Essays Tagged "eWeek"
Page 1 of 1
Digital Information Rights Need Tech-Savvy Courts
Opinion: The courts need to recognize that in the information age, virtual privacy and physical privacy don’t have the same boundaries.
For at least seven months last year, a hacker had access to T-Mobile’s customer network. He is known to have accessed information belonging to 400 customers—names, Social Security numbers, voice mail messages, SMS messages, photos—and probably had the ability to access data belonging to any of T-Mobile’s 16.3 million U.S. customers. But in its fervor to report on the security of cell phones, and T-Mobile in particular, the media missed the most important point of the story: The security of much of our data is not under our control…
Desktop Google Finds Holes
Last month, Google released a beta version of its desktop search software: Google Desktop Search. Install it on your Windows machine, and it creates a searchable index of your data files, including word processing files, spreadsheets, presentations, e-mail messages, cached Web pages and chat sessions. It’s a great idea. Windows’ searching capability has always been mediocre, and Google fixes the problem nicely.
There are some security issues, though. The problem is that GDS indexes and finds documents that you may prefer not be found. For example, GDS searches your browser’s cache. This allows it to find old Web pages you’ve visited, including online banking summaries, personal messages sent from Web e-mail programs and password-protected personal Web pages…
We Owe Much to DES
It was a historic moment when, last month, the National Institute of Standards and Technology proposed withdrawing the Data Encryption Standard as an encryption standard.
DES has been the most popular encryption algorithm for 25 years. Developed at IBM, it was chosen by the National Bureau of Standards (now NIST) as the government-standard encryption algorithm in 1976. Since then, it has become an international encryption standard and has been used in thousands of applications, despite concerns about its short key length.
In 1972, the NBS initiated a program to protect computer and communications data that included a standard encryption algorithm. IBM submitted an algorithm that used simple logical operations on small groups of bits and could be implemented efficiently in mid-1970s hardware. The algorithm’s key strength comes from an S-box, a nonlinear table-lookup specified by strings of constants…
US-VISIT Is No Bargain
In the wake of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s awarding of its largest contract, for a system to fingerprint and to keep tabs on foreign visitors in the United States, it makes sense to evaluate our country’s response to terrorism. Are we getting good value for all the money that we’re spending?
US-VISIT is a government program to help identify the 23 million foreigners who visit the United States every year. It includes capturing fingerprints and taking photographs of all the visitors and building a database to store all this data. Citizens of 27 countries, mostly in Europe, who don’t need a visa to enter the United States are exempt. And visitors from those countries are expected to have passports with biometric data encoded on them in a few years…
Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.