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February 2014 Vol. 16 / No. 1

Fixing the math in the wake of Snowden's NSA surveillance reveal

One of the responses to early salvos of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's surveillance releases was "trust the math." That's how security veteran Bruce Schneier put it in a posting to his blog site. Snowden himself, when answering reader questions on the Guardian website, said, "Encryption works. Properly implemented strong cryptosystems are one of the few things that you can rely on." A lot of us heaved a huge sigh of relief upon hearing that. Not because NSA surveillance will reveal our big, dark secrets, but if the security community can't say with confidence that it stores the world's digital data securely, it's time to dismantle the industry. And beyond that, privacy is essential. A sense of privacy fosters self-aware, independent identities, which are fundamental to creating modern civilization. Problems in theory It appears Snowden was wrong -- at least, partially -- about NSA's access to encrypted data. Or, perhaps, he was putting a lot of weight on the phrase "properly implemented." Because if you had hung your ...

Features in this issue

  • Beyond the Page: Cyberthreats

    by  Johannes B. Ullrich

    This February 2014 Information Security magazine supplement takes a deeper look into cyberthreats and examines advanced threat techniques including watering hole attacks and sophisticated spear phishing.

  • Cyberthreats: Know thy enemy in 2014

    by  Johannes B. Ullrich

    There's no place to hide as new cyberthreats and tried-and-true hacking techniques test security teams.

  • The changing face of advanced malware detection

    by  David Strom

    It's a new year of advanced threats, malicious code and holes to plug, but security teams are fighting back with help from global services.

Columns in this issue

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