encryption posts on CNET - Page 4


How Google could have made the Web secure and failed -- again

You probably didn't notice, but this week, your searching activity on Google got a little safer from prying eyes. When you go to Google, it likely will transfer you automatically to its "encrypted" service, one designed to prevent potential "eavesdropping" on your searches. What's not to like with that? Chiefly, a loophole Google has left in for its advertisers and a lost opportunity to get all sites to go secure.

Blocking "eavesdropping" of search activity Encrypted search -- officially, Google SSL Search -- protects you from "eavesdroppers" in the same … Read more

Windows Phone 8 gets security thumbs-up from US government

Windows Phone 8 has received a key government accreditation called FIPS 140-2, Microsoft said on Wednesday.

Robert Hoover, a Windows Phone project manager, wrote on the official Windows Phone blog that Win Phone 8 has reached an "important new security milestone," which could make the platform a prospect for governments and organizations that require high security and encryption on their networks and communications platforms.

The U.S. government has granted Win Phone 8 the FIPS 140-2 (PDF) security accreditation. FIPS 140-2 is used to scrutinize and assign a level of security to devices, including tablets and smartphones, that … Read more

Secure SMS app Wickr finally hits Android

Wickr isn't the only encrypted text messaging app around, but it does provide a hard-to-replicate level of protection for your texts. Previously for iOS only, it launched Monday in beta on Android.

The app's argument is simple: its San Francisco-based makers claim that Wickr, now cross-platform between Android and iOS, provides the most secure text messaging apparatus currently available. It uses AES-256, RSA-4096, ECDH-521, Transport Layer Security, and SHA-256 to encode data while it's being stored on a server and while being transferred between devices.

Nico Sell, a Wickr co-founder, doesn't hesitate to talk about her … Read more

Johns Hopkins apologizes for yanking prof's NSA blog

Johns Hopkins University is now aiming to prove it made a mistake in trying to censor a professor's blog post about the National Security Agency. After a back-and-forth on Monday, the dean of the university's Whiting School of Engineering wrote an apologetic letter to the professor.

"I write to apologize for any difficulty I caused you yesterday over the post on your blog. I realize now that I acted too quickly, on the basis of inadequate and -- as it turns out -- incorrect information," Dean Andrew Douglas wrote. "I requested that you take down … Read more

Prevent OS X FileVault keys from being stored in standby mode

If you have FileVault encryption enabled on your Mac and your system goes into standby mode, it will save the FileVault encryption keys in the memory so the system can be quickly woken and resume work without needing to unlock the volume again. This feature is convenient, but some people may wish to prevent it from happening in order to ensure maximum security for their systems.

To prevent the system from storing the keys, you need to change a small setting in the system management controller (SMC), which can be done by running the following command in the OS X … Read more

Johns Hopkins reverses decision forcing prof to pull NSA post

Johns Hopkins University was alerted earlier Monday that one of its professors wrote a blog post allegedly linking to classified National Security Agency documents. Swiftly, the university asked this professor to take down his post. However, hours later, when the school realized he was just linking to news articles -- he was allowed to reinstate the blog post.

The whole debacle began after major news stories spread across the Web last Thursday detailing claims that the NSA has been setting up a clandestine program to break digital encryptions for everything from users' smartphones to everyday e-mails to medical records.

Matthew … Read more

Review: While basic, MEO Free File Encryption for Mac secures files, easily

MEO Free File Encryption for Mac allows users to password-protect files and send encrypted e-mails, all in a basic, easy-to-understand package. With the rise in security threats, the program's capabilities will be useful to many users who want to protect sensitive files against unauthorized access.

MEO Free File Encryption for Mac opens into a small menu with three large buttons. Each includes clear labeling and graphics, making their functions easy to identify, even for less-experienced users. These buttons are for encrypting, decrypting, and e-mailing secured files. Clicking the encrypt option brings up an additional window, which allows users to … Read more

BlackBerry's encryption patents could be its saving grace

Days after BlackBerry announced it was for sale, some people suggested that the beleaguered phone maker sell its patent portfolio to avoid going into the red.

While BlackBerry's smartphones sales have been tepid at best, the company still has a healthy portfolio of 130 encryption patents. In fact, MIT Technology Review suggested these patents could be the company's biggest asset.

What's unique about BlackBerry's security patents is that they use what's called elliptic curve cryptography, which is regarded as more efficient than RSA algorithms for small devices. BlackBerry bought these patents for $106 million from … Read more

Google now encrypts cloud storage by default

Google's Cloud Storage service now automatically encrypts all its customer data for free, the company said Thursday.

The encryption has "no visible performance impact," Google Cloud Storage's product manager, Dave Barth, wrote in a blog post. "If you require encryption for your data, this functionality frees you from the hassle and risk of managing your own encryption and decryption keys," he said.

New files added to Cloud Storage will be encrypted as they're uploaded and before they're saved to a drive. Older files will be migrated "in the coming months," … Read more

How to encrypt a file from the OS X command line

If you would like to encrypt a file or two on your Mac to keep it secure, there are several options available to you. There are a number of third-party tools, such as GPGTools' GPG Suite, which offer encryption options for files (more details here), but Apple also offers built-in encryption support with disk images.

While securely wrapping files in disk images generally requires using Disk Utility, you can do so through the command line as well, which may be useful if you are accessing a system remotely through SSH, or scripting a routine where you would like to encrypt … Read more