Category Archives: Technology

Internet Architecture Board: Encrypt Everything!!

In a direct response to the reported “pervasive surveillance” that is being carried out, the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) said in a statement that protocol designers, developers, and operators should make encryption the norm. Not only should encryption be “deployed throughout the protocol stack”, given that “not a single place within the stack where all kinds of communication can be protected”, but that new protocols should be designed with confidential operation by default.

They go on to say:

Encryption should be authenticated where possible, but even protocols providing confidentiality without authentication are useful in the face of pervasive surveillance.

Their aim of the changes are to “help restore the trust users must have in the Internet”.

Whilst I think this is a good idea and should improve security, it does pose questions for network and security administrators. It will make their jobs a lot harder if everything they see across the network is encrypted. The IAB seem to recognize this and are willing to work cooperatively to provide a solution that will hopefully benefit all.

I also find it encouraging that they are trying to get those developers who don’t even necessarily deal with user information to also use encryption so that they don’t reveal anything that might point to user information. Whilst I am glad the IAB has put this out and they recognize that it will take time, I wonder if it is feasible.

The Power of Social Media at the Oscars

Last night, in just over 30 minutes a new record was broken. There was a new record set for the number of RT’s (retweets) of Ellen DeGeneres “selfie” at the Oscars. Whilst it was apparent that this was a plug for Samsung, it showed the power of social media as the public took the challenge of setting a new record. The previous record was set by President Barack Obama when he tweeted “Four more years” after his reelection, this gained 780k retweets.Barack Obama tweet

After around 30 minutes this was superseded by the Oscars tweet with over 800k RT’s to the most famous selfie made.Ellen DeGeneres record breaking tweet

If anybody was in any doubt as to the power of social media – it showed what can be done in a very small amount of time. As of now there has been over 2 million RT’s. That’s pretty impressive!


Apple security flaw – update now

If you are not already aware, there is a major security risk with many Apple products. The issue affects both iOS and Mac OS X and would potentially allow a hacker to obtain your private information and/or potentially change it whilst in transit. The good news is there is a patch available.

How-To Update

For those who have an iPhone or iPad then you should update to iOS 7.0.6. To do this go to  Settings > General > Software Update > iOS 7.0.6.

If you have a Mac and you are running Mountain Lion or later then you can update by opening the Mac Store app and select the update – “OS X version 10.9.2”. Alternatively, on the top left hand corner click on the Apple logo and select “Software Update”. Either option should give you the chance to update and patch your system.

The risk

If you don’t update then many applications such as Safari, iMessage and FaceTime would send your data in an insecure manner. Any credentials you use would potentially be at risk of being intercepted, if in range. The update takes less than 10 minutes so there is really no reason not to update.