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Month: May 2016

Allo doesn’t offer default end-to-end encryption setting because it would disable Google Assistant

Allo doesn’t offer default end-to-end encryption setting because it would disable Google Assistant

When Google unveiled Allo — their smart messaging app coming soon to Android and iOS — one of the more interesting features they revealed was end-to-end encryption. As we later learned, the technology powering Allo’s end-to-end encryption was built upon Signal Protocol, the same open-source protocol from Open Whisper Systems that WhatsApp currently uses. We’ve known since the announcement that E2E encryption was a feature of Allo’s Incognito mode, but now Ars Technica has confirmed exactly why this is the…

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Google engineer says he’ll push for default end-to-end encryption in Allo

Google engineer says he’ll push for default end-to-end encryption in Allo

After Google’s decision not to provide end-to-end encryption by default in its new chat app, Allo, raised questions about the balance of security and effective artificial intelligence, one of the company’s top security engineers said he’d push for end-to-end encryption to become the default in future versions of Allo. Allo debuted with an option to turn on end-to-end encryption, dubbed “incognito mode.” Google obviously takes security seriously, but had to compromise on strong encryption in Allo in order for its…

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OSGP custom RC4 encryption cracked yet again

OSGP custom RC4 encryption cracked yet again

The Open Smart Grid Protocol’s (OSGP) home-grown RC4 encryption has been cracked once again. The easy-to-break custom RC4 was cracked last year. A year ago, the OSGP Alliance advised that better security would be implemented, but the RC4 still remains according to German researchers Linus Feiten and Matthias Sauer. Feiten and Sauer claim to have the ability to extract the secret key used in the OSGP’s RC4 stream cipher. “Our new method comprises the modification of a known attack exploiting…

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John McAfee claims to have hacked WhatsApp’s encrypted messages, but the real story could be different

John McAfee claims to have hacked WhatsApp’s encrypted messages, but the real story could be different

Last month, WhatsApp enabled end-to-end encryption for its billion users to secure all the communications made between users — be it a group chat, voice calls, personal chats or the photos and videos that are being shared. While WhatsApp says it is difficult even for them to access the conversations, cybersecurity expert John McAfee and his team of four hackers claim to successfully read an encrypted WhatsApp message, Cybersecurity Ventures reports. While it sounds like a bold claim, the real…

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Legal effects of encryption bills discussed at dark web event

Legal effects of encryption bills discussed at dark web event

An attorney who has worked for the U.S. Army and the Central Intelligence Agency discussed attempts to regulate encryption technologies at the Inside Dark Web conference in New York City on Thursday. “State legislative response may be un-Constitutional, because it would place a burden on interstate commerce,” said Blackstone Law Group partner Alexander Urbeis. “So they may, in fact, be a way to encourage the federal government to enact encryption legislation.” Several states, including California, Louisiana, and New York, have…

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American ISIS Recruits Down, but Encryption Is Helping Terrorists’Online Efforts, Says FBI Director

American ISIS Recruits Down, but Encryption Is Helping Terrorists’Online Efforts, Says FBI Director

The number of Americans traveling to the Middle East to fight alongside Islamic State has dropped, but the terrorist group’s efforts to radicalize people online is getting a major boost from encryption technology, FBI Director James Comey said Wednesday. Since August, just one American a month has traveled or attempted to travel to the Middle East to join the group, compared with around six to 10 a month in the preceding year and a half, Mr. Comey told reporters in…

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Users’interest should drive encryption policy: IAMAI

Users’interest should drive encryption policy: IAMAI

Encryption is a fundamental and necessary tool to safeguard digital communication infrastructure but the interests of Internet users should be foremost in framing any policy, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) said here on Tuesday. “Trust, convenience and confidence of users are the keywords to designing an ideal encryption policy that will help in getting more people online with safe and secured internet platforms,” said IAMAI president Subho Ray. The association, which has published a discussion paper on…

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Encryption; Friend of Freedom, Guardian of Privacy

Encryption; Friend of Freedom, Guardian of Privacy

The issue of government access to private encrypted data has been in the public eye since the San Bernardino shootings in December, 2015. When an iPhone was found the FBI requested that Apple write code to override the phone’s security features. The FBI was ultimately able to decrypt the phone without Apple’s assistance. However, the ensuing debate over encryption has just begun. High profile criminal and national security issues serve to shed light on an issue which is pervasive throughout…

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The encryption challenge

The encryption challenge

IT managers know the movies get it wrong. A teenager with a laptop cannot crack multiple layers of encryption — unless that laptop is connected to a supercomputer somewhere and the teenager can afford to wait a few billion years. Encryption works. It works so well that even the government gets stymied, as demonstrated by the lengths to which the FBI went to access an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino, Calif., shooters. So in the face of…

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ON ENCRYPTION: THERE ARE NO LOCKS ONLY “ANGELS” CAN OPEN

ON ENCRYPTION: THERE ARE NO LOCKS ONLY “ANGELS” CAN OPEN

Despite the FBI dropping its case against Apple over whether or not the tech giant should supply the government agency with the ability to hack into the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, the argument over how our devices — especially our phones — should be encrypted continues to rage on. And regardless of how you feel about the issue, almost everybody agrees that the debate can be pretty murky, as privacy vs. protection debates usually are. To make the whole argument…

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