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Jan 28, 2022

Messenger’s end-to-end encrypted chats and calls are available to everyone

Posted by in category: encryption

The encrypted chats detect when you take a screenshot.


After several years of development, Facebook’s Messenger platform will let you switch to end-to-end encrypted chats and calls with anyone. It also now supports features like Reactions and replies inside encrypted chats.

Continue reading “Messenger’s end-to-end encrypted chats and calls are available to everyone” »

Jan 27, 2022

Meta Is Making a Monster AI Supercomputer for the Metaverse

Posted by in categories: encryption, information science, internet, robotics/AI, security, supercomputing

Though Meta didn’t give numbers on RSC’s current top speed, in terms of raw processing power it appears comparable to the Perlmutter supercomputer, ranked fifth fastest in the world. At the moment, RSC runs on 6,800 NVIDIA A100 graphics processing units (GPUs), a specialized chip once limited to gaming but now used more widely, especially in AI. Already, the machine is processing computer vision workflows 20 times faster and large language models (like, GPT-3) 3 times faster. The more quickly a company can train models, the more it can complete and further improve in any given year.

In addition to pure speed, RSC will give Meta the ability to train algorithms on its massive hoard of user data. In a blog post, the company said that they previously trained AI on public, open-source datasets, but RSC will use real-world, user-generated data from Meta’s production servers. This detail may make more than a few people blanch, given the numerous privacy and security controversies Meta has faced in recent years. In the post, the company took pains to note the data will be carefully anonymized and encrypted end-to-end. And, they said, RSC won’t have any direct connection to the larger internet.

To accommodate Meta’s enormous training data sets and further increase training speed, the installation will grow to include 16,000 GPUs and an exabyte of storage—equivalent to 36,000 years of high-quality video—later this year. Once complete, Meta says RSC will serve training data at 16 terabytes per second and operate at a top speed of 5 exaflops.

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Jan 25, 2022

Twin-field quantum key distribution (QKD) across an 830-km fibre

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

By using quantum key distribution (QKD), quantum cryptographers can share information via theoretic secure keys between remote peers through physics-based protocols. The laws of quantum physics dictate that photons carrying signals cannot be amplified or relayed through classical optical methods to maintain quantum security. The resulting transmission loss of the channel can limit its achievable distance to form a huge barrier to build large-scale quantum secure networks. In a new report now published in Nature Photonics, Shuang Wang and a research team in quantum information, cryptology and quantum physics in China developed an experimental QKD system to tolerate a channel loss beyond 140 dB across a secure distance of 833.8 km to set a new record for fiber-based quantum key distribution. Using the optimized four-phase twin-field protocol and high quality setup, they achieved secure key rates that were more than two orders of magnitude greater than previous records across similar distances. The results form a breakthrough to build reliable and terrestrial quantum networks across a scale of 1,000 km.

Quantum cryptography and twin-field quantum key distribution (QKD)

Quantum key distribution is based on fundamental laws of physics to distribute secret bits for information-theoretic secure communication, regardless of the unlimited computational power of a potential eavesdropper. The process has attracted widespread attention in the past three decades relative to the development of a global quantum internet, and matured to real-world deployment through optical-fiber networks. Despite this, wider applications of QKD are limited due to channel loss, limiting increase in the key rate and range of QKD. For example, photons are carriers of quantum keys in a QKD setup, and they can be prepared at the single-photon level to be scattered and absorbed by the transmission channel. The photons, however, cannot be amplified, and therefore the receiver can only detect them with very low probability. When transmitted via a direct fiber-based link from the transmitter to the receiver, the key rate can therefore decrease with transmission distance.

Jan 18, 2022

Hacking backdoor? Security flaws in China’s mandatory Olympics app | DW News

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cybercrime/malcode, encryption, health, mobile phones, surveillance

Athletes headed to the Beijing Olympic Winter Games are making final travel preparations, including keeping in line with China’s health measures on the “My 2022″ smartphone app. However, inadequate encryption measures within the app can leave Olympians, journalists and sports officials vulnerable to hackers, privacy breaches, and surveillance, according to a cybersecurity report by the Citizen Lab obtained exclusively by DW. Additionally, the IT forensic specialists found that the app includes a censorship keyword list. The findings come as international concern over digital safety at the Games mounts. Germany, Australia, UK and US have urged their athletes and National Olympic Committees to leave their personal phones and laptops behind and to travel with special devices over fears of digital espionage. The Dutch Olympic Committee outright banned its athletes from bringing personal phones and laptops due to surveillance concerns.

In the Olympic Playbook for athletes and team officials, the International Olympic Committee states that the “My 2022″ app is “in accordance with international standards and Chinese law.” But based on its findings, Citizen Lab concludes that the insecure transmission of personal information “may constitute a direct violation of China’s privacy laws.” This is because China’s data protection laws require that a person’s health and medical records held digitally be transmitted and stored in an encrypted manner. Citizen Lab’s findings also raise questions concerning two Western tech giants that carry the “My 2022″ app: Apple and Google. “Both Apple’s and Google’s policies forbid apps to transmit sensitive data without proper encryption, so Apple and Google will need to determine whether the app’s unresolved vulnerabilities warrant delisting,” Citizen Lab’s Knockel told DW. The Beijing Organizing Committee has stood by its app, however, saying it “passed the examination” of international mobile application markets such as Google, Apple and Samsung.“We have taken measures such as personal information encryption in the app to ensure privacy security,” the committee said Monday to Xinhua News Agency.

Continue reading “Hacking backdoor? Security flaws in China’s mandatory Olympics app | DW News” »

Jan 6, 2022

Making quantum computers even more powerful

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

Three resonators operating at different frequencies read a 3×3 matrix of quantum dots. © 2022 EPFL

Biochemistry and cryptography.

Dec 15, 2021

Why China’s Advancements in Quantum Technology Worry Others

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

The 41-year-old computing method can decode encrypted messages and help detect hidden military vehicles such as stealth aircraft.

Dec 12, 2021

Towards quantum 2.0 technology: where the best opportunities for business lie

Posted by in categories: business, computing, encryption, mobile phones, quantum physics

James McKenzie is excited about the prospects of firms that are developing technology based on seemingly esoteric fundamental quantum phenomena.

Physicists have long boasted of their success in what’s known as “quantum 1.0” technology – semiconductor junctions, transistors, lasers and so on. Thanks to their efforts over the last 75 years, we have smart phones, computers, laptops and other quantum-enabled devices that have transformed our lives. But the future will increasingly depend on “quantum 2.0” technology, which taps into phenomena like superposition and entanglement to permit everything from quantum computing and cryptography to quantum sensing, timing and imaging.

The incredible possibilities of quantum 2.0 were brought home to me when I attended the UK’s National Quantum Technologies Showcase in central London last month. The event featured more than 60 exhibitors and I was amazed how far things have progressed. In fact, it coincided with two positive developments. One was an announcement by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) of a further £50m to support quantum industrial projects. The other was the UK and US signing a joint “statement of intent” to boost collaboration on quantum science and technologies.

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Dec 11, 2021

The US is worried that hackers are stealing data today so quantum computers can crack it in a decade

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

While they wrestle with the immediate danger posed by hackers today, US government officials are preparing for another, longer-term threat: attackers who are collecting sensitive, encrypted data now in the hope that they’ll be able to unlock it at some point in the future.

The threat comes from quantum computers, which work very differently from the classical computers we use today. Instead of the traditional bits made of 1s and 0s, they use quantum bits that can represent different values at the same time. The complexity of quantum computers could make them much faster at certain tasks, allowing them to solve problems that remain practically impossible for modern machines—including breaking many of the encryption algorithms currently used to protect sensitive data such as personal, trade, and state secrets.

While quantum computers are still in their infancy, incredibly expensive and fraught with problems, officials say efforts to protect the country from this long-term danger need to begin right now.

Continue reading “The US is worried that hackers are stealing data today so quantum computers can crack it in a decade” »

Dec 1, 2021

AWS re: Invent: Faster chips, smarter AI, and developer tools grab the spotlight

Posted by in categories: encryption, quantum physics, robotics/AI

This week, Amazon’s Web Services (AWS) kicked off its tenth re: Invent conference, an event where it typically announces the biggest changes in the cloud computing industry’s dominant platform. This year’s news includes faster chips, more aggressive artificial intelligence, more developer-friendly tools, and even a bit of quantum computing for those who want to explore its ever-growing potential.

Amazon is working to lower costs by boosting the performance of its hardware. Their new generation of machines powered by the third generation of AMD’s EPYC processors, the M6a, is touted as offering a 35% boost in price/performance over the previous generation of M5a machines built with the second generation of the EPYC chips. They’ll be available in sizes that range from two virtual CPUs with 8GB of RAM (m6a.large) up to 192 virtual CPUs and 768GB of RAM (m6a.48xlarge).

AWS also notes that the chips will boast “always-on memory encryption” and rely on faster custom circuitry for faster encryption and decryption. The feature is a nod to users who worry about sharing hardware in the cloud and, perhaps, exposing their data.

Continue reading “AWS re: Invent: Faster chips, smarter AI, and developer tools grab the spotlight” »

Nov 30, 2021

Hackers could steal encrypted data now and crack it with quantum computers later, warn analysts

Posted by in categories: computing, encryption, quantum physics

Analysts at Booz Allen Hamilton warn that Chinese espionage efforts could soon focus on encrypted data.

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