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[INQ] Anti-Wire(less) tapping chip developed

post #1 of 9
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Quote:
KOOLSPAN OFFERS a security product which has the potential to play havoc with governments' efforts to eavesdrop normal GSM voice calls. And it should prove very easy to use indeed.

The device in question is Trustchip which has a look and feel of a regular MicrosSD memory card – with the added benefit that it can be slipped into a very wide range of popular handsets using Symbian or Windows Mobile.

Significantly, the Trustchip not only has its own built-in encryption engine but also its own onboard processor. The INQ quizzed Koolspan's Jeffrey Stern, VP for business development, about the exact nature of this chip but all he would say is that it's a 32 bit RISC processor. ARM based, then.

There was also a suggestion that the processor and the memory are mounted on top of each other to keep the profile low enough to fit the size requirements of a MicroSD card.

The beauty of Koolspan's Trustchip is that you only need two of them plugged into a couple of GSM phones for the encryption to work. It's miles more convenient than conventional secure mobile phones which use their own unique bandwidth plus specialist (and expensive) hardware.

One of the points Stern emphasised is that voice communication is just one of the mediums that the Trustchip can potentially encrypt. Email and IM (Instant Messaging) are other obvious targets.

For a product developed in the US, it was refreshing to see that software support includes Symbian as well as the usual Windows Mobile. There's a wide range of SDKs and developer tools available including several flavours of Linux.

The only drawback is that the INQ's not entirely sure this product can legally be supplied outside the US. For starters, it uses DES 256 bit encryption so exporting might potentially prove difficult.

Under EU laws, mobile operators are bound to keep records of all calls made over their networks. Trustchip Voice won't hinder this requirement because data such as telephone numbers and call duration is unaffected.

But what about network operators' legal obligation to enable governments to tap phone calls for government security agencies? With Trustchip, they won't be able to provide such a facility unless they can get the key.

The customer base includes all the usual suspects – starting off with the military and working its way down to financial institutions such as banks.

Koolspan told the INQ that the Trustchip should be in full production by September 2008 while first silicon is already available to key customers. To re-assure US government agencies, Koolspan has decided to make the chip in the US.
The quoted text is the full article, the original can be found here.


Sounds interesting, finally some news on the other side of this seemingly endless march towards policeville.
Edited by Arkanor - 6/15/08 at 11:20pm
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post #2 of 9
I smell lawsuits around the corner!
    
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post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkanor View Post
The quoted text is the full article, the original can be found here.


Sounds interesting, finally some news on the other side of this seemingly endless march towards policeville.
Ya nailed it right thar.

This chip sounds interesting to say the lest.
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post #4 of 9
Gotta get my hands on one of those.
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post #5 of 9
Ah technological advancement, how i love thee.
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post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KamuiRSX View Post
Gotta get my hands on one of those.
Seems like you need a pair of them for it to work properly though, still an interesting idea, I'd love to have one
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post #7 of 9
Does this mean you can now call up your "guy" and ask for what you want instead of telling him how much "cabbage" or "groceries" you need? LOL!
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post #8 of 9
Dude!
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post #9 of 9
Cat and mouse.
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