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Bypassing encryption: ‘Lawful hacking’ is the next frontier of law enforcement technology

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The discussion about how law enforcement or government intelligence agencies might rapidly decode information someone else wants to keep secret is – or should be – shifting. One commonly proposed approach, introducing what is called a “backdoor” to the encryption algorithm itself, is now widely recognized as too risky to be worth pursuing any further.

The scholarly and research community, the technology industry and Congress appear to be in agreement that weakening the encryption that in part enables information security – even if done in the name of public safety or national security – is a bad idea. Backdoors could be catastrophic, jeopardizing the security of billions of devices and critical communications.

What comes next? Surely police and spy agencies will still want, or even need, information stored by criminals in encrypted forms. Without a backdoor, how might they get access to data that may help them solve – or even prevent – a crime?

The future of law enforcement and intelligence gathering efforts involving digital information is an emerging field that I and others who are exploring it sometimes call “lawful hacking.” Rather than employing a skeleton key that grants immediate access to encrypted information, government agents will have to find other technical ways – often involving malicious code – and other legal frameworks.

Decades of history

In the mid-1990s, the Clinton administration advanced a proposal called the Clipper Chip. The chip, which ultimately was doomed by its technical shortcomings, was an attempt to ensure government access to encrypted communications. After the chip’s introduction and failure, a group of cryptographers formally studied various mechanisms that might allow a trusted third party (in this case, the government) to read encrypted data in emergencies. They concluded that each approach had significant security risks.

Overall, the cryptographers’ view was that introducing this new capability into an encryption system made an already complicated process even more complex. This increased complexity made it more likely that there would be an unintentional vulnerability hidden in the encryption protocol that malicious hackers could find, gaining access to the trusted third party’s emergency system or otherwise breaking the code. The hackers could then read secret messages for their own purposes – a huge risk.

When the Clipper Chip project died and when the cryptographers’ major study came out, the idea of exceptional access for government seemed to die as well. In an environment in which cybersecurity was an increasing priority, and in which encryption was a partial defense against many data breaches and hackers, it seemed unwise to do anything that might weaken cryptographic standards.

Snowden reveals more

While the Clipper Chip effort to use public processes to create weaknesses in cybersecurity had failed, the National Security Agency had, in secret, worked to undermine certain popular encryption algorithms. In addition to direct attempts to break encryption with mathematical methods, an NSA project code-named Bullrun included efforts to influence or control international cryptography standards, and even to collaborate with private companies to ensure the NSA could decode their encryption.

This came to light when former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed a massive trove of files about U.S. government spying in 2013 and reignited the debate about what abilities and powers the government should have to read encrypted material.

Once again, a group of the world’s leading cryptographers studied the issue, and in 2015 came to the same conclusion: The risk of backdooring encryption to enable government access was too high. Doing so would weaken overall security too much to make up for any brief improvements in public safety or national security.

The FBI pushes back

Then came the San Bernardino attack. On Dec. 2, 2015, Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, opened fire at a social services center in San Bernardino, California. Inspired – but not directed – by foreign terrorist groups, they killed 14 people and wounded 22 more during their violent rampage.

Before the attack, Farook had physically smashed up two personal cellphones, rendering their data unrecoverable. He left untouched his work phone, an iPhone 5c issued by San Bernardino County. Investigators found the phone, but the FBI was unable to examine its data due to Apple’s encryption and security mechanisms on the device.

To get around this, the United States government used a law from the earliest days of the republic, the 1789 All Writs Act, to try to compel Apple to write software that would break the encryption and grant the FBI access. Apple refused, saying that doing so would weaken the security of every iPhone on the market, and a court showdown began.

The conflict in a nutshell

The Apple-FBI case nicely encapsulates much of the debate around encryption: a horrible incident that everyone wants investigated, the government’s stated need for access to aid the investigation, strong encryption that prevents that access and a company unwilling to risk the broader security of its products by attacking its own software.

And yet, even when the stakes were as high as the government said they were in the San Bernardino case, encryption would remain secure.

Faced with Apple’s refusal to comply and criticism from the technology and privacy industries, the FBI found another way. The bureau hired an outside firm that was able to exploit a vulnerability in the iPhone’s software and gain access. It wasn’t the first time the bureau had done such a thing.

As this all unfolded, and in the face of a wide range of significant opposition, a bill to mandate backdoors was introduced and failed in the United States Congress.

Encryption backdoors remain largely viewed as weakening everyone’s protections all the time for the sake of some people’s protections on rare occasions. As a result, workarounds like the FBI found are likely to be the most common approach going forward. Indeed, in recent years, law enforcement agencies have greatly expanded their hacking capabilities.

A look to the future

The details matter, though, and how this fledgling field develops remains to be seen. Technologists and lawyers studying the issue have identified several key questions, but not their answers. These include:

  • What kinds of vulnerabilities can law enforcement use to gain access, technologically, legally and ethically?
  • Should they report those vulnerabilities to the software vendors for fixing, even if it means it is less likely that either police or hackers will be able use the weaknesses in the future?
  • What do they need to tell a judge in order to get permission to hack a device?
  • Can they hack devices outside of their jurisdiction, and what happens if they hack computers in other countries?
  • Do they need to tell a defendant at trial how they hacked his or her device?

While some details depend on specific certain answers to these legal and technical questions, a lawful hacking approach offers a solution that appears to gain greater favor with experts than encryption backdoors. A group of scholars proposed some ways we should begin thinking about how law enforcement could hack. Agencies are already doing it, so it’s time to turn from the now-ended debate about encryption backdoors and engage in this new discussion instead.

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4 Important Tips for Having a Vacation Abroad

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4 Important Tips for Having a Vacation Abroad

Are you planning to go abroad but still don’t know what to prepare? People dream of going abroad, especially to countries like America and Europe. If this is your first time going abroad, you should check the following tips!

Prepare All Important Documents

The first thing you need to do is prepare important documents. For example, passports, ID cards, visas, and international driving licenses if you are going to drive abroad. Make sure you know whether the country you are going to visit is visa-free or not. For Southeast Asian countries, the Maldives and Turkey are visa-free, so you only have to have a passport. But a visa is still needed if you want to go to South Korea, Europe, or America. Make sure to scan your document and save it in the cloud like Google Drive or iCloud. Oh, yes, remember to check your vaccination status. Because every country needs your health information.

Make Itineraries

Itinerary is important for those who want to travel abroad. The reason is holidays abroad cost a lot of money, so when you can, take advantage of it with a well-planned schedule. Research in detail the tourist destinations you want to visit. For example, what is unique in it, ticket prices, transportation to get there, to the distance from the inn you’re staying. Remember to include places to eat that you want to try. Make sure the place to eat is according to your preferences, such as halal or free of certain food allergies.

Book Tickets in Advance

When you know how long you will be on vacation with the itinerary that has been prepared, it’s time to book plane tickets and lodging. Find cheap tickets by:

  1. Using promos and discounts on travel agent applications.
  2. Comparing which price is lower and what kind of facilities you will get.
  3. Choosing accommodation that fits your budget but is still comfortable.

Oh yes, also remember to check how the pandemic situation is in the country you are going to visit. Do you have to quarantine or not? Because it will affect your itinerary and accommodation. Due to the pandemic conditions that have not fully recovered, check whether there is still Indonesia quarantine after returning from vacation.

Exchange Money and Check Your ATM Cards

Exchange your currency into the destination country’s currency, for example, yen, euros, dollars, won, and others. But remember, don’t carry too much cash because it’s also prone to theft, besides being wasteful. For the rest, you can do cashless transactions. Check your bank’s ATM card to see if it has Visa, MasterCard, or Cirrus logos. This row of stamps indicates that your bank is working with banks abroad. Or you can also use a credit card to make your transaction easier.

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Down 43%, Is This Tech Stock Worth Buying Right Now?

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Down 43%, Is This Tech Stock Worth Buying Right Now?

Skyworks Solutions (NASDAQ: SWKS) announced its fiscal 2022 fourth-quarter results (for the three months ended September 30) on November 3, and the supplier Apple’s stock price has risen 11% since then.

Skyworks beat expectations and showed solid growth at a time when smartphone sales were declining, but forecasts show the chipmaker is about to hit a bump. With that said, let’s take a closer look at the latest results from the chipmaker. Let’s take a closer look at whether the stock can sustain new momentum after losing 43% of its value in 2022.

Skyworks solutions deliver reliable results for non-mobile businesses
Skyworks’ fourth-quarter revenue increased 7% year-over-year to a record $1.4 billion. The company also reported non-GAAP (adjusted) earnings of $3.02 per share, up 15% year-over-year. Skyworks easily justified analyst estimates of $2.91 per share. For the year, the company’s revenue increased 7% to $5.5 billion and earnings rose similarly to $11.24 per share.

The strong growth of chipmakers in the fourth quarter was the result of successful diversification into new markets such as Internet of Things (IoT) and automotive, as well as relationships with major smartphone original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Yes, it helped make up for it. Weakness in the smartphone market. space. However, it was the non-mobile business that put a lot of effort into Skyworks last quarter.
As CFO Chris Sennesael noted in the report, the company generated $500 million in revenue from broad market segments (counting chip sales for non-mobile applications like IoT), up 30% from the previous year. Last earnings conference call. Broad market companies contributed 36% of Skyworks’ revenue last quarter, up from 29% in the same period last year.

It’s also worth noting that Skyworks earned $2 billion in revenue from this segment for the entire fiscal year. That’s almost 43% more than the $1.4 billion in revenue last fiscal year. The good news is that the company’s business in a wide range of markets can maintain its momentum. This is because, as Skyworks showed in its earnings report, it is attracting new customers in high-growth niches like IoT.

“In IoT, we continue to win new customers and expand our content. We have partnered with Vodafone to launch the UK’s first WiFi 6E platform. We have launched a solution for Fi 6 hotspots.”

Skyworks also enables the deployment of O-RAN (Open Radio Access Network) and delivers record quarterly results in the high-growth automotive business niche. For example, the O-RAN market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 42% until 2030. Meanwhile, according to Mordor Intelligence, the demand for connected cars will grow by 19% per year until 2027.

These catalysts explain why Skyworks expects its broad commercial segment of the market “to be a major driver in FY23 and beyond.”

The mobile business was not in its best last quarter
Skyworks’ mobile business generated approximately $907 million in revenue last quarter (this is total revenue minus $500 million from the broader market business). By comparison, 71% of Skyworks’ $1.31 billion in revenue last year came from its mobile business, worth nearly $931 million.

Thus, the company’s mobile business, which generates most of its revenue, declined year-over-year in the most recent quarter. This is not surprising given that smartphone sales have been declining for the past five quarters. Skyworks considers Apple its biggest client, with the smartphone giant generating 58% of its revenue last year.

Last quarter, Apple shipped 48.5 million smartphones, 6.4% more than last year. However, the overall smartphone market was down 9% year-over-year. And now things could get even worse for Skyworks.

All of this explains why Skyworks management is targeting a sharp drop in sales and profits. The chipmaker expects revenue of $1.3 billion to $1.35 billion and adjusted earnings of $2.59 per share in the first quarter of fiscal 2023. These numbers show double-digit declines in both revenue and earnings compared to the last year.

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Tech Shares May Weigh On Taiwan Stock Market

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Tech Shares May Weigh On Taiwan Stock Market

(RTTNews) – The Taiwanese stock market fell nearly 230 points (1.7%) on Tuesday after falling for two days. The Taiwan Stock Exchange is currently just above the 14,700 plateau, but selling pressure is likely to resume on Wednesday.

The global outlook for Asian markets is mixed, with little change ahead of major economic events that could affect the interest rate outlook. European and US markets were mixed and flat, followed by Asian equities.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange closed sharply higher on Tuesday after gains in financial, technology and cement stocks.

The index closed at 14,709.64, up 152.77 points (1.05%) after trading between 14,449.05 and 14,716.58.
Among assets, Cathay Financial was up 3.45%, Mega Financial was up 1.78%, CTBC Financial was up 2.93%, Fubon Financial was up 2.94%, First Financial was up 1.35%, E Sun Financial rose 1.66%, Taiwanese semiconductor company rose 1.35% and United Microelectronics rose 1.35%. Corporation and Catcher Technology rose 0.56%, Largan Precision shed 0.22%, MediaTek rose 1.42%, Delta Electronics rose 1.71%, Novatek Microelectronics rose 0.51%, China Steel rose 0.51%. 2.87%, Formosa Plastics shed 0.22%, Nan Ya Plastics rose 0.92%, Asia cement rose 1.48%, Taiwanese cement rose 1.67%, and Hon Hai Precision remained unchanged.

Wall Street’s lead indicates a slight negative bias as the leading average rose, then fell in the middle of the session, but then rose to end the mix almost unchanged.

The Dow rose 3.07 points (0.01%) to close at 33,852.53, while the NASDAQ fell 65.72 points (0.59%) to close at 10,983.78, and The S&P 500 fell 6.31 points (0.16%) to 3957.63.

Volatile trading on Wall Street comes amid continued uncertainty about the situation in China following widespread outcry over the country’s Covid restrictions.

Traders may also have been reluctant to make any significant moves ahead of comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell today that could provide further clues about the rate outlook. Unemployment data continues to be released on Friday.

In terms of economic news, the Conference Board released a report showing a moderate decline in US consumer confidence in November.

Crude oil futures ended higher on Tuesday, extending gains from the previous session on hopes that OPEC could cut production to support prices later this week. West Texas intermediate oil futures rose $0.96, or 1.2%, to $78.20 a barrel in January.

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