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encryption

Review: Cosmos System Care Free scans your computer for any problems

Cosmos System Care Free is touted as your all-in-one maintenance tool to keep your computer system healthy and clean. Indeed, when you first download the program, you are offered the chance for an immediate scan. However, while this program seems to be wide in scope, the free version only offers to scan your computer for problems; it doesn't fix them.

Cosmos System Care Free took more than 35 minutes to download, extract, and install on a dual processing system. The program scans for security problems including privacy issues, includes a file decryptor and encryptor, and backs up or restores … Read more

Judge: Child porn suspect doesn't need to decrypt files

Jeffrey Feldman has won a reprieve from a federal court order that had given him until Tuesday to decrypt his hard drives for the FBI -- or face contempt of court.

A federal judge in Wisconsin today granted an emergency motion filed by Feldman's attorney for additional time to establish that her client's Fifth Amendment right to self-incrimination would be violated.

U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa lifted the threat of contempt of court and jail time, at least temporarily, and asked for additional briefs from Feldman's attorney and Justice Department prosecutors. A hearing is likely to … Read more

How to change an encrypted volume's password in OS X

With data security being an all-too-common concern, the options for encrypting data in OS X are welcome additions that are quite easy to implement. While you can store files in an encrypted disk image, you can also use FileVault to encrypt your boot drive. Furthermore, you can encrypt or decrypt any secondary volume by right-clicking it and choosing the option to do so, or by using the Terminal.

These features are convenient, but if you wish to change the password for an encrypted drive, you will find that this feature is not available along with the options for encrypting. You … Read more

How to encrypt one volume on a drive in OS X

Encrypting data is a convenient method for keeping your data secure, especially when using external hard drives and thumbdrives that may be stolen or lost. While it might be easiest to encrypt an entire drive, sometimes doing so may be a touch inconvenient, especially if the drive is used for more than one purpose.

For instance, if you keep sensitive files on your drive, you may wish to keep it encrypted; however, this prevents you from sharing the drive with others. Therefore, if you want to use the drive to transfer files to another system, you will have to authenticate … Read more

Free services make Gmail, Google Drive, Google search more private

It's no secret that any information you provide to a Google service is no secret.

When Google changed its terms of service last year, the company granted itself and any other company it chooses complete, unfettered access to anonymized (we hope) versions of all the messages you send and receive via Gmail, all the files you upload to Google Drive, and all the terms you enter in the Google search box.

As CNET's Rafe Needleman reported in April 2012, Google's rights go beyond simply perusing your personal information. Google's terms of service include the following:

When … Read more

Apple deluged by police demands to decrypt iPhones

Apple receives so many police demands to decrypt seized iPhones that it has created a "waiting list" to handle the deluge of requests, CNET has learned.

Court documents show that federal agents were so stymied by the encrypted iPhone 4S of a Kentucky man accused of distributing crack cocaine that they turned to Apple for decryption help last year.

An agent at the ATF, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, "contacted Apple to obtain assistance in unlocking the device," U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell wrote in a recent opinion. But, she wrote, … Read more

W3C proceeds with Web video encryption despite opposition

The World Wide Web Consortium has decided to go ahead with a technology that will let companies like Netflix stream encrypted video using Web sites -- against the wishes of the Free Software Foundation, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and 25,600 petition signatories.

The Web standards group announced the move Thursday, to nobody's surprise. Entertainment-industry players had approached the group three years ago to discuss the technology, Microsoft has been helping develop it, and Google already has built the specification, called Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) into Chrome.

The standard doesn't actually handle encryption and digital rights management (DRM) to … Read more

Apple's iMessage encryption trips up feds' surveillance

Encryption used in Apple's iMessage chat service has stymied attempts by federal drug enforcement agents to eavesdrop on suspects' conversations, an internal government document reveals.

An internal Drug Enforcement Administration document seen by CNET discusses a February 2013 criminal investigation and warns that because of the use of encryption, "it is impossible to intercept iMessages between two Apple devices" even with a court order approved by a federal judge.

The DEA's warning, marked "law enforcement sensitive," is the most detailed example to date of the technological obstacles -- FBI director Robert Mueller has called itRead more

Treat your Mac to World Backup Day

This Sunday, March 31, is World Backup Day, an independent initiative geared to raise awareness for data security and the importance of backing up computers and other devices that may contain important information. In light of this, you might want to consider taking the time to ensure that all of your systems are set up with a proper backup routine.

Backing up a system used to take a number of steps, and while there are many options and approaches for doing so, these days most devices include some sort of regular backup option that, if used, should be enough to … Read more

Apple finally fixes App Store flaw by turning on encryption

Apple has finally fixed a security flaw in its application store that for years has allowed attackers to steal passwords and install unwanted or extremely expensive applications.

The flaw arose because Apple neglected to use encryption when an iPhone or other mobile device tries to connect to the App Store, meaning an attacker can hijack the connection. In addition to a security flaw, the unencrypted connections also created a privacy vulnerability because the complete list of applications installed on the device are disclosed over Wi-Fi.

It also allows the installation of apps, including extremely expensive ones that top out at … Read more