The new Tripleton Enigma E2 claims to be the world’s most secure mobile phone thanks to a second SIM card, which ensures security is kept fully independent of the network being used.
The handset is the latest version of the Tripleton Enigma mobile phone manufactured by security specialist firm IntSec, based in Croydon, UK. The new model is described as being lighter, faster, thinner and more powerful. The phone costs £1,320 and is available from IntSec.
The Enigma E2 is aimed at government agencies, security services and corporate clients, but also high net worth individuals who wish to protect valuable business information and keep their personal lives private.
Ordinary GSM calls are easily intercepted by a ‘man in the middle’ attack, where a gadget called an ‘IMSI catcher’ pretends to be a nearby base station. The basic encryption used for GSM can be cracked by portable gadgets that fit in a briefcase and can cost as little as £1,000. And mobile phone networks may not encrypt at all at busy times, making life easier for the cyber spy.
GSM calls can also be compromised from within the mobile phone network. For example, in the run-up to the 2004 Olympics in Athens, more than 100 politicians’ and civil servants’ mobile phones were tapped illegally via the network by an unknown foreign agency. Their calls were monitored for nearly a year before it was uncovered.
In comparison, ‘crypto’ calls on the Enigma E2 are 100% secure, according to IntSec. They are safe from ‘man in the middle’ attacks, and in-network attacks like the Athens case, because security is fully independent of the network. The phone does this by using a unique second SIM card containing highly secure keys, unique codes that a pair of Enigma phones use to authenticate each other and set up a highly encrypted call.
IntSec claims that the authentication and encryption are virtually impossible to break – many security specialists have tried but none have succeeded – so no-one can listen in. The authentication and encryption process works by exchanging extremely long numbers that can’t be predicted. There are 1077 possible key combinations. IntSec said software upgrades coming soon will offer encrypted text and picture messaging,
To make a secure call on the Enigma E2, users simply press the ‘crypto’ button to call another Enigma phone. It takes seven seconds or less to set up the call, after which there’s no perceptible delay. Organisations using the Enigma E2 can also manage their secure communications by programming handsets with black lists, white lists, closed user groups and hierarchies.
The Enigma E2 can also be used to make unencrypted GSM calls to ordinary mobiles. It has GPRS internet access and Bluetooth hands-free, but both of these are kept separate from the ‘crypto’ side of the phone for security reasons.
David Wolper, commercial director of IntSec, said: ‘In the last ten years, entire governments have been subjected to illegal mobile interception and our clients advise us that corporate mergers have been hijacked and information illegally gained, thanks to GSM attacks.
‘A surprising amount of important information is exchanged over the phone. With the Tripleton Enigma E2, secure calls are as easy as ordinary mobile calls. Governments should be using these products more. The higher levels of security are usually well controlled but there is a lot of information at the lower levels that you would not want intercepted,’ said Wolper.
Features and specs
- 1024bit RSA encryption for key exchange and 256bit AES encryption for voice, with a hardware random number generator for exceptionally high security
- GSM tri-band 900/1800/1900 MHz
- GPRS internet access for web and email
- Bluetooth handsfree (for non-crypto calls only)
- Micro SD card storage up to 8GB (2GB supplied)
- 3.0 megapixel camera
- MP3 ringtones and music
- FM radio
- Apps including calendar, world clock, calculator
- USB charging and mass storage
- SMS text messaging – encrypted messaging coming soon
- MMS picture messaging – encrypted messaging coming soon
- Dimensions (HxWxD): 116x50x15mm
- Weight: 95g
- 2.4” colour display, 240x320 pixels 256k colours
- Standby time: 180 hours (dependent on network conditions)
- Talk time: 4 hours (dependent on network conditions)
- Compatible with the original Tripleton Enigma phone