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Iran orders all Messaging Apps to store its citizens' data within Country

Iran orders all Messaging Apps to store its citizens' data within Country

May 31, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Last year, Iran blocked Telegram and many other social networks after their founders refused to help Iranian authorities to spy on their citizens. Now it looks like Iranian government wants tighter controls on all foreign messaging and social media apps operating in the country that will give the authorities a wider ability to monitor and censor its people. All foreign messaging and social media apps operating in Iran have one year to move 'data and activity' associated with Iranian citizens onto servers in Iran, Reuters reported . In order to comply with the new regulations, the companies would need to set up data centers in Iran within one year, but apps may lose a larger number of users by moving data onto Iranian servers. However, transferring data to Iran servers might not be enough, as some of the most popular messaging services like WhatsApp , Apple iMessage , and Telegram are offering end-to-end encrypted communication i.e. nobody in between, not even Whats
Apple hires Encryption Expert to Beef Up Security on its Devices

Apple hires Encryption Expert to Beef Up Security on its Devices

May 25, 2016Mohit Kumar
The FBI and other law enforcement agencies have waged legal war on encryption and privacy technologies. You may have heard many news stories about the legal battle between Apple and the FBI over unlocking an iPhone that belonged to the San Bernardino shooter. However, that was just one battle in a much larger fight. Now, in an effort to make its iPhone surveillance-and-hack proof, Apple has rehired security expert and cryptographer Jon Callas , who co-founded the widely-used email encryption software PGP and the secure-messaging system Silent Circle that sells the Blackphone. This is not Apple's first effort over its iPhone security . Just a few months back, the company hired Frederic Jacobs , one of the key developers of Signal — World's most secure, open source and encrypted messaging app . Now Apple has rehired Callas, who has previously worked for Apple twice, first from 1995 to 1997 and then from 2009 to 2011. During his second joining, Callas designed a ful
High-Severity OpenSSL Vulnerability allows Hackers to Decrypt HTTPS Traffic

High-Severity OpenSSL Vulnerability allows Hackers to Decrypt HTTPS Traffic

May 05, 2016Mohit Kumar
OpenSSL has released a series of patches against six vulnerabilities, including a pair of high-severity flaws that could allow attackers to execute malicious code on a web server as well as decrypt HTTPS traffic . OpenSSL is an open-source cryptographic library that is the most widely being used by a significant portion of the Internet services; to cryptographically protect their sensitive Web and e-mail traffic using the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol. One of the high-severity flaws, CVE-2016-2107 , allows a man-in-the-middle attacker to initiate a " Padding Oracle Attack " that can decrypt HTTPS traffic if the connection uses AES-CBC cipher and the server supports AES-NI. A Padding Oracle flaw weakens the encryption protection by allowing attackers to repeatedly request plaintext data about an encrypted payload content. The Padding Oracle flaw ( exploit code ) was discovered by Juraj Somorovsky using his own developed tool c
In-Brief: Telegram Vulnerability, Malware in Nuclear Plant, Anti-Tor Malware and Hotpatching Exploit

In-Brief: Telegram Vulnerability, Malware in Nuclear Plant, Anti-Tor Malware and Hotpatching Exploit

April 28, 2016Mohit Kumar
Clickjacking Vulnerability in Telegram Web Client The official Telegram web-client that allows its users to access messenger account over desktop's web browser is vulnerable to clickjacking web application vulnerability. Egyptian security researcher Mohamed A. Baset told The Hacker News about a flaw in Telegram that could allow an attacker to change sensitive information of a Telegram user, including password and the recovery e-mail. [ Watch Video Demo ] "Telegram web client is not protecting itself from clickjacking with the typical X-Frame-Options header but uses a JS frame busting technique to prevent the website to be iframed," Mohamed says. However, by exploiting one of HTML5 Features, Mohamed was able to open the Telegram account's settings page with a sandboxed iframe to prevent redirecting to top window, which also allows him to execute cross-site request forgery (csrf) vulnerability on the web-client. " I sent [bug report] it to them [Telegram team]
​DARPA Wants To Build Ultra Secure Messaging App for US Military

​DARPA Wants To Build Ultra Secure Messaging App for US Military

April 24, 2016Mohit Kumar
Just last month, DARPA launched a project dubbed "Improv," inviting hackers to transform simple household appliances into deadly weapons . Now, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is finding someone in the private sector to develop a hacker-proof " secure messaging and transaction platform " for the U.S. military. Darpa wants researchers to create a secure messaging and transaction platform that should be accessible via the web browser or standalone native application. The secure messaging app should " separate the message creation, from the transfer (transport) and reception of the message using a decentralized messaging backbone to allow anyone anywhere the ability to send a secure message or conduct other transactions across multiple channels traceable in a decentralized ledger, " agency's  notice explains. In simple words, DARPA aims to create a secure messaging service that not only implements the standard encryption and se
Encrypted Smartphone Network Seized by Dutch Police for Criminal Investigation

Encrypted Smartphone Network Seized by Dutch Police for Criminal Investigation

April 21, 2016Mohit Kumar
On Tuesday, the Dutch Police arrested a 36-year-old man, Danny Manupassa , on suspicion of money laundering and involvement in selling encrypted smartphones to criminals. Manupassa owns a company called Ennetcom , which provides customized Blackberry Phones with the secure PGP-encrypted network. Reportedly, Ennetcom sold nearly 19,000 encrypted cell phones at 1500 euros each in last few years. Police have seized Ennetcom servers based in the Netherlands and Canada and pulled them offline. The seized servers contain data of encrypted communications belong to a large number of criminals. According to a press release , the investigation is ongoing and seized data from the servers will be analyzed soon. Police believe this operation would result in collecting evidence required for solving numerous ongoing investigations involving drug trafficking, assassinations, and other serious crimes. Moreover, Canadian Police is also involved in this investigation and surprisingly, i
Opera Browser Now Offers Free and Unlimited Built-in VPN Service

Opera Browser Now Offers Free and Unlimited Built-in VPN Service

April 21, 2016Swati Khandelwal
In Brief Opera becomes the first web browser to offer a built-in Free, unlimited and 256-bit encrypted VPN service for everyone. Opera's Free VPN protects unencrypted browser session from leaking on public WiFi networks and will also let unblock firewalls to improve privacy and security. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have become an important tool not just for large companies, but also for individuals to improve web privacy, dodge content restrictions and counter growing threat of cyber attacks. Opera has released an updated desktop version of its web browser with a Free built-in VPN service to keep you safe on the Internet with just a click. That's a great deal! For those unfamiliar, VPNs are easy security and privacy tools that route your Internet traffic through a distant connection, protecting your browsing, hiding your location data and accessing restricted resources. Free VPN Service with Unlimited Data Usage Unlike several other free VPN services,
Researcher releases Free Ransomware Detection Tool for Mac OS X Users

Researcher releases Free Ransomware Detection Tool for Mac OS X Users

April 20, 2016Mohit Kumar
In Brief: Introducing  RansomWhere , a free generic ransomware detection tool for Mac OS X users that can identify ransomware-like behavior by continually monitoring the file-system for the creation of encrypted files by suspicious processes. This ransomware detection tool helps to block the suspicious processes and waits for the user to decide whether to allow or stop the process. Ransomware has risen dramatically since last few years... so rapidly that it might have already hit someone you know. With hundred of thousands of ransomware samples emerging every day, it is quite difficult for traditional signature-based antivirus products to keep their signature database up-to-date. So, if signature-based techniques are not enough to detect ransomware infection , then what else can we do? Some Antivirus companies have already upgraded their security solutions that detect suspicious behaviors like the sequential accessing of a large number of files, using encryption algori
Viber adds End-to-End Encryption and PIN protected Hidden Chats features

Viber adds End-to-End Encryption and PIN protected Hidden Chats features

April 20, 2016Mohit Kumar
In Brief Viber, the popular mobile messaging app announced Tuesday that it has added full end-to-end encryption for video, voice and text message services for its millions of users. Here, the end-to-end encryption means only you and the person you are communicating with can read the content, and nobody in between, not even the company and if court orders company to provide user data, they will get only the heaps of encrypted data. Viber is the latest messaging platform to join WhatsApp , Telegram , and Apple iMessage , who strengthened their default privacy features in recent times. Founded in 2010 and acquired by Japanese e-commerce titan Rakuten for $900 Million in 2014, Viber is currently being used by more than 700 Million users globally across Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and desktop, the company claimed in a blog post published today. The move comes just a couple of weeks after Facebook-owned Whatsapp messaging app implemented full end-to-end encryption by default
Anti-Encryption Bill Released, would Kill your Privacy and Security

Anti-Encryption Bill Released, would Kill your Privacy and Security

April 14, 2016Swati Khandelwal
The United States anti-encryption bill will kill your Privacy. In the wake of the Apple vs. FBI case, two leading Intelligence Committee Senators have introduced an anti-encryption bill that would effectively ban strong encryption. Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) released the official version of their bill today in response to concerns that criminals and terrorists are increasingly using encrypted devices to hide their plans and plots from authorities. As its name suggests, the Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016 [ PDF ] would require people and technology firms like Apple and Google to comply with court orders to decrypt phones and its data. The draft copy of the Burr-Feinstein proposal was leaked last week, which has already faced heavy criticism from both the technology and legislative communities. Even the White House has declined to support the bill. The official version of the anti-encryption bill seems to be even wors
How to decrypt Petya Ransomware for Free

How to decrypt Petya Ransomware for Free

April 12, 2016Mohit Kumar
Ransomware has risen dramatically since last few years and is currently one of the most popular threats on the Internet. The Ransomware infections have become so sophisticated with the time that victims end up paying ransom in order to get their critical and sensitive data back. But if you are infected with Petya Ransomware , there is good news for you. You can unlock your infected computer without paying the hefty ransom. Thanks to the Petya author who left a bug in the Ransomware code. What is Petya Ransomware? Petya is a nasty piece of ransomware that emerged two weeks ago and worked very differently from any other ransomware. The ransomware targets the victims by rebooting their Windows computers, encrypting the hard drive's master boot file, and rendering the master boot record inoperable. Also Read:  How to Decrypt CoinVault and Bitcryptor Ransomware A master boot record (MBR) is the information in the first sector of any hard disk that ide
FBI claims its iPhone Hacking Tool can't Unlock iPhone 5S, 6S and 6S Plus

FBI claims its iPhone Hacking Tool can't Unlock iPhone 5S, 6S and 6S Plus

April 07, 2016Mohit Kumar
Although everyone, including Apple, was worried about the iPhone hacking tool used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to access data on iPhone belonged to the San Bernardino shooter, the FBI director said the hack does not work on an iPhone 5S or later. FBI Director James Comey said Wednesday that the agency was able to avoid a prolonged legal battle with Apple by buying a tool from a private source to hack into terrorist Syed Farook's iPhone 5C. Apple was engaged in a legal battle with the Department of Justice (DOJ) for a month over a court order that forces the company to write new software, which could disable passcode protection on Farook's iPhone to help them access data on it. Apple refused to comply with the order, so the FBI worked with a third-party firm, most likely the Israeli mobile forensic firm Cellebrite, and was successfully able to access data on the locked iPhone used in the San Bernardino shooting incident last year. But speaking to the
'Hacking Team' Loses License to Sell Surveillance Malware Outside Europe

'Hacking Team' Loses License to Sell Surveillance Malware Outside Europe

April 07, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Hacking Team – the infamous Italy-based spyware company that had more than 400 GB of its confidential data stolen last year – is facing another trouble.  This time not from other hackers, but from its own government. Hacking Team is infamous for selling surveillance spyware to governments and intelligence agencies worldwide, but now it may not be allowed to do so, as the Italian export authorities have revoked the company's license to sell outside of Europe. Almost a year after it was hacked and got all its secrets leaked online , Hacking Team somehow managed to resume its operations and start pitching new hacking tools to help the United States law enforcement gets around their encryption issues. Hacking Team had sold its malware, officially known as the Galileo Remote Control System , to authorities in Egypt, Morocco, Brazil, Malaysia, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Mexico, and Panama. Hacking Team had also signed big contracts with the Federal Burea
WhatsApp turns on End-to-End Encryption by default for its 1 Billion Users

WhatsApp turns on End-to-End Encryption by default for its 1 Billion Users

April 05, 2016Mohit Kumar
WhatsApp is updating its messaging app so that every text message and voice call will be encrypted for the company's one billion users. Yes, Whatsapp has finally implemented full end-to-end encryption , as promised a year ago. This means, from now every message, image or voice call you made will be secured by end-to-end encryption so that only you and the person you're communicating with can read the content of the message, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp. In other words, this also means that WhatsApp would not be able to comply with any court order that demands access to the content of any conversation happens over its service. Starting today, you will see a notification on your WhatsApp conversation screen as your messenger becomes end-to-end encrypted, as shown in the screenshot. "Message you send to this chat and calls are now secured with end-to-end encryption. Tap for more info."  "This is because your messages are secured with a lock,
New Bill targets Anonymous Prepaid 'Burner' phones by requiring Registration

New Bill targets Anonymous Prepaid 'Burner' phones by requiring Registration

March 26, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Terrorist organisations are increasingly using high-grade encryption technologies to prevent being caught by the law enforcement. But, that was not in the case of last year's Paris attacks that killed 129 people, as Encryption seems to have played little to no role. So, Who was the Real Culprit Behind the Attacks? The 'Burner' Phones. Burner Phones, or Prepaid mobile phones, are often the quick, easy, and anonymous method of communication. All you need to do is head to your nearest big-box store and pick up a cheap prepaid "burner" phone and a phone card. Now you have an entirely useable phone with no ID that could reveal your identity. It seems that these prepaid "burner" phones are a dream tool for terrorist organisations that bring them in bulk and then disposed of each time they make a communication. The same prepaid phones were utilized in the terrorist attacks in Paris late last year. Therefore, by using different phon
Florida Sheriff threatens to Arrest 'Rascal' Tim Cook if He Doesn't Unlock the iPhone

Florida Sheriff threatens to Arrest 'Rascal' Tim Cook if He Doesn't Unlock the iPhone

March 14, 2016Swati Khandelwal
The legal battle between Apple and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is turning ugly with each passing day. Apple is fighting with the federal authorities over iPhone encryption case . The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) requires Apple's assistance to unlock an iPhone 5C belonging to San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said explicitly that providing a backdoor would likely open up the company's iPhones to not just the federal agents, but also to malicious hackers who could use it for evil purposes. Now the Apple's decision not to comply with the court order has provoked a Florida sheriff, who has threatened to arrest Tim Cook if he gets the chance. Sheriff Vows: I'll Lock the Rascal up. During a Wednesday press conference, when Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd was asked about Cook's refusal to help create a custom operating system that would assist the FBI to circumvent security measures on terrorist iPhone
More than 1 Million Websites Install Free SSL Certificate (and Counting...)

More than 1 Million Websites Install Free SSL Certificate (and Counting...)

March 09, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Let's Encrypt has achieved another big milestone by issuing 1 million free Transport Layer Security (TLS) SSL Certificates to webmasters who wish to secure the communications between their users and domains. Let's Encrypt   – operated by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) – is an absolutely free, and open source certificate authority recognized by all major browsers , including Google's Chrome, Mozilla's Firefox and Microsoft's Internet Explorer. It is just three months and five days since Let's Encrypt launched a beta version of the service, and the group has crossed 1 Million certificates in use across the Web, Let's Encrypt said in a blog post on Tuesday. Let's Encrypt allows anyone to obtain Free SSL/TLS (Secure Socket Layer/Transport Layer Security) certificates for their web servers. Backed by companies including EFF, Akamai and Mozilla, the Let's Encrypt project started offering Free HTTPS certs to everyone fro
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
Turing Award — Inventors of Modern Cryptography Win $1 Million Cash Prize

Turing Award — Inventors of Modern Cryptography Win $1 Million Cash Prize

March 02, 2016Swati Khandelwal
And the Winners of this year's Turing Award are: Whitfield Diffie and Martin E. Hellman . The former chief security officer at Sun Microsystems Whitfield Diffie and the professor at Stanford University Martin E. Hellman won the 2015 ACM Turing Award, which is frequently described as the "Nobel Prize of Computing" . Turing Award named after  Alan M. Turing , the British mathematician and computer scientist who was a key contributor to the Allied cryptanalysis of the German Enigma cipher and the German "Tunny" encoding machine in World War II. The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) announced the Turing Award the same day when FBI Director  James Comey  appeared before a congressional committee to discuss how  encryption has become Threat  to law enforcement. The ACM  announced the award on Tuesday, which includes the top prize of $1 Million that has been awarded to two men who invented the "public-key cryptography" – a technique that
DROWN Attack — More than 11 Million OpenSSL HTTPS Websites at Risk

DROWN Attack — More than 11 Million OpenSSL HTTPS Websites at Risk

March 01, 2016Swati Khandelwal
A new deadly security vulnerability has been discovered in OpenSSL that affects more than 11 Million modern websites and e-mail services protected by an ancient, long deprecated transport layer security protocol, Secure Sockets Layer (SSLv2). Dubbed DROWN , the highly critical security hole in OpenSSL was disclosed today as a low-cost attack that could decrypt your sensitive, secure HTTPS communications, including passwords and credit card details… ...and that too in a matter of hours or in some cases almost immediately, a team of 15 security researchers from various universities and the infosec community warned Tuesday. Here's what the security researchers said: "We've been able to execute the attack against OpenSSL versions that are vulnerable to CVE-2016-0703 in under a minute using a single PC. Even for servers that do not have these particular bugs, the general variant of the attack, which works against any SSLv2 server, can be conducted in under 8 hour
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