What it is: The Turing smartphone claims the best security of any smartphone, but questions remain.
There’s no such thing as security. In reality, there’s only such a thing as greater or less security. Even Fort Knox requires full-time guards because given enough time, even a determined thief can break into Fort Knox’s secure buildings and doors. Security is only relative. That means if security is important to you, you want to choose the most secure smartphone possible.
Blackberry tried to market their latest smartphones as secure, and they are compared to ordinary Android smartphones. But Android is far from secure and Blackberry OS may be more secure, but it’s also a dying operating system. The latest secure smartphone is the Turing smartphone.
Instead of using Android, the Turing smartphone uses the far more obscure Sailfish OS, developed by Mozilla, the makers of the Firefox browser. Being more obscure means fewer people are familiar with it, but that doesn’t mean it’s any more or less secure than Android. It just means fewer people know how to crack Sailfish OS so there’s a limited amount of security from that fact alone.
Even worse, the Turing smartphone uses a proprietary encryption algorithm. That means it hans’t been examined for flaws. In general, encryption algorithms are open source to allow anyone to examine them. While this might seem to give potential thieves a chance to find flaws, it also gives security experts a chance to spot and fix flaws before they can be used by malicious hackers. In general, open source creates greater security by allowing more people to examine the code. By not allowing their encryption algorithm to be studied by others, the Turing smartphone raises the huge possibility that its encryption algorithm contains flaws that even its own developers aren’t aware of, but that skilled hackers will likely find and exploit.
Even more alarming is that the Turing smartphone used a master key to create additional encryption keys. Then the company said they destroyed this master key to prevent others from using it to exploit the existing keys. However, nobody can verify if the company behind the Turing smartphone destroyed the master key or not, or whether someone might have copied and distributed it ahead of time.
With so many problems surrounding the Turing smartphone’s security, there’s little reason to accept or doubt its purported security claims. In other words, you have to trust the company and that trust alone could be misplaced. In other words, there’s no guarantee that the Turing smartphone is any more or less secure than any other smartphone.
With that kind of uncertainty, there’s little reason to use the Turing smartphone. Security can never come through poorly designed products. Instead, real security comes from accepting the fact that nothing can be secure, and then doing what you can to make sure you only use your own smartphone in the most secure ways possible. Ultimately, the weakest link in any form of security is you.
Regardless of any technical issues, the best way to insure security is to learn and adopt the best security practices possible. Technical solutions are the least of your worries. Your own habits and behavior are the biggest security problem and that can never be solved by applying more technology as the solution.