Archive for the ‘backdoors’ Category

Yahoo exec goes mano a mano with NSA director over crypto backdoors

February 24th, 2015

Echoing the concerns of many US-based technology companies have about US-led surveillance programs, Yahoo Chief Information Security Officer Alex Stamos asked the director of the National Security Agency some pointed questions concerning proposed or existing backdoors placed in encryption technologies. The responses from NSA director Adm. Mike Rogers only underscored the growing divide.

The frank exchange occurred Monday at the Cybersecurity for a New America conference in Washington DC. It came 17 months after materials leaked by former NSA subcontractor Edward Snowden documented NSA-engineered backdoors were built into widely used cryptography technologies so that government agents could decrypt communications. Critics have since warned that the policy could backfire on US citizens, since backdoors can be exploited by governments of a variety of counties. Rogers clearly disagreed, but his denials were notable for a lack of technical detail.

What follows is an excerpt of the exchange, as first provided by website Just Security:

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Posted in backdoors, cryptography, encryption, Law & Disorder, NSA, Risk Assessment, Surveillance, Technology Lab | Comments (0)

Obama hedges position on encryption. It’s good. It’s bad.

February 17th, 2015

President Barack Obama is making his position on encryption known: he is a supporter and "believer in strong encryption" but also "sympathetic" to law enforcement's needs to prevent terror attacks.

"I think the only concern is... our law enforcement is expected to stop every plot. Every attack. Any bomb on a plane. The first time that attack takes place, where it turns out we had a lead and couldn't follow up on it, the public's going to demand answers. This is a public conversation that we should be having," Obama said in a Friday interview with Re/Code. "I lean probably further in the direction of strong encryption than some do inside law enforcement. But I am sympathetic to law enforcement, because I know the kind of pressure they're under to keep us safe. And it's not as black and white as it's sometimes portrayed. Now, in fairness, I think those in favor of air tight encryption also want to be protected from terrorists."

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Posted in apple, backdoors, Barack Obama, data encryption, FBI, google, Justice Department, Law & Disorder | Comments (0)

Threatpost News Wrap, January 23, 2015

January 23rd, 2015
Dennis Fisher and Mike Mimoso talk about all of the zero days that were dropped this week on Adobe and Apple, the Oracle backdoor drama and the upcoming Kaspersky Security Analyst Summit in Cancun. Then, Dennis calls Brian Donohue to talk about the wonders of the Blackhat movie and Brian's dog makes a special appearance, too!

Posted in adobe, apple, backdoors, blackhat, Dennis Fisher, Kaspersky, malware, Mike Mimoso, oracle, Podcasts, Threatpost News Wrap, vulnerabilities, zero days | Comments (0)

UK prime minister wants backdoors into messaging apps or he’ll ban them

January 12th, 2015

David Cameron, the British Prime minister, is one-upping his Western allies when it comes to anti-encryption propaganda. Ahead of national elections in May, Cameron said that if re-elected, he would seek to ban encrypted online messaging apps unless the UK government is given backdoors.

"Are we going to allow a means of communications which it simply isn't possible to read?" Cameron said Monday while campaigning, in reference to apps such as WhatsApp, Snapchat, and other encrypted services. "My answer to that question is: 'No, we must not.'"

He said the Paris attacks, including the one last week on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, underscored the need for greater access.

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Posted in backdoors, Edward Snowden, encryption, FBI, Law & Disorder, snapchat, WhatsApp | Comments (0)

Schneier: Strategies for Designing and Defending Against Backdoors

October 16th, 2013
Schneier: Strategies for Designing and Defending Against Backdoors
What the NSA wants is to be able to read encrypted information in as close to real-time as possible. It wants backdoors, just like the cybercriminals and less benevolent governments do. And we have to figure out how to make ...

Posted in backdoors, Cybersecurity, NSA, Surveillance | Comments (0)

NSA Revelations Cast Doubt on the Entire Tech Industry

September 7th, 2013
NSA Revelations Cast Doubt on the Entire Tech Industry
Six years ago, two Microsoft cryptography researchers discovered some weirdness in an obscure cryptography standard authored by staffers at the National Security Agency. There was a bug in a government-standard random number generator that could be used to encrypt data. ...

Posted in backdoors, Coverups, Crypto, Cyber Warfare, Edward Snowden, encryption, Hacks and Cracks, National Security, NSA, privacy, Surveillance | Comments (0)

The Coming Standoff Between Tech Companies and Government

August 29th, 2013
The Coming Standoff Between Tech Companies and Government
Given X-Keyscore was a program primarily designed to intercept unencrypted internet traffic, you could be forgiven for interpreting Facebook's post as a middle finger pointed in NSA's direction. This heralds a looming standoff between technology companies like Apple, Facebook, and ...

Posted in backdoors, NSA, PRISM, Surveillance, wiretapping, wiretaps | Comments (0)