Hacks, router vulnerabilities, invasive governments, identity thieves…it’s all part of a sinister mosaic that makes up the state of cyber security. New ways to feel endangered pop up on the web all the time.
But it’s not all hopeless. For every malware report, there’s a corresponding previously unthinkable technological leap forward. That’s why today’s FlashRouters cyber security news roundup is more of a mixed bag than usual. For every jarring story about a malicious online presence, you’ll find a reason to be excited about the future of cyber security. Happy reading!
Hacking and Cyber Security News
One Million Dollars to Hack iOS 9 – If you offer the most secure mobile OS, you’re just begging people to come knock you off the throne. Hence cyber security firm Zerodium’s new offer of one million dollars to anyone who can expose a security in the recently released iOS 9 operating system. Do you have what it takes?
Apple Confirms Discovery of Malicious Code in Some App Store Products – And despite the news in that previous article, here we are: Apple has confirmed that some malicious code has been discovered in some 40 App store products. Apparently, hackers copied and modified a tool software developers use for apps that make it into the App store. In fact, some of the most popular apps in China, including a widely used ride-sharing app, have been affected.
Near-Perfect Computer Security Is Closer Than You Might Think – And despite reporting on the infiltration of the most secure mobile system in the world, we’re here to give you some positive news about the state of cyber security. According to Wired, a cryptographic method called “indistinguishability obfuscation” or “IO”, first introduced in 2013, has made significant advances, and is thought to be an honest-to-goodness chance at creating a form of near-perfect computer security.
D-Link Accidentally Publishes Cryptography Keys – Well, this is exactly the sort of embarrassment a company that specializes in secure networking devices does not need in this day and age. It would seem D-Link published the cryptography keys – which, funnily enough, are there to ensure the trustworthiness of firmware – in their open-source firmware package. Apparently, this mistake went undiscovered for seven months. It remains to be seen how this will affect the security of D-Link users, but this could be a damaging hit for the company itself.
Hackers Launch Balloon Probe Into Stratosphere to Spy on Drones – Are you all sick of the government hiding secrets from you in the sky? Okay, that sounds ridiculous, but seriously, communications satellites and drones are perfect ways to keep secret governmental programs out of view of the public. And that’s why a group of activists/technologists called Critical Engineering have launched a balloon probe called “Deep Sweep” into the stratosphere, hoping to intercept some high-flying data and analyze it when the probe returns to Earth. Here’s to ingenuity, eh?
Edward Snowden Says Encryption Might Be Preventing Alien Communiques – In a recent conversation on Neil Degrasse Tyson’s podcast, Star Talk, data collection whistleblower Edward Snowden speculates that encryption could be preventing our planet from ever making contact with aliens. As he explains:
“You can’t distinguish a properly encrypted communication, at least in the theoretical sense, from random noise…So if you have an alien civilization trying to listen for other civilizations, or our civilization trying to listen for aliens, there’s only one small period in the development of their society where all of their communications will be sent via the most primitive and most unprotected means.”
Sounds reasonable enough (maybe, for all we know), though it does seem to open Snowden up to charges of being a crackpot.
VPN Blocking in China After WWII Parade? – According to the popular VPN, Astrill, China has been making efforts to block their service, which first noticed outages during the lead-up to the country’s 70th anniversary of WWII parade. Considering China’s notoriously heavy-handed approach to internet censorship, this could represent even more stringent rules to come.
Should Colleges Release Transparency Reports Like UC-Berkeley – UC-Berkeley has taken the unprecedented step of publishing a transparency report, outlining all governmental requests for student and staff data. Slate thinks every college should follow suit, and we’re inclined to agree.
Mapping the Spread of Anonymity Network Tor – When it comes to tracking the popularity of a widely used product, basically anything you choose is going to be easier to trace than an online anonymity project. Yet here’s Onionview, launched by a coder named Luke Millanta, which basically serves as a map to track and count the location of Tor nodes, which are computers used to help Tor encrypt internet traffic and give their users the privacy they seek.
Tales of Online Health
If You’re a Millenial, You’re Likely Suffering From Digital Eye Strain – If you’re youngish and you’ve been staring at a computer all day, thinking that you could use a break, maybe you ought to take it. Apparently, millenials stand a good chance of contracting digital eye strain which, as it sounds, is a result of staring at computers all day. So if your eyes feel dry or watery or fatigued, or if you’re just getting a headache reading this, it’s time to step away from the keypad.
Lastly, And Most Hopefully
Are You Ready For Your Invisibility Cloak? – Okay, this one doesn’t have much to do with cyber security, but in theory, an invisibility cloak would make you at least a little safer, right? We admit we’re wedging this one in, but c’mon, it’s an invisibility cloak! Created by scientists at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley, no less! Don’t pretend you aren’t at least curious to try one.
The Meeting That Spawned WiFi – Would you believe that the meeting that led to the creation of WiFi, which took place 25 years ago, was about retail remodeling for a cash register company? PC World has got the full story for you.
How to Get Internet to the Other 4 Billion People On This Planet – Of course it feels like everyone is on the internet, but more than half of the planet currently lacks this service which is seeming more essential all the time. So Wired decided to take a look at what the people in unwired countries are doing to create an infrastructure that can support internet for all. Of course, there are also the efforts of philanthropic billionaires to push these projects along. We may be looking at a fully wired planet sooner than we had thought.