The promise of managing identity on the blockchain – TechCrunch

The promise of managing identity on the blockchain – TechCrunch

Blockchain, the secure distributed ledger technology first created to track bitcoin ownership, has taken on a number of new roles in recent years tracking anything of value from diamonds to real estate deeds to contracts. The blockchain offers the promise of a trusted record that can reduce fraud. Some industry experts say that over the coming years, it could be used to control identity information in a more secure fashion.  As we have seen, just last week with the massive Equifax hack, our personal information is highly vulnerable in online databases in their current form. The fact is that whenever we have to identify ourselves, we are forced to present a variety of information to prove we are who we say we are, whether that’s to register for an online service, to cross a border or even prove you are old enough to drink at a bar.
Facebook Bans All Cryptocurrency Advertising, Including ICOs, Bitcoin And Ethereum

Facebook Bans All Cryptocurrency Advertising, Including ICOs, Bitcoin And Ethereum

A Facebook Inc. logo sits on display at Station F, a mega-campus for startups located inside a former freight railway depot, in Paris, France, on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. Facebook will open a startup incubator at Paris’s soon-to-debut entrepreneur campus created by billionaire Xavier Niel, as Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg vows to keep investing in France. Photographer: Christophe Morin/Bloomberg

Social media giant will no longer allow ad platform to be used to promote “financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offerings, or cryptocurrency.”  On Tuesday, Jan. 30, social media giant Facebook announced in a blog post that it would be banning all advertising related to cryptocurrencies.

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EU Politician Pushes Parliament to Test Blockchain Identity for Refugees

EU Politician Pushes Parliament to Test Blockchain Identity for Refugees

Blockchain image via Shutterstock

A blockchain task force within the European Parliament wants to explore how the technology could be used to provide digital identities to refugees, public documents suggest.  Amendments for the European Union’s 2018 budget, published on August 29, include one related to a task force first approved last year by EU lawmakers. The document also outlines that, of the more than €850,000 allocated for the project in the 2017 budget, €425,000 has been spent thus far.  Remarks included in that amendment – which appear to be attributed to Jakob von Weizsäcker, the MEP who first proposed the task force – suggest that one particular use case lawmakers are considering relates to digital identity for refugees.

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Stealthy malware targets embassies in snooping campaign

Stealthy malware targets embassies in snooping campaign

Image: iStock | The Turla hacking group is targeting undisclosed embassies with a new backdoor.

A notorious espionage and hacking operation are using a new malware tool to spy on embassies and consulates in Europe, according to security researchers. Known as Gazer, the malware allows the group to spy on infected Windows machines. It makes efforts to cover its tracks by wiping files securely from compromised systems.  It was uncovered by researchers at security company ESET, who believe the tool has been used since 2016 and is highly likely to be the work of Turla, a well-known advanced persistent threat group. The researchers uncovered the snooping campaign when analyzing a new malware sample that exhibited similarities to past Turla code.

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711 million email addresses ensnared in ‘largest’ spambot

711 million email addresses ensnared in ‘largest’ spambot

Photo: ZDnet.com

A huge spambot ensnaring 711 million email accounts has been uncovered. A Paris-based security researcher, who goes by the pseudonymous handle Benkow, discovered an open and accessible web server hosted in the Netherlands, which stores dozens of text files containing a huge batch of email addresses, passwords, and email servers used to send spam. Those credentials are crucial for the spammer’s large-scale malware operation to bypass spam filters by sending email through legitimate email servers.

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Call to link encryption to ID; Facebook maps everyone

Call to link encryption to ID; Facebook maps everyone

Call to withhold encryption unless you verify your ID

A lawyer has suggested that access to encryption technologies on social media should be denied to those who don’t “verify” their identities.  Max Hill QC, who is leading a review of the UK’s terrorism laws, told the London Evening Standard that “A discussion I have had with some of the tech companies is whether it is possible to withhold encryption pending positive identification of the internet user.” He added that he didn’t think this would “involved wholesale infringement on free speech use of the internet”.  Hill’s views seem to be building on a declaration by UK home secretary Amber Rudd that “real people don’t want unbreakable encryption“.

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