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147
votes
8answers
26k views

What are the implications of NSA surveillance on the average internet user?

It would appear as though the tinfoil hat-wearing were vindicated today, as news broke of the true scale of the U.S. government's surveillance of its citizens' online activities, conducted primarily ...
105
votes
4answers
17k views

How would a resourceful government block Tor?

I came across this article saying that after the November 2015 Paris attacks, some French police officers proposed to ban Tor. Tor is used to circumvent censorship! What security techniques would ...
52
votes
17answers
4k views

Can we still provide confidentiality when cryptography is outlawed?

In certain jurisdictions, use of cryptography by the private sector is limited: e.g. there are reports that in the UAE and other countries not all of the encryption capabilities of the BlackBerry are ...
48
votes
2answers
4k views

Why would the government collect Wi-Fi SSIDs via manual door-to-door questioning of citizens?

I live in a country with little freedom on the Internet (not as strict as in China, but some sites, particularly anti-government sites are inaccessible without a VPN). Recently the government just ...
30
votes
1answer
1k views

Any known cases of government backdoors creating exploitable security holes? [closed]

As the Apple v FBI battle unfolds, government backdoors will become a hot topic. As background to that, I have two questions: Are there any known cases where governments have forced tech companies ...
26
votes
7answers
2k views

Protecting critical state infrastructure from the aftermath of a nuclear blast

Countries rely on computer infrastructure for a huge percentage of communications and military management, as well as utilities like electricity. Unfortunately, nuclear attacks release massive ...
23
votes
4answers
3k views

NSA Suite A Cryptography: Security through obscurity?

What is the opinion of scholars, cryptographers on NSA Suite A? Containing unpublished algorithms. Could it really be that much better than the published algorithms besides being obscure and not ...
20
votes
6answers
8k views

Why does the government/military not use special operating systems?

Why does military and government not use special operating systems? I mean, if they do not use generic operating system based on Windows, Linux and Mac and create their own operating system, they will ...
13
votes
7answers
1k views

Online Government Elections System - Is it possible?

I am from Bulgaria and currently some groups here are promoting the idea of referendum among the people, about the possibility for establishing a system for ONLINE GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS. The idea is ...
12
votes
5answers
585 views

How can citizens prevent government-led Internet blackouts?

The United Nations now considers Internet access a basic human right. [PDF] Despite the questionable effectiveness of Internet blackouts in silencing a populace and preventing uprisings1, it's ...
12
votes
5answers
660 views

What steps should one take to provide “reasonable” levels of privacy from a government?

I'm highly uncomfortable with the recent news surrounding government snooping in the UK. If we define a typical user to mean somebody who: Browses web sites such as BBC News and Stack Overflow Uses ...
11
votes
5answers
450 views

Government / State cyberwarfare organizations

I am working on some research regarding advanced persistent threats. Within this effort, discussion of cyber-warfare started. Looking further into the subject, I have found a plethora of links ...
10
votes
3answers
745 views

Can we make sure that the new Lavabit certificate is not under control of the FBI?

After the Lavabit shutdown, Ladar Levison (founder of Lavabit) announced that he’s "looking into setting up a site where users can download their data". Such a site is now online: https://liberty....
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Can a VPN avoid the Prism Surveillance Programme?

This is causing me major concern and i can understand it is for a lot of users as well. I have nothing to hide but it's the moral aspect of snooping which has ticked me off. Can a VPN avoid the ...
8
votes
1answer
176 views

What was the issue the UAE had with RIM/Blackberry and what was the outcome? What countries have similar agreements?

I'd like to understand what came out of UAE's desire to monitor RIM traffic, and what technical compromise was made. Do other countries have similar agreements with RIM? What are the details? ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

How are leaked government credentials possible and what's the point?

In the wake of all these leaked/stolen/hacked government login/passwords being stolen it got me thinking. How is the leaking of these passwords even possible? Or are they of any real use? Aren't all ...
7
votes
2answers
511 views

Is personal email hosting really secure?

One of my friends has his own personal email hosting. Let's assume for the sake of argument that it is "secure", meaning that no third party can read the emails in his server either through hacking or ...
7
votes
2answers
230 views

How does a government shutdown Internet (and how to bypass it)?

Recently the government of India shutdown Internet in the state of Gujarat due to riots. How does this "internet shutdown" work? How can someone who is in the country circumvent this? What can a ...
7
votes
3answers
214 views

Found a security vulnerability on gov related site

So I'm unsure how to go about dealing with what I found. It's a really simple security hole, but opens lots of personal data if exploited. I was on a government utility (being vague intentionally) ...
6
votes
2answers
369 views

Design proposals for enhanced security for parts of Internet, e.g. for banking?

There is some recent discussion of some sort of "multilevel" internet, with e.g. a level defined for banking in which access is only granted after special authentication with "true names", special ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Apple vs DOJ - how strong is the 10-try wipe brute force barrier?

Out of curiosity and with the hope of helping other beginners and journalists. The current Apple vs DOJ standoff in a nutshell - Apple is resisting DOJ with statements like what they're asking is "...
5
votes
2answers
287 views

Configuring election website to prevent MITM attacks

Consider an election web site that will be used for voting over the Internet. What steps should the administrator of such a web site take to provide adequate security against man-in-the-middle attacks ...
5
votes
1answer
276 views

Government/ISP tracking of internet activity trivial to evade?

The recently announced Investigatory Powers Bill in the United Kingdom will mean that ISPs must store the internet activity of everyone for one year. Anyone who wishes to evade such tracking can use ...
5
votes
2answers
166 views

Standards for hiring trusted personnel - American or Canadian Government?

Is anyone familiar with an ISO standard outlining the hiring of labour for vendors being hired by DHS or Canadian government? I've found security standards but nothing for hiring practices. Edit for ...
4
votes
3answers
387 views

The safest way to circumventing Iran's Internet censorship

We usually buy services like VPN, SOCKS, Kerio [Kerio Connect?]... to circumvent Iran's Internet censorship policy. Recently, one of the shops started selling [one of] Kerio's products, for which I do ...
4
votes
2answers
252 views

What happens if a pro-censor ISP has Telex key(s)?

I've been watching more and more people jump on the idea of Telex as a way to prevent internet censorship (e.g. http://www.technologyreview.com/communications/38207/ -- not my comments at the bottom ...
4
votes
1answer
109 views

What does Obama's phone say about Android and phone hardware?

The recent article Goodbye Obamaberry, hello Obamadroid describes the decision to move Obama's phone from the Blackberry to the Samsung Galaxy S4. The Galaxy 4S is of course an old, foreign phone. ...
4
votes
2answers
538 views

Why is Elliptic Curve Cryptography not used much outside of government? [closed]

It seems that Elliptic Curve Cryptography, being required by the US government, is not being used outside of the government. Why is this? And why does the government support it's use for government? ...
3
votes
7answers
1k views

Which forensic techniques should I use to identify intrusion or monitoring of my computer or cellphone

If I suspect my computer or cellphone is being monitored by an unknown attacker, what tools or techniques could I use to detect or identify such monitoring?
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How Is It Possible For Hackers To “Dig Up The Dirt” On People?

Like the title says, I was wondering how its possible for hackers to "dig up the dirt" and get peoples personal information such as address, credit cards, bank accounts, social insurance number, etc? ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How to apply FIPS to Microsoft Access database with custom VBA

As the software engineer on a project, I have been asked to make a Microsoft Access application, with custom interfaces running custom VBA. That part is going just fine. Recently though I was asked to ...
3
votes
3answers
858 views

Why have export controls for cryptography?

I've always heard someone justify the means for export restrictions with "it's for governmental control/spying". In most reasonable countries, the justice system asks people to adhere to the "spirit ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

How difficult is it for ISPs to understand a user is using VPN?

If a user is using VPN, how difficult is it for an ISP to know that a user is using VPN ? If the government demands, isn't it possible for the ISP to provide a list of customers who could be using VPN ...
3
votes
2answers
116 views

Is it dangerous to have Tor exit node?

If I buy VPS and create Tor exit node there what would happen if someone did bad thing using my exit node? (terrorism, hacking goverment sites etc) VPS provider will share information about me to FBI ...
3
votes
1answer
211 views

Is BSI’s process good? (Informing email address owners that their address/password (of unknown/different accounts) was stolen)

The German BSI (Federal Office for Information Security) claims to have got a list of 18 million email addresses and passwords – supposed to be the result of identity theft. They allow to check if ...
2
votes
4answers
564 views

FOUO on hosted sharepoint

I and few of my fellow employees were asking if it was okay to put FOUO (NSA issued) documents on SharePoint. The main justification was that its password protected (which is correct). But its a ...
2
votes
1answer
147 views

Considerations for information exchange agreement between governmental agencies

Question: When drafting an information exchange agreement between governmental agencies what security related sections should be considered for inclusion? Example agreements? What is the security ...
2
votes
3answers
207 views

Given a large enough sampling of public keys could one begin to identify a private key?

For example, an ISP or government capable of tracking millions of keys being exchanged. Would that provide a sample large enough to be able to identify the private key on either end?
2
votes
0answers
62 views

Can a Tsunami early warning turn “on” remotely some cell phones in Japan?

In Japan, some televisions and radios seem to be capable of getting out of sleep mode if a tsunami warning is issued. If tsunami warnings are issued, the Emergency Warning Broadcast system ...
1
vote
1answer
211 views

What does Bluffdale mean for privacy?

I posted a question related to tracing webserver attacks over here and the responses got me google-ing. My understanding has always been that privacy is dead and that essentially there's always ...
1
vote
4answers
468 views

When do governments allow export of cryptography software?

I see this notice in the TextSecure README: The U.S. Government Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), has classified this software as Export Commodity Control Number (ECCN) ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Why aren't there FIPS level 4 devices on the market?

While searching for a secure USB to use, I came across the Aegis secure key, which has FIPS Level 3 (140-2) security. I believe that it's the securest flash drive on the market. I found that the ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Is a government entity capable of establishing a secure virtual currency system? [closed]

After reading about BitCoins, I can't help but contemplate the idea of the a government withdrawing paper money and bringing all currency transactions digital, via a bitcoin-like method where every ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

Is it possible to give legal value to signed web services?

The context is using digitally signed webservices (with XML-DSIG for example) for e-government interoperability between databases. The idea is to give endorsement to both the data publisher and the ...
1
vote
1answer
88 views

why don't we measure the strength of crypto against the cost it would take to crack it? [closed]

I hear all the time how many hours it would take to break a certain type of encryption. I think this may be the wrong metric to look at ever since scaling became an easy to implement solution. Sure ...
0
votes
4answers
179 views

Control over IT security

In pharmacy the safety of drugs is under fairly tight control by national authorities, e.g. FDA in US. The risks of patients taking drugs are thus very effectively minimized, though understandably ...
0
votes
2answers
225 views

What was the Lavabit's backdoors to their customers' e-mails? [closed]

There has been some talk about the Lavabit's case. New info was published today, but not important. I'd like to know how Lavabit worked. First I thought they just did something with OpenPGP. Then I ...
0
votes
2answers
84 views

Using Two Different Brands of Security Tools To Block Backdoors

There's this idea of using 2 brands of firewalls both inline that is usually brought up: {Internet}<-->FW(A)<-->FW(B)<-->{Internal Network} Or using 2 algorithms: {Plain ...
0
votes
1answer
112 views

Why does healthcare.gov exclude some special characters from passwords?

The site does not allow the following characters: = ?<> ( ) ‘ " / \ & It also limits maximum password length to 20 characters. This makes me suspicious that they might be being stored in ...
0
votes
2answers
759 views

How does WikiLeaks(Julian Assange) get the US Embassy cables? [closed]

How does this guy get these cables? Are those cables routed through a single node, where this guy got it? If so, How it is possible? I mean, how that single point came under the control of Julian ...