Samsung to Invest $2.9M in Ledger

The fact of a round of investments was confirmed by a spokesman for Ledger, but he did not disclose details
25 April 2019   510

The developer of hardware wallets Ledger attracted 2.6 million euros ($ 2.9 million) from the South Korean conglomerate Samsung. The company's investment valuation reached $ 290 million, according to the French edition of Capital.

Thus, the very fact of a round of investments was confirmed by a spokesman for Ledger, but he did not disclose details. Co-founder Eric Larchevêque, who had recently transfered power to the new CEO Pascal Gauthier, also did not shed light on the details of the transaction.

Larchevêque himself will focus on the company's strategy, cooperation with regulators and legal compliance as the executive chairman.

Ledger raised $ 7 million in a round of financing for Series A in early 2017, which was headed by MAIF Avenir, a division of large French insurance company with the support of Xange, Wicklow Capital, GDTRE, Libertus Capital, Digital Currency Group, The Whittemore Collection, Kima Ventures, BHB Network and Nicolas Pinto as an individual investor.

At the beginning of 2018, a round of financing for Series B took place, within which the hardware wallets maker raised $ 75 million. The round was led by Draper Esprit, the other participants were Draper Venture Network, FirstMark Capital, Cathay Innovation and Korelya Capital.

Ledger to Discover HSM Vulnerability

HSM is an external device designed to store public and private keys used to generate digital signatures and to encrypt data, used by banks, exchanges, etc
10 June 2019   1641

A group of researchers from Ledger identified several vulnerabilities in the Hardware Security Module (HSM) devices, which can be used to extract keys or perform a remote attack to replace the firmware of an HSM device. The problem report is currently available only in French, the English-language report is scheduled to be published in August during the Blackhat USA 2019 conference. HSM is a specialized external device designed to store public and private keys used to generate digital signatures and to encrypt data.

HSM allows you to significantly increase protection, as it completely isolates keys from the system and applications, only by providing an API to perform basic cryptographic primitives implemented on the device side. Typically, HSM is used in areas where you need to provide the highest protection, for example, in banks, cryptocurrency exchanges, certification centers for checking and generating certificates and digital signatures.

The proposed attack methods allow an unauthenticated user to gain complete control over the contents of the HSM, including extracting all the cryptographic keys and administrative credentials stored on the device. The problems are caused by a buffer overflow in the internal PKCS # 11 command handler and an error in the implementation of the cryptographic protection of the firmware, which bypasses the firmware check using the PKCS # 1v1.5 digital signature and initiates loading the own firmware in the HSM.

The name of the manufacturer, the HSM devices of which have vulnerabilities, has not yet been disclosed, but it is argued that the problem devices are used by some large banks and cloud service providers. At the same time it is reported that information about the problems was previously sent to the manufacturer and it has already eliminated vulnerabilities in the fresh firmware update. Independent researchers suggest that the problem may be in the devices of the company Gemalto, which in May released an update to Sentinel LDK with the elimination of vulnerabilities, access to information about which is still closed.