Science and Technology : Prying Eyes: Inside the NSA's War on Internet Security

Gorilla

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Jan 31, 2009
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US and British intelligence agencies undertake every effort imaginable to crack all types of encrypted Internet communication. The cloud, it seems, is full of holes. The good news: New Snowden documents show that some forms of encryption still cause problems for the NSA.


When Christmas approaches, the spies of the Five Eyes intelligence services can look forward to a break from the arduous daily work of spying. In addition to their usual job -- attempting to crack encryption all around the world -- they play a game called the "Kryptos Kristmas Kwiz," which involves solving challenging numerical and alphabetical puzzles. The proud winners of the competition are awarded "Kryptos" mugs.

Encryption -- the use of mathematics to protect communications from spying -- is used for electronic transactions of all types, by governments, firms and private users alike. But a look into the archive of whistleblower Edward Snowden shows that not all encryption technologies live up to what they promise.

One example is the encryption featured in Skype, a program used by some 300 million users to conduct Internet video chat that is touted as secure. It isn't really. "Sustained Skype collection began in Feb 2011," reads a National Security Agency (NSA) training document from the archive of whistleblower Edward Snowden. Less than half a year later, in the fall, the code ******** declared their mission accomplished. Since then, data from Skype has been accessible to the NSA's snoops. Software giant Microsoft, which acquired Skype in 2011, said in a statement: "We will not provide governments with direct or unfettered access to customer data or encryption keys." The NSA had been monitoring Skype even before that, but since February 2011, the service has been under order from the secret US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), to not only supply information to the NSA but also to make itself accessible as a source of data for the agency.

Full Article: http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/inside-the-nsa-s-war-on-internet-security-a-1010361.html

The article mentions specific applications, cites information in the leaks, and points out that quite a few tools still give the NSA problems (OTR, truecrypt ( r.i.p), ZRPT, GPG). Worth a read...
 

Carrie

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Mar 27, 2015
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Nothing is secure now. Haven't you heard they have planted an non-traceable malware in hard discs that sends information to these agencies. I don't this anything is secure now a days both from governments or hackers.
 

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