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Cryptography: Security engineers announce Project Wycheproof

posted onDecember 21, 2016
by l33tdawg

“Many of the algorithms used in cryptography for encryption, decryption, and authentication are complicated, especially when asymmetric, public key cryptography is being used," said Peter Bright on Monday in Ars Technica. "Over the years, these complexities have resulted in a wide range of bugs in real crypto libraries and the software that uses them."

Bright was giving us a bigger picture view in light of the good news from Google. On Monday Google announced the release of Project Wycheproof. This should ease some pain.

The best messaging apps with end-to-end encryption

posted onNovember 11, 2016
by l33tdawg

There is a growing desire to keep one’s messages private. Some users are concerned about hackers, or worry about foreign or domestic government surveillance, but most people just agree with the general principle that what you say in your chat conversations ought to stay between you and the people you chat with.

Google’s Neural Networks Invent Their Own Encryption

posted onOctober 27, 2016
by l33tdawg

Computers are keeping secrets. A team from Google Brain, Google’s deep learning project, has shown that machines can learn how to protect their messages from prying eyes.

Researchers Martín Abadi and David Andersen demonstrate that neural networks, or “neural nets” – computing systems that are loosely based on artificial neurons – can work out how to use a simple encryption technique.

Facebook Messenger turns on promised end-to-end chat encryption

posted onOctober 4, 2016
by l33tdawg

Facebook on Tuesday launched end-to-end encryption for all users of its Messenger mobile app, though the option isn't on by default, and comes with some other limitations.

"Secret Conversations" must not only be toggled on in the app's Settings, but manually enabled for each new conversation by tapping "Secret" in the top right corner of the "New Message" screen. Encryption can't be applied retroactively, and both the sender and the receiver must have the latest version of Messenger.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Praises Encryption: "Makes the Public Safe”

posted onOctober 3, 2016
by l33tdawg

Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, has publicly endorsed encryption, saying that it’s good for public safety.

During a yearly meeting for the Utah Technology Council in Salt Lake City, Cook said that “Encryption is one of the things that makes the public safe,” and reaffirmed his company’s unequivocal commitment to privacy and device integrity:

Google Compute Engine lets users create their own encryption keys

posted onAugust 7, 2016
by l33tdawg

Until now, anyone using the Google cloud platform, Google Compute Engine, was forced to use encryption keys generated by Google. Clearly this spooked a lot of people, and there have long been calls for users to be granted greater control of security.

Now this is happening -- users are able to provide their own encryption keys. Customer-Supplied Encryption Key (CSEK) are used to provide a second layer of security, on top of the Google-generated keys that are used by default.

Facebook starts testing “Secret Conversations” encryption for Messenger

posted onAugust 2, 2016
by l33tdawg

Earlier this month, Facebook announced plans to offer end-to-end encryption in Messenger by the end of the summer. Now the company is starting to roll out the new feature, called Secret Conversations, to some people.

Android Police received several screenshots of the new feature, though it doesn’t seem to actually work yet. It’s also unclear if Facebook is only releasing Secret Conversations to beta testers at this point or offering it to some regular users as an A/B test.

Meet Moxie Marlinspike, the Anarchist Bringing Encryption to All of Us

posted onJuly 31, 2016
by l33tdawg

On the first day of the sprawling RSA security industry conference in San Francisco, a giant screen covering the wall of the Moscone Center’s cavernous lobby cycles through the names and headshots of keynote speakers: steely-eyed National Security Agency director Michael Rogers in a crisp military uniform; bearded and besuited Whitfield Diffie and Ron Rivest, legendary inventors of seminal encryption protocols that made the Internet safe for communication and commerce.

Snowden sped up sophistication of crypto, “it’s not a good thing”

posted onApril 26, 2016
by l33tdawg

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Monday that the Snowden revelations have sped up the sophistication of encryption by "about seven years," according to the Christian Science Monitor.

"From our standpoint, it’s not a good thing," Clapper reportedly said at CSM's breakfast event. When asked how he came up with that figure, he cited the National Security Agency.

Encryption backdoors: The brief history of an oxymoron

posted onApril 15, 2016
by l33tdawg

Over the past year, we’ve heard politicians the world over discussing the need for governments to be able to bypass encryption. Major Silicon Valley powers like Apple and Google have repeatedly told lawmakers that they can’t be given access to the encrypted services they provide for their users, with or without a warrant, because they don’t have that access themselves – only the user has the encryption key.