Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2023/02/a-hackers-mind-news.html
A Hacker’s Mind will be published on Tuesday.
I have done a written interview and a podcast interview about the book. It’s been chosen as a “February 2023 Must-Read Book” by the Next Big Idea Club. And an “Editor’s Pick”—whatever that means—on Amazon.
There have been three reviews so far. I am hoping for more. And maybe even a published excerpt or two.
Amazon and others will start shipping the book on Tuesday. If you ordered a signed copy from me, it is already in the mail.
If you can leave a review somewhere, I would appreciate it.
Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2022/10/interview-with-signals-new-president.html
Long and interesting interview with Signal’s new president, Meredith Whittaker:
WhatsApp uses the Signal encryption protocol to provide encryption for its messages. That was absolutely a visionary choice that Brian and his team led back in the day - and big props to them for doing that. But you can’t just look at that and then stop at message protection. WhatsApp does not protect metadata the way that Signal does. Signal knows nothing about who you are. It doesn’t have your profile information and it has introduced group encryption protections. We don’t know who you are talking to or who is in the membership of a group. It has gone above and beyond to minimize the collection of metadata.
WhatsApp, on the other hand, collects the information about your profile, your profile photo, who is talking to whom, who is a group member. That is powerful metadata. It is particularly powerful—and this is where we have to back out into a structural argument for a company to collect the data that is also owned by Meta/Facebook. Facebook has a huge amount, just unspeakable volumes, of intimate information about billions of people across the globe.
It is not trivial to point out that WhatsApp metadata could easily be joined with Facebook data, and that it could easily reveal extremely intimate information about people. The choice to remove or enhance the encryption protocols is still in the hands of Facebook. We have to look structurally at what that organization is, who actually has control over these decisions, and at some of these details that often do not get discussed when we talk about message encryption overall.
I am a fan of Signal and I use it every day. The one feature I want, which WhatsApp has and Signal does not, is the ability to easily export a chat to a text file.
Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2022/10/museum-security.html
Banks don’t take millions of dollars and put them in plastic bags and hang them on the wall so everybody can walk right up to them. But we do basically the same thing in museums and hang the assets right out on the wall. So it’s our job, then, to either use technology or develop technology that protects the art, to hire honest guards that are trainable and able to meet the challenge and alert and so forth. And we have to keep them alert because it’s the world’s most boring job. It might be great for you to go to a museum and see it for a day, but they stand in that same gallery year after year, and so they get mental fatigue. And so we have to rotate them around and give them responsibilities that keep them stimulated and keep them fresh.
It’s a challenge. But we try to predict the items that might be most vulnerable. Which are not necessarily most valuable; some things have symbolic significance to them. And then we try to predict what the next targets might be and advise our clients that they maybe need to put special security on those items.
Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2022/02/interview-with-the-head-of-the-nsas-research-directorate.html
MIT Technology Review published an interview with Gil Herrera, the new head of the NSA’s Research Directorate. There’s a lot of talk about quantum computing, monitoring 5G networks, and the problems of big data:
The math department, often in conjunction with the computer science department, helps tackle one of NSA’s most interesting problems: big data. Despite public reckoning over mass surveillance, NSA famously faces the challenge of collecting such extreme quantities of data that, on top of legal and ethical problems, it can be nearly impossible to sift through all of it to find everything of value. NSA views the kind of “vast access and collection” that it talks about internally as both an achievement and its own set of problems. The field of data science aims to solve them.
“Everyone thinks their data is the messiest in the world, and mine maybe is because it’s taken from people who don’t want us to have it, frankly,” said Herrera’s immediate predecessor at the NSA, the computer scientist Deborah Frincke, during a 2017 talk at Stanford. “The adversary does not speak clearly in English with nice statements into a mic and, if we can’t understand it, send us a clearer statement.”
Making sense of vast stores of unclear, often stolen data in hundreds of languages and even more technical formats remains one of the directorate’s enduring tasks.