Employees constantly deal with sensitive information as part of official business. Yet many use smartphones that aren’t equipped with security features that protect communications and data from hackers. This Politico article discusses the government’s faux-pas when federal officials use unsecure phone systems.
While top officials are high-profile targets who need to exercise caution, the problem of phone security is actually a widespread problem. There are over 5,000 known security flaws in smartphone operating systems and, in 2017, a Bluetooth vulnerability allowed hackers to take control of any devices that had Bluetooth turned on.
There are other troubling cases. Last year, a smartphone hacking toolkit was made available on Wikileaks that offered numerous Android and iOS vulnerabilities that could be exploited to put spyware on smartphones. And recently, security experts discovered a WPA2 Wi-Fi bug that puts smartphones at risk of hijacking and eavesdropping.
Lastly, theft of cryptocurrency is on the rising exponentially. Increasingly, hackers are accessing crypto wallets by getting their private keys and emptying the wallet’s contents, often large amounts of cryptocurrency.
Blockchain And Biometric Security
Ironically, blockchain technology, which cryptocurrency is based on, may provide a solution to preventing all this hacking and theft. The technology is evolving to become more than just a database, and it’s being leveraged to enhance smartphone security. The blockchain is immutable, decentralized and nearly impossible to hack, and that makes it ideal for incorporating biometric data to achieve high levels of security.
Critics might say that there’s always a risk that a thief steals a smartphone and re-initiates the biometric setup. But it’s virtually impossible for a hacker to do that when the device ID and the user’s encrypted biometrics are stored on the blockchain itself, where entries are permanent and can’t be manipulated. It’s interesting to note that many experts say the two biggest risk factors with cybersecurity are human error and flawed design — and blockchain eliminates the human risk element.
Smartphone Security Applications
The major mobile communications companies have yet to adopt blockchain innovations to improve device security, but that could change as robust solutions are introduced to the marketplace.
One company, Hoyos Integrity, is creating a unique secure smartphone with biometrics-integrated blockchain security. The device is called BIBLOS (an abbreviation of Biometric Blockchain Security) and it uses a military-grade operating system that has no known vulnerabilities and has never been hacked in twenty years of use.
In fact, it is the same operating system that protects the U.S. military’s arsenal. The smartphone is geared towards government agencies, financial institutions and other establishments that routinely deal with sensitive information, and the device runs on Hoyos Risen coin (RSN) which is currently in pre-sale. Hoyos has exclusivity on the military-grade OS and the biometric-blockchain integration and therefore is the only company offering total security for endpoints (smartphones).
Securing endpoints is critical as that is where most hackers steal user’s data, files, logins, and passwords as well as listen in on voice conversations and messaging. Although many people think encrypted voice and messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram provide security, they do not secure against malware, which is increasingly the method used by state-sponsored organizations as well as hackers. Since malware exploits vulnerabilities in smartphone operating systems and removes the data before it’s encrypted.
Hoyos Integrity is an FCC-certified global telecommunications provider and offers the BIBLOS smartphone and secure service to customers requiring guaranteed privacy and security. The service support both public and private blockchains. A private blockchain is designed for institutions that do not want their transactions tracked on a public ledger.
Although the transaction data itself is encrypted, the blockchain addresses are not and due to regulations and corporate policies, government and commercial organizations often do not want internal transaction data published on a public ledger. For example, while the contents of a bank’s trading activities are encrypted, the bank may not want to disclose the frequency of its trading activities, which could be deduced by looking at the addresses and timestamps.
The company’s private blockchain has the same design as the public version, however, it resides on internal servers within the client’s intranet. Also, transaction security measures are taken such as normal currency being converted into stored RSN tokens.
Another application, the Hoyos Crypto Wallet, places a biometric lock on its ERC-20 token. This lock, which is turned on in the smart contract, prevents cryptocurrency from being removed unless the owner biometrically authenticates, even if the thief has the private key. In fact, Hoyos Integrity is so confident in their biometric lock, they have placed $100 million in RSN tokens into a wallet and published the private key, daring hackers to try and steal the tokens.
“Today, our smartphones have become as ubiquitous as the clothing we wear, making us completely dependent on them to stay connected to friends, family, and work,” says Omar Hoyos, VP of Marketing for Hoyos Integrity. “This started out as a good thing but has evolved into a real and active threat to our security and privacy, because everything we do on our smartphones is vulnerable.”
Robust security is more important than ever because our smartphones aren’t just communication gadgets. They store sensitive information such as bank info, credit card numbers, cryptocurrency keys, and personal identification.
Mobile devices also give hackers access to our location, photos, and contact list. Ask yourself, what if an outside party gains access to passwords, or hacks a banker who controls your company or family finances? Fortunately, biometric and blockchain-based smartphones security keep hackers at bay so you can have greater peace of mind.
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