At CES 2016, Android Authority’s Darcy LaCouvee sat down to speak with Fred Davila, CEO of Sikur, the company responsible for the security-centric GranitePhone to discuss the Blackphone hack, making Android more secure and everybody’s right to privacy.
The GranitePhone is a collaboration between Archos and Brazilian security firm Sikur. Back in 2012, Sikur created a successful encrypted messaging application for desktops that eventually grew into Android and iOS apps and finally Granite OS, a super-secure fork of Android.
The GranitePhone came about as a solution to the possibility of a regular device using encrypted apps being hacked. Even if the communications remain secure, hackers could still potentially intercept the device’s microphone or screen contents.
We bring something that’s locked down because that’s the only way you can guarantee the security.
By integrating secure apps, the OS itself and the hardware that uses them, Sikur can guarantee impenetrable mobile security. With 4,096-bit encryption and the encryption keys stored locally on the device rather than on a Sikur server somewhere, the GranitePhone puts mobile security back in your hands.
As Davila notes in the interview, Sikur managed to make Android safer than Android itself by completely changing everything above and below the system layer, creating a custom bootloader and firmware combined with Sikur’s own encrypted apps and software with no access to the Google Play Store.
Davila claims this closed circle makes the GranitePhone even more secure than the Blackphone, which was recently hacked by security researchers. As Davila notes, “that’s why we bring something that’s locked down – we’re not going to allow any external application to be loaded – because that’s the only way you can guarantee the security.”
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The GranitePhone began shipping in December 2015 for $999 with a two-year subscription to Sikur’s security software on both the device and your desktop computer.
How important is mobile security and privacy to you?