Encryption

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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Researchers outline methods of stealing PC encryption keys via radio

Researchers outline methods of stealing PC encryption keys via radio

A group of researchers has outlined several ways that the secret encryption keys from a laptop can be stolen using a radio. For the theft to work the electromagnetic emanations from the notebook are measured non-intrusively using a radio from a distance of 50cm from the computer. According to the researchers, this attack can be carried out using cheap and easy to obtain equipment.

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Dell Venue 8 Lollipop brings the gift of force encrpytion

Dell Venue 8 Lollipop brings the gift of force encrpytion

Early adopters of Dell's RealSense-empowered Dell Venue 8 tablet rejoice! Users are reporting that they are receiving a large update that will bring their tablets into the age of Android Lollipop. But early adopters also beware! Dell is doing something that no OEM has dared to do when upgrading their devices from pre-Lollipop to Lollipop. It seems that Dell has chosen to force data encryption on owners of the device as part of the update process, whether they like it or not. And some will definitely not.

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Crack the code to find 4.87 hidden bitcoins in artist’s image

Crack the code to find 4.87 hidden bitcoins in artist’s image

Artist Marguerite Driscoll has created a fever in the cryptography community as she has launched her latest Bitcoin puzzle in the form of an intriguing mix of art and cryptography. The artist announced via a Twitter update that she released a new cryptographic image hiding a key to 4.87 bitcoins. Her "crypto art" has created a frantic fever of excitement among professional and amateur cryptographers alike. Reddit communities and Bitcoin Talk forums have sprung up as people collaborate, trying to solve these insanely complex cryptographic riddles.

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Confirmed: performance woes back Google off Android encryption

Confirmed: performance woes back Google off Android encryption

Over the past few days, news has surfaced that Google quietly stopped forcing full-disk encryption for Android devices. After loudly thumping their chest about security, Google silently removed the requirement. At the time of discovery, it wasn’t clear why Google would do such a thing. A study found that Android handsets performed much worse when encrypted, so it was believed that was the reason Google had for yanking the encryption. Now, Google has responded, and performance is confirmed as the issue.

 

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