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Trezor One

latest release: 1.9.4 last analysed  17th July 2021 Reproducible when tested  
29th July 2014

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The following Analysis is not a full code review! We plan to make code reviews available in the future but even then it will never be a stamp of approval but rather a list of incidents and questionable coding practice. Nasa sends probes to space that crash due to software bugs despite a huge budget and stringent scrutiny.

Do your own research!

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.

If you find something we should include, you can create an issue or edit this analysis yourself and create a merge request for your changes.

The Analysis 

This was the first hardware wallet and it’s still being sold. The provider now also offers Trezor Model T Reproducible  and is working on an open source secure element.

On the provider’s page on security we read:

Protected bootloader.
The bootloader is write protected and the JTAG is disabled, so an attacker cannot replace it.

The bootloader is a tiny but critical part of any computer. Without one, no higher functionality could be loaded. The device would have no way of knowing it had a screen and buttons and storage …

Firmware verification.
The bootloader always verifies the firmware signature. The firmware is only run if correctly signed by SatoshiLabs. Otherwise, a warning is shown.

So in this case, the bootloader is tiny but knows about cryptography as it has to verify the signature of the firmware and compare its signing key to the provider’s public keys that should be hard-coded into the bootloader.

Secure update procedure.
The bootloader erases the device memory if the firmware signature is invalid. Downgrade to a vulnerable version also wipes the memory.

We suppose, downgrading to any version - not only vulnerable ones - wipes the memory.

The above properties ensure that only software which has been approved by the provider can be run on this device. It doesn’t guarantee that this software is not stealing your keys.

To our surprise, the wallet’s main page does not show or link to claims about the product being open source.

We asked on Reddit but somehow there really is no authoritative claim from the provider that the device they sell follows this protocol:

  1. The device comes without firmware[1][2]
  2. The firmware can be downloaded, verified to match the source code and then deployed to your device on an air-gapped computer (?can it?)
  3. The firmware checks the boot-loader for tampering. If you are sure to run a certain firmware (layout changed …) you can be relatively sure that a rogue boot-loader would have been detected.

While the lack of a comprehensive “Security protocol for your Trezor One” is a surprise, all the relevant information can be found and we can check the software.

Please be aware that we only look at the software and the advertised properties of the hardware. The hardware aspect makes it hard to make any claims about the specific device you might be getting in your mail, which makes it hard to eliminate the need for some level of trust. But let’s see if we can reproduce the current firmware version 1.9.4:

$ wget https://data.trezor.io/firmware/1/trezor-1.9.4.bin
$ ls
$ git clone https://github.com/trezor/trezor-firmware.git
$ cd trezor-firmware/
$ git checkout legacy/v1.9.4
$ cat build-docker.sh 
#!/usr/bin/env bash
set -e -o pipefail

cd "$(dirname "${BASH_SOURCE[0]}")"



wget --no-config -nc -P ci/ "$CONTAINER_FS_URL"
docker build --build-arg ALPINE_VERSION="$ALPINE_VERSION" --build-arg ALPINE_ARCH="$ALPINE_ARCH" -t "$CONTAINER_NAME" ci/

# stat under macOS has slightly different cli interface
USER=$(stat -c "%u" . 2>/dev/null || stat -f "%u" .)
GROUP=$(stat -c "%g" . 2>/dev/null || stat -f "%g" .)

mkdir -p build/core build/legacy
mkdir -p build/core-bitcoinonly build/legacy-bitcoinonly


# build core

for BITCOIN_ONLY in 0 1; do


  cat <<EOF > "build/$SCRIPT_NAME"
    # this file was generated by ${BASH_SOURCE[0]}
    # variant: core build BITCOIN_ONLY=$BITCOIN_ONLY
    set -e -o pipefail
    cd /tmp
    git clone "$REPOSITORY" trezor-firmware
    cd trezor-firmware/core
    ln -s /build build
    git checkout "$TAG"
    git submodule update --init --recursive
    poetry install
    poetry run make clean vendor build_firmware
    poetry run ../python/tools/firmware-fingerprint.py \
               -o build/firmware/firmware.bin.fingerprint \
    chown -R $USER:$GROUP /build

  docker run -it --rm \
    -v "$DIR:/local" \
    -v "$DIR/build/core$DIRSUFFIX":/build:z \
    --init \
    /nix/var/nix/profiles/default/bin/nix-shell --run "bash /local/build/$SCRIPT_NAME"

# build legacy

for BITCOIN_ONLY in 0 1; do


  cat <<EOF > "build/$SCRIPT_NAME"
    # this file was generated by ${BASH_SOURCE[0]}
    # variant: legacy build BITCOIN_ONLY=$BITCOIN_ONLY
    set -e -o pipefail
    cd /tmp
    git clone "$REPOSITORY" trezor-firmware
    cd trezor-firmware/legacy
    ln -s /build build
    git checkout "$TAG"
    git submodule update --init --recursive
    poetry install
    poetry run script/cibuild
    mkdir -p build/firmware
    cp firmware/trezor.bin build/firmware/firmware.bin
    cp firmware/trezor.elf build/firmware/firmware.elf
    poetry run ../python/tools/firmware-fingerprint.py \
               -o build/firmware/firmware.bin.fingerprint \
    chown -R $USER:$GROUP /build

  docker run -it --rm \
    -v "$DIR:/local" \
    -v "$DIR/build/legacy$DIRSUFFIX":/build:z \
    --init \
    /nix/var/nix/profiles/default/bin/nix-shell --run "bash /local/build/$SCRIPT_NAME"


# all built, show fingerprints

echo "Fingerprints:"
for VARIANT in core legacy; do
  for BITCOIN_ONLY in 0 1; do


    FINGERPRINT=$(tr -d '\n' < $FWPATH.fingerprint)

That’s a 121 lines of code script and we better understand what’s going on. After all this is supposed to be run on our PC.

So they want to use an alpine:3.12.3 docker container to compile in but instead of getting it from docker hub like so:

$ docker run --rm --interactive --tty docker.io/alpine:3.12.3

they … wget the image from http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine which doesn’t even use ssl? That’s a bit confusing and might warrant a code comment as to why this way.

Anyway, else the script looks good. Let’s see if it builds something:

$ bash build-docker.sh legacy/v1.9.4
python ../bootloader/firmware_sign.py -f trezor.bin
Firmware size 418700 bytes
Firmware fingerprint: 132a1d718936157fd0872380675e8a4cd1d48be65f809fd4ed2705b063608401
Slot #1 is empty
Slot #2 is empty
Slot #3 is empty
make: Leaving directory '/tmp/trezor-firmware/legacy/firmware'
c0a6cacfed5c7a691314919c22307c29fbe9522071a9a28669769c014762d386 build/core/firmware/firmware.bin
53e7ee5bfc75cfa6412d8de5461b1ea8d9b7e10970ce7cadae9cbb1e17bbb77d build/core-bitcoinonly/firmware/firmware.bin
8b983590201bb5b91853c65423485a7bcffb0b8c91372b1e35f57c24126151c4 build/legacy/firmware/firmware.bin
132a1d718936157fd0872380675e8a4cd1d48be65f809fd4ed2705b063608401 build/legacy-bitcoinonly/firmware/firmware.bin
$ wget https://data.trezor.io/firmware/1/trezor-1.9.4.bin
$ sha256sum trezor-1.9.4.bin build/legacy/firmware/firmware.bin
c406a36aa83932f656caa5246e8a4383f426e4f970b11d86cad76ab95778a6ff  trezor-1.9.4.bin
ea3403f99093b5fc71907d2ded6af01bf66a67a881862629d96947550bdf711e  build/legacy/firmware/firmware.bin

That is not a match.

The build instructions go on to explain:

The firmware headers have changed in firmware 1.8.0, so if you are building firmware >= 1.8.0 you need to strip those. You can download the official firmware and then run:

  # the following two lines print out the hashes of the firmwares
  tail -c +1281 trezor-1.9.4.bin | shasum -a 256
  tail -c +1025 build/legacy/firmware/firmware/bin | shasum -a 256
$ tail -c +1281 trezor-1.9.4.bin | shasum -a 256
8478aaabee98e9e3ec28d619dbdeb20a2c7c3edf26ecd2d8ef2f1ce55f81c586  -
$ tail -c +1025 build/legacy/firmware/firmware/bin | shasum -a 256
tail: cannot open 'build/legacy/firmware/firmware/bin' for reading: No such file or directory
e3b0c44298fc1c149afbf4c8996fb92427ae41e4649b934ca495991b7852b855  -

Guess we found a typo as this looks good:

$ tail -c +1281 trezor-1.9.4.bin | shasum -a 256; \
  tail -c +1025 build/legacy/firmware/firmware.bin | shasum -a 256
8478aaabee98e9e3ec28d619dbdeb20a2c7c3edf26ecd2d8ef2f1ce55f81c586  -
8478aaabee98e9e3ec28d619dbdeb20a2c7c3edf26ecd2d8ef2f1ce55f81c586  -

That’s a match! But why do we have to chop off heads? That explanation is not satisfactory. “Reproducible” means that all bytes are accounted for. If those bytes are the signature and can be decoded as such, we are good but for now we need to research more.

So they point here for details and Trezor co-founder Pavel Prusnak indeed explains the diff as signatures:

These 192 bytes are 3 ECDSA signatures (3 * 64 = 192)

To have peace of mind, we would have to either dig into the bootloader if it really reads that part as signatures and not as executable code or we would have to verify those three signatures - it would probably be impossible to have something that is both a valid signature and malicious code. The best option though would be to verify these signatures with the signers public key as it gives additional accountability.

But first lets see if the header indeed matches except for 192 bytes:

$ hexdump -n 1024 -v -e '/1 "%02x\n"' build/legacy/firmware/firmware.bin > firstBytesBuild.txt
$ hexdump -n 1280 -v -e '/1 "%02x\n"' trezor-1.9.4.bin > firstBytesDownload.txt
$ meld firstBytes*

This is more than 192B of diff. The downloaded file starts with an extra 256B

54 52 5a 52 04 06 09 00 01 02 03 01 00 00 00 00 
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
c7 34 48 6d 08 b3 28 3b 83 93 77 78 ed 46 55 c2 
5b 07 01 01 29 7d 72 67 53 66 1d ae cc 90 14 06 
8a b1 d2 9c cf 4c 11 9b 46 f6 f2 ec 54 ac ce 25 
23 3d 23 4e 2b 07 a4 d9 fd 66 16 81 be 99 b0 44 
e5 23 15 48 e9 1a 24 28 8e 68 eb e4 44 46 82 f9 
96 3f 73 c7 82 a9 4c 46 ae 6f d6 db db 79 72 3e 
c3 cc ea 17 e6 a2 06 28 66 39 d8 d1 a9 79 7e 68 
b7 6a 3b be a1 77 a4 92 58 00 c1 cb 41 4f 19 2f 
23 53 3b d1 ab b0 ea 11 bb 42 9c 49 18 8d 1e cf 
f5 a3 5e ce 8f 36 74 0a de d2 1f 39 a3 92 14 2b 
ed 72 8e 7c 93 02 5e df 27 a7 41 10 3f f7 50 69 
55 7b 23 2e 5c 69 bd 97 a7 39 0e 05 b8 4c 9b fd

and its bytes 800 to 994:

7e 1f 7c 47 f1 f0 b7 3b 7d 43 3b 52 2d e6 5c 5e 
0d 52 2a ac 7d f1 84 2a 3a 15 8b 3c cf 1b 7e ec 
c4 7d d8 30 67 d4 42 58 ad 33 64 69 6d e5 5e 7b 
a1 8c 3c c5 15 be fd 98 87 91 0e bf 9f 10 cf f0 
aa 95 ba b8 13 89 a4 a7 ac 64 36 2b 6a 8e b3 7a 
a0 7f 5b 71 55 e1 c8 a1 1f 12 cb 4f 57 03 d8 fb 
f0 af a0 f0 63 b3 f8 a6 ba d3 66 63 cc ac 1c 04 
b1 a1 ce 24 ea 5b 29 60 9f 1a a6 e9 82 f8 73 1e 
00 79 cd 7e cb a5 d5 3e 70 9f f7 5b 4a da 9e d9 
45 1a f6 89 25 13 4f 70 55 af 77 2e 24 c9 39 18 
a6 17 54 27 4e eb 71 b0 08 9a 0c f1 f4 91 8a f5 
fb 8b a3 f0 2a ab 0d 83 8b 0e de f9 5a 46 80 41 
01 02 03

differ, too. Apparently the latter is the 192-ish bytes of 3 signatures. We asked the provider for clarification in this issue.

… and we were given some more pointers on how to interpret the remaining 256 + 192 bytes:

High-level comment:

Current firmwares are distributed as wrapped images where you have a firmware signed with new method (using legacy/bootloader/firmware_sign.py) and the result is then signed using the old method (using the method predating commit 07231d9).

In both signing operations the keys used are private keys belonging to these public keys:


static const uint8_t * const pubkey[PUBKEYS] = { 
  (const uint8_t *)"\x04\xd5\x71\xb7\xf1\x48\xc5\xe4\x23\x2c\x38\x14\xf7\x77\xd8\xfa\xea\xf1\xa8\x42\x16\xc7\x8d\x56\x9b\x71\x04\x1f\xfc\x76\x8a\x5b\x2d\x81\x0f\xc3\xbb\x13\x4d\xd0\x26\xb5\x7e\x65\x00\x52\x75\xae\xde\xf4\x3e\x15\x5f\x48\xfc\x11\xa3\x2e\xc7\x90\xa9\x33\x12\xbd\x58", 
  (const uint8_t *)"\x04\x63\x27\x9c\x0c\x08\x66\xe5\x0c\x05\xc7\x99\xd3\x2b\xd6\xba\xb0\x18\x8b\x6d\xe0\x65\x36\xd1\x10\x9d\x2e\xd9\xce\x76\xcb\x33\x5c\x49\x0e\x55\xae\xe1\x0c\xc9\x01\x21\x51\x32\xe8\x53\x09\x7d\x54\x32\xed\xa0\x6b\x79\x20\x73\xbd\x77\x40\xc9\x4c\xe4\x51\x6c\xb1", 
  (const uint8_t *)"\x04\x43\xae\xdb\xb6\xf7\xe7\x1c\x56\x3f\x8e\xd2\xef\x64\xec\x99\x81\x48\x25\x19\xe7\xef\x4f\x4a\xa9\x8b\x27\x85\x4e\x8c\x49\x12\x6d\x49\x56\xd3\x00\xab\x45\xfd\xc3\x4c\xd2\x6b\xc8\x71\x0d\xe0\xa3\x1d\xbd\xf6\xde\x74\x35\xfd\x0b\x49\x2b\xe7\x0a\xc7\x5f\xde\x58", 
  (const uint8_t *)"\x04\x87\x7c\x39\xfd\x7c\x62\x23\x7e\x03\x82\x35\xe9\xc0\x75\xda\xb2\x61\x63\x0f\x78\xee\xb8\xed\xb9\x24\x87\x15\x9f\xff\xed\xfd\xf6\x04\x6c\x6f\x8b\x88\x1f\xa4\x07\xc4\xa4\xce\x6c\x28\xde\x0b\x19\xc1\xf4\xe2\x9f\x1f\xcb\xc5\xa5\x8f\xfd\x14\x32\xa3\xe0\x93\x8a", 
  (const uint8_t *)"\x04\x73\x84\xc5\x1a\xe8\x1a\xdd\x0a\x52\x3a\xdb\xb1\x86\xc9\x1b\x90\x6f\xfb\x64\xc2\xc7\x65\x80\x2b\xf2\x6d\xbd\x13\xbd\xf1\x2c\x31\x9e\x80\xc2\x21\x3a\x13\x6c\x8e\xe0\x3d\x78\x74\xfd\x22\xb7\x0d\x68\xe7\xde\xe4\x69\xde\xcf\xbb\xb5\x10\xee\x9a\x46\x0c\xda\x45", 


as specified in a comment in the issue you link in the review, the header at start of the downloaded image is:

  • 256 bytes of the old TRZR header – which is stripped when you upload the image into bootloader 1.8.0 or newer
  • 1024 bytes of the new TRZF header, which should be identical to what you built, except for the 192 bytes of signatures

Structure of the old header is described here:
Structure of the new header is described here:

Signature verification for the old header is implemented here:

  1. calculate digest of firmware without header. This is essentially tail -c +257 trezor.bin | sha256sum
  2. the key_indexes will tell you which 3 of the 5 V1_BOOTLOADER_KEYS are used
  3. the signatures are ecdsa signatures of the digest with the respective keys

Signature verification for the new header is identical, except:

  • signatures are over a “header digest”, which is a sha256 over the header with signature fields zeroed out
  • key indexes are v1_key_indexes in the new header
  • signatures are v1_signatures in the new header.

For purposes of reproducibility, we should also publish instructions along the same lines as for TT, i.e., use dd to zero out signatures, compare files byte-for-byte.

So … what do we make of this? Do we have to reconstruct the verification script or can we assume their open source verification script is getting the same scrutiny as their firmware itself? As the bootloader is doing this check, too, we have to assume the check is under as much scrutiny as the firmware itself and for now will not dig deeper.

Trezor is the oldest player in the space and one of the most scrutinized and the file format of the firmware reflects a transition from an old to a new format, which left some legacy in how to verify its build today but it looks good. The firmware version 1.9.4 is reproducible.


Verdict Explained

The binary provided was reproducible from the code provided.

As part of our Methodology, we ask:

Does the app we built differ from what we downloaded? If not, we tag it Reproducible  

If we can reproduce the app we downloaded from the public source code, with all bytes accounted for, we call the app reproducible. This does not mean we audited the code but it’s the precondition to make sure the code has relevance for the app.

If the provider puts your funds at risk on purpose or by accident, security researchers can see this if they care to look. It also means that inside the company, engineers can verify that the release manager is releasing the app based on code known to all engineers on the team. A scammer would have to work under the potential eyes of security researchers. He would have to take more effort in hiding any exploit.

“Reproducible” does not mean “verified”. There is good reason to believe that security researchers as of today would not detect very blatant backdoors in the public source code before it gets exploited, much less if the attacker takes moderate efforts to hide it. This is especially true for less popular projects.