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Iran blocks encrypted messaging apps amid nationwide protests

Iran blocks encrypted messaging apps amid nationwide protests

For the past six days, citizens have taken to the streets across Iran, protesting government oppression and the rising cost of goods. Video broadcasts from the country have shown increasingly intense clashes between protesters and riot police, with as many as 21 people estimated to have died since the protests began. But a complex fight is also raging online, as protesters look for secure channels where they can organize free of government interference. Even before the protest, Iran’s government blocked…

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Bitcoin Exchange Has Been Forced to Close After Second Cyber-Attack

Bitcoin Exchange Has Been Forced to Close After Second Cyber-Attack

A South Korean Bitcoin exchange has been forced to close after suffering another major cyber-attack. Youbit claimed it was “very sorry” but has filed for bankruptcy after it suffered the cyber-attack, less than eight months after the first. In a statement in Korean on its homepage the firm said it had lost 17% of its assets in the raid, with all deposits and withdrawals now halted. However, customers will get back the majority of their investments — with the firm…

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It is difficult for the FBI to crack most smartphone encryption

It is difficult for the FBI to crack most smartphone encryption

The FBI is struggling to decode private messages on phones and other mobile devices that could contain key criminal evidence, and the agency failed to access data more than half of the times it tried during the last fiscal year, FBI Director Christopher Wray told House lawmakers. Wray will testify at the House Judiciary Committee Thursday morning on the wide range of issues the FBI faces. One of the issues hurting the FBI, he said, is the ability of criminals…

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Texas Church Shooting: More Calls for Encryption Backdoors

Texas Church Shooting: More Calls for Encryption Backdoors

US Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, has decided to use the recent mass shooting at a Texas church to reiterate calls for encryption backdoors to help law enforcers. The incident took place at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, killing at least 26 people. Deceased suspect Devin Kelley’s mobile phone is now in the hands of investigators, but they can’t access it — a similar situation to the one following the mass shooting in San Bernardino which resulted in…

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Three Defenses to Solve the Problem of Storing Password

Three Defenses to Solve the Problem of Storing Password

One of the biggest concerns around managing the passwords of an organization’s employees lies in how to store those passwords on a computer. Keeping every user’s password in a plain text file, for example, is too risky. Even if there are no bugs to recklessly leak the passwords to the console, there’s little to stop a disgruntled systems administrator taking a peek at the file for pleasure or profit. Another line of defense is needed. Let’s hash it out Back…

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Quantum Computing will not be able to crack Encryption Keys until the 2030s

Quantum Computing will not be able to crack Encryption Keys until the 2030s

In September, Satya Nadella announced that Microsoft is working on a quantum computer (QC) architecture. Since then, Intel also has announced it is working on a QC architecture. Microsoft and Intel join Alibaba, Google, IBM, Tencent and a host of academic and national research labs (including China, the European Commission, Russia and the US) in a quest to build working QC hardware and software that can solve real-world problems. What is quantum computing and why will it make a difference?…

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FBI couldn’t retrieve data from nearly 7000 mobile phones due to encryption

FBI couldn’t retrieve data from nearly 7000 mobile phones due to encryption

The head of the FBI has reignited the debate about technology companies continuing to protect customer privacy despite law enforcement having a search warrant. The FBI says it hasn’t been able to retrieve data from nearly 7000 mobile phones in less than one year, as the US agency turns up the heat on the ongoing debate between tech companies and law enforcement officials. FBI Director Christopher Wray says in the first 11 months of the fiscal year, US federal agents…

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Wi-Fi’s Most Popular Encryption May Have Been Cracked

Wi-Fi’s Most Popular Encryption May Have Been Cracked

Your home Wi-Fi might not be as secure as you think. WPA2 — the de facto standard for Wi-Fi password security worldwide — may have been compromised, with huge ramifications for almost all of the Wi-Fi networks in our homes and businesses as well as for the networking companies that build them. Details are still sketchy as the story develops, but it’s looking like a new method called KRACK — for Key Reinstallation AttaCK — is responsible. WPA stands for…

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North Korean Hackers Blamed for Bitcoin Attacks

North Korean Hackers Blamed for Bitcoin Attacks

North Korean state hackers are increasingly looking to steal crypto-currency to fund the regime and circumvent tightening sanctions, according to FireEye. The security vendor’s ‎senior cyber threat intelligence analyst, Luke McNamara, revealed a spike in spear-phishing attacks targeting South Korean Bitcoin exchanges since May. The timing is important because April saw the US announce increased economic sanctions against North Korea. “The spear-phishing we have observed in these cases often targets personal email accounts of employees at digital currency exchanges, frequently…

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Romanticizing Bugs Will Lead to Death of Information Security

Romanticizing Bugs Will Lead to Death of Information Security

Too much focus on vulnerabilities and their impact is leading information security into a slow death. Speaking in the keynote address at 44CON in London, security researcher Don A. Bailey said that while “we’re getting good at reducing problems and addressing problems, information security is dying a death it has earned.” Focusing on bugs and vulnerabilities, Bailey said that his initial perception of information security was about reducing risk for consumers, but that perception was “so off base as all…

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