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Penta Security Wallet Card

🔍 Last analysed 4th April 2022 . Bad Interface

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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 

Product Description

Penta Security Systems has multiple domains related to their business: pentasecurity.co.kr, pentasecurity.co.jp, and pentasecurity.com. All of these domains host the same product specification sheet which is written in Japanese. Penta Security Systems is Korea-based.

A website described the hardware wallets as an NFC-enabled card and a device. We were not able to locate an actual picture of either, only renderings.

There were also multiple references to a mobile app related to these devices: AMO or D’Amo, Pallet X, or simply Penta Crypto Wallet. Of these, we were only able to locate the application ID of one in Google Play: Penta Security Pallet. Unfortunately, this is no longer available on Google Play.

We were able to translate using Google translate a few features:

  • Connection Method: Blue Tooth 4.0, NFC
  • User authentication / restore: Fingerprints, PINs, smartphones interlocking, 12-word recovery sheet
  • Secure chip: HW Copy Prevention (PUF)

Verdict

We were unable to locate an actual picture of the card nor is it commercially available. However, the company that provides it, Penta Security Systems is still active. Most smart cards that are labeled as wallets generally have the same flaw: they must be brought on to another system to transact or access the data within them. In this case, the card uses NFC or Blue Tooth to connect to an app that is no longer available. The product description does not indicate a screen or buttons the user can interface with.

(dg)

Verdict Explained

The design of the device does not allow to verify what is being signed!

As part of our Methodology, we ask:

Can the user verify and approve transactions on the device? If not, we tag it Bad Interface!

These are devices that might generate secure private key material, outside the reach of the provider but that do not have the means to let the user verify transactions on the device itself. This verdict includes screen-less smart cards or USB-dongles.

The wallet lacks either an output device such as a screen, an input device such as touch or physical buttons or both. In consequence, crucial elements of approving transactions is being delegated to other hardware such as a general purpose PC or phone which defeats the purpose of a hardware wallet.

Another consquence of a missing screen is that the user is faced with the dilemma of either not making a backup or having to pass the backup through an insecure device for display or storage.

The software of the device might be perfect but this device cannot be recommended due to this fundamental flaw.

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.