Encryption

App encryption in the dock post Paris attacks

App encryption in the dock post Paris attacks

Messaging apps with encrypted communication are being criticized for allowing the Paris terrorists a way to scheme while keeping security services out. The apps, including Telegram and others, have been blamed before over how they prioritize the privacy of users above providing access for agencies like the CIA and NSA to dig through chats to spot potential attacks such as those in France last week.

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Gmail to begin warning users of unencrypted emails

Gmail to begin warning users of unencrypted emails

Google is about to up its email security game when it comes to Gmail. The company has revealed it is currently working on an alert system to warn users when they've received an unencrypted email, and reduce the risk that comes with opening it. While using Gmail in the browser already uses HTTPS by default to connect to the server, there is still a significant number of emails that are sent unencrypted when moving between different providers. In a blog post, Google details some of its research into the current state of email security, and how it hopes to improve things.

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Signal secure messaging lands on Android, endorsed by Snowden

Signal secure messaging lands on Android, endorsed by Snowden

When it comes to staying away from the prying eyes and eavesdropping ears of spies and hackers, perhaps no one knows better than Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who has spilled it all and is now also trying to stay away from said people's reach. So when he openly endorses on Twitter (yes, he is on Twitter, of all places) WhisperSystem's Signal app, now on Android, then you know, with a bit of confidence but perhaps also a grain of salt, that your text messages and voice calls will be secure and private.

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Feds still want Apple to unlock iPhone even after guilty plea

Feds still want Apple to unlock iPhone even after guilty plea

It seems that Apple won't be able to take a breather even after a case it has been dragged into has practically been closed. In a drug-related case in Brooklyn, federal Judge James Orenstein formally asked Apple's input regarding the Department of Justice's request to order Apple to unlock the defendant's iPhone. Apple naturally argued against it. The whole matter would have been moot since the defendant plead guilty to the charges, but the DOJ hasn't retracted its application and the judge himself is puzzled by it.

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Tor’s new Messenger app promises privacy over familiar networks

Tor’s new Messenger app promises privacy over familiar networks

Tor, whose name amusingly once stood for The Onion Network, has become the software of choice when keeping your identity on the Internet anonymous and protected. As such, it has also become the bane of those, like some government agencies, who would prefer to have everyone's private comings and goings within their grasp. Adding to the project's arsenal of tools, which already includes a web browser, is Tor Messenger, an instant messaging software that tries to offer both convenience and privacy over an established network protocol like XMPP.

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DOJ unsurprisingly ignores Apple’s encryption arguments

DOJ unsurprisingly ignores Apple’s encryption arguments

It seems that Apple and the US Department of Justice will once again be butting legal heads this Monday, a hearing that was supposedly set for October 22, over the two's favorite point of contention: encryption. The DOJ wants Apple to assist in unlocking an encrypted iPhone 5s. While Apple acknowledges that since the phone is still running something older than iOS 8, it can technically do so but has asked to court not to compel it to act. Naturally, the DOJ would have none of that.

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Apple: technically impossible to unlock newer iOS devices

Apple: technically impossible to unlock newer iOS devices

Apple might have just scored some points with users but might have also further cemented the government's stance against encrypted devices. Responding to a Brooklyn federal judge's request for input, Apple revealed that it is impossible for it to unlock an iPhone or an iPad running iOS 8 or later due to stronger encryption methods. That said, it does admit that it can technically unlock devices running an older version, including the one involved in a current court proceeding, but advises the judge not to open that can of worms.

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Android 6.0 full disk encryption and other OEM requirements

Android 6.0 full disk encryption and other OEM requirements

Although Google didn't hype it as much, Android 6.0 is deserving of notice for its own fair share of major and substantial changes, like the new app permissions system and power saving doze mode feature that we've seen. But those changes aren't just for end users either. Google has just released the Compatibility Definition Document for Android Marshmallow which OEMs need to adhere to in order to be blessed by Google. And among those requirements is included the somewhat controversial Full Disk Encryption first found in Android 5.0 Lollipop.

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Obama administration softens encryption backdoor law stance

Obama administration softens encryption backdoor law stance

It's not a complete victory for security advocates, but still a reprieve they could rejoice in. White House spokesperson Mark Stroh told the press Saturday that the Obama administration isn't going to push for legislation that would require tech and network companies to provide backdoor access to their encrypted systems. At least not yet. The government still stands by its position on encryption despite increasing opposition from advocates and companies themselves. For now, however, they could breathe a sigh of relief that they won't have legislature breathing down their necks for a while.

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Spaniard claims to have cracked unbroken code from WWII

Spaniard claims to have cracked unbroken code from WWII

Anyone who has studied WWII knows that coded messages played a huge part in getting information between different locations securely. There were all sorts of codes ranging from Native Americans who spoke in their native tongue, which the Axis powers couldn't decipher, to German Enigma machines that kept communications secure during the war, until Allies broke the code.

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Kim Dotcom announces third file storage service as nonprofit

Kim Dotcom announces third file storage service as nonprofit

Kim Dotcom, the well-known internet entrepreneur behind file hosting sites MegaUpload, and its successor Mega, has announced he's planning to launch a third file storage service, but this time as a non-profit. This comes after last week's news that Dotcom is not involved with Mega any longer, following a "hostile takeover by a Chinese investor," as he phrased it. While Mega has denied the accusation, Dotcom went on to publicly state that he lost faith in the site's security and privacy, and users' data was no longer safe.

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Coders warn that security backdoor will open a can of worms

Coders warn that security backdoor will open a can of worms

The US and UK governments continue to push for a VIP backstage access to the world's computers, networks, and devices, sometimes using the most emotional, not to mention deplorable, arguments. But such a security setup is ultimately a technical consideration and should also be driven by technical arguments. A group of industry specialists and luminaries are doing exactly that, releasing a paper that gives the proposal their stamp of disapproval, proving that not only is the backdoor access unfeasible, it will actually put countries at even more risk.

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