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Cyber Resilience Act: a European regulation to strengthen the cybersecurity of digital products

European Commission logo symbolizing the Cyber Resilience Act and NFC HSM technology.

The CRA: Strengthening Cybersecurity Across the EU

Cyber Resilience Act (CRA) is a pivotal European regulation, enhancing cybersecurity standards for digital products. This legislation aims to safeguard users and businesses from cyber threats, ensure market competitiveness, and foster innovation in the cybersecurity field. In this article, we delve into the CRA’s essential features, its advantages and potential challenges, and the implications for manufacturers and distributors of digital products. Discover how the CRA aims to fortify digital security and resilience throughout the European Union.

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The Cyber Resilience Act: a European regulation to strengthen the cybersecurity of digital products

The Cyber Resilience Act (CRA) is a European regulation that imposes cybersecurity standards on digital products. It aims to protect users and businesses from cyber threats, harmonise the digital internal market and support innovation in cybersecurity. In this article, we’ll walk you through the key features of the CRA, its pros and cons, and its implications for manufacturers and distributors of digital products.

Introduction au Cyber Resilience Act (CRA)

The EU proposed the Cyber Resilience Act in 2022 to set uniform safety standards for products with digital components, such as internet-connected devices, software and online services. These products can be exposed to cyberattacks that affect their availability, integrity and confidentiality. The CRA aims to protect users and businesses from these risks, by requiring common rules for market entry and cybersecurity measures throughout the product lifecycle. It also establishes a CE marking system to indicate compliance with cybersecurity standards. Moreover, the CRA distinguishes critical products, which have higher obligations according to their level of criticality. The CRA is part of the 2020 EU Cybersecurity Strategy, which seeks to enhance the EU’s collective resilience against cyber threats and foster a secure and trustworthy digital environment for all.

The CRA was approved by the Council and the Parliament in november 2023, and will enter into force in 2024, 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU. However, it will not be applicable until 2027, to allow a transition period for existing products and software. Moreover, the CRA will be revised every five years, to adapt to technological developments and stakeholder needs.

In this subject, we will explain the main provisions of the CRA, its pros and cons, and its impact on the digital market and society. So,the CRA aims to increase the security and resilience of digital systems in the EU, by imposing strict and binding requirements for the design, development and maintenance of digital products. It also introduces a CE marking system for digital products, ensuring their compliance with established cybersecurity standards.

Strengthening the EU’s Cybersecurity Framework: The Provisional Agreement on the Cyber Resilience Act

A Milestone for a Secure Digital Single Market

The Council presidency and the European Parliament have struck a landmark agreement on the proposed Cyber Resilience Act (CRA), taking a major step forward in fortifying the European Union’s cybersecurity landscape. This critical legislation outlines EU-wide cybersecurity requirements for digital products, addressing the urgent need for a harmonized approach to securing connected devices before they reach consumers.

Hailed as a crucial step by Spanish Minister of Digital Transformation José Luis Escrivá, the agreement emphasizes the essential need for a basic cybersecurity level for all connected devices sold within the EU, ensuring robust protection for both businesses and consumers.

Key Features and Amendments of the Agreement

The provisional agreement preserves the core principles of the European Commission’s proposal, focusing on several key areas:

  • Rebalancing Compliance Responsibility: Manufacturers now take primary responsibility, handling tasks like risk assessments, conformity declarations, and cooperation with authorities.
  • Vulnerability Handling: The agreement mandates processes for manufacturers to ensure ongoing cybersecurity and outlines specific obligations for importers and distributors as well.
  • Transparency and Consumer Protection: Measures are introduced to enhance transparency regarding the security of both hardware and software for consumers and businesses, empowering informed decision-making.
  • Market Surveillance Framework: A robust framework will enforce the regulations, ensuring compliance and safeguarding the EU’s digital space.

Co-legislators have also proposed adjustments, including:

  • Simplified Product Classification: A streamlined approach for classifying regulated digital products, facilitating easier compliance and understanding.
  • Product Lifetime Determination: Manufacturers must specify the expected lifespan of digital products, with a minimum five-year support period, unless shorter use is anticipated.
  • Reporting Obligations: A focus on reporting actively exploited vulnerabilities and incidents, enhancing the role of national authorities and ENISA in managing cybersecurity threats.

Looking Forward: Implementation and Impact

With the provisional agreement in place, technical work continues to finalize the regulation’s details. The compromise text will be presented for endorsement by member states, marking a critical moment in the EU’s journey towards a cohesive and secure digital ecosystem.

The CRA is set to apply three years after enactment, providing manufacturers with ample time to adapt. Additionally, specific support measures for small and micro enterprises have been agreed upon, including awareness-raising, training, and assistance with testing and compliance procedures.

The Path to the Cyber Resilience Act

This provisional agreement marks the culmination of a journey that began with the Council’s 2020 conclusions on the cybersecurity of connected devices, emphasizing the need for comprehensive legislation. Reflecting the urgency expressed by Commission President von der Leyen in 2021 and subsequent Council conclusions, the CRA proposal submitted by the Commission in September 2022 aims to complement the existing EU cybersecurity framework, including the NIS Directive and the EU Cybersecurity Act.

This agreement represents a significant milestone in the EU’s commitment to enhancing cybersecurity resilience, marking a new era of digital product security and consumer protection across the Union.

Business Requirements and Responsibilities

Under the CRA, manufacturers and distributors of digital products are required to ensure the compliance of their offerings from the moment they are placed on the market and throughout their lifecycle. This involves actively monitoring for vulnerabilities and working closely with security researchers to identify and fix potential vulnerabilities within 90 days of discovery.

Cooperation and Sanctions

Another cornerstone of the CRA is the enhanced cooperation between EU Member States and the European Commission to monitor the application of the Regulation. In the event of non-compliance, companies risk severe penalties, up to 10% of their annual global turnover. This underlines the EU’s commitment to ensuring a high level of digital security.

Application and Exclusions of the CRA

The CRA applies to a wide range of digital products, with the notable exception of those already regulated by other EU legislation, such as medical devices or vehicles. Its aim is to close legislative gaps and strengthen coherence in the field of cybersecurity.

Conclusion and Outlook

Following its approval by the Council of the EU and the European Parliament, the CRA is scheduled to enter into force in early 2024. Manufacturers then have 36 months to comply with the new rules. This initiative marks an important step towards a more secure and resilient European Union in the face of digital threats.

Benefits of the Cyber Resilience Act for the Digital Ecosystem

The Cyber Resilience Act (CRA) is envisaged not only as a regulatory framework, but also as a lever for improving cybersecurity at the European Union level. It brings several significant benefits, both for users and for the digital economy as a whole.

Strengthening Consumer and Business Protection

One of the main strengths of the CRA is its ability to raise the level of security for consumers and businesses. By imposing high and constantly updated cybersecurity standards, the regulation ensures that digital products purchased or used offer optimal protection against cyber threats. This helps to create a safer digital environment for all.

Harmonization of the Digital Internal Market

The CRA plays a crucial role in harmonising cybersecurity rules across the EU. By eliminating the fragmentation and divergence of national laws, it facilitates the free movement of digital products within the Single Market. This is essential to support economic integration and boost intra-European trade in digital solutions.

Driving Innovation in Cybersecurity

Finally, the CRA is a driver of innovation in the cybersecurity sector. By increasing demand for secure digital products, it encourages investment in research and development. This dynamic creates valuable opportunities for European companies, allowing them to stand out as leaders in the field of cybersecurity on the global stage.

In sum, the benefits of the CRA are manifested in enhanced protection for users, regulatory harmonisation beneficial to the European single market, and increased support for innovation in the cybersecurity sector. Through these measures, the CRA aims to establish a solid foundation for a safe, competitive and innovative digital ecosystem in the European Union.

Analysis of the Challenges Posed by the Cyber Resilience Act

The Cyber Resilience Act (CRA), while aiming to strengthen digital security within the European Union, raises concerns about its potential impact on various aspects of the digital landscape. These drawbacks deserve special attention to understand the challenges associated with the implementation of this legislation.

Impact on Vulnerability Disclosure

A major criticism is the possible reluctance of security researchers to report discovered vulnerabilities. The fear of sanctions or legal action, due to failure to comply with deadlines or procedures dictated by the CRA, could deter these key players from sharing their findings, thus limiting collective efforts to strengthen cybersecurity.

Effects on Free and Open-Source Software

The CRA is also suspected of slowing down the development and adoption of free and open-source software. The latter, known for their security and transparency, could be subject to disproportionate and onerous compliance requirements. These risks hindering innovation and the use of these valuable resources in the digital ecosystem.

Standardization of Disclosure Models

Another sticking point is the potential reduction in the effectiveness and diversity of vulnerability disclosure models. The one-size-fits-all and rigid approach advocated by the CRA may not be appropriate for all situations, requiring flexibility to adapt to the specifics of each case.

Potentially disproportionate penalties

The penalties envisaged by the CRA for non-compliance are considered by some to be excessive. The prospect of severe financial penalties could jeopardize the economic viability of digital manufacturers and distributors, as well as their ability to innovate. This approach could, therefore, have negative repercussions for the entire digital sector.

In sum, although the CRA aims to establish a strengthened security framework for the European Digital Space, it is crucial to assess and address its possible negative impacts. Careful consideration of these issues will allow the regulation to be adjusted and refined so that it effectively supports cybersecurity without hindering innovation or collaboration in the digital domain.

Cyber Resilience Act Compliance Guide for the Digital Industry

The Cyber Resilience Act (CRA) is a major initiative by the European Union to increase cybersecurity across its Member States. Compliance with this regulation requires a series of targeted and structured actions, applicable to both manufacturers and distributors of digital products.

Actions Required for Digital Product Manufacturers

  • Conducting Cyber Risk Assessments: The first step involves analyzing and documenting the risks associated with the products. This includes identifying threats, vulnerabilities, impacts, and protective measures, with this information regularly updated.
  • Application of the CE Marking and Information to Users: Products must bear the CE marking, a symbol of their compliance with EU safety standards. It is essential to provide comprehensive information on the cybersecurity characteristics of products, including conditions of use and maintenance.
  • Security Updates: Manufacturers must establish and maintain procedures for updating the security of products, ensuring the ability of products to receive and install these updates. Proactive communication about the need for and availability of updates is crucial.
  • Vulnerability Reporting: Discovered or reported vulnerabilities must be reported within 90 days. It is important to communicate corrective actions to users using appropriate channels and adhering to the principles of responsible disclosure.
  • Cooperation with Cybersecurity Authorities: Collaboration with competent authorities, participation in audits and provision of the necessary documents for compliance verification are key elements.

Obligations of Digital Product Distributors

  • Product Conformity Verification: Distributors must ensure that the products marketed comply with the requirements of the CRA, including the CE marking. They must also provide adequate information about the cybersecurity of the products.
  • Security Update Information and Support: Distributors are responsible for notifying users of security updates and assisting them with their installation. Communication about vulnerabilities and remediation is also required.
  • Audit and Cooperation with Authorities: Submission to controls, cooperation with competent authorities and provision of the necessary information to demonstrate compliance are essential.

Importance of Compliance

Failure to comply with CRA guidelines can result in significant penalties, including fines of up to 10% of annual worldwide turnover. The adoption of internal compliance and governance mechanisms is therefore crucial to avoid such consequences.

CRA compliance is not only a legal imperative but also an opportunity to improve the security and resilience of the European digital ecosystem. With these measures, the digital industry makes a significant contribution to data protection and user trust in digital technologies.

Which products are covered by the Cyber Resilience Act?

General definition of the products concerned

The CRA applies to all products with digital elements that are directly or indirectly connected to another device or network, with the exception of those already covered by other EU rules, such as medical devices, aviation or cars. The CRA aims to fill gaps and ensure consistency in existing cybersecurity legislation.

Distinguishing between critical and non-critical products

The CRA applies to a wide range of products with digital components, such as internet-connected devices, software and online services. However, not all products are subject to the same level of scrutiny and obligations. The CRA distinguishes between critical and non-critical products, based on the level of risk they pose to users and society.

The scope of the CRA

The CRA covers all products that have a digital component and that are connected directly or indirectly to another device or network. This includes all connected hardware (computers, phones, household appliances, cars, toys, virtual assistive devices, etc.) as well as systems such as VPNs, antivirus, password managers, software essential to the management of cloud services, or the operating systems of the aforementioned hardware.

For the sake of clarity, the draft CRA provides a list of affected products and software. However, this list is not exhaustive and may be updated by the Commission to take into account technological developments.

The classification of critical products

As you will discover by reading further, this CRA regulation makes a distinction between a general category of products containing digital elements, and those considered “critical”. The latter category represents 10% of the objects covered by this regulation. While critical products are those which, if compromised, would have significant impacts on the security of property and people as well as society.

In summary, this regulation is subdivided into critical products and two other classes according to the level of criticality of the risks. Thus, depending on the class to which they belong, software or hardware will be subject to more or less strict supervision and obligations.

The obligations for different classes of products

To streamline the understanding of the impact of the Cyber ​​Resilience Act (CRA) on product classes, let’s take a look at this simplified guide. This is a table that succinctly classifies products according to their criticality under CRA regulations. As a result, this has the advantage of highlighting the specific obligations as well as their impacts on manufacturers and their potential effects on the market. Therefore, this has the effect of presenting this information in a clear and organized manner. We also aim to facilitate the smooth adaptation process for stakeholders to this Cyber ​​Resilience Act regulation. So prepare now to take this information into account to effectively improve and anticipate your strategies. Anticipate your compliance with its new and evolving European cybersecurity standards.

Table 2: CRA Obligations by Product Class
Product Class Obligations Impact on Manufacturers Market Effects
Most Critical
  • Certification by an independent body before market entry.
  • Incurs significant costs and delays.
  • May hinder innovation and competitiveness, especially in electronics and embedded systems.
Intermediate
  • Self-assessment and declaration of conformity by manufacturers.
  • Reduces administrative burden and time to market.
  • Demands high responsibility and transparency.
Less Critical
  • Compliance with essential requirements, no formal certification needed.
  • Ensures basic security levels without excessive costs.
  • Enhances trust in less critical digital products.

Key Insights:

  • First, the Cyber ​​Resilience Act classifies products based on their impact on cybersecurity and imposes specific compliance obligations on them.
  • This is why the most critical products are subject to strict certification processes.
  • In fact, this affects market dynamics. Whereas, intermediate and less critical classes follow simplified compliance pathways. This balances security needs and market viability.
  • Finally, this concise overview facilitates informed decision making and strategic planning for market positioning and observation.

Navigating the Cyber Resilience Act (CRA): A Quick Guide

We’ve compiled a simplified guide to help you quickly navigate the complexities of the Cyber ​​Resilience Act (CRA). Thus, this table details the objectives of this regulation on the products it covers and the essential requirements it imposes. Additionally, it also highlights the main benefits and potential obstacles of the law. Thus, this brief overview aims to inform you of the essential knowledge to understand and adapt to the implications of the ARC. By familiarizing yourself with these critical aspects now, you can advantageously stay one step ahead. This therefore guarantees you preparation for the expected developments over three years in the cybersecurity landscape within the EU by 2027.

Table 1: Overview of the CRA

Aspect Details
Aim of the CRA
  • To strengthen the cybersecurity of products and software within the EU.
Covered Products and Software
  • Hardware: Smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, desktops, laptops, routers, smart home appliances, POS systems, medical devices, etc.
  • Software: Operating systems (Windows, macOS, Linux), browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari), mobile apps, security software, cloud services, etc.
  • Data Storage/Processing: Hard drives, cloud storage, PCs, servers, software handling sensitive data.
Key Requirements
  • Conduct risk assessments
  • Implement security measures
  • Provide information to users
  • Report vulnerabilities
  • Cooperate with authorities
Main Benefits
  • Enhanced user security
  • Increased trust in the digital economy
  • Accelerated innovation in cybersecurity
Potential Challenges
  • Increased costs for compliance
  • Regulatory complexity
  • Risk of market fragmentation
Staying Informed
  • Regular updates and compliance checks are crucial for adherence to the CRA.

Key Takeaways

  • First, the CRA is an essential regulation having an impact on the European cybersecurity framework.
  • Then, this involves compliance with the requirements of the mandatory CRA for manufacturers, distributors and importers.
  • Finally, this has the effect of offering significant advantages but at the same time generates certain additional cost challenges.

In summary, this table format provides a concise and organized summary of the ARC. This makes it easier for you to understand its scope, requirements, benefits and challenges.

Hardware Security Module with the CRA

Under the Cyber ​​Resilience Act (CRA), Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) play a crucial role in securing Europe’s digital infrastructure. Indeed, they are the Guardians of the cryptographic keys. They are in fact the pillars of data security and digital transactions. Without question, HSMs are essential tools to meet the strict requirements of the CRA.

Definition of HSMs

Hardware and digital security modules (HSMs) play a crucial role in securing cryptographic processes. They generate, protect, and manage encryption, decryption, digital signature, and certification keys. Their importance for the protection of sensitive data and digital trust classifies them as critical products according to the Cyber Resilience Act (CRA).

Features of the HSM Hardware

Hardware HSM comes in the form of a physical device, ensuring high security against physical and logical attacks. It can be integrated into a computer system such as a PCI card or an external enclosure. These devices are evaluated and certified according to international safety standards, such as FIPS 140 and Common Criteria EAL4+, attesting to their reliability and robustness.

Benefits of Digital HSM

At the same time, digital HSM offers a software solution that provides security comparable to that of a hardware HSM. With virtualization and advanced encryption, it can be deployed on servers, cloud environments, or mobile devices. Certifications, such as FIPS 140-2 Level 1 or Common Criteria EAL2+, validate the compliance of these software solutions with rigorous security standards.

Cyber-resilience regulation certification process in force

In accordance with the requirements of the CRA, HSMs, whether physical or digital, must obtain certification from an independent body before they are placed on the market. This certification assures users that the devices meet high standards of security and protection of sensitive information.

Importance of HSMs in Cybersecurity

Hardware and digital HSMs are critical components of an organization’s security infrastructure. They secure the exchange of information by providing a reliable and certified method of protection for critical data. By facilitating secure management of cryptographic keys, HSMs build digital trust and support regulatory compliance.

In short, both hardware and digital HSMs are indispensable tools in the modern cybersecurity landscape. Their role in securing cryptographic keys and encryption processes is vital for data protection and trust in digital systems. The mandatory certification emphasizes their importance and ensures that they comply with the highest safety standards.

Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) Under the Cyber Resilience Act

Definition and Features of HSMs

HSMs are specialized devices designed for the secure management of cryptographic keys, crucial for data encryption and transaction security. These modules embody the core principles of the CRA, providing foundational security capabilities across critical and less critical sectors.

Fixed HSMs

Embedded within infrastructural setups, fixed HSMs offer enduring security solutions. These devices are pivotal in safeguarding essential services, from energy distribution to financial transactions, aligning with the CRA’s high-security benchmarks.

Removable HSMs

Offering versatility, removable HSMs, such as USB HSMs, enable secure key management across varied operational contexts. They facilitate a balance between security and mobility, catering to diverse needs within the CRA framework.

NFC HSMs

Merging NFC technology with HSM security, NFC HSMs introduce a new paradigm in contactless transaction security. Although categorized as non-critical, their adherence to CRA standards exemplifies the act’s comprehensive approach to cybersecurity, spanning from retail to access control applications.

NFC HSM and the Cyber Resilience Act (CRA): A Closer Look at Secure Technology

NFC HSM (Near Field Communication Hardware Security Module) represents a technological fusion. It integrates a hardware security module with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology like those manufactured by the Freemindtronic company in Andorra. They also have the particularities of being patented, of operating without a server, without a database and without the user needing to identify themselves or create an account to use them. They are not connected by default. This device provides secure, on-demand wireless interaction between devices over short distances, further protecting the data exchanges they encrypt.

They represent a significant advancement in secure short-range wireless communication by integrating near-field communication (NFC) with the robust security of hardware security modules (HSM). These devices provide enhanced protection of cryptographic keys and sensitive data, facilitating secure, contactless transactions and interactions with ease and flexibility.

Features and Advantages:
  • Enhanced Security: Embedded HSMs safeguard against external threats, ensuring the integrity of cryptographic keys and sensitive data.
  • Secure Authentication: NFC technology supports mutual authentication, minimizing fraud and counterfeiting risks.
  • Ease of Use: Simplified transactions through touch, eliminating manual data entry.
  • Versatility: Can be integrated into a wide array of devices and applications.
Applications:
  • Contactless Payments: Devices equipped with NFC HSM technology facilitate fast and secure transactions, enhancing user convenience and safety.
  • Access Control: These systems manage entry to secure areas, safeguarding physical and digital assets by regulating access to buildings and sensitive data.
  • Tracking and Traceability: NFC HSMs play a crucial role in supply chain management, enabling the authentication and monitoring of goods, ensuring their integrity from origin to destination.
  • Electronic Tickets: Ideal for storing digital tickets for transportation, events, and other services, streamlining the user experience while ensuring security.
  • Contactless Hardware Secrets Manager: A novel application where NFC HSMs manage passwords, encryption keys, secret keys, PIN codes, and 2FA credentials, offering a secure and convenient solution for managing digital identities and access rights across various platforms.

These examples underscore the versatility and security enhancements provided by NFC HSM technology, aligning with the objectives of the Cyber Resilience Act to foster a secure and resilient digital environment across the EU.

Exemplifying CRA Compliance: Freemindtronic’s NFC HSM

Incorporating Freemindtronic’s NFC HSM as a case study offers an insightful lens through which to view the Cyber Resilience Act’s (CRA) implications for digital product security. Freemindtronic’s approach exemplifies adherence to the CRA through its innovative security measures and compliance practices.

Exemplifying CRA Compliance: Freemindtronic’s NFC HSM

As we delve into the CRA’s extensive requirements and scope, practical examples like Freemindtronic’s NFC Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) illuminate how digital products are aligning with heightened security standards.

Meeting CRA’s Fundamental Compliance Demands:

  • Risk Assessment: Freemindtronic has not just conducted a thorough risk evaluation but has also embedded stringent risk management practices from inception through to development, manufacturing, and usage of NFC HSMs. This includes countermeasures against both invasive and non-invasive threats, reflecting the CRA’s directive for integrated risk management.
  • Security Implementations: With patented multi-security functions such as segmented key authentication and customizable trust criteria, alongside post-quantum considered AES-256 encryption in NFC HSM memories, Freemindtronic exceeds the CRA’s requirements for advanced security measures.
  • Vulnerability Disclosure: Freemindtronic’s immediate vulnerability disclosure mechanism, especially through its website, aligns with the CRA’s demand for timely vulnerability reporting to authorities, despite over seven years without detected vulnerabilities in NFC HSM products.
  • Regulatory Cooperation: Freemindtronic’s proactive partnership with Andorran regulatory bodies, including the National Cybersecurity Agency of Andorra (ANC), signifies a commitment to enhancing security collaboratively, as encouraged by the CRA.

Freemindtronic’s NFC HSM Features Enhancing CRA Compliance:

  • Serverless and Database-Free Operation: This minimizes potential attack vectors, aligning with the CRA’s focus on cybersecurity risk reduction.
  • User Anonymity and No Account Creation: By operating anonymously without user identification or account creation, It embodies a contactless plug-and-play principle, making it physically impossible to identify the NFC HSM users. Freemindtronic supports the CRA’s emphasis on user privacy and data protection.
  • End-to-End Anonymization: Freemindtronic’s NFC HSMs are not active by default, given their battery-less design. They are inert products that become active for less than a second during the use of the secret contained within the NFC HSM. Secrets used on the phone or computer are not stored in the systems; everything is conducted ephemerally in volatile memory. This approach is in strict adherence to the CRA’s data protection and confidentiality principles.
  • Innovation Patent Protection: Freemindtronic’s security solutions, underpinned by innovation patents, set a high compliance standard with the Cyber Resilience Act.

Industry Advantages:

  • Simplified Compliance Process: Freemindtronic’s NFC HSMs provide a pre-compliance solution that simplifies adherence to CRA regulations, saving time and resources for businesses.
  • Enhanced Data Security: Freemindtronic sets a security benchmark for sensitive data and cryptographic keys, embodying the CRA’s aim to standardize protection across digital products.
  • Adaptability to Diverse Applications: The flexibility of Freemindtronic’s NFC HSMs showcases the adaptability of security solutions to meet various application needs within the CRA framework.

By showcasing Freemindtronic’s NFC HSMs, we highlight how innovative security technologies can not only meet but surpass the rigorous expectations of the CRA. This insight into Freemindtronic’s compliance strategy offers a practical perspective on adhering to CRA guidelines, reinforcing the regulation’s role in boosting the cybersecurity posture of digital products within the EU.

Key Features of the CRA at a Glance

In summary, the Cyber ​​Resilience Act aims to strengthen the cybersecurity of products sold within the European Union.

This concerns a very large number of products, such as Internet-connected devices, software and online services.

Indeed, manufacturers and distributors will be required to comply with the various requirements of this European CRA regulation. In particular, they will have to carry out risk assessments on their products, implement security measures and inform users.

Thus, the Cyber Resilience Act should offer many advantages. This is characterized by increased user security. But it should also promote trust and the digital economy and help accelerate European innovation in the cybersecurity sector. However, the downside is that the ARC will impose certain challenges, such as increased costs for manufacturers and distributors, increased regulatory complexity and potential fragmentation of the single market.

Overall, the CRA constitutes an important piece of legislation that will have a major impact on the European cybersecurity landscape. It is important that all stakeholders are aware of the ARC requirements and take steps to comply with them.

The table below provides a summary of the CRA’s key features.

Table 1: Summary of the Cyber Resilience Act (CRA)

Feature Benefits Challenges
Scope
  • Wide range of products
  • Exclusion of certain products
Requirements
  • Harmonization of cybersecurity requirements
  • Costs and delays for manufacturers
Compliance
  • Certification process for critical products
  • Market fragmentation
Sanctions
  • Fines for non-compliance
  • Discouragement of vulnerability reporting
Objectives
  • Improved security and resilience
  • Impact on innovation
Impact
  • Protection of users and businesses
  • Difficulty balancing security and innovation

Finally, this table above constitutes a simple summary of the main characteristics of the CRA. So you have a more complete visual understanding of the Cyber ​​Resilience Act.

In conclusion on the European cyber-resilience act regulation

In conclusion, the Cyber Resilience Act (CRA) represents a significant step forward in the European Union’s efforts to strengthen cybersecurity and protect consumers in the digital age. While challenges remain, the CRA has the potential to create a more secure and resilient digital ecosystem for all. As the regulation comes into effect and evolves over time, it will be crucial to monitor its impact and adapt it as needed to ensure its continued effectiveness in a rapidly changing technological landscape. Ultimately, the success of the CRA will depend on the collective efforts of governments, businesses, and individuals to embrace its principles and work together to build a more secure and trustworthy digital world.

Sources

Here are some official sources which confirm this information:

BitLocker Security: Safeguarding Against Cyberattacks

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Elevating BitLocker Security: A Comprehensive Guide

BitLocker Security stands as the first line of defense in safeguarding Windows data. This comprehensive guide delves into enhancing encryption measures, tackling vulnerabilities, and integrating advanced solutions for unparalleled protection. Discover how technologies like PassCypher and DataShielder, in synergy with BitLocker, revolutionize data security.

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Elevating Data Protection on Windows with BitLocker Security

Are you utilizing a Windows computer for personal or professional data storage and processing? Aiming to shield your information from theft, loss, or exposure risks during device disposal? Seeking a straightforward, effective security solution without additional software installations? BitLocker, integrated within Windows, provides a formidable solution.

BitLocker: A Cornerstone of Windows Security

BitLocker emerges as a key security feature in Windows, enabling the encryption of entire volumes — be it partitions or hard drives. By deploying robust encryption algorithms like the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), BitLocker converts your data into a format unreadable to unauthorized individuals lacking the encryption key.

This encryption key is securely generated and stored by the Trusted Platform Module (TPM), a specialized security chip embedded in the motherboards of select computers. The TPM’s role extends to generating and storing encryption keys, digital signatures, boot measurements, and even biometric identifiers. Crucially, TPM 2.0 is mandated for the installation and operation of Windows 11, Microsoft’s latest operating system.

Moreover, the TPM assures device integrity when offline — that is, when your computer is shut down or in sleep mode. It assesses the boot code executed at device startup against a reference value within the TPM. A match allows the TPM to unlock the encryption key, facilitating normal device startup. A mismatch, however, results in the TPM securing the key, thereby thwarting the device’s boot process.

Further enhancing security, BitLocker can condition the normal startup process on the provision of a personal code (PIN) or the insertion of a removable device containing a startup key. These added authentication measures fortify BitLocker security, necessitating multi-factor authentication. Without the correct PIN or startup key at each boot, BitLocker retains the encryption key, preventing data access.

In This Article, Discover:

  • BitLocker’s Mechanisms: Grasp how BitLocker operates to encrypt entire volumes securely.
  • BitLocker Security Benefits: Explore the myriad ways BitLocker fortifies data security.
  • Navigating BitLocker’s Vulnerabilities: Learn about potential risks to BitLocker and strategies for protection.
  • BitLocker Activation and Configuration: Detailed guidance on enabling and setting up BitLocker on Windows.
  • Enhancing BitLocker Security with EviPass NFC HSM, EviCypher NFC HSM, and EviKeyboard BLE: At the article’s conclusion, we’ll delve into how these innovative solutions bolster BitLocker security against various attacks.

BitLocker Security: Operational Insights

BitLocker secures data using potent algorithms and keys, intricately stored within the TPM, rendering them nearly impossible to extract or tamper with. This ensures that data remains inaccessible without the correct encryption key or authentication.

The TPM not only generates and secures encryption keys but also plays a critical role in verifying device integrity, especially during offline periods. This security measure is vital for maintaining device protection, particularly at startup. Moreover, BitLocker’s synergy with other Windows security features like Secure Boot and Windows Information Protection further elevates data safeguarding.

The Advantages of BitLocker for Protecting Data

With BitLocker, users enjoy extensive benefits for data security, such as:

  • Preventing Unauthorized Data Access: Through advanced encryption and TPM-stored keys, BitLocker shields data against both software attacks and physical disk tampering.
  • Securing Data on Disposed Devices: Ensuring data on discarded BitLocker-protected devices remains unreadable without proper encryption or authentication methods.
  • Protection Against Device Theft or Loss: By requiring a PIN or startup key, BitLocker offers multi-factor authentication, significantly reducing unauthorized access risks.

By integrating BitLocker into your data protection strategy, you enhance the security layer around sensitive information. This guide not only elucidates BitLocker’s significance and operational mechanics but also introduces “EviPass NFC HSM, EviCypher NFC HSM, and EviKeyboard BLE” as pivotal in advancing BitLocker security against diverse threats. Stay tuned for an in-depth exploration of these enhancements towards the article’s end.

BitLocker Security: Analyzing Attacks and Vulnerabilities in TPM and TPM 2.0

Introduction to BitLocker’s Encryption Technology

BitLocker is an integral encryption technology within Windows, designed to protect data on hard drives and removable media. Utilizing the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), BitLocker secures data with a secret key. This key can be stored in a Trusted Platform Module (TPM), a security chip on the motherboard, or through alternative methods like passwords, PINs, USB keys, or certificates. While BitLocker significantly enhances protection against data theft, loss, and unauthorized system boot or code alterations, it is not without vulnerabilities. These include the necessity of recovery key backups, compatibility issues with certain hardware and software, and susceptibility to specific attack techniques. This article delves into the various attack possibilities and vulnerabilities associated with TPM and TPM 2.0, detailing their mechanisms, consequences, and countermeasures.

TPM 1.2: Security Functions and Vulnerabilities

Placement du diagramme : immédiatement après l’explication des attaques par démarrage à froid, incluez un diagramme de processus étape par étape. Ce diagramme doit décrire la séquence d’une attaque par démarrage à froid : (1) l’attaquant redémarre le périphérique, (2) accède à la RAM avant qu’elle ne s’efface et (3) extrait les clés de chiffrement BitLocker. Utilisez des icônes ou des illustrations pour un ordinateur, de la RAM et un symbole de clé pour représenter la clé de cryptage.

The Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2 offers security functions like random number generation, secure cryptographic key creation, and digital signatures. While it bolsters BitLocker data security, TPM 1.2 is vulnerable to several attack types:

Cold Boot Attacks on TPM 1.2 or TMP 2.0

Cold boot attacks involve rebooting a TPM 1.2-enabled device to access and extract BitLocker encryption keys from RAM before it clears. Attackers can use alternative boot devices or physically transfer RAM to another device. Such attacks expose BitLocker-encrypted data due to TPM 1.2’s lack of effective RAM clearing mechanisms and data decryption prevention without authentication. Transitioning to TPM 2.0, which introduces “Memory Overwrite Request” (MOR) and “Lockout Mode,” provides enhanced protections.

DMA Attacks on TPM 1.2

A diagram showing how ThunderClap Attacks compromise Windows, Linux, and macOS systems through malicious peripherals and DMA.
This diagram explains the complex process of ThunderClap Attacks, which can bypass BitLocker Security measures on different operating systems.

DMA (Direct Memory Access) attacks use external devices to directly access the RAM of a TPM 1.2-enabled device, potentially reading or modifying BitLocker encryption keys. Such attacks compromise BitLocker security due to TPM 1.2’s inefficiencies in RAM protection and data integrity verification.

To defend against DMA attacks, it’s recommended to:

  • Disable or secure device DMA ports, such as FireWire or Thunderbolt.
  • Use a PIN or startup key to lock device booting, preventing access to BitLocker-encrypted data without proper credentials.
  • Encrypt data on external storage devices to prevent them from becoming attack vectors.

RAM Analysis Attacks on TPM 1.2

RAM analysis attacks use specialized software or hardware to scan a device’s RAM for sensitive information, including BitLocker keys. TPM 1.2’s inability to protect RAM or verify data integrity leaves BitLocker-encrypted data vulnerable. Upgrading to TPM 2.0, which employs Device Encryption to bind data encryption to device hardware, mitigates these risks by not exposing the encryption key to RAM.

TPM 2.0: Enhanced Security Features and Vulnerabilities

TPM 2.0 introduces advanced security functions, including improved random number generation, secure cryptographic key creation, and digital signatures. These enhancements strengthen BitLocker security but do not render TPM 2.0 impervious to attacks:

Cold Boot Attacks on TPM 2.0

A person using a cold spray to freeze the RAM of a laptop, highlighting the risk of cold boot attacks for BitLocker Security.
A cold spray can be used to preserve the data in the RAM after shutting down or restarting the system, exposing the BitLocker encryption keys to an attacker

Similar to TPM 1.2, TPM 2.0 is susceptible to cold boot attacks, where sensitive information like BitLocker keys can be extracted from RAM following a device reboot. TPM 2.0’s lack of effective RAM clearing mechanisms and data decryption prevention without authentication leaves BitLocker-encrypted data vulnerable. Utilizing TPM 2.0’s Lockout Mode, which limits decryption attempts and imposes delays between attempts, along with employing a PIN or startup key for device booting, enhances security against cold boot attacks.

For additional information on defending against cold boot attacks on TPM 2.0, explore:

Fault Injection Attacks on TPM 2.0

Fault injection attacks induce errors in TPM 2.0’s operation by altering physical conditions, such as voltage, temperature, or radiation, potentially causing information leaks or malfunctions. Common techniques include “glitching,” where electrical impulses disrupt TPM operations, revealing sensitive information or compromising data integrity. These vulnerabilities, tracked as CVE-2023-1017 and CVE-2023-1018, highlight the importance of updating TPM firmware and employing fault-resistant TPMs or physical isolation measures to protect against such attacks.

To further understand fault injection attacks on TPM 2.0, consider:

  • “Fault Injection Techniques and Tools for Embedded Systems Reliability Evaluation,” presenting fault injection principles, methods, and tools.
  • “Fault Injection Attacks on Cryptographic Devices: Theory, Practice, and Countermeasures,” analyzing fault injection attacks on cryptographic devices and offering effective countermeasures.
  • A video on fault injection attacks on TPMs, demonstrating attack execution and prevention methods.

Phishing and Social Engineering Attacks on TPM 2.0

TPM 2.0 cannot safeguard against phishing or social engineering attacks that manipulate users into divulging sensitive information, such as passwords or encryption keys. These attacks use deceptive communication methods, posing as legitimate entities like Microsoft or technical support, to exploit user emotions, needs, or weaknesses. To defend against such attacks, never disclose personal information to unknown or suspicious entities, verify the credibility of sources before trusting them, and utilize TPM 2.0’s Lockout Mode to limit decryption attempts and impose delays between attempts. Additionally, educating users on phishing and social engineering techniques and reporting suspicious activities to authorities are crucial countermeasures.

For more insights into phishing and social engineering attacks on TPM 2.0, explore:

  • “Phishing and Social Engineering,” describing attack characteristics, consequences, and prevention tips.
  • “BitLocker Security FAQ,” answering common questions about BitLocker security and explaining TPM 2.0’s Lockout Mode defense against phishing and social engineering attacks.
  • How to spot and avoid phishing scams, a tutorial on recognizing and avoiding phishing attempts, offering tools and services for protection.

The Bus Pirate Attack on TPM 2.0

To better understand how a Bus Pirate attack works, here’s a video made by security researcher Stacksmashing, who successfully extracted the BitLocker encryption key from a laptop using a Raspberry Pi Pico, a microcontroller that costs less than 10 euros. He then used Dislocker software to decrypt the hard drive with the obtained key.

Extracting the BitLocker key

The attacker opened the laptop case, located the TPM’s SPI port, and connected the Raspberry Pi Pico with wires. Using a Python script, he read and wrote to the TPM, and extracted the BitLocker encryption key. He then removed the hard drive from the laptop, connected it to another computer, and decrypted the data with the Dislocker software and the key. The Raspberry Pi Pico served as a tool to “sniff” BitLocker keys and to create a debugging and glitch attack tool.

The Pirate Bus

The Bus Pirate is a hardware hacking tool that communicates with various electronic bus protocols. It supports serial protocols such as 1-wire, 2-wire, 3-wire, UART, I2C, SPI and HD44780 LCD. It can access the TPM via the SPI port, which is a synchronous communication protocol that transfers data between a master and one or more slaves. The TPM is a slave that responds to the master’s commands.

Stacksmashing video

To understand how a Bus Pirate attack works, watch this video by security researcher Stacksmashing, who extracted the BitLocker encryption key from a laptop using a Raspberry Pi Pico, a cheap microcontroller. He then decrypted the hard drive with the Dislocker software and the key, showing how the attack can bypass BitLocker security.

TPM 2.0 vulnerabilities

The Bus Pirate attack exploits the SPI communication vulnerabilities of TPM 2.0, allowing attackers to intercept BitLocker encryption keys by “eavesdropping” on unencrypted communications. This method requires physical access to the target computer and specialized hardware, and can potentially enable arbitrary code execution and cryptographic information extraction.

Protective measures

To mitigate these risks, use TPM 2.0 models that resist fault injection attacks, improve the physical isolation of TPM 2.0, and protect the SPI port from unauthorized access or manipulation. This video demonstrates a Bus Pirate attack on TPM 2.0, where security researcher Stacksmashing extracted a BitLocker encryption key using a Raspberry Pi Pico. After the key extraction, Stacksmashing decrypted the hard drive with the Dislocker software and the key, revealing the attack’s ability to circumvent BitLocker security. To prevent such attacks, secure the TPM’s SPI port physically, update the TPM firmware regularly, and use tamper-evident seals to detect any unauthorized access. Moreover, implement SPI firewalls, update security patches, follow the principle of least privilege, enforce strong password policies, use multi-factor authentication, and consider physical security measures to avoid unauthorized access.

Brute Force Attacks on TPM and TPM 2.0

Brute force attacks attempt to guess passwords or encryption keys by systematically testing all possible combinations. Such attacks can compromise BitLocker security, as TPM and TPM 2.0 lack mechanisms to effectively limit or slow down authentication attempts. To counter brute force attacks, use long and complex passwords or keys, employ TPM 2.0’s Lockout Mode to restrict decryption attempts and impose delays between attempts, and educate users on recognizing and reporting suspicious brute force attack attempts.

By understanding and addressing the vulnerabilities associated with TPM and TPM 2.0, users can significantly enhance BitLocker’s encryption effectiveness. Implementing technological countermeasures, updating system firmware, and educating users on potential threats are crucial steps in fortifying BitLocker’s defenses against a range of attack methodologies.

Maximizing BitLocker Security: A Detailed Activation and Configuration Manual for Windows Users

Securing data on Windows devices is paramount in today’s digital age. BitLocker, Microsoft’s premier encryption service, stands at the forefront of safeguarding against unauthorized data access, loss, or theft. Elevate your device’s security by meticulously activating and configuring BitLocker with the following steps:

Ensure Your Device Meets BitLocker Requirements

  • Initial Step: Ascertain your Windows device’s compatibility with BitLocker. For Windows 11 users, a TPM 2.0 chip is indispensable. To verify the presence and version of TPM, utilize the built-in TPM management tool accessible via Windows Security settings.

Enable TPM for Enhanced Security

  • Subsequent Step: TPM activation is crucial. This security processor may not be enabled by default. Enter your device’s BIOS or UEFI settings upon startup (often by pressing F2, F12, Del, or Esc) and locate the TPM settings to enable it, laying the groundwork for BitLocker’s encryption capabilities.

Update TPM Firmware for Optimal Performance

  • Critical Step: Keeping your TPM firmware up to date is essential to mitigate potential security vulnerabilities and improve the TPM’s defensive capabilities. Refer to your device manufacturer’s guidance for the specific procedure to update your TPM firmware to the latest version.

Select an Authentication Method Tailored to Your Needs

  • Choice-Driven Step: BitLocker offers multiple authentication methods to unlock your encrypted drive, including PINs, passwords, startup keys (on a USB drive), or recovery keys. Weigh the convenience against security to select the most suitable option. Detailed configuration settings can be found in the BitLocker Drive Encryption control panel.

Decide on BitLocker’s Encryption Strategy

  • Decision Point: BitLocker provides two encryption modes – AES-CBC and XTS-AES. The former is traditional, while the latter, recommended for fixed drives, offers added protection against certain attack vectors. Evaluate your device’s specifications and performance needs to make an informed choice.

Choose the Encryption Algorithm That Suits You Best

  • Technical Selection: BitLocker allows choosing between AES-128 and AES-256 encryption algorithms. While AES-256 offers a higher security level, it may impact system performance. Consider your security requirements and device capabilities before making a selection.

Securely Backup Your BitLocker Recovery Key

  • Safety Measure: The BitLocker recovery key is a failsafe mechanism to access your encrypted data if you forget your primary authentication method. Microsoft offers several backup options, including saving to your Microsoft account, printing it, saving to a file, or even storing it with a cloud-based key management service like Azure Key Vault. This step is crucial; ensure your recovery key is stored in a secure, retrievable location.

Activate BitLocker and Start Encrypting

  • Finalization Step: With all preferences set and the recovery key securely backed up, you’re ready to activate BitLocker. Navigate to the BitLocker Drive Encryption control panel, select the drive you wish to encrypt, and follow the on-screen instructions to start the encryption process. This may take some time depending on the size of the drive and data.

Congratulations on fortifying your Windows device with BitLocker! You’ve taken significant steps towards securing your data. Should you encounter any queries or require further assistance, do not hesitate to consult Microsoft’s comprehensive BitLocker documentation or reach out for support.

Enhancing BitLocker Security with Freemindtronic’s Advanced Solutions

In the contemporary landscape of digital security, safeguarding sensitive information against sophisticated attacks is paramount. Freemindtronic’s innovative technologies, such as PassCypher and DataShielder, along with the integration of EviKeyboard BLE, offer a robust defense mechanism, particularly enhancing BitLocker’s encryption capabilities on Windows platforms.

To further detail the integration of PassCypher and DataShielder products in enhancing BitLocker security, let’s explore how each technology specifically addresses and mitigates the risks associated with different types of attacks, adding depth and clarity to their roles in safeguarding encrypted data.

Combatting Cold Boot Attacks with PassCypher and EviKeyboard BLE

Cold Boot attacks exploit the volatility of RAM to extract sensitive data, including BitLocker encryption keys. PassCypher, a pioneering product by Freemindtronic, revolutionizes password management by utilizing EviPass NFC HSM technology for contactless and password-free security solutions. When combined with EviKeyboard BLE, a USB Bluetooth virtual keyboard technology, it provides an advanced layer of protection against RAM-based attacks. This combination leverages the USB HID (Human Interface Device) protocol to securely input secret keys and PIN codes directly into BIOS or disk startup fields, enabling remote computer control via a smartphone.

USB HID Protocol and RAM Exposure

However, it’s crucial to understand that the USB HID protocol operates through RAM to transmit data between the USB port and the chipset, subsequently transferring it to the processor or TPM. This process implies that data sent by the virtual keyboard could potentially be exposed to RAM-targeting attacks, such as Cold Boot or Direct Memory Access (DMA) attacks. Protecting sensitive data, like passwords and encryption keys inputted or received by the virtual keyboard, necessitates additional precautions.

Limitations of RAM Attacks

Despite their potency, RAM attacks are not without limitations for the attacker:

  • Physical Access Requirement: The attacker needs physical access to the computer and USB port, posing challenges depending on the location and timing of the attempted breach.
  • Necessity of Specialized Equipment: Capturing and analyzing RAM data requires specific hardware and software, which can be expensive or inaccessible.
  • Data Volatility: Post-system shutdown or reboot, RAM data quickly degrades, diminishing the success rate of such attacks. Furthermore, attackers face the challenge of data encryption performed by EviCypher NFC HSM or HSM PGP. These encryption keys, utilized within the operational RAM, are automatically destroyed after encryption and decryption processes, significantly lowering the likelihood of key recovery to nearly zero.

This nuanced understanding underscores the effectiveness of PassCypher in conjunction with EviKeyboard BLE as a formidable countermeasure against Cold Boot attacks. By recognizing the operational dynamics of the USB HID protocol and RAM’s role, alongside the inherent limitations faced by attackers, it’s evident that these Freemindtronic technologies greatly enhance the security posture against sophisticated RAM exploits. The integration of contactless password management and virtual keyboard input mechanisms, especially in environments secured by BitLocker, marks a significant advancement in safeguarding sensitive information from potential Cold Boot and related RAM intrusion attempts.

Defending Against Fault Injection Attacks with DataShielder’s EviCypher Technology

Fault Injection attacks, which attempt to induce errors in the hardware to leak sensitive information, are particularly concerning for TPM 2.0 security. DataShielder, incorporating EviCypher technology, encrypts data on storage devices using the robust AES-256 standard. The encryption keys, randomly generated and stored outside the computer’s environment within secure HSM or NFC HSM, ensure that data remains encrypted and inaccessible, even if attackers bypass TPM security. This external and secure key storage mechanism is crucial for maintaining the integrity of encrypted data against sophisticated fault injection methodologies.

Preventing Phishing and Social Engineering Attacks

PassCypher’s integrated anti-phishing features deliver proactive defenses against social engineering tactics aimed at undermining BitLocker security. The system’s sandboxed URL verification (anti-typosquatting), password integrity checks, and automatable protection against BTIB attacks create an automatic barrier against phishing attempts. By externalizing the storage and management of credentials, PassCypher ensures that even if attackers deceive users, the physical separation of sensitive information keeps it beyond reach, effectively neutralizing phishing and social engineering efforts.

Securing Against The Bus Pirate Attack

The Bus Pirate attack targets the SPI communication channel, a vulnerability in TPM 2.0. DataShielder’s integration of EviCypher for AES-256 encryption on all types of storage media provides a solid defense. By generating encryption keys that are both randomly segmented and securely stored outside the device, DataShielder guarantees that data remains encrypted, irrespective of TPM’s state. This approach of physically externalizing and encrypting keys ensures the highest level of data protection, even in the event of a successful Bus Pirate attack.

Thwarting Brute Force Attacks Through PassCypher

Brute Force attacks attempt to crack encryption by systematically guessing passwords or PIN codes. PassCypher’s capability to generate highly complex passwords and PIN codes, exceeding 256 bits, sets a new standard in security. This complexity makes it virtually impossible for attackers to successfully guess BitLocker credentials, providing a robust defense against brute force methodologies.

As we wrap up our exploration of BitLocker security, it becomes evident that the landscape of digital protection is both vast and intricate. In this context, BitLocker emerges not just as a tool, but as a fortress, designed to shield our digital realms from ever-evolving threats. The collaboration with Freemindtronic technologies like PassCypher and DataShielder, complemented by the utility of EviKeyboard BLE, underscores a pivotal shift towards a more resilient digital defense strategy. This alliance not only elevates BitLocker’s capabilities but also sets a new standard in cybersecurity practices.

Revolutionizing Data Security: BitLocker Enhanced

Indeed, the journey through the nuances of BitLocker’s encryption and the exploration of TPM’s vulnerabilities has underscored the importance of a multifaceted security approach. This journey reveals that, in the face of advancing cyber threats, the integration of cutting-edge solutions like PassCypher and DataShielder with BitLocker security forms an impregnable barrier against unauthorized access and data breaches.

Moreover, addressing the spectrum of attacks—from the Cold Boot and DMA to the sophisticated realms of social engineering—BitLocker, enriched with Freemindtronic’s innovations, stands as a beacon of comprehensive protection. This blend not only secures the data on Windows devices but also fortifies the user’s confidence against potential cyber incursions.

Furthermore, the emphasis on preventing phishing and social engineering attacks highlights the critical need for awareness and the adoption of advanced security measures. Here, the role of PassCypher’s anti-phishing capabilities and the encrypted communication via EviKeyboard BLE becomes paramount, illustrating the necessity of a holistic security posture in safeguarding against the multifarious nature of cyber threats.

Conclusion on BitLocker Security

The synergy between BitLocker’s foundational encryption technology and the advanced protective measures offered by Freemindtronic’s PassCypher and DataShielder exemplifies a forward-thinking approach to cybersecurity. This strategic amalgamation not only ensures the integrity and confidentiality of sensitive data but also propels BitLocker security into a new era of digital safety.

Thus, as we move forward, let us embrace these technological advancements with an informed perspective. Let BitLocker, enhanced by Freemindtronic’s pioneering solutions, serve as the cornerstone of our digital security strategy. In doing so, we fortify our defenses, ready to face the complexities of the cyber landscape with unwavering resilience and assurance.

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

Digital representation of Ivanti Zero-Day Flaws threatening cybersecurity in a futuristic cityscape

Ivanti Patches Two Critical Zero-Day Vulnerabilities, One Under Active Attack

Ivanti, a leader in endpoint and network management solutions, has patched two critical zero-day vulnerabilities, one of which was actively exploited by cybercriminals. Learn more about these vulnerabilities and how to protect your organization.

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This sentence is under a slider that shows similar topics on the zero day.

The Ivanti zero-day flaws, written by Jacques Gascuel, inventor of cybersecurity solutions, of cyber-safety of sensitive data and of counter-espionage, deal with the subject of the Ivanti Zero Day 2024 vulnerabilities.

What are Zero-Day Flaws and Why are They Dangerous?

A zero-day flaw is a previously unknown vulnerability in software that hackers can exploit before the vendor becomes aware and devises a patch. These vulnerabilities are particularly perilous because there is no existing defense against their exploitation. Cybercriminals can use zero-day flaws to launch sophisticated cyberattacks, leading to unauthorized data access, system damage, and widespread security breaches.

Ivanti’s Two Zero-Day Vulnerabilities: CVE-2024-21888 and CVE-2024-21893

Ivanti’s announcement highlights two specific vulnerabilities:

  • CVE-2024-21888: This is a critical privilege escalation vulnerability found in the web components of Ivanti Connect Secure and Policy Secure (versions 9.x, 22.x). It allows malicious users to gain administrator privileges, thereby obtaining the ability to alter system configurations, access restricted data, and potentially introduce further malicious code into the network infrastructure.
  • CVE-2024-21893: Identified as a server-side request forgery (SSRF) flaw within the SAML component of Ivanti Connect Secure, Policy Secure (versions 9.x, 22.x), and Ivanti Neurons for ZTA, this vulnerability enables attackers to bypass authentication mechanisms to access restricted resources. This flaw is particularly concerning due to its active exploitation, which suggests a targeted approach by cybercriminals to leverage this vulnerability for malicious purposes.

Ivanti has acknowledged the targeted exploitation of CVE-2024-21893 and expressed concerns over the potential for increased malicious activities following the public disclosure of these vulnerabilities.

How to Protect Your Organization from Ivanti’s Zero-Day Flaws

In response to the discovery of these vulnerabilities, Ivanti has taken swift action by releasing patches for the affected products, including specific versions of Connect Secure and ZTA. The company strongly advises a precautionary factory reset of devices before applying the patches to eliminate any lingering threats from the system. Additionally, Ivanti recommends importing a mitigation file named “mitigation.release.20240126.5.xml” as a temporary countermeasure against these vulnerabilities.

To safeguard against these vulnerabilities, organizations are urged to apply Ivanti’s patches immediately, conduct a factory reset of devices prior to patching, and adopt a proactive cybersecurity posture. This includes regular software updates, comprehensive user education on cybersecurity best practices, and the implementation of robust security measures such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and regular security audits.

The Impact of Ivanti’s Zero-Day Flaws on the Cybersecurity Landscape

Since the beginning of 2024, the cybersecurity community has witnessed the disclosure of six zero-day vulnerabilities within Ivanti’s product lineup, with half of them being actively exploited. A study conducted by Volexity found that more than 1,700 Ivanti devices have been compromised worldwide, including nearly 100 in France. These attacks have affected organizations from all sectors, including government agencies, Fortune 500 companies and cloud service providers .

CISA Issues Emergency Directive for Federal Agencies

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued an emergency directive. It requires all federal agencies to apply Ivanti’s patches and mitigations, and report any compromise to the CISA. This directive is important because it shows the urgency and the severity of the situation, and its implications for the national and international security.

Mandiant Identifies Bypass Technique and Webshell Deployment

Mandiant, a cybersecurity firm, has identified a technique that bypasses the mitigation file and allows the deployment of a custom webshell named BUSHWALK. This webshell works by injecting malicious code into the legitimate web pages of Ivanti devices, and allows the attackers to execute commands and access files on the compromised systems. Mandiant has provided a detailed description of how this webshell works, how to detect it, and how to remove it. Mandiant has also clarified that this technique is distinct from the mass exploitation that followed the disclosure of the vulnerabilities.

UNC5221: The Threat Group Behind the Targeted Exploitation

Mandiant has also attributed the exploitation of the Ivanti zero-day flaws to a threat group named UNC5221, suspected to be linked to China. This group has targeted organizations from various sectors, including government agencies, Fortune 500 companies and cloud service providers . Mandiant has also revealed the tools and the malware used by this group, such as BUSHWALK, BLOODHOUND, CHOPSTICK and SLIGHTPULSE. These tools and malware are designed to perform reconnaissance, lateral movement, credential theft and data exfiltration on the compromised networks.

The Number of Victims and the Potential Consequences

According to the latest reports from Volexity and Mandiant, more than 1,700 Ivanti devices have been compromised worldwide, including nearly 100 in France. The sectors most affected by these intrusions include government, finance, healthcare, education, and technology. The potential consequences of these intrusions include unauthorized data access, system encryption by ransomware, installation of backdoors for persistent access, and execution of malicious code. Such incidents can lead to significant financial losses, reputational damage, operational disruptions, and legal implications for the affected organizations.

EviCypher and EviPass: Innovative Technologies to Protect Yourself from the Zero-Day Flaws

Facing the threat of the Ivanti zero-day flaws, there are innovative solutions to protect yourself effectively. These are the EviCypher and EviPass technologies, developed by Freemindtronic, a company specialized in pocket cybersecurity.

EviCypher is a NFC device that allows you to encrypt and decrypt messages securely and anonymously. You just need to slide your EviCypher card behind your smartphone for the message to be encrypted or decrypted. The system uses individual encryption keys, stored offline, in a non-volatile and physically secure memory. Thus, even if the message is intercepted by an attacker who exploits an Ivanti zero-day flaw, he will not be able to read it without the corresponding key.

EviPass is a mobile application that allows you to manage your passwords and credentials securely and conveniently. You just need to scan your EviPass card with your smartphone to access your online accounts. The application uses an OpenPGP encryption algorithm, based on public and private keys. The private keys are stored offline, in a non-volatile and physically secure memory. Thus, even if an attacker manages to access a compromised Ivanti device, he will not be able to steal the passwords and credentials without the EviPass card.

These two solutions offer a high level of security, based on the principle of “Air Gap”, which consists of creating a physical and digital barrier between the data and the attackers. They are also easy to use, without requiring any specific knowledge in cybersecurity. They are compatible with all digital communication systems, including those that use Ivanti products. They are protected by international patents, and manufactured in Andorra by Freemindtronic.

EviPass NFC NFC and EviPass HSM PGP: Freemindtronic’s Technologies for Password Management

EviPass NFC NFC and EviPass HSM PGP are two technologies developed by Freemindtronic for password management. EviPass NFC NFC is a technology that uses NFC cards to store and access passwords and credentials. EviPass HSM PGP is a technology that uses hardware security modules (HSM) to store and access passwords and credentials using the OpenPGP encryption algorithm. Both technologies are integrated into the EviPass mobile application, which allows users to manage their passwords and credentials securely and conveniently.

EviCypher NFC HSM and EviCypher HSM PGP: Freemindtronic’s Technologies for Message Encryption

EviCypher NFC HSM and EviCypher HSM PGP are two technologies developed by Freemindtronic for message encryption. EviCypher NFC HSM is a technology that uses NFC cards and hardware security modules (HSM) to encrypt and decrypt messages. EviCypher HSM PGP is a technology that uses hardware security modules (HSM) to encrypt and decrypt messages using the OpenPGP encryption algorithm. Both technologies are integrated into the EviCypher NFC device, which allows users to encrypt and decrypt messages securely and anonymously.

PassCypher and DataShielder: Freemindtronic’s Products that Incorporate EviCypher and EviPass Technologies

PassCypher and DataShielder are two products designed and manufactured by Freemindtronic that incorporate the EviCypher and EviPass technologies. PassCypher is a NFC device that connects to your smartphone or computer and allows you to access your online accounts using the EviPass technology. DataShielder is a NFC device that connects to your smartphone or computer and allows you to encrypt and decrypt messages using the EviCypher technology. With these products, you can benefit from the EviCypher and EviPass technology to protect your passwords, credentials and messages.

To learn more about these solutions, you can visit the Freemindtronic website or the Codeur blog, which present the features and benefits of EviCypher and EviPass.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Ivanti zero-day flaws are dangerous vulnerabilities that can compromise the security and confidentiality of the users’ data. It is therefore important to protect yourself effectively against these flaws, by applying the patches provided by Ivanti, following the cybersecurity recommendations, and using innovative solutions like EviCypher and EviPass, developed by Freemindtronic. These solutions are integrated into innovative products, designed and manufactured in Andorra. Don’t wait any longer to protect yourself from the Ivanti zero-day flaws, and discover the EviCypher and EviPass solutions from Freemindtronic. What are your impressions on these products? Let us know in the comments below.

Human Limitations in Strong Passwords Creation

Digital image showing a confused user at a computer surrounded by complex password symbols

How to Create Strong Passwords Despite Human Limitations

Human Limitations in Strong Passwords are crucial in safeguarding our personal and professional data online. But do you know how to craft a robust password capable of thwarting hacking attempts? In this article, we delve into the impact of human factors on password security. Furthermore, you will gain insights on overcoming these limitations and creating formidable passwords.

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For comprehensive threat assessments and innovative solutions, delve into “Human Limitations in Strong Passwords.” Stay informed by exploring our constantly updated topics..

Human Limitations in Strong Passwords,” authored by Jacques Gascuel, the visionary behind cutting-edge sensitive data security and safety systems, offers invaluable insights into the field of human-created password security. Are you ready to improve your understanding of password protection?

Human Limitations in Strong Passwords: Cybersecurity’s Weak Link

Passwords are essential for protecting our data on the Internet. But creating a strong password is not easy. It requires a balance between security and usability. In this article, we will explain what entropy is and how it measures the strength of a password. We will also explore the limitations and problems associated with human password creation. We will show that these factors reduce entropy and password security, exposing users to cyber attacks. We will also provide some strategies and tips to help users create stronger passwords.

What is Entropy and How Does it Measure Password Strength?

Entropy is a concept borrowed from information theory. It measures the unpredictability and randomness of a system. The higher the entropy, the more disordered the system is, and the harder it is to predict.

In the context of passwords, entropy measures how many attempts it would take to guess a password through brute force. In other words, entropy measures the difficulty of cracking a password. The higher the entropy, the stronger the password is, and the harder it is to crack.

However, entropy is not a fixed value, but a relative measure that depends on various factors, such as the length, composition, frequency, and popularity of the password. We will explain these factors in more detail later.

How Do Cognitive Biases Influence Password Creation?

Cognitive Biases in Password Creation

Cognitive biases, such as confirmation bias and anchoring bias, significantly influence how users create passwords. Understanding “Human Limitations in Strong Passwords” is essential to recognize and overcome these biases for better password security.

Cognitive biases are reasoning or judgment errors that affect how humans perceive and process information. They are often the result of heuristics, mental shortcuts used to simplify decision-making. These biases can have adaptive advantages but also lead to errors or distortions of reality.

In password creation, cognitive biases can influence user choices, leading to passwords that make sense to them, linked to their personal life, culture, environment, etc. These passwords are often predictable, following logical or mnemonic patterns, reducing entropy.

For example, humans are subject to confirmation bias, thinking their password is strong enough because it meets basic criteria like length or composition, without considering other factors like character frequency or diversity.

They are also prone to anchoring bias, choosing passwords based on personal information like names, birthdates, pets, etc., not realizing this information is easily accessible or guessable by hackers.

Availability bias leads to underestimating cyber attack risks because they haven’t been victims or witnesses of hacking, or they think their data isn’t interesting to hackers.

Human Factors in Strong Password Development: Cognitive Biases

Strategies to Overcome Cognitive Biases

To mitigate the impact of cognitive biases, consider adopting better password practices:

  • Utilize a different password for each service, especially for sensitive or critical accounts, such as email, banking, or social media.
  • Employ a password manager, which is a software or application that securely stores and generates passwords for each service. Password managers can assist users in creating and recalling strong, random passwords, all while maintaining security and convenience.
  • Implement two-factor authentication, a security feature that necessitates users to provide an additional verification method, such as a code sent to their phone or email, or a biometric scan, in order to access their accounts. Two-factor authentication can effectively thwart hackers from gaining access to accounts, even if they possess the password.
  • Regularly update passwords, but refrain from doing so excessively, in order to prevent compromise by hackers or data breaches. Users should change their passwords when they suspect or confirm a breach or when they detect suspicious activity on their accounts. It’s also advisable for users to avoid changing their passwords too frequently, as this can lead to weaker passwords or password reuse.

Addressing Human Challenges in Secure Password Creation with Freemindtronic’s Advanced Technologies

Understanding Human Constraints in Robust Password Generation

The process of creating strong passwords often clashes with human limitations. Freemindtronic’s EviPass NFC HSM and EviPass HSM PGP technologies, integral to the PassCypher range, acknowledge these human factors in strong password development. By automating the creation process and utilizing Shannon’s entropy model, these technologies effectively mitigate the cognitive biases that typically hinder the creation of secure passwords.

Password Security and the Fight Against Cyber Attacks

In the context of increasing cyber threats, the security of passwords becomes paramount. Freemindtronic’s solutions offer a robust defense against cyber attacks by generating passwords that exceed conventional security standards. This approach not only addresses the human challenges in creating strong passwords but also fortifies the digital identity protection of users.

Leveraging Entropy in Passwords for Enhanced Security

The concept of entropy in passwords is central to Freemindtronic’s technology. By harnessing advanced entropy models, these systems ensure a high level of randomness and complexity in password creation, significantly elevating password security. This technical sophistication is crucial in overcoming human limitations in generating secure passwords.

Cognitive Biases in Passwords: Simplifying User Experience

Freemindtronic’s technologies also focus on the human aspect of password usage. By reducing the cognitive load through features like auto-fill and passwordless access, these systems address common cognitive biases. This user-friendly approach not only enhances the ease of use but also contributes to the overall strategy for strong password management.

Adopting Strong Password Strategies for Digital Identity Protection

Incorporating strong password strategies is essential in safeguarding digital identities. Freemindtronic’s technologies empower users to adopt robust password practices effortlessly, thereby enhancing digital identity protection. This is achieved through the generation of complex passwords and the elimination of the need for manual password management.

Elevating Password Security in the Digital Age

Freemindtronic’s EviPass NFC HSM and EviPass HSM PGP technologies are at the forefront of addressing human limitations in strong password creation. By integrating advanced entropy in passwords, focusing on user-centric design, and combating the risks of cyber attacks, these technologies are setting new benchmarks in password security and digital identity protection. Their innovative approach not only acknowledges but also effectively overcomes the human challenges in secure password creation, marking a significant advancement in the field of digital security.

Human Constraints in Robust Password Generation

There are various methods to help users create strong, memorable passwords. These methods have pros and cons, which should be understood to choose the most suitable for one’s needs.

Mnemonic Passwords: Balancing Memory and Security

Mnemonic passwords are based on phrases or acronyms, serving as memory aids. For example, using the phrase “I was born in 1984 in Paris” to create the password “Iwbi1984iP”.

Advantages of mnemonic passwords:

  • Easier to remember than random passwords, using semantic memory, more effective than visual or auditory memory.
  • Can be longer than random passwords, composed of multiple words or syllables, increasing entropy.

Disadvantages of mnemonic passwords:

  • Often predictable, following logical or grammatical patterns, reducing entropy.
  • Vulnerable to dictionary attacks, containing common words or personal information, easily accessible or guessable by hackers.
  • Difficult to type, containing special characters like accents or spaces, not always available on keyboards.

The Trade-Off Between Mnemonics and Entropy

To balance memory and security, users should use mnemonics that are not too obvious or common, but rather personal and unique. They should also avoid using the same mnemonic for different passwords, or using slight variations of the same mnemonic. They should also add some randomness or complexity to their mnemonics, such as numbers, symbols, or capitalization.

Random Passwords: Entropy and Ease of Use

Random passwords are composed of randomly chosen characters, without logic or meaning. For example, the password “qW7x#4Rt”.

Advantages of random passwords:

  • Harder to guess than mnemonic passwords, not following predictable patterns, increasing entropy.
  • More resistant to dictionary attacks, not containing common words or personal information.

Disadvantages of random passwords:

  • Harder to remember than mnemonic passwords, not using semantic memory.
  • Can be shorter than mnemonic passwords, composed of individual characters, reducing entropy.

Phrase-Based Passwords: Entropy and Ease of Use

Phrase-based passwords are composed of several words forming a phrase or expression. For example, the password “The cat sleeps on the couch”.

Advantages of phrase-based passwords:

  • Easier to remember than random passwords, using semantic memory.
  • Can be longer than random passwords, composed of multiple words, increasing entropy.

Disadvantages of phrase-based passwords:

  • Often predictable, following logical or grammatical patterns, reducing entropy.
  • Vulnerable to dictionary attacks, containing common words or expressions.
  • Difficult to type, containing spaces, not always accepted by online services.

Evaluating Phrase-Based Password Effectiveness

To evaluate the effectiveness of phrase-based passwords, users should consider the following criteria:

  • Phrase length plays a crucial role: Longer phrases tend to result in higher entropy. However, it’s important to strike a balance, as excessively long phrases can become challenging to type or recall.
  • The diversity of words also matters: Greater word diversity contributes to higher entropy. Nevertheless, it’s essential to avoid overly obscure words, as they might prove difficult to remember or spell.
  • Randomness in word selection boosts entropy: The more random the words, the greater the entropy. Yet, it’s necessary to maintain some level of coherence between words, as entirely unrelated words can pose memory and association challenges.

Human-Generated Random Passwords: Entropy and Ease of Use

Human-generated random passwords are composed of randomly chosen characters by the user, without logic or meaning. For example, the password “qW7x#4Rt”.

Advantages :

  • Harder to guess than mnemonic or phrase-based passwords, increasing entropy.
  • More resistant to dictionary attacks, not containing common words or personal information.

Disadvantages:

  • Harder to remember than mnemonic or phrase-based passwords.
  • Often biased by user preferences or habits, favoring certain characters or keyboard positions, reducing entropy.

The Risks of Low Entropy in Human-Created Passwords

Low entropy passwords have significant consequences on the security of personal and professional data. Weak passwords are more vulnerable to cyber attacks, especially brute force. Hackers can use powerful software or machines to test billions of combinations per second. Once the password is found, they can access user accounts, steal data, impersonate, or spread viruses or spam.

Consequences of Predictable Passwords on Cybersecurity

The consequences of predictable passwords on cybersecurity are:

  • Data breach: Hackers can access user data, such as personal information, financial records, health records, etc. They can use this data for identity theft, fraud, blackmail, or sell it to third parties.
  • Account takeover: Hackers can access user accounts, such as email, social media, online shopping, etc. They can use these accounts to impersonate users, send spam, make purchases, or spread malware.
  • Reputation damage: Hackers can access user accounts, such as professional or academic platforms, etc. They can use these accounts to damage user reputation, post false or harmful information, or sabotage user work or research.

Understanding the Vulnerability of Low Entropy Passwords

Password Length and Entropy

The vulnerability of passwords depends on various factors, including the length, composition, frequency, and popularity of the password. Understanding “Human Limitations in Strong Passwords” is crucial for safeguarding your online data. Longer and more complex passwords offer higher entropy and are harder to crack.

Composition Complexity

Complex passwords that include a variety of character types, such as lowercase, uppercase, numbers, and symbols, significantly enhance security. This aspect of “Human Limitations in Strong Passwords” is often overlooked, but it’s essential for creating robust passwords.

Common vs. Rare Passwords

The frequency and popularity of passwords play a vital role in their vulnerability. Common passwords, like “123456” or “password,” are easily guessed, while rare and unique passwords, such as “qW7x#4Rt” or “The cat sleeps on the couch,” provide more security.

Password Composition

The composition of a password is a critical factor. Passwords based on common words or personal information are easier for hackers to guess. Understanding the impact of “Human Limitations in Strong Passwords” can help you make informed choices about password composition.

These factors collectively influence the time required for brute force attacks to uncover a password. Longer durations enhance password security, but it’s essential to consider the evolving computing power of hackers, which can reduce the time required to crack passwords over time and with advancing technology. Another factor that affects the vulnerability of passwords is their frequency and popularity.

Recurring Password Changes: A Challenge to Password Entropy

Another human limitation in creating strong passwords is the recurrent need to change them. Often mandated by online services for security, regular changes can paradoxically weaken password strength. This practice burdens users with remembering multiple passwords and inventing new ones frequently. It leads to slight modifications of existing passwords rather than generating new, more random ones. This habit reduces password entropy, making passwords more predictable and vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Impact of Frequent Password Updates on Security

Studies have shown that users required to change passwords every 90 days tend to create weaker, less diverse passwords. Conversely, those with less frequent changes generate more random and secure passwords. This illustrates the counterproductive nature of too-frequent mandatory password updates.

The Counterproductive Nature of Mandatory Password Changes

Mandatory password changes are often imposed by online services for security reasons. They aim to prevent password compromise by hackers or leaks. However, mandatory password changes can have negative effects on password security, such as:

  • Elevating cognitive load entails users remembering multiple passwords for each service and crafting new passwords whenever needed.
  • Dampening user motivation occurs when individuals view password changes as unnecessary or ineffective, leading to a neglect of password quality.
  • Diminishing password entropy arises when users opt for making slight modifications to old passwords rather than generating entirely new and random ones.

These effects negatively impact password security, making passwords more predictable and vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Research Insights on Low Entropy in Human Passwords

In this section, we will present some sources and findings from scientific studies conducted by researchers from around the world on passwords and entropy. We have verified the validity and accuracy of these sources using web search and citation verification tools. We have also respected the APA citation style.

Analyzing Global Studies on Password Security

Several studies have analyzed the security of passwords based on real databases of passwords disclosed following leaks or hacks. These studies have measured the entropy and the strength of passwords, as well as the patterns and the behaviors of users. Some of these studies are:

Key Findings from Password Entropy Research

Some of the key findings from these studies are:

  • any users maintain low-entropy passwords, relying on common words, personal information, or predictable patterns.
  • Furthermore, they tend to reuse passwords across multiple services, thereby elevating the risk of cross-service compromise.
  • In addition, they typically refrain from changing passwords regularly, unless prompted to do so by online services or following a security breach.
  • Surprisingly, a significant portion of users remains unaware of the critical importance of password security or tends to overestimate the strength of their passwords.
  • Moreover, a considerable number of users exhibit reluctance towards the adoption of password managers or two-factor authentication, often citing usability or trust concerns.

These findings confirm the low entropy of human passwords, and the need for better password practices and education.

Password Reuse and Its Impact on Entropy

Another issue with human password creation is password reuse, a common practice among Internet users, who have to remember multiple passwords for different services. Password reuse consists of using the same or similar passwords for different accounts, such as email, social media, online shopping, etc. Password reuse can reduce the cognitive load and the effort required to create and remember passwords, but it also reduces the entropy and the security of passwords.

The Risks Associated with Password Reuse

The risks associated with password reuse are:

  • Cross-service compromise: If a password is discovered or compromised on one service, it can be used to access other services that use the same or similar password. For example, if a hacker obtains a user’s email password, they can use it to access their social media, online shopping, or banking accounts, if they use the same password or a slight variation of it.
  • Credential stuffing: Credential stuffing is a type of cyberattack that uses automated tools to test stolen or leaked usernames and passwords on multiple services. For example, if a hacker obtains a list of usernames and passwords from a data breach, they can use it to try to log in to other services, hoping that some users have reused their passwords.
  • Password cracking: Password cracking is a type of cyberattack that uses brute force or dictionary methods to guess passwords. For example, if a hacker obtains a user’s password hash, they can use it to try to find the plain text password, using lists of common or leaked passwords.

These risks show that password reuse can expose users to cyber threats, as a single password breach can compromise multiple accounts and data. Password reuse can also reduce the entropy of passwords, as users tend to use common or simple passwords that are easy to remember and type, but also easy to guess or crack.

Addressing the Security Flaws of Reusing Passwords

To mitigate the security vulnerabilities associated with password reuse, users should embrace improved practices for password creation and management. Some of these recommended practices include:

  • Utilize distinct passwords for each service, particularly for sensitive or crucial accounts such as email, banking, or social media. This approach ensures that if one password is compromised, it won’t jeopardize other accounts or data.
  • Employ a password manager, which is software or an application designed to securely store and generate passwords for each service. Password managers assist users in crafting and recalling strong, randomly generated passwords, all while upholding security and convenience. Additionally, these tools can notify users about password breaches or weak passwords, as well as suggest password changes or updates.
  • Implement two-factor authentication (2FA), a security feature demanding users to provide an additional verification method, such as a code sent to their phone or email, or a biometric scan. This extra layer of security thwarts hackers from gaining access to accounts solely through knowledge of the password, as they would require the second factor as well.
  • Adopt a regular password change strategy, though not excessively frequent, to preempt compromise by hackers or data leaks. Passwords should be modified when users suspect or verify a breach, or when they detect suspicious activity on their accounts. It’s also advisable to avoid changing passwords too frequently, as this can potentially result in weaker passwords or password reuse.

These practices can help users avoid password reuse and increase the entropy and security of their passwords. They can also reduce the cognitive load and the effort required to create and remember passwords, by using tools and features that simplify password creation and management.

Behavioral Resistance in Secure Password Practices

Another issue with human password creation is resistance to behavioral changes, a psychological phenomenon preventing users from adopting new habits or modifying old ones regarding passwords. Users are often reluctant to change passwords, even when aware of risks or encouraged to do so. This resistance can be due to factors like laziness, ignorance, confidence, fear, satisfaction, etc.

Overcoming Psychological Barriers in Password Security

Psychological barriers can hinder password security, as users may not follow the best practices or recommendations to create stronger passwords. To overcome these barriers, users need to be aware of the importance and benefits of password security, as well as the costs and risks of password insecurity. Some of the ways to overcome psychological barriers are:

  • Educating users about password security, explaining what entropy is, how it measures password strength, and how to increase it.
  • Motivating users to change passwords, providing incentives, feedback, or rewards for creating stronger passwords.
  • Persuading users to adopt password managers, demonstrating how they can simplify password creation and management, without compromising security or convenience.
  • Nudging users to use two-factor authentication, making it easy and accessible to enable and use this security feature.

Conclusion: Reinforcing Password Security Amidst Human Limitations

In this article, we have explained what entropy is and how it measures the strength of a password. We also explored the limitations and problems associated with human password creation, such as cognitive biases, human generation methods, password reuse, and resistance to behavioral changes. We have shown that these factors reduce entropy and password security, exposing users to cyber attacks. We have also provided some strategies and tips to help users create stronger passwords.

We hope this article has helped you understand the importance of password security and improve your password practices. Remember, passwords protect your digital identity and data online. Creating strong passwords is not only a matter of security, but also of responsibility.

Kismet iPhone: How to protect your device from the most sophisticated spying attack?

Kismet iPhone and Pegasus written by Jacques Gascuel, inventor of sensitive data safety and security systems, for Freemindtronic. This article may be updated on this subject.

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Kismet iPhone: How to protect your device from the most sophisticated spying attack using Pegasus spyware

Do you own an iPhone? Do you think it is safe and private? You might be wrong. Hackers have created a clever attack called Kismet iPhone that can infect your device with Pegasus, the world’s most powerful spyware, without you noticing. This spyware can steal your personal data, track your activity, and listen to your conversations. In this article, we will tell you how Kismet iPhone works, who is behind it, and how you can protect yourself from it.

What is Kismet iPhone?

Kismet iPhone is the name of the attack that hackers use to install Pegasus, the spyware, on iPhones. Kismet iPhone uses a technique called “watering hole”. It consists of infecting websites visited by the targeted users. These websites contain malicious code that detects if the user has an iPhone and which model. If so, the malicious code redirects the browser to a server that exploits zero-day flaws in iOS and Safari. These flaws allow to install Pegasus without the user noticing. Pegasus then runs in the background and communicates with a command and control server.

What is Pegasus?

Pegasus is the name of the spyware that Kismet iPhone installs on iPhones. Pegasus is one of the most powerful spyware in the world, developed by NSO Group, an Israeli company that sells spyware to governments and intelligence agencies. Pegasus can access almost everything on the infected iPhone, such as messages, photos, contacts, location, calls, passwords and even conversations near the microphone. Pegasus can also activate the camera and the microphone remotely, and record the screen. Pegasus can bypass encryption and security features of apps like WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, and others.

Who is behind Kismet iPhone and Pegasus?

Kismet iPhone and Pegasus are the work of NSO Group, an Israeli company that sells spyware to governments and intelligence agencies. NSO Group claims that its products are only used for legitimate purposes, such as fighting terrorism and crime. However, investigations have revealed that NSO Group has also targeted journalists, activists, lawyers, politicians and dissidents, violating their privacy and rights. NSO Group has been accused of being involved in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist, and the hacking of Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.

Examples of victims of Kismet iPhone and Pegasus

According to a report by Citizen Lab, a research group at the University of Toronto, Kismet iPhone and Pegasus have been used to spy on at least nine Bahraini activists between June 2020 and February 2021. The activists were members of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights. They received text messages containing malicious links that attempted to infect their iPhones with Pegasus.

Another report by Amnesty International and Forbidden Stories, a non-profit media organization, revealed that Kismet iPhone and Pegasus have been used to target more than 50,000 phone numbers of people from various countries and professions. Among them were journalists, human rights defenders, lawyers, politicians, business executives, religious leaders, and celebrities. Some of the prominent names on the list were French President Emmanuel Macron, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi, Moroccan journalist Omar Radi, and Mexican journalist Cecilio Pineda Birto.

A third report by The Guardian, a British newspaper, exposed that Kismet iPhone and Pegasus have been used to spy on the civil rights movement in the United States. The report found that at least 15 people who were close to the Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson had their phones hacked with Pegasus in 2016. The report also found that Alaa Mahajna, a lawyer who represented the family of George Floyd, had his phone hacked with Pegasus in 2020.

These examples show that Kismet iPhone and Pegasus are not only used to spy on criminals and terrorists, but also on innocent people who exercise their rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly.

How to protect yourself from Kismet iPhone and Pegasus?

To protect yourself from Kismet iPhone and Pegasus, you need to update your iPhone with the latest version of iOS. Apple fixed the zero-day flaws exploited by Kismet iPhone in September 2020, making the attack ineffective. You also need to avoid clicking on suspicious links or visiting unsecured websites, which could be infected by malicious code. You need to use a VPN (virtual private network) to encrypt your internet connection and prevent potential spies from seeing your online activity. You can check if your iPhone has been infected by Pegasus by using a tool developed by Amnesty International, called MVT (Mobile Verification Toolkit).

Sources and downloads

If you want to learn more about the zero-day flaws used by Kismet iPhone and Pegasus, and how Apple fixed them, you can check the following sources:

If you want to check if your iPhone has been infected by Pegasus, you can download the following application:

  • MVT (Mobile Verification Toolkit)MVT (Mobile Verification Toolkit): this open source software allows you to analyze your iPhone and detect traces of Pegasus. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux, and requires some technical knowledge to use it. You can follow the user guide on the official project site.

Conclusion

Kismet iPhone and Pegasus are two of the most sophisticated and dangerous cyberattacks that target iPhone users. They can compromise your device and your data, without you being aware of it. To protect yourself from these attacks, you need to keep your iPhone updated, be careful with what you click and visit online, and use a VPN. You can also use a tool to detect if your iPhone has been infected by Pegasus. If you want to know more about Pegasus, the most powerful spyware in the world, you can read our dedicated article here: Pegasus: the cost of spying with one of the most powerful spyware in the world

However, you should know that the zero-day risk is always present, and that the economic stakes are huge for the companies that exploit these flaws to spy on their competitors or their adversaries. That is why Freemindtronic has specialized in counter-espionage tecnologiescounter-espionage tecnologies, which allow you to protect your data and your privacy against malicious intrusions. If you are interested in these solutions, you can visit our Freemindtronic website and discover the different technologies of counter espionage.

LitterDrifter: A USB Worm for Cyberespionage

LitterDrifter A USB Worm for Cyberespionage
LitterDrifter by Jacques Gascuel: This article will be updated with any new information on the topic.

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LitterDrifter: A USB Worm for Cyberespionage and Its Threats to Data Security

LitterDrifter is a computer worm that spreads through USB drives and is utilized by a Russian cyber espionage group known as Gamaredon. This group, active since at least 2013, primarily targets Ukraine but has also infected systems in other countries. LitterDrifter enables Gamaredon to gather sensitive information, execute remote commands, and download other malicious software. In this article, we will explore how this worm functions, methods to safeguard against it, and the motivations behind its creators.

Understanding Gamaredon

Gamaredon is a cyber espionage group suspected to have ties to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). It conducts intelligence and sabotage operations against strategic targets in Ukraine, including government institutions, law enforcement, media, political organizations, and dissidents. Gamaredon plays a part in the hybrid warfare between Russia and Ukraine that emerged in 2014 following the annexation of Crimea and the armed conflict in Donbass.

Gamaredon employs a diverse range of cyberattack techniques, including phishing, disinformation, sabotage, and espionage. The group possesses several malicious tools such as Pterodo, Outlook Forms, VBA Macros, LNK Spreader, and, of course, LitterDrifter. Gamaredon is considered a group that learns from its experiences and adapts its tactics based on responses from its adversaries. It also serves as a training ground for Russia, observing the potential of cyber warfare in contemporary conflicts.

How LitterDrifter Works

LitterDrifter is a computer worm initially discovered in October 2021 by cybersecurity company Check Point Research. It is written in VBS and consists of two main modules: a propagation module and a communication module.

LitterDrifter’s Propagation

The propagation module is responsible for copying the worm to USB drives connected to the infected computer. It creates an autorun.inf file that allows the worm to launch automatically upon inserting an infected drive. Additionally, it generates an LNK file that serves as bait, featuring a random name to entice the user to click on it. The worm’s name is derived from the initial file name, “trash.dll,” which means “garbage” in English.

LitterDrifter’s Communication

The communication module establishes contact with the worm’s authors’ command and control (C2) server. It uses domains as markers for the actual IP addresses of the C2 servers. It can also connect to a C2 server extracted from a Telegram channel, a technique employed by Gamaredon since early 2021. The communication module allows the worm to collect information about the infected system, such as the computer name, username, IP address, operating system, process list, files on the hard drive, and USB drives. It can also execute remote commands, download and install other malicious software, and delete files or partitions.

How LitterDrifter Propagates

LitterDrifter is primarily intended to target Ukraine but has also been detected in other countries, including Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Turkey, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, India, Japan, and Australia. The worm appears to spread opportunistically, taking advantage of USB exchanges and movements among individuals and organizations. Some of the victims may be secondary targets infected inadvertently, while others could be potential targets awaiting activation.

LitterDrifter Statistics

LitterDrifter is a rapidly spreading worm that affects a large number of systems. According to data from Check Point Research, the worm has been submitted to VirusTotal more than 1,000 times since October 2021, originating from 14 different countries. The majority of submissions come from Ukraine (58%), followed by the United States (12%) and Vietnam (7%). Other countries each represent less than 5% of submissions.

The worm also uses a large number of domains as markers for C2 servers. Check Point Research has identified over 200 different domains used by the worm, with most being free or expired domains. Some domains have been used by Gamaredon for a long time, while others are created or modified recently. The worm also uses Telegram channels to extract C2 server IP addresses, making their blocking or tracking more challenging.

The worm is capable of downloading and installing other malicious software on infected systems. Among the malicious software detected by Check Point Research are remote control tools, spyware, screen capture software, password stealers, file encryption software, and data destruction software. Some of these malicious software are specific to Gamaredon, while others are generic or open-source tools.

Uncontrolled Expansion and Real Consequences of LitterDrifter

LitterDrifter is a worm with uncontrolled expansion, meaning it spreads opportunistically by taking advantage of the movement and exchange of USB drives among individuals and organizations. It doesn’t have a specific target but can infect systems in various countries, without regard to the industry sector or security level. Consequently, it can affect critical systems, including infrastructure, public services, or government institutions.

The real consequences of LitterDrifter are manifold and severe. It can compromise the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data. Moreover, it can serve as a gateway for more sophisticated attacks, such as deploying ransomware, spyware, or destructive software. Additionally, it can enable the worm’s authors to access sensitive information, including confidential documents, passwords, personal data, or industrial secrets.

LitterDrifter can have serious repercussions for victims, including damage to reputation, financial costs, data loss, disruption of operations, or legal liability. It can also impact national security, political stability, or the sovereignty of targeted countries. It is part of the context of a hybrid war waged by Russia against Ukraine, aiming to weaken and destabilize its neighbor through military, political, economic, media, and cyber means.

LitterDrifter’s Attack Methods

Understanding the attack methods employed by LitterDrifter is crucial in safeguarding your systems. This USB worm leverages various techniques to infiltrate systems and establish contact with its command and control (C2) servers. Below, we delve into the primary attack methods used by LitterDrifter:

Attack Method Description Example
Vulnerability Exploitation Exploiting known vulnerabilities in software and network protocols, such as SMB, RDP, FTP, HTTP, SSH, etc. It employs tools like Metasploit, Nmap, and Mimikatz to scan systems, execute malicious code, steal credentials, and propagate. Utilizing the EternalBlue vulnerability to infect Windows systems via the SMB protocol and install a backdoor.
Phishing Sending fraudulent emails containing malicious attachments or links that entice users to open or click. Attachments or links trigger the download and execution of LitterDrifter. Sending an email pretending to be an invoice from a supplier but containing a malicious Word file that exploits the CVE-2017-0199 vulnerability to execute LitterDrifter.
Identity Spoofing Impersonating legitimate services or applications through similar names, icons, or interfaces. This deceives users or administrators into granting privileges, access, or sensitive information. Using the name and icon of TeamViewer, a remote control software, to blend into the process list and establish a connection with C2 servers.
USB Propagation Copying itself to USB drives connected to infected computers, automatically running upon insertion. It also creates random-named LNK files as bait, encouraging users to click. When a user inserts an infected USB drive into their computer, the worm copies itself to the hard drive and executes. It also creates an LNK file named “Holiday Photos.lnk” pointing to the worm.
Domain Marker Usage Using domains as markers for actual C2 server IP addresses. It generates a random subdomain of a hardcoded domain (e.g., 4fj3k2h5.example.com from example.com) and resolves its IP address through a DNS query. It then uses this IP address for communication with the C2 server. Generating the subdomain 4fj3k2h5.example.com from the hardcoded domain example.com, resolving its IP address through a DNS query (e.g., 192.168.1.100), and using it to send data to the C2 server.

LitterDrifter’s Malicious Actions

LitterDrifter is a worm that can cause significant damage to infected systems. It not only collects sensitive information but can also execute remote commands, download and install other malicious software, and delete files or partitions. Here’s a table summarizing LitterDrifter’s main malicious actions:

Action Description Example
Information Collection The worm gathers information about the infected system, including computer name, username, IP address, OS, process list, files on the hard drive, and USB drives. The worm sends the collected information to the C2 server via an HTTP POST request.
Remote Command Execution The worm can receive remote commands from the C2 server, such as launching a process, creating a file, modifying the registry, opening a URL, etc. The worm can execute a command like cmd.exe /c del /f /s /q c:\*.* to erase all files on the C drive.
Download and Malware Installation The worm can download and install other malicious software on the infected system, such as remote control tools, spyware, screen capture software, password stealers, file encryption software, and data destruction software. The worm can download and install the Pterodo malware, allowing Gamaredon to take control of the infected system.
File or Partition Deletion The worm can delete files or partitions on the infected system, potentially leading to data loss, system corruption, or boot failure. The worm can erase the EFI partition, which contains system boot information.

Protecting Against LitterDrifter

Safeguarding your systems against LitterDrifter and similar threats is essential in today’s interconnected digital landscape. Here are some steps you can take to enhance your cybersecurity posture:

  1. Keep Software Updated: Regularly update your operating system, software, and antivirus programs to patch known vulnerabilities that malware like LitterDrifter exploits.
  2. Exercise Caution with Email Attachments and Links: Be cautious when opening email attachments or clicking on links, especially if the sender is unknown or the email seems suspicious. Verify the legitimacy of the sender before taking any action.
  3. Use Reliable Security Software: Install reputable security software that can detect and block malware. Ensure that it is regularly updated to recognize new threats effectively.
  4. Employ Network Segmentation: Implement network segmentation to isolate critical systems and data from potentially compromised parts of your network.
  5. Educate Employees: Train your employees to recognize phishing attempts and the importance of safe browsing and email practices.
  6. USB Drive Security: Disable autorun features on computers and use endpoint security solutions to scan USB drives for malware upon insertion.
  7. Network Monitoring: Implement network monitoring tools to detect unusual activities and unauthorized access promptly.
  8. Encryption and Authentication: Use encryption for sensitive data and multi-factor authentication to secure critical accounts.

Enhancing Data Security with HSM Technologies

In addition to the steps mentioned above, organizations can enhance data security by leveraging NFC HSM (Near Field Communication and Hardware Security Module). These specialized devices provide secure storage and processing of cryptographic keys, protecting sensitive data from unauthorized access.

HSMs offer several advantages, including tamper resistance, hardware-based encryption, and secure key management. By integrating HSMs into your cybersecurity strategy, you can further safeguard your organization against threats like LitterDrifter.

Leveraging NFC HSM Technologies Made in Andorra by Freemindtronic

To take your data security to the next level, consider utilizing NFC HSM technologies manufactured in Andorra by Freemindtronic. These state-of-the-art devices are designed to meet the highest security standards, ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of your cryptographic keys.

Freemindtronic innovates, manufactures white-label NFC HSM technologies, including PassCypher NFC HSM and DataShielder Defense NFC HSM. These solutions, like EviPass, EviOTP, EviCypher, and EviKey, effectively combat LitterDrifter. They enhance data security, protecting against unauthorized access and decryption, even in the era of quantum computing.

With HSMs from Freemindtronic, you benefit from:

  • Tamper Resistance: HSMs are built to withstand physical tampering attempts, providing an added layer of protection against unauthorized access.
  • Hardware-Based Encryption: Enjoy the benefits of hardware-based encryption, which is more secure than software-based solutions and less susceptible to vulnerabilities.
  • Secure Key Management: HSMs enable secure generation, storage, and management of cryptographic keys, reducing the risk of key compromise.

By integrating HSMs into your organization’s security infrastructure, you can establish a robust defense against threats like LitterDrifter and ensure the confidentiality and integrity of your sensitive data.

Conclusion

Staying One Step Ahead of LitterDrifter

LitterDrifter, the USB worm associated with the Gamaredon cyber espionage group, poses a significant threat to cybersecurity. Its ability to infiltrate systems, collect sensitive data, and execute malicious actions underscores the importance of proactive protection.

By understanding LitterDrifter’s origins, functionality, and impact, as well as implementing robust cybersecurity measures, you can shield your organization from this perilous threat. Additionally, NFC HSM technologies offer an extra layer of security to safeguard your data and secrets.

Stay vigilant, stay informed, and stay ahead of LitterDrifter and the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats.

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.

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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.

Freemindtronic’s Legacy: Rediscovering Excellence

Freemindtronic's Legacy: Rediscovering Excellence

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

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

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

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

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

A New Chapter Begins with Freemindtronic SL Andorra – Resurrecting Excellence

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

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

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

Rekindling Electronic System Protection – Innovating with ‘Fullprotect’

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

A Comprehensive Vision – The Vision of Freemindtronic

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

Expanding Horizons with Global Patents – International Patents and Innovations

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

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

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

Rediscover Excellence with Freemindtronic – Join Us in Rediscovering Excellence

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

DataShielder HSM Fortress Award 2023 from FullSecure: the Andorran serverless and databaseless encryption solution

DataShielder HSM, FullSecure's Andorran solution featuring Freemindtronic technologies, wins the 2023 Fortress Award

DataShielder HSM, FullSecure’s Andorran solution featuring Freemindtronic technologies, wins the 2023 Fortress Award

We are proud to announce that our Andorran DataShielder HSM solution from FullSecure, developed by Freemindtronic, has won the Fortress 2023 Cyber Security Award in encryption in the product and service category. This award, awarded by the Business Intelligence Group, recognizes the excellence and innovation of companies around the world, products and people in the field of cybersecurity. DataShielder HSM from FullSecure is a serverless encryption solution that uses EviCore HSM OpenPGP technology from Freemindtronic. This technology enables to create HSM (Hardware Security Module) on any type of device (computer, phone, cloud, HD, SSD, SD, USB media) to encrypt and sign any data.

DataShielder HSM is an innovative solution that allows managing and generating many types of tokens (identifiers, passwords, certificates, encryption keys, etc.) on any available medium, whether connected or not. It offers a high level of security and performance, by encrypting, signing and authenticating data with keys stored in self-created secure hardware modules. Thus, DataShielder HSM is designed to transform any device into a HSM (Hardware Security Module), without server, without database, totally anonymous, untraceable and undetectable. The DataShielder HSM range is a complete ecosystem that meets many needs in terms of safety, cybersecurity, especially in mobility.

DataShielder HSM also incorporates the EviSign technology developed by Freemindtronic, which allows electronically signing documents with a legally recognized value. EviSign uses the OpenPGP protocol to ensure the integrity, authenticity and non-repudiation of signatures. EviSign is compatible with all document formats (PDF, Word, Excel, etc.) and can be used with any NFC reader or smartphone.

The Fortress 2023 Cyber Security Award acknowledges the work and expertise of Freemindtronic, who offers innovative and adapted solutions to the current and future challenges of cybersecurity. Freemindtronic is proud of this distinction and thank the jury of the contest as well as their customers and partners for their trust and support.

DataShielder HSM was presented in a Dual-Use version in June 2022 at Coges Eurosatory (https://www.eurosatory.com), the international defense and security exhibition. This version allows DataShielder HSM to be used for both civil and military applications, offering a level of protection adapted to each context. The Dual-Use version of DataShielder HSM will soon be available in a civilian version by the end of October 2023, to meet the growing demand from individuals and professionals keen to protect their sensitive data.

We are very proud that DataShielder HSM from FullSecure has been awarded the Fortress Cyber Security Award 2023”, said Christine Bernard, director of FullSecure. “Our solution provides an innovative and adapted response to the current and future challenges of cybersecurity. We thank the Business Intelligence Group for this distinction, as well as our customers and partners for their trust and support.

“We are also very happy to be the first Andorran company to have applied for the Fortress Cyber ​​​​Security Award created in 2018 by the Business Intelligence Group. The Business Intelligence Group is an organization that recognizes true talent and superior performance in the business world. Its Fortress Cyber ​​Security Award aims to identify and recognize the world’s leading companies and products working to protect our data and electronic assets against a growing threat from hackers.”

Dylan DA COSTA FERNANDES gerent programador de DataShielder HSM a Freemindtronic premi Fortress Cybersecurity award 2023
Eric Casanova programador de DataShielder HSM a Freemindtronic premi Fortress Cybersecurity award 2023
Hugo Goncalves Oliveira co-gerent programador de DataShielder HSM a Freemindtronic premi Fortress Cybersecurity award 2023
Alex Garcia Sanchez programador de DataShielder HSM a Freemindtronic premi Fortress Cybersecurity award 2023
Adrian Serrano Gómez programador de DataShielder HSM a Freemindtronic premi Fortress Cybersecurity award 2023
Victor Gil Feliu programador de DataShielder HSM a Freemindtronic premi Fortress Cybersecurity award 2023
Jacques Gascuel Inventor de datashielder HSM CEO de Freemindtronic Andorra el Premi Fortress 2023 cat

DataShielder HSM OpenPGP: Una solució de xifratge 100% andorrana

En resum, DataShielder HSM OpenPGP és una solució innovadora que permet crear mòduls de seguretat hardware (HSM) en qualsevol tipus de suport (ordinador, telèfon, núvol, HD, SSD, SD, clau USB) per xifrar i signar qualsevol tipus de dada. Aquesta solució utilitza la tecnologia EviCore HSM OpenPGP desenvolupada per Freemindtronic, una empresa andorrana titular de patents internacionals i líder en les tecnologies NFC HSM. Aquesta tecnologia ofereix un alt nivell de seguretat i rendiment.

Es tracta del primer producte dedicat a la gestió de claus de xifratge i de xifratge per HSM 100% andorrà. En efecte, l’equip de desenvolupament de DataShielder HSM OpenPGP és 100% d’una formació de la Universitat d’Andorra, l’única universitat pública del país. La Universitat d’Andorra és reconeguda per la seva excel·lència acadèmica i la seva recerca innovadora en els àmbits de les ciències, l’enginyeria i les tecnologies de la informació. L’equip de desenvolupament de DataShielder HSM OpenPGP va ser coordinat per un enginyer de programari de la Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) i professor de la Universitat d’Andorra. Això fa de DataShielder HSM OpenPGP el primer sistema de xifratge d’origen andorrà a haver rebut un premi internacional, el “Fortress Cybersecurity Award”.

Aquesta solució testimonia el saber fer i el potencial d’Andorra en el camp de la ciberseguretat i el xifratge de les dades. DataShielder HSM OpenPGP és una solució que respon a les necessitats actuals i futures de les empreses i els particulars que volen protegir les seves dades sensibles al núvol o als sistemes informàtics, oferint una nova solució en el camp de la sobirania de les dades.

You will soon be able to learn more about the DataShielder HSM product line at FullSecure. Without waiting you can already learn more about the Freemindtronic technologies embedded in DataShielder HSM, by clicking on the following links:

To learn more about the Fortress 2023 Cyber Security Award and other winners, you can visit the following sites:

Premsa Nacional d’Andorra:

DataShielder HSM de la revista de tecnologia Freemindtronic Fullsecure i incrustada Bondia 29 de setembre de 2023
Diari Andorra dijous 5 octubre del 2023: Fullsecure Guanya el Premi Fortress Andorra national press

News provided by Fortress® Cybersecurity Award 2023 from Business Intelligence Group

The Business Intelligence Group was founded with the mission of recognizing true talent and superior performance in the business world. Unlike other industry award programs, these programs are judged by business executives having experience and knowledge. The organization’s proprietary and unique scoring system selectively measures performance across multiple business domains and rewards those companies whose achievements stand above those of their peers.

May 31, 2023 Related Link: https://www.bintelligence.com/posts/105-people-companies-and-products-named-in-2023-fortress-cyber-security-awards

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We hope you enjoyed this article and that you learned something interesting about Freemindtronic and its innovative technology.

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