Hardly the first or the last time you'll ever hear that sentiment, given the fact that Microsoft's software is used by hundreds of millions of people around the globe and not all of those folks are necessarily fans of the company. Goes with the territory. But this time, the phrase occasioned more than a passing reference, as it was made by the company's former privacy chief covering policies for countries outside the U.S. .
The National Security Agency's apparent attempts to weaken encryption technology has led a private-communication startup to move away from encryption algorithms from the US government's National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Silent Circle co-founder Jon Callas called NIST encryption experts "victims of the NSA's perfidy" in a blog post Monday and said the company will move away from using encryption standards that NIST helped create. The standards will still be available, but not by default, he said.
"At Silent Circle, we've been deciding what to do about the whole grand issue of whether … Read more
The UK government is planning to recruit hundreds of computer specialists to defend core infrastructure against cyberthreats, Conservative Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said Sunday.
Speaking at the annual Conservative party conference, Hammond said the United Kingdom was dedicating additional resources and funds to building a strong cyber intelligence and surveillance network, according to Reuters.
As cybercrime continues to prove a lucrative way for hackers to steal valuable data for profit or as part of state-sponsored jobs -- and many governments struggle to catch up and protect networks adequately against rising attacks -- defense budget funds now need to not only … Read more
In a double dose of irony, the National Security Agency's prying has given a big helping hand to Phil Zimmermann's business, Silent Circle.
The first irony is that Zimmermann was the very person the US federal government fought with in the 1990s over the release of the software called PGP, short for Pretty Good Privacy, which made encryption much easier to use. The second irony is that he's now president and co-founder of Silent Circle, a company that seeks to profit from making it harder for the NSA or anybody else to find out what people are … Read more
Several US senators are trying to clamp down on the activities of the National Security Agency through a new bill.
Unveiled in Congress on Wednesday, the Intelligence Oversight and Surveillance Reform Act aims to stop the NSA's bulk collection of the records of US citizens. Specifically, the bill wants to amend certain sections of the Foreign Intelligence Services Act (FISA), which the NSA has used to justify its data gathering.
One amendment to FISA would prohibit the bulk collection of phone records, while another would prevent the bulk gathering of e-mail records. In the case of phone records, the … Read more
One of the hackers who recently tricked Apple's fingerprint sensor now has a video out showing just how he does it.
Earlier this week, a group of hackers in Germany, known as the Chaos Computer Club, took credit for bypassing the biometric security on the Touch ID fingerprint scanner. That hack was accomplished by scanning someone's fingerprint and ultimately using that to gain access to that person's iPhone 5S.
Posted on Vimeo by one of the hackers known as Starbug, the video takes us through the entire process from the initial scan to the actual fingerprint trickery. … Read more
Well, that didn't take long. Barely 48 hours after the iPhone 5S hit the streets, its Touch ID fingerprint sensor has been fooled by a Germany-based group called the Chaos Computer Club and confirmed independently.
Independent security researchers confirmed that the successful iPhone hack, by a researcher named Starbug, unlocked the iPhone 5S with a fingerprint that had been transposed onto a thin strip of what appears to be latex. Videos by Starbug and the security researchers who were able to replicate Starbug's methodology don't show how the fingerprint was transposed to the latex, but they do … Read more
Facebook wants its customers to share, and the company is very good at convincing users to make their private Facebook information available to the public.
According to a study published last year by Carnegie Mellon University researchers, changes in December 2009 to Facebook's privacy controls, and the introduction of Community Pages and Connected Profiles the following April very likely caused users to share more.
This reversed a four-year trend (2005 to 2009) of Facebook users tightening their privacy settings to share less, as Bianca Bosker described on the Huffington Post last March.
Facebook's recent proposal to change its … Read more
Celebrities can be really dangerous, and not just because they slap zebra print and rhinestones on any product they can get ahold of.
They also lure unsuspecting Internet users to sites that have tested positive for threats that can harm a computer or mobile device. But which athletes, musicians, comedians, and Hollywood stars are most likely to lure innocent Internetizens into the less-than-glamorous online underbelly of spyware, adware, spam, and viruses? Security software company McAfee recently released its 2013 Most Dangerous Cyber Celebrity list, which highlights the most common celeb search terms that expose Web users to no-good. … Read more
The subject of cell phone security haunts every major mobile player, but none so defiantly throws down the gauntlet to data thieves like the smartphone startup QSAlpha and its Quasar IV "cipherphone."
A self-funded project launched Tuesday through Kickstarter-like Web site Indiegogo, the Quasar IV runs on a security backbone of hardware encryption that promises to only share data -- e-mail, phone calls, and texts -- with others who have a "trusted" identity using the same Quasar IV smartphone.
While the cybersecurity specs command the show (and more on that later), the strangely named Quasar IV … Read more