Items tagged with US Government

Tech companies and consumers alike are rightfully concerned about government agencies seeking backdoors into smartphone operating systems. Agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have exclaimed that backdoors can help them crack smartphones that belong to criminal or child predators. On the other hand, companies like Google and Apple claim that it's a slippery slope that will result in privacy forfeiture and reduced security for everyone. Today, we have more evidence that shows that the U.S. Government is likely getting its hooks into smartphones around the globe via a well-connected contractor. A new Wall Street Journal report alleges that Anomaly Six,... Read more...
Tensions between the United States government and China have proven a burden for Huawei, which at one point had aspirations of selling its products on domestic soil in stores like Best Buy and wireless outlets like AT&T. Those plans were crushed, and the challenges keep mounting. The latest development has the US government effectively barring TSMC from supplying semiconductors to Huawei. This comes by way of an amendment to the Entity List, which outlines specific license requirements and rules for exporting goods. According to the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), Huawei has been trying to undermine US export controls, and the amendment addresses its concerns by restricting the Chinese... Read more...
The contentious relationship between the United States government and Huawei, the second largest smartphone maker in the world behind Apple, is not easing up. Just the opposite, US government officials reportedly claim to have evidence that Huawei is able to spy on users through "backdoors" installed on its mobile devices. In tech parlance, a backdoor is a method of bypassing authentication and encryption schemes. It has been a bit of a hot topic, with the U.S. government urging Apple on numerous occasions to build backdoors into iOS to make it easier for law enforcement to crack iPhone devices that are linked to criminal suspects. Apple has so far resisted, saying that such a backdoor would... Read more...
Chinese tech giant Huawei and the U.S. government aren’t exactly on friendly terms these days. The U.S. has long claimed that Huawei represents a security risk to governmental agencies and consumers alike, while at the same time torpedoing the company’s efforts to expand its presence Stateside with wireless carriers like AT&T and Verizon. Huawei recently fought back, suing the U.S. government over what it calls an unjust and unconstitutional ban. "This ban not only is unlawful, but also restricts Huawei from engaging in fair competition, ultimately harming U.S. consumers,” said Huawei in its filing. “We look forward to the court's verdict, and trust... Read more...
In the 90’s it seemed like every cartoon hero/villain saved/destroyed the world by inserting a floppy disk. It turns out that they were not that far off. According to a watchdog report, the United States nuclear force still runs on IBM Series/1 computers and uses floppy disks designed in the 1970's to coordinate some of its functions. These operational functions include intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear bombers, and tanker support aircraft. They kindly provided an example for good measurePentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Valerie Henderson stated, “This system remains in use because, in short, it still works. However, to address obsolescence concerns, the floppy drives are scheduled... Read more...
On Monday, mobile security researchers at FireEye reported on the discovery that an iOS app installed using enterprise/ad-hoc provisioning would be able to replace genuine apps installed on a user’s phone. Dubbed the “Masque Attack” vulnerability, the US government has issued an additional warning today for Apple users. “A technique labeled “Masque Attack” allows an attacker to substitute malware for a legitimate iOS app under a limited set of circumstances,” warned the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team in a post. The post goes on to describe the attack as a technique that “takes advantage of a security weakness that allows an untrusted app—with... Read more...
The current prosecution of Ross Ulbricht has brought to light the U.S. government’s stance when it comes to hacking into servers outside the country without a warrant. According to a new legal filing for the Ulbricht case, the Justice Department said that such a warrantless search is permissible. This revelation came about as questions have been asked regarding the method the government used to locate the Silk Road servers in Iceland. Ulbricht, who the government suspects of being the operator of the illicit drug website, challenged the government’s explanation that a leaky CAPTCHA on the site’s login was responsible for leading them to the IP address and accused them of unlawfully... Read more...
Twitter announced today that it has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government stating that the company’s right to free speech is being violated since it is being prevented from disclosing the number of national security requests it receives. While the social networking service is able to provide a general number of requests received Twitter is not happy with this and wishes to disclose the exact number of national security letters and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court orders it has received. “It’s our belief that we are entitled under the First Amendment to respond to our users’ concerns and to the statements of U.S. government officials by providing information... Read more...
Search giant Google has denied requests by the United States government to hand over it's search results. Though the Department of Justice(DoJ) claims the search results are needed for their investigation, Google has responded by claiming the requested information will not help in the DoJ, due to the way Google's search engine works. "The DoJ has made the request to shore up attempts to show that voluntary regulation is not doing a good enough job of keeping children free of the unsavoury material, largely pornographic, that exists online. The document expressed its disbelief in US goverment assertions that the list of search words would help... Read more...