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Schneier: Why the Current Section 215 Reform Debate Doesn't Matter Much->

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The ACLU's Chris Soghoian explains (time 25:52-30:55) why the current debate over Section 215 of the Patriot Act is just a minor facet of a large and complex bulk collection program by the FBI and the NSA. There were 180 orders authorized last year by the FISA Court under Section 215 -- 180 orders issued by this court. Only five...
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Schneier: New Pew Research Report on Americans' Attitudes on Privacy, Security, and Surveillance->

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This is interesting: The surveys find that Americans feel privacy is important in their daily lives in a number of essential ways. Yet, they have a pervasive sense that they are under surveillance when in public and very few feel they have a great deal of control over the data that is collected about them and how it is used....
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Schneier: The Logjam (and Another) Vulnerability against Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange->

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Logjam is a new attack against the Diffie-Hellman key-exchange protocol used in TLS. Basically: The Logjam attack allows a man-in-the-middle attacker to downgrade vulnerable TLS connections to 512-bit export-grade cryptography. This allows the attacker to read and modify any data passed over the connection. The attack is reminiscent of the FREAK attack, but is due to a flaw in the...
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Schneier: Research on Patch Deployment->

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New research indicates that it's very hard to completely patch systems against vulnerabilities: It turns out that it may not be that easy to patch vulnerabilities completely. Using WINE, we analyzed the patch deployment process for 1,593 vulnerabilities from 10 Windows client applications, on 8.4 million hosts worldwide [Oakland 2015]. We found that a host may be affected by multiple...
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Schneier: Spy Dust->

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Used by the Soviet Union during the Cold War: A defecting agent revealed that powder containing both luminol and a substance called nitrophenyl pentadien (NPPD) had been applied to doorknobs, the floor mats of cars, and other surfaces that Americans living in Moscow had touched. They would then track or smear the substance over every surface they subsequently touched....
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Schneier: More on Chris Roberts and Avionics Security->

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Last month ago I blogged about security researcher Chris Roberts being detained by the FBI after tweeting about avionics security while on a United flight: But to me, the fascinating part of this story is that a computer was monitoring the Twitter feed and understood the obscure references, alerted a person who figured out who wrote them, researched what flight...
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Schneier: Microbe Biometric->

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Interesting: Franzosa and colleagues used publicly available microbiome data produced through the Human Microbiome Project (HMP), which surveyed microbes in the stool, saliva, skin, and other body sites from up to 242 individuals over a months-long period. The authors adapted a classical computer science algorithm to combine stable and distinguishing sequence features from individuals' initial microbiome samples into individual-specific "codes."...
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Schneier: Eighth Movie-Plot Threat Contest Semifinalists->

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On April 1, I announced the Eighth Movie Plot Threat Contest: demonstrate the evils of encryption. Not a whole lot of good submissions this year. Possibly this contest has run its course, and there's not a whole lot of interest left. On the other hand, it's heartening to know that there aren't a lot of encryption movie-plot threats out there....
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Schneier: Admiral Rogers Speaking at the Joint Service Academy Cyber Security Summit->

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Admiral Mike Rogers gave the keynote address at the Joint Service Academy Cyber Security Summit today at West Point. He started by explaining the four tenets of security that he thinks about. First: partnerships. This includes government, civilian, everyone. Capabilities, knowledge, and insight of various groups, and aligning them to generate better outcomes to everyone. Ability to generate and share...
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