Archive for the ‘encryption’ category: Page 14

Jul 28, 2022

Twin physically unclonable functions (PUFs) based on carbon nanotube arrays to enhance the security of communications

Posted by in categories: computing, encryption, internet, nanotechnology, security

As the amount of data stored in devices and shared over the internet continuously increases, computer scientists worldwide are trying to devise new approaches to secure communications and protect sensitive information. Some of the most well-established and valuable approaches are cryptographic techniques, which essentially encrypt (i.e., transform) data and texts exchanged between two or more parties, so that only senders and receivers can view it in its original form.

Physical unclonable functions (PUFs), devices that exploit “random imperfections” unavoidably introduced during the manufacturing of devices to give physical entities unique “fingerprints” (i.e., trust anchors). In recent years, these devices have proved to be particularly valuable for creating , which are instantly erased as soon as they are used.

Researchers at Peking University and Jihua Laboratory have recently introduced a new system to generate cryptographic primitives, consisting of two identical PUFs based on aligned carbon nanotube (CNT) arrays. This system, introduced in a paper published in Nature Electronics, could help to secure communications more reliably, overcoming some of the vulnerabilities of previously proposed PUF devices.

Jul 20, 2022

The FBI Forced A Suspect To Unlock Amazon’s Encrypted App Wickr With Their Face

Posted by in categories: encryption, government, law enforcement, mobile phones, privacy

In November last year, an undercover agent with the FBI was inside a group on Amazon-owned messaging app Wickr, with a name referencing young girls. The group was devoted to sharing child sexual abuse material (CSAM) within the protection of the encrypted app, which is also used by the U.S. government, journalists and activists for private communications. Encryption makes it almost impossible for law enforcement to intercept messages sent over Wickr, but this agent had found a way to infiltrate the chat, where they could start piecing together who was sharing the material.

As part of the investigation into the members of this Wickr group, the FBI used a previously unreported search warrant method to force one member to unlock the encrypted messaging app using his face. The FBI has previously forced users to unlock an iPhone with Face ID, but this search warrant, obtained by Forbes, represents the first known public record of a U.S. law enforcement agency getting a judge’s permission to unlock an encrypted messaging app with someone’s biometrics.

According to the warrant, the FBI first tracked down the suspect by sending a request for information, via an unnamed foreign law enforcement partner, to the cloud storage provider hosting the illegal images. That gave them the Gmail address the FBI said belonged to Christopher Terry, a 53-year-old Knoxville, Tennessee resident, who had prior convictions for possession of child exploitation material. It also provided IP addresses used to create the links to the CSAM. From there, investigators asked Google and Comcast via administrative subpoenas (data requests that don’t have the same level of legal requirements as search warrants) for more identifying information that helped them track down Terry and raid his home.

Jul 17, 2022

The most dangerous keylogger malware of 2022: Snake Keylogger

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, encryption, finance

Check Point Research, the Threat Intelligence division of the company, a leading global cybersecurity specialist provider, has released its Global Threat Index for the month of June 2022. Researchers have found that Emotet continues to be the number one malware and has also increased its global incidence by around 6%. Continuing with its climb of the last month, Snake Keylogger sneaks into the top three positions, taking the Formbook position, both still far from Emotet.

Emotet, has affected 14% of organizations around the world in June, an increase that is almost double compared to the previous month. This malware is highly profitable thanks to its ability to go unnoticed. Its persistence also makes it difficult to remove once a device is infected, making it the perfect tool in a cybercriminal’s arsenal. Conceived as a banking Trojan, it is often distributed via phishing emails and has the ability to embed other malware, increasing its ability to cause widespread damage.

Continue reading “The most dangerous keylogger malware of 2022: Snake Keylogger” »

Jul 5, 2022

NIST Acknowledges First Four Quantum-Resistant Encryption Tools

Posted by in categories: computing, encryption, information science, quantum physics

The US Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has selected the first-ever group of encryption tools that could potentially withstand the attack of a quantum computer.

The four selected encryption algorithms will now reportedly become part of NIST’s post-quantum cryptographic (PQC) standard, which should be finalized in about two years.

More specifically, for general encryption (used for access to secure websites), NIST has selected the CRYSTALS-Kyber algorithm.

Jun 20, 2022

Telegram is ‘not a secure platform,’ NATO-backed strategic comms chief warns

Posted by in categories: encryption, surveillance

Telegram, a leading encrypted messaging and social media application, has been compromised by Russia, according to a NATO-backed assessment.

“Telegram is not really as it used to be,” Janis Sarts, the director of NATO’s Strategic Communications Center of Excellence in Riga, Latvia, told the Washington Examiner. “I do have reasons to believe that there is not full integrity. … Certainly, I would not see it as a secure platform.”

The messaging service, founded in Dubai by a Russian tech titan who has clashed with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s surveillance apparatus, rocketed to global popularity in 2014 as one of the first applications to offer users the ability to communicate on an encrypted line. It proved valuable to Belarusian protesters who denounced President Alexander Lukashenko’s self-declared victory in a 2020 presidential election, but a warning about the program has begun to circulate among Western officials.

Jun 16, 2022

What is the Hertzbleed computer chip hack and should you be worried?

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, encryption, information science

A new hack called Hertzbleed can read snippets of data from computer chips remotely and could leave cryptography algorithms vulnerable to attack.

Apr 26, 2022

Quantum ransomware seen deployed in rapid network attacks

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, encryption, quantum physics

The Quantum ransomware, a strain first discovered in August 2021, were seen carrying out speedy attacks that escalate quickly, leaving defenders little time to react.

The threat actors are using the IcedID malware as one of their initial access vectors, which deploys Cobalt Strike for remote access and leads to data theft and encryption using Quantum Locker.

The technical details of a Quantum ransomware attack were analyzed by security researchers at The DFIR Report, who says the attack lasted only 3 hours and 44 minutes from initial infection to the completion of encrypting devices.

Apr 25, 2022

This ‘Tamper-Evident Container’ Snitches on Meddlers and Thieves

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, encryption

The 3D-printed containers keep a log of all break-in attempts, meaning your snail mail just got way safer.

Suppose you want to mail a court document to someone across the country—you don’t want anyone to see the secure information inside, of course. So, you seal it into a container that has special sensors built into its walls, and electronics that monitor the shield of sensors. Now, the container is armed and monitoring.

Continue reading “This ‘Tamper-Evident Container’ Snitches on Meddlers and Thieves” »

Apr 21, 2022

Researchers break world record for quantum-encrypted communications

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, encryption, internet, quantum physics

Researchers in Beijing have set a new quantum secure direct communication (QSDC) world record of 102.2 km (64 miles), smashing the previous mark of 18 km (11 miles), The Eurasian Times reported. Transmission speeds were extremely slow at 0.54 bits per second, but still good enough for text message and phone call encryption over a distance of 30 km (19 miles), wrote research lead Long Guilu in Nature. The work could eventually lead to hack-proof communication, as any eavesdropping attempt on a quantum line can be instantly detected.

QSDC uses the principal of entanglement to secure networks. Quantum physics dictates that entangled particles are linked, so that if you change the property of one by measuring it, the other will instantly change, too — effectively making hacking impossible. In theory, the particles stay linked even if they’re light-years apart, so such systems should work over great distances.

The same research team set the previous fiber record, and devised a “novel design of physical system with a new protocol” to achieve the longer distance. They simplified it by eliminating the “complicated active compensation subsystem” used in the previous model. “This enables an ultra-low quantum bit error rate (QBER) and the long-term stability against environmental noises.”

Apr 18, 2022

A new quantum encryption breakthrough could lead to hacker-proof communication

Posted by in categories: computing, encryption, internet, quantum physics

Scientists from Beijing set a new quantum secure direct communication (QSDC) world record of 102.2 km (64 miles), a massive leap over the previous record of 18 km (11 miles), according to The Eurasian Times.

The research could eventually lead to a massive quantum communications network that would be virtually hacker-proof due to the nature of the technology.

The researchers, who published their findings in a paper in Nature, demonstrated transmission speeds of 0.54 bits per second, much slower than communications using classical computing devices. Still, this was fast enough for phone call and text message encryption over a distance of 30 km (19 miles).

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