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Archive for the ‘Cryptography’ Category

“There has to be a back door…” – seriously?

October 10, 2014 Leave a comment

Shocking revelations in a BBC news story today on the number of active cybercriminals – No, not the story itself, that was old news to industry veterans, but the closing quote from Troels Oerting, head of Europol’s Cybercrime center.

“Imagine in the physical world if you were not able to open the trunk of a car if you had a suspicion that there were weapons or drugs inside… we would never accept this.

“I think that should also count for the digital world. I hate to talk about backdoors but there has to be a possibility for law enforcement, if they are authorised, to look inside at what you are hiding in your online world.”

Really? There has to be a possibility for law enforcement to decrypt data?  Read more…

Categories: Cryptography Tags: ,

IOS8 Security – Apple take the high road?

September 26, 2014 Leave a comment

Jonathan Zdziarski posted an interesting blog last week detailing some of the changes in IOS designed to improve security, and reign in accessibility of data in the new IOS 8 release.

Historically, it’s been possible for legitimate law enforcement groups to pressure Apple into unlocking devices – Much like data requests sent to ISP’s about your browsing and network habits, Apple (and Google et all) were able to unlock “confiscated” devices so detectives could search them for incriminating evidence.

IOS8 makes that somewhat harder and puts Apple (and Google) squarely against what Law Enforcement and Governments want.   Read more…

Categories: Cryptography Tags: , , ,

Decrypt Full Disk Encryption products for $299 – Well, it got cheaper at least

December 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Many people have contacted my team and I over the last few days about the recent announcement by ElcomSoft, that they offer a tool to decrypt Bitlocker, PGP and Truecrypt volumes.

This $299 tool is advertised as getting you access to this encrypted data quickly and easily…

Now, this may sound exciting, but as they say, there’s always a catch – you need a memory dump from the machine from when it was authenticated to use this tool – yes, no recovery if you find a cold machine. You have to get access to it while it’s on and the user has logged in, then, after they switch it off, you can recover the data..

Sounds familiar? Well it should, it’s exactly the same idea Passware.com released to the world back in 2010 – I even blogged about it then… Read more…

AutoDomain 5.60…

June 14, 2011 10 comments

NOTE – Production-ready version 5.63 (as far as I am aware) is now available on  CTOGoneWild

This version is a real departure from the 5.2 and before series, as I got rid of the dependence on IE for the UI – it was becoming a real pain, with IE trying to display first run screens, telling me it was not installed etc. Generally the IE object was unreliable to say the least.

Instead, I used a whole bunch of HTAs – This is nicer architecturally as each stands alone and can be modified as you see fit, so you can change the UI without changing the logic of the script, plus they run independently so if they crash and burn, again, no problems for the script.

Other than that, there were some more changes to make the “Run On Logon” code asynchronous, so it does not stall the user experience when provisioning them. You can find a full list of changes at the top of the autodomain.vbs script.

Finally, if you enjoy this tool and it saves you a whole bunch of time and effort, you might want to send me something from my Amazon Gift List? Thanks!

You can read more about the current version on my previous blog on this topic.

ToastCache for EEPC/EEM v5

March 28, 2011 1 comment

I finally got around to posting ToastCache to my CTOGoneWild site. This is a simple script which  uses a couple of tricks, and a kludge to force the EEM v5 Name index to rebuild on demand.

The EEM Name Index is one of the most useful performance enhancements you can enable within the product – certainly any database running more than 2000 machines needs it turned on to give reasonable performance.  The Index speeds up Name>ID resolution. Without it, the server has to crawl the entire database searching for an object which matches the name it’s looking for – This means that logging on slows down for new users (they are placed at the end of the db), and also creating new things takes more time (as the DB has to be trawled end-to-end looking to see if the name is already in use).

The index resolves both of these, and more scenarios by maintaining a “bucket list” of hashed names>IDs. Read more…

Improving Security On Solid State Drives

March 9, 2011 7 comments

This post originally placed on my McAfee Blog – http://blogs.mcafee.com/corporate/cto/improving-security-on-solid-state-drives

Well, One week into the Intel/McAfee relationship and I am pleased to say it’s already bearing fruit. Over the last few days I’ve been reaching out to all my Intel peers, making the connections with people which were simply impossible while the deal was going through all the evaluations.

I had an interesting discussion with Knut Grimsrud in the Intel storage division today about “clever” things we can do to improve performance and security on the Intel SSD hard disks. Read more…

Decrypting messages 147 years late…

January 14, 2011 1 comment

Over the holiday break an interesting story broke re a US Civil War message being finally decrypted after 147 years. The message was in a bottle that had been stored in a Virginia museum since 1896, but had never been investigated. Finally in 2010 a curious collections manager, Catherine Wright asked retired CIA codebreaker David Gaddy to crack it and see what it said.

The story of the message is interesting in itself, but what I wanted to share with you is how obscure the craft of codebreaking can be. Let’s start with a picture of the message so you know what we are dealing with here… Read more…

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