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Archive for the ‘encryption’ category

Nov 22, 2022

Cybersecurity 101: How to choose and use an encrypted messaging app

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, encryption, mobile phones

Secure communications provider Wickr has announced that it will shutter its free encrypted messaging app, Wickr Me, next year.


Text messaging has been around since the dawn of cellular technology, and sparked its own unique language. But it’s time to put sending regular SMS messages out to pasture.

If you have an iPhone, you’re already on your way. iPhones (as well as iPads and Macs) use iMessage to send messages between Apple devices. It’s a data-based messaging system reliant on 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi, rather than SMS messaging, which uses an old, outdated but universal 2G cellular network. iMessage has grown in popularity, but has left Android devices and other computers out in the dark.

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Nov 21, 2022

Amazon-owned Wickr is shutting down its free encrypted messaging app

Posted by in category: encryption

Secure communications provider Wickr has announced that it will shutter its free encrypted messaging app, Wickr Me, next year.

Wickr was founded in 2011 and became one of the first mainstream end-to-end encrypted messaging apps, until it was acquired by Amazon’s cloud services giant Amazon Web Services in 2021.

In a post published Friday, Amazon said that Wickr Me will shut down for good on December 31, 2023. Amazon says the app will stop accepting new user registrations on December 31, 2022 before it’s discontinued completely the following year.

Nov 20, 2022

Quantum effects in memristive devices

Posted by in categories: encryption, nanotechnology, quantum physics, robotics/AI

At the nanoscale, the laws of classical physics suddenly become inadequate to explain the behavior of matter. It is precisely at this juncture that quantum theory comes into play, effectively describing the physical phenomena characteristic of the atomic and subatomic world. Thanks to the different behavior of matter on these length and energy scales, it is possible to develop new materials, devices and technologies based on quantum effects, which could yield a real quantum revolution that promises to innovate areas such as cryptography, telecommunications and computation.

The physics of very small objects, already at the basis of many technologies that we use today, is intrinsically linked to the world of nanotechnologies, the branch of applied science dealing with the control of matter at the nanometer scale (a nanometer is one billionth of a meter). This control of matter at the is at the basis of the development of new electronic devices.

Among these, are considered promising devices for the realization of new computational architectures emulating functions of our brain, allowing the creation of increasingly efficient computation systems suitable for the development of the entire artificial intelligence sector, as recently shown by Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica (INRiM) researchers in collaboration with several international universities and research institutes.

Nov 16, 2022

Smart home hubs leave users vulnerable to hackers

Posted by in categories: encryption, robotics/AI, security

Machine learning programs mean even encrypted information can give cybercriminals insight into your daily habits.

Smart technology claims to make our lives easier. You can turn on your lights, lock your front door remotely and even adjust your thermostat with the click of a button.

But new research from the University of Georgia suggests that convenience potentially comes at a cost—your personal security.

Nov 9, 2022

Cryptography’s Future Will Be Quantum-Safe. Here’s How It Will Work

Posted by in categories: computing, encryption, mathematics, quantum physics, security, space

In 1994, the computer scientist Peter Shor discovered that if quantum computers were ever invented, they would decimate much of the infrastructure used to protect information shared online. That frightening possibility has had researchers scrambling to produce new, “post-quantum” encryption schemes, to save as much information as they could from falling into the hands of quantum hackers.

Earlier this year, the National Institute of Standards and Technology revealed four finalists in its search for a post-quantum cryptography standard. Three of them use “lattice cryptography” — a scheme inspired by lattices, regular arrangements of dots in space.

Lattice cryptography and other post-quantum possibilities differ from current standards in crucial ways. But they all rely on mathematical asymmetry. The security of many current cryptography systems is based on multiplication and factoring: Any computer can quickly multiply two numbers, but it could take centuries to factor a cryptographically large number into its prime constituents. That asymmetry makes secrets easy to encode but hard to decode.

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Nov 9, 2022

Paving the Way for Satellite Quantum Communications

Posted by in categories: computing, encryption, quantum physics, satellites, security

A series of demonstrations by Micius—a low-orbit satellite with quantum capabilities—lays the groundwork for a satellite-based quantum communication network.

Few things have captured the scientific imagination quite like the vastness of space and the promise of quantum technology. Micius—the Chinese Academy of Science’s quantum communications satellite launched in 2016—has connected these two inspiring domains, producing a string of exciting first demonstrations in quantum space communications. Reviewing the efforts leading up to the satellite launch and the major outcomes of the mission, Jian-Wei Pan and colleagues at the University of Science and Technology of China provide a perspective on what the future of quantum space communications may look like [1]. The success of this quantum-satellite mission proves the viability of several space-based quantum communications protocols, providing a solid foundation for future improvements that may lead to an Earth-spanning quantum communications network (Fig. 1).

Photons, the quanta of light, are wonderful carriers of quantum information because they are easy to manipulate and travel extremely fast. They can be created in a desired quantum state or as the output of some quantum sensor or quantum computer. Quantum entanglement between multiple photons—the nonclassical correlation between their quantum states—can be amazingly useful in quantum communications protocols such as quantum key distribution (QKD), a cryptography approach that can theoretically guarantee absolute information security. QKD schemes have been demonstrated on distances of a few hundreds of kilometers—sufficient to cover communications networks between cities. But increasing their range, eventually to the global scale, is a formidable challenge.

Nov 7, 2022

Quantum Cryptography Is Unbreakable. So Is Human Ingenuity

Posted by in categories: business, computing, encryption, government, internet, mathematics, privacy, quantum physics, security

face_with_colon_three circa 2016.


Two basic types of encryption schemes are used on the internet today. One, known as symmetric-key cryptography, follows the same pattern that people have been using to send secret messages for thousands of years. If Alice wants to send Bob a secret message, they start by getting together somewhere they can’t be overheard and agree on a secret key; later, when they are separated, they can use this key to send messages that Eve the eavesdropper can’t understand even if she overhears them. This is the sort of encryption used when you set up an online account with your neighborhood bank; you and your bank already know private information about each other, and use that information to set up a secret password to protect your messages.

The second scheme is called public-key cryptography, and it was invented only in the 1970s. As the name suggests, these are systems where Alice and Bob agree on their key, or part of it, by exchanging only public information. This is incredibly useful in modern electronic commerce: if you want to send your credit card number safely over the internet to Amazon, for instance, you don’t want to have to drive to their headquarters to have a secret meeting first. Public-key systems rely on the fact that some mathematical processes seem to be easy to do, but difficult to undo. For example, for Alice to take two large whole numbers and multiply them is relatively easy; for Eve to take the result and recover the original numbers seems much harder.

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Nov 7, 2022

A startup building software to encrypt messaging tools such as Slack just raised $11 million from Molten Ventures. Check out the 17-slide pitch deck Worldr used to secure the round

Posted by in categories: encryption, security

The company gives its customers full control over their data and claims to increase security, with a focus on compliance and auditing.

Oct 31, 2022

New Entanglement Results Hint at Better Quantum Codes

Posted by in categories: encryption, quantum physics

A team of physicists has entangled three photons over a considerable distance, which could lead to more powerful quantum cryptography.

Oct 12, 2022

Emulating impossible ‘unipolar’ laser pulses paves the way for processing quantum information

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, encryption, quantum physics

A laser pulse that sidesteps the inherent symmetry of light waves could manipulate quantum information, potentially bringing us closer to room temperature quantum computing.

The study, led by researchers at the University of Regensburg and the University of Michigan, could also accelerate conventional computing.

Quantum computing has the potential to accelerate solutions to problems that need to explore many variables at the same time, including drug discovery, weather prediction and encryption for cybersecurity. Conventional computer bits encode either a 1 or 0, but quantum bits, or qubits, can encode both at the same time. This essentially enables quantum computers to work through multiple scenarios simultaneously, rather than exploring them one after the other. However, these mixed states don’t last long, so the must be faster than electronic circuits can muster.

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