Security News This Week: FBI Finds Hackers Poking Around More Voter Registry Sites

from Wired Concern about potential election tampering continued this week. As noted in the roundup below, the FBI found evidence that hackers have been assessing the defenses of voter registries around the country and the cell phones of some Democratic party officials. But election officials aren’t the only ones on high alert. A bombing in New York City led the FCC to reassess its emergency text alert guidelines this week, and Tesla turned a hack of its Tesla S into an opportunity to launch code signing, a fundamentally more secure way to verify code. As fallout from last week’s Yahoo hack news continued, experts questioned the […]

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Apple’s Security Debate is Everyone’s Problem (Including Yours)

from Note to Self The debate over whether the government can access your phone is here. Hello! You’ve probably been following along, but in case you need the tl;dr: The debate revved up last month when the FBI asked Apple to hack into a locked iPhone associated with one of the gunmen from the San Bernardino massacre last December. Since then, the conversation has evolved into a national debate over what the government should (and shouldn’t) be allowed to access. The conversation has officially moved outside the realm of tech and the government. With 90 percent of American adults owning a cell phone, the issue is hitting a […]

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Forget Apple vs. the FBI: WhatsApp Just Switched on Encryption for a Billion People

from Wired FOR MOST OF the past six weeks, the biggest story out of Silicon Valley was Apple’s battle with the FBI over a federal order to unlock the iPhone of a mass shooter. The company’s refusal touched off a searing debate over privacy and security in the digital age. But this morning, at a small office in Mountain View, California, three guys made the scope of that enormous debate look kinda small.  Mountain View is home to WhatsApp, an online messaging service now owned by tech giant Facebook, that has grown into one of the world’s most important applications. More than a billion people trade […]

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John Oliver Explains Why iPhone Encryption Debate Is No Joking Matter

from ars technica The FBI’s legal showdown with Apple over iPhone security has spilled into just about every facet of popular culture, from endless news coverage to Congressional hearings and even to comments from President Obama. On Sunday, it got treatment from comedian John Oliver, whose weekly HBO series Last Week Tonight does a better job than most news shows covering the important news stories of the day. In an 18-minute segment, Oliver brought the stakes of the fight front and center and explained in some of the most concrete terms yet why—contrary to the repeated claims of the Obama […]

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The Apple Case Will Grope Its Way Into Your Future

from NYTs To understand what’s at stake in the battle between Apple and the F.B.I. over cracking open a terrorist’s smartphone, it helps to be able to predict the future of the tech industry. For that, here’s one bet you’ll never lose money on: Digital technology always grows hungrier for more personal information, and we users nearly always accede to its demands. Today’s smartphones hold a lot of personal data — your correspondence, your photos, your location, your dignity. But tomorrow’s devices, many of which are already around in rudimentary forms, will hold a lot more. Consider all the technologies we think […]

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Apple’s FBI Battle is Complicated. Here’s What’s Really Going On.

From Wired The news this week that a magistrate ordered Apple to help the FBI hack an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooter suspects has polarized the nation—and also generated some misinformation. Those who support the government say Apple has cooperated in the past to unlock dozens of phones in other cases—so why can’t it help the FBI unlock this one? But this isn’t about unlocking a phone; rather, it’s about ordering Apple to create a new software tool to eliminate specific security protections the company built into its phone software to protect customer data. Opponents of […]

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Obama Administration Won’t Seek Encryption-Backdoor Legislation

from ars technica FBI Director James Comey told a congressional panel that the Obama administration won’t ask Congress for legislation requiring the tech sector to install backdoors into their products so the authorities can access encrypted data. Comey said the administration for now will continue lobbying private industry to create backdoors to allow the authorities to open up locked devices to investigate criminal cases and terrorism. “The administration has decided not to seek a legislative remedy now, but it makes sense to continue the conversations with industry,” Comey told a Senate panel of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Thursday. Comey’s […]

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