ZDNet reported on May 23rd that, contrary to what the FBI told the public, we now know that instead of 7,775 encrypted smartphones being impediments to FBI criminal investigations, there are no more than 2,000. Over the last seven months, FBI Director Christopher Wray claimed that the agency couldn't access the content of 7,775 devices in 2017 — more than half of all the smartphones it tried to crack — despite having a search warrant. View Full Post
A tongue in cheek question, to be sure. The Washington Post reported on May 22nd that Amazon has been virtually giving away facial recognition tools to law enforcement agencies in Oregon and Orlando, according to documents obtained by American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, causing great concern for privacy and civil rights groups. View Full Post
The Internet of Things (IoT) will no doubt provide improbable and comic headlines like the one above for many years. Thanks to RTL reader Amelia Porges for pointing me to this story on Business Insider. Nicole Eagan, the CEO of Darktrace, told the Wall Street Journal CEO Council Conference in London recently: "There's a lot of Internet-of-things devices, everything from thermostats, refrigeration systems, HVAC systems, to people who bring in their Alexa devices into the offices. View Full Post
It was last month that I read a story about how Atlanta spent more than $2.6 million on emergency efforts to respond to a ransomware attack. The initial demand was for roughly $50,000 worth of bitcoin within a week's time. Though we don't know whether Atlanta tried to pay the ransom, the attackers took the payment portal offline and left the city to fend for itself. View Full Post
John and I watched the escalating reports of the death of e-mail encryption over the last several days with a growing sense of unease, as the facts were misstated and the conclusions seemed overblown. After an enormous amount of reading, John felt comfortable yesterday in putting out a blog post on this subject in his Your IT Consultant blog. View Full Post
As Naked Security reported, Google CEO Sundar Pichai recently demonstrated an experimental new feature of Google Assistant. It consisted of two ordinary-sounding one-minute voice conversations, one to book a hair appointment, the other to make a restaurant reservation. If you haven't heard the conversations, you really need to carve out time to listen. View Full Post
On May 9th, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in US v. Kolsuz, a criminal appeal raising the question of how the Fourth Amendment applies to searches of electronic devices at the border. The Court ruled that in light of the immense privacy concerns, forensic searches of electronic devices seized at the border must be justified by individualized suspicion, or some reason to believe that a particular traveler had committed a crime. View Full Post