Category Archives: android

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Samsung Claims Smartphones Provide Best Security for Crypto

Multinational tech conglomerate Samsung has argued that smartphones can provide the best security for cryptocurrency holdings because of the combined efficiency of apps and the presence of the trusted execution environment (TEE).

Cryptocurrency wallet apps like Blockchain and Jaxx are a convenient and popular way to transfer, send and store assets on a smartphone. What Joel Snyder, a senior IT consultant and a contributor to Samsung Insights pointed out, is that the TEE under which the majority of smartphones operate offers a nearly impenetrable barrier for hackers.

Because the TEE is completely independent of an individual’s device with its own separate memory and storage, potential hackers and even operating systems such as Android cannot penetrate and alter or access the data. This prevents passwords and private keys of wallets from being accessed.

Laptops and such devices that utilize conventional data storage units such as an SSD are more vulnerable to risk due to their persistent nature that gives an opportunity for hackers to enter and steal data, cryptocurrency account information included.

Snyder for Samsung noted that while ”a naive wallet developer” might fail to employ the advantages of the TEE and store keys on the phone’s internal storage, the combination of the TEE and an effective wallet offer the most secure place for your cryptocurrency holdings.

What else the TEE can offer

A research effort conducted by Cornell University in December 2016 first offered the concept of Bitcoin scaling via the TEE. The team developed a technology called Teechan which they built on top several TEEs including the Software Guard Extensions of Intel.

The results were promising. Transactions were able to be processed off-chain, then fixed into larger transactions to be established on the blockchain. Significant progress has been seen, with over 2,480 transactions per second recorded as successfully processed.

 

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Fixes For Android Mobile Bitcoin Wallets Released

Fixes For Android Mobile Bitcoin Wallets Released:

Correspondent for IDG Jeremy Kirk (@Jeremy_Kirk) published a report providing an update on the security vulnerability affecting nearly all mobile Bitcoin wallet apps for Android.  Excerpts:

“Four Android Bitcoin clients — Bitcoin Wallet, Blockchain, Mycelium Bitcoin Wallet and BitcoinSpinner — have been fixed, according to an updated notice on Bitcoin.org.”

“In some cases, the supposedly random numbers were the same for different transactions, which could allow an attacker to determine someone’s private key and steal their bitcoins.”

“Tens of thousands of other [non Bitcoin-related] Android applications may be vulnerable, Symantec wrote. The company found more than 360,000 applications that use the SecureRandom class in the same way as the affected Bitcoin applications.”

“Symantec noted that applications running on Android version 4.2 and up may not be affected […]”.

 – http://bit.ly/1eJldmp
 – http://bitcoin.org/en/alert/2013-08-11-android
 – http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=271831.0 (Further discussion of the fix)

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