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Microsoft email server flaws exploited to hack at least 30,000 US organizations

Chinese state-sponsored group Hafnium reportedly used four zero-day flaws in Microsoft Exchange Server to infiltrate at least 30,000 organizations in the US.

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Digital Sovereignty & Cyber Security
From cyberwar to digital encryption, security issues to state sovereignty
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First 3-axis quantum inertial sensor: an important step towards drift-free navigation systems

First 3-axis quantum inertial sensor: an important step towards drift-free navigation systems | Digital Sovereignty & Cyber Security |
Exail, formerly iXblue, announced the demonstration of the 3-axis quantum inertial sensor developed within the iXAtom joint laboratory, a research team shared with the LP2N lab1 in Bordeaux.
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:
Quantum leap
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LinkedOut of China

LinkedOut of China | Digital Sovereignty & Cyber Security |

Microsoft plans to shut down LinkedIn in China due to increased operating environment challenges and compliance requirements. In June, some academics in China had their LinkedIn accounts blocked due to "prohibited content."

  • In September, U.S. journalists in China lost access to their accounts in the local version of LinkedIn, which the platform cited as prohibited content.
  • LinkedIn plans to replace the local version of the platform with a job board without social media features.
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

L'annonce du départ de LinkedIn est-elle l'amorce du retrait de Microsoft de Chine ? Le découplage entre l'Oncle Sam et l'Empire du Milieu semble de plus en plus prononcé alors que le retrait de LinkedIn marque le départ du dernier géant des réseaux sociaux américains dans le pays.

Jonathan Bourguignon avait raison dans les derniers chapitres d'Internet Année Zéro.

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Signal détruit la réputation de l'entreprise de piratage de smartphone Cellebrite

Signal détruit la réputation de l'entreprise de piratage de smartphone Cellebrite | Digital Sovereignty & Cyber Security |
C'est un comble : la machine de Cellebrite destinée à hacker les smartphones n'est, elle même, que très peu sécurisée, affirme Signal. Résultat, il serait facile de la corrompre intégralement avec une simple app piégée.

Via Thierry Evangelista
realestatenearme's comment, April 26, 2021 2:41 PM
realestatenearme's comment, April 26, 2021 2:41 PM
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China Stockpiles Chips, Chip-Making Machines to Resist U.S.

China Stockpiles Chips, Chip-Making Machines to Resist U.S. | Digital Sovereignty & Cyber Security |

Chinese businesses have collectively acquired ~$32B worth of chip manufacturing equipment over the last year, reports Bloomberg; an analysis of trade data shows firms increased spending by ~20 percent when compared with 2019; China also imported $380B worth of chips in 2020, equal to ~18 percent of the country’s total product imports for the year.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

At the negotiation table, US and China are now seated. Europe is still on the menu.

Philippe J DEWOST's curator insight, February 3, 2021 12:53 PM

Europe is right in the middle of a widening Silicon Rift.

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Secure Messaging Apps Comparison

Secure Messaging Apps Comparison | Digital Sovereignty & Cyber Security |

This site compares secure messaging apps from a security & privacy point of view. These include Facebook Messenger, iMessage, Skype, Signal, Google Allo, Threema, Riot, Wire, Telegram, and Wickr. The best secure messaging app?

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

En plein #WhatsAppGate, Telegram annonce 25 millions de nouveaux inscrits en 72h et franchit la barre du demi-milliard d'utilisateurs actifs.

Au delà des comparaisons simplistes qui ont fait le buzz dans le Kommentariat, laissant accroire qu'il n'y aurait que l'alternative iMessage, Telegram ou Signal, l'offre est nettement plus abondante. D'ailleurs Skype ou Viber ne sont pas nés de la dernière pluie.

D'autres acteurs ne figurent pas encore dans ce tableau, comme #FireChat (qui fonctionne de proche en proche en mode décentralisé), le français Skred de Pierre Bellanger, Olvid, ou encore la messagerie sécurisée #Tchap développée sur base Riot par les pouvoirs publics.

Au delà du #RGPD se pose la vraie question de l'interopérabilité : après tout, une grande partie de ces apps sont parties du protocole open source #XMPPissu de Jabber (et donc d'Orange).

La simplicité est l'autre enjeu, et WhatsApp garde ici un avantage énorme tant il est facile de monter un groupe qu'il soit familial, projet, ou circonstanciel et d'y partager photos et propos.

Mais la simplicité c'est aussi ne pas avoir à se souvenir de l'application sur laquelle avait lieu ma dernière conversation avec vous !

Philippe J DEWOST's curator insight, January 13, 2021 2:37 AM

In the midst of #WhatsAppGate, @Telegram announced 25 million new registrations in the past 72 hours, and more than half a billion active users.


Beyond simplistic comparisons buzzing through the #Kommentariat, the offer is much more abundant. Besides, Skype or Viber were not born out of the last rain.


While solutions seems to focus on #privacy enforcement, the question of interoperability is another possible avenue : after all, a large number of these apps are based on the open source #XMPP protocol from Jabber (and therefore Orange). Why not enforce some level of interconnection ?


Simplicity is the other issue, and there WhatsApp has a huge advantage, given how easy it is to set up a group, whether for a family, project, or circumstantial powwow, and share photos and comments.


But simplicity also means not having to remember the application I was using in my last conversation with you !

Philippe J DEWOST's curator insight, January 16, 2021 9:50 AM

WhatsApp and Facebook bend the knee following customer backlash. #WhatsAppGate

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EU is selling surveillance tech to China, says rights group

EU is selling surveillance tech to China, says rights group | Digital Sovereignty & Cyber Security |

European tech companies are selling digital surveillance technology to China, according to rights group Amnesty International.

Amnesty's findings, published Monday, come ahead of negotiations this week in Brussels on European surveillance export rules, known as Recast Dual Use Regulation.


The research found that three companies in France, Sweden and the Netherlands sold surveillance tools including facial recognition technology and network cameras to Chinese security agencies.

In some cases, European technology is used in China’s indiscriminate mass surveillance programs, and may also be deployed to suppress Uighurs and other vulnerable minorities, according to the human rights group.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Temptation to ban vs temptation to sell

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There's a Jailbreak Out for all Versions of iOS from 11 to 13.5, the current release.

There's a Jailbreak Out for all Versions of iOS from 11 to 13.5, the current release. | Digital Sovereignty & Cyber Security |

Over the years, Apple has made it prohibitively difficult to install unapproved software on its locked-down devices. But on Saturday, a hacker group called Unc0ver released a tool that will "jailbreak" all versions of iOS from 11 to 13.5. It's been years since a jailbreak has been available for a current version of iOS for more than a few days—making this yet another knock on Apple's faltering security image.

Unc0ver says that its jailbreak, which you can install using the longtime jailbreaking platforms AltStore and Cydia (but maybe don't unless you're absolutely sure you know what you're doing), is stable and doesn't drain battery life or prevent use of Apple services like iCloud, Apple Pay, or iMessage. And the group claims that it preserves Apple's user data protections and doesn't undermine iOS' sandbox security, which keeps programs running separately so they can't access data they shouldn't.

"This jailbreak basically just adds exceptions to the existing rules," Unc0ver's lead developer, who goes by Pwn20wnd, told WIRED. "It only enables reading new jailbreak files and parts of the file system that contain no user data."

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Impressive exploit given Apple's increased fortress walls thickness. Yet (why) should you jailbreak ?

Philippe J DEWOST's curator insight, May 26, 2020 4:34 PM

The cat and mouse game around Apple's iOS closed garden has resumed and this time it means something again.

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China suppressed Covid-19 with AI and big data

China suppressed Covid-19 with AI and big data | Digital Sovereignty & Cyber Security |

China used locational and other data from hundreds of millions of smartphones to contain the spread of Covid-19, according to Chinese sources familiar with the program.

In addition to draconian quarantine procedures, which kept more than 150 million Chinese in place at the February peak of the coronavirus epidemic, China used sophisticated computational methods on a scale never attempted in the West.

With more than 80,000 cases registered, China reported only 126 new cases yesterday, compared to 851 in South Korea and 835 in Iran, out of a total of 1,969 new cases worldwide. Chinese sources emphasize that the artificial intelligence initiative supplemented basic public health measures, which centered on quarantines and aggressive efforts to convince Chinese citizens to change their behavior.

Chinese government algorithms can estimate the probability that a given neighborhood or even an individual has exposure to Covid-19 by matching the location of smartphones to known locations of infected individuals or groups. The authorities use this information to use limited medical resources more efficiently by, for example, directing tests for the virus to high-risk subjects identified by the artificial intelligence algorithm.

All smartphones with enabled GPS give telecom providers a precise record of the user’s itinerary. Smartphone users in the United States and Europe can access their own data, but privacy laws prevent the government from collecting this data. China has no such privacy constraints, and telecom providers have used locational data for years for advertising.

A Chinese bank executive reports that his company purchases locational data from telecom providers. “If you have walked by an auto dealership three times in the last few weeks, we send you a text advertising an auto loan,” the executive said. “We wouldn’t be allowed to do that in the West.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Safety has a price. Freedom too.

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Macron veut une souveraineté nationale, Photonis bientôt rachetée par un américain

Macron veut une souveraineté nationale, Photonis bientôt rachetée par un américain | Digital Sovereignty & Cyber Security |
Vendue par le fonds français Ardian, la PME Photonis va très certainement être rachetée par un groupe américain. L’incapacité de la France à protéger ses pépites "offre aux autres puissances la possibilité de nous affaiblir", a rappelé vendredi à l'Ecole de Guerre Emmanuel Macron.
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China tells government offices to remove all foreign computer equipment

China tells government offices to remove all foreign computer equipment | Digital Sovereignty & Cyber Security |

According to The Guardian, "China has ordered that all foreign computer equipment and software be removed from government offices and public institutions within three years, the Financial Times reports.

The government directive is likely to be a blow to US multinational companies like HP, Dell and Microsoft and mirrors attempts by Washington to limit the use of Chinese technology, as the trade war between the countries turns into a tech cold war.

The Trump administration banned US companies from doing business with Chinese Chinese telecommunications company Huawei earlier this year and in May, Google, Intel and Qualcomm announced they would freeze cooperation with Huawei.

By excluding China from western know-how, the Trump administration has made it clear that the real battle is about which of the two economic superpowers has the technological edge for the next two decades.

This is the first known public directive from Beijing setting specific targets limiting China’s use of foreign technology, though it is part a wider move within China to increase its reliance on domestic technology.

The FT reported that the directive would result in an estimated 20m- to 30m pieces of hardware needing to be replaced and that this work would begin in 2020. Analysts told the FT that 30% of substitutions would take place in 2020, 50% in 2021 and 20% in 2022."

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

This development is fascinating as it shows that China now feels autonomous enough in the Tech field, going full stack from chips to cloud and Operating Systems.

What is more worrying is that this will lead the world to an autistic duopoly spying on an controlling all other players. Including Europe.

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Hyderabad based, founded by MIT & Microsoft alumni, raises $5m to put a voice assistant in every meeting

Hyderabad based, founded by MIT & Microsoft alumni, raises $5m to put a voice assistant in every meeting | Digital Sovereignty & Cyber Security |

How works? ​Users can connect their Google or Outlook calendars with Fireflies and have our AI system capture meetings in real-time across more than a dozen different web-conferencing platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, GoToMeeting, Webex, and many ​more ​systems. These meetings are then indexed, transcribed, and made searchable inside the Fireflies dashboard. You can comment, annotate key moments, and automatically extract relevant information around numerous topics like the next steps, questions, and red flags.

Instead of spending time frantically taking notes in meetings, Fireflies users take comfort knowing that shortly after a meeting they are provided with a transcript of the conversation and an easy way to collaborate on the project going forward.

Fireflies can also sync all this vital information back into the places where you already work thanks to robust integrations with Slack, Salesforce, Hubspot, and other platforms. is the bridge that helps data flow seamlessly from your communication systems to your system of records.

This approach is possible today because of major technological changes over the last 5 years in the field of machine learning. Fireflies leverage recent enhancements in Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), natural language processing (NLP), and neural nets to create a seamless way for users to record, annotate, search, and share important moments from their meetings.

Who is Fireflies for? ​The beauty of Fireflies is that it’s been adopted by people in different roles across organizations big and small:

  • Sales managers​ use Fireflies to review their reps’ calls at lightning speed and provide on the spot coaching
  • Marketers ​create key customer soundbites from calls to use in their campaigns.
  • Recruiters ​no longer worry about taking hasty notes and instead spend more time paying attention to candidates during interviews.
  • Engineers ​refer back to specific parts of calls using our smart search capabilities to make everyone aware of the decisions that were finalized.
  • Product managers and executives​ rely on Fireflies to document knowledge and important initiatives that are discussed during all-hands and product planning meetings on how to get access ​Fireflies have a free tier for individuals and teams to easily get started. For more advanced capabilities like augmented call search, more storage, and admin controls, we offer different tiers for growing teams and enterprises. You can learn more about our pricing and tiers by going to


Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

What if meeting notes were automatically generated and made available shortly after the conference call ? What if action items were assigned too ?

No more need for post processing, nor in meeting typing pollution : here is #AI (read "automated pattern detection and in context recognition") 's promised made by Firefly.

History reminds us how cautiously we shall face the longstanding fantasy of voice dictation (not speaking here of voice assistants) : Dragon Dictate in the 1990's never lived up to the promise, not did 

SpinVox in 2009 (it ended in tears). Now with growing concerns on the privacy vs. convenience balance, war is still not over.

Philippe J DEWOST's curator insight, December 2, 2019 3:18 AM

Et si le compte-rendu d'une réunion était automatique ? Et si la distribution des décisions prises et leur suivi l'étaient aussi ?

Plus besoin de taper sur son clavier et de polluer le meeting, plus besoin d'y passer un temp précieux...

C'est la promesse de cette nouvelle application à base d'Intelligence artificielle (lire : de reconnaissance automatisée de contenu et de contexte).

Restons cependant prudents ; la dictée vocale est un fantasme régulièrement déçu depuis les années 1990 et Dragon Dictate sur PC, puis les années 2009 et le scandale SpinVox sur mobile. Désormais les réserves se porteront plus sur l'arbitrage entre vie privée et efficacité, et la partie n'est pas nécessairement gagnée.

On peut au moins reconnaître à le mérite de s'attaquer de nouveau à la reconnaissance vocale...

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EBay, Visa, Mastercard, Stripe abandon Facebook's libra cryptocurrency

EBay, Visa, Mastercard, Stripe abandon Facebook's libra cryptocurrency | Digital Sovereignty & Cyber Security |

EBay, Stripe, Mastercard and Visa are all dropping out of Facebook’s libra cryptocurrency project, the companies announced Friday. The news comes one week after PayPal announced its withdrawal as government regulators continue to scrutinize the plans.

In statements following the news, the companies said they respect and see potential in the project, but have chosen to focus on other efforts. A Stripe spokesperson said in a statement that the company “is supportive of projects that aim to make online commerce more accessible for people around the world.” Stripe will “remain open to working with the Libra Association at a later stage,” the spokesperson said.

A Visa spokesperson said the company “will continue to evaluate and our ultimate decision will be determined by a number of factors, including the Association’s ability to fully satisfy all requisite regulatory expectations. Visa’s continued interest in Libra stems from our belief that well-regulated blockchain-based networks could extend the value of secure digital payments to a greater number of people and places, particularly in emerging and developing markets.”

The original coalition of 28 corporate backers of the libra cryptocurrency seems to be dwindling as lawmakers continue to question how it will impact sovereign currencies and how the project’s leaders can ensure consumers’ protection. Mercadopago and PayU are now the only two payments companies continuing to back the cryptocurrency as of Friday afternoon. Original backers Uber and Lyft told CNBC there has been no change to their involvement in the project.

The backers abandoning the project may have found safety in numbers after PayPal announced its exit last week. News that eBay, Stripe and Mastercard were each dropping out quickly followed one another Friday afternoon, indicating all three had likely been thinking about leaving during the same period. The decisions come ahead of a planned Libra Association Council meeting on Oct. 14. A week later, libra’s cryptocurrency project will take center stage in front of U.S. lawmakers once again when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies in front of the House Financial Services Committee later this month.

David Marcus, who leads the libra project and was previously the president of PayPal, weighed in on Twitter hours after the announcements. He cautioned “against reading the fate of Libra into this update.”

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

3 partners decided to jump ship after "reconsidering"  for a week, and a fourth one joined the fray. Will libra resist pressure ?

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Huawei’s new 4K Vision TV claims voice, facial recognition, and tracking among a long list of AI powers

Huawei’s new 4K Vision TV claims voice, facial recognition, and tracking among a long list of AI powers | Digital Sovereignty & Cyber Security |

Huawei announced its own 4K television, the Huawei Vision, during the Mate 30 Pro event today. Like the Honor Vision and Vision Pro TVs that were announced back in August, Huawei’s self-branded TV runs the company’s brand-new Harmony OS software as its foundation.

Huawei will offer 65-inch and 75-inch models to start, with 55-inch and 85-inch models coming later. The Huawei TV features quantum dot color, thin metal bezels, and a pop-up camera for video conferencing that lowers into the television when not in use. On TVs, Harmony OS is able to serve as a hub for smart home devices that support the HiLink platform.

Huawei is also touting the TV’s AI capabilities, likening it to a “smart speaker with a big screen.” The TV supports voice commands and includes facial recognition and tracking capabilities. Apparently, there’s some AI mode that helps protect the eyes of young viewers — presumably by filtering blue light. The Vision also allows “one-hop projection” from a Huawei smartphone. The TV’s remote has a touchpad and charges over USB-C.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Still think YOU are watching TV ?

Philippe J DEWOST's curator insight, September 25, 2019 12:46 AM

TV is now watching you watching TV : is this smart ?

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Hacker steals government ID database for Argentina's entire population

Hacker steals government ID database for Argentina's entire population | Digital Sovereignty & Cyber Security |
A hacker has breached the Argentinian government's IT network and stolen ID card details for the country's entire population, data that is now being sold in private circles.
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:
Citizens are being deprived of their identity.
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Taiwan – at the Center of a Worldwide Go Game Between China and the US

Taiwan – at the Center of a Worldwide Go Game Between China and the US | Digital Sovereignty & Cyber Security |
Silicon Geopolitics
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:
A must read paper on how Taiwan’s fate could impact western Tech in the next decade
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Microsoft email server flaws exploited to hack at least 30,000 US organizations

Chinese state-sponsored group Hafnium reportedly used four zero-day flaws in Microsoft Exchange Server to infiltrate at least 30,000 organizations in the US.

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Telegram Bot sells 533 million Facebook Users' Phone Numbers for $20 a piece

Telegram Bot sells 533 million Facebook Users' Phone Numbers for $20 a piece | Digital Sovereignty & Cyber Security |

A user of a low-level cybercriminal forum is selling access to a database of phone numbers belonging to Facebook users, and conveniently letting customers look up those numbers by using an automated Telegram bot.

Although the data is several years old, it still presents a cybersecurity and privacy risk to those whose phone numbers may be exposed—one person advertising the service says it contains data on 500 million users. Facebook told Motherboard the data relates to a vulnerability the company fixed in August 2019.

"It is very worrying to see a database of that size being sold in cybercrime communities, it harms our privacy severely and will certainly be used for smishing and other fraudulent activities by bad actors," Alon Gal, co-founder and CTO of cybersecurity firm Hudson Rock, and who first alerted Motherboard about the bot, said.

Upon launch, the Telegram bot says "The bot helps to find out the cellular phone numbers of Facebook users," according to Motherboard's tests. The bot lets users enter either a phone number to receive the corresponding user's Facebook ID, or visa versa. The initial results from the bot are redacted, but users can buy credits to reveal the full phone number. One credit is $20, with prices stretching up to $5,000 for 10,000 credits. The bot claims to contain information on Facebook users from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, and 15 other countries.


Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

The ultimate phone book business model

Philippe J DEWOST's curator insight, January 27, 2021 3:39 AM

A new phonebook business model ?

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Huawei's 5G Tech Advantage Has Roots In The '40s and a Turkish Man Who Conquered Noise

Huawei's 5G Tech Advantage Has Roots In The '40s and a Turkish Man Who Conquered Noise | Digital Sovereignty & Cyber Security |

The US ban on Chinese tech giant Huawei and its 5G technology has sparked a heated debate on the future of information flows and their control.

Until now, however, that debate has largely overlooked how Huawei arrived at its position of tech prowess.

The Five Eyes intelligence group (United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom) insist that Huawei 5G technology represents a huge intelligence risk.

Huawei flatly denies the accusation. Meanwhile, trillions of dollars in 5G revenue are at stake. Shutting down Huawei also has an extra benefit for the US — it temporarily halts Chinese progress in this extremely lucrative sector.

But how did Huawei get so far ahead in the first place? Well, according to a piece in Wired and carried by androidcentral, it all comes down to a theory crafted in 1948 and recently revived by a Turkish professor.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:


Philippe J DEWOST's curator insight, November 25, 2020 10:16 AM

Fascinating story about signal theory, IP acquisition, and how Qualcomm and the US missed an opportunity that now vastly benefits Huawei as a 5G Equipment leader.

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Sharing intelligence - Maximator, a 1976 European spy pact to rival the Five Eyes, comes to light

Sharing intelligence - Maximator, a 1976 European spy pact to rival the Five Eyes, comes to light | Digital Sovereignty & Cyber Security |

A DANE, A Swede, a German and a Dutchman walk into a bar. It is 1979 and spooks from the four countries are conferring in Munich over dark and malty lagers. For years, they had co-operated in the business of signals intelligence, or SIGINT—intercepting messages and cracking codes—and wanted a name for their budding spy pact. “They looked at their glasses, filled with Doppelbock beer of the local brand Maximator,” writes Bart Jacobs, a Dutch computer-science professor, “and reached a decision”.


In a paper published last month, Mr Jacobs publicly revealed the existence of the Maximator alliance for the first time, to the considerable irritation of those who had kept it under wraps for decades. The group was formed in 1976, when Denmark joined forces with Germany and Sweden to intercept and decipher messages sent by satellites, a burgeoning method of communication. The Netherlands joined two years later, bringing its intercept stations in the Carribean to the table, and France in 1985. The group is alive and well today.


Maximator’s history is a fine illustration of the layers of chicanery involved in good cryptology. As well as plucking signals out of the ether, the group would swap details of weaknesses in cipher machines which encrypted diplomatic and military messages. Luckily for them, says Mr Jacobs, the companies that made those machines “were mostly controlled by Western intelligence organisations.” Crypto AG, a Swiss firm that dominated the global market, turns out to have been jointly owned by the CIA and its German counterpart, the BND. They would sell rigged machines to friends and enemies alike, including several NATO countries.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

There is a European Five Eyes Raven and it is named after a German Beer

Philippe J DEWOST's curator insight, May 27, 2020 3:07 AM

Depuis 1976, un pacte d'espionnage lie 5 pays européens, qui porte le nom d'une bière munichoise.


Un fascinant article de The Economist dévoilant ce pacte qui fut créé en réponse aux "Five Eyes" anglo-saxon


On y découvre les liens étranges entre le Suisse CryptoAG, fabriquant des "Enigma" modernes et deux de ses actionnaires curieux de déchiffrer les messages "à la source"


#Cryptographie #Espionnage #Renseignement #Souveraineté #CIA

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Chicago-made glasses can block facial recognition tech

Chicago-made glasses can block facial recognition tech | Digital Sovereignty & Cyber Security |

As facial recognition technology gets cheaper, faster and more popular, people are looking for ways to subvert it. Reflectacles, a Chicago-based company, makes glasses that can thwart the technology.


The chunky, thick-framed glasses Scott Urban makes in his Humboldt Park workshop look like normal eyeglasses, but when viewed on a security camera, the wearer’s face becomes a shining orb.


Reflectacles, as the glasses are called, are among a growing number of devices developed to protect individual privacy as facial recognition technology becomes cheaper, faster and more commonplace.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Sauf si la loi interdit l'usage de maquillages et d'accessoires permettant de confondre les caméras. Après tout, masquer son visage sur la voie publique est bien interdit...

Philippe J DEWOST's curator insight, April 23, 2020 9:28 AM

Until they are forbidden by law ?

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Verizon bails on RSA cybersecurity conference over coronavirus fears

Verizon bails on RSA cybersecurity conference over coronavirus fears | Digital Sovereignty & Cyber Security |
It would seem that the corporate sponsors of the RSA security conference are no match for IRL viruses. Conference organizers announced Friday that Verizon has joined the growing ranks of companies bailing on the annual San Francisco cybersecurity event, which is slated to begin on Feb. 24. Following IBM and AT&T, Verizon is the latest company to pull out at the last minute, and, according to the RSA, the blame lies on the coronavirus — officially dubbed COVID-19. "We learned today that Verizon has decided to no longer participate in RSA Conference 2020 as a Gold Sponsor," reads the statement. "We understand and respect their decision."
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:
When IRL viruses take over cyber viruses
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AWS launches its custom Inferentia AI chips

AWS launches its custom Inferentia AI chips | Digital Sovereignty & Cyber Security |

At its re:Invent conference, AWS today announced the launch of its Inferentia chips, which it initially announced last year. These new chips promise to make inferencing, that is, using the machine learning models you pre-trained earlier, significantly faster and cost effective.

As AWS CEO Andy Jassy noted, a lot of companies are focusing on custom chips that let you train models (though Google and others would surely disagree there). Inferencing tends to work well on regular CPUs, but custom chips are obviously going to be faster. With Inferentia, AWS offers lower latency and three times the throughput at 40% lower cost per inference compared to a regular G4 instance on EC4.

The new Inf1 instances promise up to 2,000 TOPS and feature integrations with TensorFlow, PyTorch and MXNet, as well as the ONNX format for moving models between frameworks. For now, it’s only available in the EC2 compute service, but it will come to AWS’s container services and its SageMaker machine learning service soon, too.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

La puissance de calcul est un des leviers de la puissance tout court - suite : même les libraires se mettent au design propriétaire de processeurs (et celui-ci est dédié à l'IA). On attend toujours le processeur de la FNAC ou le GPU de Cdiscount ... 

Philippe J DEWOST's curator insight, December 9, 2019 3:53 AM

Amazon continues going vertical with custom AI chip design made available in its cloud offerings.

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1913: When Hitler, Trotsky, Tito, Freud and Stalin all lived in the same place

1913: When Hitler, Trotsky, Tito, Freud and Stalin all lived in the same place | Digital Sovereignty & Cyber Security |

A century ago, a single square mile in the capital of the then Austro-Hungarian Empire was home to some of the most remarkable men of the 20th Century, as it played host to Adolf Hitler, Leon Trotsky, Joseph Tito, Sigmund Freud and Joseph Stalin.

The BBC telles us that "in January 1913, a man whose passport bore the name Stavros Papadopoulos disembarked from the Krakow train at Vienna's North Terminal station.

Of dark complexion, he sported a large peasant's moustache and carried a very basic wooden suitcase.

"I was sitting at the table," wrote the man he had come to meet, years later, "when the door opened with a knock and an unknown man entered.

"He was short... thin... his greyish-brown skin covered in pockmarks... I saw nothing in his eyes that resembled friendliness."

The writer of these lines was a dissident Russian intellectual, the editor of a radical newspaper called Pravda (Truth). His name was Leon Trotsky.


The man he described was not, in fact, Papadopoulos.

He had been born Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, was known to his friends as Koba and is now remembered as Joseph Stalin.

Trotsky and Stalin were just two of a number of men who lived in central Vienna in 1913 and whose lives were destined to mould, indeed to shatter, much of the 20th century.

It was a disparate group. The two revolutionaries, Stalin and Trotsky, were on the run. Sigmund Freud was already well established.

The psychoanalyst, exalted by followers as the man who opened up the secrets of the mind, lived and practised on the city's Berggasse.

The young Josip Broz, later to find fame as Yugoslavia's leader Marshal Tito, worked at the Daimler automobile factory in Wiener Neustadt, a town south of Vienna, and sought employment, money and good times.

Then there was the 24-year-old from the north-west of Austria whose dreams of studying painting at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts had been twice dashed and who now lodged in a doss-house in Meldermannstrasse near the Danube, one Adolf Hitler."

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Would such a coexistence have been detected with surveillance cameras and AI ? #MinorityReport

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WhatsApp blames — and sues — mobile spyware maker NSO Group over its zero-day calling exploit

WhatsApp blames — and sues — mobile spyware maker NSO Group over its zero-day calling exploit | Digital Sovereignty & Cyber Security |

WhatsApp has filed a suit in federal court accusing Israeli mobile surveillance maker NSO Group of creating an exploit that was used hundreds of times to hack into target’s phone.

The lawsuit, filed in a California federal court, said the mobile surveillance outfit “developed their malware in order to access messages and other communications after they were decrypted” on target devices.

The attack worked by exploiting an audio-calling vulnerability in WhatsApp. Users may  appear to get an ordinary call, but the malware would quietly infect the device with spyware, giving the attackers full access to the device.

In some cases it happened so quickly, the target’s phone may not have rung at all.

Because WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted, it’s near-impossible to access the messages as they traverse the internet. But in recent years, governments and mobile spyware companies have begun targeting the devices where the messages were sent or received. The logic goes that if you hack the device, you can obtain its data.

That’s what WhatsApp says happened.

WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, quickly patched the vulnerability. Although blame fell fast on NSO Group, WhatsApp did not publicly accuse the company at the time — until now.

In an op-ed posted shortly after the suit was filed, WhatsApp head Will Cathcart said the messaging giant “learned that the attackers used servers and Internet-hosting services that were previously associated” with NSO Group, and that certain WhatsApp accounts used during the attacks were traced back to the company.

“While their attack was highly sophisticated, their attempts to cover their tracks were not entirely successful,” said Cathcart.

The attack involved disguising the malicious code as call settings, allowing the surveillance outfit to deliver the code as if it came from WhatsApp’s signaling servers. Once the malicious calls were delivered to the target’s phone, they “injected the malicious code into the memory of the target device — even when the target did not answer the call,” the complaint read. When the code was run, it sent a request to the surveillance company’s servers, and downloaded additional malware to the target’s device.

In total, some 1,400 targeted devices were affected by the exploit, the lawsuit said.

Most people were unaffected by the WhatsApp exploit. But WhatsApp said that more than 100 human rights defenders, journalists and “other members of civil society” were targeted by the attack.

Other targets included government officials and diplomats.

In a statement, NSO Group said: “In the strongest possible terms, we dispute today’s allegations and will vigorously fight them.”

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Nobody will never trust Facebook's WhatsApp privacy promise. Unless the endpoint code is open source.

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PayPal withdraws from Libra as others now "reconsider"

PayPal withdraws from Libra as others now "reconsider" | Digital Sovereignty & Cyber Security |

PayPal is withdrawing from Facebook’s Libra Association, the company announced Friday.

“PayPal has made the decision to forgo further participation in the Libra Association at this time and to continue to focus on advancing our existing mission and business priorities as we strive to democratize access to financial services for underserved populations,” PayPal said in a statement.

David Marcus, who leads the project at Facebook, was previously the president of PayPal. PayPal said it is still “supportive of Libra’s aspirations” and that it will continue to partner with Facebook in the future.

Dante Disparte, head of policy and communications for the Libra Association, said in an emailed statement, “We recognize that change is hard, and that each organization that started this journey will have to make its own assessment of risks and rewards of being committed to seeing through the change that Libra promises.”

Libra was greeted with widespread criticism after the cryptocurrency was announced in June. Facebook’s involvement caught the attention of senior congressional finance committee members, global regulators, former lawmakers and industry insiders who questioned Facebook’s motives.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said this summer that libra raises “serious concerns regarding privacy, money laundering, consumer protection, financial stability” and the Fed had launched a working group to examine it.

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, told CNBC in June that “it’s very important for them to stop right now what they’re doing so that we can get a handle on this” and Congress would “move aggressively” to deal with it.

Facebook has tried to mitigate lawmakers’ fears of libra in part by assuring them that Facebook would not have unilateral control of the currency.

The Libra Association had been made up of 28 corporate backers, including Facebook, who are meant to help govern libra. All founding members were expected to invest a minimum of $10 million to fund the operating costs of the association and launch an incentive program to drive adoption, according to Facebook’s initial announcement of the project, but those investments had not yet been made.

PayPal’s public defection could indicate the alliance is starting to fray.

On Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Visa, Mastercard and other financial partners that signed on are “reconsidering” involvement following a backlash from government officials.

Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Tex., a member of the House Financial Services Committee, said on a call with reporters Friday that PayPal’s decision to back out is “a clear indication that something’s amiss.” Garcia said she already had concerns about the members of the association, since Facebook seemed to be able to select its founding members.

“If I’m doing the inviting, then that’s controlling the entire agenda,” she said.

Lawmakers in the House Financial Services Committee are now seeking to bring Facebook’s top executives back to Capitol Hill to testify on libra, CNBC reported Friday. Two sources familiar with the situation told CNBC that the committee has been in talks with Facebook about bringing COO Sheryl Sandberg to testify this month, but that the hearing would be contingent on CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s agreement to appear before the committee.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Anyone next ?

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