Tag: Computer Security

What Is End-to-End Encryption, Back as a Bull’s-Eye on Big Tech?

SAN FRANCISCO — A Justice Department official hinted on Monday that a yearslong fight over encrypted communications could become part of a sweeping investigation of big tech companies. While a department spokesman declined to discuss specifics, a speech Monday by the deputy attorney general, Jeffrey A. Rosen, pointed toward heightened interest in technology called end-to-end […]

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Spyware Maker NSO Promises Reform but Keeps Snooping

MUMBAI, India — Bela Bhatia, a human rights lawyer in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh, is accustomed to surveillance. She works in a region prone to both guerrilla violence and government reprisals, and the authorities do not like many of her clients. Still, Ms. Bhatia said she was shocked to learn her phone had been […]

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What Poses a Greater Privacy Threat Than Facebook? Spyware

Facebook is under fierce scrutiny for its decisions about political advertisements and consumer privacy, and its foray into developing a new cryptocurrency. So it makes sense that the company would try to drum up a little positive publicity and remind people that there are tech firms out there that pose much greater threats to privacy, […]

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Quantum Supremacy? Superfast Computers and the Race for Domination

This was not just any math problem. On Wednesday, Google said its researchers had performed a calculation that the largest supercomputers could not complete in under 10,000 years. And they had done it in 3 minutes 20 seconds. With that calculation, the company said, its research lab in Santa Barbara, Calif., achieved a milestone that […]

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China Sharpens Hacking to Hound Its Minorities, Far and Wide

SAN FRANCISCO — China’s state-sponsored hackers have drastically changed how they operate over the last three years, substituting selectivity for what had been a scattershot approach to their targets and showing a new determination by Beijing to push its surveillance state beyond its borders. The government has poured considerable resources into the change, which is […]

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Quantum Computing Is Coming, Bit by Qubit

YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y. — A bolt from the maybe-future struck the technology community in late September. A paper by Google computer scientists appeared on a NASA website, claiming that an innovative new machine called a quantum computer had demonstrated “quantum supremacy.” According to the paper, the device, in three minutes, had performed a highly technical […]

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10 Tips to Avoid Leaving Tracks Around the Internet

Google and Facebook collect information about us and then sell that data to advertisers. Websites deposit invisible “cookies” onto our computers and then record where we go online. Even our own government has been known to track us. When it comes to digital privacy, it’s easy to feel hopeless. We’re mere mortals! We’re minuscule molecules […]

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Get Your Digital Accounts Ready In Case of Death

On March 7, 2019, Myrna M. DeLeon passed away, days before her 65th birthday. “Her death was completely unexpected,” said her daughter and my brother-in-law’s wife, Casey. In the emotional aftermath for the family, one thing made the grieving process less stressful: Myrna’s “in case of death” preparations. She had filed important documents in a […]

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Barr Pushes Facebook for Access to WhatsApp Messages

WASHINGTON — Attorney General William P. Barr is set to press Facebook on Friday to create a so-called back door to its end-to-end encryption on WhatsApp and other messaging platforms, which would give investigators access to now-secret communications, including from terrorists and other criminals as well as whistle-blowers, journalists and others. Mr. Barr and his […]

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Cyberattacks on Egyptian Activists Are Traced to Government

A series of sophisticated cyberattacks targeting Egyptian journalists, academics, lawyers, opposition politicians and human rights activists has been traced to Egyptian government offices, a cybersecurity firm has found. The attackers installed software on the targets’ phones that enabled them to read the victims’ files and emails, track their locations, identify who they contacted and when, […]

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Facebook Encryption Eyed in Fight Against Online Child Sex Abuse

An explosion in reports of child sexual abuse imagery on the internet is prompting the authorities to step up pressure on technology companies over their use of encryption — and Facebook, which flags by far the largest amount of the material, is drawing outsize attention. The tension is part of a growing debate over privacy […]

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The Extra-Secret White House Computer System, Explained

WASHINGTON — The whistle-blower who revealed President Trump’s attempt to pressure Ukraine’s leader to open investigations that could benefit him politically also accused White House officials of essentially hiding a rough record of the conversation by placing it in the same highly restricted computer system for closely guarded government secrets. In his complaint, the whistle-blower […]

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How to Make the Most of Apple’s New Privacy Tools in iOS 13

To get the latest security protections against viruses, exploits and whatever other nasty stuff is out there, it’s wise to keep the software for our devices updated. For iPhones, that’s especially true now. That’s because Apple’s iOS 13, the most recent mobile software for iPhones, arrived last week. Similar updates to iPadOS, the operating system […]

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$250 Million to Keep Votes Safe? Experts Say Billions Are Needed

WASHINGTON — If the full Senate, as expected, approves a recent committee decision to spend $250 million more to protect the 2020 elections from outside interference, Congress will have devoted at least $630 million toward that goal since Russia sought to influence the last presidential election. It sounds like a lot, experts say, until the […]

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5 Cheap(ish) Things to Beef Up Your Digital Security

Everything you do online is tracked, logged and studied by someone, either through advertising or more malicious means. Being watched is an unpleasant feeling; it’s gotten to the point where even my “I have nothing to hide” friends are growing uncomfortable with the whole thing. As the privacy and security editor for Wirecutter, a New […]

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Improvising a Laptop Recorder and Chewing Gum at the Same Time

How do New York Times journalists use technology in their jobs and in their personal lives? Davey Alba, who covers disinformation, discussed the tech she’s using. You joined The Times in August. How does the tech setup in The Times newsroom differ from other places that you’ve worked? One thing that’s unique about working in […]

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Every Part of the Supply Chain Can Be Attacked

The United States government’s continuing disagreement with the Chinese company Huawei underscores a much larger problem with computer technologies in general: We have no choice but to trust them completely, and it’s impossible to verify that they’re trustworthy. Solving this problem — which is increasingly a national security issue — will require us to both […]

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Russian Man Pleads Guilty in ‘Massive’ Hacking Scheme

A Russian man pleaded guilty on Monday to taking part in a global, multiyear hacking operation that involved cyberattacks on a dozen American companies and an elaborate scheme to use stolen information to manipulate stocks and run illegal online-gambling businesses. The man, Andrei Tyurin, 35, of Moscow, is the first person to be convicted in […]

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N.S.A. Official: We Need to Prepare for the Future of War

The National Security Operations Center occupies a large windowless room, bathed in blue light, on the third floor of the National Security Agency’s headquarters outside of Washington. For the past 46 years, around the clock without a single interruption, a team of senior military and intelligence officials has staffed this national security nerve center. The […]

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The Work Diary of Parisa Tabriz, Google’s ‘Security Princess’

Parisa Tabriz used to be a hacker. Now she is a princess. Ms. Tabriz, 36, is a director of engineering at Google, where she oversees its Chrome web browser and a team of security investigators called Project Zero. Several years ago, when Google required her to get business cards, she picked the title “security princess” […]

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Why You Need a Password Manager. Yes, You.

You probably know that it’s not a good idea to use “password” as a password, or your pet’s name, or your birthday. But the worst thing you can do with your passwords — and something that more than 50 percent of people are doing, according to a recent Virginia Tech study — is to reuse […]

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