Thursday, May 29, 2014

The world of encryption is in mourning

“WARNING: Using TrueCrypt is not secure as it may contain unfixed security issues.” Yesterday the anonymous developers of TrueCrypt, a free open-source disk encryption software, raised all community’s eyebrows with this statement on their web page on Sourceforge. So much so, many people thought they were being victims of a hacker attack. But it seems that the authors of the program have actually decided to give up and have recommended private tools like BitLocker as substitutes.

The idea of a hacker seizing the TrueCrypt page was not so farfetched. In fact, in the past 12 months, the personal data of 47% of Americans have been compromised by hackers, according to data protection research firm Ponemon Institute.

But you don’t need to go so far to find some malicious minds. Here in Spain, there are several developers of fraudulent apps that take advantage of, let’s say, the lax control by Google over Google Play. Thus, they publish applications whose sole function is to steal user data and show some ads. 

Having all that in mind, it is not surprising that the big players in both the software and the Internet fields are concerned about the security of their products. In this regard, Microsoft and Facebook, launched a joint project called "HackerOne" to develop a Bug Bounty program for for flaws found in popular open-source software and Internet protocols. But the initiative has grown so much that has spun off into a separate company that makes available to other companies a free platform to automate their vulnerability disclosure process and only charges a fee for bounty payment transactions.

Microsoft also announced today the launch of a new dashboard aimed to system administrators. They called it myBulletins. Its objective is that administrators can subscribe only to security bulletins of the products they are actually using in their environments, only those that are relevant to them.

Changing the subject, on Tuesday we told you the British police closed the popular Torrent web domain Torrentz.eu. Well, it turns out that Spanish Internet providers have received a court order to block several of these sites in here in Spain, such as NewPCT.com or spanishtracker.com. For now, this is a precautionary measure, but some people have foretold the end of such portals in this country.

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