August Product Update: Emergency Lockdown
Today we’re excited to announce that Casa Gold clients can now lock access to their accounts for 72 hours with a new “Emergency Lockdown” feature.
This important feature helps ensure you can keep your bitcoin safe—no matter what.
This update is live today on both Android and iOS. Here’s what you need to know:
Physical attacks in Bitcoin are real
Sadly, physical threats to Bitcoiners are real. And they occur most often during bull markets.
No company puts as much time and effort into helping protect Bitcoiners from these threats as Casa. It’s in our DNA.
If you haven’t had the chance, I recommend you review our CTO Jameson Lopp’s compilation of Known Physical Bitcoin Attacks. I also recommend that you review the following posts for general guidance on how to protect your funds and your home from physical threats (or so-called ‘$5 wrench attacks’).
How to protect yourself
The only way to guard against physical coercion is to ensure that you don't have immediate access to your funds.
Because if you can access your bitcoin and spend it in a matter of minutes, so can an armed robber who’s forcing you to act against your will.
In order to protect your coins, you need to ensure that spending your funds requires multiple steps and visiting multiple locations. These planned inconveniences flip the risk/reward ratio for attackers and help keep your wealth secure.
Casa Gold clients understand this.
As a Casa Gold client, your bitcoin is protected with three keys. Two are protected by you, and held at different locations. The third is the Recovery Key secured by Casa, available 24/7 if you ever need help completing a transaction.
But what if there’s an immediate threat and you need another layer of protection ASAP?
We created the Emergency Lockdown feature so you can completely lock down your Casa App in emergencies.
To use it, just tap the big red button on your ‘Help’ tab and tap again to confirm.
When you enable Emergency Lockdown, three things happen:
- You are immediately logged out of your Casa App.
- Your Casa account is locked for 72 hours—you can’t log in during this time and Casa won’t be able to restore your access.
- After 72 hours, the lockdown lifts automatically and you can log back in.
Initiating Emergency Lockdown makes it impossible for an attacker to force you to open your app, reveal your balance, or initiate a transaction. We hope that no Casa Gold member will ever need to use this feature, but we also know today’s security landscape and we expect that some clients will.
Three important notes:
- This feature is designed for emergencies only—we don’t recommend locking down your app casually or as part of a routine. That said, some users may wish to enable this feature as a precaution before traveling.
- If one of your two keys is a Mobile Key (on your phone): you will not be able to access this key when lockdown is enabled. That means you won’t be able to perform a Sovereign Recovery until the lockdown period is over.
- If your two keys are on two hardware wallets: it will still technically be possible to construct a transaction using non-Casa software during the lockdown period, however it is onerous and difficult to do so.
Premium security memberships
While we’re releasing Emergency Lockdown for Gold users today, this feature has been available to our premium clients for some time.
If you have a Platinum or Diamond membership, you have access to Emergency Lockdown and can initiate a lockdown anytime from your ‘Help’ tab.
The biggest difference between Emergency Lockdown at the Platinum and Diamond level is that it requires a personal video verification call with Casa’s security team to unlock your account.
When you enable Emergency Lockdown as a Platinum or Diamond client:
- Your account is locked and you are logged out.
- Casa’s Client Services team reaches out ASAP to book your video verification.
- Lockdown will not be disabled until the call has taken place and a mandatory waiting period has elapsed.
During the verification call, our team performs soft authentication as well as duress checks to make sure that you’re safe and that you (and no one else) has access to your account.
- If everything is okay, Client Services will unlock your account after the waiting period you set during your onboarding has completed.
- In the event anything isn’t okay (or if we’re not able to get a hold of you), Casa’s security team will roll into next steps with your personal security plan.
You can follow this link to learn more about our Platinum and Diamond plans. If you’re a current premium client reading this and would like to review or refresh your security procedures, just reach out to your Client Advisor, and we’ll handle the rest.
Need peace of mind for your bitcoin? Let's get it handled.
Casa Gold is FREE to try for 30 days and only $120/year after that.
Stay safe out there
Casa's CTO Jameson Lopp regularly reports on what you need to know for your Bitcoin security, privacy, and personal OpSec. Sign up for our weekly security newsletter to stay up to date.
What happens after 72 hours?
You’ll be able to safely log back into your Casa App.
Can Casa let me back into my app before 72 hours?
No. Also note that Casa’s team will be on-guard that an adversary may have access to your account and will be especially cautious reviewing communications from you during this time.
Why 72 hours? Can I change the amount of time my account is locked down for?
It’s rare that victims can be held more than 48 hours, so we’ve selected 72 hours to reflect buffer time on top of that. The 72 hour limit currently can’t be changed by users.