Essential reading: the irreconcilable tension between cybersecurity and national security


Citizenlab's Ron Diebert lays out the terrible contradiction of putting spy agencies -- who rely on vulnerabilities in the networks used by their adversaries -- in change of cybersecurity, which is securing those same networks for their own citizens.

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E-cigs and malware: real threat or Yellow Peril 2.0?


After a redditor claimed to have gotten a computer virus from factory-installed malware on an e-cig charger, the Guardian reported out the story and concluded that it's possible.

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Router for gamers lets you filter games by distance

The forthcoming Netduma router has a geofilter that lets you restrict the games you join by distance, so you only play against nearby gamers, eliminating a leading cause of lag.

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ISPs caught sabotaging their customers' email encryption


Ever since 2013, when the Electronic Frontier Foundation started shaming email providers that did not encrypt their customers' email, more and more mail providers have turned on STARTTLS, which protects email in transit from snooping, without requiring users to take any additional steps.

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Cyberwar's hidden victims: NGOs


A new report from the storied Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto documents the advanced, persistent threats levied against civil society groups and NGOs -- threats that rival those facing any government or Fortune 100 company, but whose targets are much less well-equipped to defend themselves.

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Indispensable BBC/OU series on cybercrime starts tomorrow

Mike from the Open University sez, "The OU and the BBC have created a new six part series about cybercrime, presented by the technology journalist Ben Hammersley."

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Inside Secure threatens security researcher who demonstrated product flaws

Martin Holst Swende maintains a free/open tool for testing software that uses the (notoriously flawed) Iclass Software, which is used by Inside Secure for its RFID-based access systems.

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What's the best way to weaken crypto?


Daniel Bernstein, the defendant in the landmark lawsuit that legalized cryptography (over howls of protest from the NSA) engages in a thought-experiment about how the NSA might be secretly undermining crypto through sabotage projects like BULLRUN/EDGEHILL.

Making sure crypto stays insecure [PDF/Daniel J Bernstein]

(via O'Reilly Radar)

FBI chief demands an end to cellphone security

If your phone is designed to be secure against thieves, voyeurs, and hackers, it'll also stop spies and cops. So the FBI has demanded that device makers redesign their products so that they -- and anyone who can impersonate them -- can break into them at will.

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How to enable two-step authentication on Google, Facebook, etc.

Gizmodo has a handy guide to enabling two-factor authentication on your accounts with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Dropbox, etc.

Two-step, or two-factor authentication protects your accounts by requiring you to provide an additional piece of information after you give your password to get into your account. In the most common implementation, after correctly entering your password, an online service will send you a text message with a unique string of numbers that you'll need to punch in to get access to your account.

The idea is that you're drastically more secure if somebody needs both your password and the physical phone to get access to your accounts. Add a passcode to your phone, and you're safeguarded against someone stealing both.

Is it perfect? No. But it's way better than just irrationally hoping nobody ever gets a hold of your password.

Darkmatter: a secure Paranoid Android version that hides from attackers

Stock Android phones with the Darkmatter OS use encrypted storage, OS-level app controls, and secure messaging by default, but if the phone thinks it's under attack, it dismounts all the encrypted stuff and reboots as a stock Android phone with no obvious hints that its owner has anything hidden on it.

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Petition: make it safe to report security flaws in computers


Laws like the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act put security researchers at risk of felony prosecution for telling you about bugs in the computers you put your trust in, turning the computers that know everything about us and watch everything we do into reservoirs of long-lived pathogens that governments, crooks, cops, voyeurs and creeps can attack us with.

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Sourcecode for "unpatchable" USB exploit now on Github


Last summer's Black Hat presentation on "Badusb" by Karsten Nohl alerted the world to the possibility that malware could be spread undetectably by exploiting the reprogrammable firmware in USB devices -- now, a second set of researchers have released the code to let anyone try it out for themselves.

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Security cruft means every exploit lives forever

Security failures will live on forever, because protocols have no sell-by date. Glenn Fleishman exposes the eternity we face with broken software.

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Get 2600's archives from 1987

Emmanuel Goldstein from 2600 Magazine writes, "Volume 4 of The Hacker Digest has been put into PDF format, comprised of issues of 2600 Magazine from 1987."

This was the first year that 2600 adopted the digest format. For the first time ever, a hacker magazine would show up on newsstands and in bookstores around the world. New concepts such as cellular phone fraud and electronic mailboxes for $20 a month were introduced to the public and scrutinized in the pages of 2600, while traditions like the letters section, payphone photos, and 2600 meetings were in their infancy. The hacker spirit from these early issues is remarkably similar to that of today: defiant, curious, and overflowing with data.

VOLUME 4 OF THE HACKER DIGEST RELEASED ALONG WITH DETAILS ON ITS HISTORY

(Thanks, Emmanuel!)