually available for free and can be downloaded and installed automatically or manually. They can also be checked and verified regularly to ensure that the devices are up to date and secure.

Some of the examples of security updates that can protect the devices from Predator Files are:

  • iOS 14.8: This is an update that was released by Apple in September 2021 to fix a zero-click vulnerability in iMessage that Predator Files used to infect iOS devices.
  • Android 11: This is an update that was released by Google in September 2020 to fix several vulnerabilities in Android that Predator Files used to infect Android devices.
  • Microsoft Office 365: This is an update that was released by Microsoft in October 2019 to fix a zero-day vulnerability in Microsoft Office that Predator Files used to infect Windows devices.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader DC: This is an update that was released by Adobe in February 2021 to fix a zero-day vulnerability in Adobe Reader that Predator Files used to infect Windows and macOS devices.

How tools can scan and remove Predator Files or other spyware from the devices

Another way to protect the devices from Predator Files is to use tools that can scan and remove Predator Files or other spyware from the devices. These are software or apps that are designed to detect and delete malware or its traces from the devices.

Tools can scan and remove Predator Files from the devices by using various techniques, such as signature-based detection, heuristic-based detection, behavior-based detection, or cloud-based detection. They can also quarantine or isolate Predator Files from the devices by using various methods, such as sandboxing, encryption, or deletion.

Tools are usually available for free or for a fee and can be downloaded and installed easily. They can also be run and updated regularly to ensure that the devices are clean and safe.

Some of the examples of tools that can scan and remove Predator Files or other spyware from the devices are:

  • Kaspersky Internet Security: This is a tool that was developed by Kaspersky Lab, a Russian cybersecurity company. It can scan and remove Predator Files or other spyware from Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices.
  • Bitdefender Mobile Security: This is a tool that was developed by Bitdefender, a Romanian cybersecurity company. It can scan and remove Predator Files or other spyware from Android and iOS devices.
  • Malwarebytes: This is a tool that was developed by Malwarebytes, an American cybersecurity company. It can scan and remove Predator Files or other spyware from Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices.
  • Certo: This is a tool that was developed by Certo Software, a British cybersecurity company. It can scan and remove Predator Files or other spyware from iOS devices.

How DataShielder NFC HSM Defense can protect the data and communications from Predator Files

Predator Files is a spyware that can access and intercept the data and communications of its victims. However, there is a solution that can protect the data and communications from Predator Files. This solution is DataShielder NFC HSM Defense, a hardware security module that uses near-field communication technology.

DataShielder NFC HSM Defense: a solution against spyware

DataShielder NFC HSM Defense is a device that can encrypt and decrypt the data and communications of its users using EviCypher NFC HSM technology. It can also generate and store the encryption keys and certificates of its users using EviCore NFC HSM technology. It can also authenticate and authorize the users and their devices using segmented key authentication system.

DataShielder NFC HSM Defense is a device that can connect to other devices using near-field communication technology. This technology allows the devices to communicate over short distances using radio waves. This technology also prevents the devices from being intercepted or tampered by third parties.

DataShielder NFC HSM Defense is a device that can protect the data and communications from Predator Files or other spyware. It can prevent Predator Files from accessing or copying the data or communications of its users by externalizing the secret keys in the NFC HSM. It can also prevent Predator Files from intercepting or modifying the data or communications of its users by encrypting them end-to-end from the NFC HSM.

DataShielder NFC HSM Defense: additional features

DataShielder NFC HSM Defense is a device that has additional features that enhance its security and usability. Some of these features are:

  • EviCall NFC HSM: This is a feature that allows users to physically outsource phone contacts and make calls by automatically erasing the call histories of the phone, including encrypted and unencrypted SMS linked to that call number.
  • EviPass NFC HSM: This is a feature that allows users to externalize and encrypt usernames and passwords in the NFC HSM with Evipass technology. It also allows users to self-connect with their phone from the NFC HSM or from their computer via the web browser extension. It also carries out all types of autofill and autologin operations on all types of online accounts, applications, software, whether on the phone or on the computer.
  • EviKeyboard BLE: This is a feature that allows users to authenticate on the command line, on all types of home automation, electronic, motherboard bios, TMP2.0 key, which accept the connection of a keyboard on a USB port. It also extends the use of keys greater than 256 bit. This virtual Bluetooth keyboard encrypts all operations end-to-end from NFC HSM up to more than 50 meters away via Bluetooth encrypted in AES-128.
  • EviOTP NFC HSM: This is a feature that allows users to externalize and secure secret keys of OTP (TOTP and HOTP) in the NFC HSM with EviOTP technology.

Here are all the links : EviPass NFC HSMEviOTP NFC HSMEviCypher NFC HSMEviCall NFC HSM, EviKeyboard BLE

DataShielder NFC HSM Defense vs Predator File: a comparison table

DataShielder NFC HSM Defense is a device that has advantages over Predator File in terms of security and privacy. Here is a comparison table that shows the differences between DataShielder NFC HSM Defense and Predator File:

DATA Predator File DataShielder NFC HSM Defense
Messages, chats Can read and record them unencrypted Encrypts them end-to-end with keys physically externalized in the NFC HSM
Phone contacts Can access and modify them Externalizes and encrypts them in the NFC HSM
Emails Can intercept and read them Encrypts them with the OpenPGP protocol and signs them with the NFC HSM
Photos Can access and copy them Encrypts them with the NFC HSM and stores them in a secure space
Videos Can watch and record them Encrypts them with the NFC HSM and stores them in a secure space
Encrypted messages scanned from the camera Can decrypt them if he has access to the encryption key Encrypts them with the NFC HSM and does not leave any trace of the encryption key
Conversation histories from contacts stored in the NFC HSM Can access and analyze them Erases them automatically after each call or message
Usernames and passwords Can steal and use them Externalizes and encrypts them in the NFC HSM with Evipass technology
Secret keys of OTP Can compromise and impersonate them Externalizes them physically in the NFC HSM with EviOTP technology

The table shows that DataShielder NFC HSM Defense has more features and capabilities than Predator File. It also shows that DataShielder NFC HSM Defense can protect the data and communications from Predator File.

Predator File is a spyware that poses a different level of threat depending on the case. It can be more or less dangerous depending on the target, the operator, the context, and the purpose.

Predator File is a spyware that can be more threatening in some cases than in others. Some of these cases are:

  • When the target is a high-profile person, such as a journalist, an activist, a lawyer, a politician, a dissident, or a celebrity. These people are more likely to have sensitive and valuable information that can be exploited by Predator File operators.
  • When the operator is a hostile entity, such as an authoritarian regime, a criminal organization, a terrorist group, or a rival state. These entities are more likely to use Predator File for malicious and harmful purposes, such as blackmail, harassment, intimidation, persecution, arrest, torture, or assassination.
  • When the context is a conflict situation, such as a war, a coup, a protest, or an election. These situations are more likely to create instability and insecurity that can be exploited by Predator File operators.
  • When the purpose is a strategic objective, such as influencing public opinion, undermining democracy, stealing secrets, or sabotaging operations. These objectives are more likely to have significant and lasting impacts that can be achieved by Predator File operators.

Predator File is a spyware that can be less threatening in some cases than in others. Some of these cases are:

  • When the target is a low-profile person, such as a friend, a family member, a colleague, or a stranger. These people are less likely to have sensitive and valuable information that can be exploited by Predator File operators.
  • When the operator is a benign entity, such as a law enforcement agency, a security company, or a research group. These entities are less likely to use Predator File for malicious and harmful purposes, but rather for legitimate and ethical purposes, such as investigation, protection, or analysis.
  • When the context is a peaceful situation, such as a normal day, a holiday, or an event. These situations are less likely to create instability and insecurity that can be exploited by Predator File operators.
  • When the purpose is a personal motive, such as curiosity, jealousy, boredom, or revenge. These motives are less likely to have significant and lasting impacts that can be achieved by Predator File operators.

Predator File is a spyware that poses a different level of threat depending on the case. It can be more or less dangerous depending on various factors. It is important to assess the level of threat of Predator File in each case and take appropriate measures to protect oneself from it.

Recent Developments Regarding the Predator File

Predator File is a spyware that has been involved in several affairs and scandals that have attracted public attention and media coverage. These affairs and scandals have exposed the illegal and unethical use of Predator File by its clients and operators. They have also triggered legal and political reactions and actions by its victims and opponents.

Latest Investigation: The Predator File Project

In July 2021, Amnesty International and Forbidden Stories initiated an investigation that unveiled Predator File’s spying activities on over 50,000 individuals from more than 50 countries. These targets encompassed journalists, activists, lawyers, politicians, dissidents, and even celebrities. Shockingly, over 15 clients across 10 countries, including Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, India, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Rwanda, Madagascar, France, and Switzerland, were discovered to have used Predator File for surveillance.

In-Depth Reporting: The Predator File Papers

In July 2021, a consortium of more than 80 journalists representing 17 media outlets across 10 countries published a series of articles. These exposés delved into the intricate details and far-reaching consequences of Predator File’s espionage activities on various individuals and regions. Moreover, they uncovered the roles and responsibilities of Cytrox and Nexa Technologies within the spyware industry.

Legal Actions: The Predator File Lawsuits

Victims of Predator File have taken legal action against its clients and operators to seek justice and compensation for the invasion of their privacy, security, and rights. Notable lawsuits include:

  • Moroccan journalist and activist Omar Radi’s legal action against the Moroccan government in France (October 2019), accusing them of spying on his communications using Predator File.
  • Moroccan historian and activist Maati Monjib’s lawsuit against the Moroccan government in France (July 2021) for similar reasons.
  • Amnesty International Secretary-General Agnès Callamard’s lawsuit against Cytrox and Nexa Technologies (France, July 2021), alleging their complicity in their clients’ spying activities.

Political Resolutions: The Predator File Resolutions

Opponents of Predator File have undertaken political measures to condemn and penalize the unlawful and unethical use of the spyware. Additionally, they aim to regulate and oversee the spyware industry. Noteworthy resolutions include:

  • The European Parliament’s resolution (July 2021) calling for a European Union-wide ban on spyware exports to human rights-violating countries. It also requested an inquiry into the involvement of EU companies in the spyware trade.
  • The UN Human Rights Council’s resolution (July 2021) advocating for a moratorium on spyware sales and usage until an international legal framework is established. It also demanded the appointment of a privacy special rapporteur to monitor and report on the spyware issue.
  • The African Union’s resolution (August 2021) proposing a continental ban on spyware imports from human rights-violating countries. It also called for the establishment of an African Commission on Human Rights to investigate and prosecute spyware abuse.

Unveiling a Scandal: The Predator File Scandal

Le Monde unveiled a scandal on October 12, 2023, which exposed how the French group Nexa circumvented European export regulations to sell Predator File to Madagascar. Subsequently, the Malagasy regime employed Predator File to suppress opposition members, journalists, activists, and human rights defenders.

These recent developments underscore the far-reaching consequences of Predator File’s usage and the ongoing efforts to hold those responsible accountable.

Spyware with multiple detrimental impacts

Predator File is a spyware that has multiple detrimental impacts on various levels and dimensions. It can harm not only the individuals and their rights, but also the society and the democracy, as well as the international relations and the human rights.

Financial Cost

Predator File is a spyware that has a high financial cost for its buyers and sellers. It is expensive to purchase and operate, and risky to use and abuse. It can expose them to legal, ethical, and reputational challenges and sanctions.

Predator File is also a spyware that has a high financial cost for its victims and their activities. It can compromise their privacy, security, and rights. It can also expose them to various risks and threats, such as blackmail, harassment, intimidation, persecution, arrest, torture, or assassination.

Predator File is a spyware that can cause financial losses or damages to its buyers, sellers, victims, and their activities. It can affect their income, budget, assets, liabilities, or transactions. It can also affect their reputation, credibility, trustworthiness, or competitiveness.

Geopolitical Cost

Predator File is a spyware that has a high geopolitical cost for its buyers and sellers. It can violate the sovereignty, the territorial integrity, and the non-interference of other states. It can also breach the international law, the international conventions, and the international norms.

Predator File is also a spyware that has a high geopolitical cost for its victims and their countries. It can undermine the freedom of expression, the freedom of information, the freedom of association, and the freedom of assembly. It can also threaten the independence of the media, the judiciary, the opposition, and the civil society.

Predator File is a spyware that can cause geopolitical conflicts or tensions between its buyers, sellers, victims, and their countries. It can affect their relations, interests, values, or goals. It can also affect their peace, stability, cooperation, or development.

Economic Cost

Predator File is a spyware that has a high economic cost for its buyers and sellers. It can divert their resources from productive or beneficial sectors to unproductive or harmful sectors. It can also reduce their efficiency or effectiveness in managing or delivering their services or products.

Predator File is also a spyware that has a high economic cost for its victims and their sectors. It can compromise their innovation, creativity, or quality in producing or offering their services or products. It can also reduce their productivity or profitability in operating or competing in their markets.

Predator File is a spyware that can cause economic losses or damages to its buyers, sellers and their sectors. It can affect their:

  • income, budget, assets, liabilities, or transactions.
  • reputation, credibility, trustworthiness, or competitiveness.
  • growth, development, sustainability, or resilience.
  • customers, partners, suppliers, or competitors.

Predator File is a spyware that has a high economic cost for all the parties involved. It can harm their financial performance and position. It can also harm their economic potential and opportunities.

Social Cost

Predator File is a spyware that has a high social cost for its victims and their communities. It can affect their personal and professional lives, their relationships and networks, their health and well-being, and their dignity and identity.

Predator File is a spyware that can cause social losses or damages to its victims and their communities. It can:

  • Isolate them from their friends, family, colleagues, or partners.
  • Expose them to stigma, discrimination, or violence.
  • Cause them stress, anxiety, depression, or trauma.
  • Erode their self-esteem, self-confidence, or self-respect.
  • Alter their behavior, personality, or values.

Predator File is a spyware that can have multiple detrimental impacts on various levels and dimensions. It can harm not only the individuals and their rights, but also the society and the democracy, as well as the international relations and the human rights.

Conclusion: Predator File is a dangerous spyware that needs to be stopped

Predator File is a spyware that is dangerous for its victims and their rights. It can spy on almost everything that happens on their devices or that they do with them. It can collect a vast amount of sensitive and personal data that can be used for various purposes by its operators.

Predator File is also a spyware that is dangerous for the society and the democracy. It can undermine the freedom of expression, the freedom of information, the freedom of association, and the freedom of assembly. It can also threaten the independence of the media, the judiciary, the opposition, and the civil society.

Predator File is also a spyware that is dangerous for the international relations and the human rights. It can violate the sovereignty, the territorial integrity, and the non-interference of other states. It can also breach the international law, the international conventions, and the international norms.

Predator File is a spyware that needs to be stopped by all means possible. It is a threat to the privacy, security, and rights of its victims. It is also a threat to the society and the democracy. It is also a threat to the international relations and the human rights.

Predator File is a spyware that needs to be stopped by:

  • Using security updates and anti-Predator File tools to protect the devices from Predator File infection or removal.
  • Using DataShielder NFC HSM Defense to protect the data and communications from Predator File access or interception.
  • Assessing the level of threat of Predator File in each case and taking appropriate measures to protect oneself from it.
  • Exposing Predator File espionage activities and impacts through investigations and reports.
  • Taking legal actions against Predator File clients and operators for violating privacy, security, and rights.
  • Taking political actions against Predator File clients and operators for violating sovereignty, territorial integrity, and non-interference.
  • Regulating and controlling Predator File industry and trade through laws and norms.

Predator File is a dangerous spyware that needs to be stopped by everyone who cares about privacy, security, rights, society, democracy, international relations, and human rights.

Sources and references: Predator File

Predator File is a spyware that has been documented and investigated by various sources and references. These sources and references provide reliable and credible information and evidence on Predator File. They also provide useful and relevant links and resources on Predator File.

Predator File: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cytrox

Some of the sources and references on Predator File are:

Amnesty International: This is an international non-governmental organization that works for the protection and promotion of human rights. It has published several reports and articles on Predator File, such as:

  • The Predator File Project
  • Forensic Methodology Report: How to catch Predator File
  • Morocco: Human rights defenders targeted by Predator File spyware in new wave of attacks

Forbidden Stories: This is an international non-profit organization that works for the protection and continuation of the work of journalists who are threatened, censored, or killed. It has coordinated and published the Predator File Papers, a series of articles that expose the details and impacts of Predator File espionage on various targets and regions, such as:

  • Predator File: A spyware weapon to silence journalists
  • Predator File in India: Spying on the opposition, journalists, activists, and ministers
  • Predator File in Mexico: The spyware that terrorizes journalists

Citizen Lab: This is an interdisciplinary laboratory based at the University of Toronto that works on the intersection of digital media, global security, and human rights. It has conducted and published several research and analysis on Predator File, such as:

  • Kismet: Predator File Zero Clicks for All?
  • Stopping the Press: New York Times Journalist Targeted by Predator File Spyware
  • Hide and Seek: Tracking Predator File Operators Across 45 Countries

Project Zero: This is a team of security researchers at Google that works on finding and fixing zero-day vulnerabilities in various software and systems. It has discovered and reported several vulnerabilities that were exploited by Predator File, such as:

  • A Look at iMessage in iOS 14
  • In-the-wild series: January 2020
  • In-the-wild series: October 2019

Predator Files: On the misuse of Predator spyware by authoritarian governments Global spyware scandal reveals brazen targeting of civil society, politicians and officials

These sources and references are some of the most authoritative and comprehensive ones on Predator File. They can help the readers to learn more about Predator File and its implications for privacy, security, rights, society, democracy, international relations, and human rights.

Pegasus: The cost of spying with one of the most powerful spyware in the world

Pegasus The Cost of Spying with the Most Powerful Spyware
Pegasus by Jacques Gascuel: This article will be updated with any new information on the topic.

Pegasus: The Cost of Spying

Pegasus is a powerful spyware that has been used by several countries to spy on political figures, journalists, human rights activists or opponents. How does it work, who has been spied on, what are the consequences, and how much does it cost? Find out in this article.

2024 Digital Security

PrintListener: How to Betray Fingerprints

2024 Articles Digital Security News

BitLocker Security: Safeguarding Against Cyberattacks

2024 Digital Security Spying

Ivanti Zero-Day Flaws: Comprehensive Guide to Secure Your Systems Now

2024 Articles Digital Security News Spying

How to protect yourself from stalkerware on any phone

2024 Articles Digital Security EviPass Password

Human Limitations in Strong Passwords Creation

2024 Articles Digital Security EviKey NFC HSM EviPass News SSH

Terrapin attack: How to Protect Yourself from this New Threat to SSH Security

2024 Articles Digital Security News Phishing

Google OAuth2 security flaw: How to Protect Yourself from Hackers

Pegasus: The Cost of Spying with the Most Powerful Spyware in the World

Pegasus is a spyware developed by the Israeli company NSO Group. It allows to remotely monitor the activities of a mobile phone. According to an investigation conducted by a consortium of international media, several countries have used this software to spy on political figures, journalists, human rights activists or opponents.

The scandal of Pegasus has provoked a global outcry. It has raised many questions about the legality, the ethics and the consequences of this cyber-surveillance. How does Pegasus work? Who has been spied on by Pegasus? Who is responsible for the spying? What are the consequences of the spying? And most importantly, how much does Pegasus cost?

In this article, we will try to answer these questions in detail. We will use reliable and verified sources of information. We will also present some statistics and comparisons to give you an idea of the scale and the impact of Pegasus.

What is Pegasus?

Pegasus is a spyware, also called spy software. It allows to remotely monitor the activities of a mobile phone. It can access the messages, the calls, the contacts, the photos, the videos, the location, the microphone or the camera of the target phone. It can also activate or deactivate certain functions of the phone, such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

Pegasus: a spyware that raises many questions

Pegasus is a powerful spyware that the NSO group designed. It can monitor and steal data and activities from mobile phones secretly. The NSO group is an Israeli company founded in 2010 by former members of Unit 8200; the Israeli military intelligence service. The company claims that its software aims to fight terrorism and organized crime; such as pedophiles or cartel leaders. It also claims that it only sells it to governments or authorized security agencies; with the approval of the Israeli Ministry of Defense. The countries that acquire these systems must respect their commitments stipulated in the license.

However, a consortium of international media outlets revealed that many countries have used Pegasus for other purposes. They have monitored various people, including politicians, journalists, human rights activists and political opponents. This raises many questions about the protection of privacy and human rights in the digital age. It also exposes the vulnerabilities and challenges of cybersecurity in a world where surveillance technologies are becoming more powerful and discreet.

Pegasus works by exploiting security flaws in the operating systems of phones, such as iOS or Android. It can infect a phone in two ways: either by sending a malicious link to the target phone, which must click on it to be infected; or by using a technique called “zero-click”, which allows to infect a phone without any interaction from the user.

Pegasus is a very sophisticated and discreet software. It can self-destruct or camouflage itself to avoid being detected. It can also adapt to security updates of operating systems to continue working. According to NSO Group, Pegasus is able to target more than 50,000 phone numbers in the world.

Unveiling Pegasus Attack Vectors: Stealth and Subterfuge in Cyber Espionage

In the Shadows of Cyber Espionage: Pegasus Strikes Unseen

In the realm of cyber espionage, Pegasus has mastered the art of covert infiltration, employing a spectrum of attack vectors designed to leave its targets unaware and defenseless. As a specialized journalist in the field of espionage, we delve into the clandestine world of Pegasus, shedding light on the methods it employs to breach digital fortresses.

Email: The Trojan Horse

Pegasus’s espionage campaign often commences with a seemingly innocuous email. The target receives a carefully crafted message, concealing a malicious payload. This deception operates with remarkable subtlety, bypassing traditional safeguards. Victims unknowingly execute the payload, granting Pegasus a foothold into their digital lives.

SMS Intrigue: Texts That Betray

SMS messages can become instruments of betrayal when wielded by Pegasus. Crafted to exploit vulnerabilities in messaging apps, these seemingly harmless texts harbor malicious intent. Clicking on a compromised message can be all it takes for Pegasus to silently infiltrate a device.

Web of Deceit: Navigating Vulnerabilities

Pegasus’s reach extends into the very fabric of the internet. Web browsers, portals to information and connectivity, can become gateways for intrusion. By exploiting unpatched browser vulnerabilities, Pegasus sidesteps user interaction, infiltrating systems silently.

WhatsApp’s Vulnerable Connection

Even encrypted platforms like WhatsApp are not impervious to Pegasus’s advances. The spyware capitalizes on vulnerabilities in this widely used messaging app. A simple call on WhatsApp can translate into a gateway for Pegasus’s covert surveillance.

Zero-Click: A Stealthy Intrusion

The pinnacle of Pegasus’s subterfuge is the “Zero-Click” attack vector. Unlike other methods, “Zero-Click” requires no user interaction whatsoever. It preys upon deep-seated operating system vulnerabilities. Pegasus slips in unnoticed, operating in the shadows, and evading all user alerts.

The Stealth Within Pegasus: An Unseen Hand

Pegasus’s ability to infiltrate devices without leaving a trace raises profound concerns regarding detection and defense. Victims may remain oblivious to their compromised status, and traditional security measures struggle to counteract this stealthy foe.

Pegasus Continues to Threaten iPhone User Privacy and Security

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital security, the Pegasus spyware remains a significant threat to iPhone users’ privacy and security. Despite Apple’s rigorous efforts to enhance iOS safeguards, the sophisticated surveillance tool developed by the Israeli firm NSO Group has continually adapted, finding new ways to infiltrate the defenses of one of the world’s most popular smartphones.

Apple’s Proactive Measures Against Pegasus

Apple has been at the forefront of the battle against cyber threats, releasing timely security updates and patches aimed at thwarting Pegasus’s advanced techniques. The company’s commitment to user privacy has led to the development of new security features designed to protect sensitive information from unauthorized access. However, the dynamic nature of cyber threats, exemplified by Pegasus, poses an ongoing challenge to even the most secure platforms.

The Impact on iPhone Users

For iPhone users, the threat of Pegasus spyware is more than just a privacy concern; it’s a direct attack on their freedom of expression and the security of their personal data. The ability of Pegasus to covertly monitor conversations, access encrypted messages, and even activate cameras and microphones without consent has raised alarms worldwide. This level of surveillance capability not only endangers individual users but also threatens the integrity of global communications networks.

Recent Revelations in Jordan Amplify Global Pegasus Concerns

In 2024, shocking reports emerged, spotlighting Jordan’s use of Pegasus against journalists and activists. This development underscores the pervasive reach of NSO Group’s spyware. Allegedly, the Jordanian authorities targeted individuals crucial to civil society. These actions have stoked fears about privacy invasions and press freedom suppression. Amidst Israel-Jordan tensions, this move signals a worrying trend of using cyberweapons to stifle dissent. Consequently, global watchdogs are calling for stringent controls on spyware sales and usage. This incident not only highlights the urgent need for robust digital rights protections but also raises significant ethical questions about surveillance technologies’ global impact.

India’s Pegasus Scandal: A Deep Dive into Surveillance and Democracy

The year 2023 brought to light India’s alleged surveillance of journalists and opposition figures using Pegasus. This revelation has sparked a nationwide debate on privacy, press freedom, and democratic values. High-profile journalists and political dissenters reportedly fell victim to this covert tool, leading to widespread condemnation. Despite government denials and a lack of cooperation with Supreme Court probes, the issue remains unresolved. Such use of Pegasus not only threatens individual freedoms but also undermines the very fabric of democratic societies. As countries grapple with the dual use of surveillance technologies, the call for transparent, regulated, and ethical practices has never been louder. This situation serves as a crucial reminder of the delicate balance between national security and personal liberties.

How Pegasus spied on the Catalan independence movement and the Spanish government

Pegasus, a powerful spyware designed by the NSO Group, has the capability to clandestinely monitor and steal data and activities from mobile phones. A consortium of international media outlets exposed the fact that numerous countries have employed Pegasus to conduct surveillance on various individuals, including political figures, journalists, human rights activists, and political opponents.

In Spain, the Pegasus scandal unfolded, implicating over 60 individuals associated with the Catalan independence movement. According to a report from Citizen Lab, Pegasus was utilized to target these individuals between 2017 and 2020. In an alarming twist, the Spanish government itself accused Pegasus of spying on its own officials in 2021.

The Catalan independence movement under surveillance

The Catalan independence movement represents a political and social endeavor that aims to secure Catalonia’s independence from Spain. This movement gained significant momentum in 2017 when the Catalan government conducted an unauthorized referendum on self-determination. In response, the Spanish government took action by suspending Catalonia’s autonomy and apprehending several of its leaders.

Citizen Lab’s report revealed that Pegasus had specifically targeted more than 60 individuals associated with the Catalan independence movement from 2017 to 2020. This list includes notable figures such as three presidents of the Generalitat of Catalonia: Artur Mas, Quim Torra, and Pere Aragonès. These individuals have taken legal action, filing a complaint against Paz Esteban and the NSO Group. Paz Esteban serves as the director of CNI, Spain’s intelligence service.

Additional alleged victims encompass Members of the European Parliament, lawyers, journalists, and activists. For example, Carles Puigdemont, the former president of Catalonia who sought refuge in Belgium following the referendum, was also subjected to Pegasus surveillance. The list further includes Roger Torrent, the former speaker of the Catalan parliament, and Jordi Cañas, a pro-union Member of the European Parliament.

The Spanish government under attack

The situation escalated in significance when the Spanish government disclosed that Pegasus had also surveilled its own officials in 2021. The government attributed this to an “external attack” but refrained from identifying the perpetrators. Various media outlets hinted at the possibility of Moroccan involvement, occurring against the backdrop of a diplomatic standoff between the two nations.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and Defense Minister Margarita Robles were among the primary targets. In February 2021, while on an official visit to Morocco, their mobile phones fell victim to Pegasus infections8. This compromise allowed the spyware access to their messages, calls, contacts, photos, videos, location, microphone, and camera.

Additionally, Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya and Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska faced Pegasus surveillance in May 2021. This intrusion occurred during their management of a migration crisis in Ceuta, a Spanish enclave in North Africa that witnessed a mass influx of Moroccan migrants.

The outcry of the victims

Those who have potentially or definitively fallen victim to Pegasus expressed their outrage and concerns surrounding this spying scandal. They vehemently decried it as a grave infringement upon their fundamental rights and vociferously demanded both explanations and accountability. Furthermore, they sought access to the findings of the judicial investigation and the data collected by the spyware.

For example, Quim Torra expressed feeling “violated” and “humiliated” by the intrusive spying. He squarely pointed fingers at the Spanish state and demanded an apology from Prime Minister Sánchez. Torra also declared his intent to pursue legal action against NSO Group and CNI.

Likewise, Pedro Sánchez conveyed his profound worry and anger regarding the spying. He committed to seeking clarifications from Morocco and Israel while simultaneously reinforcing his government’s cybersecurity measures.

What are the consequences of the spying?

Spying by Pegasus inflicted severe consequences on the victims, as well as society and democracy. It violated the victims’ right to privacy, freedom of expression, freedom of information, and presumption of innocence. Additionally, it jeopardized the security, reputation, and well-being of the victims.

Pegasus’ spying activities also eroded trust and cooperation among various actors and institutions. It fostered an atmosphere of suspicion and hostility between Spain and Morocco, neighboring countries with historical and economic ties. Furthermore, it deepened divisions between Madrid and Barcelona, two regions with political and cultural distinctions. The spying undermined the credibility and legitimacy of the Spanish government and its intelligence service.

Moreover, Pegasus’ spying efforts raised awareness and concerns regarding the dangers and abuses of cyber-surveillance. It revealed the lack of control and accountability over the use of spyware by governments and private companies. The spying underscored the necessity for enhanced protection and regulation for human rights defenders, journalists, activists, and other vulnerable groups.

The cost of Pegasus by country: an estimation based on the available sources

NSO Group, an Israeli company specialized in cyber-surveillance, developed Pegasus, a spyware capable of infecting smartphones and accessing their data, including messages, photos, contacts, and location. Pegasus can also activate the microphone and camera of the phone, effectively turning it into a spying tool. But how much does it cost to use Pegasus? And which countries can afford it? This section will attempt to answer these questions based on the available information.

Firstly, the cost of using Pegasus depends on several factors, such as the number of phones targeted, the duration of surveillance, and the type of contract signed with NSO Group. According to The Guardian’s estimate, which relies on internal documents from NSO Group dating back to 2016, a license to monitor 50 smartphones cost 20.7 million euros per year at that time. Similarly, a license for monitoring 100 smartphones cost 41.4 million euros per year. It remains uncertain whether these prices have changed since 2016 or if NSO Group has offered discounts or rebates to certain clients.

Subsequently, the estimated cost of Pegasus by country derives from the number of phones targeted and the operation’s duration, using the average cost provided by The Guardian. These data are approximations and may vary depending on the sources. For instance, Saudi Arabia targeted approximately 15,000 numbers with Pegasus, according to Le Monde, but The Washington Post suggests a figure of 10,000. Likewise, Le Monde indicates that Morocco commenced using Pegasus in 2017, whereas Citizen Lab asserts it was in 2016.

Here is a summary table of the estimates of the cost of Pegasus by country:

Country Number of Phones Targeted Duration of Operation (years) Estimated Cost (in millions of euros)
Spain 60 6 248.4
Saudi Arabia 10 000 5 2070
Azerbaijan 5 000 4 828
Bahrain 3 000 3 372.6
Kazakhstan 1 500 2 124.2
Mexico 15 000 2 1242
Morocco 10 000 5 2070
Rwanda 3 500 4 579.6
Hungary 300 4 49.8
India 1 000 3 124.2
United Arab Emirates 10 000 5 2070

Finally, the total estimated cost of Pegasus for these ten countries would be about 10.5 billion euros over a period of five years.

The cost of Pegasus compared to other indicators

In addition to these estimates, we can also compare the cost of Pegasus with other indicators or expenditures, such as the average income or the budget of a country. This can help us to gain insight into the scale and impact of Pegasus.

For instance, according to Statista, Spain’s average annual income per capita in 2020 was $30,722. El País reported the budget of the Spanish Intelligence Agency (CNI) to be $331 million in 2020, while El Mundo stated that Catalonia’s budget was $40 billion in the same year.

Here is a summary table of the data:

Source Estimated Cost of Pegasus
Le Monde $7 to $20 million per year for 50 to 100 smartphones
TEHTRIS $9 million for 10 targets, $650,000 for a single target
Alain Jourdan $500 million for Spain (Source credibility unclear)
Average Income in Spain (2020) $30,722 per year
Budget of CNI (Spanish Intelligence Agency, 2020) $331 million
Budget of Catalonia (2020) $40 billion

The table demonstrates that Pegasus costs are very high compared to other indicators or expenditures. For instance, according to our previous estimation in the preceding section, Spain would have expended about 248.4 million euros over six years to monitor 60 phones with Pegasus. This amount equals approximately 8 times the budget of the Spanish Intelligence Agency (CNI) in 2020 or about 6% of Catalonia’s budget in the same year. Furthermore, this sum is equivalent to about 8,000 times the average annual income per capita in Spain in 2020.

In conclusion comparison

This comparison highlights that Pegasus represents a significant expense for its users, funds that could have been allocated to other purposes or needs. Moreover, it emphasizes the disproportionate nature of Pegasus costs concerning its victims, often ordinary citizens or government employees.

Assessing the cost of Pegasus with certainty is challenging because it depends on several factors, such as the number of phones targeted, the duration of surveillance, and the type of contract NSO Group signed. To obtain a clearer and more comprehensive view of the cost and scope of Pegasus use, access to NSO Group’s and its clients’ internal data would be necessary.

Statistics on Pegasus: a glimpse into the scale and diversity of Pegasus espionage

NSO Group, an Israeli company specialized in cyber-surveillance, developed Pegasus, a spyware. Pegasus can infect smartphones and access their data, such as messages, photos, contacts, and location. Pegasus can also activate the microphone and camera of the phone, turning it into a spying tool.

But who are the victims of Pegasus? And how many are they? In this section, we will present some statistics based on the available data.

It is important to note that these statistics are not comprehensive, as a sample of 50,000 phone numbers selected by NSO Group’s clients as potential targets forms the basis for them. Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International obtained this sample and shared it with a consortium of media outlets that conducted an investigation. The actual number of Pegasus targets may be much higher, as NSO Group claims to have more than 60 clients in 40 countries.

According to The Guardian’s analysis of the sample:

  • More than 1,000 individuals in 50 different countries have been confirmed as successfully infected with Pegasus.
  • Over 600 politicians and government officials, including heads of state, prime ministers, and cabinet ministers, were identified as potential targets.
  • More than 180 journalists working for prominent media outlets like CNN, The New York Times, Al Jazeera, or Le Monde were selected as potential targets.
  • Over 85 human rights activists, including members of organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, were identified as potential targets.

According to Le Monde’s analysis of the same sample:

  • Morocco selected more than 15,000 individuals as potential targets between 2017 and 2019.
  • Mexico selected over 10,000 potential targets between 2016 and 2017.
  • Saudi Arabia selected more than 1,400 potential targets between 2016 and 2019.
  • India selected over 800 potential targets between 2017 and 2019.

Here is a summary table of the key findings from both sources:

Data Source Key Findings
The Guardian (Sample of 50,000 Numbers) Over:

  • 1,000 infections in 50 countries
  • 600 politicians and government officials targeted
  • 180 journalists selected as potential targets
  • 85 human rights activists identified as potential targets
Le Monde (Sample of 50,000 Numbers) Over:

  • 15,000 potential targets in Morocco (2017-2019)
  • 10,000 potential targets in Mexico (2016-2017)
  • 1,400 potential targets in Saudi Arabia (2016-2019)
  • 800 potential targets in India (2017-2019)

These statistics reveal Pegasus surveillance’s extensive reach and diversity, affecting a wide range of individuals and countries with varying motivations and interests. Moreover, they show that Pegasus surveillance has been ongoing for several years without anyone detecting or stopping it.

In conclusion, these statistics provide a glimpse into the scale and diversity of Pegasus espionage. However, they are not exhaustive and may not fully reflect the true extent of Pegasus surveillance. To have a clearer and more complete picture of the victims and the consequences of Pegasus, access to the internal data of NSO Group and its clients would be necessary.

Pegasus Datasheet: a summary of the features and capabilities of Pegasus spyware

Pegasus is a spyware developed by the Israeli company NSO Group, designed for remote monitoring of mobile phone activities. Pegasus can infect smartphones and access their data, such as messages, calls, contacts, photos, videos, location, microphone, and camera. Pegasus can also control some functions of the phone, such as enabling or disabling Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and more. Pegasus can infect phones through different methods, such as malicious link delivery or the insidious “zero-click” technique, which does not require any user interaction. The duration and frequency of Pegasus surveillance depend on the contract signed with NSO Group, which can vary from client to client.

Below is a datasheet detailing Pegasus, including price estimates and periodicity:

CHARACTERISTIC VALUE ATTACK VECTOR
Name Pegasus  
Developer NSO Group  
Type Spyware  
Function Remote monitoring of mobile phone activities  
Infection Method Malicious link delivery or the insidious “zero-click” technique Email, SMS, Web Browsing, WhatsApp, Zero-Click
Data Access Messages, calls, contacts, photos, videos, location, microphone, camera  
Function Access Capable of enabling/disabling Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and more  
Periodicity Varied, dependent on contract duration and frequency of updates  
Price Estimate $7 to $20 million per year for 50 to 100 smartphones

Assessing the Pegasus Threat Level After Security Updates and Utilizing Anti-Pegasus Tools

Pegasus is a spyware that exploits security flaws in the operating systems of phones, such as iOS or Android. To reduce the level of threat of Pegasus, one of the ways is to update and patch these operating systems regularly, to fix the vulnerabilities that Pegasus can use.

How security updates can protect the devices from Pegasus

In September 2021, Apple released iOS 14.8 and macOS 11.6 as security updates to protect its devices from the zero-click exploit used by Pegasus. Citizen Lab discovered this exploit, called FORCEDENTRY, in August 2021. FORCEDENTRY allowed Pegasus to infect iPhones without any user interaction. Apple urged its users to install the updates as soon as possible to protect themselves from Pegasus.

Google also released security updates for Android devices in August 2021, according to Linternaute. These updates fixed several vulnerabilities that Pegasus or other spyware could exploit. Google did not specify if these vulnerabilities were related to Pegasus, but it advised its users to update their devices regularly to ensure their security.

However, updating and patching the operating systems may not be enough to prevent or detect Pegasus infections. Pegasus can adapt to security updates and use new exploits that security experts have not yet discovered or fixed.

Advanced Detection and Protection Against Pegasus Spyware

In the ongoing effort to combat the sophisticated Pegasus spyware, cybersecurity experts have developed advanced tools and methods to detect and neutralize such threats. Kaspersky, a leader in global cybersecurity, has recently unveiled a groundbreaking approach that enhances our capability to identify and mitigate the impact of iOS spyware including Pegasus, as well as newer threats like Reign and Predator.

Kaspersky’s Innovative Detection Method

Leveraging the untapped potential of forensic artifacts, Kaspersky’s Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT) has introduced a lightweight yet powerful method to detect signs of sophisticated spyware infections. By analyzing the Shutdown.log found within the iOS sysdiagnose archive, researchers can now identify anomalies indicative of a Pegasus infection, such as unusual “sticky” processes. This method provides a minimally intrusive, resource-efficient way to pinpoint potential spyware compromises.

Empowering Users with Self-Check Capabilities

To democratize the fight against spyware, Kaspersky has developed a self-check tool available to the public. This utility, based on Python3 scripts, allows users to independently extract, analyze, and interpret data from the Shutdown.log file. Compatible with macOS, Windows, and Linux, this tool offers a practical solution for users to assess their devices’ integrity.

Comprehensive User Protection Strategies

Beyond detection, protecting devices from sophisticated spyware demands a multifaceted approach. Kaspersky recommends several proactive measures to enhance device security:

  • Reboot Daily: Regular reboots can disrupt the persistence mechanisms of spyware like Pegasus, which often relies on zero-click vulnerabilities for infection.
  • Enable Lockdown Mode: Apple’s Lockdown Mode has shown effectiveness in thwarting malware infections by minimizing the attack surface available to potential exploiters.
  • Disable iMessage and Facetime: Given their popularity as vectors for exploitation, disabling these services can significantly reduce the risk of infection.
  • Stay Updated: Promptly installing the latest iOS updates ensures that known vulnerabilities are patched, closing off avenues for spyware exploitation.
  • Exercise Caution with Links: Avoid clicking on unsolicited links, a common method for delivering spyware through social engineering tactics.
  • Regular Checks: Utilizing tools like MVT (Mobile Verification Toolkit) and Kaspersky’s utilities to analyze backups and sysdiagnose archives can aid in early detection of malware.

By integrating these practices, users can significantly bolster their defenses against the most advanced spyware, reducing the likelihood of successful infiltration and ensuring greater digital security and privacy.

Technological Innovations in Spyware Defense: The Case of DataShielder NFC HSM

As nations grapple with policy measures to regulate the use of commercial spyware, technological innovators like Freemindtronic are stepping up to offer robust defenses for individuals against invasive tools like Pegasus. The DataShielder NFC HSM Defense, equipped with EviCore NFC HSM technology, represents a leap forward in personal cybersecurity, offering a suite of features designed to safeguard data and communications from sophisticated spyware threats.

DataShielder NFC HSM: A Closer Look

DataShielder NFC HSM Defense utilizes contactless encryption and segmented key authentication, securely stored within an NFC HSM, to protect users’ digital lives. This groundbreaking approach ensures that secret keys, the cornerstone of digital security, remain out of reach from spyware, thus maintaining the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive information across various communication protocols.

DataShielder NFC HSM Defense: a solution against spyware

Another technology can help users protect themselves from Pegasus and other spyware. This is DataShielder NFC HSM Defense with EviCore NFC HSM, a solution that effectively fights against applications and spyware such as Pegasus. It is an alternative that secures contactless encryption and segmented key authentication system stored encrypted in NFC HSM. Thus, the secret keys are physically externalized and not accessible to the spyware. DataShielder NFC HSM Defense with EviCypher NFC HSM encrypts all types of sensitive data without ever logging the data unencrypted. The user can encrypt all types of data from his contactless phone in volatile memory, including Email, SMS, MMS, RCS, Chat, all messaging in general, all types of messaging, including satellite, without ever saving his texts unencrypted. DataShielder NFC HSM also works in air gap as well as on all types of NFC, Wifi, Bluetooth, Lan, Wan, Camera communication protocols that it encrypts end-to-end from NFC HSM

DataShielder NFC HSM Defense: additional features

In the Defense version of DataShielder NFC HSM, it integrates EviCall NFC HSM technology, which allows users to physically outsource phone contacts and make calls by automatically erasing the call histories of the phone, including encrypted and unencrypted SMS linked to that call number.

DataShielder NFC HSM also includes Evipass NFC HSM contactless password manager technology. It is therefore compatible with EviCore NFC HSM Browser Extension technology. In particular, it carries out all types of autofill and autologin operations. Thus, DataShielder NFC HSM not only allows you to connect by autofilling the traditional login and password identification fields on the phone, whether through applications or online accounts. But also also and on the types of online accounts (lan and wan), applications, software. DataShielder NFC HSM Defense also includes EviKeyboard BLE technology which also extends the use of keys greater than 256 bit. This virtual Bluetooth keyboard allows you to authenticate on the command line, on all types of home automation, electronic, motherboard bios, TMP2.0 key, which accepts the connection of a keyboard on a USB port. All these operations are end-to-end encrypted from NFC HSM up to more than 50 meters away via Bluetooth encrypted in AES-128.

To encrypt sensitive data from their phone, the user will do it from their secret keys only stored in their NFC HSM. They can also do it from their computer using the NFC HSM. This is possible thanks to the interoperability and backward compatibility of the DataShielder NFC HSM Defense ecosystem, which works independently but is interoperable on all Android computer and telephone systems with NFC technology. For example, users can encrypt files, photos, videos, and audio on their phones without ever exposing them to security breaches on the phone or computer.

This is the EviCypher NFC HSM technology dedicated to the encryption and management of AES 256 and RSA 4096 encryption keys.

Similarly, DataShielder also includes EviOTP NFC HSM technology, also in DataShielder NFC HSM Defense, which secures and manages OTP (TOTP and HOTP) secret keys.

Here are all the links : EviPass NFC HSMEviOTP NFC HSMEviCypher NFC HSMEviCall NFC HSM, EviKeyboard BLE

DataShielder NFC HSM Defense vs Pegasus: a comparison table

Data Pegasus DataShielder NFC HSM Defense
Messages, chats Can read and record them unencrypted Encrypts them end-to-end with keys physically externalized in the NFC HSM
Phone contacts Can access and modify them Externalizes and encrypts them in the NFC HSM
Emails Can intercept and read them Encrypts them with the OpenPGP protocol and signs them with the NFC HSM
Photos Can access and copy them Encrypts them with the NFC HSM and stores them in a secure space
Videos Can watch and record them Encrypts them with the NFC HSM and stores them in a secure space
Encrypted messages scanned from the camera Can decrypt them if he has access to the encryption key Encrypts them with the NFC HSM and does not leave any trace of the encryption key
Conversation histories from contacts stored in the NFC HSM Can access and analyze them Erases them automatically after each call or message
Usernames and passwords Can steal and use them Externalizes and encrypts them in the NFC HSM with EviPass technology
Secret keys of OTP Can compromise and impersonate them Externalizes them physically in the NFC HSM with EviOTP technology

Bridging the Gap Between Technology and Privacy

In an era where spyware like Pegasus poses unprecedented threats to personal privacy and security, solutions like DataShielder NFC HSM Defense emerge as essential tools in the individual’s cybersecurity arsenal. By leveraging such technologies, users can significantly mitigate the risk of spyware infections, reinforcing the sanctity of digital privacy in the face of evolving surveillance tactics.

The level of threat of Pegasus in different cases

The level of threat of Pegasus depends on many factors, such as the type and version of the operating system, the frequency and quality of the updates and patches, the availability and effectiveness of the tools, and the behavior and awareness of the users. It is therefore difficult to measure it precisely or universally, as it may vary according to different scenarios and situations.

However, we can try to give some estimates or ranges of levels, based on assumptions or approximations. For example, we can use a scale from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest) to indicate how likely it is for a device to be infected by Pegasus in different cases:

Case Level of threat
A device with an outdated operating system that has not been updated for a long time 9/10
A device with an updated operating system that has been patched recently 5/10
A device with an updated operating system that has been patched recently and uses antivirus software 3/10
A device with an updated operating system that has been patched recently and uses antivirus software and VPN software 2/10
A device with an updated operating system that has been patched recently and uses antivirus software, VPN software, and anti-spyware software 1/10
A device with an updated operating system that has been patched recently and uses DataShielder NFC HSM 0/10

Latest affairs related to Pegasus

Since the revelations of Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International in July 2021, several new developments have occurred in relation to Pegasus spying. Here are some of them:

  • October 2023, The former head of the Spanish intelligence services has been charged with spying on the regional president of Catalonia, Pere Aragonès, using the Pegasus software, the Spanish justice announced on Monday. Paz Esteban, who was dismissed last year by the government of Pedro Sánchez after the scandal broke out, has been summoned by the Barcelona judge in charge of the case on December 131. The judge said that the facts reported by the moderate separatist leader have the “characteristics” of “possible criminal offenses such as illegal wiretapping and computer espionage
  • In October 2021, Paz Esteban López, the former head of CNI, was charged with crimes against privacy and misuse of public funds for allegedly ordering the spying on Catalan politicians with Pegasus. She is the first high-ranking official to face legal consequences for using Pegasus in Spain.
  • In September 2021, NSO Group announced that it was temporarily suspending its services to several government clients after being accused of facilitating human rights abuses with Pegasus. The company did not specify which clients were affected by this decision.
  • In August 2021, Apple released an urgent security update for its devices after discovering a zero-click exploit that allowed Pegasus to infect iPhones without any user interaction. The exploit, called FORCEDENTRY, was used by NSO Group to target activists, journalists and lawyers around the world. Apple urged its users to install the update as soon as possible to protect themselves from Pegasus.
  • In July 2021, the French government launched an investigation into the alleged spying on President Emmanuel Macron and other senior officials by Morocco using Pegasus. Morocco denied any involvement in the spying and sued Amnesty International and Forbidden Stories for defamation. France also summoned the Israeli ambassador to Paris to demand explanations about NSO Group’s activities.
  • In July 2021, the Israeli government formed a task force to review the allegations against NSO Group and its export licenses. The task force included representatives from the defense, justice and foreign ministries, as well as from the Mossad and the Shin Bet. The task force was expected to report its findings within a few weeks.

These developments show that Pegasus spying has triggered legal, diplomatic and political reactions in different countries. They also show that Pegasus spying has exposed the vulnerabilities and the challenges of cybersecurity in the digital age.

International Policy Measures Against Spyware Misuse

In a landmark move reflecting growing global concern over the misuse of commercial spyware, the United States announced in February 2024 its decision to impose visa restrictions on individuals involved in the abuse of such technologies. This policy, aimed at curbing the proliferation of weapons-grade commercial spyware like Pegasus, marks a significant stride in international efforts to safeguard against digital espionage threats to national security, privacy, and human rights.

The US Stance on Spyware Regulation

The Biden administration’s policy will potentially impact major US allies, including Israel, India, Jordan, and Hungary, underscoring the administration’s commitment to countering the misuse of spyware. This comes on the heels of earlier measures, such as placing Israel’s NSO Group on a commerce department blacklist and prohibiting the US government’s use of commercial spyware, signaling a robust stance against the unregulated spread of spyware technologies.

Global Implications and Diplomatic Efforts

Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s statement linking the misuse of spyware to severe human rights violations highlights the gravity with which the US views the global spyware issue. The policy introduces a mechanism for enforcing visa restrictions on those believed to be involved in or benefiting from the misuse of spyware, sending a strong message about the US’s intolerance for such practices.

A Step Towards Greater Accountability

By targeting individuals involved in the surveillance, harassment, and intimidation of journalists, activists, and dissenters, the US aims to foster a more accountable and ethical global spyware industry. This visa ban, applicable even to individuals from visa waiver countries, represents an “important signal” about the risks associated with the spyware sector, emphasizing the need for international cooperation in addressing these challenges.

Spyware with multiple detrimental impacts

Pegasus is not only a spyware with a high financial cost for its users, but it also entails, whether it is used legitimately or not, a human, social, political and environmental cost for its victims and society as a whole. It is difficult to precisely quantify the cost of the damages caused by the use of Pegasus due to numerous factors and variables that can vary across countries, sectors and periods. However, we can provide some rough estimates and examples to illustrate the scope and diversity of the impacts of the use of Pegasus.

Financial Cost

The financial cost of the damages inflicted by Pegasus can be measured on several fronts:

  • Cost to Victims: Individuals spied on by Pegasus may suffer direct or indirect financial losses, stemming from breaches of their privacy, disclosure of personal or professional information, manipulation, or theft of their financial or tax-related data. For example, a journalist might lose their job or credibility due to information revealed by Pegasus; a lawyer could lose a lawsuit or a client due to a disclosed strategy, and an activist might lose funding or security due to an exposed campaign.
  • Cost to Businesses: Companies targeted by Pegasus may face direct or indirect financial losses related to intellectual property violation, unfair competition, industrial espionage, corruption, and more. For instance, a business could lose a contract or market share because of exposed bids; its reputation and trustworthiness could suffer due to a Pegasus-related scandal, and its competitiveness and profitability could diminish from a compromised trade secret.
  • Cost to States: Nations subject to Pegasus espionage may experience direct or indirect financial losses tied to sovereignty violations, threats to national security, interference in domestic and foreign affairs, among others. An example includes a country’s stability or legitimacy being jeopardized due to a Pegasus-facilitated coup; a nation losing influence or alliances because of negotiations undermined by Pegasus; or a state’s development or environment suffering from a Pegasus-sabotaged project.

Geopolitical Cost

The geopolitical cost of Pegasus-induced damages can be measured on various fronts:

  • Cost to International Relations: The use of Pegasus by some states to spy on others can lead to diplomatic tensions, armed conflicts, economic sanctions, and cooperation ruptures. For example, the espionage of French President Emmanuel Macron by Morocco triggered a crisis between the two nations; spying on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi by China escalated their border dispute, and Israeli espionage of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani compromised the nuclear agreement between the two countries.
  • Cost to International Organizations: Pegasus’ deployment by certain states to spy on international organizations can result in violations of international law, human rights abuses, and hindrances to multilateralism. For instance, spying on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres by the United States undermined the organization’s independence and impartiality. Similarly, espionage targeting the International Criminal Court by Israel threatened international justice and peace, while spying on the World Health Organization by China disrupted pandemic management.

Economic Cost

The economic cost of the damages caused by Pegasus can be assessed across different dimensions:

  • Cost to Economic Growth: The use of Pegasus by certain states or private actors to spy on other states or private actors can lead to market distortions, productivity losses, capital flight, and offshoring. For example, the espionage targeting the airline company Emirates by Qatar reduced its competitiveness and profitability. Similarly, spying on the oil company Petrobras by the United States triggered an economic and political crisis in Brazil. Additionally, spying on Mexico’s central bank by Venezuela facilitated money laundering and terrorism financing.
  • Cost to Innovation: The utilization of Pegasus by certain states or private actors to spy on other states or private actors can result in patent theft, counterfeiting, hacking, and cyberattacks. For instance, spying on pharmaceutical company Pfizer by China allowed the latter to replicate its COVID-19 vaccine. Simultaneously, espionage against technology giant Apple by North Korea enabled the creation of its smartphone. Furthermore, spying on space company SpaceX by Russia allowed the latter to sabotage its launches.

Human, Social, and Environmental Cost

The human, social, and environmental cost of Pegasus-induced damages can be measured across several aspects:

  • Cost to Human Rights: The use of Pegasus by certain states or private actors to spy on vulnerable individuals or groups can result in violations of the right to life, freedom, security, dignity, and more. For example, the spying on journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi Arabia led to his assassination. Similarly, espionage targeting activist Edward Snowden by the United States led to his exile. Additionally, the espionage of dissident Alexei Navalny by Russia resulted in his poisoning.
  • Cost to Democracy: The deployment of Pegasus by certain states or private actors to spy on political or social actors can lead to infringements on pluralism, transparency, participation, representativeness, and more. For instance, spying on French President Emmanuel Macron by Russia attempted to influence the 2017 French presidential election. Similarly, spying on the Yellow Vest movement by Morocco aimed to weaken the French social movement in 2018. Additionally, espionage against President Joe Biden by Iran sought to infiltrate his transition team in 2020.
  • Cost to the Environment: The use of Pegasus by certain states or private actors to spy on organizations or individuals committed to environmental protection can result in damage to biodiversity, climate, natural resources, and more. For example, spying on Greenpeace by Japan hindered its efforts against whale hunting. Similarly, espionage against the WWF by Brazil facilitated deforestation in the Amazon. Additionally, the spying on climate activist Greta Thunberg by Russia aimed to discredit her climate movement.
  • Cost to Intangibles: The use of Pegasus by certain states or private actors to spy on individuals or groups with symbolic, cultural, moral, or spiritual value can result in losses of meaning, trust, hope, or faith. For instance, espionage against Pope Francis by Turkey undermined his moral and religious authority. Similarly, spying on the Dalai Lama by China compromised his spiritual and political status. Additionally, the espionage of Nelson Mandela by South Africa tarnished his historical and humanitarian legacy.

The Risk of Diplomatic Conflict Arising from Pegasus

The utilization of Pegasus by some states to spy on others can give rise to the risk of diplomatic conflict, which can have severe consequences for international peace and security. The likelihood of diplomatic conflict depends on several factors, including:

  • Intensity and Duration of Espionage: The more extensive and prolonged the espionage, the more likely it is to provoke a strong and lasting reaction from the spied-upon state.
  • Nature and Status of Targets: More important and sensitive targets are more likely to trigger a strong and immediate reaction from the spied-upon state. For instance, spying on a head of state or a minister is more serious than spying on a bureaucrat or diplomat.
  • Relationship and Context Between States: States with tense or conflictual relationships are more likely to provoke a strong and hostile reaction from the spied-upon state. For instance, espionage between rival or enemy states is more serious than espionage between allied or neutral states.

The risk of diplomatic conflict can manifest at various levels:

  • Bilateral Level: This is the most direct and frequent level, where two states clash due to espionage. Possible reactions include official protests, summoning or expelling an ambassador, breaking or freezing diplomatic relations, etc.
  • Regional Level: This level involves a state seeking support from its neighbors or regional partners to bolster its position or condemn the espionage. Possible reactions include joint declarations, collective resolutions, economic or political sanctions, etc.
  • International Level: At this level, a state calls upon international organizations or global actors to support its position or condemn the espionage. Possible reactions include referring the matter to an international court, resolutions by the UN Security Council, humanitarian or military sanctions, etc.

The risk of diplomatic conflict can have various consequences:

  • Political Consequences: It can lead to a deterioration or rupture of relations between the involved states, a loss of credibility or legitimacy on the international stage, internal political instability or crisis, etc.
  • Economic Consequences: It can result in reduced or suspended trade between the involved states, a loss of competitiveness or growth, capital flight or frozen investments, etc.
  • Social Consequences: It can lead to increased or exacerbated tensions or violence among the populations of the involved states, a loss of trust or solidarity, a rise or reinforcement of nationalism or extremism, etc.

Conclusion: Navigating the Pegasus Quagmire with Innovative Defenses

The saga of Pegasus spyware unveils a complex tableau of financial, human, social, political, and environmental ramifications. Pinpointing the exact toll it takes presents a formidable challenge, given the myriad of factors at play. Throughout this article, we’ve endeavored to shed light on the extensive impacts, offering insights and quantifications to bring clarity to this global concern.

Moreover, Pegasus not only incurs a direct cost but also sows the seeds of potential diplomatic strife, pitting states against each other in an invisible battlefield. The severity of these confrontations hinges on the espionage’s scope, the targets’ sensitivity, and the intricate web of international relations. Such conflicts, manifesting across various levels, can significantly strain political ties, disrupt economies, and fracture societies.

In this digital quagmire, the innovative counter-espionage technologies developed by Freemindtronic emerge as a beacon of hope. They offer a testament to the power of leveraging cutting-edge solutions to fortify our digital defenses against the invasive reach of spyware like Pegasus. By integrating such advanced protective measures, individuals and organizations can significantly enhance their cybersecurity posture, safeguarding their most sensitive data and communications in an increasingly surveilled world.

This piece aims to illuminate the shadowy dynamics of Pegasus spyware, drawing back the curtain on its profound implications. For those keen to explore further, we invite you to consult the sources listed below. They serve as gateways to a deeper understanding of Pegasus’s pervasive influence, the ongoing efforts to counteract its invasive reach, and the pivotal role of technologies like those from Freemindtronic in these endeavors.

In a world where digital surveillance perpetually evolves, staying informed, vigilant, and equipped with the latest in counter-espionage technology is paramount. As we navigate these challenges, let us engage in ongoing dialogue, advocate for stringent regulatory measures, and champion the development of robust cybersecurity defenses. Together, we can confront the challenges posed by Pegasus and similar technologies, safeguarding our collective privacy, security, and democratic values in the digital age.

Sources

In crafting this article, we have drawn upon a selection of reputable and verified web sources. Our sources are chosen for their commitment to presenting facts objectively and respecting the presumption of innocence.

This article has been meticulously crafted, drawing upon a diverse array of reputable and verified web sources. These sources have been selected for their unwavering commitment to factual accuracy, objective presentation, and respect for the presumption of innocence. Our investigation delves deep into the complex web of surveillance technology, focusing on the notorious Pegasus spyware developed by NSO Group and the global efforts to detect, regulate, and mitigate its invasive reach. The article sheds light on groundbreaking detection methods, international policy measures against spyware misuse, and the pressing need for enhanced cybersecurity practices.

We analyzed many sources including:

In summary

Additional references from a range of international publications provide further insights into the deployment, implications, and countermeasures associated with Pegasus spyware across various countries, including Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Rwanda, Hungary, India, and the United Arab Emirates. These articles collectively highlight the global challenge posed by Pegasus, the evolving landscape of digital espionage, and the concerted efforts required to safeguard privacy and security in the digital age.

Estimating the Global Reach and Financial Implications of Pegasus Spyware

The deployment of Pegasus spyware across various nations reveals not only the extensive reach of NSO Group’s surveillance tool but also underscores the significant financial and ethical costs associated with its use. The following insights, derived from reputable news sources, offer a glimpse into the scale of Pegasus’s deployment worldwide and its impact on targeted countries:

  1. According to the French Le Monde, Saudi Arabia targeted about 15,000 phone numbers with Pegasus. The cost of one license can be as high as Rs 70 lakh. With one license, multiple smartphones can be tracked. As per past estimates of 2016, for spying on just 10 people using Pegasus, NSO Group charges a minimum of around Rs 9 crore.
  2. The American The Washington Post reported that Saudi Arabia started using Pegasus in 2018. The FBI also confirmed that it obtained NSO Group’s powerful Pegasus spyware in 2019, suggesting that it bought access to the Israeli surveillance tool to “stay abreast of emerging technologies and tradecraft”.
  3. The British The Guardian stated that Azerbaijan aimed at about 5,000 phone numbers with Pegasus. The country is among the 10 governments that have been the most aggressive in deploying the spyware against their own citizens and those of other countries.
  4. As per the American The Washington Post, Azerbaijan began using Pegasus in 2019. The country has been accused of using the spyware to target journalists, activists, and opposition figures, as well as foreign diplomats and politicians.
  5. In the case reported by the French Le Monde, Bahrain focused on about 3,000 phone numbers with Pegasus. The country has been using the spyware since 2020 to target dissidents, human rights defenders, and members of the royal family.
  6. Mentioned in the American The Washington Post, Bahrain initiated Pegasus use in 2020. The country is one of the NSO Group’s oldest customers, having signed a contract with the company in 2016.
  7. As disclosed by the British The Guardian, Kazakhstan directed attention towards approximately 1,500 phone numbers with Pegasus. The country has been using the spyware since 2021 to target journalists, activists, and opposition figures, as well as foreign diplomats and politicians.
  8. According to the American The Washington Post, Kazakhstan commenced Pegasus usage in 2021. The country is one of the newest customers of NSO Group, having signed a contract with the company in 2020.
  9. According to claims made by the Mexican Aristegui Noticias, Mexico targeted about 15,000 phone numbers with Pegasus. The country is the largest known client of NSO Group, having spent at least $61m on the spyware between 2011 and 2017.
  10. As reported by the American The Washington Post, Mexico began Pegasus use in 2020. The country has been using the spyware to target journalists, activists, lawyers, and politicians, as well as the relatives of the 43 students who disappeared in 2014.
  11. As detailed in the French Le Monde, Morocco focused on about 10,000 phone numbers with Pegasus. The country is one of the most prolific users of the spyware, having targeted journalists, activists, lawyers, and politicians, as well as foreign heads of state and government.
  12. Confirmed by the Canadian organization Citizen Lab, Morocco initiated Pegasus usage in 2016. The country is one of the oldest customers of NSO Group, having signed a contract with the company in 2014.
  13. According to findings reported by the British The Guardian, Rwanda honed in on around 3,500 phone numbers with Pegasus. The country has been using the spyware to target dissidents, journalists, and human rights defenders, as well as foreign critics and rivals.
  14. As indicated by the American The Washington Post, Rwanda started Pegasus usage in 2019. The country is one of the newest customers of NSO Group, having signed a contract with the company in 2018.
  15. In the report from the French Le Monde, Hungary aimed at about 300 phone numbers with Pegasus. The country is the only EU member state known to have used the spyware, having targeted journalists, activists, lawyers, and opposition figures.
  16. As conveyed by the Hungarian Direkt36, Hungary initiated Pegasus use in 2018. The country is one of the newest customers of NSO Group, having signed a contract with the company in 2017.
  17. As outlined in the Indian The Wire, India directed attention towards approximately 1,000 phone numbers with Pegasus. The country is one of the largest users of the spyware, having targeted journalists, activists, lawyers, and politicians, as well as the leader of the main opposition party.
  18. According to the British The Guardian, India began Pegasus use in 2019. The country is one of the newest customers of NSO Group, having signed a contract with the company in 2018.
  19. According to the information provided by the French Le Monde, the United Arab Emirates honed in on around 10,000 phone numbers with Pegasus. The country is one of the most aggressive users of the spyware, having targeted journalists, activists, lawyers, and politicians, as well as foreign heads of state and government.
  20. Confirmed by the Canadian organization Citizen Lab, the United Arab Emirates started Pegasus usage in 2016. The country is one of the oldest customers of NSO Group, having signed a contract with the company in 2013.
  21. According to the European Parliament recommendation of 15 June 2023, the EU and its Member States have been affected by the use of Pegasus and equivalent surveillance spyware, which constitutes a serious threat to the rule of law, democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms. The recommendation calls for a global moratorium on the sale and use of such technologies until robust safeguards are established.
  22. According to the article by Malwarebytes, Pegasus spyware and how it exploited a WebP vulnerability, the spyware exploited a vulnerability in the WebP image format, which allows for lossless compression and restoration of pixels. The article explains how the attackers created specially crafted image files that caused a buffer overflow in the libwebp library, used by several programs and browsers to support the WebP format.
  23. According to the article by ZDNet, ‘Lawful intercept’ Pegasus spyware found deployed in 45 countries, the spyware has been used by government agencies across the world to conduct cross-border surveillance, violating international law and human rights. The article cites a report by Citizen Lab, which identified 45 countries where Pegasus operators may be conducting surveillance operations.
  24. According to the article by The Guardian, Experts warn of new spyware threat targeting journalists and political opponents, a new spyware with hacking capabilities comparable to Pegasus has emerged, developed by an Israeli company called Candiru. The article cites a report by Citizen Lab, which found evidence that the spyware has been used to target journalists, political opposition figures and an employee of an NGO.

WhatsApp Hacking: Prevention and Solutions

whatsapp-hacking-prevention-and-solutions-by-evicrypt-end-or-evifile-hasm-and-nfc-hsm-from-freemindtronic-andorra-technology
WhatsApp hacking by Jacques Gascuel: This article will be updated with any new information on the topic.

How to Secure WhatsApp

WhatsApp is a popular messaging app, but it can also be a target for hackers who want access to your personal and business data. How can you protect yourself from WhatsApp hacking and what should you do if it happens? In this article, you’ll learn some tips and tricks to improve your WhatsApp security, as well as innovative email encryption technology solutions from Freemindtronic

2024 Digital Security

PrintListener: How to Betray Fingerprints

2024 Articles Digital Security News

BitLocker Security: Safeguarding Against Cyberattacks

2024 Digital Security Spying

Ivanti Zero-Day Flaws: Comprehensive Guide to Secure Your Systems Now

2024 Articles Digital Security News Spying

How to protect yourself from stalkerware on any phone

2024 Articles Digital Security EviPass Password

Human Limitations in Strong Passwords Creation

2024 Articles Digital Security EviKey NFC HSM EviPass News SSH

Terrapin attack: How to Protect Yourself from this New Threat to SSH Security

2024 Articles Digital Security News Phishing

Google OAuth2 security flaw: How to Protect Yourself from Hackers

How to Prevent and Solve WhatsApp Hacking Issues with Freemindtronic’s Solutions

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world, with over 2 billion users. But it is not immune to hacking, which can compromise the security and privacy of your conversations. How can you avoid getting your WhatsApp account hacked? And what should you do if it happens?

The risks of WhatsApp hacking

WhatsApp hacking can have serious consequences for the victims. Indeed, hackers can access all the personal and sensitive information stored in the app, such as messages, photos, videos, contacts, groups, etc. They can also impersonate the victim and send fraudulent or malicious messages to their contacts, for example to ask them for money or to click on infected links. They can also spread false information or illegal content using the hacked account.

WhatsApp hacking can also have an impact on the victim’s professional life, if they use the app to communicate with their colleagues, clients or partners. Hackers can access confidential or strategic data, such as contracts, quotes, projects, etc. They can also harm the reputation or credibility of the victim by sending abusive or defamatory messages to their professional interlocutors.

The techniques of WhatsApp hacking

Hackers use different techniques to break into WhatsApp accounts of users. Here are some examples:

  • Phishing: this is a technique that consists of sending a message or an email that seems to come from an official service (such as WhatsApp, Google, Apple, etc.) and that asks the victim to click on a link or provide personal information (such as their phone number, PIN code, password, etc.). The link leads to a fraudulent site that looks like the official site, but that aims to steal the victim’s data. The message may also contain an attachment infected by a malicious software that allows the hacker to take control of the victim’s smartphone.
  • Voice mail: this is a technique that exploits a security flaw in the authentication process of WhatsApp. The hacker dials the victim’s phone number and tries to connect to their WhatsApp account. The app then sends a SMS or a call containing a verification code to the victim. If the victim’s smartphone is turned off or in airplane mode, the SMS remains pending and the call is redirected to the voice mail. The hacker then accesses the voice mail of the victim by using a default secret code (often the last four digits of the number) or by guessing the personalized code. He then listens to the voice message containing the verification code and uses it to connect to the WhatsApp account of the victim.
  • QR code scan: this is a technique that uses the WhatsApp Web feature, which allows using the app on a computer by scanning a QR code displayed on the screen with their smartphone. The hacker takes advantage of a moment of distraction or absence of the victim to access their smartphone and scan the QR code displayed on their computer. He can then access the WhatsApp account of the victim from his computer and consult or send messages.

The prevention measures against WhatsApp hacking

To avoid getting your WhatsApp account hacked, there are several prevention measures to adopt:

  • Activate two-step verification: this is a feature that enhances the security of your account by asking you to enter a six-digit PIN code that you have chosen when you connect to your account from a new device or after a period of inactivity. To activate this feature, you need to go to WhatsApp settings, then in Account option, and select Two-step verification. You then need to choose a PIN code and enter your email address, which will be used to reset your code in case you forget it.
  • Activate fingerprint lock or face recognition: this is a feature that prevents access to the app without biometric authentication of the user. To activate this feature, you need to go to WhatsApp settings, then in Privacy option, and select Fingerprint lock or Face recognition. You then need to choose the automatic lock delay (immediately, after 1 minute or after 30 minutes).
  • Change your voice mail code: this is a measure that aims to prevent hackers from accessing your voice mail by using a default secret code or easy to guess. To change your voice mail code, you need to contact your phone operator and follow their instructions.
  • Do not click on suspicious links or attachments: this is a measure that aims to avoid falling into phishing or malware traps. You always need to check the source and reliability of messages or emails received, and do not click on links or attachments that seem dubious or ask for personal information. You also need to be wary of messages coming from unknown numbers or containing spelling or grammar mistakes.
  • Do not leave your smartphone unattended: this is a measure that aims to prevent hackers from accessing your smartphone and scanning QR codes for connecting with your WhatsApp account from a computer. You always need to lock your smartphone with a code, pattern, fingerprint or face recognition, and do not leave it unattended in a public or accessible place to malicious people.

The technological solutions of Freemindtronic to enhance WhatsApp security

Freemindtronic is an Andorran company that offers technological solutions that use NFC HSM or HSM devices to encrypt texts and files directly in WhatsApp. These technological solutions are EviCrypt and EviFile.

EviCrypt: a solution to encrypt your WhatsApp messages

EviCrypt is a technological solution that allows you to encrypt the texts that you send or receive on WhatsApp from HSM or NFC HSM devices. These nomadic NFC HSM devices have several types of formats, such as bank card (EviCard), tag with key ring with carabiner (EviTag), electronic card for integration into a fixed or portable computer (PCB) and others. The HSM devices are self-created in any type of secure storage medium, including those of Android or iPhone phones and computers and other storage devices. These HSMs contain post-quantum encrypted secret keys, including your own randomly generated encryption keys. These secret keys encrypt the messages on WhatsApp without contact before sending the message. EviCrypt uses AES-256 algorithms to encrypt the message without ever saving the message in clear. The HSM and NFC HSM also have advanced security mechanisms, such as anti-cloning, anti-replay, wireless access control and segmented key authentication.

EviFile: a solution to encrypt your WhatsApp data

EviFile is a technological solution that allows you to encrypt all types of data that you send or receive on WhatsApp from HSM or NFC HSM devices. These portable HSM devices can be created on different types of storage media such as USB key (EviKey), SD card (EviSD), external hard drive (EviDisk) and others. HSM devices are self-created on its secure storage media. Which is also possible on Android or iPhone phones and computers and other storage devices. These HSMs contain, in particular, randomly generated encrypted secret keys. These secret keys encrypt the data on WhatsApp without contact before sending the file. EviFile uses AES-256 algorithms to encrypt data without ever logging it in the clear via a user-defined self-destruct sound method. The HSM and NFC HSM also have advanced security mechanisms, such as anti-cloning, anti-replay, wireless access control and segmented key authentication.

In summary EviCrypt and EviFile

The EviFile technological brick is an innovative and secure solution for encrypting and exchanging data on WhatsApp. It gives you the possibility to choose your own encryption keys and segment them according to your needs. You can also use different encryption keys for the EviFile and EviCrypt technological bricks, which enhances the protection of your data. With EviFile, you can enjoy WhatsApp without ever taking the risk of your sensitive data getting corrupted.

These technological solutions offer a high level of security by adding physical origin trust criteria for each secret or file stored encrypted with these criteria. They also allow great flexibility and ease of use, since they work without contact with an Android smartphone equipped with NFC. They are compatible with all versions of WhatsApp and do not require any modification of the app’s source code.

With these technological bricks, you are never exposed to the risks of corruption or interception of your messages or sensitive files for any reason. Thus, in case of security breach or corruption of your WhatsApp for any reason, whether legitimate or not, or visual access of prying eyes or espionage act, or in case of natural or professional obligation, in short for any reason whatsoever, only the sender or recipients can read the messages and recover the encrypted files via their NFC HSM without ever decrypting the messages or files in WhatsApp. In case of hacking, you need to act quickly and follow the recommended actions, such as disconnecting all devices linked to your account, resetting your PIN code, reactivating your account with your phone number, etc. You also need to warn your contacts, report the hacking to WhatsApp and file a complaint with the competent authorities.

In conclusion

Preventive measures against WhatsApp hacking

WhatsApp hacking is a phenomenon that can affect any user of the app and can have serious consequences on their private and professional life. It is therefore important to protect yourself from attacks by adopting simple and effective prevention measures, such as activating two-step verification, locking by fingerprint or face recognition, changing your voice mail code, etc. It is also recommended to use innovative technological solutions, such as those offered by Freemindtronic, which allow you to encrypt texts and files directly in WhatsApp with physical origin trust criteria.

What to do if WhatsApp is hacked

With these technological solutions, you are never exposed to the risks of corruption or interception of your messages or sensitive files for any reason. Thus, in case of security breach or corruption of your WhatsApp for whatever reason, or visual access of prying eyes or espionage act, or in case of natural or professional obligation, in short for any reason whatsoever, only the sender or recipients can read the messages and recover the encrypted files via their NFC HSM without ever decrypting the messages or files in WhatsApp. In case of hacking, you need to act quickly and follow the recommended actions, such as disconnecting all devices linked to your account, resetting your PIN code, reactivating your account with your phone number, etc. You also need to warn your contacts, report the hacking to WhatsApp and file a complaint with the competent authorities.

Chinese hackers Cisco routers: how to protect yourself?

Hackers Chinois Cisco Routers
Chinese hackers Cisco routers by Jacques Gascuel: This article will be updated with any new information on the topic.

Hackers Chinois Cisco Routers

Hackers of Chinese origin modify the firmware of Cisco routers to break into corporate networks. Discover how Freemindtronic offers you efficient and secure encryption solutions.

2024 Digital Security

PrintListener: How to Betray Fingerprints

2024 Articles Digital Security News

BitLocker Security: Safeguarding Against Cyberattacks

2024 Digital Security Spying

Ivanti Zero-Day Flaws: Comprehensive Guide to Secure Your Systems Now

2024 Articles Digital Security News Spying

How to protect yourself from stalkerware on any phone

2024 Articles Digital Security EviPass Password

Human Limitations in Strong Passwords Creation

2024 Articles Digital Security EviKey NFC HSM EviPass News SSH

Terrapin attack: How to Protect Yourself from this New Threat to SSH Security

2024 Articles Digital Security News Phishing

Google OAuth2 security flaw: How to Protect Yourself from Hackers

How Chinese hackers infiltrate corporate networks via Cisco routers

A Chinese-backed hacker group, known as BlackTech, has managed to compromise corporate networks around the world by exploiting vulnerabilities in Cisco routers. The hackers have modified the firmware of the routers to install backdoors that allow them to access sensitive data, redirect traffic to malicious servers and hide their tracks.

How does BlackTech operate?

According to a joint report by several cybersecurity and law enforcement agencies in the US and Japan, including the FBI, the NSA and the NISC, BlackTech has been active since at least 2010 and targets mainly sectors such as administration, industry, technology, media, telecommunications and defense. The group first attacks the international subsidiaries of the companies before moving up to the headquarters in the US and Japan.

To get into the networks, BlackTech uses custom malware, dual-use tools and masking tactics, such as disabling logging on the routers, to avoid being detected.

The key point of the attack is the modification of the firmware of the Cisco routers, the embedded software that controls the operation of the devices. BlackTech replaces the official firmware with a corrupted version that contains a backdoor. This backdoor allows the hackers to connect to the router at any time, change its configuration, execute commands and redirect traffic to their servers.

What are the risks and consequences of the attack of the Chinese hackers Cisco routers who use malicious firmware?

The attack by BlackTech poses a serious threat to the security of the targeted companies and organizations. Indeed, the hackers can access confidential information, such as trade secrets, personal data or strategic documents. They can also disrupt the operation of the networks, by causing outages, slowdowns or errors. Finally, they can use the compromised networks as relays to launch other attacks or to spread malware.

The report by the cybersecurity and law enforcement agencies recommends the companies to check the integrity of their Cisco routers, update their firmware, strengthen their security measures and monitor their network traffic. The report also suggests adopting a zero trust security model, which consists of trusting no element of the network and systematically verifying the identity and permissions of the users and devices.

What are the motivations and objectives of BlackTech?

BlackTech is considered as a cyberespionage group backed by China. Its motivations and objectives are therefore probably related to the political, economic and military interests of Beijing. The group seeks to collect information useful for China, to weaken its competitors and adversaries, and to strengthen its influence and power in the world.

BlackTech is not the only Chinese hacker group to target corporate networks. Other groups, such as APT10, APT41 or Winnti, have been identified by cybersecurity experts as actors of cyberespionage on behalf of China. These groups use various techniques, such as phishing, certificate theft or software vulnerabilities, to infiltrate the networks and steal data.

China denies any involvement in these cyberespionage activities and accuses the US of conducting cyberattacks against it. The tensions between the two countries are high on the diplomatic, trade and technological fronts. Cyberwar is one of the strategic challenges of the 21st century.

What are the vulnerabilities exploited by BlackTech?

The report by the cybersecurity and law enforcement agencies does not specify which are the exact vulnerabilities exploited by BlackTech to modify the firmware of the Cisco routers. However, there are several known flaws that affect the routers of the American brand and that could be used by the hackers.

For example, in 2019, Cisco published a security bulletin to warn its customers of a critical vulnerability in the Secure Boot protocol of some of its routers. This vulnerability, named Thrangrycat, allows an attacker with physical or logical access to the router to modify the firmware and install persistent malicious code.

In 2020, Cisco also revealed the existence of a vulnerability in the SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) network management protocol of some of its routers. This vulnerability, named CDPwn, allows an attacker located on the same local network as the router to send malformed packets and cause remote code execution.

Another recent example, chinese hackers Cisco routers exploit F5 BIG-IP vulnerability A state-backed hacking group from China, known as BlackTech (September 2023), modifies the firmware of Cisco routers (not directly affected by the vulnerability) to gain access to the networks of US and Japanese companies. The hackers exploit a critical vulnerability (CVE-2022-1388) in F5 BIG-IP devices that allows them to execute arbitrary commands and install a backdoor. Cisco has released a security alert for its customers who use F5 BIG-IP devices in their infrastructure and recommends them to follow the instructions of F5 to apply the patch or the mitigation measures (Cisco Security Advisory). F5 has released a patch for this vulnerability (K23605346) for all affected versions, except 12.1.x and 11.6.x versions, which are end of life. Users and administrators are urged to apply the patch as soon as possible to prevent malicious cyber operations.

These two examples show that Cisco routers are not immune to security flaws that can be exploited by malicious hackers. It is therefore essential for companies to stay informed of security updates and apply them quickly to protect their networks.

The global attack of the Chinese hackers Cisco routers: what is its scope and impact?

It is difficult to assess the scope and impact of this attack at the global level, as the victims are not always aware or willing to reveal that they have been compromised. Nevertheless, it is possible to rely on some clues to get an idea.

According to the report by the cybersecurity and law enforcement agencies, BlackTech has targeted companies and organizations located in several countries, including the US, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Belgium, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Israel, India, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Argentina, South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, New Zealand, Canada and the UK.

This shows that BlackTech has a global reach and can potentially affect thousands of companies and organizations in various fields. The impact of this attack can be considerable, both economically and security-wise. The hackers can steal strategic information, disrupt essential services, compromise critical infrastructures, harm the reputation of the victims, cause financial damage, or facilitate other forms of cybercrime, such as ransomware, identity theft, fraud, espionage or sabotage.

According to a study by the consulting firm Accenture, the average cost of a cyberattack for a company is 13 million dollars, an increase of 72% since 2014. The study also estimates that cyberattacks have a negative impact on customer trust, employee retention, product and service quality, and operational performance of companies.

Moreover, according to a report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the company McAfee, the global cost of cybercrime for the world economy is 600 billion dollars per year, or 0.8% of the global gross domestic product (GDP). The report highlights that cybercrime affects not only companies, but also governments, citizens, non-governmental organizations, and international institutions.

How to protect yourself with Freemindtronic’s technologies?

Among the solutions available on the market to protect against attacks by BlackTech or other hacker groups are innovative products developed by the Andorran company Freemindtronic, which use its NFC HSM and HSM OpenPGP technologies to secure sensitive data and encryption keys. These products are:

  • EviCore NFC HSM, which turns your smartphone, tablet or computer into a hardware security module (HSM) compatible with the OpenPGP standard. It allows you to store, manage and use your encryption keys and secrets with ease and confidentiality, without using a specific secure storage device.
  • EviCore HSM OpenPGP, which turns your smartphone, tablet or computer into a hardware security module (HSM) compatible with the OpenPGP standard. It allows you to store, manage and use your encryption keys and secrets with ease and confidentiality, without using a specific secure storage device. EviCore HSM OpenPGP is an innovation by Freemindtronic that received the Fortress 2023 award for the best encryption solution.
  • EviPass NFC HSM, which allows you to manage your passwords and identifiers in a secure and convenient way. It uses NFC technology to communicate with your smartphone, tablet or computer, and to authenticate you on websites and applications without having to enter or remember your passwords.
  • EviOTP NFC HSM, which allows you to generate one-time passwords (OTP) to enhance the security of your online accounts. It uses NFC technology to communicate with your smartphone, tablet or computer, and to provide you with a 6-digit code whenever you need it.
  • EviCypher NFC HSM, which allows you to encrypt and decrypt your sensitive data with a high level of security. It uses NFC technology to communicate with your smartphone, tablet or computer, and to allow you to encrypt and decrypt your files, messages, emails or notes with a simple gesture.

These technologies can have several benefits for businesses that face the attacks of BlackTech or other hacker groups, by offering enhanced protection of data and encryption keys, as well as strong and convenient authentication. They can also reduce the risks of loss, theft or corruption of data, by using resistant and reliable devices.

Update Cisco Router 2023 clic here

RSA Encryption: How the Marvin Attack Exposes a 25-Year-Old Flaw

NFC HSM Devices and RSA 4096 encryption a new standard for cryptographic security serverless databaseless without database by EviCore NFC HSM from Freemindtronic Andorra
Marvin attack RSA algorithm & NFC HSM RSA-4096 by Jacques Gascuel: This article will be updated with any new information on the topic.

Decrypting Marvin’s Assault on RSA Encryption!

Simply explore the complex area of ​​RSA encryption and discover strategies to repel Marvin’s attack. This article examines the intricacies of RSA 4096 encryption, ensuring your cryptographic keys and secrets are protected. Discover an innovative NFC HSM RSA 4096 NFC encryption protocol, serverless and databaseless.

2024 Digital Security

PrintListener: How to Betray Fingerprints

2024 Articles Digital Security News

BitLocker Security: Safeguarding Against Cyberattacks

2024 Digital Security Spying

Ivanti Zero-Day Flaws: Comprehensive Guide to Secure Your Systems Now

2024 Articles Digital Security News Spying

How to protect yourself from stalkerware on any phone

2024 Articles Digital Security EviPass Password

Human Limitations in Strong Passwords Creation

2024 Articles Digital Security EviKey NFC HSM EviPass News SSH

Terrapin attack: How to Protect Yourself from this New Threat to SSH Security

2024 Articles Digital Security News Phishing

Google OAuth2 security flaw: How to Protect Yourself from Hackers

How the RSA Encryption – Marvin Attack Reveals a 25-Year-Old Flaw and How to Protect Your Secrets with the NFC HSM Devices

RSA encryptionRSA encryption is one of the most widely used encryption algorithms in the world, but it is not flawless. In fact, a vulnerability of RSA encryption, known as the Marvin attack, has existed for over 25 years and could allow an attacker to recover the private key of a user from their public key. This flaw, which exploits a mathematical property of RSA encryption, was discovered in 1998 by the cryptographer Daniel Bleichenbacher, but it was never fixed or disclosed to the public. In the first part of this article, we will explain in detail how the Marvin attack works and what it means for the security of RSA encryption.

Moreover, NFC HSM and RSA 4096 represent a new dimension in cryptographic security. These technologies allow you to protect and use your cryptographic keys and secrets within a contactless device that communicates with your smartphone through NFC (Near Field Communication). The main advantage they offer is the formidable defense against cyberattacks, achieved by implementing state-of-the-art encryption algorithms and strong security protocols. You can discover more about the very simple functioning of NFC HSM devices for RSA 4096 encryption, as well as their multiple benefits, by reading until the end of this article. Moreover, we will highlight how Freemindtronic used the extreme level of safety of an NFC HSM device to establish, without contact and only on demand, a virtual communication tunnel encrypted in RSA-4096 without a server, without a database, from an NFC HSM device.

The Marvin Attack: Unveiling a 25-Year-Old RSA Flaw

Understanding the Marvin Attack

The Marvin attack targets the RSA algorithm, a foundational asymmetric encryption technique characterized by the use of two distinct keys: a public key and a private key. The public key serves to encrypt data, while the private key is responsible for decryption. These keys mathematically intertwine, yet revealing one from the other presents an exceedingly challenging task.

Named after Marvin the Paranoid Android from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” this attack exploits a vulnerability in the RSA algorithm discovered by Swiss cryptographer Daniel Bleichenbacher in 1998. The vulnerability relates to the padding scheme that the RSA algorithm uses to introduce random bits into the data before encryption. The padding scheme has a design. It makes the encrypted data look random. It also thwarts attacks based on statistics. However, Bleichenbacher showed his ingenuity. He sent special messages to a server. The server used RSA encryption. By doing so, he could learn about the padding scheme. He could also recover the private key.

Implications of the Marvin Attack

The Marvin attack has profound implications for the security and confidentiality of your secrets. If an attacker successfully retrieves your private key, they gain unfettered access to decrypt all your encrypted data and compromise your confidential information. Furthermore, they can impersonate you by signing messages or executing transactions on your behalf.

The Marvin attack isn’t limited to a single domain; it can impact any system or application that uses RSA encryption with a vulnerable padding scheme. This encompasses web servers that employ HTTPS, email servers that use S/MIME, and blockchain platforms that rely on digital signatures.

Notably, NFC HSM devices that use RSA encryption for secret sharing are vulnerable to the Marvin attack. NFC HSM, short for Near Field Communication Hardware Security Module, is a technology facilitating the storage and utilization of cryptographic keys and secrets within contactless devices such as cards, stickers, or keychains. These devices communicate with smartphones via NFC, a wireless technology enabling short-range data exchange between compatible devices.

If an attacker intercepts communication between your NFC HSM device and smartphone, they may try a Marvin attack on your device, potentially recovering your private key. Subsequently, they could decrypt secrets stored within your device or gain access to your online accounts and services.

The Common Factor Attack in RSA Encryption

Understanding the Common Factor Attack

In the realm of RSA encryption, attackers actively exploit a vulnerability known as the Common Factor Attack. Here’s a concise breakdown:

1. Identifying Shared Factors

  • In RSA encryption, public keys (e, n) and private keys (d, n) play pivotal roles.
  • Attackers meticulously seek out common factors within two public keys, exemplified by (e1, n1) and (e2, n2).
  • Upon discovering a shared factor, their mission gains momentum.

2. Disclosing the Missing Factor

  • Once a common factor ‘p’ surfaces, uncovering its counterpart ‘q’ becomes relatively straightforward.
  • This is achieved through the simple act of dividing one key’s module by ‘p’.

3. Attaining Private Keys

  • Empowered with ‘p’ and ‘q,’ attackers adeptly compute private keys like ‘d1’ and ‘d2.’
  • This mathematical process involves modular inverses, bestowing them with access to encrypted content.

4. Decrypting Messages with Precision

  • Armed with private keys ‘d1’ and ‘d2,’ attackers skillfully decrypt messages initially secured by these keys.
  • Employing the formula ‘m = c^d mod n,’ they meticulously unlock the concealed content.

This simplified overview sheds light on the Common Factor Attack in RSA encryption. For a more comprehensive understanding, delve into further details here

Safeguarding Against the Marvin Attack

To fortify your defenses against the Marvin attack, it is imperative to employ an updated version of the RSA algorithm featuring a secure padding scheme. Secure padding ensures that no information about the encrypted data or private key is leaked. For example, you can adopt the Optimal Asymmetric Encryption Padding (OAEP) scheme, a standard endorsed by RSA Laboratories.

Additionally, utilizing a reliable and secure random number generator for generating RSA keys is essential. A robust random number generator produces unpredictable and difficult-to-guess random numbers, a critical element for the security of any encryption algorithm, as it guarantees the uniqueness and unpredictability of keys.

The Marvin attack, though a 25-year-old RSA flaw, remains a persistent threat capable of compromising the security of RSA-encrypted data and communications. Vigilance and adherence to cryptographic best practices are essential for shielding against this menace.

Choosing a trusted and certified provider of NFC HSM devices and RSA encryption services is equally pivotal. A reputable provider adheres to industry-leading security and quality standards. Freemindtronic, a company based in Andorra, specializes in NFC security solutions and has developed a plethora of technologies and patents grounded in NFC HSM devices and RSA 4096 encryption. These innovations offer a spectrum of advanced features and benefits across diverse applications.

In the following section, we will delve into why Freemindtronic has chosen to utilize RSA 4096 encryption in the context of the Marvin attack. Additionally, we will explore how Freemindtronic secures secret sharing among NFC HSM devices, elucidate the concept of NFC HSM devices, and unveil the advantages and benefits of the technologies and patents pioneered by Freemindtronic.

How Does RSA 4096 Work?

RSA 4096 is built upon the foundation of asymmetric encryption, employing two distinct keys: a public key and a private key. The public key can be freely disseminated, while the private key must remain confidential. These keys share a mathematical relationship, but uncovering one from the other poses an exceptionally daunting challenge.

RSA 4096 hinges on the RSA algorithm, relying on the formidable complexity of factoring a large composite number into the product of two prime numbers. RSA 4096 employs prime numbers of 4096 bits in size, rendering factorization virtually impossible with current computational capabilities.

RSA 4096 facilitates four primary operations:

  1. Encryption: Transforming plaintext messages into encrypted messages using the recipient’s public key. Only the recipient can decrypt the message using their private key.
  2. Decryption: Retrieving plaintext messages from encrypted ones using the recipient’s private key. Only the recipient can perform this decryption.
  3. Signature: Adding an authentication element to plaintext messages using the sender’s private key. The recipient can verify the signature using the sender’s public key.
  4. Signature Verification: Validating the authenticity of plaintext messages and their sender using the sender’s public key.

In essence, RSA 4096 ensures confidentiality, integrity, and non-repudiation of exchanged messages.

But how can you choose and utilize secure RSA keys? Are there innovative solutions available to bolster the protection of cryptographic secrets? This is the focal point of our next section, where we will explore the technologies and patents developed by Freemindtronic for RSA 4096 secret sharing among NFC HSM devices.

Technologies and Patents Developed by Freemindtronic for RSA 4096 Secret Sharing among NFC HSM Devices

Freemindtronic employs RSA 4096 to secure the sharing of secrets among NFC HSM devices, driven by a commitment to robust security and trust. RSA 4096 stands resilient against factorization attacks, the most prevalent threats to RSA encryption. It upholds the confidentiality, integrity, and non-repudiation of shared secrets.

Freemindtronic is acutely aware of the potential vulnerabilities posed by the Marvin attack. This attack can compromise RSA if the prime numbers used to generate the public key are too close in proximity. Therefore, Freemindtronic diligently adheres to cryptographic best practices when generating robust and random RSA keys. This involves using large prime numbers, usually larger than 2048 bits, and employing a dependable and secure random number generator Freemindtronic regularly validates the strength of RSA keys through online tools or other means and promptly replaces keys suspected of weakness or compromise.

In summary, Freemindtronic’s selection of RSA 4096 is informed by its robustness. This choice is complemented by unwavering adherence to cryptographic best practices. The incorporation of the EVI protocol bolsters security, ensuring the imperviousness of secrets shared among NFC HSM devices. This will be further elucidated in the following sections

Why Freemindtronic Utilizes RSA 4096 Against the Marvin Attack

Freemindtronic’s choice to utilize RSA 4096 for securing secret sharing among NFC HSM devices is grounded in its status as an asymmetric encryption algorithm renowned for delivering a high level of security and trust. RSA 4096 effectively resists factorization attacks, which are among the most prevalent threats against RSA encryption. It guarantees the confidentiality, integrity, and non-repudiation of shared secrets.

To address the potential consequences of the Marvin attack, Freemindtronic meticulously follows cryptographic best practices when generating strong and random RSA keys. The company employs prime numbers of substantial size, typically exceeding 2048 bits, in conjunction with a reliable and secure random number generator. Freemindtronic vigilantly validates the strength of RSA keys and promptly replaces them if any suspicions of weakness or compromise arise.

Moreover, Freemindtronic harnesses the power of the EVI (Encrypted Virtual Interface) protocol, which enhances RSA 4096’s security profile. EVI facilitates the exchange of RSA 4096 public keys among NFC HSM devices, introducing a wealth of security measures, including encryption, authentication, anti-cloning, anti-replay, anti-counterfeiting, and the use of a black box. EVI also enables the transmission of secrets encrypted with the recipient’s RSA 4096 public key, using the same mechanism.

In summary, Freemindtronic’s selection of RSA 4096 is informed by its robustness, complemented by unwavering adherence to cryptographic best practices. The incorporation of the EVI protocol bolsters security, ensuring the imperviousness of secrets shared among NFC HSM devices. This will be further elucidated in the following sections.

How Freemindtronic Utilizes RSA 4096 to Secure Secret Sharing Among NFC HSM Devices

Freemindtronic leverages RSA 4096 to fortify the security of secret sharing among NFC HSM devices, following a meticulously orchestrated sequence of steps:

  1. Key Generation: RSA 4096 key pairs are generated on each NFC HSM device, utilizing a dependable and secure random number generator.
  2. Public Key Exchange: The RSA 4096 public keys are exchanged between the two NFC HSM devices using the EVI (Encrypted Virtual Interface) protocol. EVI introduces multiple layers of security, including encryption, authentication, anti-cloning, anti-replay, anti-counterfeiting measures, and the use of a black box.
  3. Secret Encryption: The secret is encrypted using the recipient’s RSA 4096 public key, employing a hybrid encryption algorithm that combines RSA and AES.
  4. Secure Transmission: The encrypted secret is transmitted to the recipient, facilitated by the EVI protocol.
  5. Secret Decryption: The recipient decrypts the secret using their RSA 4096 private key, employing the same hybrid encryption algorithm.

Through this meticulous process, Freemindtronic ensures the confidentiality, integrity, and non-repudiation of secrets exchanged between NFC HSM devices. This robust approach thwarts attackers from reading, altering, or falsifying information protected by RSA 4096.

But what exactly is an NFC HSM device, and what communication methods exist for secret sharing among these devices? What are the advantages and benefits offered by the technologies and patents pioneered by Freemindtronic? These questions will be addressed in the subsequent sections.

What Is an NFC HSM Device?

An NFC HSM (Near Field Communication Hardware Security Module) is a specialized hardware security module that communicates wirelessly with an Android smartphone via NFC (Near Field Communication) technology. These devices come in the form of cards, stickers, or keychains and operate without the need for batteries. They feature EEPROM memory capable of storing up to 64 KB of data.

NFC HSM devices are designed to securely store and utilize cryptographic keys and secrets in an isolated and secure environment. They shield data from cloning, replay attacks, counterfeiting, or extraction and include an access control system based on segmented keys.

One prime example of an NFC HSM device is the EviCypher NFC HSM developed by Freemindtronic. This technology allows for the storage and utilization of cryptographic keys and secrets within a contactless device, such as a card, sticker, or keychain. EviCypher NFC HSM offers a range of features, including offline isolation, seamless integration with other technologies, and enhancements to the user experience. With its robust security measures and innovative features, EviCypher NFC HSM sets a new standard for secure communication and secret management in the digital realm.

Resistance Against Brute Force Attacks on NFC HSM

The RSA 4096 private key is encrypted with AES 256. Therefore, the user cannot extract it from the EEPROM memory. The NFC HSM has this memory. It also has other secrets in this memory. This memory is non-volatile. As a result, it can last up to 40 years without power. Consequently, any invasive or non-invasive brute force attack on NFC HSM is destined for failure. This is due to the fact that secrets, including the RSA private key, are automatically encrypted in the EEPROM memory of the NFC HSM using AES-256 with segmented keys of physical origin, some of which are externalized from the NFC HSM.

Real-Time Secret Sharing with EviCore NFC HSM

An intriguing facet of EviCore NFC HSM technology is its ability to facilitate real-time secret sharing without the need for a remote server or database. EviCore NFC HSM accomplishes this by encrypting secrets with the recipient’s randomly generated RSA 4096 public key directly on their NFC HSM device. This innovative approach to secret sharing eliminates the necessity for a trusted third party. Furthermore, EviCore NFC HSM executes these operations entirely in the volatile (RAM) memory of the phone, leaving no traces of plaintext secrets in the computer, communication, or information systems. As a result, it renders remote or proximity attacks, including invasive or non-invasive brute force attacks, exceedingly complex, if not physically impossible. Our EviCore NFC HSM technology is an Android application designed for NFC-enabled phones, functioning seamlessly with our NFC HSM devices. This application serves as both firmware and middleware, constituting an embedded system, offering optimal performance and compatibility with NFC HSM devices.

What Are the Advantages and Benefits of NFC HSM Devices and RSA 4096 Encryption?

NFC HSM devices and RSA 4096 encryption offer numerous advantages and benefits across various applications and domains. Some of these include:

  1. Enhanced Security and Trust: They bolster security and trust in the digital landscape through the utilization of a robust and efficient encryption algorithm that withstands factorization attacks.
  2. Simplified Key and Secret Management: They simplify the management and sharing of cryptographic keys and secrets by leveraging contactless technology for communication with Android phones via NFC.
  3. Improved Device Performance and Compatibility: They enhance device performance and compatibility by functioning as a firmware-like middleware embedded within an Android application for NFC-enabled phones.
  4. Enhanced User Experience: They improve the user experience of devices by offering features such as offline isolation, seamless integration with other technologies, and enhanced user experiences.

In summary, NFC HSMs and RSA 4096 encryption offer inventive and pragmatic answers to the escalating requirements for security and confidentiality in the digital sphere.

The hidden dangers of communication vulnerabilities in 2023: How to avoid cyber threats

The hidden dangers of communication vulnerabilities in 2023 EviCypher NFC HSM human protectiion technology from Freemindtronic Andorra
The hidden dangers of communication vulnerabilities in 2023  by Jacques Gascuel: This article will be updated with any new information on the topic.

Beware of communication vulnerabilities in 2023

Communication is essential for our personal and professional lives, but it also exposes us to cyber threats. In 2023, hackers will exploit the hidden dangers of communication vulnerabilities to steal data, disrupt services, and spy on users. This article will explain the main types of communication vulnerabilities, their impact, and how to protect yourself from them.

2024 Digital Security

PrintListener: How to Betray Fingerprints

2024 Articles Digital Security News

BitLocker Security: Safeguarding Against Cyberattacks

2024 Digital Security Spying

Ivanti Zero-Day Flaws: Comprehensive Guide to Secure Your Systems Now

2024 Articles Digital Security News Spying

How to protect yourself from stalkerware on any phone

2024 Articles Digital Security EviPass Password

Human Limitations in Strong Passwords Creation

2024 Articles Digital Security EviKey NFC HSM EviPass News SSH

Terrapin attack: How to Protect Yourself from this New Threat to SSH Security

2024 Articles Digital Security News Phishing

Google OAuth2 security flaw: How to Protect Yourself from Hackers

The Hidden Dangers of Communication Vulnerabilities in 2023

2023 Security Vulnerabilities in Means of Communication

Communication is essential for individuals and professionals, but it is also exposed to many cyber threats. In 2023, several security breaches affected emails and messages, compromising the security of data, services, and users. These breaches showed the vulnerability of communication systems, which are exposed to increasingly sophisticated and targeted attacks. To protect themselves, users need to encrypt their data and communications with their own keys that they created and stored offline. One of the solutions that can help them achieve this is EviCypher NFC HSM technology by Freemindtronic.

The Reality of Security Breaches in Communication Systems

However, we wanted to highlight a disconcerting reality: users often found themselves defenseless against the hidden dangers of communication vulnerabilities in 2023 that festered beneath the surface for long periods of time. Unaware of these current, imminent or future risks, they unwittingly provided gateways to espionage activities, whether motivated by legitimate or malicious intentions. These vulnerabilities enabled a relentless cycle of cyber victimization, perpetuating the very threats they aimed to mitigate.

For example, iCloud Email operated without end-to-end encryption from its launch in 2011 until December 2022 – a troubling reality that put users in a vulnerable position, their security at the mercy of external factors they could not control.

Another example, several reports by the Citizen Lab have revealed the existence and the use of Pegasus spyware developed by the Israeli company NSO Group, which sells its services to governments and private actors to spy on targets around the world. Moreover, several investigations by the consortium Forbidden Stories have revealed that more than 50,000 phone numbers have been selected as potential targets by NSO Group’s clients, including heads of state, journalists, human rights activists, etc.

Among the most recent examples of these vulnerabilities, we can mention the cyberattack against the US State Department, which was attributed to hackers linked to China.

Chinese hackers hacked 60,000 emails from the US State Department

In March 2023, Chinese hackers hacked 60,000 emails from the US State Department. Some of them were very sensitive to national security and foreign affairs. They used a Microsoft Exchange flaw named Log4Shell. This vulnerability allows hackers to remotely execute malicious code on servers that use this software. It affects millions of servers worldwide. Senator Mark Warner revealed the attack and criticized the lack of transparency and security of the State Department. He called for strengthening cooperation between government agencies and the private sector to cope with cyberthreats. This attack is part of a context of rising tensions between the US and China, who accuse each other of espionage and sabotage on cyberspace.

The other sensitive organs targeted by the attack

Besides the State Department emails, the attack also targeted other sensitive organs, such as:

  • The Bureau of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues, which is responsible for coordinating the State Department’s efforts to prevent and respond to cyberattacks.
  • The Bureau of Consular Affairs, which is in charge of issuing passports and visas, as well as protecting US citizens abroad.
  • The Bureau of Intelligence and Research, which provides analysis and assessments on foreign policy and national security issues.

These sensitive organs hold confidential or personal information that could be used by the Chinese hackers for espionage, blackmail or sabotage. For example, the hackers could access the biometric data of visa applicants, the reports of intelligence agents or the action plans in case of crisis.

The security flaw exploited by the Chinese hackers

The most serious thing is that some servers that were hacked by the Chinese had not been updated with the patch released by Microsoft on December 10, 2022. This shows that the updates are not automatic and that they have to be installed manually. This also shows the lack of responsiveness and vigilance of the IT security managers. They let the Chinese hackers exploit this flaw before it was fixed by Microsoft, who released security updates. Indeed, this cyberattack shows the vulnerability of communication systems and the need to protect them effectively.

A Case of Satellite Messaging Security Vulnerability

Satellite messaging is a means of communication that allows the transmission of electronic messages or calls via a network of artificial satellites. It is used by professionals and individuals in areas with no cellular coverage or those seeking discreet communication. However, satellite messaging is not immune to security vulnerabilities that can compromise data confidentiality and integrity.

In September 2023, a team of cybersecurity researchers uncovered a significant security vulnerability in the Bullitt satellite messaging service. This vulnerability allowed hackers to read and modify messages sent and received by users, as well as access their personal information, including GPS coordinates and phone numbers. Hackers could also impersonate users by sending messages on their behalf. The vulnerability was found in the PubNub-Kotlin API used by the Bullitt Messenger app to manage communication between devices and the service’s servers. Despite alerting Bullitt, the service provider, about this vulnerability, the researchers received no satisfactory response.

This security flaw poses a high risk to satellite messaging users, as their data can be exposed or manipulated by hackers.

Security Vulnerabilities in Communication Systems: A Closer Look

2023 Security Flaws in Communication Channels is a paramount concern for individuals and organizations across the globe. Hackers frequently exploit vulnerabilities within communication protocols and services to launch attacks that can compromise data confidentiality, integrity, and availability. To illustrate the magnitude and gravity of this issue, we have compiled statistics based on our web research:

Security Vulnerabilities in Emails

Emails serve as a central vector for cyberattacks, representing a significant portion of security incidents, with up to 91% of reported incidents, as per cybermalveillance.gouv.fr. Among these email-targeted threats, ransomware attacks are the most prevalent, comprising 25% of reported security incidents. Additionally, it’s striking to note that 48% of malicious files attached to emails are Microsoft Office documents. These statistics underscore the critical importance of implementing robust security measures for emails to guard against evolving threats.

Furthermore, an analysis conducted by the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report for 20232 highlights that emails remain the primary variety of malicious actions in data breaches, underscoring their continued relevance as a vector for cyberattacks.

However, it is essential to note that email-specific vulnerabilities can vary based on factors such as email protocol vulnerabilities, server configuration errors, human mistakes, among others.

Security Vulnerabilities in Encrypted Messaging Services

Encrypted messaging services like Signal, Telegram, or WhatsApp are not immune to security vulnerabilities, which can compromise message and file confidentiality, integrity, and availability. In March 2023, Cellebrite, an Israeli data extraction company, claimed to have successfully decrypted messages and files sent via Signal. In June 2023, Google disclosed a vulnerability in its RCS service that allowed hackers to send fraudulent messages to Android users, containing malicious links redirecting victims to compromised websites.

Security Vulnerabilities in Communication Protocols

Communication protocols such as SMTP, RCS, or SMS are also susceptible to security vulnerabilities that can enable hackers to intercept, modify, or spoof messages and calls. SS7 vulnerabilities involve attacks exploiting the vulnerabilities of the SS7 protocol, used to establish and terminate telephone calls on digital signaling networks. These attacks can allow hackers to intercept, modify, or spoof voice and SMS communications on a cellular network. In January 2023, a hacking group named Ransomware.vc launched a data extortion campaign targeting organizations using the Progress MOVEit file transfer tool. The hackers exploited an SS7 vulnerability to intercept verification codes sent via SMS to MOVEit users, gaining access to sensitive data. In February 2023, the Ukrainian power grid was hit by a new malware called Industroyer2, attributed to Russian hackers. The malware used an SS7 vulnerability to take control of network operator phone calls, disrupting electricity distribution in the country. In March 2023, Samsung suffered a data breach that exposed the personal and financial information of millions of customers. The breach was caused by an SS7 vulnerability that allowed hackers to access SMS messages containing online transaction confirmation codes.

An Overview of Security Vulnerabilities in Communication Systems

Communication systems exhibit various vulnerabilities, with each element susceptible to exploitation by hackers. These weaknesses can have severe consequences, including financial losses, damage to reputation, or national security breaches.

  • Protocols: Communication protocols, like Internet Protocol (IP), Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), Signaling System 7 (SS7), and Rich Communication Services (RCS), can contain security vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities enable hackers to intercept, modify, or spoof communications on the network. For instance, an SS7 vulnerability allows hackers to eavesdrop on phone calls or read SMS messages on a cellular network.
  • Services: Network services, such as messaging, cloud, streaming, or payment services, possess their own vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities may permit hackers to access, modify, or delete data within the service. For instance, a vulnerability in an encrypted messaging service enables hackers to decrypt messages or files sent via the service.
  • Applications: Software applications, including web, mobile, desktop, or IoT applications, are prone to security vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities empower hackers to execute malicious code on a user’s device or gain control of the device itself. For example, a vulnerability in a web application allows hackers to inject malicious code into the displayed web page.
  • Devices: Physical devices, such as computers, smartphones, tablets, or IoT devices, feature their own set of security vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities can enable hackers to access the device’s data or functionalities. For instance, a vulnerability in a smartphone grants hackers access to the device’s camera, microphone, or GPS.

In conclusion, the multitude of security vulnerabilities in communication systems presents a significant challenge to all stakeholders. Protecting against these vulnerabilities and enhancing cybersecurity is essential to safeguard sensitive data and infrastructure.

How communication vulnerabilities exposed millions of users to cyberattacks in the past years

Communication is essential for our personal and professional lives, but it also exposes us to cyber threats. In the past years, hackers exploited the hidden dangers of communication vulnerabilities to steal data, disrupt services, and spy on users. These vulnerabilities affected software and services widely used, such as Log4j, Microsoft Exchange, Exim, Signal, Telegram, or WhatsApp. Some of these vulnerabilities have been fixed, while others remain active or in progress. The following table summarizes the main communication vulnerabilities in the past years, their impact, and their status.

Name of the breach Type of breach Impact Status Date of discovery Date of patch
Log4j Command injection Control of servers and Java applications Fixed November 24, 2021 December 18, 2021
Microsoft Exchange Remote code execution Data theft and backdoor installation Fixed March 2, 2021
Exim Multiple vulnerabilities Control of email servers June 5, 2020
Signal Denial of service Blocking of messages and calls Fixed May 11, 2020 May 15, 2020
Telegram Deserialization Access to messages and files Fixed January 23, 2021
WhatsApp QR code spoofing Account hacking Fixed October 10, 2019
File-based XSS Code injection Execution of malicious code in the browser Not fixed December 17, 2020 N/A
RCS QR code spoofing Interception, modification or spoofing of messages and calls Not fixed June 17, 2020 N/A
SMS SIM swap fraud Account takeover and identity theft Active or in progress
MMS Stagefright vulnerability Remote code execution and data theft Fixed July 27, 2015 August-September 2015
SolarWinds Orion Supply chain compromise Data theft and backdoor installation Fixed December 8, 2020 February 25, 2023
API PubNub-Kotlin Privilege escalation by deserialization of untrusted data Arbitrary command execution on SolarWinds Platform website Fixed February 8, 2022 April 19, 2023
SS7 Multiple vulnerabilities Data theft, interception, modification or blocking of communications, location tracking or spoofing, fraud Active or in progress 2014 N/A

This table provides a concise overview of the hidden dangers of communication vulnerabilities in 2023, their types, impacts, and current statuses.

EviCypher NFC HSM: The technology that makes your communications invulnerable to security breaches

Security vulnerabilities in the means of communication pose a high risk to users, including satellite messaging, as their data can be exposed or manipulated by hackers. Therefore, effective protection against this threat is essential. This is precisely where the EviCypher NFC HSM technologies mentioned in this article come in as an innovative and secure solution.

EviCypher NFC HSM Technology for Messaging Protection

EviCypher NFC HSM technology is a solution that enables contactless encryption and decryption of data using an NFC card. It employs a hardware security module (HSM) that securely stores encryption keys. It is compatible with various communication services, including emails, SMS, MMS, satellite messaging, and chats.

To use EviCypher NFC HSM technology, simply pair the NFC Card, to an NFC-enabled Android phone and activate it with your fingerprint. Messages sent and received through messaging services are encrypted and decrypted using the NFC card. Only the card owner can access their messages and files. No one can intercept or alter them, even if the  service is compromised by a security vulnerability.

EviCypher NFC HSM technology offers optimal protection for commincation, ensuring data confidentiality and integrity. It also safeguards against other types of security vulnerabilities that may affect communication methods, such as Log4Shell or SolarWinds. It is a simple, effective solution that requires no change in user habits.

What is EviCypher NFC HSM technology?

EviCypher NFC HSM technology is a contactless encryption technology that uses hardware security modules (HSM) devices that communicate via NFC (Near Field Communication) protocols. These devices are EviTag and Evicard, which are small and portable devices that can be attached to a keychain or a card holder. They allow users to store and manage their keys and secrets securely, without relying on third-party services or cloud storage.

How does EviCypher NFC HSM technology work?

EviCypher NFC HSM technology works by encrypting and decrypting data and communications with the user’s own keys that they created and stored offline. The user can use the devices for various applications, such as encrypting emails, messages or files.

To use NFC HSMs, the user must first pair it with their phone. He chooses the option of encryption or decryption on his phone, writes or reads his messages on his phone. Encryption and decryption operations are performed from the NFC HSM itself, without exposing keys or secrets to the phone. The same operation is available on computer via a phone-paired web extension and using the NFC HSM.

Why is EviCypher NFC HSM technology secure and reliable?

EviCypher NFC HSM technology is integrated into a hardware security module that stores encrypted secrets, such as encryption keys, in the highly secure NFC eprom memory. It enables to encrypt contactless communications upstream, in post-quantum AES 256, before sending them. It is thus secure and reliable, because it encrypts the data before transmitting them without ever keeping the message in plain text.

How can EviCypher NFC HSM technology protect you from security breaches?

EviCypher NFC HSM technology can protect you from security breaches by encrypting your data and communications in advance in volatile memory before sending them encrypted without ever keeping the message in clear automatically destroyed and replaced by its encrypted version in AES 256 symmetry considered post quantum. Thus, even if there are security flaws the messages and emails and their attachments remain always encrypted. This can be done from an Android NFC phone and/or from the Freemindtronic extension.

This way, you can avoid being exposed to past, present or future security vulnerabilities, since the encryption is done on the device itself, without exposing the keys or secrets to the phone or computer. Even if your phone or computer is compromised by a hacker or a spyware, they cannot access your data or messages in clear text. Only you can decrypt them with your device and your PIN code.

EviCypher NFC HSM technology is an innovative solution that offers a high level of security and privacy for your communication systems. It is developed by Freemindtronic, an Andorran company specialized in NFC security. It is based on EviCore NFC HSM technology, which is a hardware security module that combines hardware encryption and NFC communication protocols.

In conclusion, the EviCypher NFC HSM technology is integrated into a hardware security module that stores encrypted secrets, such as encryption keys, in the highly secure NFC eprom memory. It allows to encrypt contactless communications upstream, in post-quantum AES 256, before sending them. It is thus secure and reliable, because it encrypts the data before transmitting them without ever keeping the message in plain text.

ZenRAT: The malware that hides in Bitwarden and escapes antivirus software

ZenRAT The-malware-that hides in Bitwarden-and escapes antivirus-software edit by freemindtronic from Andorra
ZenRAT Malware  by Jacques Gascuel: This article will be updated with any new information on the topic.

***

**

2024 Digital Security

PrintListener: How to Betray Fingerprints

2024 Articles Digital Security News

BitLocker Security: Safeguarding Against Cyberattacks

2024 Digital Security Spying

Ivanti Zero-Day Flaws: Comprehensive Guide to Secure Your Systems Now

2024 Articles Digital Security News Spying

How to protect yourself from stalkerware on any phone

2024 Articles Digital Security EviPass Password

Human Limitations in Strong Passwords Creation

2024 Articles Digital Security EviKey NFC HSM EviPass News SSH

Terrapin attack: How to Protect Yourself from this New Threat to SSH Security

2024 Articles Digital Security News Phishing

Google OAuth2 security flaw: How to Protect Yourself from Hackers

How this malware hides in Bitwarden and escapes antivirus software to steal your information

ZenRAT is a new malicious software that targets Windows users and hides in fake installation packages of Bitwarden, a popular and secure password manager. This remote access trojan (RAT) was discovered by Proofpoint, a company specialized in cybersecurity. ZenRAT aims to steal sensitive information from users, such as their credentials, passwords, IP addresses or browser data.

How does ZenRAT hide in Bitwarden?

ZenRAT uses a social engineering technique to trick users and make them download a fake installation package of Bitwarden. The malicious website that hosts the file looks very similar to the official Bitwarden website, but it uses a different domain name. The downloaded file contains an executable named ZenRAT, which installs discreetly on the victim’s computer and starts collecting and sending their personal information to a command and control server.

ZenRAT hides in Bitwarden to take advantage of its popularity and credibility, as it is used by millions of users worldwide. By imitating the website and logo of Bitwarden, ZenRAT hopes to attract users who are looking for downloading or updating this software, and to convince them that they are on the official website. Thus, ZenRAT can induce users to install the malicious file without suspicion.

This identity theft technique is commonly used by cybercriminals to spread malware under the guise of legitimate applications. Users should therefore be careful to only download software from a reliable source, and to check the domain name of the website. They should also be wary of advertisements in search engine results, which can be a major vector of infection.

What are the technical means used by ZenRAT to achieve its goals and protect itself?

ZenRAT uses several technical means to achieve its goals and protect itself from protection systems. Among these means, we can mention:

  • Encryption: It encrypts the data it steals and sends to the command and control server, using an AES algorithm with a randomly generated key. Thus, ZenRAT makes it harder to detect and analyze its network traffic by antivirus or firewall software.
  • Polymorphism: ZenRAT changes its appearance and behavior regularly, using techniques such as packing, obfuscation or mutation. Thus, ZenRAT escapes the static signatures of antivirus or intrusion detection software.
  • Geofencing: It checks the geographical location of the infected computer, using the IP address or browser data. If the computer is located in an area that does not interest the hacker, such as Russia or China, ZenRAT stops and uninstalls itself. Thus, ZenRAT reduces the risk of being discovered or analyzed by security researchers.
  • Anti-virtualization: ZenRAT detects if the infected computer is a virtual machine or a sandbox, using indicators such as the name of the CPU, GPU, RAM or hard disk. If so, ZenRAT stops and uninstalls itself. Thus, ZenRAT avoids being studied or neutralized by security experts.
  • QR codes: Malware Rat uses QR codes to communicate with its command and control server, using a dedicated mobile application. Thus, ZenRAT bypasses network filters or proxies that could block its traffic. The QR codes contain encrypted and compressed data, which are decoded and executed by the malware on the infected computer.
  • Password generator: ZenRAT uses a password generator to create random and strong passwords, which it uses to access online accounts of users. Thus, ZenRAT increases its chances of succeeding in brute force or dictionary attacks, and makes it more difficult for users to change or reset their passwords.

These technical means show that ZenRAT is a sophisticated and adaptable malware, which can circumvent or resist various forms of defense. They also testify to the malicious intent of the hacker, who seeks to maximize his impact and minimize his traceability.

Why is RAT a serious threat?

ZenRAT is a serious threat for the security and privacy of Internet users, because it steals personal and confidential information, which can be used to access sensitive services, identify and track users, analyze their habits and preferences, or inject malicious advertisements or spyware. It uses various technical means to spread and hide itself, and it escapes antivirus and security software.

ZenRAT has not yet been widely studied or detected by antivirus or security software. According to Proofpoint, the detection rate of the malicious file on VirusTotal was less than 10% at the time of their analysis. Other sources confirm that ZenRAT is a little-known and rare malware. It is therefore important to be vigilant and only download software from a reliable source, checking the domain name of the website.

ZenRAT is also a malware that specifically targets Windows users, who represent the majority of operating systems in the world. According to StatCounter, Windows had a market share of 72% in September 2023. This means that ZenRAT can potentially infect more than a billion Windows computers worldwide. Moreover, ZenRAT attacks Bitwarden users, a password manager that has more than 25 million users worldwide. By stealing their passwords, ZenRAT can access their online accounts and compromise their security.

Here is a summary table of the main characteristics of ZenRAT:

Attribute Details
Name ZenRAT
Type Remote Access Trojan (RAT)
Platform Windows
Infection Method Fake Bitwarden installation packages
Objective Steal sensitive user information
Technical Means Encryption, polymorphism, geofencing, anti-virtualization, QR codes, password generator
Detection Rate Below 10% on VirusTotal
Main Source Proofpoint1
Associated Threats Typosquatting, phishing, credential theft
Targeted Service Bitwarden password manager
Date of Discovery August 2023
Malicious Email Campaigns Several, targeting organizations across various sectors
Associated Malicious Domains bitwariden[.]com, crazygameis[.]com, obsproject[.]com, geogebraa[.]com
Dedicated Mobile Application ZenRAT Scanner
Fake Installers Bitwarden-Installer-version-2023-7-1.exe, CertificateUpdate-version1-102-90
Signed by Falsely claimed to be signed by Tim Kosse
Copy of Executable Location ApplicationRuntimeMonitor.exe stored in C:Users[username]AppDataRoamingRuntime Monitor
Collected Data CPU Name, GPU Name, OS Version, Installed RAM, IP Address & Gateway, Installed Antivirus, Installed Applications
C2 Communication Server IP: 185[.]186.72.14. Custom C2 protocol used
Unique Features Checks: IsBlockedRegion, IsMutex, IsSmallDisk, IsDetectVM. Logs sent in plain text to C2 server
Indicators of Compromise Several IP addresses and domains, as well as a list of SHA256 for associated files

ZenRAT is therefore a malicious software that attacks strategically Windows operating systems, hiding in fake installation packages of Bitwarden. It uses various technical means to spread and hide itself, and aims to steal sensitive information from users. It represents a serious threat for the security and privacy of Internet users.

Freemindtronic’s Legacy: Rediscovering Excellence

Freemindtronic's Legacy: Rediscovering Excellence

Freemindtronic’s Legacy by Jacques Gascuel: This article will be updated with any new information on the topic.  

Breaking News: Rediscover Excellence with Freemindtronic’s Technological Heritage!

In this exclusive preview, at Freemindtronic, we take immense pride in inviting you to delve into our pioneering legacy in the realm of extreme security. Discover how our company not only reshapes the technological landscape but also has the potential to establish new industry standards in the captivating world of advanced nanotechnology and electronic cyber protection.

2024 Cyberculture Legal information

Encrypted messaging: ECHR says no to states that want to spy on them

2024 Articles Digital Security News

BitLocker Security: Safeguarding Against Cyberattacks

2024 Articles Digital Security News Spying

How to protect yourself from stalkerware on any phone

2024 Articles Digital Security EviPass Password

Human Limitations in Strong Passwords Creation

2024 Articles Digital Security EviKey NFC HSM EviPass News SSH

Terrapin attack: How to Protect Yourself from this New Threat to SSH Security

2024 Articles Digital Security News Phishing

Google OAuth2 security flaw: How to Protect Yourself from Hackers

2023 Articles Digital Security EviCypher NFC HSM News Technologies

Telegram and the Information War in Ukraine

Resurrecting Excellence: Freemindtronic’s Legacy in Nanotechnology and the ‘Fullprotect’ Revolution

In 2013, Freemindtronic, a visionary enterprise founded in 2010, celebrated its nomination as a finalist for the prestigious “electron d’Or” award and its recognition as one of the top 10 most innovative mechatronics startups, earning the esteemed European Mechatronics Award. These accolades marked pivotal moments for Freemindtronic, showcasing its groundbreaking ‘Fullprotect’ technology and pioneering contributions to electronic innovation.

A New Chapter Begins with Freemindtronic SL Andorra – Resurrecting Excellence

Freemindtronic SL Andorra, the custodian of a global exclusive patent license for this groundbreaking technology, is embarking on a new chapter. Even though the partnership between STMicroelectronics and Freemindtronic SAS prematurely concluded just before the production of the first FullProtect component, Freemindtronic SL Andorra’s commitment to the project of creating nanotechnological components enters a new dynamic, as we explore new avenues for development.

Nanotechnology Components: A Resilient Legacy – Freemindtronic’s Technological Excellence

The journey begins with the creation of a range of miniaturized electronic components using nanotechnology. Freemindtronic SAS France’s primary objective was to create a range of miniaturized electronic components utilizing nanotechnology. This included the development of the first product range for direct current, covering 5 volts, 12 volts, and 8 volts to 48 volts, in collaboration with STMicroelectronics. This technology has the potential to revolutionize electronic systems, enhance performance, and set new industry standards. While the partnership with STMicroelectronics may have ended, Freemindtronic SL Andorra’s commitment to nanotechnology components remains unyielding, as we seek new avenues for development.

Rekindling Electronic System Protection – Innovating with ‘Fullprotect’

But the heart of the revival lies in the resurrection of ‘Fullprotect,’ the revolutionary technology that redefined electronic system protection. This innovation was designed to safeguard electronic systems from electrical and environmental threats while meticulously recording random events within an immutable “Evidence Box.” It was, and remains, a game-changer in the realm of electronic protection.

A Comprehensive Vision – The Vision of Freemindtronic

This synergy presents a comprehensive vision where technology converges to provide holistic solutions. Freemindtronic’s ‘Fullprotect’ technology sets the stage for a secure and efficient electronic landscape.

Expanding Horizons with Global Patents – International Patents and Innovations

Advantageously, Freemindtronic’s innovation, Argos One NFC, based on the patent FR2941572, is not an isolated triumph. It seamlessly integrates with the company’s other innovations in the realms of safety and cybersecurity, both of which hold international patents.

The Evolution of EviKey NFC HSM – EviKey NFC HSM: A Technological Evolution

An excellent example of this evolution is EviKey NFC HSM. It represents the discreet version of several other patented NFC HSM technologies by Freemindtronic SL Andorra, including EviCore, EviPass, EviSeed, EviVault, EviSign, EviOTP, EviPC, EviKeyboard, and EviCypher, with silicon integration on the horizon. This exemplifies Freemindtronic’s unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of electronic protection and innovation.

Rediscover Excellence with Freemindtronic – Join Us in Rediscovering Excellence

Join us in rediscovering the illustrious journey of Freemindtronic, a legacy of innovation in nanotechnology components and the ‘Fullprotect’ revolution. Together, we’re reigniting the flame of excellence and pioneering the future of electronic protection.

How to secure your SSH key with NFC HSM USB Drive EviKey

NFC HSM USB drive SSH Contactless keys manager EviKey NFC & EviCore NFC HSM Compatible Technologies patented from Freemindtronic Andorra Made in France - JPG

How to Create and Store Your SSH Key Securely with EviKey NFC HSM USB Drive

NFC HSM USB Drive EviKey revolutionizes SSH key storage in our digital era. In a world teeming with cyber threats, safeguarding SSH keys remains paramount. Yet, striking a balance between top-notch security and effortless access often poses challenges. The answer? EviKey’s groundbreaking NFC HSM USB technology. Throughout this guide, we’ll uncover how EviKey stands out, ensuring robust security without forsaking user convenience. So, whether you’re a seasoned tech expert or just beginning your cybersecurity journey, dive in. You’re about to discover the next big thing in digital key storage.

2024 Digital Security

PrintListener: How to Betray Fingerprints

2024 Articles Digital Security News

BitLocker Security: Safeguarding Against Cyberattacks

2024 Digital Security Spying

Ivanti Zero-Day Flaws: Comprehensive Guide to Secure Your Systems Now

2024 Articles Digital Security News Spying

How to protect yourself from stalkerware on any phone

2024 Articles Digital Security EviPass Password

Human Limitations in Strong Passwords Creation

2024 Articles Digital Security EviKey NFC HSM EviPass News SSH

Terrapin attack: How to Protect Yourself from this New Threat to SSH Security

2024 Articles Digital Security News Phishing

Google OAuth2 security flaw: How to Protect Yourself from Hackers

How to create and protect your SSH key with NFC HSM USB drive

The NFC HSM USB drive is a device that allows you to create and store your SSH key securely with EviKey technology. EviKey is a patented technology that encrypts your SSH key with a secret code that only you know and that is stored in a NFC tag embedded in the device. You will need to scan the NFC tag with your smartphone or another NFC reader to unlock your SSH key and use it for SSH sessions. You will also learn how to customize the security settings of your device and how to backup and restore your SSH key.

SSH: A secure protocol for remote communication

SSH, or Secure Shell, is a cryptographic protocol that allows you to establish a secure communication between a client and a server. SSH is often used to remotely administer servers, execute commands or transfer files. To connect to a server via SSH, there are two authentication methods: password or public key.

Password authentication: simple but insecure

Password authentication is the simplest method, but also the least secure. Passwords can be easily guessed, stolen or intercepted by attackers. Moreover, you have to remember your password and enter it every time you connect.

Public key authentication: advanced and secure

Setting up public key authentication for SSH

Public key authentication is a more secure and convenient way to access remote servers than using passwords. To set it up, you will need to generate a pair of keys, one public and one private, and copy the public key to the server you want to connect to. The private key will stay on your local machine and will be used to authenticate yourself when you initiate an SSH session. You will also learn how to use a passphrase to protect your private key from unauthorized access.

Advantages and constraints of public key authentication

Public key authentication: benefits and challenges

Using public key authentication for SSH has many benefits and challenges. Some of the benefits are: increased security, reduced risk of brute force attacks, and a streamlined login process. Some of the challenges are: managing multiple keys, ensuring the integrity of the public key, and recovering from lost or stolen private key. You’ll also learn some best practices for overcoming these challenges and protecting your SSH keys.

Public key authentication has several advantages:

  • Compared to password authentication, public key authentication offers a higher level of security. It also avoids typing your password every time you connect. In addition, it allows you to automate processes that require an SSH connection; such as scripts or orchestration tools.

However, public key authentication also involves certain constraints:

  • You have to deal with some constraints when you use public key authentication. For each client and each server, you have to generate a pair of keys; copy the public key on the server in a special file called ~/.ssh/authorized_keys; and protect the private key against any loss or compromise.

EviKey NFC HSM USB drive: A solution to store your SSH key securely

To overcome these constraints, there is a solution: using an EviKey NFC HSM technology to store your private SSH key physically externalized. EviKey NFC HSM USB drive is a hardware device that allows you to store sensitive data in a secure flash memory, which can only be unlocked with a contactless authentication via a smartphone compatible with NFC (Near Field Communication). It offers several advantages:

  • The EviKey NFC HSM USB drive allows you to keep your private SSH key outside of the hard disk of the client. This reduces the risks of theft or unauthorized access. You can also unlock your private SSH key without typing a password or a passphrase; you just have to approach your smartphone to the NFC HSM USB drive. Moreover, the device offers an industrial level of security equivalent to SL4 according to the standard IEC 62443-3-3.

EviKey NFC HSM: A technology developed by Freemindtronic SL

There are several models and brands of NFC HSM USB drives on the market, but in this tutorial, we will focus on the EviKey NFC HSM technology, developed by Freemindtronic SL, an Andorran company specialized in cybersecurity. EviKey NFC HSM is compatible with all operating systems (Linux, Windows, macOS, Android) and can be used with three free Android applications: Evikey & EviDisk, Fullkey Plus and Freemindtronic (FMT). These applications allow you to manag the NFC HSM USB drives, to create and restore backups, to encrypt and decrypt files, and to authenticate via SSH.

How to create an SSH key and use it with a NFC HSM USB drive

In this tutorial, we will show you how to create an SSH key under different operating systems, how to use a NFC HSM USB drive to store your private SSH key physically externalized, and how to use the public SSH key to authenticate locally, on a computer or on a server.

Prerequisites

The following are required to follow this tutorial:

  • A computer or a smartphone with an operating system among Linux, Windows, macOS or Android.
  • An internet connection.
  • A NFC HSM USB drive.
  • One of the three Android applications mentioned above installed on your smartphone.
  • A remote server that you want to connect to via SSH.

Creating an SSH key

The first step to use public key authentication is to generate a pair of SSH keys (private and public) on your computer or smartphone. To do this, you can use a special utility called ssh-keygen, which is included with the standard OpenSSH suite. By default, this utility will create a pair of RSA keys of 3072 bits.

The procedure to create an SSH key varies depending on the operating system that you use. Here is how to do it for each case:

  • Linux

    • Open a terminal and type the following command: ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C "your_email@example.com"
    • This command will create a new pair of SSH keys using your email as a label.
    • You can choose the location and name of the file where to save your private key, as well as a passphrase to protect it.
    • By default, the files are named id_rsa and id_rsa.pub and are stored in the ~/.ssh directory.
  • Windows

    • Download and install the PuTTYgen software from the official website [2].
    • Launch PuTTYgen and click on the Generate button.
    • You will have to move the mouse over the blank area to create some entropy.
    • Once the key is generated, you can enter a comment (for example your email) and a passphrase to secure it.
    • Then, you will have to save your public key and your private key in separate files by clicking on the Save public key and Save private key buttons.
  • macOS

    • The procedure is similar to Linux.
    • Open a terminal and type the following command: ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C "your_email@example.com"
    • SSH keygen will create a new pair of SSH keys using your email as a label.
    • You can choose the location and name of the file where to save your private key, as well as a passphrase to protect it.
    • By default, the files are named id_rsa and id_rsa.pub and are stored in the ~/.ssh directory.
  • Android

    • Download and install the ConnectBot application from the Play Store [5].
    • Open ConnectBot and press the Menu button.
    • Select Manage Pubkeys.
    • Press the Menu button again and select Generate.
    • Choose the type of key (RSA or DSA) and the size of the key (2048 bits or more).
    • Enter a nickname for your key and press Generate.

Using a NFC HSM USB drive

Once you have created your pair of SSH keys, you have to move the private SSH key into the flash memory of the NFC HSM USB drive. To do this, you have to plug the NFC HSM USB drive into the USB port of your computer or smartphone, and use the following command:

sudo mv ssh_private_key /usb_directory

This command will move the file containing your private SSH key (for example id_rsa or private.ppk) to the directory corresponding to the NFC HSM USB drive (for example /media/evikey or /storage/evikey). You have to replace ssh_private_key and /usb_directory with the appropriate names according to your case.

Once you have moved your private SSH key into the NFC HSM USB drive, you can lock it contactlessly with your smartphone. To do this, you have to use one of the three Android applications that embed the EviKey NFC HSM technology: Evikey & EviDisk, Fullkey Plus or Freemindtronic (FMT). Here is how to do it for each application:

With Evikey & EviDisk or Fullkey Plus or Freemindtronic (FMT) Android NFC app

  • Open the application on your smartphone.
  • Select the NFC HSM USB drive that you want to lock.
  • Press the Lock button.
  • Approach your smartphone to the NFC HSM USB drive to lock the access to the flash memory.

Authentication via SSH with a NFC HSM USB drive

You have prepared your NFC HSM USB drive and copied your public SSH key on the computer or remote server that you want to connect to via SSH. Now you can authenticate via SSH with the NFC HSM USB drive. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Plug the NFC HSM USB drive into the USB port of the smartphone
  • Open the Android application of your choice
  • Select the option “SSH Authentication”
  • Enter the information of the computer or remote server (IP address, port, username)
  • Select the private SSH key stored in the NFC HSM USB drive
  • Approach your smartphone to the NFC HSM USB drive to unlock the access to the flash memory
  • Validate the SSH connection
  • Access the terminal of the computer or remote server

The method allows you to authenticate locally, on a computer or on a server. Here are some examples of use cases:

Local authentication

You can use the NFC HSM USB drive to authenticate locally on your own computer or smartphone. That can be useful if you want to execute commands as another user, for example root or sudo. To do that, you have to enter the information of your computer or smartphone as IP address, port and username. For example:

ssh -p 22 root@127.0.0.1

It command will connect you via SSH to your local computer as root, using port 22 and IP address 127.0.0.1. It is a special address that always designates the local host. You will have to approach your smartphone to the NFC HSM USB cdrive to unlock your private SSH key and validate the connection.

Computer authentication

With the NFC HSM USB drive, you can authenticate on another computer that you have access to on the network. Such can be useful if you want to access files or programs that are stored on that computer, or if you want to perform maintenance or troubleshooting operations remotely. To do such, you have to enter the information of the computer that you want to connect to as IP address, port and username. For example:

ssh -p 22 alice@192.168.1.10

Local SSH will connect you via SSH to the computer whose IP address is 192.168.1.10, using port 22 and username alice. You will have to approach your smartphone to the NFC HSM USB drive to unlock your private SSH key and validate the connection.

Server authentication

The EviKey NFC HSM USB drive lets you authenticate on a remote server that you have access to via the internet. This can be useful if you want to administer a website, a database, a cloud service or any other type of server. To do this, you have to enter the information of the server that you want to connect to as IP address, port and username. For example:

ssh -p 22 bob@54.123.456.78

That command will connect you via SSH to the server whose IP address is 54.123.456.78, using port 22 and username bob. You will have to approach your smartphone to the NFC HSM USB drive to unlock your private SSH key and validate the connection.

Comparison of Secure Storage Solutions for SSH Keys

EviKey NFC HSM USB Drive: Redefining the Paradigm

The search for dependable, efficient, and secure storage for SSH private keys has evolved from a mere task to a pivotal mission. In a digital landscape riddled with threats, the EviKey NFC HSM USB drive emerges, not merely as a product but as a groundbreaking shift towards cybersecurity, regulatory compliance, and user-friendliness.

Cybersecurity and Safety: A Synergy

Combining cybersecurity (safeguarding digital assets) and safety (protecting the device itself) is a hallmark of the EviKey NFC HSM USB drive. The drive’s construction inherently merges these two dimensions. With electrical and thermal safeguards, ESD protection, and an integrated self-diagnostic system, it’s evident that the EviKey drive is designed not just to store but to fortify.

Simplicity Meets Security: Seamless SSH Key Storage

EviKey has revolutionized the SSH key storage process, doing away with complicated software or intricate steps. Upon unlocking the USB NFC HSM through a contactless mechanism, it presents itself as a standard medium on various operating systems. Users can then smoothly transfer SSH keys to this space. In its locked state, the drive becomes virtually undetectable to both computing and mobile platforms, ensuring unparalleled security. Furthermore, the option to fortify security with an additional password layer is available to users.

Normative Compliance: Setting the Gold Standard

EviKey’s technological prowess is evident in features such as NFC signal energy harvesting. This includes a state-of-the-art black box monitoring system. Additionally, there’s an assurance of data persistence for an astounding 40 years without needing an external power source.

Technological Advancements: Beyond the Ordinary

EviKey’s technological prowess is evident in features such as NFC signal energy harvesting, a state-of-the-art black box monitoring system, and an assurance of data persistence for an astounding 40 years without needing an external power source.

At a Glance: EviKey Versus the Rest


Criteria EviKey NFC HSM Nitrokey Yubikey SoloKeys OnlyKey Trezor
Storage Capacity 8GB-128GB 32KB 32KB 32KB 32KB Limited by key size
SSH Key Capacity Over 4 billion About 24 About 24 Up to 24 Up to 24 Several
Contactless Authentication Yes, via NFC No Yes, NFC or USB Yes, NFC or USB Yes, NFC or USB Yes, via USB
Physical Device Security Enhanced with attack detection & self-destruct Standard with PIN lock Standard with PIN lock Standard with PIN lock Standard with PIN lock Standard with PIN lock
OS Compatibility All OS All OS All OS All OS All OS All OS
SSH & OpenSSH Protocol Compatibility Yes, via OpenSSH Yes, via PKCS#11 Yes, via PKCS#11 Yes, via PKCS#11 Yes, via PKCS#11 Yes, via GPG
SSH & OpenSSH Authentication Modes Five-factor (MFA) Two-factor (2FA) Two-factor (2FA) Two-factor (2FA) Two-factor (2FA) One-factor (1FA)
Users for Contactless SSH & OpenSSH Unlocking Six different users None One user One user One user One user
Patents Three international patents None None None None None
Electrical Protection Integrated with intelligent regulator No No No No No
Thermal Safeguards Functional & thermal sensors with breaker No No No No No
ESD Protection 27kv on data channel No No No No No
Physical Robustness Military-grade resin; Waterproof & Tamperproof No No No No No
Security from Attacks Inclusive of invasive & non-invasive threats No No No No No
Limit on Auth. Attempts 13 (modifiable by admin) No No No No No
USB Port Protection Fully independent security system No No No No No
Contactless Security Energy Harvests energy from NFC signals No No No No No
Black Box Monitoring Comprehensive event tracking No No No No No
Fault Detection In-built self-diagnostics No No No No No
Memory Write Count Monitors flash memory health No No No No No
Data Persistence 40 years without external power No No No No No
Temperature Guard Ensures optimal performance No No No No No
Auto-lock Duration Admin-defined (seconds to minutes) No No No No No

Unveiling the NFC HSM USB Drive EviKey’s Innovations

Deep Dive: Why EviKey is the Leading Choice

With standout features like the swift auto-lock function, EviKey solidifies its position as a market leader. Its rapid automatic re-locking capability, combined with easy NFC unlocking, minimizes vulnerability windows, ensuring top-notch security. The EviKey NFC HSM USB drive signifies not just storage but an investment in unparalleled SSH key protection.

Physical Robustness: Beyond Conventional Protection

Designed with precision, the EviKey NFC HSM USB drive is adept at handling adverse conditions. Enclosed in a military-grade resin, its robustness parallels that of steel. Its unique construction ensures the EviKey drive’s resilience to damage, and its waterproof quality even allows it to operate underwater. Beyond the physical, the drive also provides countermeasures against invasive and non-invasive brute force intrusions.

Independence from Encryption Systems: Freedom of Choice

EviKey NFC HSM USB drive’s design is devoid of a pre-set encryption system, a strategic move to offer users flexibility and security. This choice ensures evasion from issues tied to outdated or flawed cryptographic elements, which may require user updates. This architecture offers users the autonomy to choose their preferred encryption method for data storage on the EviKey drive. Furthermore, the option for drive segmentation allows users to create specific encrypted sections, such as a BitLocker space, diversifying its applications.

Versatility: A Universal Key

EviKey NFC HSM’s adaptability is not limited to SSH key storage. Its versatile nature allows integration with various security ecosystems. The drive can serve as a decryption key for encrypted SSDs, HDs and SDs TPM2.0. Moreover, its compatibility extends to password management, functioning as a password manager or a token, harmonizing with other advanced technologies from Freemindtronic such as EviCode HSM OpenPGP and EviPass HSM OpenPGP.

Conclusion

You now know how to create an SSH key under different operating systems, how to use a NFC HSM USB drive to store your physically externalized private SSH key, and how to use the public SSH key to authenticate locally, on a computer or on a server. You can thus enjoy a secure and convenient authentication method, without needing a password or additional software, while benefiting from an industrial level of security equivalent to SL4 according to the standard IEC 62443-3-3.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact Freemindtronic SL, designer, developer, manufacturer and publisher of applications embedding the EviKey NFC HSM technology. You can also buy the products integrating this technology from Freemindtronic’s partners.

Enhancing Crypto Wallet Security: How EviSeed and EviVault Could Have Prevented the $41M Crypto Heist

Crypto Wallet Security enhancing crypto wallet security how EviSeed and EviVault could have prevented the $41m crypto Heist crypto Lazarus APT38 BNP MATIC Heist

Crypto Wallet Security by Jacques Gascuel: This article will be updated with any new information on the topic.  

How EviSeed and EviVault Could Thwart a $41 Million Crypto Heist

Imagine waking up one day to discover that your crypto wallet has been hacked. As a result, all your funds are gone. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened to more than 50,000 StakeCube users who were staking cryptocurrencies. They lost a massive $41 million in a cyberattack by North Korean hackers. In this article, we will demonstrate how EviSeed and EviVault technologies, developed by Freemindtronic, could have thwarted this theft.

2024 Digital Security

PrintListener: How to Betray Fingerprints

2024 Articles Digital Security News

BitLocker Security: Safeguarding Against Cyberattacks

2024 Digital Security Spying

Ivanti Zero-Day Flaws: Comprehensive Guide to Secure Your Systems Now

2024 Articles Digital Security News Spying

How to protect yourself from stalkerware on any phone

2024 Articles Digital Security EviPass Password

Human Limitations in Strong Passwords Creation

2024 Articles Digital Security EviKey NFC HSM EviPass News SSH

Terrapin attack: How to Protect Yourself from this New Threat to SSH Security

2024 Articles Digital Security News Phishing

Google OAuth2 security flaw: How to Protect Yourself from Hackers

EviSeed and EviVault NFC HSM Technologies could have prevented the $41 million crypto theft by North Korean hackers.

Cryptocurrencies have gained immense popularity, but they have also become increasingly vulnerable to theft. Hackers actively search for vulnerabilities in cryptocurrency storage and exchange platforms, leading to them stealing millions of dollars from users. North Korean hackers recently stole $41 million from the Stake platform, resulting in a high-profile case. In this article, we explore how EviSeed and EviVault NFC HSM technologies could have prevented this theft.

The Significance of Mnemonic Phrases and Private Keys

Before delving into the advantages offered by EviSeed and EviVault, let’s first understand the significance of mnemonic phrases and private keys in cryptocurrency wallet security.

Understanding Mnemonic Phrases and Private Keys’ Role in Cryptocurrency Wallet Security

A mnemonic phrase consists of words used to generate and restore your private key, granting access to your cryptocurrency wallet and enabling transactions.Typically composed of 12, 18, or 24 words selected from a standardized list known as BIP39, a mnemonic phrase might look like:

apple, banana, lemon, orange, strawberry, kiwi, pineapple, mango, melon, watermelon, cherry, plum.

This mnemonic phrase is of utmost importance as it represents the sole means of recovering your cryptocurrency wallet in case of loss or theft of the storage device (e.g., smartphone, computer, USB key). Users must meticulously back it up and should never share it with anyone.

A private key, on the other hand, consists of a sequence of numbers and letters corresponding to the mnemonic phrase. It is employed for signing transactions and confirming ownership of the cryptocurrency wallet. A private key example is:

Securing Cryptocurrency Wallets

Now that we’ve examined the importance of mnemonic phrases and private keys, let’s discuss the risks associated with traditional backup methods and how EviSeed and EviVault technologies provide enhanced security solutions.

The Risks of Traditional Backup Methods for Mnemonic Phrases and Private Keys

Nevertheless, these methods have several drawbacks when it comes to cryptocurrency wallet security. Most cryptocurrency users choose to back up their mnemonic phrases and private keys using paper or metal media:

  • Impracticality: Manually writing or engraving mnemonic phrases and private keys can be tedious and prone to errors.
  • Inefficiency: Retrieving a cryptocurrency wallet or making transactions requires typing or memorizing the mnemonic phrase and private key, which can be time-consuming and cumbersome.
  • Lack of Durability: Paper and metal supports degrade over time, can be lost, damaged, or susceptible to environmental factors like fire, water, and physical harm.
  • Vulnerability: Physical and logical attacks are potential risks. For instance, if someone finds the support containing the mnemonic phrase and private key, they can access the cryptocurrency wallet and transfer funds to another address. If the support is connected to the internet, it can be infected with malware capable of stealing the mnemonic phrase and private key.

Why is Crypto Wallet Security Important?

Crypto wallet security involves protecting your crypto assets from unauthorized access, theft, or loss. Crypto wallet security involves two main components: your mnemonic phrase and your private key. Your mnemonic phrase is a sequence of words that is used to generate and restore your private key, which is the key that allows you to access your crypto wallet and make transactions. The mnemonic phrase and the private key are very important, because they are the only way to recover your crypto wallet in case of loss or theft of the support on which it is stored (smartphone, computer, USB key, etc.). You must therefore backup them carefully and never disclose them to anyone.

Crypto wallet security is important because cryptocurrencies are valuable and vulnerable to attacks. Hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in platforms storing and exchanging cryptocurrencies, employ phishing, malware, or social engineering to deceive users into disclosing their mnemonic phrases or private keys. If hackers get access to these keys, they can transfer the funds to their own addresses and make them untraceable. Therefore, you need to choose reliable and secure backup solutions for your mnemonic phrases and private keys, such as EviSeed and EviVault.

Enhancing Crypto Wallet Security with EviSeed

Now let’s find out how EviSeed technology enhances the security of the crypto wallet. It offers a secure alternative to traditional backup methods.

Simplicity and Automation for Enhanced Crypto Wallet Security

EviSeed simplifies crypto wallet creation, completing all tasks within seconds. It efficiently manages and encrypts mnemonic phrases and their corresponding private keys within the NFC HSM. This automation extends to generating public keys and addresses, ensuring robust Crypto Wallet Security. Importantly, this process occurs offline, shielding sensitive data from exposure. Users can effortlessly monitor their balances using their paired Android NFC smartphones.

Rigorous Security Measures: Protecting Your Crypto Wallet Security

EviSeed employs cutting-edge AES-256 post-quantum encryption in conjunction with key segmentation. Even if malicious actors gain physical access to the NFC HSM, decrypting the mnemonic phrase remains an insurmountable challenge without access to encryption keys and corresponding segments. The device features five segmented encryption keys, bolstered by up to four additional authentication criteria for each wallet, significantly enhancing Crypto Wallet Security. These criteria encompass geographic zones, fingerprints, BSSIDs (Wi-Fi network identifiers), and UIDs of paired Android NFC smartphones.

Multi-Layered Protection: Safeguarding Your Crypto Wallet Security

Access to the NFC HSM is exclusively possible via the Freemindtronic application, seamlessly integrating EviSeed technology for added security, reinforcing your Crypto Wallet Security. In the unlikely event of theft, attackers would require knowledge of all unique authentication criteria to decrypt the private key. Moreover, EviSeed generates an encrypted QR code containing your mnemonic phrase. This QR code can be printed, shared, sent, or used for backup between NFC HSMs, employing RSA 4096 encryption, further enhancing your Crypto Wallet Security. EviSeed also enables hassle-free crypto wallet creation, including an automatic backup of BIP39 seed phrases within NFC HSMs, alongside your private key. The technology effortlessly generates public keys and addresses, allowing you to conduct operations securely, all while maintaining the confidentiality of your seed phrase and private key.

Unmatched Durability for Uncompromising Crypto Wallet Security

NFC HSM devices used by EviSeed are engineered for resilience, with military-grade coatings that protect against water, extreme temperatures ranging from -40°C to +120°C, shocks, and scratches. These devices boast an impressive lifespan, powered by energy recovery from the paired Android smartphone’s NFC signal, ensuring long-term Crypto Wallet Security.

By integrating EviSeed NFC HSM technology into their crypto security strategy, users can significantly bolster the safety of their assets, mitigating the vulnerabilities associated with conventional backup methods, and fortifying their Crypto Wallet Security.

How EviVault NFC HSM Enhances Crypto Wallet Security

Now, let’s explore the remarkable capabilities of EviVault NFC HSM and how it elevates crypto wallet security to unprecedented levels.

A Distinctive Approach to Safeguarding Crypto Wallets

EviVault NFC HSM stands apart as a distinct technology from EviSeed NFC HSM. Its primary objective is to secure cryptocurrency-derived private keys physically and offline, all within a lightning-fast process of fewer than four seconds. This is achieved by scanning the QR code of the derived private key, ensuring swift and robust Crypto Wallet Security.

Error-free backup and storage

EviVault simplifies the process further by allowing users to securely record the BIP39-generated recovery phrase, and automatically store it encrypted in an NFC HSM. The user can easily select without using the keyboard assisted by automatic error control system. This has the effect of further strengthening the security of the cryptographic wallet by preventing the backup process in case of error. Thus, all these protection mechanisms are airtight to physical, logical or online threats.

Streamlined Security for Crypto Wallets

EviVault introduces a series of advantages over conventional methods that enhance Crypto Wallet Security comprehensively:

  • Simplicity: Users no longer need to manually enter the derived private key. The cumbersome practice of writing, engraving, or copying private keys in plain text, which can be susceptible to malicious third parties, becomes obsolete. Instead, users can swiftly scan the encrypted QR code of the derived private key, created by EviSeed technology, and store it securely within an EviVault NFC HSM in under four seconds.
  • Efficiency: Gone are the days of memorizing or typing private keys, or risking exposure by storing them in unencrypted forms. By merely passing their Android NFC smartphone paired with the NFC HSM under the NFC antenna, users can view the private key or its compressed/uncompressed public address. The technology even allows for secure sharing of private keys and encrypted public addresses via a pair of RSA 4096 keys, all without exposing sensitive data to the user’s phone or computer.
  • Durability: EviVault stands out with its robust design, devoid of connectors, screens, batteries, buttons, or any other wear-prone components. It offers a lifetime of service, powered by energy recovery from the paired Android smartphone’s NFC signal. Furthermore, EviVault NFC HSM devices, like their EviSeed counterparts, exhibit resistance to water, extreme temperatures ranging from -40°C to +120°C, shocks, and scratches, thanks to a military-grade component coating, ensuring top-tier Crypto Wallet Security in harsh environments.
  • Unyielding Security Measures: EviVault incorporates EviCore NFC HSM technology, featuring post-quantum AES-256 encryption and advanced key segmentation. Even if potential attackers gain physical access to the NFC card, decrypting the private key remains an insurmountable task without access to the encryption keys and corresponding segments, each exceeding 256 bits in complexity. Additionally, users can bolster Crypto Wallet Security by adding up to four segmented authentication criteria for each wallet, including geographical zones, fingerprints, BSSIDs (Wi-Fi network identifiers), or UIDs of paired Android NFC smartphones. Access to the NFC card remains exclusive through the Freemindtronic application, which incorporates EviVault technology, fortifying Crypto Wallet Security with an additional layer of protection.

Incorporating EviSeed or EviVault NFC HSM technology into their crypto security strategy empowers cryptocurrency users to elevate the security of their holdings significantly. These technologies not only eliminate vulnerabilities associated with conventional backup methods but also provide formidable protection against both physical and digital threats, ensuring unparalleled Crypto Wallet Security in today’s dynamic digital landscape.

Summary of Enhanced Cryptocurrency Security

The Crucial Role of Crypto Wallet Security

In summary, EviSeed and EviVault NFC HSM technologies offer innovative solutions to enhance cryptocurrency wallet security, safeguarding digital assets from physical and digital threats.

Protecting Your Investments

Given the increasing adoption of cryptocurrencies, it’s essential to invest in secure storage solutions such as EviSeed and EviVault for effective investment protection.

How a Flaw in the Unencrypted Private Key Backup System Allowed the North Korean Hackers to Steal $41 Million in Crypto from StakeCube and How EviSeed and EviVault Could Have Prevented It

March 2023 witnessed a group of North Korean hackers, Lazarus, or APT38. They stole $41 million in cryptocurrencies from StakeCube, an online casino and betting platform. These hackers took advantage of a flaw in the backup system; it stored unencrypted private keys on a centralized and insecure server. These attackers copied the private keys of more than 50,000 users from the server. Subsequently, they transferred the funds to their own addresses using these keys. These attackers evaded detection for several months with great organization and methodology. These attackers also concealed and laundered the stolen funds to make them hard to trace.

This incident emphasizes the significance of cryptocurrency wallet security and the necessity to select dependable and secure backup solutions for private keys and mnemonic phrases. In this article, we will show you how EviSeed and EviVault, two technologies developed by Freemindtronic, can help you protect your crypto assets from hackers.

Lazarus-affiliated North Korean hackers are renowned for their sophisticated attacks. In the case of the StakeCube theft, they demonstrated a high level of organization and methodology. However, EviSeed and EviVault’s advanced security features could have acted as formidable barriers, enhancing crypto wallet security.

  • Advanced encryption: EviSeed uses post-quantum AES-256 encryption, which makes it virtually impossible for hackers to decrypt the mnemonic phrases and private keys stored, even if they physically access the device.
  • Key segmentation: EviSeed’s key segmentation would have added another layer of protection. Without knowledge of the encryption keys and corresponding segments, which are greater than 256 bits, attackers couldn’t access the private keys.
  • Authentication criteria: Users can set up to four additional segmented authentication criteria for each wallet, including geographic zones, fingerprints, BSSID (Wi-Fi network identifiers) or UID of paired Android NFC smartphones. This would have made it extremely challenging for hackers to gain access.
  • Offline storage: EviSeed works offline, ensuring that mnemonic phrases and private keys are never exposed to the internet, a common entry point for hackers.

Cyber-Attack-Proof Crypto Wallet Security via EviVault

Cryptocurrencies are valuable digital assets that need protection from hackers or accidents. But how can you secure your crypto wallet effectively and easily? The answer is EviVault NFC HSM, an innovative solution that uses NFC technology to encrypt and backup your private keys.

You know how difficult it can be to back up and encrypt your private keys with traditional methods. This is also where the EviVault NFC HSM technology comes in. Let’s take a look at how EviVault improves crypto wallet security against potential threats, such as North Korean hackers. In the context of protecting your digital assets, we will discover how EviVault combines several protection measures:

  • Fortifying Physical Security: EviVault’s resolute physical security measures would have posed an insurmountable challenge to hackers. The private keys, nestled within the NFC card, would remain impenetrable.
  • Rampart of Encryption and Key Segmentation: EviVault would have placed attackers in a cryptographic deadlock. It employs post-quantum AES-256 encryption and meticulous key segmentation. Decrypting the private keys would become an exercise in futility.
  • Enhancing Authentication Criteria: EviVault introduces a layer of complexity by incorporating additional authentication criteria, such as geographic zones and fingerprints. These sophisticated layers would have further confounded hackers, rendering their attempts futile.
  • EviCore Integration: An Extra Layer of Security Access to the NFC card is exclusively governed by the Freemindtronic application, intricately woven with EviVault technology. This integration bestows an added layer of security. It ensures that even if the NFC HSM were stolen, attackers would be stymied by the intricate web of authentication criteria required to decrypt the private key.

We can’t rewrite history or reverse the result of the Stake hack, but it’s clear that EviSeed and EviVault NFC HSM technologies are strong advocates. These are indispensable tools to strengthen the security of the crypto wallet in today’s digital landscape. They act as your shield against potential threats. Note that the Keepser product an NFC Cold Wallet embedding EviVault NFC HSM technology from Freemindtronic click here to learn more.

Official Sources

To support the information presented in this article, we have used the following official sources:

  • [FBI press release] that attributes the theft to Lazarus, a North Korean state-sponsored cybercrime unit.
  • [IMF report] that analyzes the risks and challenges related to crypto-assets and proposes recommendations to strengthen supervision and international cooperation.
  • [Stake.com official website], the online casino and betting platform victim of the theft, that explains how the theft occurred and how they plan to reimburse their users.
  • [Freemindtronic official website], the company that developed EviSeed and EviVault technologies, that presents the benefits and features of these secure backup solutions for private keys and mnemonic phrases.