DecryptedTech

Monday08 August 2022

Displaying items by tag: Privacy

Apple is truly ramping up the PR machine and has even managed to get a few people in government to make some rather outrageous statements on the new phone and iOS 8. One of the new stories going around is about how the new iPhone and iOS8 are suddenly “NSA Proof” because they have added data encryption. The fallacy of this claim is almost beyond belief and shows once again that most in the technical press have absolutely no memory.

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Remember when we told you that BitTorrent was coming out with their very own chat app called Bleep? No well they are and from the information we have so far it is looking like a pretty cool application. The concept is to take basic chat and run it, encrypted, through Torrent swarms. This move, in theory, should prevent the big guys from being able to store or grab your communications in transit.

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It is not often that we can write about a big company like Microsoft and say they are doing “the right thing”. This is even more true in light of the Snowden revelations that showed the close cooperation that Microsoft (and others) had with many data collection programs run by the NSA. Any trust that people had in Microsoft and their drive to protect their customer’s data vanished in an instant. Since those days Microsoft has been working very hard to rebuild consumer trust. They have put SSL and TLS encryption on their email service and have put a few privacy (pronounce that security if you are in government) features in place to help change the public opinion.

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The words anonymity, privacy and security go hand in hand… in hand. Although the term anonymity is often seen as a bad thing by law enforcement and policy makers the truth is that it is a critical part of the security chain and is something that needs to be addressed in the way communications happen over the internet. Simply put, how can an attacker get to you if they do not know where you are coming from? Anonymity is a form of security that is in common use by the “red” team so why not put this to use in protecting the green?

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Over the weekend a number of articles broke describing a “hack” that allowed nude photos of celebrities to be stolen and then reposted on the internet (4chan). Although the story held minimal interest at the time of its release we did not see it as big news since phone and cloud service hacks are far too common these days, just because it happened to be someone famous did not make it anymore news worthy. If anything it made it less as you should not be storing nude or explicit images of yourself on your phone or in any cloud service these days.

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Apple has made a decision about the data that is stored in their borrowed HealthKit API. The decision is to ban developers from sharing any of the data that the service collects to ad agencies. This move will be in effect the day that iOS 8 and will run until Apple changes their mind. This move is actually a very good thing and does cover some concerns about the amount of personal information that mobile devices are starting to amass.

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On Friday we wrote about a talk that was canceled at Black Hat 2014. This talk was to discuss a flaw in the Tor anonymizing network that would allow almost anyone to identify users on the network. This morning we find out that the Russian government is actually offering a reward (around $111,000) to anyone that can come up with a reliable method to do this very thing.

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In 2012 ago we heard about a new type of internet tracking that involved making every computer identify itself and then following that ID around. At the time we thought the idea was very interesting. What we did not know was that the technology was already being worked on and ready for testing. The new type of identification was put together after very strict laws were put in place about the use of tracking cookies. Data miners and advertising companies needed a new method to see what you were doing.

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Yesterday we reported that Apple had lost a big to toss out a patent suit aimed at their iPhone and iPad in China. This was quite a blow to the company that has made China its manufacturing home. Normally Apple can get its way when dealing with patents simply because of the mythology they have created.  However this has not always held up in China as we have seen multiple decisions go against Apple.

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There is a term that often gets thrown around when we talk about technology and the way we now store data, reasonable expectation of privacy. This term has been used to get around some of the basic laws we have when it comes to accessing our digital lives. According to many corporations and some law makers, when you put information into a cloud based system (including Facebook) you give up your reasonable expectation of privacy. After all you put your data in someone else’s hands. If you wanted to keep it private you would hold onto it.

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