You'd think MI6's top agents would carry the most feature-packed smartphones on the market, but folk with a true sense of security should apparently opt for Tripleton's new handset, the Enigma E2. It claims the phone is hackproof. The E2 is supposedly the world's most secure mobile ever, providing protection even against would- …
the titanic was unsinkable?
"Tripleton claimed, security specialists have been unable to hack" (the device). Sure, but what about bored teenagers?
can't afford the best part of three grand to buy the hardware to attempt to hack it. Security via financial obscurity. I call it cheating.
5.56 mm Assault Rifle - Standard NATO armament till recently.
Can be equipped with, night visions sights, laser rangefinder, laser target illuminator or, for the traditionalist in all of us, a range of vintage grenade launchers.
El Reg Hacks Gradually Becoming Blind
It appears that The Register's talented stable of writers are no longer able to distinguish between the numeral 1 and an upper case I ...
Early reports of smart phone blindness were disputed by a Cambridge Classics professor, who proposes the alternate hypothesis that El Reg has been infiltrated by Roman invaders, who also cannot distinguish between I and 1.
Yet another one
Those used to be made by companies running on heavily strapped down Windows CE. The good ones will hand out the source code to everyone and allow you to check whether the image on your phone actually conforms to the source code. They will also have security features in the packaging so you can be moderately sure nobody fiddled with it before it got to you.
Again there are many of those companies and many of those phones. Most of them have a vital flaw, they don't protect your usage data. So who telephoned with whom is still in the clear. And that information usually is somewhat more important.
Claimed to be un-crackable and totally secure.
Now I see why they chose that name!
I was completely hooked until the 8GB memory card, then I checked to see if it was April yet.
Don't 00's use Sony phones? (ahh yes, they use whatever the product placement guy tells them to use...)
Hey everybody, I've got a spy phone
Do they make one that fit's in a shoe? You can't afford to be too conspicuous in the spy game.
(Yes, I know - it's really targeted at the Ms rather than the Bonds but someone had to do the Maxwell Smart joke.)
Re: Hey everybody, I've got a spy phone
Shoe phones are so utterly ridiculous/funny and any spy using it would have to be a real nutcase but would likely get ignored by the opposition. No country would be that stupid as to hire Maxwell Smart?!?!? It's crazy enough, that it just *might* work, ONCE. :)
Re: "nosey tabloids [...] trying to listen in on your conversations"
Most of the tabloid phone hacking was done by dialling into the victim's voicemail account and listening to the messages that had been left. And I'll bet the key exchange protocol that this phone uses only works when both sides are communicating in real time, so voice mails are probably still left in the clear.
For purposes of discussion, let's assume it is in fact uncrackable.
Yes. I know it probably isn't. But since it appears to be one of their main marketing platforms, let's pretend for a while. So play nice :-).
Given what's happened recently to Blackberry, and the publicly made demands (never mind the ones we may or may not have heard being made less publicly) by various governments in various places to be able top intercept and read communications - what are the chances of those governments permitting such an 'uncrackable' device to be sold and used in their jurisdictions?
Great marketing, lads. Let us know how that works out for you.
Yes, I meant 'to intercept' not 'top intercept'. And yes. I meant RIM, not 'Blackberry'.
Yes, I'm an Idiot :-).
Different w.r.t. Blackberry
There are two important differences:
1) This uses standard GSM calls, but scrambles them if you are talking to another secure phone, so unless they are already targeting you (or that recipient, or scanning all calls for scrambling), they won't know you have one in use.
2) Unlike the Blackberry, there is no central server in *any* country to tap, so the only simple option (short of finding & arresting you) is to block the call.
In both cases (block or arrest) you then know you were targeted, and they probably have to charge you with something, not generally convenient for them without other proof of illegal activity (e.g. if you are actually doing business and it is legitimate). It would be pretty hard for any gov to simply outlaw encryption and still expect to do major international business.
For any real intelligence agency I can't see such a big deal in any case. I guess MI6 and similar would deploy other ways of listening in without you knowing about it if you were that important(bugged car/apartment/paid-off lover/goat/etc).
Re: Different w.r.t. Blackberry
Agreed on all counts :-).
It's just the idea of marketing something as 'impossible to intercept', given the reactions in various countries, and hoping to be able to legally go on sale there.
Which is not to say people wouldn't get hold of them anyway, but would suggest, if the aforementioned guv'mints reacted against them, that the only markets would be grey or black.
Or not - guv'mints don't have to be consistent :-).
Re: Different w.r.t. Blackberry
I suspect in most not-totally-paranoid countries (e.g. excluding recent events in Iran) the intelligence services don't fear "unbreakable" encryption, they fear mass adoption of half-decent encryption so keyword searches and similar methods used to target traditional resources at real suspects is harder.
Seems to be more for the Russians that the 00s
... judging by the lifestyle pics on the website.
How much monies?
This couldn't be done by an app in a cheapo smartphone for near-as-dammit a tenth of the price?
If they are not idiots
If they aren't idiots, it's hard to do in an app, since then they made sure the whole system is secure. For example they made sure the software/operating system booted from a read-only memory, which can easily be read externally to make sure nobody changed the code. That is hard to do on most current mobile operating system, and even impossible to do on an iPhone since you cannot trim down iOS to the things you need and want to have. It's little use to have a secure voice connection if some other covertly installed app can just listen in, too.
Then again if this is something you can do with an app, you can probably do it way cheaper with VoIP and VPNs.
Re: If they are not idiots
Well see this is what I was thinking. Most people won't need the "we'll hand-deliver it to your house, chained to our CEO's wrist in a stainless steel and adamantium suitcase" security, but being able to scramble calls might be nice. Both parties have the app and pick a common key (or do a question/answer session like OTR does). Press the "scramble" button and poof, there you go. Bonus point for making it work when you wire a phone ot a CB or walkie talkie.
I should lern 2 press "preview".
Re: How much monies?
You mean Redphone?
At the risk of doing a 'Lewis'
The Yanks have a perfectly reasonable device in the form of the Sectera Edge. Proven, certified, similar budget. Why not just buy some of those instead? I'll bet they have a better battery life too.
Re: At the risk of doing a 'Lewis'
I suspect it depends on the colour of your tinfoil hat, and how much you trust (or don't) each company.
Re: At the risk of doing a 'Lewis'
Actually, one difference in favour of the Tripleton, other than possibly cost (Wikipedia has the Selectra at $3k versus £1k3), is "No Windows Mobile or Symbian OS systems"
Holy Tempting Fate, Batman!!!
Enigma......uncrackable......where have we heard this before!?
I vote we irony-loving Reg readers start a pot, on the agreement that the pot goes to whoever the first person who cracks the modern-day Enigma, provided that he or she agrees to announce the fact in a press conference held at Bletchley Park!!
The past is prologue!!!
Poor naming choice - false sense of security?
This phone promises to lull you into a false sense of security -
bringing your eventual downfall.
They even cursived it on the device - Aw gadz! .. just like real spies stenciling their affiliations on their trenchcoats.
Just get the appropriate open source VoIP app on your robotty device.
How would we know whether some type of sneaky key escrow has been forcibly added without our knowledge, a la "Clipper chip".
Theres security against nosy journos and bored teenagers and then there is "The Guvmint".
The Obamanator's "BlackBerry One" is more secure. It was pimped by the NSA. Cameron has something similar from GCHQ.
NSA, GCHQ, Putin's People et al can clearly crack anything going over a radio frequency.
So maybe useful for corporate security types on a budget, but not much else as satellite isn't all that much more expensive.
Either way, never underestimate the importance of stupid/greedy/spurned/ideological human in the breakdown of secrecy: Bin Laden wasn't fingered by his use of electronic comms...
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