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[liberationtech] Fwd: Firefox OS with built in support for OpenPGP encryption

Bernard Tyers - ei8fdb ei8fdb at
Fri Sep 13 02:55:17 PDT 2013

On 13 Sep 2013, at 10:04, Eugen Leitl <eugen at> wrote:

> On Fri, Sep 13, 2013 at 06:39:35PM +1000, Erik de Castro Lopo wrote:
>> Yes, but Firefox OS and Cryanogenmod only control the user facing part
>> of the smartphone. Loading eg Cryanogenmod onto a android phone leaves
>> the software running the radio part of the phone untouched (otherwise
>> the phone would never have passed the regulator auhorities). The second
>> link I posted reported a vulnerability in that software. Secondly
>> these phones connect to the cell phone network and you and I have no
>> tools to examine what happens on that network.
> Baseband processors leave the system wide open to all kind of attacks.
> Countermeasure would be running the 2G/3G/4G stack in an open
> source SDR radio, or using an open source VoIP device that connects
> by WLAN to a MiFi, which is considered part of the untrusted
> Internet.
> The open source WLAN VoIP handset is more difficult than it appears.
> In practice you'll have to use e.g. Jitsi with an USB headset on a
> portable computer. Not exactly painless, and it opens you up to
> system compromises.
> If anyone is aware of suitable dedicated hardware, I'd be thankful
> for pointers.

You've reminded me of an episode of the RiskyBusiness podcast, I was listening to a few weeks ago with the grugq. He was talking about the small USB powered device the "TPLINK MR11U" or "TPLINK 3040". [1, 2, 3]

He does talk exactly about the same issues - seperating your devices (in his case a laptop) from the GSM network using a portal device. He use is however a laptop, not a mobile device. But what he talks about is figuring out what you need to defend yourself against.

I was listening to this thinking, if its so easy (The Grugq is using it! It must be secure!) then why isn't everyone using one? I have one on order from a trustworthy Chinese trader on ebay. ;) 

What I also thought was interesting was his *recommended* approach was buying a pay-as-you-go phone, presumably closed platform, with closed firmware.

Secondly his choice of mobile device was *an iPad*! 

Seriously though, his advice was interesting. Has anyone else heard it? I'd like to hear opsec peoples' opinions.

Hope that helps.


[1] or (it starts at ~ 28:00 mins).
Bernard / bluboxthief / ei8fdb

IO91XM /

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