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Police Hacked iPhone of Actor's Murdered Wife

Authorities say text messages show the couple were fighting

(Newser) - While the FBI was trying to figure out a way into the locked iPhone that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters, the LAPD found a hacker to crack a phone belonging to the murdered wife of actor Michael Jace , the Los Angeles Times reports. Jace—best known for... More »

'Landmark' WhatsApp Move Renders Wiretaps Useless

It adds encryption

(Newser) - One of the world's most popular apps has just added strong end-to-end encryption, making the communications of 1 billion users off-limits to wiretaps and potentially setting up a US legal battle bigger than the Apple-FBI clash. WhatsApp has been steadily increasing encryption over the last 18 months and with... More »

Apple Doesn't Pay Hackers, So Hackers Help FBI: Experts

The black market is doing just fine, though

(Newser) - Hack into Google, Facebook, or Microsoft products and one can reap "bug bounties" that those companies pay to unearth their own flaws. But Apple doesn't pony up for such detective work, which is why security experts say they're not shocked an outside party— Reuters notes an Israeli... More »

John Oliver Devotes Whole Show to Apple Encryption Tiff

'Think of the government as your dad,' show host warns

(Newser) - First John Oliver took on Donald Trump . Now the HBO host is taking on Apple, the government, and encryption, a safeguard he labeled on Sunday's Last Week Tonight as "the best way to keep people from reading your emails short of making the subject line 'Fwd: Fwd:... More »

FBI Chief: Let's Calm Down Over iPhone Controversy

We don't want 'to set a master key loose on the land,' says Comey

(Newser) - The back-and-forth between the FBI and Apple over unlocking an iPhone didn't let up over the weekend, with FBI chief James Comey getting in the last word in a blog post Sunday evening, reports NBC News . "I hope folks will take a deep breath and stop saying the... More »

Key to Apple Encryption Fight: a 1789 Law

Government trots out the 'All Writs Act'

(Newser) - A court has ordered Apple to help the FBI crack the security of an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardinio shooters, but CEO Tim Cook says that would be too dangerous of a precedent. Some related coverage:
  • We're in "uncharted waters," observes Time , because the
... More »

Defiant Apple Refusing Feds' Order to Unlock Shooter's iPhone

'Unprecedented' demand is too dangerous, says Tim Cook

(Newser) - It's what the Wall Street Journal describes as a "watershed moment" in the fight over smartphone encryption: A court has ordered Apple to obey the government's demand to unlock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters, and Tim Cook is refusing to do so. The... More »

Apple Ordered to Unlock San Bernardino Shooter's iPhone

Company 'declined to provide that assistance voluntarily'

(Newser) - After more than two months of being thwarted by encryption technology —and by an uncooperative Apple—federal investigators have turned to the courts to try to get into San Bernardino gunman Syed Farook's locked iPhone. At a hearing on Tuesday, a federal judge ordered Apple to help the... More »

North Korea's OS Has 'Malicious Functionality'

Linux-based Red Star operating system basically spies on whoever uses it

(Newser) - Check out North Korea's computer operating system, and it feels almost like you're using a Mac. Red Star OS is a "fully featured desktop system," German researcher Niklaus Schiess tells Motherboard , complete with word processing software and a revamped Firefox browser. But like almost everything else... More »

Rarest Nazi Enigma Machine Sells for Record $365K

It was bought by an anonymous private collector at auction

(Newser) - The M4 is the rarest of the already rare Nazi Enigma machines, which could help explain why a working model just sold for a record $365,000 at an auction Wednesday in New York. The Guardian reports the 70-year-old encryption machine was purchased by an anonymous private collector. “The... More »

NSA Seeks Codebreakers Via Cryptic Tweets

But agency's effort was easy to crack

(Newser) - The NSA is trying to attract would-be codebreakers with coded tweets—but judging from the one it sent yesterday, it may need to set the bar a little higher, the Washington Post finds. The agency's mysterious tweet—"tpfccdlfdtte pcaccplircdt dklpcfrp?qeiq lhpqlipqeodf gpwafopwprti izxndkiqpkii krirrifcapnc dxkdciqcafmd vkfpcadf"—turned... More »

Massive Security Flaw Left Much of Internet Exposed

'Heartbleed' bug has affected OpenSSL protocol for 2 years

(Newser) - A major flaw in one of the Internet's chief security methods has exposed users' confidential information to hackers for the last two years, security researchers revealed Monday night. The "Heartbleed" bug affects the OpenSSL security protocol used by some two-thirds of websites to protect sensitive data as it... More »

Internet Cracks Grandma's Mystery Code in Minutes

She filled cards with cryptic letters in her final weeks ... 18 years ago

(Newser) - A cryptic mystery left by a dying grandmother puzzled a Maryland family for nearly 20 years before her granddaughter turned to an Internet forum for help. "My grandmother passed away in 1996 of a fast-spreading cancer. She was non-communicative her last two weeks, but in that time, she left... More »

NSA Able to Decode Most Calls, Texts Worldwide

Washington Post unveils latest Snowden material

(Newser) - The NSA is capable of breaking the encryption used on most phone calls and text messages worldwide, the latest Edward Snowden leak shows, though it's not certain how often the agency actually does it. Under US law, the NSA can't eavesdrop on citizens' conversations without a court order.... More »

Yahoo to Encrypt All Products Amid NSA Spying

Marissa Mayer: We don't take users' trust 'for granted'

(Newser) - Yahoo is taking further steps to prevent NSA snooping: The company will encrypt all its products, and soon. In a blog post yesterday, CEO Marissa Mayer announced that by the end of Q1 next year, users will be able to have all data going to and from Yahoo encrypted if... More »

Google Attempts to NSA-Proof Its Data

Working to strongly encrypt its data amid PRISM fallout

(Newser) - Amid the fallout from the NSA's PRISM surveillance program , Google is scrambling to encrypt its data, in an effort to hide it from the prying eyes of intelligence agencies, the Washington Post reports. Of course, as we learned this week , the NSA can crack encrypted data too, but the... More »

NSA Can Read All Your Safely Encrypted Files

Agency has cracked every system out there, sometimes working with Internet providers

(Newser) - If you're under the impression that your online data is safe from prying eyes thanks to encryption, the New York Times , ProPublica , and the Guardian have some bad news, courtesy of Edward Snowden: The NSA can read pretty much everything that's out there. A key point from high... More »

Why Your Password Is Less Safe Than Ever

Advances in cracking technology and reuse of passwords leaves users vulnerable

(Newser) - Once upon a time, hackers tried to guess passwords using a list of words cobbled from a dictionary and fairly feeble computers. Back then, the one password you're using for all your sites was probably pretty safe. But that's not the case anymore, reports Ars Technica , citing huge... More »

Cryptographers Solve 'Unbreakable' Code

21 computers unravel 923-bit code in 148 days

(Newser) - A code that scientists thought should take at least thousands of years to unravel was cracked in a mere 148 days by 21 computers working in unison, reports CNET . The solution to the 278-character, 923-bit code broke a world record in cryptanalysis, and the victorious team of technologists used "... More »

Feds Bust Online 'Farmer's Market' for Drugs

'Farmer's Market' storefront matched buyers, sellers

(Newser) - Eight people have been arrested and a "Drug Dealing 2.0" operation has been shut down after a global sting operation, reports the LA Times . Prosecutors say the "Farmer's Market" operation sold more than $1 million in LSD, marijuana, and other drugs over three years to buyers... More »

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