"QR code scanning" VS "Bluetooth connection", which one is more secure?

"QR code scanning" VS "Bluetooth connection", which one is more secure?

This article discusses the security considerations of hardware wallets and the different methods of data transmission, specifically Bluetooth and QR code scanning. While both methods are widely used, there is a theoretical risk of Bluetooth being intercepted by a third party, leading to potential fraud. To mitigate this risk, imKey, a popular hardware wallet, uses an additional binding code encryption function based on ECDH to prevent middleman attacks. The article also addresses concerns about the possibility of malware infecting devices via Bluetooth, stating that the chances of this happening are low as long as the phone is not rooted. The article concludes that there is no significant difference in security between Bluetooth and QR code scanning, with the latter having some limitations in terms of usability and accuracy. The imKey team is researching QR code scanning as a connection option for future wallet versions, but currently, there is no significant advantage over Bluetooth.

Security is an eternal topic, and the core element of hardware wallets is also designed around security in multiple dimensions.

In this article, we focus on "more secure data transfer methods," which some users are concerned about, and discuss which connection method is safer through Q&A.

Q: imKey hardware wallet uses Bluetooth for interaction, while some hardware wallets on the market use QR code scanning for connection. Which one is more secure?

A: QR code scanning and Bluetooth connection are currently widely used data transfer methods, and mainstream hardware wallets such as Ledger, Trezor, and imKey all use Bluetooth connection.

In theory, there is a very low probability of Bluetooth being intercepted by a middleman attack, meaning that your data is intercepted and replaced with another recipient's address. To prevent this extremely low probability from occurring, imKey has added additional binding code encryption based on ECDH during data transmission, which can better prevent middleman attacks. On the hardware side, every transfer requires confirmation of the recipient's address, so even if it is attacked, it will be exposed when it is confirmed by the hardware.

P.S. We recommend that users confirm that the address displayed on the hardware wallet is the correct recipient address when signing for large asset transfers.

Q: Can Bluetooth connection to a mobile phone be infected with a Trojan virus?

A: In general, each app in existing mobile devices runs separately in its sandbox with very high permission restrictions. As long as you do not root your phone, the probability of app infection with a Trojan is extremely low. If the app is unfortunately infected, both Bluetooth and QR code schemes will be affected equally, and hackers can also tamper with the content of the scanned QR code through a Trojan virus.

Q: Why do I feel that QR code scanning is safer than Bluetooth connection?

A: This is more of a subjective feeling, and in terms of security, there is no significant difference. In fact, there are certain limitations to using QR code scanning, such as the ease of use in high-frequency transfer signature transactions, the accuracy of QR code camera scanning, and the success rate of scanning connection in low-light conditions.

Q: Will imKey's next-generation hardware wallet consider adopting the QR code scanning scheme?

A: The imKey team has been following and researching the QR code scanning connection scheme, and we will further evaluate its application in the future next-generation hardware wallet. However, currently, there is no significant advantage of the QR code scanning connection scheme over Bluetooth connection in terms of user experience and absolute security.

In summary, "QR code scanning" and "Bluetooth connection" are both mainstream interaction methods currently, and there is no difference in security in actual use! Attached article: Technical Comparison of Bluetooth and QR Code.

Source: "Comparison and Application of Bluetooth, QR Code, and NFC Technology" Original link: http://www.nfcin.com.cn/news/201411/05154713.html