Articles about encryption

Promotional still from Quantum Leap, the TV series

Boffins pull off quantum leap in true random number generation

A team of physicists claim to have developed a guaranteed random number generator using photons and the laws of quantum mechanics. Random numbers are used to secure communications, and a good random number generator is essential for strong encryption. But ensuring that the numbers are truly random is difficult. Number …
Katyanna Quach, 11 Apr 2018
The Shining

They're back! 'Feds only' encryption backdoors prepped in US by Dems

US lawmakers are yet again trying to force backdoors into tech products, allowing Uncle Sam, and anyone else with the necessary skills, to rifle through people's private encrypted information. Two years after her effort to introduce new legislation died, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is again spearheading an effort to make …
Wire cutters

Russian regulator asks courts to disconnect Telegram

Russian telecoms and mass communications regulator Roskomnadzor has filed a lawsuit it hopes will see secure messaging app Telegram turfed out of the country. Moscow’s been unhappy with Telegram for some time, dating back to a mid-2017 dispute over the company’s non-compliance with requests to register as a telecoms service …

Tor ‘sunsets’ secure Messenger that never exited beta

The Tor project will “sunset” its Messenger, a project launched in 2015 in the hope of improving security for social networks’ messaging services. At launch, Tor advanced Messenger as a replacement for multi-protocol chat clients like Adium and Pidgin. The project’s plan was to route messages sent using XMPP, IRC, Google Talk …
Parliament House Canberra icon

Australian Senate passes meaningless motion that says encryption is very useful

Digital rights campaigners are celebrating a small, symbolic victory, with the country's Senate voting to protect the integrity of cryptography. The vote, which happened just before 4pm on Tuesday March 27, at least indicates that any government legislation weakening encryption won't get free passage through the Senate. …

Did the FBI engineer its iPhone encryption court showdown with Apple to force a precedent? Yes and no, say DoJ auditors

Analysis On December 2, 2015 Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik attended his employer's holiday party in San Bernardino, California – and without warning started indiscriminately shooting at fellow employees. Four minutes and 75 bullets later, 14 people were dead and 17 injured. Farook and Malik fled the scene but were located by …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Mar 2018
It's beer o clock for sysadmins. Photo by SHutterstock

World celebrates, cyber-snoops cry as TLS 1.3 internet crypto approved

A much-needed update to internet security has finally passed at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), after four years and 28 drafts. Internet engineers meeting in London, England, approved the updated TLS 1.3 protocol despite a wave of last-minute concerns that it could cause networking nightmares. TLS 1.3 won …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Mar 2018

Telegram still won't hand over crypto keys it says it does not store

Secure messaging service Telegram says it will appeal a Russian Supreme Court order to hand over encryption keys to the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation – the FSB. Last year, the company was fined a relatively paltry US$14,000 (800,000 roubles) for refusing to decrypt user messages. However, that wasn't the …
Let's Encrypt browser certificate

Let's Encrypt updates certificate automation, adds splats

Let's Encrypt has updated its certificate automation support and added Wildcard Certificates to its system. Certificate automation replaces what are otherwise manual and ad hoc mechanisms to apply for an X.509 certificate, and for the applicant's admins to prove they manage the domain in the certificate. ACME is the …

SecurEnvoy SecurMail, you say? Only after this patch is applied, though

Recently resolved vulnerabilities in SecurEnvoy's encrypted email transfer SecurMail created a way for encrypted emails in users' inboxes to be read, overwritten and deleted by others. The flaws – uncovered by Austrian security firm SEC Consult during a crash test – included cross-site scripting, cross-site request forgery, …
John Leyden, 13 Mar 2018

CEO of smartmobe outfit Phantom Secure cuffed after cocaine sting, boast of murder-by-GPS

An arrest by US authorities last week has brought to light alleged associations between encrypted phone supplier Phantom Secure and international drug trafficking. The arrest followed an Australian Federal Police bust of a cocaine shipment from the United States to Australia. Rather than merely being a passive supplier of …
Keeping a secret photo via Shutterstock

IBM's homomorphic encryption accelerated to run 75 times faster

IBM has rewritten its C++ homomorphic encryption library and claims it now goes up to 75 times faster. Homomorphic encryption is a technique used to operate on encrypted data without decrypting it. This would make sensitive operations much more secure: for example, companies could encrypt their cloud-hosted databases, and work …
Backdoor key

IPv6 and 5G will make life hell for spooks and cops say Australia's spooks and cops

The Australian government has fingered the next threat in the country's cryptography vs. policing debate: the IPv6 protocol. The nation's Department of Home Affairs (a super-department created last year to bring immigration, border protection, and security services under a single minister) aired its fears in a submission to …

Crypto-gurus: Which idiots told the FBI that Feds-only backdoors in encryption are possible?

Four cryptography experts have backed a US Senator's campaign to force the FBI to explain how exactly a Feds-only backdoor can be added to strong and secure encryption. The four are: Stanford professor Martin Hellman, of Diffie-Hellman fame and who helped invent the foundations of today's crypto systems; Columbia professor and …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Feb 2018
A silhouette walks through a keyhole leaking binary

Terror law expert to Why backdoors when there's so much other data to slurp?

Secure end-to-end encrypted comms is a desirable technology that governments should stop trying to break, especially as there's other information to slurp up on crims, UK politicians were told this week. Blighty's former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, David Anderson, told the House of Commons Home Affairs …
Rebecca Hill, 31 Jan 2018
Theresa May

Here we go again... UK Prime Minister urges nerds to come up with magic crypto backdoors

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has reiterated calls for a special magic version of encryption to be developed by technologists so law enforcement can access everyone's communications on demand – and somehow engineer it so that no one else can abuse this backdoor. Speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Jan 2018
Met police coppers in high vis yellow vests in front of a police box

The Reg visits London Met Police's digital and electronics forensics labs

More than 90 per cent of crime has "a digital element," we were told as The Reg was welcomed into London Metropolitan Police's Central Communications Command Centre, near Lambeth Bridge on the Thames. Not only does that mean an exponential increase in the amount of data stored, with the increasing seizure of phones, it also …
Kat Hall, 22 Jan 2018
Beam of light

China flaunts quantum key distribution in-SPAAACE by securing videoconference

China has revealed more detail of its much-hyped satellite quantum key distribution network. In a paper published at Physical Review Letters, Liao Shengkai of University of Science and Technology of China and other researchers describe the experiment in which they passed quantum-created keys between Xinglong and Graz in …

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