Essential Security Configuration - Make sure your Omerta is secure

Oct 18 , 2020

Essential Security Configuration - Make sure your Omerta is secure

You might have noticed our current "Clash of the Titans" offer we are running this weekend. If you are an Omerta owner remember don't be complacent. The tools bestowed upon your handset are not a silver bullet but a series of defences which still require you to exert caution &  common sense. The following article covers the essentials for securing your handset. Remember - do the basics well & the advanced stuff comes easy. 

Choose a strong PIN!

Your PIN code is the keys to your kingdom. The entire Omerta defence strategy is built around your PIN code. This means you must choose a strong PIN & not one which is easily guessed. If your PIN code is any of the following then change it immediately - any bad actor serious about cracking your phone will have a checklist of standard PIN codes to try:

  • Your Birthday
  • Any family members  birthday
  • 1234
  • 1111
  • 0000
  • 1212
  • 7777
  • 1004
  • 2000
  • 4444
  • 2222
  • 6969

Studies have shown over 26.83% can be guessed by attempting the top 20 most popular PIN combinations. Read more about this study here.

The answer? CHOOSE A 6 DIGIT PIN!!!!!

Enable Locker & activate  PIN Scrambling

Should your handset fall into bad hands, and the chance of it being returned are slim, then you really want your data erased. Omerta handsets can be set to wipe all data after a user-specified amount of attempts. I recommend setting this to between 3 & 5 attempts, depending on how clumsy you are!

Also, to make it easier to fool a bad actor into erasing your handset, I recommend enabling PIN scrambling. With this enabled a bad actor will easily enter a PIN 2 or 3 times, without questioning its validity, and lay the failed attempts down to them typing the code in wrong. 

If you think a scenario exists where you will be coerced into giving out your PIN then rehearse a scenario for guiding a bad actor into inputting the wrong code 4 or 5 times. This will make the real thing appear more natural, it will mask your trap & assist you in following through even if under stress & anxiety.

Enable PrivateLock & test sensitivity

It's not unknown for bad actors to snatch a phone to by-pass the locking mechanism. The Police utilise this "tactical mugging" technique which whilst low tech (I mean the mugger has to continually tap the screen to stop it locking until they get it to forensics, which could be over an hour) has led to serious arrests - read this article as an example.

Your Omerta has an anti-snatch feature. Enable PrivateLock and set the sensitivity to a level that works for you - I personally have it at maximum & I find it works for me. Even if not hiding state secrets, this one feature is great even around friends who can be a bit grabby when inebriated😎.

Setup up Attestation for peace of mind

A lesser-discussed feature on Omerta handsets is the Attestation feature, yet it is hugely powerful. Attestation compares your phones OS to a copy on a remote server to make sure your phone's software has not been compromised or changed in any way. Whilst it is highly unlikely a bad actor would succeed in breaking your phone, scenario exists where this could happen (e.g. they get PIN access to the phone & install software which enables root-access). Attestation means you get alerted that your phone is compromised & you at least know not to use it until the issue is resolved. 

To use attestation, use the Auditor App found within the App Drawer of your handset & follow the instructions found here - https://attestation.app/tutorial. Scroll down to Scheduled remote verification & follow the instructions. 

Attestation appears quite technical in its execution and I intend in the future to include tutorials & articles on the topic, but in the meantime, I feel you should still use the feature since you know roughly what it is for.

Change the default wallpaper

I really love the wallpaper designed for the Omerta range of phones - partly because I designed them & partly because they really show the quality of the OLED screens used. They are a wonderful advertisement for Omerta.

However, if you are a high risk user, you really do not want to advertise that the handset is security hardened. Leaving the Wallpaper on means anyone trying to break your phone will visit this website & learn all they can about the phones defences prior to attempting to hack it.

Change the wallpaper to something else - that way they assume it is a normal Google Pixel phone & set about attacking it blissfully unaware that on the 5th attempt the phone will factory reset.

Last thing - Keep everything uptodate

The last pointer for this article is this - keep your phones software update. Every week hackers discover vulnerabilities within software & these can be used to exploit your device. By keeping software updated this threat is mitigated.

Use the App Markets to update all Apps & allow OS updates to install when prompted. If using Mobile Data on an eSIM, connect to wifi to perform updates.

Conclusion

So remember, your phone isn't invincible if you use PIN 1234. Be sensible. Tell no one your PIN. Don't share your phone. Read the manual and understand its features. That way, should you end up in your own little Clash of the Titans you'll be comfortable in the knowledge it isn't a Clash, more like a splash in your favour.