• CybersecurityWomen in cybersecurity are making a difference

    Women in the cybersecurity industry may not make an impact in terms of numbers, but their work speaks for itself. Shimrit Tzur-David, Ph.D., is the co-founder and chief technology officer of Secret Double Octopus, a cybersecurity company which uses secret sharing, which is used to protect nuclear codes, to enable companies to do away with passwords all together. She was recently interviewed by Information Age.

  • Dark webWebhose takes aim at the Dark Web

    By Brian Blum

    Fans of the popular TV show “Mr. Robot,” which dives deep into the world of shady hackers and the Dark Web that lurks beyond its better-known counterpart, take note: An Israeli startup is serving notice that the hidden is now visible and even your bitcoins won’t shield you from the long arm of the law.

  • EncryptionRussian court to hear request to block Telegram

    A Russian court says it will begin considering this week a request by state media regulator Roskomnadzor to block the messaging app Telegram. Roskomnadzor has asked the court to block Telegram following the company’s refusal to give the Federal Security Service (FSB) access to users’ messaging data.

  • Code breakingLeveraging emerging brain-like computers for cracking codes

    Scientists have discovered a way to leverage emerging brain-like computer architectures for an age-old number-theoretic problem known as integer factorization. By mimicking the brain functions of mammals in computing, Army scientists are opening up a new solution space that moves away from traditional computing architectures and towards devices that are able to operate within extreme size-, weight-, and power-constrained environments.

  • EncryptionFramework for policymakers to address debate over encryption

    A new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine proposes a framework for evaluating proposals to provide authorized government agencies with access to unencrypted versions of encrypted communications and other data.  The framework is the product of an 18-month study led by a diverse array of leaders from law enforcement, computer science, civil liberties, law, and other disciplines.

  • Secure communicationA quantum leap for quantum communication

    Quantum communication, which ensures absolute data security, is one of the most advanced branches of the “second quantum revolution.” In quantum communication, the participating parties can detect any attempt at eavesdropping by resorting to the fundamental principle of quantum mechanics — a measurement affects the measured quantity. Thus, the mere existence of an eavesdropper can be detected by identifying the traces that his measurements of the communication channel leave behind. The major drawback of quantum communication today is the slow speed of data transfer, which is limited by the speed at which the parties can perform quantum measurements. Researchers have devised a method that overcomes this speed limit, and enables an increase in the rate of data transfer by more than 5 orders of magnitude.

  • EncryptionRecord-breaking efficiency for secure quantum memory storage

    Researchers have broken through a key barrier in quantum memory performance. Their work has enabled the first secure storage and retrieval of quantum bits. The researchers have more than doubled the efficiency of optical qubit storage—from 30 percent to close to 70 percent—making secure storage and retrieval possible. Quantum memory is essential for future quantum networks. The ability to synchronize quantum bits has applications in long-distance quantum communication protocols or computing algorithms. With efficiency at well over 50 percent, quantum storage now enables protocol security.

  • Secure communicationNovel solution to better secure voice over internet communication

    Researchers have developed a novel method to better protect Crypto Phones from eavesdropping and other forms of man-in-the-middle attacks. Crypto Phones consist of smartphone apps, mobile devices, personal computer or web-based Voice over Internet Protocol applications that use end-to-end encryption to ensure that only the user and the person they are communicating with can read what is sent. In order to secure what is being communicated, Crypto Phones require users to perform authentication tasks.

  • CybersecurityMaking network-connected systems less vulnerable

    The rise of network-connected systems that are becoming embedded seemingly everywhere–from industrial control systems to aircraft avionics–is opening up a host of rich technical capabilities in deployed systems. Even so, as the collective technology project underlying this massive deployment of connectivity unfolds, more consumer, industrial, and military players are turning to inexpensive, commodity off-the-shelf (COTS) devices with general-purpose designs applicable for a range of functionalities and deployment options. While less costly and more flexible, commodity components are inherently less secure than the single-purpose, custom devices they are replacing. DARPA says it trains its sights on the expansive attack surface of commodity off-the-shelf devices.

  • EncryptionDeveloping a secure, un-hackable net for quantum devices

    To date, communicating via quantum networks has only been possible between two devices of known provenance that have been built securely. With the EU and the United Kingdom committing €1 billion and £270 million, respectively, into funding quantum technology research, a race is on to develop the first truly secure, large-scale network between cities that works for any quantum device.

  • EncryptionWhy do we need to know about prime numbers with millions of digits?

    By Ittay Weiss

    Prime numbers are more than just numbers that can only be divided by themselves and one. They are a mathematical mystery, the secrets of which mathematicians have been trying to uncover ever since Euclid proved that they have no end. An ongoing project – the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search – which aims to discover more and more primes of a particularly rare kind, has recently resulted in the discovery of the largest prime number known to date. Stretching to 23,249,425 digits, it is so large that it would easily fill 9,000 book pages. You may be wondering, if the number stretches to more than 23m digits, why we need to know about it? We need to know about the properties of different numbers so that we can not only keep developing the technology we rely on, but also keep it secure. But whether or not huge prime numbers, such as the 50th known Mersenne prime with its millions of digits, will ever be found useful is an irrelevant question. The merit of knowing these numbers lies in quenching the human race’s intellectual thirst that started with Euclid’s proof of the infinitude of primes and still goes on today.

  • EncryptionQuantum speed limit may put brakes on quantum computers

    By Sebastian Deffner

    Over the past five decades, standard computer processors have gotten increasingly faster. In recent years, however, the limits to that technology have become clear: Chip components can only get so small, and be packed only so closely together, before they overlap or short-circuit. If companies are to continue building ever-faster computers, something will need to change. One key hope for the future of increasingly fast computing is my own field, quantum physics. Quantum computers are expected to be much faster than anything the information age has developed so far. But my recent research has revealed that quantum computers will have limits of their own – and has suggested ways to figure out what those limits are.

  • Digital securityProof of randomness for stronger future digital security

    Nearly all secure online traffic — from shopping to banking to communications — relies on a technique of randomly generating a number that serves as a key to unlock encrypted communication. The problem is that small programming errors can make these systems vulnerable, and those vulnerabilities can often be very difficult to detect. In an effort to block emerging threats to online security, researchers have developed a method to verify the strength of random number generators that form the basis of most encryption systems.

  • CybersecurityNanomaterials’ cryptographic potential may be ultimate defense against hackers

    The next generation of electronic hardware security may be at hand as researchers introduce a new class of unclonable cybersecurity security primitives made of a low-cost nanomaterial with the highest possible level of structural randomness. Randomness is highly desirable for constructing the security primitives that encrypt and thereby secure computer hardware and data physically, rather than by programming.

  • EncryptionHigh-speed quantum encryption may secure the future internet

    Recent advances in quantum computers may soon give hackers access to machines powerful enough to crack even the toughest of standard internet security codes. With these codes broken, all of our online data—from medical records to bank transactions—could be vulnerable to attack. To fight back against the future threat, researchers are wielding the same strange properties that drive quantum computers to create theoretically hack-proof forms of quantum data encryption.