Edward Snowden–endorsed cloud storage provider SpiderOak has added an additional safeguard to ensure that its users' data doesn't fall into the hands of law enforcement without their knowledge, in the form of a "warrant canary."
The term takes its inspiration from the practice of bringing actual canaries into coal mines that could potentially be filled with invisible noxious gases. If the bird drops off its perch, you know something's wrong.
There's a general trade-off between usability and security. It's an old phenomenon, going back well before the computer age. General Benjamin W. Chidlaw, while commander in chief of the joint service Continental Air Defense Command (part of what eventually became NORAD) in 1954, put it this way:
Simply put, it is possible to have convenience if you want to tolerate insecurity, but if you want security, you must be prepared for inconvenience."
Ever find yourself on a phone call or in a meeting where you realize people are speaking, but you don’t actually know what they’re talking about?
In this case, it’s not them, it’s you.
Wired is out with a major cover story this morning featuring former NSA contractor Edward Snowden clutching a giant American flag. In it, Snowden uncovers knowledge about an NSA program known as MonsterMind, which, if true, could signal a big step in how the U.S. government traces cyberattacks back to their source.
MonsterMind can reportedly analyze incoming malware and block it, according to Wired. But the real power lies in MonsterMind's other capability: It's reportedly capable of hacking back at targets automatically:
It looks like Modzero has helped BlackBerry discover a vulnerability in the way BlackBerry 10 implements file sharing over Wi-Fi.
Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could potentially result in an attacker gaining the ability to read, write, or modify data on the device. In order to exploit this vulnerability, an attacker must connect to an affected BlackBerry smartphone’s file sharing service.