EncroChat Hacked by Police

French police hacked EncroChat secure phones, which are widely used by criminals: Encrochat's phones are essentially modified Android devices, with some models using the "BQ Aquaris X2," an Android handset released in 2018 by a Spanish electronics company, according to the leaked documents. Encrochat took the base unit, installed its ... Read More

The Security Value of Inefficiency

For decades, we have prized efficiency in our economy. We strive for it. We reward it. In normal times, that's a good thing. Running just at the margins is efficient. A single just-in-time global supply chain is efficient. Consolidation is efficient. And that's all profitable. Inefficiency, on the other hand, ... Read More

Securing the International IoT Supply Chain

Together with Nate Kim (former student) and Trey Herr (Atlantic Council Cyber Statecraft Initiative), I have written a paper on IoT supply chain security. The basic problem we try to solve is: how to you enforce IoT security regulations when most of the stuff is made in other countries? And ... Read More

The Unintended Harms of Cybersecurity

Interesting research: "Identifying Unintended Harms of Cybersecurity Countermeasures": Abstract: Well-meaning cybersecurity risk owners will deploy countermeasures (technologies or procedures) to manage risks to their services or systems. In some cases, those countermeasures will produce unintended consequences, which must then be addressed. Unintended consequences can potentially induce harm, adversely affecting user ... Read More

Analyzing IoT Security Best Practices

New research: "Best Practices for IoT Security: What Does That Even Mean?" by Christopher Bellman and Paul C. van Oorschot: Abstract: Best practices for Internet of Things (IoT) security have recently attracted considerable attention worldwide from industry and governments, while academic research has highlighted the failure of many IoT product ... Read More

COVID-19 Risks of Flying

I fly a lot. Over the past five years, my average speed has been 32 miles an hour. That all changed mid-March. It's been 105 days since I've been on an airplane -- longer than any other time in my adult life -- and I have no future flights scheduled ... Read More

Identifying a Person Based on a Photo, LinkedIn and Etsy Profiles, and Other Internet Bread Crumbs

Interesting story of how the police can identify someone by following the evidence chain from website to website. According to filings in Blumenthal's case, FBI agents had little more to go on when they started their investigation than the news helicopter footage of the woman setting the police car ablaze ... Read More

Security and Human Behavior (SHB) 2020

Today is the second day of the thirteenth Workshop on Security and Human Behavior. It's being hosted by the University of Cambridge, which in today's world means we're all meeting on Zoom. SHB is a small, annual, invitational workshop of people studying various aspects of the human side of security, ... Read More

New Hacking-for-Hire Company in India

Citizen Lab has a new report on Dark Basin, a large hacking-for-hire company in India. Key Findings: Dark Basin is a hack-for-hire group that has targeted thousands of individuals and hundreds of institutions on six continents. Targets include advocacy groups and journalists, elected and senior government officials, hedge funds, and ... Read More

Theft of CIA’s "Vault Seven" Hacking Tools Due to Its Own Lousy Security

The Washington Post is reporting on an internal CIA report about its "Vault 7" security breach: The breach -- allegedly committed by a CIA employee -- was discovered a year after it happened, when the information was published by WikiLeaks, in March 2017. The anti-secrecy group dubbed the release "Vault ... Read More