The Truth about PGP’s So-Called Email Bug: It Isn’t Much of a Problem

Word has been circulating in recent days that PGP has a major bug called Efail can can lead to encrypted emails being decrypted. Details about the problem have now been released and it seems the problem is not with PGP itself. It is with the way that some programmers implement PGP in their various email systems. PGP itself is not the problem.

In fact, decrypting PGP-encrypted email messages with Efail is a difficult task, at best. It probably is not practical for most hackers although NSA or agencies of other governments with access to high-powered computers and sophisticated software tools might be able to decrypt your email messages.

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Virginia Beach Police Plan to Encrypt Radio Channels, Supposedly to Stop the Public from Listening In

In city documents, Virginia Beach police said encryption is needed because criminals listen to police communications. It would greatly increase officer safety and help protect citizens, they wrote. You can read the details in an article by Robyn Sidersky, Amy Poulter, and Jane Harper in The Virginian-Pilot at: http://bit.ly/2I9rzlx.

One has to wonder why some government officials are trying to block encrypted communications or else place “back doors” in all encryption products to allow police and other government agents as well as hackers to spy on all citizens. I am sure the Virginia Beach police will agree to having “back doors” installed in their encrypted channels, right?

Russia Accidentally Hacks Its Own Internet

The latest Kremlin attempt to clamp down on Russians’ online activity and spy on its own citizens resulted in thousands of web sites becoming unavailable to Russian residents.

Almost 16 million IP addresses belonging to Amazon and Google became unavailable to Russians. Many of these IP addresses were used by online services that pay Amazon or Google to host web sites in the Amazon or Google data centers. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of web sites became unavailable to Russian residents, including some of the Russian government’s own sites. While it is humorous to realize this happened to the Russians, similar actions could happen in any country where the government wishes to spy on its own citizens.

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Create Hidden Messages with Musical Cryptography

Musical Cryptography? What is that?

It is a method in which the musical notes A through G are used to spell out words, abbreviations, or codes. This secret writing appears as a plot point in TV shows such as Outlander, the 18th-century time travel drama based in Scotland, and mystery novels like the Secret of the White Rose, which features characters who employ music ciphers as undetectable modes of espionage or communication.

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Without Encryption, It’s So Easy for Anyone to Eavesdrop on Your Phone Calls

An interesting article by Dennis Peng can be found in the Ooma Blog. The article talks mostly about hackers and governments listening to your cell phone and wired telephone calls. Amongst other things, the article states, “There is a backdoor built into every cell phone call. It can be accessed by intelligence agencies, hackers, or anyone with your telephone number.”

As to old-fashioned wired telephones, Peng writes, “Every day, collection systems at the National Security Agency intercept and store 1.7 billion e-mails, phone calls and other types of communications,” reports the Washington Post.

The article may be found at: http://bit.ly/2I7DY8W.

For $15,000, GrayKey Promises to Crack iPhone Passcodes for Police

A little-known Atlanta, Ga.-based tech outfit appeared seemingly out of nowhere this month with a bold claim — that it can crack the passcodes on even the most recent iPhones, a feat managed by only a select few. Grayshift wasn’t widely known until Forbes blew the lid on the company earlier this month — likely because the company’s main clientele are police departments and local law enforcement divisions.

Details are available in an article by Zack Whittaker in the ZDNet web site at http://zd.net/2DGtSJM.

I am betting that Apple will improve the encryption in the iPhone in a new software release before long.

Encrypted Email Service ProtonMail is Being Blocked in Turkey

I have written before about encrypted email provider Proton Mail. In fact, I used Proton Mail last week when I was in China as it was the only email service I could find that was not blocked by the Great Firewall of China. (I bet that changes soon!) Now the government of Turkey isn’t allowing its citizens access to the privacy-enabled email service.

See https://protonmail.com/blog/turkey-online-censorship-bypass/ for the details, unless you are in Turkey in which case the article is blocked.