Category: Press Releases

Intended for PR – used to filter out posts intended for the press

Meet the development team at the 2017 Debian Conference

We are proud to announce that we will be sponsoring and attending the 2017 Debian conference from August 1st to August 12 in Montréal, Canada. As PureOS is a derivative of Debian and various members of the team come from the Debian community, it is with great pleasure that we will support this event.

Many Purism team members will be present, including Zlatan Todorić (our CTO and an official Debian developer) with Matthias “Ximion” Klumpp, Jonas Smedegaard (Debian Developer) and Chris Lamb (current Debian Project Leader) for the full duration of the event, including the workshops (“Debcamp”) and core conference days.

Purism CEO Todd Weaver will also be attending from August 4th to August 8th.

On the “Open Day” on Saturday August 5th, we will be showcasing a couple of our newest Librem production models and prototypes.

Participation in the Debian conference and “open day” is free and no registration is required. Come and say hi! See the important dates for more information.

Jeff will also be available in the days before and after the event, to handle any logistics needs, or to answer any business or press inquiries. Should you want to meet before or after the event, please get in touch with us at pr@puri.sm.

Celebrate GNOME’s 20th anniversary with us at GUADEC 2017

We are proud to announce that we will be attending the GNOME flagship conference, GUADEC, from July 28th to 30th, and co-sponsoring GNOME’s 20th anniversary celebration event at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry on Saturday the 29th.

The local GUADEC organizers make a beautiful parallel between the local heritage of Manchester and the bleeding edge technology we are all developing:

“We’ll be planning the future of computing in the same city where some early breakthroughs in computing were made. The world’s first stored-program computer was developed at the University of Manchester in the late 1940s and the Museum has a working replica in the Revolution Hall where we’ll be holding the event, along with other amazing exhibits from the city’s industrial legacy.” — GUADEC 2017 organizers

We’re happy to be contributing to the party event on Saturday—where there will be food, lively discussions, and much rejoicing!

You will also be able to see a couple of our newest Librem production models and prototypes on display there—not that they “belong in a museum”,  but we do think they are interesting enough to be exhibited in a venue that honors science and industry.

During the rest of the conference’s core days, we (Jeff, Matthias, François, Todd) will be roaming around the Manchester Metropolitan University’s “Brooks” building to discuss topics of interest with fellow contributors and old friends. We’re particularly interested in:

  • Mobile and touch graphical user interfaces and input handling (including multitouch, gestures, etc.)
  • Power optimization (for laptops, tablets and phones)
  • Sandboxing, privacy and security in general
  • OEM desktop environment, applications and contents customizability
  • Extensions robustness
  • Graphics performance
  • Apps and Package robustness and user experience
  • Firmware updates management

Purism advisory board member Matthew Garrett will also be attending.

Come and say hi! We’ll be happy to meet GNOME enthusiasts—whether veterans or newcomers—and to answer any questions attendees may have for us.

Wannacry, Petya, NotPetya, Vault 7, Dark Matter, Show Numerous Key Flaws in Popular Devices

Purism Librem laptops are immune to such threats because of a deeply rooted philosophical difference about security

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—July 5th, 2017—Purism, the social purpose corporation which designs and produces security focused hardware and software, has released a new report on the latest cybersecurity threats and why nearly all devices are vulnerable to such attacks. The very design of modern hardware and software invites a host of threats, from sophisticated attacks, criminal activity, to hobbyist attempts, and reactive software patches simply cannot be released quickly enough to plug security holes. All manufacturers beside Purism are reactive to security threats only. Being proactive about security comes down to philosophy, business model, and reducing the attack surface to begin with.

There are 4 key factors as to why popular devices produced by large manufacturers are susceptible to rising security concerns:

  1. Proprietary software, where the source code is not auditable, leaving exploitable holes for criminals to take advantage of without the public knowing until it is too late
  2. Software written to address a wide array of hardware, leaving a large attack surface, rather than being small and tightly integrated with hardware
  3. Monolithic proprietary UEFI/BIOS with low-level remote access capabilities, rather than coreboot, a small secure fast boot firmware
  4. Inadequate reactive software updates to patch security vulnerabilities, rather than the more proactive removal of security holes to begin with, and having public source code to be audited

The best security in software follows a simple set of rules that the largest manufacturers fail because of their business models:

  1. Release the source code
  2. Tightly integrate the software with the hardware removing useless exploitable software
  3. Use less code, pre-install less bloatware, equals less attack area
  4. Avoid mystery binary code for critical components like WiFi cards
  5. Put protecting users over corporate profit; such as do not track users, do not require financial details to install apps, do not phone home with identifiable data, do not participate in corporate surveillance

WannaCry, Petya, and NotPetya, are increasing in complexity in a whack-a-mole, distributed criminals vs centralized corporation software battle where the users are the victim. The current proposed solutions from proprietary software vendors is reactive to these threats, which by definition means they will continue to happen in increasing frequency and potency. There is real motive for criminals to create ransomware, wreak havoc, and upset markets, and the reactive proprietary software patching approach is unacceptable as a security story.

Lower level threats a lot released with Vault 7, like Dark Matter, Intel AMT, EFI/UEFI exploits highlight that criminals are going deeper than software and operating systems, where even the reactive approach does not help, since proprietary operating system vendors do not release EFI/UEFI updates, and BIOS, EFI/UEFI updates are not commonly done by users.

In a proactive model, where the source code is released, making the attack surface small, and sharing the code for audit, has been the philosophical difference as to why Purism Librem laptops have been immune to all these threats.

“Protecting our digital life is a growing concern for individuals, reactive patching does not provide the peace of mind that users want” said Todd Weaver, CEO and Founder at Purism. “We provide that peace of mind by making security protection easy and the default for users.”

Purism’s Librem laptop line has been specifically designed to address these gaping security issues that big box manufacturers are unable and unwilling to combat due to being reactive and not releasing the source code. To date, Librems have been completely immune from the following cybersecurity attacks: Wannacry, Intel AMT, Petya, Dark Matter, All Vault 7 EFI/UEFI exploits, and NotPetya.

About Purism

Purism is a Social Purpose Corporation devoted to bringing security, privacy, software freedom, and digital independence to everyone’s personal computing experience. With operations based in San Francisco (California) and around the world, Purism manufactures premium-quality laptops and tablets, creating beautiful and powerful devices meant to protect users’ digital lives without requiring a compromise on ease of use. Purism designs and assembles its hardware in the United States, carefully selecting internationally sourced components to be privacy-respecting and fully Free-Software-compliant. Security and privacy-centric features come built-in with every product Purism makes, making security and privacy the simpler, logical choice for individuals and businesses.

Media Contact

Marie Williams, Coderella / Purism
+1 415-689-4029
pr@puri.sm
See also the Purism press room for additional tools and announcements.
 

A shipping update for Qubes-related orders

In light of our shipping-from-inventory fulfillment model having recently begun and in order to answer questions we have been getting related to pre-loaded versions of Qubes OS, we would like to announce that we will be fulfilling Qubes-related pending orders made until now by offering the Qubes install as a complimentary USB key included at no additional charge in those shipments.

  • Orders made with Qubes OS as the chosen operating system are expected to be fulfilled using the USB key accessory within approximately two weeks. Although the technical method of delivery is different, the $100 licensing fee Purism pays to Qubes will still be honored, for all Qubes-related orders made until August 2nd, 2017.
  • Should you prefer to forego the USB key accessory (containing the latest publicly available Qubes OS installer), please contact ops@puri.sm to adjust your order, which will then begin shipment procedures immediately alongside PureOS-related orders.
  • We apologize for not being able to pre-load Qubes OS onto your machine’s main solid state storage drive, as we have been unable to obtain an automated OEM image (suitable for secure and efficient mass-preloading in our fulfillment center) through our existing agreement with the Qubes Project/Invisible Things Lab s.c.

The current “free Qubes installer USB key” offer will also remain valid for orders placed between today (July 4th) and August 2nd, 2017, at which point our agreement with Qubes shall no longer be in effect. After this date, we may, at our discretion and as a convenience option for customers, offer a USB key accessory containing either a customer-requested free operating system (subject to availability), or a blank USB key, for a minor fee covering the cost of materials and labor.

Some customers have asked us about the recent removal of the Librem 13 “v1” from the certified hardware page on Qubes website. While we were not notified in advance of this change to the contents of the Qubes website, we understand this de-listing to be due to the fact that the Librem 13 v1 is no longer being manufactured, as it has now been succeeded by the Librem 13 version 2 in 2017. The “version 2” has not been sent through the certification process.

Moreover, while our current and previous hardware has been found to work with Qubes OS, we currently no longer have plans to undergo the official certification process for the Librem 13 v2 nor Librem 15 v3. The costs involved, requiring a supplementary technical consulting contract with Qubes/ITL (as per their new Commercial Hardware Goals proposal document), are not financially justifiable for us.

We have no doubts that Qubes users will be able to independently report their successes with Qubes OS on the Librem laptops within the next few weeks.

We wish Qubes and Invisible Things Lab s.c. the best of luck in establishing commercial partnerships that match their new expectations.

Purism’s Security Focused Librem Laptops Go Mainstream as General Availability Begins

Device maker evolves from made-to-order business model to shipping from inventory bolstered by user demand for high quality, security conscious devices

SAN FRANCISCO, June 23, 2017 – Purism, the social purpose corporation which designs and produces privacy conscious hardware and software, has announced general availability of its Librem 13 and Librem 15, laptops, demonstrating the success of its approach and growing interest in products that give users greater control over their devices.

Since it first launched as a crowdfunding project in 2015, Purism has raised more than $2.5 million through crowdfunding and seed funding, and has been experiencing 38% and 35% average monthly growth over the last 12 months for its Librem 13” and 15” laptops, respectively. To accommodate accelerating demand, the company has scaled production to hold inventory of the Librem 13” and 15”. The laptops, which originally were made-to-order and had a months-long waiting list, will now arrive in user’s hands a few weeks after purchase.

As recent headlines like Intel AMT/ME exploits and WannaCry ransomware attacks bring hardware and software security top of mind, users worldwide are realizing that security is not a guarantee and large corporations have not taken all the necessary measures to safeguard their interests. Many of the exploits and attacks arise from years-old flaws or vulnerabilities that were never fixed or updated, signaling that devices must now be designed with the future of digital privacy in mind. Purism laptops are designed to specifically meet user concern about digital privacy, chip-by-chip, line-by-line, to respect our common rights to privacy, security, and freedom.

“Our digital identity is ever more pervasive and our stake in protecting it is the highest it has ever been,” said Jennifer Stoddart, Purism Board Member and Former Privacy Commissioner of Canada. “I look forward to working with this innovative company in giving people affordable and high-quality devices to protect their personal information.”

“It’s an exciting turning point for Purism as we see our vision to create a security focused laptop that everyone can enjoy using start to resonate with the greater public. Going from made-to-order to holding inventory is proof positive that there is a growing demand for products like the Librem,” said Todd Weaver, CEO and Founder at Purism. “Users are starting to realize that security features are no longer a ‘nice to have’ but a necessity to protect their increasingly precious digital identity.”

About Purism

Purism is a Social Purpose Corporation devoted to bringing security, privacy, software freedom, and digital independence to everyone’s personal computing experience. With operations based in San Francisco (California) and around the world, Purism manufactures premium-quality laptops and tablets, creating beautiful and powerful devices meant to protect users’ digital lives without requiring a compromise on ease of use. Purism designs and assembles its hardware in the United States, carefully selecting internationally sourced components to be privacy-respecting and fully Free-Software-compliant. Security and privacy-centric features come built-in with every product Purism makes, making security and privacy the simpler, logical choice for individuals and businesses.

Media Contact

Marie Williams, Coderella / Purism
+1 415-689-4029
pr@puri.sm
See also the Purism press room for additional tools and announcements.
 

Security Researcher Trammell Hudson and Device Maker Purism Join Forces to Set a New Standard for Security-Focused Laptops

Hudson’s security firmware Heads will be built into Purism Librem hardware to further protect users from cybersecurity threats, privacy invasion, identity theft, and more.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — APRIL 12, 2017 — One of the foremost security researchers in the infosec community, Trammell Hudson, is working with secure device maker Purism to integrate his free and open-source “Heads” firmware into the company’s Librem laptop line. Purism will be the first hardware company to integrate Heads into its products, and the partnership will push the industry standard with unprecedented protection for end-user devices. Testing has already begun for the integration of the two platforms. Read more

Meet us at LibrePlanet 2017 from March 24th to March 26th

We are proud to announce that we will be attending and sponsoring the Free Software Foundation’s flagship conference, LibrePlanet, at the MIT on March 25-26th.

We will also be manning a booth there, where you can try out our Librem laptops and discuss latest advancements, including our completed port of the Librem 13 to coreboot. Come and say hi! We’ll be happy to meet old friends and new Free Software enthusiasts, veterans and newcomers, and to answer any questions attendees may have for us. We might also have a few surprises for our visitors.

Todd and Jeff will also be present in Cambridge/Boston on Friday, March 24th, for any business or press inquiries. Should you prefer to meet before the event, please get in touch with us at pr@puri.sm.

Nicole Færber joins the Purism Advisory Board

SAN FRANCISCO, October 3rd, 2016 — Purism is pleased to announce the addition of Nicole Færber to its previously announced Advisory Board. Together, the Advisory Board members bring their vision and decades of experience in cybersecurity, privacy protection, and digital freedom—to Purism’s product development, as the company continues to create products that finally address privacy and digital rights by default, rights that 86% of computer users cite as a concern.

Nicole Færber is a veteran of the embedded and mobile Free and Open Source software ecosystem. At the turn of the millennium she founded an embedded software development and consulting company; she continues helping clients succeed to this day, be it with her team of experts at Kernel Concepts and ID3P or through her own independent consulting practice. She has worked extensively on the GPE Palmtop Environment for the Compaq iPaq, on the Nokia 770 and OpenMoko projects, dealing with the software, hardware, and logistics aspect of many mobile products. Nicole’s knowledge of hardware suppliers, telecommunication and research companies, will prove highly valuable in advising Purism. Read more

Purism announces the creation of its Advisory Board

SAN FRANCISCO, August 30, 2016 — Purism is pleased to announce the creation of its Advisory Board, comprised of top-tier experts from the Free Software community: Kyle Rankin, Matthew Garrett, Aaron Grattafiori, and Stefano Zacchiroli. Together, they bring their vision—with decades of experience in cybersecurity, privacy protection, and digital freedom—to Purism’s product development, as the company continues to create products that finally address privacy and digital rights by default, rights that 86% of computer users cite as a concern.

2016-08-adboard-combined

“We are honored to partner with these industry experts I respect and have learned so much from,” said Purism CEO, Todd Weaver. “I look forward to their guidance during our tremendous growth, deepening our industry partnerships, launching new products and services, expanding into new markets, and addressing new customer needs.”

Kyle Rankin will chair the board and advise Purism in secure defaults, best practices in user security tools, privacy tools, and software choices that respect freedom. Kyle is a hardcore sysadmin and prolific author on security, privacy, GNU/Linux, free/libre and open source software, and speaks regularly on these matters.

“I’ve been following Purism since the beginning of their Librem 15 campaign and reviewed both it and the Librem 13 prototypes early on. I was so impressed with the Librem 13 prototype that I placed one of the first orders, and have been using it as my primary laptop ever since. I am very excited to help Purism challenge the existing hardware market with products that put user privacy, security, and freedom first,” said Rankin.

Matthew Garrett is advising Purism on threats to security and privacy, and on best practices to solve them with Free Software. Matthew is a technologist, programmer, Free Software activist, and is known for his major contributions to Linux, GNOME, Debian, Ubuntu, and Red Hat’s product lines. He is a board member of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), and a recipient of the Free Software Award from the FSF for his work on Secure Boot, UEFI, and the Linux kernel.

“Privacy, security and freedom require hardware that’s entirely under the owner’s control. I am honoured to be able to help guide Purism’s efforts to achieve that goal,” said Garrett.

Aaron Grattafiori is advising Purism on various matters relating to security and privacy. By day, Aaron is a Technical Director at the NCC Group which has been hacking on computers for more than a decade. Aaron’s comprehensive security whitepaper was recently touted as the “War and Peace” of Linux container security. A regular speaker at leading security conferences, Aaron maintains a lasting passion for technologies that empower users with security and freedom.

“In this day and age, it is important to use security-centric and ideally privacy-respecting software. In the post-Snowden era, users who value privacy should understand the benefits provided by free and open source software, and the overall risks by closed source software and platforms.” said Grattafiori.

Stefano Zacchiroli is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Paris Diderot University and Inria. He is a co-founder and current CTO of the Software Heritage project. Stefano has been an official developer of the Debian Project since 2001, and was elected to serve as the Debian Project Leader for three consecutive terms from 2010 to 2013. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) and is a recipient of the 2015 O’Reilly Open Source Award.

“I am excited by the possibilities that Purism and PureOS represent for defending users against current threats to their software freedom and for putting them back in control of their digital lives,” said Zacchiroli. “I look forward to help Purism navigate this complex ecosystem, continuing their promising journey to an entirely free software and hardware stack.”

 

“Our products, beliefs, and innovations are helping people protect their digital life by default,” said Todd Weaver. “This board will help us innovate even faster and fuel our immediate growth with collective thought leadership and passion.”

About Purism

Purism is a Social Purpose Corporation devoted to bringing security, privacy, software freedom, and digital independence to everyone’s personal computing experience. With operations based in San Francisco (California) and around the world, Purism manufactures premium-quality laptops and tablets, creating beautiful and powerful devices meant to protect users’ digital lives without requiring a compromise on ease of use. Purism designs and assembles its hardware in the United States, carefully selecting internationally sourced components to be privacy-respecting and fully Free-Software-compliant. Security and privacy-centric features come built-in with every product Purism makes, making security and privacy the simpler, logical choice for individuals and businesses.

Media Contact

Marie Williams, Coderella / Purism
+1 415-689-4029
pr@puri.sm
See also the Purism press room for additional tools and announcements.