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February 2015

What President Obama is getting wrong about encryption

President Obama tried to walk a very fine line on encryption, the technology that secures much of the communications that occur online, during his recent visit to Silicon Valley — saying that he is a supporter of “strong encryption,” but also understands law enforcement’s desire to access data. “I lean probably further in the direction of strong encryption than some do inside of law enforcement,” Obama said during an interview with tech news …Read More

Hacker ring stole $1B from banks in 30 countries, says report

A hacking ring has stolen up to $1 billion from banks around the world in what would be one of the biggest banking breaches known, a cybersecurity firm says in a report scheduled to be delivered Monday. The hackers have been active since at least the end of 2013 and infiltrated more than 100 banks in 30 countries, including four in Canada, according to Russian security company Kaspersky Lab. After …Read More

The Great SIM Heist: How Spies Stole the Keys to the Encryption Castle

American and British spies hacked into the internal computer network of the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, stealing encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications across the globe, according to top-secret documents provided to The Intercept by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. The hack was perpetrated by a joint unit consisting of operatives from the NSA and its British counterpart Government Communications Headquarters, …Read More

BSI TR-03110 Technical Guideline Advanced Security Mechanisms for Machine Readable Travel Documents and eIDAS Token

The BSI TR-03110 specifies security mechanisms for Machine Readable Travel Documents and eIDAS token. In particular, this specification is the technical basis for the German ID card (Personalausweis) and the German Residence Permit as well as for European Passports and Driving Licenses, but also provides additional mechanisms. Read article: https://www.bsi.bund.de/EN/Publications/TechnicalGuidelines/TR03110/BSITR03110.html

Zimmermann slams Cameron’s ‘absurd’ plans for crypto ban

Crypto pioneer Phil Zimmermann has labelled UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s anti-encryption plans as “absurd”. Zimmermann, creator of the PGP email privacy package, countered Cameron’s argument that encryption is creating a means for terrorists and child abusers to communicate in private, arguing instead that intelligence agencies such as GCHQ and the NSA have “never had it so good”. Strong encryption technology is one of the few success stories in online …Read More

FBI: Businesses Lost $215M to Email Scams

It’s time once again to update my Value of a Hacked Email Account graphic: According to a recent alert from the FBI, cyber thieves stole nearly $215 million from businesses in the last 14 months using a scam that starts when business executives or employees have their email accounts hijacked. Federal investigators say the so-called “business email compromise” (BEC) swindle is a sophisticated and increasingly common scam targeting businesses working with foreign suppliers and/or businesses …Read More

The Second Crypto War and the Future of the Internet

In the early 1990s, the first Crypto War began. With the release of the programmer Phil Zimmerman’s PGP (“Pretty Good Privacy”) encryption software in 1991, for the first time in history, anyone could encode and exchange a message that no law enforcement agency had the technical ability to intercept and decode. Fearing that criminals would be able to hide their communications, the reaction of governments worldwide was swift. Read article: …Read More

FIDO Alliance Appoints New Leadership For 2015

The Fast Identification Online (FIDO) Alliance announced today the results of its annual officer election. Dustin Ingalls of Microsoft has been appointed as the consortium’s new presidents while Brett McDowell has been elected to the position of FIDO’s first executive director. Outgoing FIDO president Michael Barrett is being honored as chairman emeritus. Along with those two major changes, a number of officers have been re-elected to the positions they held …Read More