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Apple Moves iCloud Data and Encryption Keys for Chinese Users to China

Apple Moves iCloud Data and Encryption Keys for Chinese Users to China

February 28, 2018Mohit Kumar
Apple has finally agreed to open a new Chinese data center next month to comply with the country's latest controversial data protection law. Apple will now move the cryptographic keys of its Chinese iCloud users in data centers run by a state-owned company called Cloud Big Data Industrial Development Co, despite concerns from human rights activists. In 2017, China passed a Cybersecurity Law that requires "critical information infrastructure operators" to store Chinese users' data within the country's borders, which likely forced Apple to partner with the new Chinese data center. And the icing on the cake is that Chinese government already has legislation called National Security Law, passed in 2015, which gives police the authority to demand companies help them bypass encryption or other security tools to access personal data. This is the first time when Apple is going to store encryption keys required to unlock iCloud accounts of its users outside the
DUHK Attack Lets Hackers Recover Encryption Key Used in VPNs & Web Sessions

DUHK Attack Lets Hackers Recover Encryption Key Used in VPNs & Web Sessions

October 24, 2017Mohit Kumar
DUHK — Don't Use Hard-coded Keys — is a new 'non-trivial' cryptographic implementation vulnerability that could allow attackers to recover encryption keys that secure VPN connections and web browsing sessions. DUHK is the third crypto-related vulnerability reported this month after KRACK Wi-Fi attack and ROCA factorization attack . The vulnerability affects products from dozens of vendors, including Fortinet , Cisco, TechGuard, whose devices rely on ANSI X9.31 RNG — an outdated pseudorandom number generation algorithm — 'in conjunction with a hard-coded seed key.' Before getting removed from the list of FIPS-approved pseudorandom number generation algorithms in January 2016, ANSI X9.31 RNG was included into various cryptographic standards over the last three decades. Pseudorandom number generators (PRNGs) don’t generate random numbers at all. Instead, it is a deterministic algorithm that produces a sequence of bits based on initial secret values called a
Serious Crypto-Flaw Lets Hackers Recover Private RSA Keys Used in Billions of Devices

Serious Crypto-Flaw Lets Hackers Recover Private RSA Keys Used in Billions of Devices

October 17, 2017Swati Khandelwal
If you think KRACK attack for WiFi is the worst vulnerability of this year, then hold on… ...we have got another one for you which is even worse. Microsoft, Google, Lenovo, HP and Fujitsu are warning their customers of a potentially serious vulnerability in widely used RSA cryptographic library produced by German semiconductor manufacturer Infineon Technologies. It's noteworthy that this crypto-related vulnerability (CVE-2017-15361) doesn't affect elliptic-curve cryptography and the encryption standard itself, rather it resides in the implementation of RSA key pair generation by Infineon's Trusted Platform Module (TPM). Infineon's Trusted Platform Module (TPM) is a widely-used, dedicated microcontroller designed to secure hardware by integrating cryptographic keys into devices and is used for secured crypto processes. This 5-year-old algorithmic vulnerability was discovered by security researchers at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic, who have relea
Lavabit — Encrypted Email Service Once Used by Snowden, Is Back

Lavabit — Encrypted Email Service Once Used by Snowden, Is Back

January 21, 2017Mohit Kumar
Texas-based Encrypted Email Service ' Lavabit ,' that was forced to shut down in 2013 after not complying with a court order demanding access to SSL keys to snoop on Edward Snowden's emails , is relaunching on Friday. Lavabit CEO Ladar Levison had custody of the service's SSL encryption key that could have helped the government obtain Snowden's password. Although the FBI insisted it was only after Snowden's account, that was the key to the kingdom that would have helped the FBI agents obtain other users’ credentials as well. But rather than complying with the federal request that could compromise the communications of all of its customers, Levison preferred to shut down his encrypted email service, leaving its 410,000 users unable to access their email accounts. Now, Levison has announced that he is reviving Lavabit with a new architecture that fixes the SSL problem — which according to him, was the biggest threat — and includes other privacy-enhancin
How to Crack Android Full Disk Encryption on Qualcomm Devices

How to Crack Android Full Disk Encryption on Qualcomm Devices

July 01, 2016Mohit Kumar
The heated battle between Apple and the FBI provoked a lot of talk about Encryption – the technology that has been used to keep all your bits and bytes as safe as possible. We can not say a lot about Apple's users, but Android users are at severe risk when it comes to encryption of their personal and sensitive data. Android's full-disk encryption can be cracked much more easily than expected with brute force attack and some patience, affecting potentially hundreds of millions of mobile devices. And the worst part: There may not be a full fix available for current Android handsets in the market. Google started implementing Full Disk Encryption on Android by default with Android 5.0 Lollipop. Full disk encryption (FDE) can prevent both hackers and even powerful law enforcement agencies from gaining unauthorized access to device's data. Android's disk encryption, in short, is the process of encoding all user's data on an Android device before ever wri
How to Steal Secret Encryption Keys from Android and iOS SmartPhones

How to Steal Secret Encryption Keys from Android and iOS SmartPhones

March 04, 2016Mohit Kumar
Unlike desktops, your mobile devices carry all sorts of information from your personal emails to your sensitive financial details. And due to this, the hackers have shifted their interest to the mobile platform. Every week new exploits are discovered for iOS and Android platform, most of the times separately, but the recently discovered exploit targets both Android as well as iOS devices. A team of security researchers from Tel Aviv University , Technion and The University of Adelaide has devised an attack to steal cryptographic keys used to protect Bitcoin wallets, Apple Pay accounts, and other highly sensitive services from Android and iOS devices. The team is the same group of researchers who had experimented a number of different hacks to extract data from computers. Last month, the team demonstrated how to steal sensitive data from a target air-gapped computer located in another room. Past years, the team also demonstrated how to extract secret decryption key
Critical OpenSSL Flaw Allows Hackers to Decrypt HTTPS Traffic

Critical OpenSSL Flaw Allows Hackers to Decrypt HTTPS Traffic

January 29, 2016Mohit Kumar
The OpenSSL Foundation has released the promised patch for a high severity vulnerability in its cryptographic code library that let attackers obtain the key to decrypt HTTPS-based communications and other Transport layer security (TLS) channels. OpenSSL is an open-source library that is the most widely used in applications for secure data transfers. Most websites use it to enable Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption. However, after serious security vulnerabilities were discovered in OpenSSL over the last few years, the crypto library has been under much investigation by security researchers. The latest bugs affect OpenSSL versions 1.0.1 and 1.0.2, which has been patched in new releases of OpenSSL, versions 1.0.1r and 1.0.2f . The team has patched two separate vulnerabilities in OpenSSL. The " high severity " bug, identified as CVE-2016-0701 , addresses issues in the implementations of the Diffie-Hellman key exchang
Critical OpenSSH Flaw Leaks Private Crypto Keys to Hackers

Critical OpenSSH Flaw Leaks Private Crypto Keys to Hackers

January 15, 2016Swati Khandelwal
A 'Serious' security vulnerability has been discovered and fixed in OpenSSH – one of the most widely used open-source implementations of the Secure Shell (SSH) Protocol. The critical vulnerability could be exploited by hackers to force clients to leak their secret private cryptographic keys, potentially exposing users to Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) attacks. What Causes the Flaw to occur? The serious bug was actually the result of a code that enables an experimental " roaming " feature in the OpenSSH versions 5.4 to 7.1 in order to let users resume connections. However, The roaming feature contains two different vulnerabilities: An information sharing flaw ( CVE-2016-0777 ) A less harmless buffer overflow flaw ( CVE-2016-0778 ) The vulnerability does not have any catchy name like some previous OpenSSH flaws. Impact of the Vulnerability This new feature can be exploited by hackers, who could use a malicious OpenSSH server to trick a
Microsoft Keeps Backup of Your Encryption Key on its Server — Here's How to Delete it

Microsoft Keeps Backup of Your Encryption Key on its Server — Here's How to Delete it

December 29, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Have you recently purchased a Windows computer? Congratulations! As your new Windows computer has inbuilt disk encryption feature that is turned on by default in order to protect your data in case your device is lost or stolen. Moreover, In case you lost your encryption keys then don't worry, Microsoft has a copy of your Recovery Key. But Wait! If Microsoft already has your Disk Encryption Keys then what’s the use of using disk encryption feature? Doesn't Encryption mean Only you can unlock your disk ? Microsoft Probably Holds your Encryption Keys Since the launch of Windows 8.1, Microsoft is offering disk encryption as a built-in feature for Windows laptops, Windows phones and other devices. However, there is a little-known fact, highlighted by The Intercept, that if you have logged into Windows 10 using your Microsoft account, your system had automatically uploaded a copy of your recovery key to Microsoft’s servers secretly, and you can't pre
Encrypted Email Servers Seized by German Authorities After School Bomb Threats

Encrypted Email Servers Seized by German Authorities After School Bomb Threats

December 22, 2015Mohit Kumar
In the wake of a hoax bomb threat, all public schools in Los Angeles were closed for a day last week, and now German authorities have seized an encrypted email server. But, Does that make sense? In a video statement posted on Monday, the administrator of Cock.li – an anonymous email provider service – said German authorities had seized a hard drive from one of its servers that used to host the service in a Bavarian data center. The email provider was thought to have been used last week to send bomb threatening emails to several school districts across the United States, resulting in the closure of all schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Despite The New York City Department of Education dismissed the e-mail as an obvious hoax, German authorities seized a hard drive that, according to the service admin, actually holds "all data" on the company. According to the service administrator Vincent Canfield, "SSL keys and private keys and f
Millions of IoT Devices Using Same Hard-Coded CRYPTO Keys

Millions of IoT Devices Using Same Hard-Coded CRYPTO Keys

November 27, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Millions of embedded devices, including home routers, modems, IP cameras, VoIP phones, are shareing the same hard-coded SSH (Secure Shell) cryptographic keys or HTTPS (HTTP Secure) server certificates that expose them to various types of malicious attacks. A new analysis by IT security consultancy SEC Consult shows that the lazy manufacturers of the Internet of Things (IoTs) and Home Routers are reusing the same set of hard-coded cryptographic keys, leaving devices open to Hijacking. In simple words, this means that if you are able to access one device remotely, you can possibly log into hundreds of thousands of other devices – including the devices from different manufacturers. Re-Using Same Encryption Keys In its survey of IoT devices , the company studied 4,000 embedded devices from 70 different hardware vendors, ranging from simple home routers to Internet gateway servers, and discovered that… …over 580 unique private cryptographic keys for SSH and HTTPS a
How to Hack into Computers using Pita Bread and A Radio

How to Hack into Computers using Pita Bread and A Radio

June 23, 2015Swati Khandelwal
There's a new and clever way of hacking into computers, and it can be done cheaply – Using just a radio receiver and a piece of pita bread . Yeah, you heard it right. Security researchers at Tel Aviv University have demonstrated how to extract secret decryption keys from computers by capturing radio emissions of laptop computers . Capturing the radio signals to steal data from a computer system is nothing new. But the process required expensive, bulky lab equipment to accomplish. However, the Israeli-based researchers team managed to do it with cheap consumer-grade components as well as small enough to hide inside a piece of pita bread. Using cheap equipment, the team of researchers, including Daniel Genkin, Lev Pachmanov, Itamar Pipman and Eran Tromer , was able to capture keystrokes, applications running on a computer system, and encryption keys. How the method works? The idea is simple, as different computer operations, such as playing some game o
Stealing Encryption Keys Just by Touching a Laptop

Stealing Encryption Keys Just by Touching a Laptop

August 27, 2014Mohit Kumar
As far sci-fi movies have been entertaining the public, but their ideas have always been a matter of adoption in real life. Just like in any other sci-fi movie, simply touching a laptop can be enough to extract the cryptographic keys used to secure data stored on it. A team of computer security experts at Tel Aviv University (Israel) has come up with a new potentially much simpler method that lets you steal data from computers — Just Touch it — literally. WAYS TO ATTACK ENCRYPTION There are different ways of attacking encryption systems. On one side, there are security vulnerabilities and weakness in the encryption algorithms themselves that make it possible to figure out the cryptographic keys. On the other side, there are flaws and weaknesses in the people themselves that make it easier than it should be to force them to offer up the keys to decrypt something. But, Flaws and weaknesses in neither of which is necessarily quick or easy to find out, as there are seve
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