The Android APK signing model sets the expectation that the signing key will be the same for the entire lifetime of the app. That can be seen in the recommended lifetype of an Android signing key: 20+ years. On top of that, it is difficult to migrate an app to a new key. Since the signing key is an essential part to preventing APKs from impersonating another, Android signing keys must be kept safe for the entire life of the app. [Read More]
Security in a thumb drive: the promise and pain of hardware security modules, take one!
Hardware Security Modules (aka Smartcards, chipcards, etc) provide a secure way to store and use cryptographic keys, while actually making the whole process a bit easier. In theory, one USB thumb drive like thing could manage all of the crypto keys you use in a way that makes them much harder to steal. That is the promise. The reality is that the world of Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) is a massive, scary minefield of endless technical gotchas, byzantine standards (PKCS#11! [Read More]
SECURED: T-Mobile myTouch 4G gets Guardian
One of the services we provide at the Guardian Project is taking any off the shelf Android phone and setting it up to be generally more secure, privacy minded and updated with a powerful suite of trusted apps. Today we were excited to get our hands on a myTouch 4G, manufactured by HTC and sold by T-Mobile. Really beautiful piece of hardware, and once we got our hands on it, a powerhouse of encrypted, anonymous and circumventing communications. [Read More]
aPad / iRobot / Moons e7001 Teardown
This is the aPad or iRobot Android 7″ tablet device from www.hiapad.com. I decided to tear mine apart, as the unit I received has a battery issue, and I hoped to see if I could find a bad solder point. In addition, I was curious to see just how hackable or extensible the hardware was. In the end, I was mostly surprised by how much of the thing is put together with tape. [Read More]