Archive for the ‘encryption’ category

Jan 27, 2023

Apple says it will allow iCloud backups to be fully encrypted

Posted by in categories: encryption, government, law enforcement, mobile phones

After years of delay under government pressure, Apple said Wednesday that it will offer fully encrypted backups of photos, chat histories and most other sensitive user data in its cloud storage system worldwide, putting them out of reach of most hackers, spies and law enforcement.

Maybe a New iPhone is a good idea for a second phone.

The one service Apple offered that could not be encrypted was iCloud. Now that will change.

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Jan 26, 2023

How Quantum Computing Will Transform Our World

Posted by in categories: climatology, economics, encryption, finance, government, internet, mathematics, military, quantum physics, space, supercomputing, sustainability

Tech giants from Google to Amazon and Alibaba —not to mention nation-states vying for technological supremacy—are racing to dominate this space. The global quantum-computing industry is projected to grow from $412 million in 2020 to $8.6 billion in 2027, according to an International Data Corp. analysis.

Whereas traditional computers rely on binary “bits”—switches either on or off, denoted as 1s and 0s—to process information, the “qubits” that underpin quantum computing are tiny subatomic particles that can exist in some percentage of both states simultaneously, rather like a coin spinning in midair. This leap from dual to multivariate processing exponentially boosts computing power. Complex problems that currently take the most powerful supercomputer several years could potentially be solved in seconds. Future quantum computers could open hitherto unfathomable frontiers in mathematics and science, helping to solve existential challenges like climate change and food security. A flurry of recent breakthroughs and government investment means we now sit on the cusp of a quantum revolution. “I believe we will do more in the next five years in quantum innovation than we did in the last 30,” says Gambetta.

But any disrupter comes with risks, and quantum has become a national-security migraine. Its problem-solving capacity will soon render all existing cryptography obsolete, jeopardizing communications, financial transactions, and even military defenses. “People describe quantum as a new space race,” says Dan O’Shea, operations manager for Inside Quantum Technology, an industry publication. In October, U.S. President Joe Biden toured IBM’s quantum data center in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., calling quantum “vital to our economy and equally important to our national security.” In this new era of great-power competition, China and the U.S. are particularly hell-bent on conquering the technology lest they lose vital ground. “This technology is going to be the next industrial revolution,” says Tony Uttley, president and COO for Quantinuum, a Colorado-based firm that offers commercial quantum applications. “It’s like the beginning of the internet, or the beginning of classical computing.”

Jan 26, 2023

Quantum Safe Cryptography — A Quantum Leap Needed Now

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, encryption, finance, information science, internet, mathematics, quantum physics, security

Whether we realize it or not, cryptography is the fundamental building block on which our digital lives are based. Without sufficient cryptography and the inherent trust that it engenders, every aspect of the digital human condition we know and rely on today would never have come to fruition much less continue to evolve at its current staggering pace. The internet, digital signatures, critical infrastructure, financial systems and even the remote work that helped the world limp along during the recent global pandemic all rely on one critical assumption – that the current encryption employed today is unbreakable by even the most powerful computers in existence. But what if that assumption was not only challenged but realistically compromised?

This is exactly what happened when Peter Shor proposed his algorithm in 1995, dubbed Shor’s Algorithm. The key to unlocking the encryption on which today’s digital security relies is in finding the prime factors of large integers. While factoring is relatively simple with small integers that have only a few digits, factoring integers that have thousands of digits or more is another matter altogether. Shor proposed a polynomial-time quantum algorithm to solve this factoring problem. I’ll leave it to the more qualified mathematicians to explain the theory behind this algorithm but suffice it to say that when coupled with a quantum computer, Shor’s Algorithm drastically reduces the time it would take to factor these larger integers by multiple orders of magnitude.

Prior to Shor’s Algorithm, for example, the most powerful computer today would take millions of years to find the prime factors of a 2048-bit composite integer. Without Shor’s algorithm, even quantum computers would take such an inordinate amount of time to accomplish the task as to render it unusable by bad actors. With Shor’s Algorithm, this same factoring can potentially be accomplished in a matter of hours.

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Jan 18, 2023

IBM: Quantum computing poses an ‘existential threat’ to data encryption

Posted by in categories: business, computing, encryption, existential risks, quantum physics, security

Check out all the on-demand sessions from the Intelligent Security Summit here.

For years, encryption has played a core role in securing enterprise data. However, as quantum computers become more advanced, traditional encryption solutions and public-key cryptography (PKC) standards, which enterprise and consumer vendors rely on to secure their products, are at serious risk of decryption.

Today, IBM Institute for Business Value issued a new report titled Security in the Quantum Era, examining the reality of quantum risk and the need for enterprise adoption of quantum-safe capabilities to safeguard the integrity of critical applications and infrastructure as the risk of decryption increases.

Jan 14, 2023

Quantum computers: How scientists can shield against cyber attacks

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, encryption, information science, quantum physics

Making predictions is never easy, but it is agreed that cryptography will be altered by the advent of quantum computers.

Thirteen, 53, and 433. That’s the size of quantum computers.


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Jan 14, 2023

Using cosmic rays to generate and distribute random numbers and boost security for local devices and networks

Posted by in categories: computing, encryption, military, quantum physics

State-of-the-art methods of information security are likely to be compromised by emerging technologies such as quantum computers. One of the reasons they are vulnerable is that both encrypted messages and the keys to decrypt them must be sent from sender to receiver.

A new method—called COSMOCAT—is proposed and demonstrated, which removes the need to send a since cosmic rays transport it for us, meaning that even if messages are intercepted, they could not be read using any theorized approach. COSMOCAT could be useful in localized various bandwidth applications, as there are limitations to the effective distance between sender and receiver.

In the field of information communication technology, there is a perpetual arms race to find ever more secure ways to transfer data, and ever more sophisticated ways to break them. Even the first modern computers were essentially code-breaking machines used by the U.S. and European Allies during World War II. And this is about to enter a new regime with the advent of quantum computers, capable of breaking current forms of security with ease. Even security methods which use quantum computers themselves might be susceptible to other quantum attacks.

Jan 14, 2023

Hacker group discloses ability to encrypt an RTU device using ransomware, industry reacts

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, encryption

Hacker group discloses the ability to encrypt an RTU device using ransomware, leading to reactions from Claroty and SynSaber.

Jan 12, 2023

China’s new quantum code-breaking algorithm raises concerns in the US

Posted by in categories: computing, encryption, information science, quantum physics

The new algorithm could render mainstream encryption powerless within years.

Chinese researchers claim to have introduced a new code-breaking algorithm that, if successful, could render mainstream encryption powerless within years rather than decades.

The team, led by Professor Long Guilu of Tsinghua University, proclaimed that a modest quantum computer constructed with currently available technology could run their algorithm, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported on Wednesday.

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Jan 11, 2023

Expert Analysis Reveals Cryptographic Weaknesses in Threema Messaging App

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, encryption, security

A comprehensive analysis of the cryptographic protocols used in the Swiss encrypted messaging application Threema has revealed a number of loopholes that could be exploited to break authentication protections and even recover users’ private keys.

The seven attacks span three different threat models, according to ETH Zurich researchers Kenneth G. Paterson, Matteo Scarlata, and Kien Tuong Truong, who reported the issues to Threema on October 3, 2022. The weaknesses have since been addressed as part of updates released by the company on November 29, 2022.

Threema is an encrypted messaging app that’s used by more than 11 million users as of October 2022. “Security and privacy are deeply ingrained in Threema’s DNA,” the company claims on its website.

Jan 9, 2023

Are quantum computers about to break online privacy?

Posted by in categories: computing, encryption, information science, quantum physics

A new algorithm is probably not efficient enough to crack current encryption keys — but that’s no reason for complacency, researchers say.

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