ProtonMail Hits 5 Million Accounts and Wants Users to Ditch Google by 2021

ProtonMail, the Geneva, Switzerland-based encrypted email service, “wants you to be able to completely de-Google-fy your life,” according to CEO Andy Yen. “Come to ProtonMail, and have all the features, plus the security and the privacy that Google doesn’t provide you. So, that’s our long-term vision.”

ProtonMail is primarily different from your free email — Gmail, Yahoo!, etc. — because it encrypts your message and can’t scrape them for data. That encryption also protects them from being read by third-parties if you send an email from your ProtonMail account to another ProtonMail user. But what about encrypted docs, spreadsheets, and slideshow presentations? That’s coming, too, Yen says.

Continue reading

Chrome Vulnerability leaves Wi-Fi Networks Open to Attack

Millions of home Wi-Fi networks could be easily hacked, even when the network is protected by a strong password, thanks to a flaw in Chrome-based browsers.

Researchers at cybersecurity and penetration testing consultancy SureCloud have uncovered a weakness in the way Google Chrome and Opera browsers, among others, handle saved passwords and how those saved passwords are used to interact with home Wi-Fi routers over unencrypted connections.

Details may be found in an article by Ian Barker in the BetaNews web site at: http://bit.ly/2ClLEGv.

COMMENTS:

Continue reading

Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance Argues that Governments Should be Able to Spy on Your Online Encrypted Activities via “Backdoors”

The governments of Australia, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and New Zealand have made the strongest statement yet that they intend to force technology providers to provide lawful access to users’ encrypted communications. Of course, if governments can spy on your private communications via “backdoors,” it won’t be long before even enemy governments, credit card thieves, hackers around the world, and probably even your ex-spouse’s attorney will be able to do the same. Secrets don’t remain secret forever. There is no proof or even any suggestion that secret backdoors will remain secret for long.

According to an article by Juha Saarinen in the ItNews web site:

Continue reading

Skype Now Offers End-to-End Encryption

Skype users can now make encrypted voice calls and text chats. The end-to-end encryption used by Skype means that your chats are encrypted from one end to the other, ensuring eavesdroppers can’t intercept your messages or listen into your conversation. It has taken a while for Skype to offer the feature, but it’s better late than never.

However, be aware that encryption is an OPTION. Unfortunately, the default remains the same as it has always been: unencrypted. Your calls are not encrypted unless you manually choose the option to encrypt the call. If you want a truly private and secure video call or messaging, use Signal or Wire.

If you really do want to use Skype, check out the article at https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/skype-end-to-end-encryption/.

U.S. Government Reportedly Wants to Wiretap Facebook Messenger

According to an exclusive report from Reuters, Facebook may be about to receive one of its stiffest challenges yet from the U.S. government. The U.S. government is trying to force Facebook Inc. to break the encryption in its popular Messenger app so law enforcement may listen to a suspect’s voice conversations in a criminal probe, three people briefed on the case said, resurrecting the issue of whether companies can be compelled to alter their products to enable surveillance. Such a mandate would be a clear violation of the company’s and the customers’ First Amendment speech and expression rights.

The encrypted text messaging and voice conversation applications, such as Facebook Messenger, Signal, WhatsApp, and others are so secure that even the employees of the producing company cannot wiretap the conversations and listen in. These highly secure, end-to-end encrypted, communications go directly from one user to another user without revealing anything intelligible to providers or to anyone who wiretaps the conversations.

The U.S. Government reportedly wants to change that, despite the fact that such an order appears to be unconstitutional.

Continue reading

Gmail For Mobile Gets Confidential Mode but That’s Not Enough

If you use Gmail’s mobile app on your cell phone or tablet, you may soon notice changes that will be of interest to anyone interested in personal privacy. It lets users put a self-destruct mechanism to conversations to “protect sensitive information from unauthorized access.”

With Confidential Mode, users can set an expiration date to all emails, similar to a Snapchat message, and they can also revoke access to a confidential email at any time. The recipient can’t copy, forward, print, or download an email that’s marked as confidential, although there’s no preventing them from taking screenshots.

Continue reading

IEEE Statement on Strong Encryption vs. Backdoors

A note in Bruce Schneier’s excellent Crypto-Gram newsletter  mentions the following:

The IEEE came out in favor of strong encryption:

IEEE supports the use of unfettered strong encryption to protect confidentiality and integrity of data and communications. We oppose efforts by governments to restrict the use of strong encryption and/or to mandate exceptional access mechanisms such as “backdoors” or “key escrow schemes” in order to facilitate government access to encrypted data. Governments have legitimate law enforcement and national security interests. IEEE believes that mandating the intentional creation of backdoors or escrow schemes — no matter how well intentioned — does not serve those interests well and will lead to the creation of vulnerabilities that would result in unforeseen effects as well as some predictable negative consequences

The full statement is available at http://globalpolicy.ieee.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/IEEE18006.pdf.