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People frequently ask why CRIP.TO has chosen to design and build custom hardware for its Black hardware device. There are a number of reasons behind this decision:

  • First and foremost, using custom hardware gives CRIP.TO engineers and firmware developers complete control and freedom.
  • We can design the hardware to do exactly what we want and only that.
  • We can marry the firmware required precisely to the hardware leaving no exploitable gaps.
  • We know with certainty that there are no backdoors in the hardware or its firmware.
  • We control every aspect of fabrication and programming so there is no chance any exploit or vulnerability can be introduced.
  • We are not reliant on the big chip makers for anything and are not vulnerable to their weaknesses.

The result of all these factors is that custom hardware allows CRIP.TO to give its customers the highest level of protection possible. We think it makes complete sense.

Lets take a look at the world of the big chip makers. The latest news to break concerns a serious vulnerability in a large number of Intel’s central processing units (CPUs), named Spectre and Meltdown. Because of the complexity of the chip design (the Intel Core i7 920 has approximately 781 million transistors), the opportunity for vulnerabilities exists. Unfortunately, these particular weaknesses are also part of ARM Holdings, the architecture most smartphones use.

Hackers and other actors could use the vulnerabilities to bypass expected security levels and directly access privileged information on the PC. While the news about these weaknesses only made the news this week, Intel admits knowing of the issues since June of 2017.

And therein lies a serious flaw with big company hardware (and software). The standard protocol is to keep things quiet until a fix can be developed and distributed. The rationale for keeping these issues quiet is they do not want to panic customers or alert the “bad guys” that there is a weakness. Bad for public relations and might start attacks earlier than planned; that is if major government agencies and hackers were not already aware and exploiting them.

But from the perspective of being able to use your PC, smartphone, and other electronics without fear of compromise, having information kept from you is a disservice. With knowledge, you can take extra precautions. Without it, you may put yourself and your data at serious risk.

For the CRIP.TO team, our values dictate that we have control from start to finish to shield our customers from such situations. In the world of encryption, use of custom hardware is even more logical. And with the potential for vulnerabilities in smartphones, the CRIP.TO two part solution is the best of all worlds.

Protect you right to communicate fearlessly with CRIP.TO and Lock for Freedom.

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