• EncryptionAchieving better security with randomly generating biological encryption keys

    Data breaches, hacked systems and hostage malware are frequently topics of evening news casts — including stories of department store, hospital, government and bank data leaking into unsavory hands — but now a team of engineers has an encryption key approach that is unclonable and not reverse-engineerable, protecting information even as computers become faster and nimbler.

  • EncryptionFrom encrypting the web to encrypting the net: 2018 year in review

    By Sydney Li and Alexis Hancock

    We saw 2017 tip the scales for HTTPS. In 2018, web encryption continues to improve. The focus has begun to shift toward email security, and the security community is shifting its focus toward further hardening TLS, the protocol that drives encryption on the Internet.

  • EncryptionNew cryptography must be developed and deployed now, even if quantum threats are a decade away

    Given the current state of quantum computing and the significant challenges that still need to be overcome, it is highly unlikely that a quantum computer that can compromise public-key cryptography – a basis for the security of most of today’s computers and networks – will be built within the next decade, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences. However, because replacing an established internet protocol generally takes over a decade, work to develop and deploy algorithms that are resilient against an attack by a quantum computer is critical now.

  • CybersecurityRevolutionizing cybersecurity through quantum research

    Scientists have found a novel way to safeguard quantum information during transmission, opening the door for more secure and reliable communication for warfighters on the battlefield. Recent advancements of cutting-edge technologies in lasers and nanophysics, quantum optics and photonics have given researchers the necessary tools to control and manipulate miniature quantum systems, such as individual atoms or photons - the smallest particles of light.

  • CybersecurityUnhackable communication: Single particles of light could bring the “quantum internet”

    Hacker attacks on everything from social media accounts to government files could be largely prevented by the advent of quantum communication, which would use particles of light called “photons” to secure information rather than a crackable code. The problem is that quantum communication is currently limited by how much information single photons can help send securely, called a “secret bit rate.” Researchers created a new technique that would increase the secret bit rate 100-fold, to over 35 million photons per second.

  • CybersecurityOpen-source hardware could defend against the next generation of hacking

    By Joshua M. Pearce

    Imagine you had a secret document you had to store away from prying eyes. And you have a choice: You could buy a safe made by a company that kept the workings of its locks secret. Or you could buy a safe whose manufacturer openly published the designs, letting everyone – including thieves – see how they’re made. Which would you choose? It might seem unexpected, but as an engineering professor, I’d pick the second option.

  • EncryptionEconomic benefit of NIST’s encryption standard at least $250 billion

    NIST has released a study that estimates a $250 billion economic impact from the development of its Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) over the past twenty years. AES is a cryptographic algorithm used to encrypt and decrypt electronic information. It was approved for use by the federal government in November 2001 and has since been widely adopted by private industry. Today, AES protects everything from classified data and bank transactions to online shopping and social media apps.

  • PasswordsWhy and how people forget passwords

    Do you frequently forget passwords to a baffling array of accounts and websites? Much depends on a password’s importance and how often you use it, according researchers. Their study could spur improved password technology and use.

  • EncryptionQrypt licenses ORNL’s quantum random number generator to bolster encryption methods

    Qrypt, Inc. has licensed a novel cyber security technology from ORNL, promising a stronger defense against cyberattacks including those posed by quantum computing. Qrypt will incorporate ORNL’s quantum random number generator, or QRNG, into the company’s existing encryption platform, using inherent quantum randomness to create unique and unpredictable encryption keys enabling virtually impenetrable communications.

  • EncryptionClosing security hole in popular encryption software

    Cybersecurity researchers have helped close a security vulnerability that could have allowed hackers to steal encryption keys from a popular security package by briefly listening in on unintended “side channel” signals from smartphones.

  • CybersecurityMaking phrase-based passwords more user friendly for better online security

    Although passphrases, or phrase-based passwords, have been found to be more secure than traditional passwords, human factors issues such as typographical errors and memorability have slowed their wider adoption. Researchers have developed and tested two new passphrase systems that seek to address these shortcomings and improve the usability and security of existing passphrase authentication systems.

  • EncryptionQuantum encryption to protect communications from hackers

    Securing highly sensitive information, such as hospital records and bank details, is a major challenge faced by companies and organization throughout the world. Researchers have shown that a new quantum-based procedure for distributing secure information along communication lines could be successful in preventing serious security breaches.

  • EncryptionThe ENCRYPT Act protects encryption from U.S. state prying

    By David Ruiz

    It’s not just the DOJ and the FBI that want to compromise your right to private communications and secure devices—some state lawmakers want to weaken encryption, too. In recent years, a couple of state legislatures introduced bills to restrict or outright ban encryption on smartphones and other devices. Fortunately, several Congress members recently introduced their own bill to stop this dangerous trend before it goes any further.

  • EncryptionRussia asks Apple to help it enforce ban on Telegram

    Russia’s communications regulator says it has asked U.S. technology giant Apple to help it block the popular messaging service Telegram in Russia. The regulator sent a letter to Apple asking it to block push notifications for Telegram users in Russia, ensuring that Apple phone and tablet users do not receive alerts about new messages and rendering the application less useful.

  • BackdoorsFBI: The number of unhackable devices lower than that reported to Congress

    The FBI has been telling lawmakers that it was facing a serious problem in accessing the encrypted devices seized from criminals and terrorists. For months, the Bureau has claimed that encryption prevented the bureau from legally searching the contents of nearly 7,800 devices in 2017, but on Monday the Washington Post reported that the actual number is far lower due to “programming errors” by the FBI.