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Comment: Re:Just Apple? (Score 1) 207

by ameline (#47903415) Attached to: Sapphire Glass Didn't Pass iPhone Drop Test According to Reports

I've got a 3 year old iPhone 4S. Never broken the glass on it, but it does have some minor scratching on the display.

I'm not surprised Apple went with gorilla glass -- sapphire is very hard, but also brittle -- cornings product is a bit softer, but much more resilient.

I'll probably be upgrading to a 6 sometime in the next month or so.

Comment: Re:open source? (Score 2) 107

by ameline (#47004723) Attached to: Phil Zimmermann's 'Spy-Proof' Mobile Phone In Demand

I think any designer of a "secure" phone needs to assume that the baseband is running hostile software.

If the baseband has write access to application cpu ram, you're screwed.

There needs to be uncompromised hardware enforced protection to ensure the baseband cannot write to application ram or to the flash memory of the application processor. I'd be very suspicious of DMA capabilities under control of the baseband unit.

I'm not saying it's impossible to make a secure phone, but you as a creator of such should assume that every byte of code not under your control is out to get you. (including closed source graphics drivers).

I'd also be nervous of the toolchain/compiler. That classic Thompson compiler attack (http://cm.bell-labs.com/who/ken/trust.html) is a worry.

Comment: The problem... (Score 1) 68

by ameline (#46671647) Attached to: CryptoPhone Sales Jump To 100,000+, Even at $3500

With something like RedPhone is that there are multiple CPUs on the phone -- in particular, the base-band is a full ARM chip with complete access to all ram on the device. And the software running there is almost never under the users control. So it doesn't matter how good red-phone is -- if it ever leaks *any* plaintext or key bits out to ram, or across any wires outside the cpu it's running on, the baseband chip and the software running on it can wiretap you. And even if those things never leak off the main cpu die, the baseband can probably inject processes/instructions into that main chip's address space that would steal those critical key bits.

Unless you have control over *all* the firmware running on *all* the processors in a phone, I wouldn't trust it any farther than I can comfortably spit out a rat.

(and this is not accounting for hardware tricks -- I think you cannot trust your communications are secure unless you trust everyone involved in its design, manufacture and programming (including the compiler and related toolchain, and its compiler and toolchain -- and so on ad-infinitum) -- and that is probably a *very* sizable list indeed -- the odds that some lettered agency (looking at *you* cse/csis, nsa, gchq, fsb, etc) have not corrupted *someone* on that large list are so small that only god/fsm could tell the difference between it and 0.)

Comment: Should be plenty of sources for entropy (Score 1) 143

by ameline (#46486159) Attached to: Weak Apple PRNG Threatens iOS Exploit Mitigations

Take a shot from each camera, sample each microphone for a few milliseconds, Sample the gyros and accelerometers for a few milliseconds. Sample the current battery voltage/charge state, Salt in the current time/date and last known location, along with the various readable serial numbers, SHA each of these sources and fold them into each other and SHA the result, and you should be good to go.

Once the device is booted, it can do a lengthy and more sophisticated RNG to make a seed that will be folded into the above entropy sources on the next boot.

But it does sound like apple should put in a good hardware entropy source on their A8 (and future) chips. (One with no NSA/CSEC/GCHQ/KGB/FSB backdoors please!)

That can also be folded into the above sources (I think you would never want to rely on only one source of entropy, no matter how good or trusted.)

Comment: I'll buy one when... (Score 2) 236

by ameline (#46348869) Attached to: Tesla Used A Third of All Electric-Car Batteries Last Year
I'll buy one when I can get a consistently reliable 500 mile range (at -20 degrees C exterior temperature, +20 interior, with headlights on too) out of it. Recharge at 40 to 60A (230V) at home is acceptable. That likely means a 200 kwh battery pack. So about 2.5x increase in energy density over what we have now. This will probably be available in the next 10 years. The advantages of electric given this sort of range will all but kill other powertrains for most cars. Those advantages will easily pay for a battery swapout every 5 years or so.

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.

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