Items tagged with Encryption

A terrorist attack in the UK has sparked a debate over whether encrypted services should provide backdoor access to law enforcement. The terrorist, Khalid Masood, killed four people in Westminster. It is believed that Masood used the encrypted communication service WhatsApp just minutes before the attack. That prompted UK's house secretary Amber Rudd to pressure WhatsApp and other services to rethink their approach to encryption."It is completely unacceptable, there should be no place for terrorists to hide. We need to make sure that organizations like WhatsApp, and there are plenty of others like... Read more...
An appeals court in Florida has overturned a previous ruling that stated a man suspected of voyeurism should not be compelled to give up the passcode to his iPhone as it violate the Fifth Amendment and force him to testify against himself. The appeals court disagreed with that ruling and has ordered the iPhone owner to provide his four-digit passcode to law enforcement.Police arrested Aaron Stahl after a woman who was out shopping allegedly saw him bend down and extend and an illuminated mobile phone under her skirt. Court records say that when she confronted Stahl about the incident, he claimed... Read more...
When the topic of encryption comes up, it is often related to smartphones and tablets, and the differing opinions on the matter between hardware makers such as Google and Apple versus government agencies. Those are not the only areas where encryption matters. In an open letter to the camera makers around the world, Freedom of the Press Foundation makes a plea to build encryption into still photo and video cameras to protect the "safety and security" of photojournalists and filmmakers, along with their sources.The open letter is signed by more 150 documentary filmmakers and photojournalists. It... Read more...
Malware writers continue to find ways to make themselves out to be bigger scumbags than they already are. The latest dirty trick by the worst the web has to offer is a new twist on ransomware. Instead of simply encrypting the files on an infected PC and demanding a ransom in order to decrypt them, a variant called Popcorn Time encourages victims to infect others by offering a free key if they can get spread the ransomware to two other people.I wouldn't rank this as a new low in malware and its authors—that distinction belongs to the soulless jerks who injected a script into the Epilepsy Foundation's... Read more...
A cloud security outfit is warning that a new ransomware strain called Stampado has emerged from the underground market and is wreaking havoc on systems. What makes Stampado stand out from the crowd is that it is available on the dark web for only $39 with a full lifetime license. That makes it one of the least expensive and most accessible ransomware strains out there.Don't be fooled by Stampado's low price tag, the ransomware strain is capable of doing big time damage. As is often the case with malware, Stamapado typically arrives on system through spam emails or drive by downloads. It installs... Read more...
We often joke about certain advances in technology leading to Skynet scenarios where machines wage war with humans, but sometimes it feels inevitable. Take for example what a team of researchers from Google Brain, Google's deep learning project, have discovered. In our quest to advance machine learning capabilities, neural networks are now able to devise their own encryption schemes, which in turn could allow them to communicate in secret with each other.Potential for human extinction aside, it's a rather fascinating thing. Neural networks are computer systems loosely modeled after the neural structure... Read more...
The last thing you want to do is broadcast your bank or other sensitive login credentials for any Nosy Nellie to see. That's why a properly secured website asking for your confidential information uses encryption. Starting soon, Google's Chrome browser will tattle on websites that fail to secure your passwords and credit card details. There will be a warning when a website using insecure HTTP connections asks for your sensitive data. As it stands, the current version of Chrome (Chrome 53) doesn't explicitly label HTTP connections as non-secure. But beginning in January of next year, Chrome 56 will... Read more...
A security researcher for AVG has discovered a new piece of ransomware called Fantom that masquerades as a critical Windows update. Victims who fall for the ruse will see a Windows screen acting like it's installing the update, but what's really happening is that the user's documents and files are being encrypted in the background. Fantom is based on the open-source EDA2 ransomware project, and unfortunately there's no way to decrypt the files without the culprit's help. Plain and simple, you're in a bad spot if you happen to fall for this one. While savvy computer users might spot the ransomware... Read more...
France and Germany are just two of the countries that are pressing mobile messaging companies to provide access to encrypted content during terrorist investigations. Both countries have experienced a series of deadly attacks and have been struggling to intercept messages from the Islamic State. France and Germany have turned to the European Commission to help push through favorable legislation. Terrorists are increasingly using encrypted messaging services instead of social media. ISIS is a major user of such apps. Russian app Telegram has been particularly reluctant to cooperate with European... Read more...
It may still be in the early days for quantum computers, but Google is already experimenting with post-quantum cryptography. Someone could potentially retroactively break any communications that were encrypted with today’s standard encryption algorithms. Google is attempting to encrypt some of its connections through post-quantum cryptography to avoid this possible problem. Google remarked, “Our aims with this experiment are to highlight an area of research that Google believes to be important and to gain real-world experience with the larger data structures that post-quantum algorithms will... Read more...
Earlier this week it appeared that Apple had opened up some code within iOS 10. Apple refused to comment about the change at the time. On Wednesday, however, Apple remarked that it had experimented with this lack of encryption in order to optimize the operating system's performance without compromising security. iOS10 comes with 3D touch, emojification, and- an unencrypted kernel?The company previously wrapped the kernel in protections that had to be broken or worked around. This is one of the many reasons that the FBI paid an unidentified third-party to hack into an iPhone used by a perpetrator... Read more...
The HFS and HFS+ file systems have served Apple well for years, but it’s time to make a clean break from the past. That break from tradition is coming in the form of the Apple File System (APFS), which uses unified encryption to bolster the security of nearly every device that Apple makes. APFS has been in development for far too long to cite the FBI as the reason for its arrival, but we’re sure that the agency is by no means happy about its existence. Apple explains the need for APFS by writing: HFS+ and its predecessor HFS are more than 30 years old. These file systems were developed in an era... Read more...
We don't need to tell you that Apple has been dealing with some extreme issues revolving around encryption in recent months. Most of the hassle was spurred back in December when the FBI wanted the Cupertino company to help break into a terrorist's iPhone 5c, something it refused to do. As time went on, the FBI figured out its own solution to getting in, much to Apple's chagrin. Since then, government agencies have made use of this newfound power to gain access to consumer iPhones, and that has guaranteed just one thing: hardware vendors are going to push even harder to make sure this isn't possible... Read more...
It's fair to say that relations between the U.S. and China are strained, especially in regards to technology. Security researchers have often traced cyberattacks big and small back to China, for which the Chinese government often denies, and there's contention over shipping products to the region. The latter is likely to escalate as China ramps up its security reviews on U.S. tech companies such as Apple and Microsoft.China has a deep distrust of technology products originating from the U.S. As a result, China's been conducting more intensive reviews of tech companies with a focus on encryption... Read more...
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