• Terrorism & encryptionU.K. police charges man with terrorism over researching, using encryption

    Samata Ullah, a 33-year old Briton, earlier this month was charged in a London court with six counts of terrorism, one of which related to researching and using encryption. Privacy advocates say that a controversial statute under British law criminalizes, in the name of combatting terrorism, actions which, on their own, are perfectly legal.

  • EncryptionChina’s quantum satellite could make data breaches a thing of the past

    By Robert Young

    China recently launched a satellite into orbit with a unique feature: it has the ability to send information securely, not with mathematical encryption but by using the fundamental laws of physics. China will be the first country to achieve this feat, and it marks a milestone in the development of quantum technologies. The next revolution in technology promises to embrace fundamental laws of physics to enable devices to perform operations that are beyond the bounds of current electronics. For practical quantum communications we need devices integrated into our computers and smartphones that exchange data in a similar way to the quantum satellite. These devices are thankfully just around the corner. In a few years we may look back on digital eavesdropping and massive information breaches from databases as a problem buried in the past.

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  • Cybersecurity“Security fatigue” may cause computer users to feel hopeless and act recklessly

    After updating your password for the umpteenth time, have you resorted to using one you know you’ll remember because you’ve used it before? Have you ever given up on an online purchase because you just didn’t feel like creating a new account? If you have done any of those things, it might be the result of “security fatigue.” It exposes online users to risk and costs businesses money in lost customers.

  • EncryptionNIST patented single-photon detector for potential encryption, sensing apps

    Individual photons of light now can be detected far more efficiently using a device patented by a team including NIST, whose scientists have overcome longstanding limitations with one of the most commonly used type of single-photon detectors. Their invention could allow higher rates of transmission of encrypted electronic information and improved detection of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

  • EncryptionNew encryption method improves privacy protection

    VTT Technical Research Center of Finland has developed a new kind of encryption method for improving the privacy protection of consumers to enable safer, more reliable, and easier-to-use user authentication than current systems allow. The method combines safety, usability, and privacy protection — until now, implementing all three at the same time has been a challenge.

  • PasswordsSecure passwords can be sent through the human body, instead of air

    Sending a password or secret code over airborne radio waves like WiFi or Bluetooth means anyone can eavesdrop, making those transmissions vulnerable to hackers who can attempt to break the encrypted code. Now, computer scientists and electrical engineers have devised a way to send secure passwords through the human body — using benign, low-frequency transmissions generated by fingerprint sensors and touchpads on consumer devices.

  • EncryptionNew chip to bring highest level of encryption to mobile devices

    Random number generators are crucial to the encryption that protects our privacy and security when engaging in digital transactions such as buying products online or withdrawing cash from an ATM. For the first time, engineers have developed a fast random number generator based on a quantum mechanical process that could deliver the world’s most secure encryption keys in a package tiny enough to use in a mobile device.

  • EncryptionUnbreakable encrypted messages a step closer

    Until now, unbreakable encrypted messages were transmitted via a system envisioned by American mathematician Claude Shannon, considered the “father of information theory.” Shannon combined his knowledge of algebra and electrical circuitry to come up with a binary system of transmitting messages that are secure, under three conditions: the key is random, used only once, and is at least as long as the message itself. Researchers have now moved beyond the theoretical in demonstrating that an unbreakable encrypted message can be sent with a key that is far shorter than the message — the first time that has ever been done.

  • EncryptionFBI director calls for “adult conversation” on encryption – and the privacy-security balance

    James Comey, the FBI director, has again said that end-to-end encryption on digital devices makes it impossible for his agency to investigate crimes and acts of terrorism— and called for an “adult conversation” with the manufacturers of these devices. Widespread encryption built into smartphones was “making more and more of the room that we are charged to investigate dark,” Comey said at a cybersecurity symposium.

  • EncryptionHouse committee releases encryption report, laying foundation for a national dialogue

    Terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino have sparked a public debate on the use of encryption in the United States because the attackers used encrypted communications to evade detection, a phenomenon known as “going dark.” Earlier this week, the Majority Staff of the House Homeland Security Committee released a new report, titled Going Dark, Going Forward: A Primer on the Encryption Debate. The summarizes the committee’s findings, based on more than 100 meetings and briefings committee staff and members have held with key stakeholders over the past year.

  • Digital forensicsFBI's approach to digital investigations puts security at risk: Expert

    A cybersecurity expert argues that the FBI’s recent and widely publicized efforts to compel Apple Computer to write software to unlock an iPhone used by a terrorist in California reflects an outdated approach to law enforcement that threatens to weaken the security of all smartphones, potentially putting the private information of millions of smartphone users at risk and undermining the growing use of smartphones as trusted authenticators for accessing online information.

  • EncryptionItalian police cannot unlock Bari terrorist iPhone

    The Italian security services have been unable to unlock the Apple iPhone 6 plus of a suspect member of a terrorist ring in the city of Bari. Analysts say the development will likely result in another stand-off between Apple and a government fighting terrorism, similar to the stand-off between Apple and the U.S. government over the iPhone used by the San Bernardino terrorists.

  • CybersecurityDefending encrypted data from quantum computer threat

    If an exotic quantum computer is invented that could break the codes we depend on to protect confidential electronic information, what will we do to maintain our security and privacy? This is the overarching question posed by a new report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), whose cryptography specialists are beginning the long journey toward effective answers.

  • CryptographyLaser technique enables super-fast, super-secure quantum cryptography

    Researchers have developed a new method to overcome one of the main issues in implementing a quantum cryptography system, raising the prospect of a useable “unbreakable” method for sending sensitive information hidden inside particles of light.

  • EncryptionWhatsApp implements end-to-end encryption

    WhatsApp announced on Tuesday that it has implemented complete end-to-end encryption which will protect all text, photo, video, and voice communications from eavesdropping. This means hackers and criminals will be shut out, but so will law enforcement and intelligence services, and even the company itself. This means that the company will not able to comply with court orders to allow law enforcement access to the information stored on the encrypted device. Leaders of law enforcement agencies were quick to criticize WhatsApp’s move for creating “warrant-proof” spaces for criminals and terrorists.