Articles about encryption

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 …
wiretap

Microsoft finally injects end-to-end chat crypto into Skype – ish...

Microsoft has bunged end-to-end encrypted communications into beta versions of Skype using the open-source Signal protocol. Redmond has been a laggard in locking down Skype as a truly end-to-end encrypted comms system – end-to-end meaning only the people talking to each other can decrypt the chatter, leaving Microsoft and …
Iain Thomson, 11 Jan 2018
Wray

FBI says it can't unlock 8,000 encrypted devices, demands backdoors for America's 'public safety'

FBI Director Christopher Wray has picked up where he left off last year with a new call for backdoors in encryption exclusively for law enforcement. Speaking at the International Conference on Cyber Security in New York today, Wray complained that in the past year the Feds have seized 7,775 devices that they can't unlock and …
Iain Thomson, 9 Jan 2018

VTech hack fallout: What is a kid's privacy worth? About 22 cents – FTC

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today agreed to a settlement deal with a children's electronic toymaker it had accused of collecting kids' personal information and then failing to properly secure that data. The government watchdog said VTech will pay $650,000 and agree to a set of privacy and security requirements in …
Shaun Nichols, 8 Jan 2018

UK security chief: How 'bout a tax for tech firms that are 'uncooperative' on terror content?

Tech firms are indirectly costing the UK government millions in "human surveillance" of extremist content and should have a windfall tax levied against them to make up for it, according to security minister Ben Wallace. Wallace said that inaction from internet giants means the cost of tackling terror content is "heaped on law …
Rebecca Hill, 2 Jan 2018

We need to talk about mathematical backdoors in encryption algorithms

Security researchers regularly set out to find implementation problems in cryptographic algorithms, but not enough effort is going towards the search for mathematical backdoors, two cryptography professors have argued. Governments and intelligence agencies strive to control and bypass or circumvent cryptographic protection of …
John Leyden, 15 Dec 2017
Mobile banking, image via Shutterstock

Hackers' delight: Mobile bank app security flaw could have smacked millions

Security researchers from the University of Birmingham, UK, last week went public about security shortcomings in mobile banking apps that leave millions of users at a heightened risk of hacking. The researchers developed a tool called "Spinner" to perform semi-automated security testing of mobile phone apps. After running the …
John Leyden, 11 Dec 2017
Police officers in bodu armour mill around in field

Cops jam a warrant into Apple to make it cough up Texas mass killer's iPhone, iCloud files

Texas Rangers have obtained a search warrant for the contents of a blood-splattered iPhone SE belonging to gunman Devin Kelley who killed 26 people in a murder-suicide at a church. Over the weekend, the US state's cops served the Cupertino phone-flinger a warrant demanding photos, messages and other potential evidence on …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Nov 2017
A piggy bank in a pile of pound coins

Does UK high street banks' crappy crypto actually matter?

The Register's recent story about the failure of most UK high street banks to follow web security best practices has provoked a lively debate among security experts. Tests of six banks revealed sketchy support for HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS), a cryptographic technology introduced in October 2012 and designed to …
John Leyden, 16 Nov 2017
Monty Python sketch: Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition

Confusion reigns over crypto vuln in Spanish electronic ID smartcards

The impact of a recently discovered cryptographic vulnerability involving smartcards is causing issues in Spain similar to those previously experienced in Estonia. RSA keys produced by smartcards, security tokens, laptops and other devices using cryptography chips made by Infineon Technologies are weak and crackable – and …
John Leyden, 15 Nov 2017
Rosenstein

US government seizes Texas gun mass murder to demand backdoors

While US President Donald Trump thinks it's too early to discuss gun control in the wake of Sunday's Texas church massacre – America's latest mass shooting – his Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is just fine exploiting the murder-suicide of 26 people to push for backdoors. Specifically, a backdoor so investigators can …
Iain Thomson, 9 Nov 2017
FBI

You know what's coming next: FBI is upset it can't get into Texas church gunman's smartphone

FBI agents investigating the murder-suicide of 26 people in a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday, have said they can't yet unlock the shooter's smartphone. In a press conference on Tuesday, special agent Chris Combs said that investigations into the motives and actions of the gunman was ongoing, but that his mobe …
Iain Thomson, 8 Nov 2017

Amazon's answer to all those leaky AWS S3 buckets: A dashboard warning light

Updated After watching customer after customer screw up their AWS S3 security and expose highly sensitive files publicly to the internet, Amazon has responded. With a dashboard warning indicator. Simple, and hopefully effective. For months now we have been reporting on researchers finding open S3 buckets packed full of confidential …
Iain Thomson, 7 Nov 2017

Boffins tear into IEEE's tissue-thin anti-hacker chip blueprint crypto

Several large gaps have been found in the IEEE's P1735 cryptography standard that can be exploited to unlock or tamper with encrypted system-on-chip blueprints. The P1735 scheme was designed so that chip designers could, ideally, shield their intellectual property from prying eyes. When you're creating a system-on-chip …
Iain Thomson, 7 Nov 2017
Rod Rosenstein

Fine, OK, no backdoors, says Deputy AG. Just keep PLAINTEXT copies of everyone's messages

The US Deputy Attorney General has told business leaders that Uncle Sam won't demand mandatory backdoors in encryption – so long as companies can cough up an unencrypted copy of every message, call, photo or other form of communications they handle. Speaking at the 2017 North American International Cyber Summit in Detroit on …
Iain Thomson, 30 Oct 2017
Waiting for the men's room

Microsoft says something more hyper than Storage Spaces is coming 'very soon'

Microsoft's offered an explanation, of sorts, for the unexpected disappearance of Storage Spaces Direct from Windows Server version 1709. A new FAQ on Windows Server, version 1709 posted on Thursday offers the following verbiage: Storage Spaces Direct was introduced in Windows Server 2016 and remains the foundation for our …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Oct 2017

Google slides DNS privacy into 'Droid developer stream

Android users might get better protection for their browsing records, if a Google experiment takes off. XDA-developers.com spotted the entry in the Android Open Source Project, which adds DNS over TLS, along with an option to turn it off. The idea of sending DNS queries over TLS is simple: it's in line with the IETF's (and …

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