EviVault NFC HSM vs Flipper Zero: The duel of an NFC HSM and a Pentester

EviVault NFC HSM and EviCore NFC HSM Embedded ISO 15693 VS Flipper Zero

EviVault NFC HSM vs Flipper Zero by Jacques Gascuel: This article will be updated with any new information on the topic.  

Unveiling the Encounter: EviVault NFC HSM vs Flipper Zero

This article examines the encounter between EviVault NFC HSM and Flipper Zero. While EviVault NFC HSM securely stores your blockchain keys offline, Flipper Zero serves as a device to test the security of wireless systems and NFC tags. The crucial question remains: Can Flipper Zero break through the defenses of EviVault NFC HSM and access your cryptocurrencies keys? The resounding answer is no, and we will explore the compelling reasons behind this assertion.

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EviVault NFC HSM vs Flipper Zero: The duel of an NFC HSM and a Pentester

EviVault NFC HSM vs Flipper Zero: this is the question that this article will answer. EviVault NFC HSM is a technology that securely stores your blockchain keys offline. Flipper Zero is a device that tests the security of wireless systems and NFC tags. Can Flipper Zero compromise EviVault NFC HSM and access your cryptocurrencies keys? The answer is no, and this article will explain why.

EviVault NFC HSM vs Flipper Zero is a topic that interests many crypto enthusiasts and security experts. Moreover, it sparks curiosity about the comparison between these two technologies. EviVault NFC HSM is a technology that allows offline physical secure storage of blockchain private keys, cryptocurrencies, wallets, Bitcoin, Ethereum, NFTs, Smart Contracts. Freemindtronic, a company from Andorra that specializes in NFC security solutions, developed it. EviVault NFC HSM uses the EviCore NFC HSM technology, which offers a high level of protection and encryption for your keys and secrets. It also works with Freemindtronic’s NFC HSM devices, which are contactless devices that can store and use your crypto keys and secrets. You can learn more about this technology here: https://freemindtronic.com/evicore-nfc-hsm-the-technology-by-freemindtronic/.

Flipper Zero is a versatile tool for testing the security and cybersecurity of systems, especially for pentesters. However, it can be used for malicious purposes, such as by cybercriminals to hack into digital systems, such as radio protocols, access control systems, hardware and more. At first glance, one might think that Flipper Zero is capable of compromising EviVault NFC HSM by reading or cloning its secrets without contact. However, this is not the case because EviVault NFC HSM has several security mechanisms that prevent any attempt of physical or logical attack.

In this article, we will explain how EviCore NFC HSM can resist effectively to the attacks of pentest tools like Flipper Zero and how it protects your blockchain assets from end to end, focusing on the device level.

How EviCore NFC HSM protects and encrypts your secrets with a secure element

First of all, EviCore NFC HSM is a proprietary technology that uses an NFC HSM to store and protect your secrets. It uses a proprietary protocol called EVI (Encrypted Virtual Interface) based on the ISO 15693 standard (https://www.st.com/resource/en/datasheet/m24lr64e-r.pdf or (https://www.st.com/resource/en/datasheet/st25dv64kc.pdf).

EVI ensures the proper functioning of reading and writing encrypted secrets with an intelligent system of error monitoring for write errors or reading from the secure EEPROM memory. You can find more information about the security standards and algorithms used by EVI here: https://freemindtronic.com/evicore-nfc-hsm-security-information-standards-algorithms-regulatory.

Moreover, EviCore NFC HSM uses other specific encryption algorithms such as AES CTR SHA 256 bits to encrypt and protect your secrets by segmented keys. Meanwhile EVI protects the keys used to access the RF NFC memories with a very strong secret code via AES ECB 128. This secret code prevents unauthorized reading or modification of keys. EVI makes the NFC and RF memories safer to combat invasive or non-invasive attacks from pentest tools like Flipper Zero.

EviCore NFC HSM: a fortress for your secrets EviVault NFC HSM vs Pentester

The NFC HSM EviCore, developed by Freemindtronic, is a technology protected by three patents of invention in their implementation. It is incomparable. It uses its innovative Encrypted Virtual Interface (EVI) protocol to ensure unparalleled security of confidential data in the duel EviVault NFC HSM vs Flipper Zero. This technology, compliant with the ISO 15693 standard, constitutes a multi-layer defense for your information. Seamlessly integrated within it are advanced features such as encryption, authentication, anti-cloning, anti-replay, anti-counterfeiting, and comprehensive black box management.

The Interaction between EVI and the NFC HSM: Securing Secrets in the EviVault NFC HSM vs Flipper Zero Duel

EVI, the Machine-to-Machine (MtoM) interface, collaborates with NFC HSM chips to ensure secure management of encrypted data read and write operations without risk of physical and digital errors. Thus, EVI monitors errors in reading/writing secure EEPROM memory through a sophisticated error tracking system that includes user errors of NFC HSM. In addition, it independently manages various cryptographic tasks such as encryption, decryption, signing, verification, and key generation of access codes to EEPROM memories. It thus strengthens the level of security, resilience and security of encrypted secrets. These are encrypted with other EviCore NFC HSM algorithms. This already constitutes two lines of defense against invasive or non-invasive attacks.

The Importance of External Elements in the EviVault NFC HSM vs Flipper Zero Duel

The encryption methodology of EviCore NFC HSM allows each segment to have a different physical origin in the duel EviVault NFC HSM vs Flipper Zero. This means that it can come from an external element to the NFC HSM, such as a geographic location and/or a password or fingerprint reading and/or a segmented QR code key exceeding 256 bits and/or BSSID and/or an NFC Android phone identifier. In fact, these elements serve as physical origin trust criteria, thus strengthening the validation process to access the secrets stored in the NFC HSM. Thus, this patented technology constitutes a third line of defense against various types of attacks, whether in proximity or at a distance, thanks in particular to encryption by encapsulations including these criteria freely defined by the user.

Superior Encryption and Deterrence against Unauthorized Access in the EviVault NFC HSM vs Flipper Zero Duel

Using high-quality encryption algorithms such as AES CTR SHA 256 bits considered post-quantum, the EviCore NFC HSM technology ensures that secrets remain inaccessible to unauthorized entities in the long term against pentest tools such as in the duel EviVault NFC HSM vs Flipper Zero. In addition, EVI protects the keys of NFC RF memories using AES ECB 128, preventing any unauthorized reading or modification. Thus, with this post-quantum encryption of secrets stored in the NFC HSM, it constitutes the fourth line of defense against attacks, especially invasive ones via pentest tools such as Flipper Zero.

Comprehensive Defense against Cyber Threats in the EviVault NFC HSM vs Flipper Zero Duel

EviCore NFC HSM provides a comprehensive defense strategy against both physical and logical attacks in the EviVault NFC HSM vs Flipper Zero duel. Its defenses include countermeasures against tampering, cloning, side-channel analysis, and reverse engineering. As the battle between EviVault NFC HSM and Flipper Zero intensifies, EviCore NFC HSM remains steadfast in protecting your secrets and ensuring a resilient defense against emerging cyber threats.

The EviCore NFC HSM technology operates without batteries and is activated on-demand, optimizing energy usage by leveraging the NFC signal of an Android phone. This unique feature not only showcases the system’s efficiency but also its environmentally friendly design. With EviCore NFC HSM technology, you get the peace of mind offered by patented and unparalleled security in the security and safety of sensitive data such as blockchain and cryptocurrency private keys in the face of perpetually evolving challenges via pentest tools that are freely accessible and very useful for testing, especially the duality EviVault NFC HSM vs Flipper Zero.

How Flipper Zero reads and emulates NFC cards

Flipper Zero has a Reading NFC cards function that allows it to read, save and emulate NFC cards. An NFC card is a transponder that operates at 13.56 MHz and has a unique number (UID) as well as a part of rewritable memory for storing data. Depending on the card type, memory can be segmented into sectors, pages, applications, etc. When near a reader, the NFC card transmits the requested data.

Flipper Zero can read different types of NFC cards according to their standard and protocol:

  • NFC cards type A: MIFARE Classic®, MIFARE Ultralight® & NTAG®, MIFARE® DESFire®
  • NFC cards type B: Calypso®, CEPAS
  • NFC cards type F: FeliCa™
  • NFC cards type V: ICODE® SLIX
  • Unknown cards: cards not recognized by Flipper Zero

Flipper Zero can also emulate NFC cards by using the data saved in its memory. To do this, you have to select a card from the Saved list then press Emulate. Flipper Zero will then behave like an NFC card and can communicate with a compatible reader.

Flipper Zero can therefore communicate with EviCore NFC HSM technology using the ISO 15693 standard which is supported by the ST25R3916 component it uses. However as we have seen previously this communication is limited and secured by EviVault NFC HSM protection mechanisms. Moreover Flipper Zero can emulate an ISO 15693 card even if the emulator has limitations. Indeed, the ST25R3916 component used by Flipper Zero allows emulation according to the ISO 15693 standard via RFLA (RF/NFC Abstraction Layer). However this emulation has limits to be able to test the NFC HSM of Freemindtronic. This excludes, for example, the possibility of testing the security and carrying out malicious attacks by emulating an ISO 15693 64Kb NFC chip used by the NFC HSMs used by the EviVault NFC HSM technology.

If you want to know more about Flipper Zero’s Reading NFC cards function and its emulation possibilities you can check out the following links:

Flipper Zero’s Capabilities and Limitations in Attacking EviVault NFC HSM

Flipper Zero’s Support of NFC-V Protocol and Emulation

A New Feature in Firmware 0.85.2

Flipper Zero is a multifunctional gadget for hackers that supports NFC technology. It can read, write, clone, and emulate NFC cards using a built-in 13.56 MHz NFC module. Flipper Zero uses a ST25R3916 NFC controller and a RFAL library to handle high-frequency protocols (NFC) and facilitate the development of NFC applications.

Flipper Zero supports the NFC-V (ISO15693) protocol since the firmware version 0.85.2. This protocol is used by some NFC tags, such as transport cards or electronic labels. With this feature, Flipper Zero can read and emulate these tags, which can be useful for testing their security or having fun with them.

The NFC-V protocol is a contactless protocol that operates at 13.56 MHz and allows data transfer at a distance of a few centimeters, with a maximum speed of 26.48 kbit/s. The NFC-V protocol is based on the ISO15693 standard, which defines the physical and logical characteristics of NFC tags. The NFC-V tags are recognized by the NFC Forum as type 5 tags.

To use the NFC-V protocol with Flipper Zero, you need to select the “NFC” option in the main menu, then choose the “NFC-V” mode. Then you need to bring the Flipper Zero close to an NFC-V tag to detect it and display its information. You can then choose to perform different actions on the tag, such as:

  • Read: to read the content of the tag and display it on the screen of Flipper Zero. The tag can contain up to 256 blocks of 4 bytes each.
  • Write: to write data on the tag, by choosing the page and the bytes to modify. The writing can be protected by a password.
  • Clone: to copy the content of the tag into the internal memory of Flipper Zero. Flipper Zero can store up to 8 cloned tags.
  • Emulate: to make the reader believe that Flipper Zero is the original tag. Flipper Zero can emulate any cloned tag.

A Potential Threat for EviVault NFC HSM

This feature also introduces a potential threat for EviVault NFC HSM, as Flipper Zero can now emulate an NFC-V card and try to access its data or functions. However, this threat is not very serious, as EviVault NFC HSM has strong security mechanisms that prevent unauthorized access or tampering.

EviVault NFC HSM is a hardware security module that uses NFC technology to store and manage cryptographic keys. It is designed to protect sensitive data and transactions from unauthorized access or tampering. It can be used as a secure element for authentication, encryption, digital signature, or blockchain applications.

EviVault NFC HSM uses encryption, authentication, protection against cloning and replay, and other techniques to ensure that only authorized devices can interact with it. Even if Flipper Zero can emulate an NFC-V card, it cannot decrypt or modify its data, nor perform any cryptographic operations on it.

Therefore, Flipper Zero’s support of NFC-V emulation does not compromise EviVault NFC HSM’s security or confidentiality.

Documentation

If you want to learn more about Flipper Zero’s support of NFC-V protocol and emulation, you can consult the following documentation:

Flipper Zero’s Lack of Support for Energy Harvesting and Password Protection

Two Features of M24LR64E-R and ST25DV64KC Chips

The M24LR64E-R and ST25DV64KC are dynamic NFC/RFID chips with 64-Kbit EEPROM, energy harvesting, I2C bus and RF ISO 15693 interface. They are used by Freemindtronic for their EviVault NFC HSM products. They have two features that Flipper Zero does not support: energy harvesting and password protection.

Energy harvesting is a function that allows the chip to harvest energy from the RF field and use it to power external components. This can be useful for low-power applications or battery-less devices. The chip has an analog pin for energy harvesting and four sink current configurable ranges.

Password protection is a function that allows the chip to protect its data from unauthorized access or modification by using passwords. The chip has three 64-bit passwords in RF mode and one 64-bit password in I2C mode. The passwords can be used to protect one to four configurable areas of memory in read and/or write mode.

Two Limitations for Flipper Zero in Attacking EviVault NFC HSM

Flipper Zero cannot take advantage of these two features for several reasons:

  • Flipper Zero cannot emulate a tag NFC 15693 with a memory of 64-Kbit, because it does not have enough internal memory to store the content of the tag. It cannot therefore pretend to be the original tag and try to access its data or functions.
  • Flipper Zero cannot clone a tag NFC 15693 with a memory of 64-Kbit, because it does not have enough internal memory to copy the content of the tag. It cannot therefore create a duplicate of the tag and modify it at will.
  • Flipper Zero cannot write on a tag NFC 15693 protected by a password, because it does not know the password. It cannot therefore modify the data of the tag or make them inaccessible.
  • Flipper Zero cannot benefit from the energy harvesting function of the M24LR64E-R and ST25DV64KC chips, because it does not have an analog pin to harvest energy. It cannot therefore power external components with the energy of the tag.

These limitations further reduce Flipper Zero’s capabilities in attacking EviVault NFC HSM. While Flipper Zero can interact with NFC-V devices used by NFC HSM, it cannot emulate them, clone them, write on them. EviVault NFC HSM’s robust security mechanisms ensure that Flipper Zero cannot compromise its security or confidentiality.

Documentation

If you want to learn more about the M24LR64E-R and ST25DV64KC chips and their features, you can consult the following documentation:

Conclusion

In this article, we analyzed how Flipper Zero can test the security of or attack EviVault NFC HSM technology through malicious use. This technology enables secure offline physical storage of blockchain private keys, cryptocurrency wallets, NFTs, and smart contracts. It uses EviCore NFC HSM technology that offers a high level of protection and encryption for your keys and secrets. It also works with Freemindtronic’s NFC HSM devices that are contactless devices that can store and use your cryptocurrency keys and secrets. Flipper Zero is a tool that can read, write, clone and emulate NFC cards using a built-in NFC module. It supports the NFC-V (ISO15693) protocol since June 2023, which allows it to interact with the M24LR64E-R and ST25DV64KC chips used by EviVault NFC HSM. However, Flipper Zero cannot compromise EviVault NFC HSM, because it has robust security mechanisms that prevent unauthorized access or modification of its data or functions. These mechanisms include encryption, authentication, protection against cloning and replay, energy harvesting and password protection. Therefore, EviVault NFC HSM is a reliable and innovative solution for offline storage and use of cryptocurrency keys without risk of hacking or loss.

It is understood that to perform this type of invasive or non-invasive proximity test or attack, you must first physically obtain an NFC HSM with blockchain or cryptocurrency private keys stored via EviVault NFC HSM.

Since it is not possible to emulate a NFC-V NFC HSM of 64 KB iso 15963. That it is not possible to guess the decryption keys encrypted in AES considered post-quantum. In addition, encryption keys are segmented to annoy blockchain and cryptocurrency privates. EviVAult NFC HSM technology allows you to securely store physical offline blockchain private keys as well as their public addresses and public keys. You can use them contactlessly on Android NFC phone or all computers such as Microsoft Windows, Linux and iOS Apple. It also protects them from environmental hazards by using NFC chips coated with defense-grade resin.

To acquire products using EviVault NFC HSM technology, simply check that the product includes this technology. If in doubt, contact Freemindtronic by clicking here.

Comparison table of EviVault NFC HSM and Flipper Zero features

It might be useful to add this table of main features of EviVault NFC HSM and Flipper Zero to show the communication links that allow Flipper Zero to communicate with EviCore NFC HSM technology. Here is the table formatted with the features of EviVault NFC HSM and Flipper Zero.

Feature EviVault NFC HSM Flipper Zero
Encryption algorithm AES 256 bits and RSA 4096 None
Authentication mechanism Segmented key with 9 trust criteria None
Protection against cloning and replay Yes No
Power security device and black box Yes No
Wireless access control system Yes No
Memory size 64 KB EEPROM 1024 KB Flash
Memory encryption Yes No
Memory access lockout Yes No
Frequencies below 1 MHz 13.56 MHz ± 7 kHz 13.56 MHz / 125 kHz (LF) and (HF)
NFC standard
  • ISO 15693 and compatible ISO 18000-3 mode 1
  • 423 kHz and 484 kHz
  • 53 kbit/s data rate
NFC-A / ISO14443A, NFC-B / ISO14443B, NFC-F / FeliCa™, NFC-V / ISO15693, NFC-A / ISO14443A, NFC-F / FeliCa™ in card emulation, compliant with MIFARE Classic®
Sub-GHz frequencies None 315 MHz, 433 MHz, 868 MHz and 915 MHz
Bluetooth Yes: Protected by RSA 4096 for Freemindtronic’s Android NFC application and by AES-128 CBC from EviKeyboard BLE Bluetooth LE 5.0
Wifi Yes: Protected by RSA 4096 for Freemindtronic’s Android NFC application and unique ECC key for one-time use with the NFC HSM Browser extension Yes, optional
Infrared transmitter None Yes
RFID reader-emulator None EM-4100 and HID Prox cards only
NFC reader-emulator None Yes, but without encryption or authentication
Anti-counterfeiting Yes, by unique signature of 128 bits and access to segmented key None
iButton reader-emulator None Yes
GPIO connectors None 18
Man-in-the-middle attack by intercepting the NFC signal Secure Yes

Note that this table shows the differences between the features of EviVault NFC HSM and Flipper Zero when used to attack EviVault NFC HSM.