Android application Haven by Edward Snowden guards physical objects

The Guardian project, with the participation of the Press Freedom Foundation and Edward Snowden, developed a very useful mobile application Haven ( source code ). Haven is a program for real paranoids, in the good sense of the word. The application uses various smartphone sensors (vibration, motion, sound, illumination detector) to determine that uninvited guests have entered your room.

No matter how well you protect your computer or laptop, but if an attacker has physical access to him, then the protection can be considered compromised (for example, he can remove a copy of the HDD and install a simple bug to find out the master password for removing cryptographic protection). Haven application on Android-smartphone will be in the same room with a computer and ensures that no one went there. And if someone comes, the program will take photos and record the sound.

The Haven app works as a security system for laptops, safes, other things, as well as for whole rooms - hotel rooms or rooms in the house.

It is not surprising that Edward Snowden was involved in the development of the application. For him, such a problem is relevant to anyone else. Edward himself lives in a secret dwelling like somewhere in Moscow, and the US state secrets are kept on his encrypted laptop. It is vital for him to be sure that no one entered his room with a laptop in his absence, because both American and Russian intelligence agents are eager to get information from a computer (Americans probably want to know the amount of leakage, and Russian intelligence officers - to figure out the secrets of a potential enemy) .

Such an application can be useful for anyone who keeps confidential information on a computer. These are investigative journalists, human rights defenders, software developers, and people whose lives are at stake. In the latter case, the program is able to collect and make public evidence that a person died or was abducted by attackers - this kind of protection may even save a person, because in this situation attackers will think a hundred times before taking the risk of self-disclosure (“collective protection”).

The Haven app uses the sensors of the smartphone to monitor the state of the environment and register changes. In the event of a sudden movement or change in volume, photography and recording of sound begins, which is stored locally on the device. In addition to the above sensors, the program also responds to changes in power supply (disconnecting the smartphone from the network).

Unlike similar commercial security cameras, Haven does not use commercial cloud storage, but sends all messages via Signal and Tor.

The program sets the minimum noise limit, after which the automatic recording will work. A front or rear camera is used as a motion sensor. Accordingly, the smartphone can be installed with a camera on a protected object or hidden somewhere, using only the sound detector.

After launching the application, you set a timer, after which the program starts working - a timer for 30 seconds or so gives the owner enough time to leave the protected room.

In the event of an intrusion, sending a text message to another phone (SMS or Signal) is established. Access to the logs is provided remotely via Tor, that is, you can watch and listen in real time to someone who has entered your home (you need to install the Orbot: Tor client for Android on the device). The logs save data from all sensors, photos and sound files. Any information can be viewed, deleted or quickly made public via Signal, WhatsApp, Gmail, Google Drive or other file hosting.

The program is available for assembly from source. Already compiled Haven build is on Google Play (beta) and in the free application directory F-Droid . APK files are also uploaded to GitHub .

IOS users are advised to buy an inexpensive Android smartphone and use it as a security device, receiving notifications on their iPhone. That is, there is not much point in the release of the iOS version - why leave the iPhone to monitor the room if a cheaper device is suitable for this?

People like Edward Snowden can sleep only if they are 100% sure that no one has entered their room, set “bookmarks” and did not dig in the computer. Without such a security system, the physical perimeter cannot be sure about this. Nowadays, physical security is as important as digital security. Edward Snowden said about the program: "Haven does not just cover you, she gives peace of mind."


All Articles