Category Archives: Articles

image_pdfimage_print

Quantum computing RSA encryption: a threat and a solution

Quantum computing RSA encryption
Quantum computing RSA encryption by Jacques Gascuel: This article will be updated with any new information on the topic.

Quantum computers RSA cryptography: how to secure your data

Quantum computers can break RSA encryption, which secures our online data. But there are solutions that are resistant to quantum attacks. One of them is Freemindtronic, an Andorran company that notably uses NFC HSM technology to share AES-256 keys using RSA-4096 encryption, which quantum computers cannot decipher.

2024 Articles Cardokey EviSwap NFC NDEF Technology GreenTech Technical News

NFC vCard Cardokey: Revolutionizing Digital Networking

2023 Articles Cardokey Eco-friendly EviSwap NFC NDEF Technology GreenTech

NFC Business Cards with Cardokey free for life: How to Connect without Revealing

2023 Articles Cyberculture Eco-friendly Electronics GreenTech Technologies

The first wood transistor for green electronics

Eco-friendly GreenTech

Hardware secrets manager Eco-friendly

Quantum computing RSA encryption: a challenge and a solution

Quantum computing RSA encryption is a challenge for online security. Quantum computing is a new way of computing that uses quantum physics. It can do things that classical computers cannot or are too slow to do. One of these things is breaking RSA encryption, which secures data online. RSA encryption is based on the difficulty of factoring large numbers. Quantum computers can factor large numbers faster than classical computers. They use algorithms like Shor’s algorithm, which exploits quantum properties.

However, this threat is not imminent. Building and using quantum computers is still challenging and uncertain. Two recent announcements claimed to have cracked RSA encryption with quantum systems. But they have not been verified. The experts are skeptical and doubtful. They have not provided any evidence or details. They have made unrealistic or too good to be true claims. They have not been peer-reviewed or reproduced.

What is RSA encryption?

RSA encryption is a type of asymmetric encryption. It uses two keys: a public key and a private key. The public key can be shared with anyone, but the private key must be kept secret. They are mathematically related, but it is very hard to find the private key from the public key.

How does RSA encryption work?

RSA encryption uses large prime numbers to generate the keys. The public key and the private key are based on the product of two prime numbers. It is easy to multiply two prime numbers, but very hard to factor their product. For example, 17 x 23 = 391, but finding that 391 = 17 x 23 is much harder.

RSA encryption uses keys that are 2048 or 4096 bits long. These are numbers that have 2048 or 4096 binary digits (0 or 1). They are so large that it would take billions of years for a classical computer to factor them. Therefore, RSA encryption is very secure and widely used for online security.

What is quantum computing and how does it work?

Quantum computing is a new way of computing that uses quantum physics. It can do things that classical computers cannot or are too slow to do. Here is how it works:

  • Qubits: Quantum computers use quantum bits, or qubits. They can be 0 or 1, or both at the same time. This is called superposition. When we measure a qubit, it becomes either 0 or 1. This gives us more information than a classical bit, which is always 0 or 1.
  • Entanglement: Quantum computers can also use entanglement. This is when two qubits share a quantum state and affect each other, even if they are far apart. This allows us to manipulate multiple qubits at once and create complex quantum states.
  • Parallelism: Quantum computers can use these properties to perform parallel computations. This means they can do many calculations at the same time, using fewer qubits than classical bits. This can speed up some tasks that are hard for classical computers.

One of these tasks is breaking RSA encryption, which is based on factoring large numbers. Quantum computers can use a quantum algorithm, called Shor’s algorithm, to factor large numbers faster than classical computers. This can break RSA encryption by finding the private key from the public key. However, this requires a quantum computer with many qubits and low errors, which we do not have yet.

Quantum computing RSA encryption: a challenge and a solution

The ability to find an RSA private key from its public key by a quantum computer poses a serious threat to online security. However, this threat is not imminent, as there are still many challenges and uncertainties in building and using quantum computers. Two recent announcements have claimed to have cracked RSA encryption with quantum systems, but they have not been verified and have been met with skepticism and doubt from the experts. They have not provided any evidence or details of their work. They have made assumptions and claims that seem unrealistic or too good to be true. They have not been peer-reviewed or reproduced by other sources.

How quantum computers can break RSA encryption

RSA encryption is a type of asymmetric encryption. It uses two keys: a public key and a private key. The public key can be shared with anyone, but the private key must be kept secret. They are mathematically related, but it is very hard to find the private key from the public key.

RSA encryption uses large prime numbers to generate the keys. The public key and the private key are based on the product of two prime numbers. It is easy to multiply two prime numbers, but very hard to factor their product. For example, 17 x 23 = 391, but finding that 391 = 17 x 23 is much harder.

RSA encryption uses keys that are 2048 or 4096 bits long. These are numbers that have 2048 or 4096 binary digits (0 or 1). They are so large that it would take billions of years for a classical computer to factor them. Therefore, RSA encryption is very secure and widely used for online security.

Quantum computers can break RSA encryption by finding the prime factors of the composite number that is used to generate the public and private keys. Once the prime factors are known, the private key can be easily calculated from the public key, and the encrypted messages can be decrypted. Quantum computers can use a quantum algorithm, called Shor’s algorithm, to factor large numbers faster than classical computers. Shor’s algorithm can factor a large number in polynomial time, which means that the time it takes to factor a number grows relatively slowly as the number gets larger. In contrast, the best classical algorithms for factoring are exponential, which means that the time it takes to factor a number grows very fast as the number gets larger.

Two claims of breaking RSA encryption with quantum systems

Two recent announcements have raised concerns about quantum computing RSA encryption. One is from a team of Chinese researchers, who published a paper on arXiv in December 2022. They claim to have found a faster way to break RSA encryption with a quantum computer of 372 qubits. They combine a classical algorithm, called Schnorr’s algorithm, with a quantum algorithm, called QAOA (Quantum Approximate Optimization Algorithm). Schnorr’s algorithm is a method of factoring large numbers that uses a probabilistic approach and a lattice reduction technique. QAOA is a method of finding approximate solutions to optimization problems using a quantum computer.

The researchers say that by applying QAOA to the most computationally intensive step of Schnorr’s algorithm, they can reduce the number of qubits and the number of operations needed to factor a large number. They also say that they tested their method on a 10-qubit quantum computer and succeeded in factoring a 48-bit number. They extrapolate that their method can scale to factor a 2048-bit number, which is the standard for RSA encryption.

The other announcement is from a researcher named Ed Gerck, who posted on LinkedIn in November 2023. He claims to have decrypted RSA-2048 encryption, the most used public-key algorithm, with a quantum system implementable on a smartphone or a PC running Linux. He says that he developed a quantum algorithm that can calculate prime numbers faster than Shor’s algorithm and that he proved several mathematical conjectures, such as Goldbach’s conjecture. He published an excerpt of his work, but has not provided any proof or detail of his method.

Both announcements are not verified and have been met with skepticism and doubt from the experts. They have not provided any evidence or details of their work. They have made assumptions and claims that seem unrealistic or too good to be true. They have not been peer-reviewed or reproduced by other sources.

Quantum computing RSA encryption: possible solutions

How to protect RSA encryption from quantum attacks?

However, this announcement is not yet verified, and it raises many questions in the scientific community. It is therefore premature to draw hasty conclusions, and we must wait for the publication of the evidence of his work. It is also possible that RSA encryption can be adapted to resist quantum attacks, for example by increasing the length of the keys, or by using masking techniques. In addition, there are alternatives to RSA encryption, supposed to be more robust against quantum computing. These are post-quantum cryptography algorithms, based on other mathematical problems that are difficult to solve for quantum computers. Post-quantum cryptography is a very active field of research, which aims to anticipate the threats that quantum computers would pose to the security of communications. There are several potential candidates to replace RSA encryption, but they must be evaluated and compared in order to choose the most suitable ones for different needs and constraints. The NIST has launched an international competition to select and standardize the best post-quantum encryption algorithms, which should be ready by 2024.

What are the alternatives to RSA encryption?

Some of the alternatives to RSA encryption that are considered to be more resistant to quantum attacks are:

  • Lattice-based cryptography: This is based on the hardness of finding the shortest vector in a high-dimensional lattice, or the closest vector to a given point. Lattice-based cryptography has the advantage of being fast, versatile, and allowing for advanced features such as homomorphic encryption and digital signatures. Some examples of lattice-based algorithms are NTRU, BLISS, and NewHope.
  • Code-based cryptography: This is based on the hardness of decoding a general linear code, or finding the error vector in a noisy transmission. Code-based cryptography has the advantage of being simple, efficient, and having a long history of security analysis. Some examples of code-based algorithms are McEliece, Niederreiter, and BIKE.
  • Multivariate cryptography: This is based on the hardness of solving a system of multivariate polynomial equations over a finite field. Multivariate cryptography has the advantage of being compact, flexible, and allowing for various applications such as encryption, signatures, and identification. Some examples of multivariate algorithms are Rainbow, HFE, and GeMSS.
  • Hash-based cryptography: This is based on the hardness of finding collisions or preimages for a cryptographic hash function. Hash-based cryptography has the advantage of being simple, provably secure, and relying on minimal assumptions. Some examples of hash-based algorithms are XMSS, SPHINCS, and LMS.

How Freemindtronic protects data with RSA-4096 and NFC technology

Freemindtronic is an Andorran company that specializes in security and cybersecurity of information and computer systems. It designs and develops products and services based on NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, which allows wireless communication at short distance.

The HSM of Freemindtronic: devices that store and protect cryptographic keys

One of the products of Freemindtronic is the HSM (Hardware Security Module), which is a device that stores and protects cryptographic keys. The HSM of Freemindtronic uses two technologies: EviCore HSM OpenPGP and EviCore NFC HSM.

  • EviCore HSM OpenPGP is an implementation of the OpenPGP standard, an open standard for encryption and signature of data. It can manage symmetric and asymmetric encryption keys, both standard and OpenPGP. It can also create HSM on any type of storage device, such as key store, key chain, SD card, SSD, USB drive, NAS, cloud, etc. It can work in fixed, offline, or online mode (LAN/WAN).
  • EviCore NFC HSM is a technology that allows to share AES-256 standard keys using RSA-4096 standard encryption. It works without contact with NFC HSM, which use a pair of RSA-4096 keys for secret sharing (AES-256 encryption keys).

The AES-256 standard: a type of symmetric encryption with high level of security

The AES-256 standard is a type of symmetric encryption, which means that it uses the same key to encrypt and decrypt messages. The AES-256 standard offers a high level of security, as it uses keys that are 256 bits long, which are very hard to crack by brute force. The AES-256 standard is widely used for encrypting data and communications, such as files, emails, or messages.

The RSA-4096 encryption: a type of asymmetric encryption that protects the AES-256 keys from quantum attacks

However, the AES-256 standard requires that the key be securely transmitted between the sender and the receiver, without being intercepted, modified, or forged by an attacker. This is where the RSA-4096 encryption comes in, as it provides a way to protect the AES-256 keys from quantum attacks.

The RSA-4096 encryption is a type of asymmetric encryption, which means that it uses two different keys to encrypt and decrypt messages: a public key and a private key. The public key can be shared with anyone, while the private key must be kept secret. The RSA-4096 encryption uses keys that are 4096 bits long, which are out of reach of the current or future quantum computers. The RSA-4096 encryption can encrypt the AES-256 keys with the public key of the receiver, and decrypt them with the private key of the receiver. Thus, only the receiver can access the AES-256 keys, and use them to encrypt or decrypt the messages. The RSA-4096 encryption can also sign the AES-256 keys with the private key of the sender, and verify them with the public key of the sender. Thus, the receiver can ensure the identity of the sender, and the integrity of the AES-256 keys.

The RSA-4096 encryption is therefore an effective way to protect the AES-256 keys from quantum attacks, as it uses keys that are 4096 bits long, which are out of reach of the current or future quantum computers.

The RSA-4096 encryption is also a practical way to share the AES-256 keys between the HSM, as it uses the NFC technology, which allows wireless communication at short distance. The RSA-4096 encryption is therefore a major asset for the technologies of Freemindtronic, which offer an optimal security for the encryption of data.

Conclusion

Quantum computing is a new paradigm of computing that could break RSA encryption, the most common encryption method on the internet. With only 372 qubits, a quantum computer could break RSA encryption, exposing our online data and communications. However, there are solutions and alternatives that can resist quantum attacks. One of them is Freemindtronic, an Andorran company that uses NFC technology to share AES-256 standard keys using RSA-4096 standard encryption, which is beyond the reach of quantum computers. Freemindtronic’s technologies are based on the EviCore HSM OpenPGP and the EviCore NFC HSM, which are hardware devices that store and protect cryptographic keys. EviCore HSM OpenPGP transforms your smartphone, tablet or computer into a hardware security module compatible with the OpenPGP standard. EviCore NFC HSM allows you to store and use your crypto keys and secrets in a contactless NFC device, such as a card, a sticker, or a keychain. Both technologies offer features such as offline isolation, seamless integration, enhanced user experience, and multi-factor authentication. Therefore, Freemindtronic’s technologies are innovative and secure solutions for data and communication encryption, which can withstand quantum attacks and ensure the privacy and integrity of online activities.

NFC Business Cards with Cardokey free for life: How to Connect without Revealing

Cardokey NFC vCard Business: Edit, Read, and Import Contacts Seamlessly on iPhone.
NFC Business Cards with Cardokey by Jacques Gascuel: This article will be updated with any new information on the topic.

How to Create NFC Business Cards with Cardokey

Do you want to create your contact information in a simple, fast and eco-friendly way? Do you want to use NFC technology without spending a fortune or compromising your privacy? Then you need to read this article about Cardokey, the app that’s revolutionizing NFC business cards.

2024 Articles Cardokey EviSwap NFC NDEF Technology GreenTech Technical News

NFC vCard Cardokey: Revolutionizing Digital Networking

2023 Articles Cardokey Eco-friendly EviSwap NFC NDEF Technology GreenTech

NFC Business Cards with Cardokey free for life: How to Connect without Revealing

2023 Articles Cyberculture Eco-friendly Electronics GreenTech Technologies

The first wood transistor for green electronics

Eco-friendly GreenTech

Hardware secrets manager Eco-friendly

NFC Business Cards: Create your NFC vCard with Cardokey, the Eco-Friendly and Secure NFC App

Are you looking for an eco-friendly way to create contactless business cards? Do you want to benefit from affordable NFC technology and prioritize privacy? You’ll love Cardokey – the app revolutionizing NFC business cards! Cardokey, the NFC business card that connects you while protecting your privacy.

What is Cardokey and how does it work?

Cardokey: Free App for Eco-Friendly NFC Business Cards

You can easily and free create and share your business cards, your social network links or links to your favorite sites for life. Recycle any NFC Tag, NFC Ticket, NFC Sticker or NFC card allowing the use of the NDEF format.
Use of the free Cardokey application is completely anonymous and does not ask for any personal or professional information. You therefore do not need to create an account or identify yourself to use Cardokey.

Cardokey: a compliant and sustainable solution

Cardokey adheres to various standards like ISO/IEC 7816-4, ISO/IEC 14443, NFC Forum Type 2, ISO/IEC 18092, and ISO/IEC 15693 without compromising your privacy or security. It also complies with international data protection laws such as GDPR, PIPEDA, CCPA, and more.

Cardokey is an eco-designed solution that contributes to the UN Goal 12. Consequently, it complies with international standards for eco-responsible practices, circular and solidarity economy, sustainable economy and carbon footprint reduction.

Cardokey: a compatible and versatile app

NFC business cards created with Cardokey are compatible with all NFC phones, Android and iPhone. The application works in real time, offline, without a database, including in airplane mode. This means that you can modify the information contained in the memory of your NFC media at any time. The app also allows you to format any NFC Media to NDEF format and also erase almost all types of NFC chips.

Cardokey: a simple and fast way to share your contact information

Digital business cards created with Cardokey can be shared in seconds. In fact, your interlocutor does not need to download a specific application in order to be able to read the information you wish to share. All he has to do is place the digital business card under his phone equipped with NFC technology to see the information.

How to create an NFC business card with Cardokey that fits the memory size of your NFC media?

The intelligent system of Cardokey

One of the most interesting features of Cardokey is the automatic management of the memory size of forms. The contact form indicates in real time the actual occupancy of the NDEF memory based on the number of characters. The Cardokey user knows the type of vCard information. He can store it according to the memory size. The memory size depends on the NFC media.

The different types of NFC Media and their memory size

It is possible to make a vCard with a minimum of name, surname and email information for a very small NFC memory4. For example, on an NTAG Nano, which has a capacity of 160 bytes and can store NDEF messages of up to 128 bytes, one can store basic information like a person’s name, surname, phone number, and email address.

Or, more complete information can be stored on a ST25TV02K chip, which has a capacity of 256 bytes and can store NDEF messages of up to 224 bytes. In this case, one can include a person’s name, surname, title, organization, phone number, email address, and postal address.

The steps to create an NFC business card with Cardokey

You can create NFC business cards that fit the memory size of your media without losing information. This allows you to optimize the use of your NFC Media and take advantage of their full capabilities.

To create NFC business cards that fit the memory size of your media, simply follow these steps:

  • Open the Cardokey app and choose the type of content you want to create (business card, URL link, social media link).
  • Enter the information you want to share in the contact form. The form tells you in real time how much memory your data is occupying and how much memory is available on your media.
  • Hover your smartphone to the NFC media of your choice. The app writes the data to the NFC media and confirms that the NFC business card has been created successfully.
  • Test your NFC business card by scanning it with your smartphone or another NFC phone. You’ll see the information you’ve shared on the screen.

That’s it, you’ve created an NFC business card adapted to the memory size of your media, thanks to Cardokey’s automatic form memory size management feature

What are the benefits of NFC business cards with Cardokey?

Cardokey is free and anonymous

Cardokey is a free app that lets you create NFC vCard business cards easily. You can create as many NFC business cards as you want, without paying any fees or signing up for any subscriptions. Moreover, Cardokey is completely anonymous and does not ask for any personal or professional information from the user. You don’t need to create an account or fill in any data. Everything works offline, in real-time, without a database.

Cardokey is easy to use

Cardokey is very easy to use, with one-click installation and operation. You don’t need any technical knowledge or specific hardware to create your NFC business cards. All you have to do is download the app on your smartphone, choose the type of content you want to create, enter the information you want to share, and swipe your smartphone on the NFC media of your choice. And there you have it, your NFC business card is ready! Furthermore, Cardokey features an intelligent system that optimizes the NDEF memory management of NFC media. This provides an optimal user experience.

How Cardokey protects your data with EviSwap NFC NDEF technology

The innovative features of EviSwap NFC NDEF technology

Cardokey uses EviSwap NFC NDEF technology by Freemindtronic for cybersecurity. This is an innovative technology that lets you create and share digital contacts contactless for life. With a simple click, you can create NFC business cards on any NFC media, whether it is disposable or not. You can give a new use to NFC tickets, cards, labels, and tags. You can also rewrite your NFC business cards at least a million times without any risk of error. You can use them for more than 40 years without needing a power source.

The standard and secure format of EviSwap NFC NDEF technology

EviSwap NFC NDEF technology is a technology that uses NFC to facilitate data exchange by implementing the NDEF NFC standard. NDEF stands for NFC Data Exchange Format. It is a standardized format that contains structured data, such as contacts, links, texts, images, etc. NDEF files are compatible with most computer and phone terminals, which can read and write them directly on the NFC memory. EviSwap NFC NDEF technology is especially used by Freemindtronic to exchange encrypted data from human to human from an NFC media, ensuring data security and privacy.

The performance and durability of EviSwap NFC NDEF technology for industrial chips

EviSwap NFC NDEF technology is also compatible with all NFC NDEF media, but it has the advantage of being optimized for Freemindtronic’s NFC HSM industrial chips. These chips can operate in a wide range of temperatures, from -40°C to +85°C. They can withstand harsh environments and resist shocks, vibrations, and water. They are ideal for applications that require reliability and robustness, such as logistics, manufacturing, or security. Moreover, EviSwap NFC NDEF technology is optimized to exchange the largest quantity of information stored in a large NFC memory. For example, it is possible to store NDEF messages of up to 7.9 kilobytes on an M24LR64E-R chip, which has a capacity of 8 kilobytes. In this case, one can add all types of vCard data as well as security keys, digital signature keys and other custom data.

Cardokey: the anonymous and reusable solution for creating NFC business cards

Cardokey is a secure and reusable solution. The Cardokey app works anonymously. It is not connected to a remote service. It does not store in the phone the data. It does not ask you for any information about the user. Finally, it works in real time in Air Gap Network Security . The EviSwap technology also includes an intelligent system to optimize the memory management of NFC media. The goal is to improve the user experience. The intelligent system informs the user in real time of the limits imposed by the maximum size of the NDEF memory available in the media. This allows you to easily store data according to the memory size.

Cardokey, an eco-friendly application

Cardokey isn’t just a universal app for people worldwide; it’s also eco-friendly, allowing you to recycle NFC media and reduce their environmental impact.

How Cardokey recycles NFC Media

NFC media, such as tags, cards or bracelets, are made of several elements and materials, such as PET (polyethylene terephthalate), aluminum or copper for the antenna, a silicon NFC chip, gold or other metals, and an adhesive. These materials are not all easily recyclable, and can cause pollution or waste problems. For example, PET is a common plastic, that is used in many consumer products, like water bottles or packaging. Although PET is recyclable, when it is used in large quantities and in the form of an NFC tag, it is hard to separate PET from other components for recycling, and it tends to clog the treatment filters. Moreover, the metal of an NFC antenna is difficult to recover and recycle. Finally, the NFC chip itself contains precious metals, that are often lost during the recycling process.

To avoid these problems, Cardokey offers an innovative and ecological solution: it allows you to recycle NFC media by reusing them to create new NFC business cards. Instead of throwing away your old NFC tags, cards or bracelets, you can transform them into NFC business cards with Cardokey, and give them a new life. You can also use existing NFC media, such as transport tickets, or access badges, and convert them into NFC business cards with Cardokey. You can thus enjoy all the benefits of NFC technology, without generating additional waste.

How Cardokey works with different types of NFC chips

Cardokey recycles all types of NFC chips (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5), regardless of ISO standards (14443, 15693, 18092). It detects chip types and adjusts accordingly for maximum compatibility. For example, Cardokey can read and write to NFC chips that have enough memory to store information, such as NTAG, MIFARE or ICODE chips. However, Cardokey will not be able to format, erase or modify NFC chips that are permanently locked.

How Cardokey helps you create personalized NFC business cards

By using Cardokey, you can recycle NFC media and turn them into personalized NFC business cards, that contain the information you want to share, such as your name, company, title, website, email, phone number, and more. You can also create URL links to documents or presentations that are useful for your business, such as quotes, contracts, portfolios, and more. You can also create pre-configured links to your favorite social networks, such as Deviantart, Discord, Facebook, Flickr, GitHub, ICQ, Instagram, LinkedIn, Mastodon, Medium, Pinterest, Reddit, Skype, Slack, Snapchat, SoundCloud, Spotify, Steam, Telegram, TikTok, Tumblr, Twitch, Twitter, VKontakte, WeChat, WhatsApp, YouTube, etc. Finally, you can manage your data and contacts in the NFC card, edit or delete them at any time, and view them on your phone or card.

How Cardokey contributes to the preservation of the planet

If we consider the 14 languages ​​available in the Cardokey application, this represents more than 3.7 billion potential users. These potential users can each recycle 10 NFC media each year. This represents 37 billion NFC supports annually. This reduces the environmental impact of NFC and helps preserve the planet.

How Cardokey is eco-friendly and compliant

Cardokey is an eco-designed solution that contributes to the UN Goal 12. This goal aims to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. It complies with ISO 14001, Basel and WEEE standards. It also follows international standards for eco-responsible practices, circular and solidarity economy, sustainable economy and carbon footprint reduction. In addition, Cardokey complies with various standards and regulations. These include ISO/IEC 7816-4, ISO/IEC 14443, NFC Forum Type 2, ISO/IEC 18092 and ISO/IEC 15693. It also follows international law rules on the protection of private and professional data. These include the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and others.

Unlike other NFC business card solutions, which are often paid, limited, complex or not very environmentally friendly, Cardokey offers you a free, unlimited, simple and eco-designed solution.

Cardokey therefore offers you an innovative and ecological solution to create NFC business cards that look like you and that suit your needs. Thanks to its recycling feature, you can also reuse NFC media and turn them into personalized NFC business cards.

Cardokey: a universal app

Cardokey is designed to let you create and manage your NFC business cards in a simple and efficient way. But did you know that Cardokey is also a universal app, which can be used by people from all over the world, regardless of their language?
Indeed, Cardokey is available in 14 languages: Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, English, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, and Ukrainian. This represents more than 86.02% of the languages spoken in the world, and more than 3.7 billion people who can use the app in their native language or in a language they master.

Moreover, Cardokey automatically adapts to the language of the phone where it is installed. If the user changes the language of their phone, Cardokey will do the same. Thus, you can create and manage your NFC business cards in the language of your choice, and enjoy all the features of the app.

You can also choose to share your information in multiple languages, by creating different profiles for each language. For example, you can have a profile in French for your French-speaking contacts, a profile in English for your English-speaking contacts, and a profile in Chinese for your Chinese contacts.

Cardokey offers you great flexibility and creativity to create NFC business cards that suit you and your needs.

How NFC vCards work

NFC stands for Near Field Communication. It is a technology that allows two media to communicate with each other when they are close to each other. NFC business cards with Cardokey use this technology to share your contact information in a simple and fast way.

An NFC tag is a media that contains a tiny electronic chip that can store and exchange data. It can have different shapes, such as stickers, keychains or physical cards. When you bring your smartphone near an NFC tag, the data associated with the tag appears automatically on your screen.

NFC vCard business cards with Cardokey are a great alternative to paper business cards, which are often thrown away, lost or outdated. They are eco-friendly, reusable and updated. They also save you time and money, as you don’t need to print or carry them. Moreover, they are more secure and anonymous, as you don’t need to share your personal data or connect to the Internet to use them.

What are the features of Cardokey NFC vCard business cards?

Cardokey offers many features that allow you to create and manage your NFC digital business cards. Here’s a table that summarizes Cardokey’s features:

Function Available
Create a vCard (contact) taking into account the available space ✔️
Create an NDEF NFC Vcard (Manually) ✔️
Create a vCard from an existing contact in the phone ✔️
Modify any existing NFC vCard created by other paid or free apps to make it easier to recycle and update them ✔️
Delete data stored in the NDEF of an NFC media ✔️
Format all types of NFC media to add NDEF compatibility ✔️
Create and store in the NDEF memory of any existing NFC media: your pre-configured links for social networks, the url of your choice, a vCard contact ✔️
Data management in the NFC Media: Create, Read, Update, Delete (CRUD) ✔️
Explanation of each pcictogram and its feature in the application ✔️
Show contact on phone and NFC Media ✔️
Automatic management of the memory size of the NFC card ✔️
Translation into 14 languages: CA, FR, EN, UK, ES, DE, IT, PT, RO, RU, AR, HI, ZH,JP ✔️
Information de contact de Freemindtronic ✔️
Information about the publisher of the Freemindtronic software ✔️
Direct link on the play store to buy the Cardokey Pro version and NFC Medial ✔️
Cardokey is a recycling solution for all types of disposable or non-disposable NFC Media ✔️

 

With these features, you can create a custom NFC business card, which contains the information you want to share, such as your name, company, title, website, email, phone number, and more. You can also create URL links to documents or presentations that are useful for your business, such as quotes, contracts, portfolios, and more. You can also create pre-configured links to your favorite social networks, such as Deviantart, Discord, Facebook, Flickr, GitHub, ICQ, Instagram, LinkedIn, Mastodon, Medium, Pinterest, Reddit, Skype, Slack, Snapchat, SoundCloud, Spotify, Steam, Telegram, TikTok, Tumblr, Twitch, Twitter, VKontakte, WeChat, WhatsApp, YouTube, etc. Finally, you can manage your data and contacts in the NFC card, edit or delete them at any time, and view them on your phone or card. These features give you a lot of freedom and creativity to create NFC business cards that look and match you.

What are the use cases for NFC business cards with Cardokey?

There are many of them, whether for business or personal needs. Here are some examples of use cases:

Andorra: keep in memory a special event

During the winter, a family visits Andorra’s Granvalira for their child’s first ski lesson and to experience their first snowflake, star, etc. The family keeps the NFC ski ticket formatted in NDEF format. Then, they save a URL that links to a page with all the photos and videos of this event. The ski ticket has become a souvenir object that will be kept for several years. In this case, Cardokey allows you to create an NFC business card with a URL that links to a page where there are all the photos, videos of this event.

Exhibitor: a connected poster with NFC tags

At a booth event, Marius uses self-adhesive NFC tags that they stick behind a poster holder advertising their products with a URL link that directs the visitor to their product information on the poster. The exhibitor can change the poster of his support with Cardokey. He can put a new poster and change the URL link of his new poster. This way, the exhibitor makes a simple poster a connected poster. In this case, Cardokey allows you to create an NFC business card with a URL link that directs the visitor to your product information on the poster.

Goodies: Offer NFC business cards

During a trade show, Mary offers her visitors NFC business cards with her brand as goodies. This allows her to make herself known and retain the loyalty of his potential clients, who will be able to scan her NFC business card with their smartphone to access her website, her LinkedIn profile, her portfolio, etc. Mary can purchase her NFC media from any NFC media e-commerce site or order from Cardokey NFC Cards with an extremely long lifespan of up to 1 million writes and 40 years of vCard retention NFC or URL or network link. In this case, Cardokey allows you to create an NFC vCard with all of Mary’s contact details to offer to her visitors.

Tourist: NFC business cards in different languages

While traveling abroad, Tao uses Cardokey to create his NFC business card with his contact details in his native language. This allows him to easily introduce himself to the people he meets. In fact, they will be able to scan his vcard with their smartphone to see the information translated into their language. He can also use Cardokey to save URL links to websites or applications useful for his trip, such as tourist guides, maps, booking services, etc. In this case, Cardokey allows you to create an NFC business card with your contact details in your native language.

Family: An NFC business card collecting memories

During a family reunion, a family member uses Cardokey to store links to photos and memories on NFC media. Before leaving each other, everyone takes their NFC media. Later, they will be able to relive their life moments with their loved ones, who will simply scan the NFC vcards with their smartphone to view their images, videos, messages, etc. They will also be able to use Cardokey to create URL links to websites or applications that are important to them, such as associations, causes, passions, etc. In this case, Cardokey allows you to create an NFC business card with your photos and memories.

How to download and install Cardokey?

To use Cardokey, you need an NFC-enabled smartphone, i.e. one that has an NFC chip and can read and write NFC data. Most recent smartphones are NFC-enabled, but you can check your smartphone’s compatibility on the Cardokey website.

Cardokey is available in 14 languages (Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, German, English, French, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Ukrainian). You can download it in any country that accepts the Google play store or app store platform.

To download and install Cardokey on your smartphone, all you need to do is follow these steps:

  • Go to the Google Play Store or App Store and search for “Cardokey”.
  • Select the app and click “Install”.
  • Open the app and agree to the terms of use.
  • Start creating your NFC business cards!

If you are interested in Cardokey, feel free to download it now by clicking on the following link:

In short

Cardokey is a free, user-friendly, eco-conscious app compliant with global privacy and data protection laws. It allows you to create NFC vCard business cards for all Android and iPhone NFC phones. It also lets you reuse and customize NFC media.

Cardokey is the NFC business card that connects you without revealing you. It lets you exchange your contact details without contact and without paper. It offers you a free, unlimited, simple and eco-designed solution.

Definition of technical terms:

  • NFC (Near Field Communication): a technology that allows two devices to communicate with each other when they are close to each other.
  • NDEF (NFC Data Exchange Format): a standard format for storing and exchanging data on NFC media.
  • vCard: a digital format for storing and sharing contact information, such as name, phone number, email address, etc.
  • Air Gap

Brute Force Attacks: What They Are and How to Protect Yourself

Brute Force Attacks Cyber Attack Guide
brute force attacks by Jacques Gascuel: This article will be updated with any new information on the topic.

Everything You Need to Know About Brute-force Attacks

80% of cyberattacks are brute force attacks. This technique tests all combinations to find a system’s password, key, or URL. These attacks threaten the security of your data. How to protect yourself? What tools and practices should be adopted? This article explains.

2024 Cyberculture Digital Security

Russian Cyberattack Microsoft: An Unprecedented Threat

2024 Digital Security

Europol Data Breach: A Detailed Analysis

2024 Cyberculture Digital Security News Training

Andorra National Cyberattack Simulation: A Global First in Cyber Defense

2024 Digital Security

Apple M chip vulnerability: A Breach in Data Security

2024 Digital Security

Cybersecurity Breach at IMF: A Detailed Investigation

Brute-force Attacks: A Comprehensive Guide to Understand and Prevent Them

Brute Force: danger and protection 80% of cyberattacks are brute force attacks. This technique tests all combinations to find the password, key, URL or hash of a system. These attacks threaten the security of your data. How to protect yourself? What tools and practices to adopt? This article explains:

  • Brute force types and methods : they vary according to the hackers’ method, the intrusion level and the application domain.
  • Brute force on electronic components : physical or electrical techniques are used to target chips or boards.
  • Brute force on passwords, keys, URLs and hashes : software or network techniques are used to access websites, online accounts, encrypted files, etc.
  • Brute force on phone systems : code or key techniques are used to hack landlines, mobiles or VoIP services.
  • Protection from brute force on devices and domains : encryption, authentication, masking, verification or correction techniques can help you strengthen your security.
  • Resistance evaluation of products or services to brute force : a scoring model based on the attack type and severity can help you assess the risk.

Types and Methods of Brute-force Attacks

There are several types and methods of brute force attacks, depending on the hackers’ method, the level of intrusion, and the domain of application.

Hackers’ Method

Hackers can use different methods to perform brute force attacks, depending on the type of data they want to obtain or modify. Here are the most common ones:

  • Simple brute force attacks: hackers try to guess the password of a user without using software, based on personal information or common passwords. These attacks work against users who have weak and easy-to-guess passwords, such as “password”, “1234567890”, or “qwerty”.
  • Dictionary attacks: hackers use software that tries passwords from a predefined list of common words, such as those from a dictionary or a database. These attacks are faster than simple ones but less effective against complex and random passwords.
  • Hybrid brute force attacks: hackers combine the previous two methods by adding variations to the dictionary words, such as numbers, symbols, or capital letters. These attacks are more sophisticated and can crack more robust passwords but they take more time and resources.
  • Reverse brute force attacks: hackers target the username rather than the password, assuming that the password is easier to guess or obtain by other means. These attacks are useful to access accounts that use the same username on multiple sites or services.
  • Distributed brute force attacks: hackers use multiple computers or devices connected to the Internet to perform brute force attacks simultaneously on the same target. These attacks are more powerful and harder to detect because they distribute the load and avoid security measures such as attempt limits or IP blocks.
  • Non-invasive faster than brute force attacks: hackers exploit weaknesses in the design or implementation of a system to reduce the number of combinations to test to find a secret information. For example, they can use a technique called “side-channel cube attack” to break AES encryption in less than 10 minutes with a laptop.
  • Analogous attacks: hackers use methods similar to brute force attacks but that do not test all possible combinations. For example, they can use a technique called “binary search attack” to guess a PIN code in less than 20 tries by exploiting the system’s response (correct/incorrect).

Level of Intrusion

Brute force attacks can also be classified according to the level of intrusion they involve:

  • Invasive attacks: hackers access physically the system or device they want to hack, using for example a keyboard, a USB stick, or a cable. These attacks are more dangerous because they can bypass software or network protections but they require proximity with the target and a risk of being caught.
  • Non-invasive attacks: hackers do not need to access physically the system or device they want to hack; they do it remotely via Internet or wireless network. These attacks are more discreet and easier to perform but they can be blocked by firewalls, antivirus software or secure protocols.

Domain of Application

Hackers’ objectives and motivations determine the domains where they apply brute force attacks. Here are some examples:

  • The civil domain: Hackers use brute force attacks to access personal or professional accounts such as emails, social networks, online banks or cloud services. They can steal sensitive information, impersonate identities, extort money or harm the reputation of the victims.
  • The defense domain: Hackers compromise national or international security by targeting military, governmental or diplomatic systems with brute force attacks. They can spy, sabotage, destabilize or provoke conflicts between countries.
  • The ethical hacking domain: Hackers test the security of systems or devices with brute force attacks by putting themselves in the attackers’ shoes. They can identify and report flaws, improve protections or train users.
  • The research domain: Hackers advance science and technology by exploring the limits of systems or devices with brute force attacks. They can discover new possibilities, innovate or create new products.

Brute-force Attacks on Electronic Components

Brute force attacks are not limited to passwords or encryption keys. They can also target electronic components that store or process data such as chips or integrated circuit boards. These attacks aim to access encrypted or protected information that is in the hardware using physical or electrical techniques.

Invasive Attacks

Invasive attacks are attacks that require direct access to the hardware and that involve modifying or destroying it. These attacks are often used to reverse engineer or extract data from chips or smart cards. Here are some examples:

  • Decapsulation: this technique consists of removing the outer layer of protection of a chip to expose the silicon and the internal layers. This can be done mechanically or chemically for example with nitric acid.
  • Deprocessing: this technique consists of removing progressively the internal layers of a chip to access the transistors and the connections. This can be done with chemicals lasers or focused ion beams (FIB).
  • Removal of the passivation layer: this technique consists of removing the insulating layer that covers the surface of a chip to allow electrical contact with the bonding wires (the thin connections between the chip and the package).
  • Reverse engineering: this technique consists of analyzing the structure and the functioning of a chip or an integrated circuit board to extract the source code the algorithms or the vulnerabilities.
  • Micro-probing: this technique consists of using micro-probes (metal needles) to connect directly to the internal components of a chip or an integrated circuit board and interfere with the signals or extract data.
  • Instantaneous memory attack: this technique consists of freezing a chip or an integrated circuit board to preserve the data that is in the volatile memory (RAM) after cutting off the power supply. This technique allows bypassing the mechanisms of automatic erasure of sensitive data in case of intrusion attempt.
  • Securing pairing algorithms against physical attacks: this technique consists of protecting pairing algorithms which are used for identity-based encryption against physical attacks that aim to modify the behavior of the hardware. This technique uses mathematical methods to detect and correct errors induced by physical disturbances.

Non-invasive Attacks

Non-invasive attacks are attacks that do not need direct access to the hardware but that use auxiliary or hidden channels to obtain or modify data on chips or integrated circuit boards. These attacks exploit the physical characteristics of the hardware such as power consumption electromagnetic field acoustic noise or temperature. Here are some examples:

  • Side-channel attack: this technique consists of measuring a physical parameter related to the functioning of a chip or an integrated circuit board to deduce information about the operations it performs or the data it processes. For example it is possible to guess an encryption key by analyzing the power consumption of a chip while it encrypts or decrypts a message.
  • Fault injection attack: this technique consists of provoking an error in the functioning of a chip or an integrated circuit board by sending it an abnormal signal such as an electric pulse a light wave or ionizing radiation. This technique allows modifying the behavior of the hardware revealing hidden information or bypassing protections.
  • Software flaw attack: this technique consists of exploiting a vulnerability in the software that controls the functioning of a chip or an integrated circuit board to access or modify sensitive data. For example it is possible to take control of a router by using a flaw in its firmware (the internal software that controls the functioning of the hardware).
  • Hidden channel attack: this technique consists of exploiting information that is not directly related to the functioning of the targeted system such as noise temperature or time. For example it is possible to guess the PIN code of a phone by listening to the sound produced by the keys when entering it.

Brute-force Attacks on Passwords Encryption Keys Hidden URLs and Hashes

Passwords encryption keys hidden URLs and hashes are data that serve to protect access or confidentiality of information on Internet. Hackers can try to guess them using brute force attacks which consist in testing all possible combinations until they find the right one. These attacks can have serious consequences such as identity theft account hijacking message decryption or website hacking.

Attacks on Passwords

Passwords are secret codes that users enter to authenticate on a website or an online service. Hackers can try to guess them using brute force attacks simple dictionary hybrid reverse or distributed as we have seen previously. These attacks can allow hackers to access users’ accounts and steal their personal financial or

professional information. To protect themselves from these attacks, users should choose strong and unique passwords, use a password manager, enable two-factor authentication, and avoid phishing emails.

Attacks on Encryption Keys

Encryption keys are data that are used to encrypt or decrypt messages or files. They can be symmetric (the same key is used for encryption and decryption) or asymmetric (two different keys are used: a public key for encryption and a private key for decryption). Hackers can try to guess them using brute force attacks simple or distributed, by testing all possible combinations until they find the right one. These attacks can allow hackers to read or modify confidential messages or files.

To protect themselves from these attacks, users should choose long and random encryption keys, use secure encryption algorithms, do not disclose or store their encryption keys in insecure places, and use secure protocols to exchange their encryption keys with their correspondents, such as the Diffie-Hellman protocol or the SSL/TLS protocol.

Another type of brute force attack targets the data stored in the volatile memory of devices, such as computers and phones. Volatile memory is a type of memory that loses its content when the power supply is cut off. This makes it vulnerable to brute force attacks that aim to extract sensitive data from it, using physical or software techniques. In this section, we will explain what are brute force attacks on volatile memory, how they work, what are the risks and how to prevent them.

Tools for brute force attacks

There are many tools available for brute force attacks on different protocols or services. Some are used for malicious purposes, others for penetration testing or security audit. Here is a non-exhaustive list of tools for brute force attacks:

  • Hashcat: Hashcat claims to be the world’s fastest and most advanced password recovery tool based on CPU. It supports five unique modes of attack for over 300 optimized hashing algorithms.
  • Flipper Zero: a multifunctional device that allows you to perform brute force attacks on RFID, NFC, Bluetooth systems, etc.
  • Gobuster: a tool written in Go that allows you to perform brute force attacks on web directories, DNS subdomains, S3 buckets or virtual hosts.
  • BruteX: a shell-based tool that allows you to perform brute force attacks on different services such as FTP, SSH, Telnet, RDP, VNC, etc.
  • Dirsearch: a tool written in Python that allows you to perform brute force attacks on web directories and files.
  • Callow: a tool written in C# that allows you to perform brute force attacks on web forms.
  • SSB: a tool written in Perl that allows you to perform brute force attacks on SMTP servers.
  • THC-Hydra: a popular tool that allows you to perform brute force attacks on more than 50 protocols such as HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, SSH, Telnet, SMB, etc.
  • Burp Suite: a suite of tools that allows you to perform penetration testing on web applications, including brute force attacks on web forms or HTTP parameters.
  • Patator: a tool written in Python that allows you to perform modular brute force attacks on different services such as HTTP, FTP, SSH, SMTP, etc.
  • Pydictor: a tool written in Python that allows you to generate custom lists for brute force or dictionary attacks.
  • Ncrack: a tool that allows you to perform fast and flexible brute force attacks on different services such as RDP, SSH, Telnet, HTTP(S), POP3(S), etc.

Brute force attacks on volatile memory: a data security risk

Volatile memory is a type of memory that loses its content when the power supply is cut off. This is the case for the random access memory (RAM) of computers and phones, which temporarily stores data and programs that are running. Volatile memory has an advantage: it erases the traces of computer activity in case of power outage or system shutdown. But it also has a drawback: it can be targeted by brute force attacks aiming to recover the sensitive data it contains.

A brute force attack is a method that consists of testing all possible combinations of a password, an encryption key or an access code, until finding the right one. Brute force attacks can be performed using specialized software, which exploits the computing power of computers or networks of machines. Brute force attacks can take a lot of time, depending on the complexity and length of the password, key or code to guess.

Brute force attacks on volatile memory are attacks that aim to extract data stored in the RAM of a computer or a phone, using physical or software techniques. For example, it is possible to cool down the RAM with liquid nitrogen, which allows to preserve its content for a few minutes after the system shutdown. It is then possible to transfer the RAM to another device, and use a brute force software to decrypt the data it contains. It is also possible to use malicious software that infiltrates the system and accesses the RAM, bypassing software or hardware protections.

Brute force attacks on volatile memory pose a risk for data security, because they can allow hackers to access confidential information, such as passwords, encryption keys, personal or professional data, etc. These information can then be used to compromise other systems or services, or to extort the victims. To protect against these attacks, it is recommended to use passwords or keys that are long and complex enough, to encrypt data stored in the RAM, and to update software and hardware to benefit from the latest security measures.

To sum up, brute force attacks on volatile memory are a serious threat for data security, as they can allow hackers to access confidential information, such as passwords, encryption keys, personal or professional data, etc. These information can then be used to compromise other systems or services, or to extort the victims. To protect against these attacks, it is recommended to use passwords or keys that are long and complex enough, to encrypt data stored in the RAM, and to update software and hardware to benefit from the latest security measures.

Attacks on Hidden URLs

Hidden URLs are web addresses that are hidden or modified to avoid being easily accessible or identifiable. They can be used to protect the privacy or security of a website or an online service. For example, a website may use a hidden URL to prevent being indexed by search engines or targeted by hackers. Hackers can try to guess them using brute force attacks simple or distributed, by testing all possible combinations until they find the right one. These attacks can allow hackers to access hidden or forbidden websites, such as illegal, malicious, or sensitive websites.

To protect themselves from these attacks, users should choose long, complex, and random hidden URLs, do not use predictable or easy-to-guess hidden URLs, do not share or publish their hidden URLs with other people or on other websites, and use encryption or authentication techniques to enhance the security of their hidden URLs.

Attacks on Hashes

Hashes are data that result from applying a mathematical function to a message or a file. They are used to verify the integrity or authenticity of a message or a file, by comparing it to the original hash. They can also be used to store passwords securely, by transforming them into irreversible hashes. Hackers can try to guess them using brute force attacks simple, dictionary, or hybrid, by testing all possible combinations until they find the right hash. These attacks can allow hackers to falsify or reveal messages or files.

To protect themselves from these attacks, users should choose secure hashing functions that do not have collisions (two different messages that produce the same hash) or preimages (a message that produces a given hash), use salting (adding a random data to the message before hashing) or peppering (adding a secret data to the message before hashing) techniques to make hashes more resistant to brute force attacks, do not store or transmit their hashes in insecure places, and use secure protocols to exchange their hashes with their correspondents, such as the HMAC protocol or the SSL/TLS protocol.

Brute-force Attacks on Phone Systems

Phone systems are devices that allow communication by voice or text, such as landlines, mobile phones (smartphones), or VoIP services. Hackers can try to hack them using brute-force attacks that consist of guessing codes or keys. These attacks can allow hackers to access data or services of a phone system, such as contacts, messages, calls, payments, or subscriptions.

Attacks on PIN Codes

PIN codes are secret codes of four digits that are used to unlock a mobile phone or a SIM card. Hackers can try to guess them using brute force attacks simple or analogous by testing all possible combinations until they find the right one. These attacks can allow hackers to access data or services of the mobile phone or the SIM card.

To protect themselves from these attacks users should choose random and unpredictable PIN codes that do not contain numerical sequences easy to guess such as “0000” “1234” or “4321”. They should not write or share their PIN codes with other people. They should activate the function of automatic locking of the mobile phone or the SIM card after a certain number of unsuccessful attempts. They should activate the function of automatic reset of the mobile phone or the SIM card after a certain number of unsuccessful attempts.

Attacks on IMEI Codes

IMEI codes are unique codes of 15 digits that identify a mobile phone. They are used to block a mobile phone in case of theft or loss. Hackers can try to guess them using brute force attacks simple or distributed by testing all possible combinations until they find the right one. These attacks can allow hackers to unlock a stolen or lost mobile phone and use it for malicious purposes such as making fraudulent calls sending unwanted messages or accessing personal data of the owner.

To protect themselves from these attacks users should note their IMEI codes and keep them in a safe place. They should not disclose their IMEI codes to unknown or suspicious people. They should report the loss or theft of their mobile phone to their operator and request the blocking of their IMEI codes. They should use a service of location or remote locking of their mobile phone in case of loss or theft.

Attacks BrutePrint

You will surely be amazed by our discoveries! These systems verify your identity on smartphones and other devices by using the unique patterns of your finger. But is their security level? In this study, we explore the weaknesses of these systems and how various actors, from cybercriminals to sovereign entities, can exploit them. We looked at 25 techniques for corrupting fingerprint authentication systems. We will also introduce an effective dual-use defense solution: DataShielder HSM solutions to protect your secrets and sensitive data even if this biometric authentication system becomes compromised. Click is here for more information Attacks BrutePrint.

Evaluation of Products or Services Resistance to Brute-force Attacks

To evaluate the resistance of products or services to brute force attacks we can use a scoring model based on the type and severity of possible attacks. The scoring model can be as follows:

  • For each product or service we identify the possible types of brute force attacks that can target it such as passwords encryption keys hidden URLs hashes PIN codes or IMEI codes.
  • For each type of brute force attack we assign a score from 1 to 5 according to the severity of the attack. The score can be based on the following criteria: the complexity of the attack the time required to perform the attack the impact of the attack on the confidentiality integrity or availability of the data or service and the likelihood of the attack to succeed.
  • We calculate the average score for each product or service by adding up the scores for each type of brute force attack and dividing by the number of types. The lower the score the more resistant the product or service is to brute force attacks.

For example let’s consider two products: a web application and a smartphone. The possible types of brute force attacks and their scores are as follows:

Type of brute-force attack Web application Smartphone
Passwords 3 2
Encryption keys 4 3
Hidden URLs 2 N/A
Hashes 3 N/A
PIN codes N/A 2
IMEI codes N/A 4

The average score for the web application is (3 + 4 + 2 + 3) / 4 = 3. The average score for the smartphone is (2 + 3 + 2 + 4) / 4 = 2.75. Therefore, according to this scoring model, the smartphone is more resistant to brute force attacks than the web application.

Statistics on brute force attacks

Brute force attacks are common and effective methods used by hackers to access systems protected by passwords or encryption keys. According to the IBM Cost of a Data Breach 2022 report, stolen or compromised credentials are the leading cause of data breaches and cost an average of $4.35 million to businesses worldwide in 2021. Brute force attacks are also increasing with the health crisis, which has encouraged remote work and online services. According to Cloudflare, the number of brute force attacks on RDP and SSH protocols increased by 400% between March and April 2020.

The duration and difficulty of a brute force attack depend on the length and complexity of the password or key to guess. According to Cloudflare, a seven-character password would take, at a rate of 15 million keystrokes per second, 9 minutes to crack. An eight-character password would take 4 hours, a nine-character password would take 8 days, and a ten-character password would take 463 days. It is therefore essential to use passwords or keys that are long and random enough to resist brute force attacks.

Real Cases of Brute-force Attacks

Brute force attacks are not only theoretical methods, but also real threats that have affected various domains, such as finance, health, politics, etc. In this section, we will present some examples of brute force attacks that have taken place in recent years, and show their consequences and lessons.

Brute force attacks on financial institutions

Financial institutions are often targeted by brute force attacks, as they store sensitive data and money. For instance, in 2019, a group of hackers used brute force attacks to access the online banking systems of several banks in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. They stole over $100 million from more than 40,000 accounts. The hackers used a software called Cobalt Strike, which allowed them to remotely control the infected computers and launch brute force attacks on the banks’ servers. They also used a technique called “ATM cash-out”, which enabled them to withdraw money from ATMs without using cards.

This case shows the importance of using strong passwords and encryption keys for online banking systems, as well as updating the software and hardware to prevent malware infections. It also shows the need for monitoring and alerting mechanisms to detect and stop brute force attacks in real time.

Brute force attacks on health systems

Health systems are also vulnerable to brute force attacks, as they store personal and medical data that can be used for identity theft or blackmail. For example, in 2020, a hacker group called Maze used brute force attacks to breach the network of Fresenius, Europe’s largest private hospital operator. They encrypted the data and demanded a ransom for its release. The attack affected the hospital’s operations and patient care, as well as its subsidiaries that produce dialysis products and blood transfusion devices.

This case illustrates the impact of brute force attacks on human lives and health services. It also highlights the need for securing the network and data of health systems, as well as having backup and recovery plans in case of an attack.

Brute force attacks on political systems

Political systems are not immune to brute force attacks, as they can influence the outcome of elections or policies. For instance, in 2016, a hacker group called Fancy Bear used brute force attacks to access the email accounts of several members of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in the United States. They leaked the emails to WikiLeaks, which published them online. The leaked emails revealed internal conflicts and controversies within the DNC, and damaged the reputation of Hillary Clinton, who was running for president against Donald Trump.

This case demonstrates the power of brute force attacks to manipulate public opinion and interfere with democratic processes. It also underscores the need for protecting the email accounts and communications of political actors, as well as educating the public about cyber threats and misinformation.

How to Prevent Brute-force Attacks

Brute force attacks are a serious threat to the security and privacy of users, systems, and devices. Therefore, it is important to take preventive measures to avoid or mitigate their impact. Here are some general tips to prevent brute force attacks:

  • Use strong and unique passwords, encryption keys, hidden URLs, hashes, PIN codes, and IMEI codes. They should be long, complex, and random, containing letters, numbers, and symbols. They should not be based on personal or predictable information, such as names, dates, or phone numbers.
  • Use secure encryption algorithms and hashing functions. They should not have known or exploitable flaws or weaknesses, such as collisions or preimages. They should have enough entropy (degree of unpredictability) to resist brute force attacks.
  • Use secure protocols and techniques to exchange and store data. They should provide encryption, authentication, verification, correction, masking, or salting features. They should use secure channels and devices to transmit and store data.
  • Use security software and hardware to protect systems and devices. They should include firewalls, antivirus software, sensors, or locks. They should detect and block brute force attacks or trigger self-destruction or data erasure mechanisms.
  • Use ethical hacking and research to test and improve the security of systems and devices. They should identify and report vulnerabilities, flaws, or weaknesses. They should provide solutions, innovations, or products to enhance the security of systems and devices.

In conclusion

In this article, we have explored the topic of brute force attacks, also known as trial-and-error or exhaustive attacks. We have seen that brute force attacks are methods used by hackers to access systems protected by passwords or encryption keys, by testing all possible combinations until finding the right one. We have also seen that there are different types and methods of brute force attacks, depending on the hackers’ method, the level of intrusion, the domain of application and the tools used. We have focused on some specific types of brute force attacks, such as those on electronic components, passwords, encryption keys, hidden URLs, hashes and phone systems. We have also evaluated the resistance of products or services to brute force attacks, by presenting some real cases and some criteria to assess the security level. Finally, we have given some tips on how to prevent brute force attacks, by using long and complex passwords or keys, encrypting data, updating software and hardware, and using security tools.

Brute force attacks are a serious threat for data security and privacy, as they can allow hackers to access confidential information, compromise other systems or services, or extort the victims. Therefore, it is essential to be aware of the risks and the solutions to protect yourself from brute force attacks. If you want to learn more about this topic, you can check the sources that we have cited throughout this article.

Are fingerprint systems really secure? How to protect your data and identity against BrutePrint

Fingerprint Systems Really Secure - How to Protect Your Data and Identity
Fingerprint Systems Really Secure by Jacques Gascuel: This article will be updated with any new information on the topic.

Fingerprint Security

You will surely be amazed by our discoveries! These systems verify your identity on smartphones and other devices by using the unique patterns of your finger. But is their security level? In this study, we explore the weaknesses of these systems and how various actors, from cybercriminals to sovereign entities, can exploit them. We looked at 25 techniques for corrupting fingerprint authentication systems. We will also introduce an effective dual-use defense solution: DataShielder HSM solutions to protect your secrets and sensitive data even if this biometric authentication system becomes compromised.

Fingerprint Biometrics: An In-Depth Exploration of Security Mechanisms and Vulnerabilities

It is a widely recognized biometric authentication system for identity verification. In this overview of fingerprint authentication systems, we will explore comprehensively to understand the complex world of fingerprint biometrics. Our goal is to provide a detailed exploration of these systems, their inner workings, vulnerabilities, and countermeasures.

Demystifying Fingerprint Systems: A Thorough Examination

Two fundamental components make up these systems: the fingerprint sensor and the comparison algorithm.:

The Fingerprint Sensor: Where Biometric Data Begins

These systems rely on an essential component: the fingerprint sensor. It captures the finger image and converts it into a digital format. Different types of sensors exist, each with their advantages and disadvantages:

  1. Optical sensors: They use light and a camera to create a high-resolution image.
  2. Capacitive sensors: They use an array of small capacitors to measure the differences in electrical charge between the ridges and valleys.
  3. Ultrasonic sensors: They use sound waves to create a three-dimensional image.
  4. Thermal sensors: They detect the heat emitted by the finger to generate an image.

The Comparison Algorithm: The Gatekeeper of Access

The comparison algorithm is a critical software component that analyzes the captured fingerprint image. Its role is vital:

  • Image Analysis: The algorithm scrutinizes the fingerprint image, extracting its unique features.
  • Template Comparison: It then compares these features to one or more stored templates, serving as reference fingerprints for authorized users.
  • Threshold Criteria: Access is granted if the algorithm determines a significant similarity between the captured image and a stored template, surpassing a predefined threshold. If not, the system considers the fingerprint invalid and denies access.

Fingerprint System Vulnerabilities and Attack Techniques

First, before evaluating attack techniques against fingerprinting systems, let’s explore different attack types, techniques, motivations, and strategies. In our thorough analysis of fingerprint system vulnerabilities, we must acknowledge numerous attack techniques employed by various actors. These techniques, driven by diverse motivations ranging from personal gain to malicious intent, illuminate the complexities of fingerprint system security. We’ve identified a total of twenty-five (25) distinct attack types, categorized into five groups in this study: “Electronic Devices for Biometric Attacks,” “Additional Fingerprint Attacks,” “Advanced Attacks,” “Attacks on Lock Patterns,” and “Attacks on Fingerprint Sensors.”

Attacks on Fingerprint Sensors

Fingerprint sensors, a common biometric authentication method, are vulnerable to several attack types and techniques update 23 february 2024:

ATTACK TYPE TECHNIQUE MOTIVATIONS STRATEGIES
Residual Fingerprint Attack Recovers the smartphone owner’s fingerprint left on surfaces, reproducing it. Identity theft, unauthorized access, or malicious purposes. Exploits traces of fingerprints on surfaces using materials like gelatin, silicone.
Code Injection Attack Injects malicious code to bypass fingerprint sensor security. Compromises device security for data theft or illicit activities. Exploits software vulnerabilities for unauthorized access to biometric data.
False Acceptance Attack The system accepts a fingerprint that doesn’t belong to the authorized user. Identity theft, unauthorized access, or malicious intentions. Can occur due to poor sensor quality, a high tolerance threshold, or similarity between different individuals’ fingerprints.
False Rejection Attack The system rejects a fingerprint that belongs to the authorized user. Identity theft, unauthorized access. Can occur due to poor sensor quality, a low tolerance threshold, environmental changes, or alterations to the user’s fingerprint.
Substitution Attack Tricks the system with an artificial fingerprint. Identity theft or unauthorized access. Can be done using materials like gelatin, silicone, latex, or wax.
Modification Attack Tricks the system with a modified fingerprint. Identity theft or to conceal the user’s identity. Can be done using techniques like gluing, cutting, scraping, or burning.
Impersonation Attack Tricks the system with another user’s fingerprint, either with their consent or by force. Identity theft using force, threats, bribery, or seduction. Uses the fingerprint of another user who has given consent or has been coerced into doing so.
Adversarial Generation Attack Tricks the system with images of fingerprints generated by an adversarial generative adversarial network (GAN). Bypasses liveness detection methods based on deep learning. Mimics the appearance of real fingerprints.
Acoustic Analysis Attack Tricks the system by listening to the sounds emitted by the fingerprint sensor during fingerprint capture. Can reconstruct the fingerprint image from acoustic signals. Use noise cancellation techniques, encrypt acoustic signals, or use liveness detection methods
Partial Print Attack Tricks the system with a partial fingerprint from the registered fingerprint. Increases the false acceptance rate by exploiting the similarity between partial prints of different users. Can use a portion of the registered fingerprint.
Privilege Escalation Attack Exploits vulnerabilities in the operating system or application to obtain higher privileges than those granted by fingerprint authentication Can access sensitive data, manipulate system files, perform unauthorized actions, or bypass security measures Use strong passwords, enforce multi-factor authentication, limit user privileges, patch system vulnerabilities, monitor user activities, and audit logs
Spoofing Attack Imitates a legitimate fingerprint or identity to deceive the system or the user Can gain access, steal information, spread malware, or impersonate someone. Use liveness detection methods, verify the authenticity, avoid trusting unknown sources, and report spoofing attempts
PrintListener: Side-channel Attack Utilizes acoustic signals from finger friction on touchscreens to replicate fingerprints Gain unauthorized access to devices and services protected by fingerprint authentication Implement noise interference, use advanced fingerprint sensors resistant to acoustic analysis, enable multifactor authentication, regularly update security protocols

For more information on new attack type “PrintListener” (a specific acoustic analysis attack), readers are encouraged to explore the detailed article at https://freemindtronic.com/printlistener-technology-fingerprints/.
These attacks expose vulnerabilities in fingerprint sensor technology and underline the need for robust security measures.

Attacks on Lock Patterns (For Lock Screen Authentication)

Lock patterns, often used on mobile devices for screen unlocking, are susceptible to various attack techniques:

ATTACK TYPE TECHNIQUE MOTIVATIONS STRATEGIES
Brute Force Attack Attempts all possible lock pattern combinations. Gains unauthorized device access. Systematically tests different pattern combinations.
Replica Fingerprint Attack Uses a 3D printer to create a replica fingerprint. Unauthorized access or identity theft. Produces a replica for sensor authentication.
Sensor Vulnerabilities Exploits sensor technology vulnerabilities. Compromises device security for malicious purposes. Identifies and exploits sensor technology weaknesses.
BrutePrint Attack Intercepts messages, emulating the fingerprint sensor. Gains unauthorized access, often with hardware components. Exploits communication protocol vulnerabilities.

These attacks target the vulnerabilities in lock pattern authentication and underscore the importance of strong security practices.

Advanced Attacks

Advanced attacks employ sophisticated techniques and technologies to compromise fingerprint systems:

ATTACK TYPE TECHNIQUE MOTIVATIONS STRATEGIES
Presentation Attack Presents manipulated images or counterfeit fingerprints. Espionage, identity theft, or malicious purposes. Crafts counterfeit fingerprints or images to deceive sensors.
Rapid Identification Attack Uses advanced algorithms to swiftly identify fingerprints. Corporate espionage, financial gain, or enhanced security. Quickly identifies fingerprints from extensive datasets.
Digital Footprint Attack Collects and analyzes the online data and activity of the target, using open source intelligence tools or data brokers Can obtain personal information, preferences, habits, or vulnerabilities of the target. Use privacy settings, delete unwanted data, avoid oversharing, and monitor online reputation

These advanced attacks leverage technology and data to compromise fingerprint-based security.

Network-Based Attacks

Network-based attacks are those that target the communication or data transmission between the device and the fingerprint authentication system. These attacks can compromise the integrity, confidentiality, or availability of the biometric data or the user session. In this section, we will discuss four types of network-based attacks: phishing, session hijacking, privilege escalation, and spyware.

ATTACK TYPE TECHNIQUE MOTIVATIONS STRATEGIES
Phishing Attack Technique: Phishing attacks involve sending fraudulent messages to victims, enticing them to click on a link or download an attachment. These malicious payloads may contain code designed to steal their fingerprints or redirect them to a fake website requesting authentication. Motivations: Phishing attacks are motivated by the desire to deceive and manipulate users into revealing their fingerprint data or login credentials. Strategies: Phishing attackers employ various tactics, such as crafting convincing emails, spoofing legitimate websites, and using social engineering to trick users.
Session Hijacking Attack Technique: Session hijacking attacks aim to intercept or impersonate an authenticated user’s session, exploiting communication protocol vulnerabilities or using spyware. Motivations: Session hijacking is typically carried out to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information or systems, often for financial gain or espionage. Strategies: Attackers employ packet sniffing, session token theft, or malware like spyware to compromise and take control of active user sessions.
Spyware Attack Technique: Spyware attacks infect the device with spyware to capture fingerprint data. Motivations: Spyware attacks are driven by the objective of illicitly obtaining biometric data for malicious purposes, such as identity theft or unauthorized access. Strategies: Attackers use spyware to secretly record and transmit fingerprint information, often through backdoors or covert channels, without the victim’s knowledge.
Predator Files Infects Android phones with a spyware application that can access their data, including fingerprint information. Sold to multiple governments for targeting political opponents, journalists, activists, and human rights defenders in over 50 countries. Use spyware detection and removal tools, update system software, avoid downloading untrusted applications, and scan devices regularly

As we can see from the table above, network-based attacks pose a serious threat to fingerprint authentication systems and users’ privacy and security. Therefore, it is essential to implement effective countermeasures and best practices to prevent or mitigate these attacks. In the next section, we will explore another category of attacks: physical attacks.

Electronic Devices for Biometric Attacks

Some electronic devices are designed to target and compromise fingerprint authentication systems. Here are some notable examples:

Device Description Usage STRATEGIES
Cellebrite UFED A portable device capable of extracting, decrypting, and analyzing data from mobile phones, including fingerprint data. Used by law enforcement agencies worldwide. Used by law enforcement agencies to access digital evidence on mobile phones. Applies substances to damage or obscure sensor surfaces.
GrayKey A black box device designed to unlock iPhones protected by passcodes or fingerprints using a “brute force” technique. Sold to law enforcement and government agencies for investigative purposes. Sold to law enforcement and government agencies for investigative purposes to unlock iPhones. Use strong passwords, enable encryption, disable USB access, and update system software.
Chemical Attacks Alters or erases fingerprints on sensors. Prevents identification or creates false identities. Use fingerprint enhancement techniques, verify the authenticity, and use liveness detection methods

These devices pose a high risk to biometric systems because they can allow malicious actors to access sensitive information or bypass security measures. They are moderate to high in ease of execution because they require physical access to the target devices and the use of costly or scarce devices. Their historical success is variable because it depends on the quality of the devices and the security of the biometric systems. They are currently relevant because they are used by various actors, such as government agencies, law enforcement, or hackers, to access biometric data stored on mobile phones or other devices. This comprehensive overview of attack types, techniques, motivations, and strategies is crucial for improving biometric authentication system security.

BrutePrint: A Novel Attack on Fingerprint Systems on Phones

Fingerprint systems on phones are not only vulnerable to spoofing or data breach attacks; they are also exposed to a novel attack called BrutePrint. This attack exploits two zero-day vulnerabilities in the smartphone fingerprint authentication (SFA) framework. BrutePrint allows attackers to bypass the attempt limit and liveness detection mechanisms of fingerprint systems on phones. It also enables them to perform unlimited brute force attacks until finding a matching fingerprint.

How BrutePrint Works

Fingerprint Systems Really Secure : BrutePrint

BrutePrint works by hijacking the fingerprint images captured by the sensor. It applies neural style transfer (NST) to generate valid brute-forcing inputs from arbitrary fingerprint images. BrutePrint also exploits two vulnerabilities in the SFA framework:

  • Cancel-After-Match-Fail (CAMF): this vulnerability allows attackers to cancel the authentication process after a failed attempt. It prevents the system from counting the failed attempts and locking the device.
  • Match-After-Lock (MAL): this vulnerability allows attackers to infer the authentication results even when the device is in “lock mode”. It guides the brute force attack.To perform a BrutePrint attack, attackers need physical access to the phone, a database of fingerprints, and a custom-made circuit board that costs about 15 dollars. The circuit board acts as a middleman between the sensor and the application. It intercepts and manipulates the fingerprint images.

How to Prevent BrutePrint

BrutePrint is a serious threat to phone users who rely on fingerprint systems to protect their devices and data. It shows that fingerprint systems on phones are not as secure as they seem. They need more robust protection mechanisms against brute force attacks. Some of the possible ways to prevent BrutePrint are:

  • Updating the phone’s software: this can help fix the vulnerabilities exploited by BrutePrint and improve the security of the SFA framework.
  • Using multifactor authentication: this can increase the level of security and reduce the risks of spoofing or brute force attacks. It combines fingerprint authentication with another factor, such as a password, a PIN code, a pattern lock screen ,or other trust criteria that allows patented segmented key authentication technology developed by Freemindtronic in Andorra .
  • Use of DataShielder HSM solutions: these are solutions developed by Freemindtronic in Andorra that allow you to create HSM (Hardware Security Module) on any device, without a server or database, to encrypt any type of data. DataShielder HSM solutions also include EviSign technology, which enables advanced electronic signing of documents. DataShielder HSM solutions are notably available in Defense versions, which offer a high level of protection for civil and/or military applications.

Assessing Attack Techniques: Ease of Execution and Current Relevance

In our pursuit of understanding fingerprint system vulnerabilities, it is crucial to assess not only the types and forms of attacks but also their practicality and current relevance. This section provides an in-depth evaluation of each attack technique, considering factors such as the ease of execution, historical success rates, and their present-day applicability.

Attack Techniques Overview

Let’s analyze the spectrum of attack techniques, considering their potential danger, execution simplicity, historical performance, and present-day relevance.

Attack Type Level of Danger Ease of Execution Historical Success Current Relevance
Residual Fingerprint Attack Medium Moderate Variable Ongoing
Code Injection Attack High Moderate Variable Still Relevant
Acoustic Analysis Attack Medium Low Fluctuating Ongoing Concerns
Brute Force Attack High Low Variable Contemporary
Replica Fingerprint Attack Medium Moderate Fluctuating Still Relevant
Sensor Vulnerabilities High Moderate Variable Ongoing Significance
BrutePrint Attack High High Variable Continues to Pose Concerns
Presentation Attack High Moderate Diverse Still Pertinent
Rapid Identification Attack High Low Variable Ongoing Relevance
Digital Footprint Attack High Low Fluctuating Currently Pertinent
Chemical Attacks High Low Variable Ongoing Relevance
Phishing Attack High Moderate Variable Modern Threat
Session Hijacking Attack High Low Variable Ongoing Relevance
Privilege Escalation Attack High Low Variable Remains Significant
Adversarial Generation Attack High Moderate Variable Still in Use
Acoustic Analysis Attack (Revisited) Medium Low Fluctuating Ongoing Concerns
Partial Print Attack Medium Low Variable Currently Relevant
Electronic Devices for Biometric Attacks High Moderate to High Variable Currently Relevant
PrintListener (Specific Acoustic Analysis Attack) High Moderate Emerging Highly Relevant

Understanding the Evaluation:

  • Level of Danger categorizes potential harm as Low, Moderate, or High.
  • Ease of Execution is categorized as Low, Medium, or High.
  • Historical Success highlights fluctuating effectiveness.
  • Current Relevance signifies ongoing concerns in contemporary security landscapes.

By assessing these attack techniques meticulously, we can gauge their practicality, historical significance, and continued relevance.

The type of attack by electronic devices for biometric systems is very dangerous because it can allow malicious actors to access sensitive information or bypass the protections of biometric systems. Its ease of execution is moderate to high, as it requires physical access to target devices and the use of expensive or difficult-to-obtain devices. Its historical success is variable because it depends on the quality of the devices used and the security measures implemented by the biometric systems. It is currently relevant because it is used by government agencies, law enforcement or hackers to access biometric data stored on mobile phones or other devices.

Statistical Insights into Fingerprint Systems

Fingerprint systems have found wide-ranging applications, from law enforcement and border control to banking, healthcare, and education. They are equally popular among consumers who use them to unlock devices or access online services. However, questions linger regarding their reliability and security. Let’s delve into some pertinent statistics:

According to Acuity Market Intelligence, 2018 saw more than 1.5 billion smartphones equipped with fingerprint sensors, constituting 60% of the global market.

The IAFIS Annual Report of 2020 revealed that more than 1.3 billion fingerprint records were stored in national and international databases in 2019.

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the average false acceptance rate of fingerprint systems in 2018 was 0.08%, marking an 86% decrease compared to 2013.

These statistics shed light on the widespread adoption of fingerprint systems and their improved accuracy over time. Nevertheless, they also underline that these systems, while valuable, are not without their imperfections and can still be susceptible to errors or manipulation.

Real-World Cases of Fingerprint System Corruption: Phone Cases

Fingerprint system corruption can also affect phone users, who rely on fingerprint sensors to unlock their devices or access online services. However, these sensors are not foolproof and can be bypassed or exploited by skilled adversaries. These attacks can result in device theft, data breaches, or other security issues.

Here are some examples of fingerprint system corruption that involve phones:

  • German hacker Jan Krissler, alias Starbug, remarkably unlocked the smartphone of the German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen in 2014 using a high-resolution photo of her thumb taken during a press conference. He employed image processing software to enhance the photo’s quality and created a counterfeit fingerprint printed on paper.
  • A terrorist attack at the Istanbul airport killed 45 people and injured more than 200 in 2016. The investigators found that the three suicide bombers used fake fingerprints to enter Turkey and avoid security checks. They copied the fingerprints of other people from stolen or forged documents.
  • Researchers from Tencent Labs and Zhejiang University discovered in 2020 that they could bypass a fingerprint lock on Android smartphones using a brute force attack, that is when a large number of attempts are made to discover a password, code or any other form of security protection.
  • Experts from Cisco Talos created fake fingerprints capable of fooling the sensors of smartphones, tablets and laptops as well as smart locks in 2020, but it took them a lot of effort.
  • A case of identity theft was discovered in France in 2021, involving the use of fake fingerprints to obtain identity cards and driving licenses. The suspects used silicone molds to reproduce the fingerprints of real people, and then glued them on their fingers to fool the biometric sensors.
  • Researchers from the University of Buffalo developed a method in 2021 to create artificial fingerprints from images of fingers. These fingerprints can fool the sensors of smartphones, but also more advanced biometric systems, such as those used by police or airports.
  • A report by Kaspersky revealed in 2021 that banking apps on smartphones are vulnerable to attacks by falsified fingerprints. Attackers can use malware to intercept biometric data from users and use them to access their accounts.

These cases highlight the significant threats posed by fingerprint system corruption to phone users. Therefore, it is important to protect these systems against external and internal threats while integrating advanced technologies to enhance security and reliability.

DataShielder HSM: A Counter-Espionage Solution for Fingerprint System Security

You have learned in the previous sections that fingerprint systems are not foolproof. They can be corrupted by attacks that expose your secrets and sensitive data. To prevent malicious actors from capturing them, you need an effective and reliable encryption solution, even if your phone is compromised.

Freemindtronic, the leader in NFC HSM technologies, designed, developed, published and manufactured DataShielder HSM in Andorra. It is a range of solutions that you need. You can use either EviCore NFC HSM or EviCore HSM OpenPGP technology with DataShielder HSM. It lets you encrypt your data with segmented keys that you generate randomly yourself. The key segments are securely encrypted and stored in different locations. To access your secrets and your sensitive data encrypted in AES 256 quantum, you need to bring all segments together for authentication.

DataShielder HSM has two versions: DataShielder NFC HSM for civil and military use, and DataShielder NFC HSM Defense for sovereign use. DataShielder NFC HSM Defense integrates two technologies: EviCore NFC HSM and EviCore HSM OpenPGP. They allow you to create a hardware security module (HSM) without contact on any medium, without server, without database, totally anonymous, untraceable and undetectable.

DataShielder HSM is a user-friendly and compatible solution with all types of phone, with or without NFC, Android or Apple. It can be used for various purposes, such as securing messaging services, encrypting files or emails, signing documents or transactions, or generating robust passwords.

DataShielder HSM is a counter-espionage solution that enhances the security of fingerprint systems. It protects your data and secrets from unauthorized access, even if your fingerprint is compromised.

Current Trends and Developments in Fingerprint Biometrics

Fingerprint biometrics is a constantly evolving field. It seeks to improve the performance, reliability and security of existing systems. But it also develops new technologies and applications. Here are some current or expected trends and developments in this field.

  • Multimodality: it consists of combining several biometric modalities (fingerprint, face, iris, voice, etc.) to increase the level of security and reduce the risks of error or fraud. For example, some smartphones already offer authentication by fingerprint and facial recognition.
  • Contactless biometrics: it consists of capturing fingerprints without the need to touch a sensor. This technique avoids the problems related to the quality or contamination of fingerprints. And it improves the comfort and hygiene of users. For example, some airports already use contactless scanners to verify the identity of travelers.
  • Behavioral biometrics: it consists of analyzing the behavior of users when they interact with a biometric system. For instance, the way they place their finger on the sensor or the pressure they exert. This technique adds a dynamic factor to identification. And it detects attempts of impersonation or coercion. For example, some banking systems already use behavioral biometrics to reinforce the security of transactions.

Standards and Regulations for Fingerprint Systems

The use of fingerprint systems is subject to standards and regulations. They aim to ensure the quality, compatibility and security of biometric data. These standards and regulations can be established by international, national or sectoral organizations. Here are some examples of standards and regulations applicable to fingerprint systems.

  • The ISO/IEC 19794-2 standard: it defines the format of fingerprint data. It allows to store, exchange and compare fingerprints between different biometric systems. It specifies the technical characteristics, parameters and procedures to be respected to ensure the interoperability of systems.
  • The (EU) 2019/1157 regulation: it concerns the strengthening of the security of identity cards and residence permits issued to citizens of the European Union and their relatives. It provides for the mandatory introduction of two fingerprints in a digital medium integrated into the card. It aims to prevent document fraud and identity theft.
  • The Data Protection Act: it regulates the collection, processing and storage of personal data, including biometric data. It imposes on data controllers to respect the principles of lawfulness, fairness, proportionality, security and limited duration of data. It guarantees to data subjects a right of access, rectification and opposition to their data.

Examples of Good Practices for Fingerprint System Security

Fingerprint systems offer a convenient and effective way to authenticate people. But they are not without risks. It is important to adopt good practices to strengthen the security of fingerprint systems and protect the rights and freedoms of users. Here are some examples of good practices to follow by end users, businesses and governments.

  • For end users: it is recommended not to disclose their fingerprints to third parties, not to use the same finger for different biometric systems, and to check regularly the state of their fingerprints (cuts, burns, etc.) that may affect recognition. It is also advisable to combine fingerprint authentication with another factor, such as a password or a PIN or other trust criteria that allows the patented segmented key authentication technology developed by Freemindtronic in Andorra.
  • For businesses: it is necessary to comply with the applicable regulation on the protection of personal data, and to inform employees or customers about the use and purposes of fingerprint systems. It is also essential to secure biometric data against theft, loss or corruption, by using encryption, pseudonymization or anonymization techniques.
  • For governments: it is essential to define a clear and consistent legal framework on the use of fingerprint systems, taking into account ethical principles, fundamental rights and national security needs. It is also important to promote international cooperation and information exchange between competent authorities, in compliance with existing standards and conventions.

Responses to Attacks

Fingerprint systems can be victims of attacks aimed at bypassing or compromising their operation. These attacks can have serious consequences on the security of people, property or information. It is essential to know how to react in case of successful attack against a fingerprint system. Here are some recommendations to follow in case of incident.

  • Detecting the attack: it consists of identifying the type, origin and extent of the attack, using monitoring, auditing or forensic analysis tools. It is also necessary to assess the potential or actual impact of the attack on the security of the system and users.
  • Containing the attack: it consists of isolating the affected system or the source of the attack, by cutting off network access, disabling the biometric sensor or blocking the user account. It is also necessary to preserve any evidence that may facilitate investigation.
  • Notifying the attack: it consists of informing competent authorities, partners or users concerned by the attack, in compliance with legal and contractual obligations. It is also necessary to communicate on the nature, causes and consequences of the attack, as well as on the measures taken to remedy it.
  • Repairing the attack: it consists of restoring the normal functioning of the fingerprint system, by eliminating the traces of the attack, resetting the settings or replacing the damaged components. It is also necessary to revoke or renew the compromised biometric data, and verify the integrity and security of the system.
  • Preventing the attack: it consists of strengthening the security of the fingerprint system, by applying updates, correcting vulnerabilities or adding layers of protection. It is also necessary to train and raise awareness among users about good practices and risks related to fingerprint systems.

Next Steps for Fingerprint Biometrics Industry

Fingerprint biometrics is a booming field, which offers many opportunities and challenges for industry, society and security. Here are some avenues for reflection on the next steps for this field.

  • Research and development: it consists of continuing efforts to improve the performance, reliability and security of fingerprint systems, but also to explore new applications and technologies. For example, some researchers are working on artificial fingerprints generated by artificial intelligence, which could be used to protect or test biometric systems.
  • Future investments: it consists of supporting the development and deployment of fingerprint systems, by mobilizing financial, human and material resources. For example, according to a market study, the global market for fingerprint systems is expected to reach 8.5 billion dollars in 2025, with an average annual growth rate of 15.66%.
  • Expected innovations: it consists of anticipating the needs and expectations of users, customers and regulators, by offering innovative and adapted solutions. For example, some actors in the sector envisage creating fingerprint systems integrated into human skin, which could offer permanent and inviolable identification.

Conclusion

Fingerprint systems are a convenient and fast way to authenticate users, based on their unique fingerprint patterns. They have many applications in device protection and online service access. However, these systems are not immune to attacks by skilled adversaries, who can manipulate and exploit them. These attacks can lead to unauthorized access, data breaches, and other security issues.

To prevent these threats, users need to be vigilant and enhance security with additional factors, such as PINs, passwords, or patterns. Moreover, regular system updates are crucial to fix emerging vulnerabilities.

Fingerprint systems are still a valuable and common form of authentication. But users must understand their weaknesses and take steps to strengthen system integrity and data protection. One of the possible steps is to use DataShielder HSM solutions, developed by Freemindtronic in Andorra. These solutions allow creating HSM (Hardware Security Module) on any device, without server or database, to encrypt and sign any data. DataShielder HSM solutions also include EviSign technology, which allows electronically signing documents with a legally recognized value. DataShielder HSM solutions are available in different versions, including Defense versions, which offer a high level of protection for civil and military applications.

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 Cyberculture Digital Security

Russian Cyberattack Microsoft: An Unprecedented Threat

2024 Digital Security

Europol Data Breach: A Detailed Analysis

2024 Cyberculture Digital Security News Training

Andorra National Cyberattack Simulation: A Global First in Cyber Defense

2024 Digital Security

Apple M chip vulnerability: A Breach in Data Security

2024 Digital Security

Cybersecurity Breach at IMF: A Detailed Investigation

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 Cyberculture Digital Security

Russian Cyberattack Microsoft: An Unprecedented Threat

2024 Digital Security

Europol Data Breach: A Detailed Analysis

2024 Cyberculture Digital Security News Training

Andorra National Cyberattack Simulation: A Global First in Cyber Defense

2024 Digital Security

Apple M chip vulnerability: A Breach in Data Security

2024 Digital Security

Cybersecurity Breach at IMF: A Detailed Investigation

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 Cyberculture Digital Security

Russian Cyberattack Microsoft: An Unprecedented Threat

2024 Digital Security

Europol Data Breach: A Detailed Analysis

2024 Cyberculture Digital Security News Training

Andorra National Cyberattack Simulation: A Global First in Cyber Defense

2024 Digital Security

Apple M chip vulnerability: A Breach in Data Security

2024 Digital Security

Cybersecurity Breach at IMF: A Detailed Investigation

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 Cyberculture Digital Security

Russian Cyberattack Microsoft: An Unprecedented Threat

2024 Digital Security

Europol Data Breach: A Detailed Analysis

2024 Cyberculture Digital Security News Training

Andorra National Cyberattack Simulation: A Global First in Cyber Defense

2024 Digital Security

Apple M chip vulnerability: A Breach in Data Security

2024 Digital Security

Cybersecurity Breach at IMF: A Detailed Investigation

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 Cyberculture Digital Security

Russian Cyberattack Microsoft: An Unprecedented Threat

2024 Digital Security

Europol Data Breach: A Detailed Analysis

2024 Cyberculture Digital Security News Training

Andorra National Cyberattack Simulation: A Global First in Cyber Defense

2024 Digital Security

Apple M chip vulnerability: A Breach in Data Security

2024 Digital Security

Cybersecurity Breach at IMF: A Detailed Investigation

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.

Communication Vulnerabilities 2023: Avoiding Cyber Threats

Person working on a laptop within a protective dome, surrounded by falling hexadecimal ASCII characters, highlighting communication vulnerabilities
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 Cyberculture Digital Security

Russian Cyberattack Microsoft: An Unprecedented Threat

2024 Digital Security

Europol Data Breach: A Detailed Analysis

2024 Cyberculture Digital Security News Training

Andorra National Cyberattack Simulation: A Global First in Cyber Defense

2024 Digital Security

Apple M chip vulnerability: A Breach in Data Security

2024 Digital Security

Cybersecurity Breach at IMF: A Detailed Investigation

Communication Vulnerabilities in 2023: Unveiling the Hidden Dangers and Strategies to Evade Cyber Threats

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.