Remote attacks include types of attacks that do not require the physical possession of Cypherock X1. A remote attacker can manipulate data sent to the hardware wallet or control a device that the wallet communicates with. For example, if the wallet connects to a computer over USB, the attacker needs to find and exploit a bug in the device’s USB software stack or application layer usage.
Remote attacks are most relevant to hardware wallets from the perspective of downloading malicious software that would lead to the loss of funds either through user-driven inputs of giving away the seed phrase or making a malicious transaction. There have been growing concerns these days whether there is a probability that the hardware wallet company pushes a malicious firmware update to the hardware to extract the private keys outs of the wallet without user's permission.
In the case of Cypherock X1, there are multiple built-in protections against malicious software interacting with the wallet -
- 1.Authenticity Check: Cypherock X1 has secure provisioning that helps ensure that the firmware, as well as the hardware of the X1 Vault, has not been tampered with. When the user initializes the product, both the X1 Vault and the X1 cards are authenticated through the Cypherock server to detect supply chain attacks on the product before the user uses it. Additionally, Cypherock has an email authentication system that helps users identify whether their cySync app is genuine or not as well.
- 2.Seedless by design: Cypherock X1 never exposes the seed phrase of the wallet in plain text during the initialization of the wallet, therefore, any form of phishing attacks are redundant because the user would have to navigate to operations within the wallet and access the existing seed phrase. Additionally, the product warns the user about the implications of viewing the seed phrase and giving it to someone who they might not trust hence protecting against social engineering attacks.
- 3.Parts of the private key in non-upgradable hardware: To prevent the scenario where a rogue actor from Cypherock themselves pushes a malicious firmware update, Cypherock X1 is designed such that the private keys are never permanently stored on upgradable hardware. X1 Vault is an upgradable hardware that stores 1 key shard out of the 5 and the 4 X1 Cards once shipped cannot be upgraded even by Cypherock, stores the rest of the 4 key shards each. Additionally, Cypherock is open-source and has its software builds reproduced by Wallet Scrutiny to ensure that the firmware running on the hardware is same as what Cypherock claims in its open source codebase.