Tag: encryption

What Is The NSA’s Big Crypto Breakthrough?

The revelations about US government spying keep coming fast and furious, thanks to Edward Snowden, the former Booz Allen Hamilton contractor who absconded with reams of classified (and highly classified) documents from the National Security Agency. The latest details come courtesy of The Washington Post which on Thursday published documents detailing the so-called “Black Budget” – government spending on its intelligence services including the CIA and NSA – over the last nine years, including the $52 billion spent in 2013. The documents give the most detailed accounting to date on U.S. government spending on intelligence in the post September 11 world and contain quite a few surprises. Among them: proof that the CIA receives far more money than does the NSA. But it is Uncle Sam’s work on cryptanalysis  that has attracted a lot of attention from computer security and privacy experts. First, the Black Budget reveals that the NSA […]

ToR

Is Jump In ToR Use Blowback From PRISM?

It’s ironic that government surveillance might push the public to embrace technology pioneered by the Department of Defense. But so it is: new metrics from The Tor Project show that use of the online anonymity service has exploded since early June: up more than 100 percent, from just over 500,000 global users to more than 1.2 million. Why the sudden surge in privacy conscious Internet users? It would be easy to connect the dots between revelations about the U.S. government’s omnibus data gathering program PRISM and the sudden desire of Internet users to sacrifice some speed and performance for the privilege of having their online doings passed through The Onion Router. Still, it’s not clear that this is the case. To be sure: growth is being seen across the board, not just in active users, but in the number of ToR clients running, the data suggests. There are steep increases […]

SANS’ Pescatore: Security Needs Rethink For Internet Of Things

Our friends over at InfoSecurity Magazine have an interesting interview with SANS’ Director of Emerging Security Trends John Pescatore about security and The Internet of Things. Pescatore gets a somewhat skeptical hearing from the enterprise-focused IT security publication. (“Granted, it’s unlikely that anyone would be sending a car an email with a malicious executable, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t threat vectors for hackers to exploit,” InfoSecurity opines, by way of an introduction. Oh really?) But Pescatore brings a “deep field” view to this topic, noting that the security issues around IoT are already upon us in the spent almost two decades as Gartner’s Obi-Wan Kenobi for security, where he advised companies and technology vendors on the best way to navigate the shifting sands of the IT security space. Speaking to InfoSecurity, Pescatore says the 100,000 foot message is: ‘let’s learn from our mistakes.’ Specifically, that means not looking at intelligent devices, including […]

Updated – Hackout: Philips Smart Lightbulbs Go Dark In Remote Attack

Add lightbulbs to the list of everyday technology that is 1) Internet connected and 2) vulnerable to crippling remote attacks.* Writing on Tuesday, security researcher Nitesh Dhanjani disclosed a proof of concept hack against HUE lightbulbs, a brand of wi-fi enabled bulbs manufactured by the firm Philips. The vulnerability discovered by Dhanjani allows a remote attacker to use her mobile device to control HUE. HUE wi-fi enabled bulbs are sold at Apple stores and allow users to control the function and color of the bulbs using iPhone and Android mobile apps. Dhanjani published his findings in a paper, “Hacking Lightbulbs,” which calls the HUE system of bulbs and a wireless bridge “wonderfully innovative,” but also prone to hacking. The most serious flaw discovered would allow a remote attacker to impersonate a white-listed (or “allowed”) mobile device, sending commands to HUE bulbs that could cause them to turn off or manipulate […]

Anonymous Email Services Shutter In Wake Of Snowden

Podcast: Play in new window | Download () | EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS | https://www.securityledger.com/subscribeFaced with the prospect of being forced to turn over metadata from their customers’ private correspondence to secret courts in the U.S. or other countries, two prominent secure e-mail services decided this week to cease operation. The secure email service Lavabit – lately the choice of NSA leaker Edward Snowden – announced that it was ceasing operations on Thursday after ten years of operation. The announcement was followed, on Friday, by a similar one from the security firm Silent Circle, which operated Silent Mail. Both companies cited the difficulty of securing e-mail communications and the prospect of secret government subpoenas to obtain information on the activities of their customers as the reason for deciding to stop offering secure email services. In a message posted […]