China has demonstrated a world first by sending data over long distances using satellites which is potentially unhackable, laying the basis for next generation encryption based on so-called "quantum cryptography."
Last August, China launched a quantum satellite into space, a move which was called a "notable advance" by the Pentagon. Using this satellite, Chinese researchers at the Quantum Experiments at Space Scale project, were able to transmit secret messages from space to Earth at a further distance than ever before. The technology is called quantum key distribution. Typical encryption relies on traditional mathematics.Read more
We could be just five years away from a space-based quantum communication network. We are dependent on digital tools for almost every aspect of our daily lives, which means we also rely on two fundamental technologies: satellites and encryption.
Satellites are used for everything from GPS to television to processing credit card data, and encryption protocols are integral not only to communicating with these satellites, but also for matters as private as personal medical records, or as mundane as texting your friends. The problem is that the advent of quantum computing threatens to render current methods of encryption obsolete.Read more
The notion of “the privacy of your own home” may be becoming a thing of the past. Cheap software has reportedly spread in the Chinese Internet, allowing web-connected cameras and home surveillance devices to be infiltrated.
Virtually anyone can buy the hacking software for just $28 with an attached list of IP addresses and a manual on how to use the malware, China’s CCTV broadcaster reported after conducting an investigation. The malware scans for internet-connected webcams, giving its buyers easy access to them. The tool has recently spread in Chinese online chat rooms, along with usernames and passwords to affected devices.Read more
Sometimes, it's not external hackers that pose a threat to your privacy -- it's people in the supply chain hoping to make some cash on the side. Police in China's Zhejiang province have arrested 22 (apparently third-party) Apple distributors for allegedly selling iPhone user data.
Officials say the workers searched an internal Apple database for sensitive info, such as Apple IDs and phone numbers, and peddled it on the black market for between $1.50 to $26. All told, the distributors reportedly raked in about $7.36 million, before authorities stepped in. It's not clear how many people are affected by the bootleg sales, or how many of the victims live outside of China.Read more
The authors of the WannaCry malware are probably from the southern mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan or Singapore, according to a US intelligence company. Forensic linguistic analysis on the malware suggested it was written by native Chinese-speaking people with southern accents.
In a report on its website, Flashpoint, which provides global business-risk intelligence, said it came to the conclusion with “high confidence”. Earlier reports based on code analysis suggested North Korean programmers at work. The WannaCry malware locked up data on infected computers and displayed a message in 28 languages demanding a ransom for restoration of the data.Read more
Two laptops containing personal information of Hong Kong's 3.7 million registered voters have been stolen. The laptops were reported missing by Hong Kong's electoral office, in what could be the city's largest data breach. They were reportedly stolen from a locked room on Lantau Island, off the main Hong Kong island.
The room was a designated backup venue for the chief executive elections held over the weekend. The stolen data included names, addresses and identity card numbers of voters, the office said in a statement. The data was encrypted, so it'll be a lot harder — albeit not impossible — for information to be leaked.Read more
Chinese Hackers have taken Smishing attack to the next level, using rogue cell phone towers to distribute Android banking malware via spoofed SMS messages.
SMiShing — phishing attacks sent via SMS — is a type of attack wherein fraudsters use number spoofing attack to send convincing bogus messages to trick mobile users into downloading a malware app onto their smartphones or lures victims into giving up sensitive information. Security researchers have uncovered that Chinese hackers are using fake base transceiver stations to distribute "Swearing Trojan," an Android banking malware that once appeared neutralized after its authors were arrested in a police raid.Read more
Security officials in China’s violence-stricken north-west have ordered residents to install GPS tracking devices in their vehicles so authorities are able to keep permanent tabs on their movements.
The compulsory measure is being rolled out in the Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture of Xinjiang, a sprawling region that borders Central Asia and sees regular eruptions of deadly violence. The move comes amid an apparent spike in killing that authorities blame on Islamist extremists and separatists but experts say is also fuelled by ethnic friction between Han Chinese migrants and members of the predominantly Muslim Uighur minority to whom Xinjiang is home.Read more
China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has announced a 14-month "clean up" of internet access services, which includes a crackdown on virtual private networks, or VPNs. The new regulations require VPN services to obtain government approval before operating.
Using a VPN without permission is also prohibited. VPNs use encryption to disguise internet traffic, allowing users in China to bypass the Great Firewall to access censored and restricted websites. The services typically cost around $10 a month. China's vast censorship apparatus prevents the country's 730 million internet users from accessing information on sensitive subjects.Read more
The FBI is investigating how hackers infiltrated computers at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for several years beginning in 2010 in a breach senior FDIC officials believe was sponsored by China's military.
The security breach, in which hackers gained access to dozens of computers including the workstation for former FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair, has also been the target of a probe by a congressional committee. The FDIC is one of three federal agencies that regulate commercial banks in the USA. It oversees confidential plans for how big banks would handle bankruptcy and has access to records on millions of individual American deposits.Read more