A key aspect of crypto wallet security is the EAL certification, particularly when discussing hardware wallets and other forms of crypto cold storage. This article explains EAL certification in simple terms, exploring its meaning in the crypto context, and distinguishing between the various levels.
What is EAL Certification?
EAL stands for Evaluation Assurance Level. It is a globally recognised set of standards used to evaluate the security and reliability of technology products, including crypto wallets. EAL certification is a seal of approval that indicates a product has undergone rigorous testing and analysis to meet specific security requirements.
What does EAL mean in Crypto?
In crypto, EAL certification becomes especially significant when we talk about hardware/cold wallets. These devices are designed to store your crypto offline to reduce the risk of online threats. EAL certification in this context assures us that the crypto wallet has been thoroughly tested against potential vulnerabilities.
Typical EAL Levels for Crypto Wallets
EAL certifications range from EAL1 to EAL7, each level offering a higher degree of security assurance than the last. Crypto wallets tend to be a minimum of EAL5. This certification is considered to be a high level of security, typically used for products deployed in high-risk environments. It involves rigorous testing and formal design verification. EAL7, the highest level, is extremely uncommon in the consumer market due to its complexity and cost. It's reserved for devices that require the highest level of security, usually for military or government use.
What's the meaning of EAL5+?
EAL5+ is an augmented version of EAL5. The '+' indicates additional security assurance requirements that have been included in the evaluation. These augmentations are typically specific to the product being tested and are beyond the standard EAL5 criteria. In the context of crypto wallets, EAL5+ implies an enhanced level of security, ensuring that the wallet can protect against even very sophisticated attacks.
What's the meaning of EAL6?
EAL6 represents a higher security assurance than EAL5, involving even more rigorous analysis and testing. It's designed for situations where the risk is considered high, and the cost of a security breach would be significant. EAL6 certified crypto wallets are less common due to the increased complexity and cost of achieving this certification, but they offer an even higher level of security assurance compared to EAL5 or EAL5+ certified wallets.
|Example Crypto Wallets
Involves rigorous testing and formal design verification.
Preferred for secure, consumer-grade hardware wallets.
Additional security requirements beyond standard EAL5
|Products needing higher security assurance than typical consumer devices
|The most common level for crypto wallets. Popular EAL5+ wallets include Ledger, SafePal wallets, and ELLIPAL Titan
Very high security
More complex and thorough testing
High-risk situations where the cost of a breach is significant
Rare in consumer markets due to complexity
|This level is rare but some crypto wallets hold EAL6 or EAL6+. Examples include Trezor Safe 3 and CoolWallet Pro
The highest security level
Extremely rigorous testing and design
Top-level security environments like military or government use
Very rare in consumer products
|Government or military-grade security, only one wallet currently holds this classification: NGRAVE Zero