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High-Speed Encryption to Help in Fighting Against Future Cyber Threats

Scientists have developed a new system with features of high-speed encryption that will ensure protection against future cyber threats

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High-speed encryption
High-speed encryption will ensure protection from future cyber threats. Pixabay.

New York, Nov 27: In a bid to fight against the future cyber threats, scientists have developed a new system with high-speed encryption properties that drives quantum computers to create theoretically hack-proof forms of data encryption.

The novel system is capable of creating and distributing encryption codes at megabit-per-second rates, which is five to 10 times faster than existing methods and on par with current internet speeds when running several systems in parallel.

The technique is secure from common attacks, even in the face of equipment flaws that could open up leaks.

“We are now likely to have a functioning quantum computer that might be able to start breaking the existing cryptographic codes in the near future,” said Daniel Gauthier, Professor at The Ohio State University.

“We really need to be thinking hard now of different techniques that we could use for trying to secure the internet,” Gauthier added, in the paper appearing in the journal Science Advances.

For the new system to work, both the hacker as well as the sender must have access to the same key, and it must be kept secret.

The novel system uses a weakened laser to encode information or transmit keys on individual photons of light, but also packs more information onto each photon, making the technique faster.

By adjusting the time at which the photon is released, and a property of the photon called the phase, the new system can encode two bits of information per photon instead of one.

This trick, paired with high-speed detectors powers the system to transmit keys five to 10 times faster than other methods.

“It was changing these additional properties of the photon that allowed us to almost double the secure key rate that we were able to obtain if we hadn’t done that,” Gauthier said. (IANS)

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Now, Hackers Targetting People With Links To Fake Zoom HR, Payroll Discussion Video Meetings

Scammers have turned to employment worries as their latest lure for Zoom phishing scams

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Hackers
Scammers have turned to employment worries as their latest lure for Zoom phishing scams. Pixabay

Cybersecurity researchers at UK-based Sophos on Tuesday revealed hackers are now targeting people across the world with sending emailed with links to fake Zoom HR and payroll discussion video meetings to steal your personal and other credentials.

Scammers have turned to employment worries as their latest lure for Zoom phishing scams and researchers from the ‘Naked Security’ team at SophosLabs witnessed several examples of such phishing emails, with subject line saying “You are invited to join the q2 meeting”.

“This is a reminder that your scheduled Zoom meeting with Human Resources and Payroll Administrative Head will start in few minutes. Your presence is crucial to this meeting and equally required to commence this Q1 perfomance review meeting. Join this Live Meeting,” says one such bogus Zoom message. “The subject lines, message layout and meeting descriptions vary slightly, but the basic idea is the same,” revealed the cybersecurity team. There is the link in the Zoom message and once you click it, you will be directed to a portal with a login window that looks similar to video meet app Zoom.

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“The phishers probably don’t care what password you enter as long as it’s a valid one they can use on one of your accounts, but you’ll notice they’ve put the suggestion text Email Address Password into the password field instead of just Password as you see on Zoom’s page,” explained Sophos.

“Remember that access to your email account is likely to be worth a lot more to the crooks than your Zoom account would be, for the important reason that your email account is probably the way you go about doing password resets for many of your other accounts”.

Zoom
Cybersecurity researchers at UK-based Sophos on Tuesday revealed hackers are now targeting people across the world with sending emailed with links to fake Zoom HR and payroll discussion video meetings to steal your personal and other credentials. Pixabay

Whatever you enter as password on the fake site, you will end up redirected to a genuine and vaguely relevant Zoom help page, as though something went wrong and you should simply try again. “In this way, the crooks don’t need to simulate a successful login or to pretend that your login failed – they just leave you in one of those ‘I wonder what happened there’ moments where your inclination is simply to go back and start over,” said the researchers.

By the time you see the genuine Zoom help page, the email address and the password you entered have already been posted to the crooks instead of sent to Zoom. “If someone else is inviting you to a meeting, you shouldn’t need to login to Zoom first, given that they’re hosting. Don’t login after clicking links in emails,” advised the team.

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Zoom was yet to comment on the report. Enable two-factor authentication if you can. Zoom supports 2FA, based on one-time codes generated by an app on your phone, and most email services do, too.

“If you were phished, change your password at once. Even if you fall for a phish at first, many phishes are obvious after you put in your password because you don’t end up where you should and the deception stands out,” said the Sophos team. (IANS)

 

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Most Organisations Experience Cyber Threats During Coronavirus Pandemic: Checkpoint Survey

Cybercriminals will always seek to capitalise on the latest trends to try and boost the success rates of attacks, and the coronavirus pandemic has created a perfect storm of a global news event together with dramatic changes in working practices and the technologies used by organisations

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Cyber Threat
In phishing attacks, a bad actor steals sensitive information by tricking people to open an email, instant message, or text message containing malicious links or attachments. Pixabay

 Most organisations have seen a rise in security threats and attacks during the coronavirus pandemic, a new survey by cybersecurity firm Check Point said on Tuesday.

While 71 per cent of those IT and security professionals who were surveyed reported an increase in security threats or attacks, 61 per cent of respondents said they were concerned about security risks of changes made to enable remote work.

Phishing attempts (55 per cent) and websites claiming helpful information on coronavirus (32 per cent) have emerged as the leading threats to the organisations, the respondents said. In phishing attacks, a bad actor steals sensitive information by tricking people to open an email, instant message, or text message containing malicious links or attachments.

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The findings showed that the rapid changes to enterprise working practices, and broader concerns about the pandemic, are both being exploited by cybercriminals as they step up their attacks, generating a raft of new challenges for security professionals.

“Cybercriminals will always seek to capitalise on the latest trends to try and boost the success rates of attacks, and the coronavirus pandemic has created a perfect storm of a global news event together with dramatic changes in working practices and the technologies used by organisations,” said Rafi Kretchmer Check Point’s Head of Product Marketing.

Cybersecurity
Most organisations have seen a rise in security threats and attacks during the coronavirus pandemic, a new survey by cybersecurity firm Check Point said on Tuesday. Pixabay

“This has meant a significant increase in the attack surface of many organizations, which is compromising their security postures. To ensure security and business continuity in this rapidly evolving situation, organizations need to protect themselves with a holistic, end-to-end security architecture,” Kretchmer added.

The survey was conducted in a bid to examine the severity of impact coronavirus has had on enterprise security. It involved 411 IT and security professions — all from organisations over 500 people. As many enterprises rely on Zoom to facilitate their employees working from home, Check Point recently saw a spike in the number of “Zoom” domains registered and spotted malicious “Zoom” files targeting people working from home.

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Check Point documented 1,700 new “Zoom” domains registered since the advent of pandemic, 25 per cent of which were registered in the past week days, and has deemed 70 domains as suspicious. (IANS)

 

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WhatsApp Strongly Defends Encryption Feature as Now its User Base Increases to 2 Billion Globally

Countries like India has stressed on the traceability of messages as rumours spread on the platform has been linked to dozens of deaths in the past

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WhatsApp
With the end-to-end encryption feature, only the sender and receiver of a message can see the content. Others, including WhatsApp itself, cannot view the content. Pixabay

Facebook-owned private messaging platform WhatsApp on Wednesday strongly defended its end-to-end encryption feature even as it announced that the app now supports over two billion users globally.

With over 400 million users, India is WhatsApp’s biggest market.

“We know that the more we connect, the more we have to protect. As we conduct more of our lives online, protecting our conversations is more important than ever. That is why every private message sent using WhatsApp is secured with end-to-end encryption by default,” WhatsApp said in a blog post.

“Strong encryption acts like an unbreakable digital lock that keeps the information you send over WhatsApp secure, helping protect you from hackers and criminals. Messages are only kept on your phone, and no one in between can read your messages or listen to your calls, not even us. Your private conversations stay between you,” said the blog post.

With the end-to-end encryption feature, only the sender and receiver of a message can see the content. Others, including WhatsApp itself, cannot view the content.

While this feature increases user privacy, it has also attracted criticism from policy makers and law enforcement agencies as it makes it hard for them to trace the origin of a message.

Countries like India has stressed on the traceability of messages as rumours spread on the platform has been linked to dozens of deaths in the past.

WhatsApp
Facebook-owned private messaging platform WhatsApp on Wednesday strongly defended its end-to-end encryption feature even as it announced that the app now supports over two billion users globally. Pixabay

“Strong encryption is a necessity in modern life. We will not compromise on security because that would make people less safe,” WhatsApp said.

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“For even more protection, we work with top security experts, employ industry leading technology to stop misuse, as well as provide controls and ways to report issues without sacrificing privacy,” it added. (IANS)