encryption posts on CNET - Page 6


How to password-protect a PDF before e-mailing in OS X

The print-to-PDF feature in OS X is convenient for quickly preserving a document's layout in the PDF format, so it can be viewed on most computers and tablets. If you would like to send someone a formatted document that contains sensitive information, you may want to add the step of protecting it with a password.

To do this, you can use a container format such as a ZIP file or an encrypted disk image (using the Disk Utility program in OS X); however, these may be a bit cumbersome to manage, both for the sender and recipient.

An alternative … Read more

NSA docs boast: Now we can wiretap Skype video calls

Skype now has a backdoor that permits government surveillance of users' video and audio calls, according to a new report in the Guardian.

The report, based on leaked slides from the National Security Agency, appears to confirm growing suspicions about the popular video chat service -- and indicates calls may be monitored as easily as an old-fashioned phone call.

One document quoted by the newspaper says intelligence analysts began to be able to monitor Skype video calls in July 2012: "The audio portions of these sessions have been processed correctly all along, but without the accompanying video. Now, analysts … Read more

Review: Protect your pictures with Image Encrypt Batch Tools' strong encryption

With both 64-bit and 256-bit encryption options and passwords that accept almost any character, Image Encrypt Batch Tools has the power to secure your images so they can't be viewed without your password. Even if snoops get their hands on your pics, they can't open them. As SwMost's documentation points out, no encryption key is completely unbreakable. But Image Encrypt Batch Tools' 256-bit encryption option will take some effort to break.

Image Encrypt Batch Tools opens with a small interface, half of which is taken up with an attractive coastal scene. We had two choices to make … Read more

Pirate Bay founder creating surveillance-free messaging app

In the wake of people learning about the National Security Agency's massive surveillance program, it's become clear that phone records and text messages are not entirely private.

The Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde and a couple of app developers have decided to do something about it. They are working on creating a messaging app that is spy-proof, according to GigaOM.

"All communication on today's networks is being monitored by government agencies and private companies. The politicians are not going to stop it, they're actually asking for more," Sunde said in a video about the … Read more

Two free ways to encrypt Google Drive files

This month marks the sixth anniversary of my Google Drive account. I've been aware since the beginning that the thousands of files I have uploaded to the service are stored unencrypted on Google's servers.

That hasn't prevented me from uploading plenty of sensitive information to Google Drive, including dozens of invoices that list my address and the amount of money I was billing for, although the invoices do not include any bank-account or Social Security numbers.

I could have easily encrypted the files using any number of free services. In last May's "Free services make Gmail, Google Drive, and Google search more private,&… Read more

Facebook's outmoded Web crypto opens door to NSA spying

Secret documents describing the National Security Agency's surveillance apparatus have highlighted vulnerabilities in outdated Web encryption used by Facebook and a handful of other U.S. companies.

Documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden confirm that the NSA taps into fiber optic cables "upstream" from Internet companies and vacuums up e-mail and other data that "flows past" -- a security vulnerability that "https" Web encryption is intended to guard against.

But Facebook and a few other companies still rely on an encryption technique viewed as many years out of date, which cryptographers … Read more

Data, meet spies: The unfinished state of Web crypto

Revelations about the National Security Agency's surveillance abilities have highlighted shortcomings in many Internet companies' security practices that can expose users' confidential communications to government eavesdroppers.

Secret government files leaked by Edward Snowden outline a U.S. and U.K. surveillance apparatus that's able to vacuum up domestic and international data flows by the exabyte. One classified document describes "collection of communications on fiber cables and infrastructure as data flows past," and another refers to the NSA's network-based surveillance of Microsoft's Hotmail servers.

Most Internet companies, however, do not use an privacy-protective encryption technique … Read more

Review: Secure folders easily through encryption with Espionage

Espionage for Mac adds basic security to file folders in a streamlined application. The program comes with a free trial version with a 14-day use limit.

After an easy installation, Espionage for Mac opens a setup assistant that prompts the user to enter a master password. The application rates it for its level of security, and encourages the user to enter those that have additional characters. After passing this screen, the program asks the user to enter the password one additional time to start the application. This brings up a small window where the user can drag and drop folders … Read more

How to secure files from other users on external disks

If you use an external disk drive with OS X, you may notice that when it is mounted, it becomes available for all users on the system. Therefore, if you have files you have saved to a USB drive and you attach it to your system and you switch user accounts, those files will be viewable within the second account.

In addition, if you have network file sharing enabled, the files on this drive will be accessible to any user who logs in via the network.

This behavior may seem a bit concerning, especially for those who have set up … Read more

Insignificant bug keeps encrypted disks unlocked after ejecting in OS X

Apple's CoreStorage disk encryption technology has a small bug that will keep a disk unlocked, even after it has been ejected from the system.

In OS X Lion, Apple introduced a drive management technology called CoreStorage. When enabled, CoreStorage will create a "logical volume group" out of one or more physical drive partitions, and then create usable "logical volumes" from this group to serve as storage for your system. This setup allows the logical volume to span multiple physical partitions (as is seen with Apple's Fusion Drive), and support features like encryption for Apple'… Read more