Privoro collaborates with Samsung to protect customers from spyware attacks
The new capability provides a critical shield against the invisible threat posed by modern cyberweapons via high-assurance control over the radios, sensors and other peripherals within a commercial mobile device.
“Mobile devices have become the primary computing devices on the planet, with the resultant focus from threat actors,” said Mike Fong, CEO of Privoro. “This partnership and capability represent a critical turning point for security-conscious organizations, including defense and research agencies within the Federal government, who can now effectively mitigate key risks specific to mobile devices. For the first time, these organizations can safely lean into commercial mobile devices for improved agility and productivity.”
Starting with Galaxy S22, a hardware-to-hardware integration between Privoro’s SafeCase security device and Galaxy’s Hardware Device Manager (HDM) enables SafeCase to independently control the phone’s hardware peripherals. The integration, which utilizes two different systems isolated from one another, is architected to provide certainty that a peripheral’s state (enabled or disabled) is correctly enforced, even if the phone’s software (operating system or apps) has been compromised.
Combined with SafeCase’s phone-independent protections for ambient audio and video, the result is that individuals and organizations targeted by such attacks can trust that, at any given time, their phones aren’t vulnerable to low-level attacks and can’t be used for active espionage.
“The unique two-system approach is an important evolution in mobile computing,” said Todd Maxwell, Samsung’s Director of Government Business Development. “The security benefits provided by Samsung Knox are greatly strengthened through the off-device hardware isolation provided by Privoro’s SafeCase.”
This new capability is designed to give back control to those most at risk of spyware. In such an attack, the compromised phone’s microphones and cameras can be leveraged to silently listen to and look in on the targeted individual and their environment, while the wireless radios can be utilized as both attack vectors and avenues for data exfiltration.
The spyware overrides the user’s radio and sensor selections (for example, cameras and microphones) set within the operating system or by the organization’s mobile device management (MDM) security software, creating a security gap finally addressed by the Galaxy-SafeCase solution.
In addition, the ability to enable and disable radios in hardware gives users a powerful new way to stop radio-specific location tracking with high certainty while still using other capabilities on their phone, something not possible with Faraday cage solutions. Critically, a user can go dark on their cellular network to avoid monitoring at any given time.
SafeCase customers who purchase the HDM integration will initially be able to control the cellular radio in the Galaxy S22 paired to their SafeCase. Control of additional peripherals will be made available later this year.