Encryption

WhatsApp still isn’t as secure as you might think

WhatsApp still isn’t as secure as you might think

Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp in early 2014 raised all sorts of red flags for security and privacy interest groups. Facebook, then and to some extent now, isn't exactly the epitome of those two values. Over time, WhatsApp has tried to assuage fears by implementing features such as end-to-end encryption. Apparently, that may be futile after all. Forensic scientist Jonathan Zdziarski revealed that, while the app does encrypt the messages it stores, it doesn't actually completely delete them and its backups still leave users open to spying or law enforcement.

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WhatsApp blocked once more in Brazil for failing to hand over user data

WhatsApp blocked once more in Brazil for failing to hand over user data

One of the wonderful things about end-to-end encryption in messaging apps is, as long as it's implemented correctly, nobody but you or the person you're chatting with should be able to see those messages. Unfortunately for WhatsApp, judges in Brazil don't seem to understand how that works. Yes, Brazil's at it again, as the office of Judge Daniela Barbosa Assunção de Souza in Rio De Janerio has ordered five carriers to block WhatsApp until it turns over data associated with a criminal case.

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Facebook Messenger begins testing end-to-end encryption with Secret Conversations

Facebook Messenger begins testing end-to-end encryption with Secret Conversations

Back at the end of May, we heard that Facebook may be rolling out encryption to Messenger sometime this summer. It looks like that day has arrived, as Facebook has announced that it will be testing end-to-end encryption in Messenger through a new feature called Secret Conversations. Not everyone will have access to Secret Conversations at first, but assuming the tests go well and Facebook doesn't need to make any big changes to the feature, it shouldn't be long before it rolls out to everyone.

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Qualcomm-powered Android devices found to have faulty full disk encryption

Qualcomm-powered Android devices found to have faulty full disk encryption

Google's Android platform has had its problems with security in the best, but a number of encryption features have been built into the software, as well as hardware, in recent years, significantly improving the situation. Unfortunately things are still far from perfect, as security researcher Gal Beniamini has discovered a vulnerability that leaves the Full Disk Encryption feature at risk to brute force attacks.

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What is Differential Privacy and why is Apple so excited about it?

What is Differential Privacy and why is Apple so excited about it?

The unexpected star of iOS 10 may well end up being a barely-known cryptography system to balance privacy and personalization, as Apple further positions itself as the bastion of user data protection. Differential privacy may not be as slick as Siri's increased skill set, or as timely in a cultural sense as new emojis and stickers, but it's arguably far more important than either.

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UK Commons passes Investigatory Powers Bill, no backdoor clause

UK Commons passes Investigatory Powers Bill, no backdoor clause

Apple may have scored somewhat of a victory in the name of security and privacy in the UK just as it somewhat did in the US just recently. December last year, Apple voiced out its concerns over the UK's proposed Investigatory Powers Bill that would require companies to have backdoors to encrypted systems so that government access could be granted any time. That bill has now been passed by the UK's House of Commons but removes the sections that make such backdoors necessary, thanks partly to the opposition of companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, and many others.

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Facebook Messenger may get an encrypted mode this summer

Facebook Messenger may get an encrypted mode this summer

Facebook Messenger may offer users an encrypted messaging mode this summer, according to sources, following behind WhatsApp, Viber and some other services in offering users a more secure messaging option. This isn't the first time we've heard rumors of Messenger encryption plans, but is the first instance of some big details being offered. Among other things, the sources say this encryption feature will be opt-in.

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Apple rehires top encryption pro Jon Callas as gov seeks data

Apple rehires top encryption pro Jon Callas as gov seeks data

Apple has rehired Jon Callas (again), the man who helped found Blackphone, Silent Circle, and PGP Corp. Callas previously designed an encryption system for Apple, having first worked for the company in the 90s, and later on from 2009 to 2011. Though Apple has confirmed that it rehired Callas in May, it has not revealed specifics about what he’ll be doing with the company, though it’ll no doubt be part of Apple’s efforts to further bolster its encryption.

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Viber rolls out encryption for Android, iOS, and desktop

Viber rolls out encryption for Android, iOS, and desktop

Viber, the messaging service that has never quite reached a WhatsApp level of fame, has announced the launch of full end-to-end encryption, following in the footsteps of some other services to better provide users with protection against government spying and more. The feature is available on all devices Viber supports, including Android, iOS, Mac, and PC. The feature is rolling out to users now.

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Microsoft patents end-to-end encryption, but for what?

Microsoft patents end-to-end encryption, but for what?

Microsoft has patented end-to-end security for hardware running verified software. This comes at a time at which encryption and software security is a big, important topic for not only traditional computers, but mobile devices as well. Windows Phone 8.1 has device encryption - but only if you're got your device set up at an enterprise level. Windows Phone 10 (or Windows 10 Mobile, if you prefer) has Device encryption built in for everybody. Just like a real good device manufacturer should mean it to be.

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FBI’s iPhone-cracking trick unlikely to remain secret for long

FBI’s iPhone-cracking trick unlikely to remain secret for long

The ongoing battle between Apple and the FBI over bypassing an iPhone's security during a criminal investigation took an interesting turn last week, when the government abruptly dropped its court appointment, saying it had found another method to get inside the iPhone 5c at the middle of San Bernardino terrorism case. Unfortunately for the FBI, this new trick for bypassing Apple's encryption is unlikely to remain a secret for long.

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Petya ransomware targets entire drives, not just files

Petya ransomware targets entire drives, not just files

Ransomware is quickly becoming the new darling among hackers looking to make a quick buck. Although it doesn't exactly jump from one infected computer to another, given how it works, it is actually more destructive and possibly more profitable than a common trojan or virus. We've seen recently what is probably the worst ransomware out in the wild. Now we're being told there's a potentially more destructive one as well. Called Petya, the ransomware tries to encrypt your entire hard drive for maximum damage and maximum profit.

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