Korean security firm announces cryptocurrency hardware wallets

Korean security firm announces cryptocurrency hardware wallets

South Korea-based Penta Security has unveiled a range of hardware cryptocurrency wallets, which feature built-in encryption and authentication.

Set to hit global markets in June, the Penta CryptoWallets have been designed to prevent cyber crooks from stealing virtual cash, and to reinforce blockchain security.

The wallets will be available in two form factors: a card, and a device. The card comes with multiple authentication options, while the device sports an integral display and embedded security features.

Both models are compatible with the company’s wallet management smartphone app, which can be used to maintain authentication security throughout the key management and transaction processes, said the company.  

The wallets will work with a range of cryptocurrencies, such as Ether, Monero, and Bitcoin, and support communication technologies such as Bluetooth and NFC. Users can also sync them with their smartphones and make use of biometrics technology.

Working on the blockchain gang

DS Kim, chief strategy officer of Penta Security Systems, said the wallets will provide cryptocurrency investors with improved protections. 

“The current representative symbol of the blockchain is cryptocurrency, but its potential vulnerabilities are dampening the future value of this technology,” he said.

“Penta Security’s cryptocurrency wallet is a comprehensive solution designed by a company that has had decades of security experience and research. It’s not only designed for cryptocurrency transactions, but also to meet current and future blockchain protocol security standards.”

Cryptocurrencies carry a plethora of security risks, with key management being the most serious. “The majority of current cryptocurrency wallets store the key within the wallet to digitally sign transactions,” said the firm.

“The ideal and more secure practice would be one where the key would not have to leave the wallet when initiating a transaction and access to the device itself is protected by authentication.”

Prices have yet to be announced for the wallets.

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Internet of Business says

The cryptocurrency peripherals and management market is likely to explode over the next few months, and Internet of Business welcomes the innovators whose products and services will themselves help spur the adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

The big challenge with security, however, is the expanding attack surface. These wallets may be designed by a security specialist, but – like all hardware devices – they are obliged to use technologies that are inherently insecure.

NFC is generally considered more secure than most by virtue of its short range, but Bluetooth is vulnerable to worms, backdoor hacking, and so called ‘bluesnarfing’ and ‘bluebugging’. A discoverable device is a hackable device.

However, the major security challenge with cryptocurrencies is already widespread and impossible to tackle with a wallet: hackers accessing all types of fast computing devices to mine for currency in order to minimise their own processing costs and maximise their profits.

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