ETER Support Center

Security Report

Is ETER secure? Can I trust it with my precious keys? What security measures does the app utilize? A detailed report is available here.

Is ETER secure? Can I trust it with my precious keys? What security measures does the app utilize? A detailed report is available here.

You all must have seen the claims of WhatsApp, Viber, and iMessage about end-to-end encryption, security of your communications and maybe even trusted a very sensitive dialog to their "Secret Chat" or whatever that stands "above" the usual one. But can you be sure the conversation will stay secret? Even more, can you be certain that it was indeed transmitted in the encrypted form? Of course, chances are 99 percent your messages have been sent encrypted, but there is no guarantee they will stay that way given that these companies own the encryption keys. One hypothetical button and all of your messages are decrypted and sent someplace else. Another hypothetical button and all of your following messages will be sent in plain text or even be sent to two different locations - encrypted to one and in plain text to the other. That's when PGP and ETER come into play. You simply send your messages encrypted by ETER and stay confident that even if your messages are intercepted, they themselves are totally unreadable, undecryptable and do not hold any value. BUT, while you no longer need to trust the messengers, you need to be sure that your keys are safe in ETER. That's what this article will be about.

Part 1. All Devices.

First and foremost, ETER is a local PGP Suite. It NEVER connects to the Internet, no matter what. Consequently, ETER does not use & support iCloud. ETER does not covertly collect any metrics. ETER does not send crash reports automatically, and if one occurs, the app merely asks the user to mail the report to the developer. While that may seem inconvenient to some iCloud-accustomed users, it is in your best interest that ETER is operated under the Oath of Silence. You can be totally sure that what is inside the app's container ALWAYS stays inside.

Now, it is time to talk a little about the under-the-hood procedures. When you first import your key pair into ETER through AirDrop or export it from any other app, the corresponding key pair file ends up in [ETER Folder]/Inbox causing ETER to open. The file is immediately read and deleted from ETER's Folder. If you cancel the import, the memory is purged. If you choose to proceed, the app will save the private key to iOS Keychain. It will also create an entry in the local database that will contain your key's internal name, some meta information (key id, key strength, etc.), its settings (eg. hidden recipient or not), and the corresponding public key. The database can only be accessed when ETER is opened and the device is unlocked. That is ensured by Complete Data Protection, another feature conveniently provided by iOS.

If you choose to Save Password for a session, the password will only be stored in memory. It will not be written to the file system and, therefore, will disappear if the app is closed by you in the Task Manager or unloaded by iOS after a certain period of inactivity.

Part 2. Devices With Biometric Evaluation.

Owners of such devices have the ability to permanently save passwords of their key pairs. The passwords, however, are not simply saved to the keychain in plain text. Instead, they are encrypted with a supplemental ECDSA key that is securely generated and stored in the Secure Enclave. Why so complicated, you may ask. The answer is simple - the keychain is secure only in the traditional sense, but if we are talking about more sophisticated tools and attackers, it will quickly lose its security promise.

Imagine a hypothetical scenario where your device got in the hands of a malicious party (MP), its passcode was cracked and then it was jailbroken. MP now has unrestricted access to your files, your keychain, everything that you have on your device, EXCEPT the Secure Enclave. Having all of your keys, all of your saved passwords, they still cannot do anything with them by virtue of the biometry decryption requirement. Please note, however, that it does not guarantee -absolute- security - in fact, nothing does - but it is an additional step that very few attackers will be ready and able to overcome.

I hope this article has been helpful! If you have any suggestions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach me at [email protected] Your feedback is always welcome!

last updated June 2nd, 2018 by Admin