News

27 January, 2020

Modern Mass Surveillance: Identify, Correlate, Discriminate

Communities across the United States are starting to ban facial recognition technologies. In May of last year, San Francisco banned facial recognition; the neighboring city of Oakland soon followed, as did Somerville and Brookline in Massachusetts (a statewide ban may follow). In December, San Diego suspended a facial recognition program in advance of a new statewide law, which declared…

27 January, 2020

Smartphone Election in Washington State

This year: King County voters will be able to use their name and birthdate to log in to a Web portal through the Internet browser on their phones, says Bryan Finney, the CEO of Democracy Live, the Seattle-based voting company providing the technology. Once voters have completed their ballots, they must verify their submissions and then submit a signature…

24 January, 2020

Friday Squid Blogging: More on the Giant Squid's DNA

Following on from last week's post, here's more information on sequencing the DNA of the giant squid. As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven't covered. Read my blog posting guidelines…

24 January, 2020

Technical Report of the Bezos Phone Hack

Motherboard obtained and published the technical report on the hack of Jeff Bezos's phone, which is being attributed to Saudi Arabia, specifically to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. ...investigators set up a secure lab to examine the phone and its artifacts and spent two days poring over the device but were unable to find any malware on it. Instead,…

23 January, 2020

Apple Abandoned Plans for Encrypted iCloud Backup after FBI Complained

This is new from Reuters: More than two years ago, Apple told the FBI that it planned to offer users end-to-end encryption when storing their phone data on iCloud, according to one current and three former FBI officials and one current and one former Apple employee. Under that plan, primarily designed to thwart hackers, Apple would no longer have…

22 January, 2020

Half a Million IoT Device Passwords Published

It's a list of easy-to-guess passwords for IoT devices on the Internet as recently as last October and November. Useful for anyone putting together a bot network: A hacker has published this week a massive list of Telnet credentials for more than 515,000 servers, home routers, and IoT (Internet of Things) "smart" devices. The list, which was published on…

21 January, 2020

Brazil Charges Glenn Greenwald with Cybercrimes

Glenn Greenwald has been charged with cybercrimes in Brazil, stemming from publishing information and documents that were embarrassing to the government. The charges are that he actively helped the people who actually did the hacking: Citing intercepted messages between Mr. Greenwald and the hackers, prosecutors say the journalist played a "clear role in facilitating the commission of a crime."…

21 January, 2020

SIM Hijacking

SIM hijacking -- or SIM swapping -- is an attack where a fraudster contacts your cell phone provider and convinces them to switch your account to a phone that they control. Since your smartphone often serves as a security measure or backup verification system, this allows the fraudster to take over other accounts of yours. Sometimes this involves people…

20 January, 2020

Clearview AI and Facial Recognition

The New York Times has a long story about Clearview AI, a small company that scrapes identified photos of people from pretty much everywhere, and then uses unstated magical AI technology to identify people in other photos. His tiny company, Clearview AI, devised a groundbreaking facial recognition app. You take a picture of a person, upload it and get…

17 January, 2020

Friday Squid Blogging: Giant Squid Genome Analyzed

This is fantastic work: In total, the researchers identified approximately 2.7 billion DNA base pairs, which is around 90 percent the size of the human genome. There's nothing particularly special about that size, especially considering that the axolotl genome is 10 times larger than the human genome. It's going to take some time to fully understand and appreciate the…

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