CNBC Password Security Disaster

CNBC’s disastrous password security fail is a huge lesson for us all

By on March 30, 2016 at 9:00 PM.

CNBC’s disastrous password security fail is a huge lesson for us all

CNBC tried and disastrously failed to give regular Internet users a lesson about the importance of password security and password strength. While trying to explain how the FBI can brute-force an iPhone PIN by trying out all possible combinations, CNBC wanted to show you how fast your password could be cracked by using this relatively simple procedure (here’s an archived version of the article). To do it, you had to enter a password that you regularly use, and CNBC would tell you how safe it is. But here’s where the trouble started.

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Apple Vs FBI

iPhone hacking case highlights FBI’s lack of tech expertise

By on March 30, 2016 at 5:50 PM.

iPhone hacking case highlights FBI’s lack of tech expertise

Apple’s legal saga with the FBI may have finally come to an anti-climactic resolution, but the issues that the case brought to the forefront will undoubtedly rise again. In the future, there will inevitably be another strategically important smartphone, perhaps an iPhone, that the FBI won’t be able to access by itself.

One of the more interesting issues to arise out of Apple’s legal wrangling with the FBI is that the mighty FBI’s tech prowess is seemingly far less sophisticated than some may have initially assumed. In fact, the FBI’s inability to access the locked iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters was so surprising and incongruous that Apple in one of its legal briefs was even compelled to ask if the FBI really tried all that hard to hack into the device.

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Apple FBI iPhone Hack

How Apple could force the FBI to explain San Bernardino iPhone hack

By on March 30, 2016 at 6:50 AM.

How Apple could force the FBI to explain San Bernardino iPhone hack

Apple beat the FBI this week, as it avoided a legal battle against the law enforcement agency over creating a backdoor into the San Bernardino iPhone. The war on encryption isn’t over yet, as both parties aren’t necessarily happy with this temporary solution. For the FBI, accessing the iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters is crucial, but doesn’t solve its bigger problem: spying on encrypted communications or devices. Apple, on the other hand, is reportedly working on beefing up iPhone security. But for now, it has one other problem: the world knows there is a way to get peek at the data stored on an encrypted iPhone without knowing the PIN or password.

The FBI did not say whether it’ll share the vulnerability it discovered and successfully used on the San Bernardino iPhone 5c, with the help of an unnamed security company. But Apple might be able to use other legal cases that involve iPhones to force the Bureau to explain the hack. More →

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Apple Vs FBI San Bernardino iPhone Analysis

Lessons the FBI should learn from the San Bernardino iPhone debacle

By on March 29, 2016 at 8:57 AM.

Lessons the FBI should learn from the San Bernardino iPhone debacle

The FBI has for the time being given up on its quest to force Apple to write a separate “GovtOS” to help law enforcement officials bypass the iPhone’s security protocols. Although the agency succeeded in finding a way to hack into the iPhone 5c used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook, it will not get to set a precedent where it can order tech companies to write software that will break their own products’ security.

As Apple explained this week, this is a case that the FBI and Department of Justice should have never pursued and I’d like to think that the government has learned some important lessons from this fiasco… though I’m not holding my breath. More →

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Apple FBI iPhone Encryption War

Read Apple’s full response to the FBI: ‘This case should never have been brought’

By on March 29, 2016 at 7:15 AM.

Read Apple’s full response to the FBI: ‘This case should never have been brought’

Apple won a first battle against the FBI over iPhone encryption this week, as the law enforcement agency decided to back off in the San Bernardino case. The war is far from being over, as Apple will almost certainly have to face off against the FBI in the future. And that’s just one of Apple’s problems. Let’s not forget that a third party did for the FBI what Apple wouldn’t. That means there’s a way to bypass iPhone encryption that sidesteps Apple, and the Cupertino crew has no idea what it is.

Meanwhile, Apple issued a response to the FBI that follows below, in full. More →

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Brussels Attack Dirty Bomb

Brussels attackers were looking to make radioactive ‘dirty bomb’

By on March 28, 2016 at 10:00 PM.

Brussels attackers were looking to make radioactive ‘dirty bomb’

A report that preceded the horrific attacks on Brussels revealed that ISIS terrorists have been working to acquire materials to create so-called dirty bombs with the help of nuclear material. Meanwhile, the investigation into the Belgian explosion exposed more information about those plans. Apparently, the brothers who detonated home-made explosive devices at the airport and a metro station in Brussels were the ones who planted surveillance equipment outside the house of a nuclear physicist last year.

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Apple Vs FBI

Apple’s legal battle with the FBI over the San Bernardino shooter’s locked iPhone has comes to an end

By on March 28, 2016 at 8:33 PM.

Apple’s legal battle with the FBI over the San Bernardino shooter’s locked iPhone has comes to an end

Apple’s battle with the FBI has at long last come to a conclusion. On Monday afternoon, the DOJ asked a California judge to vacate a previous order which would have forced Apple to create a modified version of iOS.

According to today’s court filing, the DOJ’s decision to put a halt to all pending legal action came after the FBI successfully managed to access the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists. As we reported last week, it appears that the FBI managed to bypass iOS’ security mechanisms with the help of an Israeli company called Cellebrite.

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Dark Web Account Security

Your Gmail account is less secure than a dark web marketplace account

By on March 28, 2016 at 5:00 PM.

Your Gmail account is less secure than a dark web marketplace account

Over the past several years, we’ve done our best to remind everyone to install a password manager, keep their devices updated and start taking online security more seriously. Unfortunately, the companies that build the ubiquitous programs and services that we use every day aren’t quite as concerned with keeping our information safe and secure. More →

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iOS Security Alert

Warning: Anyone can access sensitive info on your iPhone without even unlocking it

By on March 28, 2016 at 10:52 AM.

Warning: Anyone can access sensitive info on your iPhone without even unlocking it

Apple refused to unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone for the FBI, but the Bureau might be interested to learn that there’s some seriously sensitive information that can be accessed on an iPhone without even having to unlock it. In fact, you may be shocked to learn what anyone and everyone has access to on your iPhone without knowing your PIN or passcode.

There’s some good news to be had as well, though: Switching one simple setting will plug up this potentially serious flaw and ensure that your data is safe and secure. More →

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Apple iPhone Encryption Hacking

Even Apple uses tech from the company allegedly helping the FBI crack an iPhone

By on March 25, 2016 at 9:45 PM.

Even Apple uses tech from the company allegedly helping the FBI crack an iPhone

There’s an entire industry devoted to cracking the iPhone and other smartphones. These companies operate mostly in the dark, offering their services to clients when other methods of retrieving data from a gadget fail. Cellebrite is one of the companies with experience in cracking devices including the iPhone, and the security firm os believed to have inked a deal with the FBI to crack the San Bernardino iPhone 5c.

If true, it would be a bit ironic because Cellebrite also counts Apple among its customers. More →

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iPhone Hacking

Is Apple’s reluctance to implement a bug bounty program a security risk?

By on March 25, 2016 at 6:30 PM.

Is Apple’s reluctance to implement a bug bounty program a security risk?

While many Silicon Valley tech companies famously employ ‘bug bounty’ programs whereby individuals or third-party groups can receive substantial monetary rewards for finding critical software bugs, Apple is curiously the odd man out. Whether it’s Google handing out $12,000 to a former employee who managed to purchase the Google.com domain name or Facebook paying $15,000 to a security researcher who happened upon a way to unlock any user’s account, paying cold hard cash to learn about previously undetected security vulnerabilities is not only commonplace, but also makes a lot of sense.

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Gmail Warning Government Hackers

Google says 1 million Gmail accounts might have been targeted by government hackers

By on March 25, 2016 at 5:20 PM.

Google says 1 million Gmail accounts might have been targeted by government hackers

Intelligence agencies all over the world look to collect information pertinent to their various operations, and that involves hacking emails accounts. Google for a while now has been able to identify such government-backed hackers, and notify potentially affected customers so they can take immediate action.

In an update on the ways Gmail is getting even more secure (which is good news in the wake of the Apple vs. FBI scandal), Google revealed that as many as 1 million Gmail accounts may have been targeted by government-backed attackers so far. More →

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