Short Bytes: The Tor Project has released Tor Phone–a privacy-focused and secure version of Android mobile OS. It’s based on Copperhead OS, a hardened Android distribution. Tor Phone also uses OrWall to force all the connections over Tor network.While Apple keeps capturing record share of smartphone market profit, Android secures its place as the most popular mobile platform in the world. Also, Android’s core is open source and anyone can fork it. However, despite Google’s claims, Apple’s iOS is considered more secure than Android’s.
Wondering why? Because Android operating system hasn’t been designed with privacy in mind. Instead, it was created to make things easy for third-party companies and developers. To tackle the security issue, the Tor Project, recently, announced the release of a Tor-enabled Android phone prototype.
Aptly named Tor Phone, this new phone has been designed by Tor developer Mike Perry. It’s based on Copperhead OS, an Android distribution that comes with multiple security enhancement. In the past, Google’s Android security team has accepted many Copperhead patches in their Android code base.
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“Copperhead is also the only Android ROM that supports verified boot, which prevents exploits from modifying the boot, system, recovery, and vendor device partitions,” Perry explains.
TOR PHONE USES COPPERHED OS AND ORWALL
Tor Phone also uses OrWall, a firewall for Android that directs all traffic over the Tor network and blocks other connections. It sounds similar to Tails Linux Live CD for desktop operating system.
OrWall lets you take complete control of your smartphone. You can choose which app needs to have its traffic encrypted by Tor.
In a blog post on the Tor Project website, Perry has detailed the process of installing the prototype. At the moment, only the Nexus and Pixel lines are supported. Also, before you think of getting started, make sure that you’re familiar with Linux.
Tor has said that the current prototype has many unfinished pieces. In future, the project wishes to add more device support, MicroG support, Netfilter API, reducibility, Orbot stability etc.
For more details on Tor Phone, you can visit the Tor Project blog.
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