As a part of Safer Internet Day which actually took place on February 5th, Google has announced Adiantum, a new form of encryption. Adiantum is aimed at low-end phones and smart devices which don’t have specialized hardware to encrypt local data efficiently. This development should make low-end devices more secure than predecessors which came without local data encryption.
Announcing the new feature, Eugene Liderman, Director of Mobile Security Strategy, Android Security and Privacy Team, said:
“Our hope is that Adiantum will democratize encryption for all devices. Just like you wouldn’t buy a phone without text messaging, there will be no excuse for compromising security for the sake of device performance. Everyone should have privacy and security, regardless of their phone’s price tag.”
Google says that Adiantum is ideal for devices that ship with low-end processors such as the ARM Cortex-A7 which don’t include hardware support for AES. Aside from many Android Go phones, some smartwatches, and TVs ship with these low-end processors so they’ll also benefit from Adiantum in the future.
Explaining the name of the encryption protocol, Google explained that Adiantum is named after the genus of maidenhair fern, which in floriography represents sincerity and discretion, making it a quite appropriate name. You can learn more about the nitty-gritty details over at Google’s Security blog.