Items tagged with Encryption

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...
John McAfee, the antivirus pioneer who created the self-titled AV software that was eventually sold to Intel for $7.68 billion, tried shopping a story to the media that he and his merry band of hackers thwarted WhatsApp's encryption because of a major flaw in Android. The only problem is it didn't exactly happen that way.WhatsApp is an interesting target because it recently announced the addition of end-to-end encryption. It's also the most used messaging application in the world with over a billion users, so if there's a flaw in Android, the most popular mobile OS on the planet, that compromises... Read more...
The FBI ultimately dropped its suit against Apple involving the now infamous iPhone that was connected to a terrorist in the San Bernardino shooting, but the quest to set a legal precedent marches on. FBI Director James Comey hinted as much when said this week there would be more legal battles over encryption and with regards to forcing tech companies to help law enforcement access data on electronic devices.It's not game over, in other words. Though the FBI ultimately didn't need Apple's help in extracting data from the iPhone 5c model it confiscated from a dead terrorist who had locked the handset... Read more...
There's nothing wrong with showing up fashionably late to the party, and at long last, WhatsApp has decided to don the desktop with its presence. The wildly popular messaging application that's owned by Facebook announced the availability of its first desktop app for PCs running Windows 8 and higher and Macs running OS X 10.9 or newer.Since the desktop app runs natively on the desktop rather than through a web browser, WhatsApp brings support for native desktop notifications, better keyboard shortcuts, and so forth. But perhaps the biggest draw is end-to-end encryption. Much to the chagrin of government... Read more...
For the second time in less than a month, the U.S. government has backed down from attempting to force Apple through a court order to help authorities access the contents of a locked iPhone. This time it was the Justice Department that sought Apple's assistance, willingly or not, with opening an iPhone 5s handset that was seized in 2014 as part of a drug investigation. "Yesterday evening, an individual provided the passcode to the iPhone at issue in this case,’’ prosecutors stated in a letter to the judge. "Late last night, the government used that passcode by hand and gained access to the iPhone.... Read more...
It doesn't matter if you're chatting with a co-worker about a sensitive business proposal you're putting together or bantering about basketball playoffs with a group of buddies, the idea that a third-party could be intercepting and reading your communication is creepy. Messaging providers are taking a privacy stand against such things, including Viber, which is adding end-to-end encryption to its popular platform. Over 700 million people use Viber, more than enough to make it a target for spying from hackers and even government organizations. But just as WhatsApp has done for its more than 1 billion... Read more...
Apple has been in the spotlight for the past few months due to its defiance of FBI requests to unlock an iPhone 5c at the center of an ongoing investigation. The US Government contended that Apple should comply with a lawful request that was in the interest of national security, while Apple pushed back, stating that the order not only went against its ideals but would appall the Founding Fathers. The US Government eventually dropped its case against Apple the day before both were to appear in court after a third-party was able to assist in unlocking the iPhone 5c in question. Although this matter... Read more...
When Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the NSA's comprehensive spying efforts a few years ago, some might have thought that the agency (along with others) would cool their jets. After all, they were caught red-handed prying into our lives without our knowledge. As recent months have shown, however, the government, and especially the FBI, has no qualm about prying into our mobile devices if the desire is there. The FBI apparently even found a way into iPhones without Apple's help (which Apple has chosen to ignore). Fortunately for us, many software solution providers are capitalizing on consumer... Read more...
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