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Konai CryptoKona

🔍 Last analysed 27th April 2022 . No source for current release found
18th April 2019

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Try out searching for "lost bitcoins", "stole my money" or "scammers" together with the wallet's name, even if you think the wallet is generally trustworthy. For all the bigger wallets you will find accusations. Make sure you understand why they were made and if you are comfortable with the provider's reaction.

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The Analysis 

Kona I Co., Ltd. is a South Korean company involved in the manufacture of various electronic cards. Among its products include:

  • Fingerprint Card
  • Display OTP / Dynamic CVV card
  • Smart card key
  • CryptoKona S / CryptoKona S Plus
  • All-in-one banking card
  • Authentication service

Product Description

The CryptoKona is a multi-currency card type hardware wallet:

It is equipped with IC chips with international security CC EAL6 + certification to provide the highest level of security performance, and it is possible to manage cryptocurrency more safely through strong user authentication such as fingerprint authentication or PIN input.

It is paired with an Android app with the same name using Bluetooth.

The companion app can only be used once successfully paired through BLE with the card. Once connected, it has the described functions:

  • Users can receive coin from another account and send to other individual account.
  • Every operations are possible with our CryptoKona card that have private key and use BLE technology so it’s really safe from any danger.

There are 2 versions to the CryptoKona: the S and the S Plus.

  • It utilizes the FIDO2 standard for authentication.
  • It prevents external leakage by performing key generation and recovery only within the card to enhance security.
  • Encrypts key data through the App and the creation of Secure Channel (ECDH key exchange)

Product Specification

FCC Information and manual can be found here

H/W

  • Display: 1.43”
  • Secure IC: SAMSUNG S3FTXXX
  • MCU: Cortex-M4
  • Functional Temperature
  • ConnectionType: BLE 4.1
  • Contents: CryptoKona,Charge Cradle, USB Cable
  • Wireless Frequency Certification: KC, CE, FCC, TELEC

S/W

  • COS: Java card 3.0.4, GlobalPlatform2.2 CryptoKonasecure applet, Java Card applet
  • Mnemonic: 12~24
  • Supported HD wallet: BIP 32, BIP43, BIP44, BIP49, ETC.
  • Supported BIP BIP 38, BIP39, BIP141, BIP143, BIP144, BIP173, ETC.
  • 지원알고리즘: RIPEMD160, SHA256, KECCAK, HMAC-SHA256, HMAC-SHA512, SECP256K1, SECP256R1, ETC.Plus

Analysis

According to the User Manual, setting up the master wallet is possible through the device. Mnemonics are also displayed on the e-paper display. It claims that the card operates through their open Java based COS (Chip Operating System). We were not able to find links to this. We were also not able to find pricing information as it is not displayed on their website. We emailed Kona I to verify additional information related to this. There is no reference to the device being an Open Source project.

(dg)

Verdict Explained

Without public source of the reviewed release available, this product cannot be verified!

As part of our Methodology, we ask:

Is the source code publicly available? If not, we tag it No Source!

A wallet that claims to not give the provider the means to steal the users’ funds might actually be lying. In the spirit of “Don’t trust - verify!” you don’t want to take the provider at his word, but trust that people hunting for fame and bug bounties could actually find flaws and back-doors in the wallet so the provider doesn’t dare to put these in.

Back-doors and flaws are frequently found in closed source products but some remain hidden for years. And even in open source security software there might be catastrophic flaws undiscovered for years.

An evil wallet provider would certainly prefer not to publish the code, as hiding it makes audits orders of magnitude harder.

For your security, you thus want the code to be available for review.

If the wallet provider doesn’t share up to date code, our analysis stops there as the wallet could steal your funds at any time, and there is no protection except the provider’s word.

“Up to date” strictly means that any instance of the product being updated without the source code being updated counts as closed source. This puts the burden on the provider to always first release the source code before releasing the product’s update. This paragraph is a clarification to our rules following a little poll.

We are not concerned about the license as long as it allows us to perform our analysis. For a security audit, it is not necessary that the provider allows others to use their code for a competing wallet. You should still prefer actual open source licenses as a competing wallet won’t use the code without giving it careful scrutiny.

The product cannot be independently verified. If the provider puts your funds at risk on purpose or by accident, you will probably not know about the issue before people start losing money. If the provider is more criminally inclined he might have collected all the backups of all the wallets, ready to be emptied at the press of a button. The product might have a formidable track record but out of distress or change in management turns out to be evil from some point on, with nobody outside ever knowing before it is too late.