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Month: October 2015

Oracle hardwires encryption and SQL hastening algorithms into Sparc M7 silicon

Oracle hardwires encryption and SQL hastening algorithms into Sparc M7 silicon

Oracle execs used the final keynote of this week’s OpenWorld to praise their Sparc M7 processor’s ability to accelerate encryption and some SQL queries in hardware. On Wednesday, John Fowler, veep of systems at Oracle, said the M7 microprocessor and its builtin coprocessors that speed up crypto algorithms and database requests stood apart from the generic Intel x86 servers swelling today’s data center racks. “I don’t believe that the million-server data center powered by a hydroelectric dam is the scalable…

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Biometric data becomes the encryption key in Fujitsu system

Biometric data becomes the encryption key in Fujitsu system

Fujitsu says it has developed software that uses biometric data directly as the basis for encryption and decryption of data, simplifying and strengthening security systems that rely on biometrics such as fingerprints, retina scans and palm vein scans. Current security systems that rely on encryption require the management of encryption keys, which are stored on secure smartcards or directly on PCs. Biometric scans can be used as a way of authenticating the user and providing access to those encryption keys…

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Tech Companies and Civil Liberties Groups Force Obama To Weigh In On Encryption Debate

Tech Companies and Civil Liberties Groups Force Obama To Weigh In On Encryption Debate

President Obama will now be forced to publicly describe the extent of his commitment to protecting strong encryption, after nearly 50 major technology companies, human rights groups, and civil liberties collectives—including Twitter, the ACLU, and Reddit — succeeded in getting over 100,000 signatures on a White House petition on Tuesday. The government’s “We the People” platform, created in 2011, was designed as “a clear and easy way for the American people to petition their government.” Once a petition gains 100,000…

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Your self-encrypting hard drive isn’t nearly as secure as you thought

Your self-encrypting hard drive isn’t nearly as secure as you thought

If you want to keep your information away from hackers and snoops, whether it’s your Internet use, email, hard drive data or your backup, the best thing you can do is use encryption. Encryption scrambles your data and, in theory, the only way to unscramble it is to know the password. That’s why choosing a strong password no one can guess is important. This is also what makes a ransomware virus that encrypts your files so dangerous. Without paying for…

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Western Digital’s hard drive encryption is useless. Totally useless

Western Digital’s hard drive encryption is useless. Totally useless

The encryption systems used in Western Digital’s portable hard drives are pretty pointless, according to new research. WD’s My Passport boxes automatically encrypt data as it is written to disk and decrypt the data as it is read back to the computer. The devices use 256-bit AES encryption, and can be password-protected: giving the correct password enables the data to be successfully accessed. Now, a trio of infosec folks – Gunnar Alendal, Christian Kison and “modg” – have tried out…

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NSA, Apple Chiefs Decode Encryption Views

NSA, Apple Chiefs Decode Encryption Views

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif.—The heads of the National Security Agency and the world’s most valuable company appeared to try to make nice Monday night over their contrasting views on encryption—to a point. NSA Director Adm. Michael Rogers and Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook, appearing at The Wall Street Journal’s technology conference, WSJDLive, spoke in broad terms about encryption in back-to-back interviews. Asked about efforts by Apple and other tech firms to build products that protect user data and communications from…

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The NSA may have been able to crack so much encryption thanks to a simple mistake

The NSA may have been able to crack so much encryption thanks to a simple mistake

The NSA could have gained a significant amount of its access to the world’s encrypted communications thanks to the high-tech version of reusing passwords, according to a report from two US academics. Computer scientists J Alex Halderman and Nadia Heninger argue that a common mistake made with a regularly used encryption protocol leaves much encrypted traffic open to eavesdropping from a well-resourced and determined attacker such as the US national security agency. The information about the NSA leaked by Edward…

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The next steps for the White House on encryption

The next steps for the White House on encryption

THE OBAMA administration’s decision not to seek legislation requiring technology companies to give law enforcement access to encrypted communications on smartphones has a certain logic. In this age of hacking and cyberintrusion, encryption can keep most people safer. But the decision also carries risks. Encryption can give a tiny band of criminals and terrorists a safe haven. The United States must now make the most of the useful side of encryption, but without losing sight of the risks. FBI Director…

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Aadhaar encryption protects privacy, will take eons to crack

Aadhaar encryption protects privacy, will take eons to crack

The Aadhaar system’s data collection and storage is strongly protected by sophisticated encryption processes to ensure biometric data does not leak either through private contractors running enrollment centres or at the central data servers that store the details. The unique identity authority of India’s processes are intended to allay fears that biometric data collected by private contractors might be vulnerable to falling in unauthorized hands as the biometric detail is encrypted using the highest available public key cryptography encryption. Even…

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Encrypted Smartphones Challenge Investigators

Encrypted Smartphones Challenge Investigators

Law-enforcement officials are running up against a new hurdle in their investigations: the encrypted smartphone. Officials say they have been unable to unlock the phones of two homicide victims in recent months, hindering their ability to learn whom those victims contacted in their final hours. Even more common, say prosecutors from New York, Boston and elsewhere, are locked phones owned by suspects, who refuse to turn over passcodes. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance says his office had 101 iPhones that…

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