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New firmware update for Ledger Nano S. Version 1.5.5

Ledger has just release a new firmware update for the Ledger Nano S. Version 1.5.5. See summary below. 

New cryptographic algorithms

Ledger aims to provide its users with the most flexible platform, supporting a maximum number of blockchain and cryptocurrency projects. The upgrades included in this update will provide more possibilities for third party developers to bring support for their favorite crypto assets by adding several specific cryptographic algorithms which were previously missing.

We will regularly implement new algorithms in BOLOS and deploy them to all devices through firmware updates. This update will provide the following algorithms:

New hashes
BLAKE2b: this enables size reduction of projects already using BLAKE2b (ZCash and Komodo following the Sapling update, Nano and others).
Groestl: this enables the future support of Groestlcoin.
New signatures

Schnorr with Zilliqa scheme: this enables the future support of Zilliqa.
New derivation schemes

Bip32-ed25519: this enables the future support of Cardano and new Tezos derivation paths.


Security improvements

The Donjon security team is continuously attacking the Ledger Nano S. This process allows us to improve the security of our devices. Furthermore, we have a bounty program allowing security researchers to be rewarded for their findings. Since the 1.4.2 release, a few vulnerabilities have been reported:

Ninjalab, who won the 2018 Ledger CTF. After the challenge, the team gave us valuable inputs for improving one of our crypto library functions. Their findings did not directly affect our security model, since this function cannot be triggered without entering the user’s PIN prior to it. They definitely deserved their 2.337 BTC prize for their amazing work.
The so-called f00dbabe vulnerability has been independently discovered by Juliano Rizzo from Coinspect and T. Roth a few months later. We evaluated it as not exploitable, thus we did not urge for a new update. To our knowledge, no exploitation has been proven since then.
A critical vulnerability on the Bitcoin app has been reported by Mycelium
Ledger would like to specifically thank Sergey Lappo, a (former) Mycelium software engineer, for his coordinated responsible disclosure, allowing to keep Ledger’s users safe while improving the security of the Nano S.

These independent reports and the Donjon’s work led to significant improvements on BOLOS and cryptolib implementation.

The Donjon security team has been relentlessly attacking the Ledger Nano S and evaluating its software stack. Combined with our responsible disclosure program (credits to Mycelium), this has led to some major improvements in code and architecture.

Here is the non-exhaustive list of security improvements which are included in the firmware version 1.5.5 release:

Full redesign of the arithmetic architecture
Improved MCU genuine check to prevent the installation of rogue MCU firmware by software
PIN code implementation has been improved for better resistance to hardware attacks
Hardening of the PIN code verification against various hardware and side channel attacks
BOLOS critical parts refactoring
Critical security fix on the Bitcoin app

For a more detailed look at the new firmware click here