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Feed Schneier: Silk Road Author Arrested Due to Bad Operational Security (schneier.com)

Details of how the FBI found the administrator of Silk Road, a popular black market e-commerce site. Despite the elaborate technical underpinnings, however, the complaint portrays Ulbricht as a drug lord who made rookie mistakes. In an October 11, 2011 posting to a Bitcoin Talk forum, for instance, a user called "altoid" advertised he was looking for an "IT pro...

Feed Schneier: How the NSA Attacks Tor/Firefox Users With QUANTUM and FOXACID (schneier.com)

The online anonymity network Tor is a high-priority target for the National Security Agency. The work of attacking Tor is done by the NSA's application vulnerabilities branch, which is part of the systems intelligence directorate, or SID. The majority of NSA employees work in SID, which is tasked with collecting data from communications systems around the world. According to a...

Feed Schneier: Developments in Microphone Technology (schneier.com)

What's interesting is that this matchstick-sized microphone can be attached to drones. Conventional microphones work when sound waves make a diaphragm move, creating an electrical signal. Microflown's sensor has no moving parts. It consists of two parallel platinum strips, each just 200 nanometres deep, that are heated to 200 C. Air molecules flowing across the strips cause temperature differences between...

Feed Schneier: Is Cybersecurity a Profession? (schneier.com)

A National Academy of Sciences panel says no: Sticking to the quality control aspect of the report, professionalization, it says, has the potential to attract workers and establish long-term paths to improving the work force overall, but measures such as standardized education or requirements for certification, have their disadvantages too. For example, formal education or certification could be helpful to...

Feed Schneier: On Anonymous (schneier.com)

Gabriella Coleman has published an interesting analysis of the hacker group Anonymous: Abstract: Since 2010, digital direct action, including leaks, hacking and mass protest, has become a regular feature of political life on the Internet. The source, strengths and weakness of this activity are considered in this paper through an in-depth analysis of Anonymous, the protest ensemble that has been...

Feed Schneier: On Secrecy (schneier.com)

"When everything is classified, then nothing is classified." I should suppose that moral, political, and practical considerations would dictate that a very first principle of that wisdom would be an insistence upon avoiding secrecy for its own sake. For when everything is classified, then nothing is classified, and the system becomes one to be disregarded by the cynical or the...

Feed Schneier: NSA Storing Internet Data, Social Networking Data, on Pretty Much Everybody (schneier.com)

Two new stories based on the Snowden documents. This is getting silly. General Alexander just lied about this to Congress last week. The old NSA tactic of hiding behind a shell game of different code names is failing. It used to be they could get away with saying "Project X doesn't do that," knowing full well that Projects Y and...

Feed Schneier: Will Keccak = SHA-3? (schneier.com)

Last year, NIST selected Keccak as the winner of the SHA-3 hash function competition. Yes, I would have rather my own Skein had won, but it was a good choice. But last August, John Kelsey announced some changes to Keccak in a talk (slides 44-48 are relevant). Basically, the security levels were reduced and some internal changes to the algorithm...

Feed Schneier: WhoIs Privacy and Proxy Service Abuse (schneier.com)

ICANN has a draft study that looks at abuse of the Whois database. This study, conducted by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in the United Kingdom, analyzes gTLD domain names to measure whether the percentage of privacy/proxy use among domains engaged in illegal or harmful Internet activities is significantly greater than among domain names used for lawful Internet activities. Furthermore,...

Feed Schneier: Senator Feinstein Admits the NSA Taps the Internet Backbone (schneier.com)

We know from the Snowden documents (and other sources) that the NSA taps Internet backbone through secret-agreements with major U.S. telcos., but the U.S. government still hasn't admitted it. In late August, the Obama administration declassified a ruling from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Footnote 3 reads: The term 'upstream collection' refers to NSA's interception of Internet communications as they...

Feed Schneier: Friday Squid Blogging: A Squid that Fishes (schneier.com)

The Grimalditeuthis bonplandi is the only known squid to use its tenticles to fish: Its tentacles are thin and fragile, and almost always break off when it's captured. For ages, people thought it lacked tentacles altogether until a full specimen was found in the stomach of a fish. Weirder still, its clubs have neither suckers nor hooks. Instead, they are...

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