Google has cracked an explanatory paper to describe the Titan M chip who equips and protects his Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, its "most secure" smartphones. This occurs when the phones are turned on, when the screen is unlocked and during transactions.
During the official presentation of Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, a commercial argument was particularly hammered: photo quality. However, there is another element on which the brand has relatively insisted to praise the merits of these smartphones: Security. Logically, this is partly done by patches deployed each month on the terminals. Now, it's on the side of hardware that the Mountain View firm catches our attention.
Both phones embark indeed a new chip named Titan M. The latter has several missions to ensure the safety of the user and Google described them in a blog post.
From the start of the smartphone
When the Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL is turned on, the Titan M is responsible for observing if the version of Android running on the phone is trustworthy. To do this, the chip permanently backs up all known and secure versions of the operating system.
Thanks to this, Titan M ensures that no " malicious actor Has not altered your smartphone to run under an older and vulnerable Android iteration without you knowing it. The chip also promises to block the unlocking of the bootloader against the attackers (the article does not really specify if the user will be able to unlock the bootloader if he wishes).
Titan M is part of the program Verified Boot which is a series of processes applied by Google to the ignition of a telephone to be sure that there is no wolf in the sheepfold.
Unlocking the screen
To allow you to override the locked screen, the Pixel 3 also uses Titan M. It is the chip that deals with limiting the number of possible attempts to prevent someone from forcing access by trying several combinations . But what is important to know here is that Titan M enjoys a completely independent flash memory enabling much more powerful hardware encryption than traditional software protection.
Thus, when you enter the correct unlock code, Titan M can enable decryption with much less risk of unwanted interference in the process.
Secure Payments and Google Pay
The security of the phone is one thing, that of third-party applications is another. Especially with regard to transactions. Here too, the Google chip promises to intervene so that everything happens in the most secure way possible.
For that, on Android 9.0 Pie, application developers can use the API StrongBox KeyStore proposed by Google that specifically allows to store the transaction keys in the chip Titan M. In other words, the applications on which you make purchases can also take advantage of the strength of hardware encryption.
The colossus in four colors also specifies that the teams of Google Pay are also actively testing these features to ensure more security in their app (still expected in France).
These are all the promises of Google on its famous chip Titan M. Now to see what it will give from the moment Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL will go on sale. It should be noted that the firmware The chip will never be updated if you do not enter your password to allow it.