Authors Note: Even though the focus of this project is to automate a chicken coop door, the same system could be applied to many other automation tasks such as a remote weather station or irrigation system control.

The chicken coop

When the Covid hit we saw all sorts of supply chain instability. Our way of addressing this problem was to install a device that converts food scraps into eggs, aka chickens. …

What is it?

ZeroDark is a new kind of cloud. It does what you hope: it gives users ownership & control of their data. Plus real privacy, using zero-knowledge encryption. But it goes about it in a different and unique way.

How is it different?

Building an app is good. Building an app ecosystem with financial incentives for developers is better.

Right now, as you read this, there are hundreds of thousands of developers all over the world building apps in the “traditional” way. They’re creating walled gardens for our data. And they’re monetizing their app via advertising. We want a different outcome, but what are we…

As with fashion cycles, it would seem that the Crypto wars are back in style again. In an effort to protect us from the dangerous criminals who use ubiquitously available technology, the government is threatening to curb its use from those who obey the law already.

If we can just pass a few more laws, we could all be criminals!”

— some guy on the internet

Let’s put this statement in perspective. Back in the old days of the internet, a fellow, named Timothy C. May warned us about how people will be persuaded to give up their civil rights…

ZeroDark Cooperative Launch Gives Power to the People With Digital Life Ownership, Privacy, and an Unconventional Thing Called Cloud Security launches to give online users privacy by encrypting their data and outwitting the tech giants who have their hands in the masses’ pockets.

Ashland, OR — February 20, 2020 — Though increasingly feared as an unsafe place to tread, everyone agrees, the Internet is a necessary evil for life in the digital age. The data you create in mobile apps is mined, analyzed, and ultimately sold to tech giants who continually exploit consumers through monetization tactics. Frankly, it’s an infringement of privacy that should lead users to think, “Who’s watching me?”. With a solution to that intimidating question, a…

One of the most perplexing problems in cryptography is the process of verifying that a public key has not been replaced by an imposter. The technical term for this is Man in the Middle Attack.

The industry has fumbled through a variety of poor user experiences trying to please a wide spectrum of people from those who just want to post selfies to the ultra paranoid crypto geek.

Before we go too far, let’s talk about some of the common cryptographic building blocks used in apps today.

The Secure Hash

Let’s start with the secure hash function. While there are lots of great…

I was recently asked about how does data-at-rest protection compared with AWS Server Side Encryption.

Its a good question that goes to the root of what zero-trust and zero-knowledge means. Let’s start with a quote from the AWS documentation:

When you use server-side encryption, Amazon S3 encrypts an object before saving it to disk in its data centers and decrypts it when you download the objects.

…As long as you authenticate your request and you have access permissions

And there it is. Your data is uploaded un-encrypted (even it’s wrapped in TLS on the way) and the server is…

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

ZeroDarkTodo is a simple To-do app that demonstrates several features of the platform. The iOS swift sample code can be downloaded from GitHub

Getting Setup

Before you can build-and-run with Xcode, you’ll need to install the dependencies using CocoaPods. Open your terminal, navigate to app directory, and then run the following command:

pod install

Within the code, nearly all ZeroDarkCloud integration is done within the ZDCManager.swift file.


ZeroDarkTodo is a simple iOS app, with only a few screens. First, we allow the user to create multiple Lists. …

History constantly reminds us that when technology solves a difficult problem it opens the floodgates to new opportunities as well as disrupting existing ones.

Look at how the development of the internal combustion engine didn’t just replace horses; it created entirely new industries to support the resulting changes in society. Innovations in road paving, proliferations of motels, and the invention of fast food are the obvious examples that come to mind.

Similarly the invention of the iPhone/App Store didn’t simply put desktop apps onto a mobile phone. People were now walking around with the internet in their pocket which triggered…

So someone is suing Apple, this time the complaint is that they have a concern that their data was not actually stored on Apple’s iCloud servers but rather they outsourced the data to others. While I won’t speculate on the merit of this case, and truly I don’t have a dog in the fight, I will say that to be clear the data stored on the “non-Apple” servers aren’t really at risk in any way.

Convergent Encryption

iCloud employs a version of “Convergent Encryption”, very similar to what I used in the original design of SilentText, SCloud — Silent Circle Secure Cloud…

In the network security world there’s a concept called “castle and moat”. The data you store in the cloud is the castle. And the moat includes the various obstacles you put in place to protect the “castle”. You try to make it hard to cross the moat… but once crossed and inside the castle, everyone is trusted by default.

The drawback with this model is it often becomes the vantage point of insider attacks, from both employee/contractor negligence and professional hackers. In fact most security breach studies show around 92% of attacks involve privileged credentials. [1]

This design flaw is…

Vinnie Moscaritolo

Co founder of 4th A Technologies, LLC; Developers of the™ Zero-knowledge sync and messaging framework

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