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Security & Defense Solutions presented for the first time at Eurosatory 2022 by Freemindtronic an Andorran company. We design and manufacture HSM security NFC devices.

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

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

How to Create NFC Business Cards with Cardokey

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

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

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

What is Cardokey and how does it work?

Cardokey: Free App for Eco-Friendly NFC Business Cards

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

Cardokey: a compliant and sustainable solution

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

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

Cardokey: a compatible and versatile app

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

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

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

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

The intelligent system of Cardokey

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

The different types of NFC Media and their memory size

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

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

The steps to create an NFC business card with Cardokey

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

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

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

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

What are the benefits of NFC business cards with Cardokey?

Cardokey is free and anonymous

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

Cardokey is easy to use

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

How Cardokey protects your data with EviSwap NFC NDEF technology

The innovative features of EviSwap NFC NDEF technology

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

The standard and secure format of EviSwap NFC NDEF technology

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

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

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

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

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

Cardokey, an eco-friendly application

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

How Cardokey recycles NFC Media

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

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

How Cardokey works with different types of NFC chips

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

How Cardokey helps you create personalized NFC business cards

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

How Cardokey contributes to the preservation of the planet

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

How Cardokey is eco-friendly and compliant

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

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

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

Cardokey: a universal app

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

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

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

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

How NFC vCards work

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

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

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

What are the features of Cardokey NFC vCard business cards?

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

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

 

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

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

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

Andorra: keep in memory a special event

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

Exhibitor: a connected poster with NFC tags

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

Goodies: Offer NFC business cards

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

Tourist: NFC business cards in different languages

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

Family: An NFC business card collecting memories

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

How to download and install Cardokey?

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

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

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

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

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

In short

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

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

Definition of technical terms:

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

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

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

Everything You Need to Know About Brute-force Attacks

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

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

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

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

Types and Methods of Brute-force Attacks

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

Hackers’ Method

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

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

Level of Intrusion

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

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

Domain of Application

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

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

Brute-force Attacks on Electronic Components

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

Invasive Attacks

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

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

Non-invasive Attacks

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

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

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

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

Attacks on Passwords

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

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

Attacks on Encryption Keys

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

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

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

Tools for brute force attacks

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

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

Brute force attacks on volatile memory: a data security risk

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

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

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

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

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

Attacks on Hidden URLs

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

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

Attacks on Hashes

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

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

Brute-force Attacks on Phone Systems

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

Attacks on PIN Codes

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

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

Attacks on IMEI Codes

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

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

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Evaluation of Products or Services Resistance to Brute-force Attacks

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

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

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

Type of brute-force attackWeb applicationSmartphone
Passwords32
Encryption keys43
Hidden URLs2N/A
Hashes3N/A
PIN codesN/A2
IMEI codesN/A4

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

Statistics on brute force attacks

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

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

Real Cases of Brute-force Attacks

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

Brute force attacks on financial institutions

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

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

Brute force attacks on health systems

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

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

Brute force attacks on political systems

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

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

How to Prevent Brute-force Attacks

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

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

In conclusion

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

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

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:

CountryNumber of Phones TargetedDuration of Operation (years)Estimated Cost (in millions of euros)
Spain606248.4
Saudi Arabia10 00052070
Azerbaijan5 0004828
Bahrain3 0003372.6
Kazakhstan1 5002124.2
Mexico15 00021242
Morocco10 00052070
Rwanda3 5004579.6
Hungary300449.8
India1 0003124.2
United Arab Emirates10 00052070

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:

SourceEstimated 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 SourceKey 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:

CHARACTERISTICVALUEATTACK VECTOR
NamePegasus 
DeveloperNSO Group 
TypeSpyware 
FunctionRemote monitoring of mobile phone activities 
Infection MethodMalicious link delivery or the insidious “zero-click” techniqueEmail, SMS, Web Browsing, WhatsApp, Zero-Click
Data AccessMessages, calls, contacts, photos, videos, location, microphone, camera 
Function AccessCapable of enabling/disabling Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and more 
PeriodicityVaried, 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

DataPegasusDataShielder NFC HSM Defense
Messages, chatsCan read and record them unencryptedEncrypts them end-to-end with keys physically externalized in the NFC HSM
Phone contactsCan access and modify themExternalizes and encrypts them in the NFC HSM
EmailsCan intercept and read themEncrypts them with the OpenPGP protocol and signs them with the NFC HSM
PhotosCan access and copy themEncrypts them with the NFC HSM and stores them in a secure space
VideosCan watch and record themEncrypts them with the NFC HSM and stores them in a secure space
Encrypted messages scanned from the cameraCan decrypt them if he has access to the encryption keyEncrypts them with the NFC HSM and does not leave any trace of the encryption key
Conversation histories from contacts stored in the NFC HSMCan access and analyze themErases them automatically after each call or message
Usernames and passwordsCan steal and use themExternalizes and encrypts them in the NFC HSM with EviPass technology
Secret keys of OTPCan compromise and impersonate themExternalizes 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:

CaseLevel of threat
A device with an outdated operating system that has not been updated for a long time9/10
A device with an updated operating system that has been patched recently5/10
A device with an updated operating system that has been patched recently and uses antivirus software3/10
A device with an updated operating system that has been patched recently and uses antivirus software and VPN software2/10
A device with an updated operating system that has been patched recently and uses antivirus software, VPN software, and anti-spyware software1/10
A device with an updated operating system that has been patched recently and uses DataShielder NFC HSM0/10

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.

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

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

Decrypting Marvin’s Assault on RSA Encryption!

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

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

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

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

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

Understanding the Marvin Attack

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

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

Implications of the Marvin Attack

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

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

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

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

The Common Factor Attack in RSA Encryption

Understanding the Common Factor Attack

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

1. Identifying Shared Factors

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

2. Disclosing the Missing Factor

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

3. Attaining Private Keys

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

4. Decrypting Messages with Precision

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

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

Safeguarding Against the Marvin Attack

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

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

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

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

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

How Does RSA 4096 Work?

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

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

RSA 4096 facilitates four primary operations:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Freemindtronic Utilizes RSA 4096 Against the Marvin Attack

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Is an NFC HSM Device?

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

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

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

Resistance Against Brute Force Attacks on NFC HSM

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

Real-Time Secret Sharing with EviCore NFC HSM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SSH: A secure protocol for remote communication

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

Password authentication: simple but insecure

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

Public key authentication: advanced and secure

Setting up public key authentication for SSH

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

Advantages and constraints of public key authentication

Public key authentication: benefits and challenges

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

Public key authentication has several advantages:

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

However, public key authentication also involves certain constraints:

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

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

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

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

EviKey NFC HSM: A technology developed by Freemindtronic SL

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

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

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

Prerequisites

The following are required to follow this tutorial:

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

Creating an SSH key

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

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

  • Linux

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

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

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

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

Using a NFC HSM USB drive

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

sudo mv ssh_private_key /usb_directory

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

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

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

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

Authentication via SSH with a NFC HSM USB drive

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

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

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

Local authentication

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

ssh -p 22 root@127.0.0.1

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

Computer authentication

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

ssh -p 22 alice@192.168.1.10

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

Server authentication

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

ssh -p 22 bob@54.123.456.78

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

Comparison of Secure Storage Solutions for SSH Keys

EviKey NFC HSM USB Drive: Redefining the Paradigm

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

Cybersecurity and Safety: A Synergy

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

Simplicity Meets Security: Seamless SSH Key Storage

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

Normative Compliance: Setting the Gold Standard

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

Technological Advancements: Beyond the Ordinary

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

At a Glance: EviKey Versus the Rest


CriteriaEviKey NFC HSMNitrokeyYubikeySoloKeysOnlyKeyTrezor
Storage Capacity8GB-128GB32KB32KB32KB32KBLimited by key size
SSH Key CapacityOver 4 billionAbout 24About 24Up to 24Up to 24Several
Contactless AuthenticationYes, via NFCNoYes, NFC or USBYes, NFC or USBYes, NFC or USBYes, via USB
Physical Device SecurityEnhanced with attack detection & self-destructStandard with PIN lockStandard with PIN lockStandard with PIN lockStandard with PIN lockStandard with PIN lock
OS CompatibilityAll OSAll OSAll OSAll OSAll OSAll OS
SSH & OpenSSH Protocol CompatibilityYes, via OpenSSHYes, via PKCS#11Yes, via PKCS#11Yes, via PKCS#11Yes, via PKCS#11Yes, via GPG
SSH & OpenSSH Authentication ModesFive-factor (MFA)Two-factor (2FA)Two-factor (2FA)Two-factor (2FA)Two-factor (2FA)One-factor (1FA)
Users for Contactless SSH & OpenSSH UnlockingSix different usersNoneOne userOne userOne userOne user
PatentsThree international patentsNoneNoneNoneNoneNone
Electrical ProtectionIntegrated with intelligent regulatorNoNoNoNoNo
Thermal SafeguardsFunctional & thermal sensors with breakerNoNoNoNoNo
ESD Protection27kv on data channelNoNoNoNoNo
Physical RobustnessMilitary-grade resin; Waterproof & TamperproofNoNoNoNoNo
Security from AttacksInclusive of invasive & non-invasive threatsNoNoNoNoNo
Limit on Auth. Attempts13 (modifiable by admin)NoNoNoNoNo
USB Port ProtectionFully independent security systemNoNoNoNoNo
Contactless Security EnergyHarvests energy from NFC signalsNoNoNoNoNo
Black Box MonitoringComprehensive event trackingNoNoNoNoNo
Fault DetectionIn-built self-diagnosticsNoNoNoNoNo
Memory Write CountMonitors flash memory healthNoNoNoNoNo
Data Persistence40 years without external powerNoNoNoNoNo
Temperature GuardEnsures optimal performanceNoNoNoNoNo
Auto-lock DurationAdmin-defined (seconds to minutes)NoNoNoNoNo

Unveiling the NFC HSM USB Drive EviKey’s Innovations

Deep Dive: Why EviKey is the Leading Choice

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

Physical Robustness: Beyond Conventional Protection

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

Independence from Encryption Systems: Freedom of Choice

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

Versatility: A Universal Key

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

Conclusion

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

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

EviCore NFC HSM Credit Cards Manager | Secure Your Standard and Contactless Credit Cards

NFC Hardware Wallet Credit Card Manager PCI DSS Compliant EviToken Technology working contactless by nfc phone online autofill payment from Freemindtronic Andorra

EviCore NFC HSM Credit Cards Manager by Jacques Gascuel This article will be updated with any new information on the topic, and readers are encouraged to leave comments or contact the author with any suggestions or additions.

Discover EviCore NFC HSM: the revolutionary technology to secure your financial secrets

EviCore NFC HSM is a patented technology that allows you to store and manage your financial secrets in a secure electronic safe. With EviCore NFC HSM, you benefit from wireless access control, segmented key authentication and protection against cyberattacks. Find out how EviCore NFC HSM can enhance your financial security in this article.

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EviCore NFC HSM Credit Cards Manager is a powerful solution designed to secure and manage both standard and contactless credit cards. In this article, we will explore the features, benefits, and compliance of EviCore NFC HSM Credit Cards Manager in protecting your valuable payment cards

Standard and contactless credit cards are convenient and fast ways to pay for goods and services. They use NFC (Near Field Communication) technology to communicate with a compatible contactless card reader. You just have to tap or bring your card close to the reader, and the transaction is done in seconds.

However, standard and contactless credit cards also pose security risks. For example, someone could use an NFC scanner to read your card information remotely or use a fake reader to capture your card data. Moreover, if you lose your card or if it is stolen, someone could use it to make unauthorized purchases without your PIN or signature.

Fortunately, there is a solution that can help you protect your standard and contactless credit cards from these threats. It is called Credit Cards Manager. It is a function of EviCore NFC HSM or EviCore HSM OpenPGP technology that allows you to manage your standard and contactless credit cards securely. It uses NFC technology to communicate with your computer or mobile device. You can store up to 200 credit cards in the memory of Freemindtronic’s NFC HSM device or in the secure keystore of phones encrypted via EviCore. The number of records depends on the types of products developed with these technologies and the amount of information to be stored encrypted. You can also select the card you want to use for each transaction. The Credit Cards Manager function relies on EviBank technology, dedicated to securing payment systems including bank cards.

Exploring EviCore NFC HSM Credit Cards Manager

Credit Cards Manager is a function of EviCore NFC HSM or EviCore HSM OpenPGP technology that allows you to manage your standard and contactless credit cards securely. It uses NFC technology to communicate with your computer or mobile device.

You can store up to 200 credit cards in the memory of Freemindtronic’s NFC HSM device or in the secure keystore of phones encrypted via EviCore. The number of records depends on the types of products developed with these technologies and the amount of information to be stored encrypted.

You can also select the card you want to use for each transaction. The Credit Cards Manager function relies on EviBank technology, dedicated to securing payment systems including bank cards.

These technologies are available under patent license from Freemindtronic. They are compatible with various formats of Freemindtronic’s NFC HSM device (link). These technologies can be embedded in products designed and developed on demand in white label for Freemindtronic’s partners such as Fullsecure and Keepser.

In this article, we will focus on using Credit Cards Manager with an NFC HSM device in the form of a secure electronic card (NFC HSM Card). It is a hardware security module (HSM) that uses a highly secure and encrypted AES-256 post-quantum NFC eprom memory to protect and manage secrets (including digital keys such as an RSA-4096 key, AES-256 key, and ECC key), perform encryption and decryption functions, strong authentication, and other cryptographic functions.

What are the Benefits of using Credit Cards Manager?

Credit Cards Manager offers several benefits for managing standard and contactless credit cards, such as:

  1. Strongbox function for anti-phishing protection and smart login: The Strongbox function offers advanced protection against phishing attempts by securely filling in credit card information on websites. It verifies the authenticity of websites and ensures that sensitive data is only automatically filled in on reliable and verified platforms. It also intelligently automates the process of filling in credit card information and logging into original websites.
  2. Secure manager for credit cards: The Credit Cards Manager function uses the NFC HSM Card device to physically protect bank cards and verify their validity before authorizing their encrypted storage in the device’s memory. It also allows users to customize access levels for each stored card and define geographic access limitations.
  3. Battery-free operation and longevity: The NFC HSM Card device operates without a battery, using the NFC signal from smartphones for power. This energy-efficient design ensures that the device retains stored data for up to 40 years without maintenance or external power sources. The device also has an intelligent OCR scanner for credit cards that is compatible with all bank cards in the world. It helps the user fill in the information fields of the card to be stored encrypted in AES-256 post-quantum in the device. It also prevents keyloggers and spyware from accessing card information on the phone.
  4. COVID contactless security and compliance: Credit Cards Manager helps you avoid physical contact with your bank cards and payment terminals, reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission. You can make secure contactless payments online, without needing your bank cards with or without NFC technology. You can also use auto-filling remotely via the local network or by sharing a connection via your phone. This feature improves convenience and protects your health.
  5. NFC contactless security and compliance: Credit Cards Manager protects your bank cards from being scanned or read by malicious NFC devices. The NFC HSM Card device shields other credit cards from being detected by an NFC scanner when they are juxtaposed to the device. The device uses an anti-collision system that prevents other cards from being read by the NFC reader of the bank card. It also has a copper ground plane that short-circuits the NFC signals of credit cards when they are juxtaposed on or under the NFC HSM CARD. This is an effective physical protection of cards against all risks of attempted remote non-invasive attack.
  6. Air gap security: Credit Cards Manager uses air gap security, physically isolating itself from computer networks. This ensures that the encrypted data of the NFC HSM Card device is stored exclusively in its non-volatile memory, preventing unauthorized access. By protecting itself from remote attacks, Credit Cards Manager strengthens protection against cyber threats. The use of information is encrypted end-to-end from the NFC HSM Card. All communication protocols are automatically encrypted from the NFC device. The sharing of bank card information contained encrypted in the device’s memory can be shared in air gap via a QR Code encrypted in RSA-4096 generated and managed from the NFC HSM CARD device. This sharing can also be shared encrypted in NFC Beam or in proximity between NFC Android phones.
  7. Protection against fraudulent use: Credit Cards Manager ensures that your bank card information is not stored on computer systems, phones, or online shopping sites. This protects your privacy and anonymity. The encrypted data is transmitted securely to the computer system, protecting it from potential threats and unauthorized access. You can also erase sensitive data such as the CCV of bank cards since saved in the NFC HSM Card devices. Advantageously, the CVV physically erased from the bank card secures it from the risk of illicit use, especially online.

The Benefits of Using Credit Cards Manager

BenefitsFeatures
Strongbox function for anti-phishing protection and smart login
  • Advanced protection against phishing attempts by securely filling in credit card information on websites.
  • Verification of website authenticity and automatic filling of sensitive data only on reliable and verified platforms.
  • Intelligent automation of credit card information filling and login process to original websites.
Secure manager for credit cards
  • Physical protection of bank cards and verification of their validity before authorizing their encrypted storage in the device’s memory.
  • Customization of access levels for each stored card and definition of geographic access limitations.
Battery-free operation and longevity
  • Use of smartphone NFC signal for power, without battery or external power sources.
  • Retention of stored data for up to 40 years without maintenance.
  • Intelligent OCR scanner for credit cards compatible with all bank cards in the world.
  • Protection against keyloggers and spyware on the phone.
COVID contactless security and compliance
  • Avoidance of physical contact with bank cards and payment terminals, reducing COVID-19 transmission risk.
  • Secure contactless payments online, without needing bank cards with or without NFC technology.
  • Auto-filling remotely via local network or phone connection.
  • Improved convenience and health protection.
NFC contactless security and compliance
  • Protection of bank cards from being scanned or read by malicious NFC devices.
  • Shielding of other credit cards from being detected by an NFC scanner when juxtaposed to the device.
  • Anti-collision system and copper ground plane to prevent other cards from being read by the NFC reader of the bank card.
  • Effective physical protection of cards against all risks of attempted remote non-invasive attack.
Air gap security
  • Physical isolation from computer networks, preventing unauthorized access to encrypted data of the device.
  • Protection against remote attacks, strengthening protection against cyber threats.
  • End-to-end encryption of information from the NFC HSM Card.
  • Sharing of encrypted bank card information in air gap via QR Code, NFC Beam or proximity between NFC Android phones.
Protection against fraudulent use
  • Guarantee that bank card information is not stored on computer systems, phones or online shopping sites.
  • Protection of privacy and anonymity.
  • Secure transmission of encrypted data to computer system, protecting it from potential threats and unauthorized access.
  • Possibility to erase sensitive data such as CCV from NFC HSM Card devices.

Managing Standard and Contactless Credit Cards with EviCore NFC HSM Credit Cards Manager

To use Credit Cards Manager, follow these steps:

  1. Download the Freemindtronic app compatible with EviCore NFC HSM technology on your NFC phone and the extension if you want to use it on your computer as well.
  2. Connect the NFC HSM Card device to your computer or mobile device via NFC technology.
  3. Register your credit cards in the application using the intelligent OCR scanner or by manually entering the card information.
  4. Select the credit card you want to use for each transaction and confirm the various trust criteria that you have added, such as a password, PIN code, geozone, or fingerprint.
  5. Enjoy secure contactless payments and online shopping with the NFC HSM Card device and the Strongbox function.

Section Break: Why is Credit Cards Manager Compliant with PCI DSS?

Credit Cards Manager is compliant with PCI DSS because it meets the requirements of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This cybersecurity standard applies to any entity that stores, processes, or transmits cardholder data, such as credit card numbers. The PCI DSS aims to protect cardholder data from unauthorized access, fraud, and theft.

The PCI DSS includes 12 requirements for compliance, organized into six related groups called control objectives:

  1. Build and maintain a secure network and systems.
  2. Protect cardholder data.
  3. Maintain a vulnerability management program.
  4. Implement strong access control measures.
  5. Regularly monitor and test networks.
  6. Maintain an information security policy.

Credit Cards Manager complies with these requirements by implementing various features and security measures, such as the secure manager for credit cards, battery-free operation and longevity, COVID contactless security and compliance, air gap security, and protection against fraudulent use. By following PCI DSS, Credit Cards Manager demonstrates adherence to best practices for data security and the protection of cardholder data.

In conclusion, Credit Cards Manager is a secure and compliant solution for managing your standard and contactless credit cards. With its advanced features, robust security measures, and powerful Strongbox function, it offers enhanced data protection and convenience. Secure your credit cards with Credit Cards Manager today.

References

Remote activation of phones by the police: an analysis of its technical, legal and social aspects

Remote activation of phones by the police

Remote activation of phones by the police by Jacques Gascuel This article will be updated with any new information on the topic, and readers are encouraged to leave comments or contact the author with any suggestions or additions.

How does remote activation of phones by the police work?

An article of the bill on justice 2023-2027 raises controversy. It allows remote activation of mobile phones and capture of images or sound without the owner’s consent, for cases of organized crime or terrorism. How does this intelligence technique work? What are the conditions to use it? What are its advantages and disadvantages? What is the situation in other countries? We explain everything in this article.

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What is the new bill on justice and why is it raising concerns about privacy?

The bill on justice is a legislative project. It aims to modernize and simplify justice in France. It covers civil, criminal, administrative and digital justice. It also strengthens the investigation and prosecution of serious offenses, such as terrorism and organized crime.

One measure authorizes remote activation of phones by the police for some investigations. Article 3 “An unfailing commitment to better prevent radicalization and fight against terrorism” of the bill includes this measure. It modifies article 706-102-1 of the code of criminal procedure. This article defines how to activate remotely any electronic device that can emit, transmit, receive or store data.

This measure raises privacy concerns because it lets the police access personal or professional data in phones without the owners’ or possessors’ consent or knowledge. It also lets the police locate, record or capture sounds and images from phones without notification or justification. This measure may violate fundamental rights and freedoms, such as privacy, confidentiality, dignity, presumption of innocence and right to a fair trial.

What is remote activation of phones and how does it work?

Remote activation of phones by the police is an intelligence technique that allows law enforcement agencies to access data or record sounds and images from phones without the consent or knowledge of the phone users. This technique can be used for criminal investigations or national security purposes.

To remotely activate phones, law enforcement agencies need three factors: compatibility, connectivity, and security of the phones. They need to be compatible with the software or hardware that enables remote activation. They need to be connected to a network or a device that allows remote access. They need to have security flaws or vulnerabilities that can be exploited or bypassed.

Law enforcement agencies can remotely activate phones by three methods: exploiting vulnerabilities, installing malware, or using spyware on phones. Exploiting vulnerabilities means taking advantage of security flaws or weaknesses in the phone’s operating system, applications, or protocols. Installing malware means putting malicious software on the phone that can perform unauthorized actions or functions. Using spyware means employing software or hardware that can monitor or control the phone’s activity or data.

By remotely activating phones, law enforcement agencies can access data such as contacts, messages, photos, videos, location, browsing history, or passwords. They can also record sounds and images such as conversations, ambient noises, or camera shots. They can do this in real time or later by retrieving the data from the phone’s memory or storage.

What is the French bill on remote activation of phones by the police and what are its implications?

The French bill on remote activation of phones by the police is a legislative text that was promulgated on 25 May 2021. It is part of the justice orientation and programming bill for 2023-2027, which aims to modernize the justice system and reinforce its efficiency and independence.

The bill introduces a new article in the code of criminal procedure, which allows the judge of liberties and detention (at the request of the prosecutor) or the examining magistrate to order the remote activation of an electronic device without the knowledge or consent of its owner or possessor for the sole purpose of locating it in real time. This measure can be applied for crimes or misdemeanors punishable by at least five years’ imprisonment, a fairly broad criterion.

The bill also allows the judge of liberties and detention (at the request of the prosecutor) or the examining magistrate to order the remote activation of an electronic device without the knowledge or consent of its owner or possessor for the purpose of recording sounds and images from it. This measure can be applied only for crimes relating to organized crime and terrorism.

These measures cannot concern parliamentarians, journalists, lawyers, magistrates and doctors, nor the defendants when they are in the judge’s office or with their lawyer.

The bill also specifies that the remote activation of an electronic device must be done in a way that does not alter its functioning or data, and that the data collected must be destroyed within six months after their use.

The bill aims to provide law enforcement agencies with more tools and information to prevent, investigate and prosecute crimes, especially in cases where phones are encrypted, hidden or destroyed. It also aims to harmonize the French legislation with other countries that have used or considered this technique, such as the United States, Germany, Italy, Israel, Canada, China, France, and the United Kingdom.

However, the bill also raises ethical and social challenges, as it involves a trade-off between security and privacy, as well as between effectiveness and legitimacy. It may undermine the right to respect for private life and the right to a fair trial, which are guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights and the French Constitution. It may also expose law enforcement agencies to legal or technical challenges or dangers, such as encryption technologies that can prevent or hinder remote activation. It may also create distrust or resistance among phone users or providers, who may use encryption technologies or legal remedies to protect their data or communications.

The bill has been criticized by several actors, such as lawyers, human rights defenders, digital rights activists, journalists and academics. They have denounced its lack of proportionality, necessity and oversight. They have also questioned its effectiveness and legitimacy. They have called for its withdrawal or amendment.

The bill is still subject to constitutional review by the Constitutional Council before its final promulgation.

How did the Senate vote on the bill and where to find the official sources?

The Senate adopted this measure on October 20, 2021, with some amendments. The Senate voted in favor of this measure by 214 votes against 121. The Senate also added some safeguards to this measure, such as limiting its duration to four months renewable once and requiring prior authorization from an independent judge.

The National Assembly still has to examine the bill before adopting it definitively. The National Assembly may approve, reject or modify this measure. The final text may differ from the one that the Senate voted.

The examination of the bill by the National Assembly will start on December 6, 2021. You can follow the progress of the bill on the website of the National Assembly. You can also find the official text of the bill and the report of the Senate on their respective websites. You can also consult the website of the Ministry of Justice for more information on the bill and its objectives.

What are the benefits and risks of remote activation of phones?

This technique can affect citizens’ and suspects’ behavior in different ways.

On one hand, it can deter people from serious offenses. It exposes them to a higher risk of detection and identification. It reduces their incentives for criminal activities.

On the other hand, it can also make people more cautious or paranoid. It increases their uncertainty and fear. It leads them to avoid electronic devices, encrypt their communications, or use countermeasures such as jamming devices.

This technique can also impact public safety and security positively and negatively.

On one hand, it can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of law enforcement agencies. It provides them with more information and evidence. It helps them prevent, investigate and prosecute crimes.

On the other hand, it can also pose risks for human rights and civil liberties. It allows intrusive and covert surveillance. It violates privacy, confidentiality and dignity. It can also be subject to abuse, misuse or error by law enforcement agents or hackers.

Finally, it can create a feeling of insecurity and mistrust towards institutions, which can access personal or professional data in phones. It can also harm respect for presumption of innocence by placing permanent suspicion on people targeted by this technique. It can also infringe on protection of journalistic sources or right to information by discouraging whistleblowers or witnesses from speaking freely. It can finally encourage people concerned to adopt avoidance or circumvention strategies, such as changing phones regularly, using encrypted applications or switching to airplane mode.

These strategies can reduce the actual effectiveness of this technique for preventing terrorism and organized crime.

What are the arguments in favor of remote activation of phones?

Some people support this technique because they think it has several advantages for law enforcement and public security.

How can remote activation of phones violate privacy and data protection?

One of the main arguments against this technique is that it can violate privacy and data protection for individuals and groups. Privacy and data protection are fundamental rights recognized by international standards and laws. They ensure human dignity and autonomy.

Remote activation of phones violates privacy and data protection by letting law enforcement agencies access personal or professional data without the owners’ or possessors’ consent or knowledge. It also lets law enforcement agencies access sensitive or confidential data without notification or justification. It also lets law enforcement agencies access excessive or irrelevant data without limitation or proportionality.

For example, remote activation of phones could let the police access medical records, financial transactions, political opinions, religious beliefs, sexual preferences, or other intimate information on a device or a communication. It could also let the police access information that is not related to the investigation or that is out of scope on a device or a communication. It could also let the police access information that is not necessary or appropriate for the investigation or that is disproportionate to the seriousness of the offense on a device or a communication.

How can remote activation of phones improve access to justice and evidence?

Another argument in favor of this technique is that it can improve access to justice and evidence for law enforcement agencies and victims of crimes. Justice and evidence ensure the rule of law and the protection of rights.

Remote activation of phones improves access to justice and evidence by letting law enforcement agencies obtain information that is otherwise inaccessible or difficult to obtain. It also lets law enforcement agencies obtain information that is more reliable and accurate than other sources. It also lets law enforcement agencies obtain information that is timelier and more relevant than other sources.

For example, remote activation of phones could help the police access data that is encrypted or password-protected on a device or a communication. It could also help the police access data that is authentic and verifiable on a device or a communication. It could also help the police access data that is up-to-date and pertinent on a device or a communication.

What are the arguments against remote activation of phones?

Some people oppose this technique because they think it has several disadvantages for human rights and civil liberties.

How can remote activation of phones violate privacy and data protection?

One of the main arguments against this technique is that it can violate privacy and data protection for individuals and groups. Privacy and data protection are fundamental rights recognized by international standards and laws. They ensure human dignity and autonomy.

Remote activation of phones violates privacy and data protection by letting law enforcement agencies access personal or professional data without the owners’ or possessors’ consent or knowledge. It also lets law enforcement agencies access sensitive or confidential data without notification or justification. It also lets law enforcement agencies access excessive or irrelevant data without limitation or proportionality.

For example, remote activation of phones could let the police access medical records, financial transactions, political opinions, religious beliefs, sexual preferences, or other intimate information on a device or a communication. It could also let the police access information that is not related to the investigation or that is out of scope on a device or a communication. It could also let the police access information that is not necessary or appropriate for the investigation or that is disproportionate to the seriousness of the offense on a device or a communication.

How can remote activation of phones undermine the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial?

Another argument against this technique is that it can undermine the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial for individuals and groups. The presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial are fundamental rights recognized by international standards and laws. They ensure justice and accountability.

Remote activation of phones undermines the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial by letting law enforcement agencies access data that they can use against individuals or groups without any legal basis or due process. It also lets law enforcement agencies access data that they can manipulate or falsify by law enforcement agents or hackers. It also lets law enforcement agencies access data that individuals or groups can challenge or contest.

For example, remote activation of phones could let the police access data that they can incriminate individuals or groups without any warrant or authorization from a judge. It could also let the police access data that they can alter or corrupt by law enforcement agents or hackers. It could also let the police access data that individuals or groups can dispute or refute.

How can remote activation of phones create a risk of abuse and misuse by the authorities?

Another argument against this technique is that it can create a risk of abuse and misuse by the authorities for individuals and groups. Abuse and misuse are illegal or unethical actions that violate rights and obligations. They damage trust and legitimacy.

Remote activation of phones creates a risk of abuse and misuse by the authorities by letting law enforcement agencies access data that they can use for purposes other than those authorized or intended. It also lets law enforcement agencies access data that they can share or disclose to third parties without any oversight or control. It also lets law enforcement agencies access data that they can retain or store for longer than necessary or permitted.

For example, remote activation of phones could let the police access data that they can use for political, personal, commercial, or other interests on a device or a communication. It could also let the police access data that they can transfer or leak to other agencies, organizations, media, or individuals on a device or a communication. It could also let the police access data that they can keep or archive for indefinite periods on a device or a communication.

What are the alternatives and safeguards for remote activation of phones?

Some people suggest that there are alternatives and safeguards for remote activation of phones that can balance security and privacy.

What are the existing legal tools to access phone data with judicial authorization?

One of the alternatives for remote activation of phones is to use existing legal tools to access phone data with judicial authorization. Judicial authorization is a legal requirement that ensures respect for rights and obligations. An independent and impartial judge grants it after evaluating the necessity and proportionality of the request.

Existing legal tools to access phone data with judicial authorization include search warrants, wiretaps, geolocation orders, data requisitions, and international cooperation agreements. These tools let law enforcement agencies obtain information from phones in a lawful and transparent manner. They also provide legal protection and recourse for individuals and groups.

For example, search warrants let law enforcement agencies physically seize phones and extract data from them with judicial authorization. Wiretaps let law enforcement agencies intercept calls and messages from phones with judicial authorization. Geolocation orders let law enforcement agencies track the location of phones with judicial authorization. Data requisitions let law enforcement agencies request data from phone operators or service providers with judicial authorization. International cooperation agreements let law enforcement agencies exchange data with foreign authorities with judicial authorization.

What are the principles and conditions for remote activation of phones according to the bill?

One of the safeguards for remote activation of phones is to follow the principles and conditions for remote activation of phones according to the bill. The bill on justice sets some rules and limits for this technique to prevent abuse and misuse.

The principles and conditions for remote activation of phones according to the bill include:

  • The technique can only be used for terrorism and organized crime investigations.
  • An independent judge who authorizes it must supervise the technique. The technique can only last for four months renewable once.
  • The technique must respect necessity, proportionality, subsidiarity, and legality.
  • Parliament and independent authorities must oversee and control the technique.
  • Experts and stakeholders must evaluate and review the technique.

These principles and conditions aim to ensure a reasonable and accountable use of this technique. They also aim to protect the rights and interests of individuals and groups.

What are the possible ways to limit or challenge remote activation of phones?

Another safeguard for remote activation of phones is to use possible ways to limit or challenge remote activation of phones by individuals or groups. These ways can help protect rights and interests, as well as ensure accountability and transparency.

Some of the possible ways to limit or challenge remote activation of phones are:

  • Using encryption technologies:

    Encryption technologies can make data on phones unreadable or inaccessible to law enforcement agencies, even if they remotely activate them. Encryption technologies can also protect communications from law enforcement agencies’ interception or recording. For example, using end-to-end encryption apps, such as Signal or WhatsApp, can prevent law enforcement agencies from accessing messages or calls on phones.

  • Using security features:

    Security features can prevent law enforcement agencies from installing or activating software or applications on phones that enable remote activation. Security features can also detect or remove software or applications that enable remote activation. For example, using antivirus software, firewalls, passwords, biometrics, or VPNs can prevent law enforcement agencies from accessing phones.

  • Using legal remedies:

    Legal remedies can let individuals or groups contest or oppose remote activation of phones by law enforcement agencies. Legal remedies can also let individuals or groups seek compensation or redress for damages caused by remote activation of phones. For example, using judicial review, administrative appeals, complaints, lawsuits, or human rights mechanisms can challenge law enforcement agencies’ actions or decisions regarding remote activation of phones.

How does this technique compare with other countries?

Law enforcement agencies in other countries, such as the United States, Germany, Italy, Israel, Canada, China, France, and the United Kingdom, have used or considered remote activation of phones by the police. This technique is not new or unique. However, the legal framework, the technical methods, and the ethical and social implications of this technique vary from country to country..

How does remote activation of phones by the police work in different countries?

Remote activation of phones by the police is an intelligence technique that varies from country to country. It depends on the legal framework, the technical methods and the ethical issues of each country. Here are some examples of how it works in different countries.

  • In the United States, this technique is known as “roving bugs” or “mobile device tracking”. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) authorizes it for national security purposes and Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act for criminal investigations. It requires a court order based on probable cause and limited in scope and duration. It can locate or record sounds and images from phones. It can be done by installing malware or exploiting vulnerabilities on phones.
  • In Germany, this technique is known as “Quellen-TKÜ” or “source telecommunications surveillance”. The Code of Criminal Procedure and the Telecommunications Act regulate it for criminal investigations and the Federal Intelligence Service Act for national security purposes. It requires a court order based on reasonable suspicion and proportionality. It can intercept communications from phones. To do so, it installs software or uses spyware on phones.
  • In Italy, this technique is known as “Trojan horse” or “spyware”. The Code of Criminal Procedure and the Data Protection Code regulate it for criminal investigations. It requires a court order based on serious indications of guilt and necessity. It can access data or record sounds and images from phones. To do so, it installs software or uses spyware on phones.
  • In Israel, this technique is known as “IMSI catchers” or “stingrays”. The Wiretapping Law and the Privacy Protection Law regulate it for criminal investigations and the Security Service Law for national security purposes. It requires a court order based on reasonable grounds and proportionality. It can locate or intercept communications from phones. To do so, it uses devices that mimic cell towers and trick phones into connecting to them.
  • In Canada, this technique is known as “cell site simulators” or “IMSI catchers”. The Criminal Code and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms regulate it for criminal investigations. It requires a court order based on reasonable grounds and proportionality. It can locate or intercept communications from phones. To do so, it uses devices that mimic cell towers and trick phones into connecting to them.
  • In China, this technique is known as “network interception” or “remote control”. The Criminal Procedure Law and the Cybersecurity Law regulate it for criminal investigations and national security purposes. It does not require a court order but only an approval from a higher authority. It can access data or record sounds and images from phones. To do so, it installs software or uses spyware on phones.
  • In France, real-time geolocation is regulated by the Criminal Procedure Code and the Intelligence Law for criminal and national security investigations. Article 706-102-1 of the Criminal Procedure Code allows police officers and agents to use a technical device to access, record, store and transmit computer data without the consent of the persons concerned. This requires a court order based on serious reasons and proportionality. Article 230-32 of the Criminal Procedure Code states that “Any technical means for real-time location, throughout the national territory, of a person, without his consent, a vehicle or any other object, without the consent of its owner or possessor, may be used if this operation is required by necessity: “. This also requires a court order based on serious reasons and proportionality.
  • In the United Kingdom, this technique is known as “equipment interference” or “hacking”. The Investigatory Powers Act regulates it for criminal investigations and national security purposes. It requires a warrant based on necessity and proportionality. It can access data or record sounds and images from phones. To do so, it installs software or uses spyware on phones.

How does remote activation of phones by the police raise ethical and social challenges?

Remote activation of phones by the police raises ethical and social challenges in different contexts and situations because it involves a trade-off between security and privacy, as well as between effectiveness and legitimacy.

Security versus privacy

On one hand, remote activation of phones by the police can enhance security by providing law enforcement agencies with more information and evidence to prevent, investigate, and prosecute crimes. It can also deter criminals from using phones to plan or commit crimes.

On the other hand, remote activation of phones by the police can undermine privacy by letting law enforcement agencies access personal or professional data without consent or knowledge. It can also violate human rights and civil liberties by letting law enforcement agencies monitor or record sounds and images without notification or justification.

Effectiveness versus legitimacy

On one hand, remote activation of phones by the police can be effective by increasing the chances of finding relevant information or evidence on phones that may be encrypted, hidden, or destroyed. It can also be efficient by reducing the costs and risks of physical surveillance or interception.

On the other hand, remote activation of phones by the police can be illegitimate by violating the legal framework, the technical methods, or the oversight and control mechanisms that regulate this technique in each country. It can also be counterproductive by creating distrust or resistance among phone users or providers, who may use encryption technologies or legal remedies to protect their data or communications.

The ethical and social challenges of remote activation of phones by the police depend on the legal framework, the technical methods, and the oversight and control mechanisms that regulate this technique in each country. They also depend on the cultural and political values, the public opinion, and the media coverage that shape the perception and acceptance of this technique in each country.

Some of the ethical and social challenges of remote activation of phones by the police are how to :

  • balance security and privacy in the use of this technique?
  • ensure compliance with fundamental rights and freedoms in the use of this technique?
  • prevent abuse, misuse, or error in the use of this technique?
  • provide legal protection and recourse for individuals or groups affected by this technique?
  • ensure accountability and transparency in the use of this technique?
  • evaluate the effectiveness and legitimacy of this technique?
  • foster trust and cooperation between law enforcement agencies and phone users in the use of this technique?

What is the impact of encryption technologies on this technique?

Encryption technologies are methods or systems that make data unreadable or inaccessible to unauthorized parties. Encryption technologies can have a significant impact on remote activation of phones by the police, as they can make this technique more difficult, risky, or controversial.

How can encryption technologies make remote activation of phones by the police more difficult or impossible?

Encryption technologies can make remote activation of phones by the police more difficult or impossible by preventing law enforcement agencies from accessing data or communications on phones, even if they remotely activate them. Encryption technologies can also protect phones from malware or spyware that enable remote activation.

For example, end-to-end encryption, which some apps such as Signal or WhatsApp use, can prevent law enforcement agencies from intercepting or reading messages or calls on phones, as only the sender and the receiver have the keys to decrypt them. Device encryption, which some operating systems such as iOS or Android use, can prevent law enforcement agencies from extracting or viewing data on phones, as they require a password or a biometric authentication to unlock them.

How can encryption technologies make remote activation of phones by the police more risky or harmful?

Encryption technologies can make remote activation of phones by the police more risky or harmful by exposing law enforcement agencies to legal or technical challenges or dangers. Encryption technologies can also harm phone users by compromising their security or privacy.

For example, breaking encryption, which law enforcement agencies sometimes do to access data or communications on phones, can expose them to legal challenges, as it may violate laws or regulations that protect encryption or privacy. It can also expose them to technical dangers, as it may weaken the security of phones or networks and create vulnerabilities for hackers or criminals. Hacking encryption, which law enforcement agencies sometimes do to install malware or spyware on phones, can harm phone users by compromising their security or privacy, as it may allow unauthorized access to their data or functions.

How can encryption technologies make remote activation of phones by the police more controversial or unacceptable?

Encryption technologies can make remote activation of phones by the police more controversial or unacceptable by raising ethical and social issues or debates. Encryption technologies can also create conflicts or tensions between law enforcement agencies and phone users or providers.

For example, undermining encryption, which law enforcement agencies sometimes request to facilitate remote activation of phones, can raise ethical and social issues or debates, as it may affect human rights and civil liberties, such as privacy, confidentiality, dignity, presumption of innocence, and right to a fair trial. It can also create conflicts or tensions between law enforcement agencies and phone users or providers. They may have different interests or values regarding encryption and security.

How does EviCore NFC HSM technology developed by Freemindtronic offer a high level of protection for phone users?

Remote activation of phones by the police can be facilitated by exploiting security flaws, installing malware, or requesting backdoors in encryption technologies. However, some encryption technologies may be resistant to these measures and offer a higher level of protection for phone users. One of them is the EviCore NFC HSM technology developed by Freemindtronic.

This technology lets users create their own encryption keys in a random way and store them in a physical device that communicates with the phone via NFC (Near Field Communication). The device also lets users define their own trust criteria that must be met to use the keys or their segments. The encryption is done in post-quantum AES-256 mode from either a device compatible with the EviCore NFC HSM technology or from an encrypted enclave in the phone created in the Key chain (Apple) or the Key store (Android) via the EviCore HSM OpenPGP technology. The encryption keys are segmented and superior to 256 bits. Moreover, they are physically externalized from computer systems. Everything is designed by Freemindtronic to effectively fight against espionage and corruption of telephone, computer, communication and information systems. Finally, without a server, without a database, even in air gap and airplane mode works EviCore NFC HSM or EviCore HSM OpenPGP technology. Everything is designed to work in volatile memory to leave no trace in telephone and computer systems.

This technology offers a high level of security and privacy for phone users who want to protect their data from unauthorized access, including by the police. It also offers a high level of performance and usability for phone users who want to encrypt or over-encrypt all types of messaging in the world, including SMS and MMS. It also works with other applications that use encryption, such as email, cloud storage or blockchain.

Furthermore, this technology is designed to be totally anonymous, autonomous, unconnected, without a database, without collecting any information of any kind on the identity of the user, nor on the hardware, nor on the terminals used. The technology is designed to be totally isolated and totally independent of the security of the terminal used whether it is connected or not. Freemindtronic does not keep the unique pairing keys for each NFC HSM device. And even if it did, the user at installation will automatically generate segmented complementary keys for encryption with administrator and user passwords. Each NFC device has a unique 128-bit signature dedicated to fighting against counterfeiting of NFC devices. It is also used as a key segment. The secret stored in eprom memories or in enclaves of the phone and/or computer can be individually secured by other segmented keys characterized by additional trust criteria such as a geozone, a random hexadecimal code via an existing or generated QR code or Bar Code via EviCore HSM. It is therefore physically impossible for Freemindtronic but under judicial assignment to decrypt data encrypted via EviCore HSM technologies even with a quantum computer.

Conclusion

Remote activation of phones by the police is an intelligence technique. It aims to fight terrorism and crime by accessing data or sounds and images from phones without consent or knowledge. Law enforcement agencies in various countries have used or considered this technique. For example, France, the United States, Germany, Italy, Israel, Canada, China, and the United Kingdom. However, this technique raises technical, legal, ethical, and social challenges. They need to be addressed.

On the technical side, remote activation of phones by the police depends on three factors: compatibility, connectivity, and security of the phones. It can be done by three methods: exploiting vulnerabilities, installing malware, or using spyware on phones.For example, EviCore NFC HSM technology developed by Freemindtronic protects data and communications on phones from remote activation by the police. Encryption technologies can make this technique more difficult or impossible by preventing law enforcement agencies from accessing data or communications on phones, even if they remotely activate them.

On the legal side, remote activation of phones by the police requires a legal framework that regulates its use and scope. Laws or regulations can authorize it and specify the conditions and criteria for its application. Legal remedies can also challenge it and contest or oppose its validity or legality.

On the ethical side, remote activation of phones by the police involves a trade-off between security and privacy, as well as between effectiveness and legitimacy. It can enhance security by providing more information and evidence to law enforcement agencies to prevent, investigate, and prosecute crimes. It can also undermine privacy by letting law enforcement agencies access personal or professional data without notification or justification.

On the social side, remote activation of phones by the police raises issues or debates that affect human rights and civil liberties. For example, privacy, confidentiality, dignity, presumption of innocence, and right to a fair trial. It can also create conflicts or tensions between law enforcement agencies and phone users or providers, as they may have different interests or values regarding encryption and security.

Therefore, remote activation of phones by the police is a complex and controversial technique that requires a careful and balanced approach that respects the rights and interests of all parties involved. The French bill on remote activation of phones by the police and the EviCore NFC HSM Open PGP technology developed by Freemindtronic illustrate the complex and evolving relationship between intelligence and encryption in the digital age. They raise questions about finding a balance. It is between security and privacy, between public interest and individual rights, between innovation and regulation.

: According to Okta, privacy is the right to control how your information is viewed and used, while security is protection from threats or dangers (https://www.okta.com/identity-101/privacy-vs-security/).

: According to Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, finding a balance between security and privacy requires addressing technical, legal, and social questions (https://carnegieendowment.org/2019/09/10/moving-encryption-policy-conversation-forward-pub-79573).

: According to Springboard, finding a balance between innovation and regulation requires cooperation among stakeholders and respect for human rights (https://www.springboard.com/blog/cybersecurity/privacy-vs-security-how-to-balance-both/).

Protect Your Data from AMOS Malware

AMOS malware protection with Keepser NFC Cold Xallet


AMOS Malware Protection by Jacques gascuel
This article will be updated with any new information on the topic, and readers are encouraged to leave comments or contact the author with any suggestions or additions.
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Protect Your Mac from AMOS Malware

Are you worried about the threat of AMOS malware on your Mac? Keep your data safe with Keepser Cold Wallet. Learn how this technology can protect your sensitive information from this dangerous malware.

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AMOS Malware Protection with Keepser Cold Wallet

The Threat of AMOS Malware on macOS

AMOS malware is a growing threat to macOS users. Hackers are marketing a new malware for the macOS operating system. Named Atomic Macos Stealer or AMOS, this malicious software is designed to steal user data for $1,000 per month. It extracts passwords from the keychain, steals files on disks, cookies, as well as cards and identification information stored in the browser and tries to extract data from 50 different cryptocurrency wallets. Buyers also benefit from a complete web dashboard to brute force MetaMask.

How AMOS Malware Works

AMOS is capable of accessing iCloud keychain passwords, system information, files from the desktop and documents folder, as well as the Mac password. It is able to infiltrate applications such as Chrome and Firefox and extract autofill information, passwords, cookies, wallets and credit card information. Cryptocurrency wallets such as Electrum, Binance and Atomic are specific targets.

The malware is being propagated using an unsigned disk image file called Setup.dmg. Once executed, the file prompts the victim to enter their system password on a bogus prompt. This allows the malware to escalate privileges and carry out its malicious activities. This technique is similar to that used by other macOS malware, such as MacStealer.

How to Protect Against AMOS Malware

The increase in the deployment of macOS stealer malware by non-state actors highlights the need for users to be cautious when downloading and installing software. The cybersecurity industry recommends that users only download and install software from trustworthy sources, enable two-factor authentication, review app permissions, and refrain from opening suspicious links received via email or SMS messages.

The Solution: Keepser Cold Wallet with EviVault Technology

However, there is a solution to protect your sensitive data against AMOS malware. For only €387, you can purchase two NFC Cold Wallet Keepser from Keepser Group with EviVault technology from Freemindtronic SL. These wallets allow you to store offline and physically externalized from macOS and/or PC computers the private keys and/or seed phrases of cryptocurrency wallets as well as identifier and password pairs. Thus, it will simply be impossible to extract sensitive data from a computer that is not physically present in these computers, even for this AMOS malware.

By using EviVault NFC Cold Wallet technologies from Freemindtronic embedded in Keepser products, you can protect your sensitive data against malware attacks such as AMOS or Cryptbot. These wallets also work on macOS, providing additional protection to Mac users.

The Benefits of EviVault Technology

Thanks to EviVault technology developed by Freemindtronic, the Keepser Cold Wallet is a unique ultra-secure cold storage solution for cryptocurrency wallets, offering anonymous, offline and contactless use via NFC technology, as well as compatibility with NFC Android phones and computer systems via a browser extension.

It’s like they say: “Why pay €1,000 per month to steal sensitive data when you can pay €387 one shot for AMOS malware protection without subscription to protect against it (and other malware like Cryptbot)!” 😉

It is important to take seriously the threats posed by malware such as AMOS and to take the necessary measures to protect your sensitive data. By using advanced technologies such as EviVault NFC Cold Wallet from Freemindtronic embedded in Keepser products, you can ensure that your data is secure.

Freemindtronic at Eurosatory 2022

Eurosatory 2022 Freemindtronic Andorra presents the first time in its history its latest innovations in safety cyber security & anti-spying Soldier NFC phone
 
 
QR code black contact Freemindtronic Eurosatory Hall 5B C178

Freemindtronic at Eurosatory 2022 an historic event for Andorra

Freemindtronic will be present at Eurosatory 2022, an historic event for Andorra.
Indeed, this is the first time in its history that Eurosatory has hosted an Andorran company. Our presence at Eurosatory gives Andorra and its national industry access to global visibility in the very sovereign field of Defense and Security. Eurosatory is the world leader in land and air-land Defense and Security. This event will take place from June 13 to 17, 2022, in Paris, France. During the 2018 edition since that of 2020 was canceled due to COVID-19, Eurosatory brought together 1,802 exhibitors from 63 countries, 227 official delegations from 94 countries and 57,056 visitors from 153 countries.
To contact Freemindtronic during the event, scan the vCard in QR Code format.

EUROSATORY 2022 Freemindtronic Andorra in the heart of the Discovery Village

For its first participation, Freemindtronic will present its three latest innovations in the field of counterintelligence: EviPDF, EviStealth and the Cyber Computer developed on the basis of its EviCypher technology. This technology has received 10 international distinctions between 2021 and today, including the 2021 Geneva International Inventions Gold Medal 2021 for category C (computing, software, electronics, electricity and communication method).

Stealthy secret safe pen

Design of customized stealth eco-systems

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Design of customized stealth eco-systems

EviKey Technology

Discover the Evikey technology, a mobile data storage that can only be unlocked contactless. In USB and SSD format, they are physically undetectable from computer systems when locked.

EviKey technology

Waterproof contactless data storage

The only contactless unlocking system with a configurable self-healing multi-factor and a tamper-proof black box that protects against mechanical, electrical, thermal and electronic stress.

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Where to find us at Eurosatory 2022

Take the opportunity to discover and test the various customized solutions on our stand C178, Hall 5B opposite the VIP Lounge. Don’t forget to register for free to visit the World Leader in Land and Air Defense.

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