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  1. Yesterday
  2. The AMD Epyc server chips, and processors from the Ryzen Pro line have an encryption feature called Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV). In theory the SEV is protected by encryption on the fly. However the page-wise encryption lacks integrity protection. An adjacent host-level administrator can craft a web environment that returns plaintext of memory locations. By observing encrypted usage of the memory locations by the target user it is possible to identify and then re-map the memory to a new user. Fraunhofer AISEC researchers Mathias Morbitzer, Manuel Huber, Julian Horsch and Sascha Wessel have published their findings at https://arxiv.org/pdf/1805.09604.pdf
  3. Earlier
  4. James

    VeraCrypt 1.17

    VeraCrypt 1.21, released in July 2017, added support for FreeBSD.
  5. The Lloyds Banking Group (Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax and MBNA) has blocked the ability for its customers to purchase crypto-currencies with a credit card (according to a report in The Telegraph). It is concerned about the level of customer debt set against falling values in cryptocurrency. However debit card purchases are not excluded.
  6. Facebook has announced a change to its advertising policy restricting the advertising of cryptocurrency. It now says Facebook Ads must not promote ‘financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency.’
  7. A vulnerability in RSA encryption affects about 3% of all web servers including leading web sites such as Facebook and PayPal. In 1998 Daniel Bleichenbacher, a Swiss cryptographer, identified a problem with the implementation of RSA PKCS #1 v1.5 and it was never fully fixed. Hanno Böck, Juraj Somorovsky, and Craig Young discovered the flaw, to be known as ROBOT, which stands for Return Of Bleichenbacher’s Oracle Threat. It can be used to exploit servers running older ciphers. Servers that are vulnerable to a DROWN attack, forcing a downgrade to older ciphers, are also vulnerable. The researchers recommend to fully deprecate RSA encryption based key exchanges in TLS (ciphers that start with TLS_RSA). Further information is available from https://eprint.iacr.org/2017/1189.pdf
  8. James

    Mini Crypto Chip

    The US Air Force has a new encryption chip called Mini Crypto. It took two years to develop and is now ready for production. The chip is a self-contained encryption engine that generates its own session-based key. It is suitable for communications equipment that is usually carried by one person, such as scouts, and does not require safeguarding from falling into the wrong hands. Further information from http://www.aviationtoday.com/2017/10/04/usaf-encryption-chip-ready-production/
  9. https://nextcloud.com/blog/nextcloud-introducing-native-integrated-end-to-end-encryption/ See also https://nextcloud.com/endtoend/ It is planned that the feature is included in Nextcloud 13.
  10. James

    KSK, ZSK, RZM for the DNS

    ICANN has postponed the rollout until the first quarter of 2018 at the earliest.
  11. Burger King has launched its own crypto-currency, called WhopperCoin. They are offered in reward for purchases. 1700 WhopperCoins can be redeemed for a Whopper burger. The BlockChain is being managed by Waves: http://wavescommunity.com/blt-with-dlt-have-it-your-way-with-whoppercoin-on-waves/ (n.b. the Waves web site doesn’t use HTTPS, rather odd considering their area of expertise)
  12. KSK = Key Signing Key ZSK = Zone Signing Key RZM = Root Zone Maintainer DNS = Domain Name System (or Server) The KSK will be used to sign the root zone for the first time on October 11, 2017 at 1600 UTC. The KSK is used to sign the ZSK, which is used by the root zone maintainer (RZM) to DNSSEC-sign the root zone of the Domain Name System. The change will upgrade the ZSK to a 2048-bit RSA key to improve security for resolving domain names. For more information see https://automated-ksk-test.research.icann.org/
  13. IBM has announced new hardware that supports full encryption and said ‘IBM fully supports the need for governments to protect their citizens from evolving threats. Weakening encryption technology, however, is not the answer. Encryption is simply too prevalent and necessary in modern society.’
  14. A European Parliament committee is proposing that end-to-end encryption can be used by the public. They submitted a proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the respect for private life and the protection of personal data in electronic communications.
  15. James

    VeraCrypt 1.17

    VeraCrypt 1.20 comes with 64-bit processor optimizations for all supported operating systems. The developers have improved the implementation for SHA-512 and SHA-256 which results in a 33% speed increase on 64-bit systems. Additionally, a 64-bit optimized assembly implementation of Twofish and Camelia is included in VeraCrypt 1.20 which makes Camelia 2.5 times faster if AES-NI is supported by the processor, or 30% faster if it is not. Other major changes for all operating systems include the use of Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) for improved security, and the integration of a local HTML user guide instead of a PDF document. (source: ghacks.net)
  16. Let’s Encrypt has just issued its hundred millionth digital certificate. They estimate the number of web sites protected by Let’s Encrypt is between 17 million and 46 million.
  17. Fox‑IT has extracted AES-256 encryption keys using $200 of standard electronics parts to measure electromagnetic radiation. At a distance of one metre sniffing the keys over the air took five minutes. At 30cm the extraction time is cut down to just 50 seconds. By using a test rig for calibration they mapped out power consumption related to individual bytes, resulting in 8192 guesses at the encryption key. They said (PDF) their technique is suitable for attacking network encryption appliances.
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