• New cryptographic techniques based on hard mathematical problems

    Cryptographic methods are typically created following the ad-hoc principle: somebody comes up with an algorithm; others attempt to break it — if they do not succeed, it means that the algorithm is secure. researchers develop new cryptographic algorithms that are based on particularly hard mathematical problems. They would be virtually unbreakable.

  • Sen. Wyden said he would filibuster efforts to mandate back doors

    Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), a critic of the NSA domestic spying programs, said he would filibuster any attempt by fellow lawmakers to require U.S. technology companies to weaken the encryption systems with which they equip their devices. Referring to Apple fight against a court order requiring the company to relax the encryption of iPhone used by the two San Bernardino terrorists, Wyden said that consumers were asking: “Are these for the privacy rights of the dead terrorist?”

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  • FBI cracks terrorists’ iPhone without Apple's help

    The Justice Department on Monday asked a court to withdraw the government’s request that the court order Apple to help the FBI gain access to the encrypted iPhone used by the San Bernardino terrorists. The Justice Department filed the request after the FBI had successfully accessed data stored on an encrypted iPhone. The FBI wanted the court to compel Apple to relax the 10-attempt limit, which is part of the encryption system which comes with the device. If there are more than ten attempts to guess the password, the phone locks forever and all the data on it is wiped out. The FBI argued that its computers, using brute-force, would be able to break the phone’s password, but that it would take more than ten attempts.

  • FBI may be able to break into San Bernardino terrorist’s phone without Apple’s help

    Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym has postponed until 5 April a court hearing about the FBI’s request that the court would order Apple to unlock the phone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists. The FBI asked the judge to postpone the hearing after the agency said it may have found a way to unlock the phone without Apple’s help.

  • Hackers could decrypt iMessage photos, videos

    A team of researchers has poked a hole in Apple’s iMessage encryption software. The bug would enable a skilled hacker to decrypt photos and videos sent as secure instant messages. The details of the vulnerability will be published after Apple has issued an update that corrects the flaw.

  • Secure, user-controlled data

    Most people with smartphones use a range of applications that collect personal information and store it on Internet-connected servers — and from their desktop or laptop computers, they connect to Web services that do the same. Some use still other Internet-connected devices, such as thermostats or fitness monitors, that also store personal data online. Generally, users have no idea which data items their apps are collecting, where they’re stored, and whether they’re stored securely. Cryptographic system would allow users to decide which applications access which aspects of their data.

  • WhatsApp to add encryption to voice chats

    Reports say that WhatsApp is planning to add encrypted video chats to its app in order to make it impossible for, so that nobody could snoop on its users. Adding encrypted voice chats will mean that all of the messages that pass through WhatsApp will be secure. Text messages are already encrypted.

  • Snowden dismisses FBI's claim it cannot unlock San Bernardino killers’ iPhone

    Edward Snowden has joined the debate over the FBI’s attempt to force Apple to help it unlock the iPhone 5C used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists. The FBI says that only Apple can deactivate certain passcode protections on the iPhone — for example, the 10-attempt limit, which makes the phone permanently inaccessible after ten attempts to guess the password —which would allow law enforcement to guess the passcode by using brute-force.

  • Calif. terrorists’ iPhone may have been used to introduce malware into data networks: DA

    San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos has advanced what experts describe as an unusual reason for forcing Apple to allow the FBI to break the password of the iPhone used by the two terrorists as part of the agency’s investigation of the attack. Ramos says the phone might have been “used as a weapon” to introduce malicious software to county computer systems.

  • French law would penalize encrypted phone makers who refuse to help police probes

    French lawmakers on Thursday voted for a measure which would impose penalties on manufacturers of smartphone who refuse to cooperate with law enforcement in inquiries of terrorism cases. The measure stipulates that a private manufacturer of smartphones, which refuses to hand over encrypted data to an investigating authority, would face up to five years in jail and a 350,000 euro ($380,000) fine.

  • Three “twisted” photons in 3 dimensions for quantum encryption

    Researchers have achieved a new milestone in quantum physics: they were able to entangle three particles of light in a high-dimensional quantum property related to the “twist” of their wave-front structure. Multi-photon entangled states such as these have applications ranging from quantum computing to quantum encryption. Along these lines, the authors of this study have developed a new type of quantum cryptographic protocol using their state that allows different layers of information to be shared asymmetrically among multiple parties with unconditional security.

  • FBI cannot force Apple to unlock iPhone in drug case: Judge

    Magistrate Judge James Orenstein in Brooklyn on Monday ruled that the U.S. government cannot force Apple to unlock an iPhone in a New York drug case. The ruling strengthens the company’s arguments in its landmark legal confrontation with the Justice Department over encryption and privacy. The government sought access to the drug dealer’s phone months before a California judge ordered Apple to give access to the San Bernardino terrorist’s handset.

  • Do-it-yourself encryption

    Sending e-mails is easy. However, until now a lot of know-how has been required to securely encrypt them. This is bound to change: Deutsche Telekom and the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology (SIT) in Darmstadt will be making encryption easy — with a popular encryption named Volksverschlüsselung. The Volksverschlüsselung software provides the required keys and configures the existing e-mail programs for the users to be able to encrypt and decrypt.

  • More Americans support Justice Dept. than Apple in locked iPhone dispute

    As the standoff between the Department of Justice and Apple Inc. continues over an iPhone used by one of the suspects in the San Bernardino terrorist attacks, 51 percent say Apple should unlock the iPhone to assist the ongoing FBI investigation. Fewer Americans (38 percent) say Apple should not unlock the phone to ensure the security of its other users’ information; 11 percent do not offer an opinion on the question.

  • Passwords, privacy and protection: can Apple meet FBI’s demand without creating a ‘backdoor’?

    The point of encryption is to make decryption hard. However, hard does not mean impossible. The FBI could decrypt this data, with sufficient effort and computational power, and they could do this with no help from Apple. However, this route would be expensive, and would take some time. In effect, what they’re requesting of Apple is to make their job easier, cheaper and faster. Ultimately, how this matter gets resolved may depend more on the big-picture question of what privacy rights we as a society want for the data we record on our personal devices. Understanding the technical questions can inform this discussion.