#IO2015: Project Vault: A secure computer in a Micro SD Card!

In the wake of snooping activities, attacks on privacy and major security threats plaguing the technological world, Google has announced what might just be a perfect solution.


Project Vault – the latest measure in security developed by the Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) division of Google, is a secure computer that fits entirely on a Micro SD card sized device. The tiny device runs its own operating system to manage all the passwords and secure data of the user, without having to use the phone\’s resources.

In this article, I explain all that there is in Project Vault!


Project Vault is a security solution that is present on a device the size of a Micro SD Card. According to the keynote, the reason they used this size and design was so that they could have more data onboard the device, and at the same time include the concept of modularity, which actually goes hand in hand with the Project Ara concept that was also discussed.

The Vault device features an ARM processor, NFC capabilities, and an antenna. The operating system on this device is ARTOS: A secure, real time operating system that focuses on privacy and data security. Since this device is targeted at addressing privacy concerns, it comes with a host of security measures such as hashing, batch encryption and hardware random number generator. There\’s also 4GB of sealed, isolated data.


With Project Vault, Google has said that it has very much replaced the system of passwords. The Vault system authenticates users based on their typing patterns : a system called the Trust Score which, according to the ATAP team, is much more efficient and safe than a simple password.


The engineers demonstrated how Project Vault could be used to communicate securely between two devices. The chat history wasn\’t stored on the phone and was handled directly by the Vault. Vault sends the messages using cipher text, and there is no involvement of the phone in the encryption and decryption process, so it is much more secure.



Like all their projects so far, Google will launch the Project Vault to developers first. The source code is available on Github, while the hardware development kits will be made available shortly.

Without a doubt, this might be the biggest evolution in the world of cyber security in a long time!