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Tor-enabled Android prototype platform is heavy on security

A developer for Tor has released a Android prototype, with Copperhead OS as its base, that he claims is much more private and secure than the standard OS.

Published onNovember 22, 2016

Android security lock

A developer at the famed anonymous communication software network, Tor, wants to show the world that Android can be much more secure than it is right now. The developer, Mike Perry, has released a prototype, which he nicknames “Mission Improbable”. It uses the Copperhead OS as its basis and also uses OrWall, an Android firewall that runs all traffic through Tor.

Best Android security practices

The prototype platform only works with Google’s Nexus and Pixel devices at the moment. That’s because those are the only Android products, according to Perry, that can “install their own keys to retain both the ability to modify the device, as well as have the filesystem security provided by verified boot.” However, this software is not the first stage in Tor creating its own smartphone. Perry says this launch is mainly to show that a smartphone can be created “that respects user choice and freedom, vastly reduces vulnerability surface, and sets a direction for the ecosystem with respect to how to meet the needs of high-security users”.

This prototype is definitely not for the casual smartphone owner; indeed Perry says it will require familiarity with Linux in order to install it successfully. If you have the skills, you can download the “Mission Improbable” files via GitHub at the link below.

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