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12 posts tagged with security and encryption. (View popular tags)
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EnCrypt Lock and Buy It

A recent strain of malware called Cryptolocker (technical description from BleepingComputer) has been infecting computers across the Internet. It's of the Ransomware (wiki) genre of attack, and searches a computer's drive for critical files by browsing their extensions (for example, focusing on word processing documents, images and music) and encrypts them with its own key that you can then buy back from the hacker for a fee of $100 to $300 dollars payable in Bitcoins. More information about the virus and how to avoid it is available at Krebs On Security, and the Malwarebytes Blog, with more recent developments on Naked Security.
posted by codacorolla on Nov 7, 2013 - 177 comments

NSA may have secretly made major mathematics breakthrough

If the NSA is able to break through banks' computer security, does that mean it solved the prime factorization problem? The New York Times reported recently that “the agency has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption, or digital scrambling, that guards global commerce and banking systems.” Since banks' encryption codes rely on the fact that nobody knows how to find the prime factors of really large numbers, it could mean that the NSA has found a way to do that. Or it could mean that the NSA has simply gotten lots of banks to give up their information, or found other ways around their encryption. But if they've cracked this long-standing math problem, might the secret leak? What would be the effects?
posted by Sleeper on Sep 12, 2013 - 60 comments

Shhhhhhh …..

Silent Circle, a security start-up led by PGP creator Phil Zimmermann and two ex-Navy SEALs, has been teasing technology that purports to make mobile communications "virtually invulnerable to surveillance efforts" for a few months (previously). Now, they're pushing a "groundbreaking encrypted data transfer app that will enable people to send files securely from a smartphone or tablet at the touch of a button." The company has pledged not to comply with law enforcement surveillance requests, nor to provide backdoor access for the FBI.
posted by jbickers on Feb 5, 2013 - 49 comments

The Brief - A daily briefing of technology news worth caring about

NASA will send you an email or text alert when the International Space Station is visible from your area. IBM scientists have recently made significant advances in nanotechnology. A mathematician thought a poorly-encrypted headhunting email from Google was testing him, but he had actually discovered a major security hole. All of this found via The Brief: A Daily Briefing of Technology News Worth Caring About from MeFi's own nostrich. [via mefi projects]
posted by davidjmcgee on Nov 9, 2012 - 15 comments

"...nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself..."

Public interests will be harmed absent requiring defendants to make available unencrypted contents in circumstances like these. Failing to compel Ms. Fricosu amounts to a concession to her and potential criminals (be it in child exploitation, national security, terrorism, financial crimes or drug trafficking cases) that encrypting all inculpatory digital evidence will serve to defeat the efforts of law enforcement officers to obtain such evidence through judicially authorized search warrants, and thus make their prosecution impossible.

The "if you were innocent, you'd have nothing to hide" argument rears its head, in a big way. [more inside]
posted by fifthrider on Jul 11, 2011 - 215 comments

Needle program exchange

The Haystack application aims to use steganography to hide samizdat-type data within a larger stream of innocuous network traffic. Thus, civilians in Iran, for example, could more easily evade Iranian censors and provide the world with an unfiltered report on events within the country. Haystack earned its creator Austin Heap a great deal of positive coverage from the media during the 2009 Iranian election protests. The BBC described Heap as "on the front lines" of the protesters' "Twitter revolution", while The Guardian called him an Innovator of the Year. Despite the laudatory coverage, however, the media were never given a copy of the software to examine. Indeed, not much is known about the software or its inner workings. Specialists in network encryption security were not allowed to perform an independent evaluation of Haystack, despite its distribution to and use by a small number of Iranians, possibly at some risk. As interest in the project widens and criticisms of the media coverage and software continue to mount, Heap has currently asked users to cease using Haystack until a security review can be performed.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 13, 2010 - 31 comments

Position-based quantum cryptography theoretically proved

Our results open a fascinating new direction for position-based security in cryptography where security of protocols is solely based on the laws of physics and proofs of security do not require any pre-existing infrastructure.
posted by Joe Beese on Aug 8, 2010 - 47 comments

The dry, technical language of Microsoft's October update did not indicate anything particularly untoward.

Its reach is impossible to measure precisely, but more than 3 million vulnerable machines may ultimately have been infected. : The inside story on the Conficker Worm at New Scientist.
posted by The Whelk on Jun 15, 2009 - 84 comments

Clearly unprotected

Clear passenger data stolen. A unencrypted laptop with the personal data, including name, address, SSi number, passport number, date of birth, etc. of every one of the 33,000+ users of the the Clear system has been stolen. The Clear system allows travelers who register and pay an annual fee to bypass airport security lines by using a smart card in some airports. TSA has suspended new registrations until Verified Identity Pass, Inc., a subsidiary of GE, figures out how to install PGP. VIP is the only private contractor allowed to register users to the Clear system. Via
posted by dejah420 on Aug 5, 2008 - 103 comments

Want another ID?

New "Hi - tech" passport cracked. Standards for the new passports were set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in 2003 and adopted by the waiver countries and the US. The UK Home Office has adopted a very high encryption technology called 3DES - that is, to a military-level data-encryption standard times three. However they used non-secret information actually published in the passport to create a 'secret key'. That is the equivalent of installing a solid steel front door to your house and then putting the key under the mat.
posted by adamvasco on Nov 17, 2006 - 53 comments

A Russian security expert has been arrested for showing how easy it is to crack an e-book.

A Russian security expert has been arrested for showing how easy it is to crack an e-book. All hail the DMCA! Some information is just Too Dangerous to be Revealed! (See also wildly detailed coverage, including the affidavit, from Planet eBook.)
posted by davidchess on Jul 18, 2001 - 6 comments

European Parliament says Echelon exists

European Parliament says Echelon exists and is more or less powerless to stop it. All the more reason for government and industry to create encryption standards.
posted by skallas on Jul 4, 2001 - 6 comments

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