Items tagged with Encryption

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 of the brain. Researchers Martin Abadi and David Andersen demonstrated that neural networks... 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 add the "Not secure" label to HTTP sites that transmit passwords or credit card details. It's part... 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 as a malicious attempt to wreak havoc, it's easy to see how a less experienced user could be tripped... 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 governments and is one of the targets of the proposed legislation. France and Germany are also looking... 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 likely require.” Google is utilizing the New Hope algorithm which was designed by Erdem Alkim, Léo... 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 of last year’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. Apple fought a United States court... 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 of floppy disks and spinning hard drives, where file sizes were calculated in kilobytes or megabytes.... 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 in the future. What's a company to do in a situation like this? Rehire a top security expert, that's... 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 and data storage products. According to anonymous sources who spoke with The New York Times, executives... 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 the security and privacy of WhatsApp, then it's a big deal. But according to Gizmodo, all McAfee... 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 with a passcode, there's still the issue of whether or not the government has the power to force... 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 agencies that want tech companies to build backdoors into their programs and devices, WhatsApp... 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. Accordingly, the government no longer needs Apple’s assistance to unlock the iPhone, and withdraws... 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 users, Viber's roll out of end-to-end encryption will help keep prying eyes from seeing private... 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 appears to be settled for now, the debate over complying with government requests still wages on.... 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 desire for privacy and the government's desire to get rid of it. One great example is Facebook-owned... Read more...
The situation that played out between the FBI and Apple over a locked iPhone 5c model has been like a Soap Opera with plenty of drama and unexpected twists and turns. In case you thought it was coming to an end, think again—the latest plot twist is that Israeli security outfit Cellebrite supposedly wasn't the one that helped the FBI crack the iPhone in question.Up to this point, there have been several reports saying that Cellebrite helped the FBI extract the contents from the iPhone 5c handset that once belonged to Syed Farook, one of the terrorists in the San Bernardino shooting. There was even a plausible theory making the rounds as to how it might have been done, one that involved de-soldering... Read more...
It's no secret that law enforcement agencies and governments at large want to have access to our personal data whether we like it or not. Hot on the heels of the FBI managing to bypass security measures that should have protected the data on a terrorist's iPhone 5c, we see that the case is definitely not closed. As many had suspected, now that the floodgates are open, agencies like the FBI are not content to let this one win be the last. This week, draft legislation leaked out of the U.S. Senate that to some highlights the government's ignorance about encryption. Within the bill is an overly vague proposal that would largely outright ban strong encryption, or encryption that wouldn't... Read more...
Picking up where the FBI left off against Apple, Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) are getting ready to introduce a bill that would force companies like Apple and Google to provide "technical assistance" to government authorities trying to access encrypted data on locked devices. "We're still working on finalizing a discussion draft and as a result can’t comment on language in specific versions of the bill," Burr and Feinstein said in a joint statement, according to The Hill. "We’re still in the process of soliciting input from stakeholders and hope to have final language ready soon.”Government agencies and technology firms are at odds over encryption and whether or... Read more...
Whatever method the Federal Bureau of Investigation used to extract data from the iPhone 5c model that was once in possession of Syed Farook, one of the terrorists involved in the deadly San Bernardino shooting, it appears it will not work for any other generation iPhone. That's if taking FBI director James Comey's comments at face value.Comey was on hand at Kenyon College in Ohio to give a speech on encryption and surveillance. During the talk and subsequent question and answer session, Comey said the U.S. government bought a tool that made it possible to access the iPhone 5c handset in its possession, but claimed the tool doesn't work on other models."This doesn't work on 6s, doesn't work in... Read more...
With all the hoopla surrounding encryption and the U.S. Government’s desire to gain access to any and all data by any means necessary, many tech companies are taking notice. When Apple stood up to the government, it had the backing of some of the biggest names in tech. One of those companies was Facebook, and it’s now carrying on Apple’s penchant for defiance by enabling end-to-end encryption for all of its 1+ billion WhatsApp users worldwide. Open Whisper Systems announced that its Signal Protocol has now been fully integrated into WhatsApp, which means encrypted communications via “chats, group chats, attachments, voice notes, and voice calls” for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry... Read more...
John McAfee is a lot of things. He's an antivirus pioneer who sold his McAfee antivirus technology to Intel; he's a Libertarian candidate for U.S. president; and he's an eccentric individual with a heck of a story to tell about his escape from Belize where he was a person of interest in a murder investigation. On top of it all, he's supposedly a man with inside knowledge about how the FBI cracked the work-issued iPhone 5c model that was once used by Syed Farook, one of San Bernardino shooters.In an email exchange with Forbes, McAfee said Cellebrite, a subsidiary of Sun Corporation, inked a deal with the FBI nearly three years ago to provide forensic analysis of mobile devices, including smartphones... Read more...
Prev 1 2 3 4 5 Next ... Last