Prosegur built a castle for your crypto. The company announced that it built what it described as "the first bunker for the custody of digital assets, consisting of a physically and digitally inaccessible environment," in one of the 550 vaults it previously devoted to housing "more than 400 billion euros in customer funds."
This bunker "brings together all the infrastructures, facilities, technologies and security protocols necessary to minimize all the risk areas identified in the digital asset custody chain," the company said, and "prevents any possibility of physical or cyber-attack." (Which is the kind of claim that makes folks want to attack something.)
Prosegur said that some of those security measures include "closed-circuit cameras, biometric access, controlled secure rooms as well as permanent monitoring by armed personnel in all installations" along with "specially designed firewalls to maintain the facility completely isolated from any outside communication."
The actual crypto assets will be stored on a Hardware Security Module (HSM) that "generates, stores and protects cryptographic keys" and is housed in "a military-protected briefcase within the high-security vault." If someone attempts to access the HSM without authorization, its contents will be deleted, the company said.
There's more, but suffice it to say that Prosegur is confident in its ability to protect the assets in this bunker. So far as what those assets will be: The company said that it "supports a wide range of cryptocurrencies and tokens such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple, among others, with new protocols being progressively integrated."
It might seem weird to devote so many security measures to protecting crypto assets, but the reality is that properly securing those assets has been a problem since their introduction. This is true on the smaller scale—such as hackers attempting to gain access to an individual crypto wallet—as well as the larger one.
We've covered large-scale thefts involving cryptocurrencies several times over the years. Consider the heist of $500 million worth of NEM from Coincheck in 2018, for example, or the theft of $200,000 worth of crypto from a professional League of Legends player that same year. Both seemed like massive crimes at the time.
But then we made it to 2021. In April, the founder of an exchange disappeared with $2 billion in crypto, and in June, the founders of Africrypt made off with $3.6 billion worth of Bitcoin. For reference, the largest theft in recent history was the $1 billion one of Saddam Hussein's sons took from the Central Bank of Iraq in 2003.
Prosegur's bunker starts to make a bit more sense in that context, but it's still worth remembering a few things. The first is that nothing is ever completely secure; there will always be vulnerabilities. The second is that introducing a single point of failure—in this case, Prosegur—requires a significant amount of faith.
The third is that the company essentially offers a service that charges you to delete all of your crypto, and therefore funds, if someone is savvy enough to get through the last layer of security.
Stay on the Cutting Edge
Join the experts who read Tom's Hardware for the inside track on enthusiast PC tech news — and have for over 25 years. We'll send breaking news and in-depth reviews of CPUs, GPUs, AI, maker hardware and more straight to your inbox.
Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.
No security system is completely secure. The bunker, even if 100% defended from exterior attack, is only as secure as it's least trustworthy employee.Reply
You don't need a firewall when a system is truly fully isolated.Reply
"If someone attempts to access the HSM without authorization, its contents will be deleted, the company said. "Reply
Don't worry, your 4 Million wasn't stolen, it was just deleted.