Tag Archives: door

[ISN] Privacy talk at DEF CON canceled under questionable circumstances

http://www.csoonline.com/article/2947377/network-security/privacy-talk-at-def-con-canceled-under-questionable-circumstances.html By Steve Ragan Salted Hash CSO July 12, 2015 Earlier this month, several news outlets reported on a powerful tool in the fight between those seeking anonymity online, versus those who push for surveillance and taking it away. The tool, ProxyHam, is the subject of a recently canceled talk at DEF CON 23 and its creator has been seemingly gagged from speaking about anything related to it. Something’s off, as this doesn’t seem like a typical cancellation. Privacy is important, and if recent events are anything to go by – such as the FBI pushing to limit encryption and force companies to include backdoors into consumer oriented products and services; or the recent Hacking Team incident that exposed the questionable and dangerous world of government surveillance; striking a balance between law enforcement and basic human freedoms is an uphill struggle. Over the last several years, reports from various watchdog organizations have made it clear that anonymity on the Internet is viewed as a bad thing by some governments, and starting to erode worldwide. […]




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[ISN] U.S. data hack may be 4 times larger than the government originally said

http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/22/politics/opm-hack-18-milliion/index.html By Evan Perez and Shimon Prokupecz CNN June 23, 2015 Washington (CNN) – The personal data of an estimated 18 million current, former and prospective federal employees were affected by a cyber breach at the Office of Personnel Management – more than four times the 4.2 million the agency has publicly acknowledged. The number is expected to grow, according to U.S. officials briefed on the investigation. FBI Director James Comey gave the 18 million estimate in a closed-door briefing to Senators in recent weeks, using the OPM’s own internal data, according to U.S. officials briefed on the matter. Those affected could include people who applied for government jobs, but never actually ended up working for the government. The same hackers who accessed OPM’s data are believed to have last year breached an OPM contractor, KeyPoint Government Solutions, U.S. officials said. When the OPM breach was discovered in April, investigators found that KeyPoint security credentials were used to breach the OPM system. Some investigators believe that after that intrusion last year, OPM officials should have blocked all access from KeyPoint, and that doing so could have prevented more serious damage. But a person briefed on the investigation says OPM officials don’t believe such a move would have made a difference. That’s because the OPM breach is believed to have pre-dated the KeyPoint breach. Hackers are also believed to have built their own backdoor access to the OPM system, armed with high-level system administrator access to the system. One official called it the “keys to the kingdom.” KeyPoint did not respond to CNN’s request for comment. […]


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[ISN] Mad John McAfee: ‘Can you live in a society that is more paranoid than I’m supposed to be?’

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/06/04/mad_mcafee/ By Alexander J Martin The Register 4 June 2015 Infosec 2015 – John McAfee delivered a surprisingly non-controversial keynote speech to the London Infosec Conference on Wednesday afternoon, lauding the value of privacy, doing so – to the concern of his bewildered audience – whilst seemingly tickling himself through the cloth of his pocket. McAfee’s talk was essentially a rant against governments’ security-compromising activities, summed up by his statement: “We cannot allow a fearful government to create weaknesses in the very software we are trying to protect. By putting backdoors in the software, we have given hackers the access we are trying to prevent.” Easily the rockstar of infosec, McAfee took to the stage fashionably late – though his audience had remained comfortable, being plied with free alcohol, free food and an enjoyable musical set (wasted on Infosec’s more senior attendees) during their wait. The man himself, a young 70-year-old in a handsome navy suit, looking and seeming much like a millionaire version of Matthew McConaughey’s Rust Cohle, was quick to address what he regarded as the major political influences upon security and explicitly criticised governments’ notions of backdooring software. A strong approach to a conference which has always had plenty of government security bods attending. “Take control of your lives,” McAfee urged Infosec. “Say ‘I am going to be responsible for myself, at least to some extent.’ Governments cannot protect you.” […]


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[ISN] How fear and self-preservation are driving a cyber arms race

http://www.cnet.com/news/how-fear-and-self-preservation-are-driving-a-cyber-arms-race/ By Max Taves @maxtaves CNET News May 2, 2015 When a man was fired from his job in Minneapolis, Minn., last May, he inadvertently touched off a boom in Silicon Valley. Gregg Steinhafel, then a 35-year veteran of Target and its CEO, was shown the door after hackers infiltrated the retailer’s computer systems, stealing 70 million shoppers’ information and 40 million credit and debit card numbers. It turned out the hack might have been prevented, had the company not ignored warnings from its own security systems. It happened again in December, when Amy Pascal, one of the most powerful women in Hollywood, was fired from her job heading up Sony Pictures after hackers exposed thousands of financial documents and emails revealing the film studio’s inner secrets. The hack captured the world’s attention and elicited criticism from customers, industry leaders and even the president of the United States. Pascal’s and Steinhafel’s exits sent shockwaves through corporate America. The message was clear: Top executives will be held responsible for their companies’ cybersecurity failings. The result, venture capitalists say, has been a boom for cybersecurity startups. In ways that previous attacks on consumers never did, the firings have sparked a scramble for new security technology by companies desperate to head off the next costly, embarrassing cyberattack. And venture capitalists are responding, pouring unprecedented billions into a dizzying array of young companies and their, largely, untested products. […]


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[ISN] Lawmakers criticize FBI’s request for encryption back doors

http://www.computerworld.com/article/2916895/encryption/lawmakers-criticize-fbis-request-for-encryption-back-doors.html By Grant Gross IDG News Service April 29, 2015 U.S. lawmakers are skeptical of an FBI request for Congress to mandate encryption workarounds in smartphones, with critics saying Wednesday that back doors would create new vulnerabilities that bad guys can exploit. It’s currently impossible for smartphone makers to build in back doors that allow law enforcement agencies access to encrypted communications but also keep out cybercriminals, witnesses and lawmakers said during a hearing before the IT subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Law enforcement representatives called on lawmakers to find a way to allow access to encrypted data as a way to prevent serious crime. Late last year, FBI Director James Comey called for a public debate on encryption after Apple and Google announced they would offer new encryption tools on their smartphone OSes. […]


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[ISN] As encryption spreads, U.S. grapples with clash between privacy, security

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/as-encryption-spreads-us-worries-about-access-to-data-for-investigations/2015/04/10/7c1c7518-d401-11e4-a62f-ee745911a4ff_story.html By Ellen Nakashima and Barton Gellman The Washington Post April 10, 2015 For months, federal law enforcement agencies and industry have been deadlocked on a highly contentious issue: Should tech companies be obliged to guarantee government access to encrypted data on smartphones and other digital devices, and is that even possible without compromising the security of law-abiding customers? Recently, the head of the National Security Agency provided a rare hint of what some U.S. officials think might be a technical solution. Why not, suggested Adm. Michael S. Rogers, require technology companies to create a digital key that could open any smartphone or other locked device to obtain text messages or photos, but divide the key into pieces so that no one person or agency alone could decide to use it? “I don’t want a back door,” Rogers, the director of the nation’s top electronic spy agency, said during a speech at Princeton University, using a tech industry term for covert measures to bypass device security. “I want a front door. And I want the front door to have multiple locks. Big locks.” Law enforcement and intelligence officials have been warning that the growing use of encryption could seriously hinder criminal and national security investigations. But the White House, which is preparing a report for President Obama on the issue, is still weighing a range of options, including whether authorities have other ways to get the data they need rather than compelling companies through regulatory or legislative action. […]


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[ISN] TrueCrypt security audit is good news, so why all the glum faces?

http://arstechnica.com/security/2015/04/truecrypt-security-audit-is-good-news-so-why-all-the-glum-faces/ By Dan Goodin Ars Technica Apr 2, 2015 The ongoing audit of the TrueCrypt whole-disk encryption tool used by millions of privacy and security enthusiasts has reached an important milestone—a detailed review of its cryptographic underpinnings that found no backdoors or fatal flaws. The 21-page Open Cryptographic review published Thursday uncovered four vulnerabilities, the most serious of which involved the use of a Windows programming interface to generate random numbers used by cryptographic keys. While that’s a flaw that cryptographers say should be fixed, there’s no immediate indication that the bug undermines the core security promise of TrueCrypt. To exploit it and the other bugs, attackers would most likely have to compromise the computer running the crypto program. None of the vulnerabilities appear to allow the leaking of plaintext or secret key material or allow attackers to use malformed inputs to subvert TrueCrypt. The report was produced by researchers from information security consultancy NCC Group. “The TL;DR is that based on this audit, TrueCrypt appears to be a relatively well-designed piece of crypto software,” Matt Green, a Johns Hopkins University professor specializing in cryptography and an audit organizer, wrote in a blog post accompanying Thursday’s report. “The NCC audit found no evidence of deliberate backdoors, or any severe design flaws that will make the software insecure in most instances.” “The good news is there weren’t any devastating findings, which is great news,” Kenn White, a North Carolina-based computer scientist and audit organizer, told Ars. “The mixed news is what happens next with the project.” […]


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[ISN] [CFP] BSides Las Vegas August 2015

Forwarded from: BSidesLV CFP: https://bsideslv.org/cfp/ First Round CFP closes April 15th. Round two opens May 25th and closes June 8th. BSidesLV 2015 will consist of seven main speaking tracks and one workshop track.It will also include Passwords, however they have a separate CFP. Look for that at https://passwordscon.org/ Proving Ground – First-time speaker* mentor-ship and scholarship program. Get matched with a great mentor who will assist you in crafting your talk and slides and we’ll cover up to $500 in costs for your trip to Las Vegas. *Regional BSides and local group meetings (OWASP/ISSA/ISACA etc.) do not fall into this category More info: http://www.bsideslv.org/speakers/cfp/proving-ground-call-for-papers/ Breaking Ground – Ground Breaking Information Security research and conversations on the “Next Big Thing”. Interactively discussing your research with our participants and getting feedback, input and opinion. No preaching from the podium at a passive audience. Common Ground – Other topics of interest to the security community. e.g., Lock-picking, hardware hacking, mental health/burnout, Law, Privacy, Regulations, Risk, Activism, etc. Again, interactive discussions with your peers and fellow researchers. Not passive lectures “at” an audience. Underground – OTR talks on subjects best discussed AFK. No press, no recording, no streaming, no names. Just you and your peers, behind closed doors. Think about it. Ground Truth – This  track is focused on innovative computer science and mathematics applied to security. Topics of interest include machine learning, natural language processing, Big Data technologies, cryptography, compression, data structures, zero knowledge proofs or just about anything academically publishable that usually baffles review committees for other conferences. Above The Ground Plane – The team that brings you the Wireless Village at DEFCON and the Wireless Capture the Flag contests at multiple conferences throughout the year is organizing a new speaking track for BSidesLV. The Above The Ground Plane track will consist of any and all forms of exciting hacks and unusual uses of wireless technology. Think you have something new and exciting, spread your spectrum and come share it. Trust us, you ohm it to yourself. Training Ground – Workshops and classes to give our participants hands-on experience and in-depth knowledge. We accept proposals for 1/2 day, full-day and 2-day workshops. We don’t charge for workshops, nor do we pay for them, although we may cover circuit boards. Conference information: https://bsideslv.org More CFP information: https://www.bsideslv.org/speakers/cfp/ CFP: https://bsideslv.org/cfp/ Security BSides Las Vegas, Inc. A 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Educational Corporation http://bsideslv.org info@bsideslv.org https://twitter.com/bsideslv


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