# Cryptography Breakthrough Could Make Software Unhackable

As a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1996, Amit Sahai was fascinated by the strange notion of a “zero-knowledge” proof, a type of mathematical protocol for convincing someone that something is true without revealing any details of why it is true. As Sahai mulled over this counterintuitive concept, it led him to consider an even more daring notion: What if it were possible to mask the inner workings not just of a proof, but of a computer program, so that people could use the program without being able to figure out how it worked? The idea of “obfuscating” a program had been around for decades, but no one had ever developed a rigorous mathematical framework for the concept, let alone created an unassailable obfuscation scheme. Over the years, commercial software companies have engineered various techniques for garbling a computer program so that it will be harder to understand while still performing the same function. Too Powerful to Exist

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A (relatively easy to understand) primer on elliptic curve cryptography Author Nick Sullivan worked for six years at Apple on many of its most important cryptography efforts before recently joining CloudFlare, where he is a systems engineer. He has a degree in mathematics from the University of Waterloo and a Masters in computer science with a concentration in cryptography from the University of Calgary. This post was originally written for the CloudFlare blog and has been lightly edited to appear on Ars. Readers are reminded that elliptic curve cryptography is a set of algorithms for encrypting and decrypting data and exchanging cryptographic keys. Dual_EC_DRBG, the cryptographic standard suspected of containing a backdoor engineered by the National Security Agency, is a function that uses elliptic curve mathematics to generate a series of random-looking numbers from a seed.

Securing Your Wireless Network If you don't secure your wireless network, strangers could use it and gain access to your computer – including the personal and financial information you’ve stored on it. Protect your computer by using WPA encryption. Understand How a Wireless Network Works Going wireless generally requires connecting an internet "access point" – like a cable or DSL modem – to a wireless router, which sends a signal through the air, sometimes as far as several hundred feet.

Earth - Why is there something rather than nothing? People have wrestled with the mystery of why the universe exists for thousands of years. Pretty much every ancient culture came up with its own creation story - most of them leaving the matter in the hands of the gods - and philosophers have written reams on the subject. But science has had little to say about this ultimate question. However, in recent years a few physicists and cosmologists have started to tackle it. An Overview of Cryptography 1. INTRODUCTION Does increased security provide comfort to paranoid people? Or does security provide some very basic protections that we are naive to believe that we don't need? During this time when the Internet provides essential communication between tens of millions of people and is being increasingly used as a tool for commerce, security becomes a tremendously important issue to deal with. There are many aspects to security and many applications, ranging from secure commerce and payments to private communications and protecting passwords.

How to Secure Your Wireless Network Almost all of us have jumped onto someone else's unsecured Wi-Fi network. There's little harm in that if you're just an honest soul looking for an Internet connection. But if you're the owner of an unsecured network, you should be aware that the world's not made up entirely of honest souls--and it's not hard for the dishonest ones to see exactly what you're doing on your network. Sound scary? Here's how to fix the problem. Q. Three Seconds: Poems, Cubes and the Brain A child drops a chocolate chip cookie on the floor, immediately picks it up, looks quizzically at a parental eye-witness and proceeds to munch on it after receiving an approving nod. This is one of the versions of the "three second rule", which suggests that food can be safely consumed if it has had less than three seconds contact with the floor. There is really no scientific basis for this legend, because noxious chemicals or microbial flora do not bide their time, counting "One one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand,…" before they latch on to a chocolate chip cookie. Food will likely accumulate more bacteria, the longer it is in contact with the floor, but I am not aware of any rigorous scientific study that has measured the impact of food-floor intercourse on a second-to-second basis and identified three seconds as a critical temporal threshold. The central, unifying theme of the institute was time. Not physical time, but biological and psychological time.

Reporting Computer Hacking, Fraud and Other Internet-Related Crime The primary federal law enforcement agencies that investigate domestic crime on the Internet include: the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States Secret Service, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) , the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) . Each of these agencies has offices conveniently located in every state to which crimes may be reported. Contact information regarding these local offices may be found in local telephone directories. In general, federal crime may be reported to the local office of an appropriate law enforcement agency by a telephone call and by requesting the "Duty Complaint Agent." Each law enforcement agency also has a headquarters (HQ) in Washington, D.C., which has agents who specialize in particular areas. For example, the FBI and the U.S.

Five new threats to your mobile device security Attacks that proved successful on PCs are now being tested on unwitting mobile device users to see what works – and with the number of mobile devices with poor protection soaring, there are plenty of easy targets. “Attackers are definitely searching after the weakest point in the chain,” and then honing in on the most successful scams, says Lior Kohavi, CTO at CYREN, a cloud-based security solutions provider in McLean, Va. [Slideshow: 15 new, hot security and privacy apps for Android and iOS] Google’s Android operating system averaged 5,768 malware attacks daily over a six-month period, according to CYREN’s Security Report for 2013. Today more than 99 percent of new mobile malware is designed to target Android, according to a Q1 2014 Mobile Threat Report by security firm F-Secure Corp. based in Finland. But that doesn’t mean iOS for Apple iPhone or iPads are immune.

Ants Swarm Like Brains Think - Issue 23: Dominoes Deborah Gordon spent the morning of August 27 watching a group of harvester ants foraging for seeds outside the dusty town of Rodeo, N.M. Long before the first rays of sun hit the desert floor, a group of patroller ants was already on the move. Their task was to find out whether the area near the nest was free from flash floods, high winds, and predators. Cybercrime - Computer Crimes Security - Online Fraud - Email Phishing Scams Over the last 18 months, an ominous change has swept across the Internet. The threat landscape once dominated by the worms and viruses unleashed by irresponsible hackers is now ruled by a new breed of cybercriminals. Cybercrime is motivated by fraud, typified by the bogus emails sent by "phishers" that aim to steal personal information.

Access Control Fundamentals: Door Control WHEN you think about access control one of the key challenges is recognising the exactly what such a solution constitutes. If you’re a cardholder, access control is a reader and a card. If you’re handling cardholder admin, it’s software management. Neuronal "Superhub" Might Generate Consciousness Point to any one organ in the body, and doctors can tell you something about what it does and what happens if that organ is injured by accident or disease or is removed by surgery—whether it be the pituitary gland, the kidney or the inner ear. Yet like the blank spots on maps of Central Africa from the mid-19th century, there are structures whose functions remain unknown despite whole-brain imaging, electroencephalographic recordings that monitor the brain's cacophony of electrical signals and other advanced tools of the 21st century. Consider the claustrum. It is a thin, irregular sheet of cells, tucked below the neocortex, the gray matter that allows us to see, hear, reason, think and remember. It is surrounded on all sides by white matter—the tracts, or wire bundles, that interconnect cortical regions with one another and with other brain regions. Enter the Dragon In biology, a reliable guide to understanding function is to study structure.

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