If you were planning on joining Signal and didn’t want it to look too shifty, this is the week.
Not gonna lie, when my neighbors showed up on Signal a year ago I just assumed they were spies.
How I feel every time Signal announces that some random person I once knew has signed up.
Someone just asked me why I like Signal as opposed to iMessage or whatever, and I was like: the crypto. But mostly that it doesn’t do cloud backups or spread my texts across all my devices.

And then it occurred to me that Signal does not view these things as features.

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More from @matthew_d_green

23 Dec 20
My students @maxzks and Tushar Jois spent most of the summer going through every piece of public documentation, forensics report, and legal document we could find to figure out how police were “breaking phone encryption”. 1/
This was prompted by a claim from someone knowledgeable, who claimed that forensics companies no longer had the ability to break the Apple Secure Enclave Processor, which would make it very hard to crack the password of a locked, recent iPhone. 2/
We wrote an enormous report about what we found, which we’ll release after the holidays. The TL;DR is kind of depressing:

Authorities don’t need to break phone encryption in most cases, because modern phone encryption sort of sucks. 3/
Read 26 tweets
20 Dec 20
Stories like this remind me that people in the Infosec community routinely make and sell exploits to these nations. citizenlab.ca/2020/12/the-gr…
I’m honestly curious how conscientious security researchers justify selling these tools, knowing how likely it is that they’ll be used for applications like this one.
One of the interesting things about this story is how difficult it must be to instrument iOS devices to catch these 0-click exploits in action. Partly because Apple makes it difficult. Image
Read 7 tweets
9 Nov 20
So the resolution explicitly calls for gaining “targeted access to encrypted data”, but we’re going to say that’s not a “backdoor in encryption”. Because we say things.
Sorry, @TechCrunch. The resolution may or may not be serious, but it’s not ambiguous. You either gain access to encrypted data or you don’t. techcrunch.com/2020/11/09/wha…
The problem with encryption backdoors isn’t solved by “proportionality” or having great laws that ensure the tech is only used in a targeted manner.

The problem with encryption backdoors is that to use them in a targeted way, you first need to create an encryption backdoor.
Read 12 tweets
28 Oct 20
Not to pick on @SwiftOnSecurity here, but since Juniper and Dual EC are in the news, I think it’s worth revisiting the evidence that someone deliberately inserted Dual EC as a backdoor.
For the full argument, see this excellent and readable summary my co-authors wrote: m-cacm.acm.org/magazines/2018…
But short summary: Juniper included two random number generators in their NetScreen devices. One was documented. The other was undocumented. The undocumented one was Dual EC. 1/
Read 10 tweets
28 Oct 20
New Reuters article on the NSA’s “new” policy around inserting backdoors into commercial encryption systems. A lot in here. reuters.com/article/us-usa…
Or rather, a lot *not* in here. After the disaster that was the 2015 Juniper hack (due to an NSA backdoor in Juniper’s VPN products being exploited by foreign hackers), the NSA has developed a set of new policies. But they won’t talk about them of course.
Oh look, here’s Juniper admitting to Congress that an NSA backdoor was exploited in their products. And the NSA writing a report on “lessons learned”. Which they then misplaced.
Read 5 tweets
11 Oct 20
In most ways except one, the encryption debate is the same as it ever was. So what’s changed?The current administration has demonstrated that app store bans can be used as a hammer to implement policy, and you can bet these folks are paying attention. gov.uk/government/pub…
This is where a lot of these “you can’t ban math” and “anyone can implement encryption in a few lines of code” arguments really fall apart. These people don’t care about any of that, they want to make encryption tools inaccessible to the broader public.
Someone tweeted me a link to Signal’s official instructions for sideloading on an Android phone. Unfortunately, I use an iPhone, which turned it into a direct link to the App Store.
Read 5 tweets

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