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Feed Schneier: NSA Increasing Security by Firing 90% of Its Sysadmins (schneier.com)

General Keith Alexander thinks he can improve security by automating sysadmin duties such that 90% of them can be fired: Using technology to automate much of the work now done by employees and contractors would make the NSA's networks "more defensible and more secure," as well as faster, he said at the conference, in which he did not mention Snowden...

Feed Schneier: Security at Sports Stadiums (schneier.com)

Lots of sports stadiums have instituted Draconian new rules. Here are the rules for St. Louis Rams games: Fans will be able to carry the following style and size bag, package, or container at stadium plaza areas, stadium gates, or when approaching queue lines of fans awaiting entry into the stadium: Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and...

Feed Schneier: Lavabit E-Mail Service Shut Down (schneier.com)

Lavabit, the more-secure e-mail service that Edward Snowden -- among others -- used, has abruptly shut down. From the message on their homepage: I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit. After significant soul searching, I...

Feed Schneier: Latest Movie-Plot Threat: Explosive-Dipped Clothing (schneier.com)

It's being reported, although there's no indication of where this rumor is coming from or what it's based on. ...the new tactic allows terrorists to dip ordinary clothing into the liquid to make the clothes themselves into explosives once dry. "It's ingenious," one of the officials said. Another senior official said that the tactic would not be detected by current...

Feed Schneier: Twitter's Two-Factor Authentication System (schneier.com)

Twitter just rolled out a pretty nice two-factor authentication system using your smart phone as the second factor: The new two-factor system works like this. A user enrolls using the mobile app, which generates a 2048-bit RSA keypair. The private key lives on the phone itself, and the public key is uploaded to Twitter’s server. When Twitter receives a new...

Feed Schneier: Restoring Trust in Government and the Internet (schneier.com)

In July 2012, responding to allegations that the video-chat service Skype -- owned by Microsoft -- was changing its protocols to make it possible for the government to eavesdrop on users, Corporate Vice President Mark Gillett took to the company's blog to deny it. Turns out that wasn't quite true. Or at least he -- or the company's lawyers --...

Feed Schneier: Has Tor Been Compromised? (schneier.com)

There's speculation that the FBI is responsible for an exploit that compromised the Tor anonymity service. Note that Tor nodes installed or updated after June 26 are secure....

Feed Schneier: NSA Surveillance and Mission Creep (schneier.com)

Last month, I wrote about the potential for mass surveillance mission creep: the tendency for the vast NSA surveillance apparatus to be used for other, lesser, crimes. My essay was theoretical, but it turns out to be already happening. Other agencies are already asking to use the NSA data: Agencies working to curb drug trafficking, cyberattacks, money laundering, counterfeiting and...

Feed Schneier: The Public/Private Surveillance Partnership (schneier.com)

Imagine the government passed a law requiring all citizens to carry a tracking device. Such a law would immediately be found unconstitutional. Yet we all carry mobile phones. If the National Security Agency required us to notify it whenever we made a new friend, the nation would rebel. Yet we notify Facebook. If the Federal Bureau of Investigation demanded copies...

Feed Schneier: XKeyscore (schneier.com)

The Guardian discusses a new secret NSA program: XKeyscore. It's the desktop system that allows NSA agents to spy on anyone over the Internet in real time. It searches existing NSA databases -- presumably including PRISM -- and can create fingerprints to search for all future data collections from systems like TRAFFIC THIEF. This seems to be what Edward Snowden...

Feed Schneier: Cryptography Engineering Book Review (schneier.com)

Good review of the strengths and weaknesses of Cryptography Engineering and Applied Cryptography. Best -- at least to me -- is the list of things missing, which we'll have to address if we do another edition....

Feed Schneier: False Positives and Ubiquitous Surveillance (schneier.com)

Searching on Google for a pressure cooker and backpacks got one family investigated by the police. More stories and comments. This seems not to be the NSA eavesdropping on everyone's Internet traffic, as was first assumed. It was one of those "see something say something" amateur tips: Suffolk County Criminal Intelligence Detectives received a tip from a Bay Shore based...

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