Nowadays it is a challenge to ensure your online privacy. Apps you use daily may be leaking your interests and whereabouts. Imagine the things you searched for on Amazon are flaunting on your Facebook feed too. Despite your best efforts, your online activities are being tracked. You clear your browsing history and use incognito browsers to surf but in vain.
There are times when you wonder if, whichever site you visit you are seeing the things you planned to buy recently. It may be a shirt you wish-listed on Flipkart or an earphone you wish-listed on Amazon last week and the list goes on. At first, you kept on ignoring the things going around you. All of sudden the term privacy is haunting you and finally, you have decided to try your best to escape from the stalkers.
Yes, this thing has happened to most of us and we always find it suspicious. How do these trackers work behind your back and where is the promised "privacy"? Are we able to get 100% privacy online? The simple answer is "no". Once you are online, you compromise your data with third parties. Is there any permanent solution to stop all these? I guess we got a solution here.
NitroPhone: the most secure Smartphone in the world
NitroKey is a Berlin-based German company that debuted into smartphone making and the very first phone named "NitroPhone 1" that they boast to be the "most secure" android phone in the world.
Below are the specifications of this most secure phone on the planet.
Protection from physical attacks:
NitroPhone uses a Titan M chip for protection and uses standard encryption. The verified boot has been enabled by default to make sure the operating system is not modified. This phone has an automatic turnoff (kill) switch if not active for a particular time. Scrambled pin layout and fingerprint scanners let you enter the pin publicly with confidence.
This new mobile phone uses a hardened Android operating system called "GrapheneOS". Phone's kernel, file system access, web view, etc. are hardened to meet higher security needs. On this device you cannot download and install the apps directly, instead, you have to install them in a sandbox environment that is isolated from the main OS. The web browser is hardened to provide the best possible security. Web View and PDF viewers are also designed to be secure. Security updates will appear on the system the very next second after availability. IOMMU (Input-Output Memory Management Unit) is used to convert a logical address into a physical address that helps the device prevent attacks over radio signals. "LTE only" mode has been given as optional. If you are not satisfied with the above security, you have an option to remove microphones and a few sensors, as there is a chance of using them like microphones and you can make phone calls using external headsets.
How to achieve Privacy Protection?
By default, there is no Google Play service synchronization and cloud storage availability. Users can install them on the sandbox from the Play Store if it is required.
How does NitroPhone keep Trackers at bay?
Due to apps sandboxed in this phone, installed apps are unable to read device pieces of information like its serial and IMEI numbers, SIM serial numbers and MAC address of the phone, etc. MAC addresses will be generated randomly for different Wi-Fi connections (MAC randomization).
Users are required to enable or disable network and sensor permissions for every app manually. Also, this device provides default indicators for microphone camera and location.
Ease of use:
It has very few built-in apps and no bloatware is present in this phone. As we said earlier, you have to download apps manually from the Play Store and need to confirm every update. Backup can be taken to any cloud or external device with end-to-end encryption. In terms of authentication, users can use dedicated hardware/tokens to verify authenticity. This device uses an auditor app and attestation service for that purpose.
Who can use a NitroPhone?
If you are a person and you are highly concerned about your confidentiality and privacy, this would be a great phone to consider. If you are running a company and you often think your employees are not proactive and you are worried your data is at risk you can surely go for this amazing Smartphone. If you are a politician or you are an activist or working in an NGO, you want to avoid phone tapping or eavesdropping, NitroPhone is an ideal choice for you.
Featuring a 12 MP rear camera and a dual pixel front camera.
Specifications for hardware:
NitroPhone 1 is a black Google Pixel 4a with a display of 147.6 mm (5.81") and a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels. It weighs 143 grams and measures 144 x 69.4 x 8.2mm. It has 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of inbuilt storage, guaranteeing performance and plenty of space.
In terms of the camera, this device utilizes Dual Pixel technology and has an 8MP front camera and 12.2MP rear camera.
NitroPhone 1 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor (CPU) with eight cores.
Apart from that, this new phone has a 3.5 mm audio jack and a USB-C port.
There is WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC (near-field communication), as well as a Titan M security chip for fast browsing, and fingerprint sensors. Its price is staggering at approximately 750 USD (INR 55,000).
Why did they choose Google Pixel Smartphone?
Google's Pixel 4 has a security chip called Titan M that offers secure boot, passcode protection, cloud security, and most secure transactions. These chips are used by Google to protect its cloud storage systems. It is the default Android device, so it receives updates quickly. It is also easier to convert Google Pixel into a non-Google phone since it can be installed with a custom OS.
In 2014, GrapheneOS was released as an open-source mobile operating system. The operating system was known then as Copperhead OS. Privacy and security are always at the forefront of this OS. They provide a browser called Vanadium which uses a hardened version of Chrome. User authentication will be handled by a hardware-based auditor app.
Google Play services are not available on this OS. Installing them in a sandbox is possible if necessary. This memory allocator (malloc) is not vulnerable in any way. The device kernel does not accept dynamically loadable kernel modules (DLKM). "DLKM" simply consists of an extension to the operating system that carries code as part of the application.
A final word:
NitroPhone is made by NitroKey, a German company. The device runs GrapheneOS on a Google Pixel 4a. Due to the Titan M chip and sandboxing of applications, it is hard to track or breach security. This phone is good for those who prioritize privacy and security.