Topic: Computing/Computer Security
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Bitcoin (₿) is a cryptocurrency. It is a decentralized digital currency without a central bank or single administrator that can be sent from user to user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries.
Transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain. Bitcoin was invented in 2008 by an unknown person or group of people using the name Satoshi Nakamoto and started in 2009 when its source code was released as open-source software. Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as mining. They can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services. Research produced by University of Cambridge estimates that in 2017, there were 2.9 to 5.8 million unique users using a cryptocurrency wallet, most of them using bitcoin.
Bitcoin has been criticized for its use in illegal transactions, its high electricity consumption, price volatility, and thefts from exchanges. Some economists, including several Nobel laureates, have characterized it as a speculative bubble. Bitcoin has also been used as an investment, although several regulatory agencies have issued investor alerts about bitcoin.
BonziBuddy, stylized as BonziBUDDY, (pronounced BON-zee-bud-ee) was a freeware desktop virtual assistant made by Joe and Jay Bonzi. Upon a user's choice, it would share jokes and facts, manage downloading using its download manager, sing songs, and talk, among other functions.
The software used Microsoft Agent technology similar to Office Assistant, and originally sported Peedy, a green parrot and one of the characters available with Microsoft Agent. Later versions of BonziBuddy in May 2000 featured its own character: Bonzi, the purple gorilla. The program also used a text to speech voice to interact with the user. The voice was called Sydney and taken from an old Lernout & Hauspie Microsoft Speech API 4.0 package. It is often referred to in some software as Adult Male #2.
Some versions of the software were described as spyware and adware. BonziBuddy was discontinued in 2004 after the company behind it faced lawsuits regarding the software and was ordered to pay fines. Bonzi's website remained open after the discontinuation of BonziBuddy and was said to be a virus, but was shut down at the end of 2008.
- "BonziBuddy" | 2019-06-20 | 111 Upvotes 80 Comments
- "Evercookie" | 2011-04-05 | 75 Upvotes 17 Comments
In computing, a fork bomb (also called rabbit virus or wabbit) is a denial-of-service attack wherein a process continually replicates itself to deplete available system resources, slowing down or crashing the system due to resource starvation.
- "Fork Bomb" | 2020-02-19 | 140 Upvotes 111 Comments
Homomorphic encryption is a form of encryption that allows computation on ciphertexts, generating an encrypted result which, when decrypted, matches the result of the operations as if they had been performed on the plaintext.
Homomorphic encryption can be used for privacy-preserving outsourced storage and computation. This allows data to be encrypted and out-sourced to commercial cloud environments for processing, all while encrypted. In highly regulated industries, such as health care, homomorphic encryption can be used to enable new services by removing privacy barriers inhibiting data sharing. For example, predictive analytics in health care can be hard to apply due to medical data privacy concerns, but if the predictive analytics service provider can operate on encrypted data instead, these privacy concerns are diminished.
- "Homomorphic encryption" | 2019-08-02 | 106 Upvotes 83 Comments
Kensington Security Slot
A Kensington Security Slot (also called a K-Slot or Kensington lock) is part of an anti-theft system designed in the early 1990s and patented by Kryptonite in 1999–2000, assigned to Schlage in 2002, and since 2005 owned and marketed by Kensington Computer Products Group, a division of ACCO Brands.
- "Kensington Security Slot" | 2010-06-08 | 26 Upvotes 19 Comments
Namecoin (Symbol: ℕ or NMC) is a cryptocurrency originally forked from bitcoin software. It is based on the code of bitcoin and uses the same proof-of-work algorithm. Like bitcoin, it is limited to 21 million coins.
Namecoin can store data within its own blockchain transaction database. The original proposal for Namecoin called for Namecoin to insert data into bitcoin's blockchain directly. Anticipating scaling difficulties with this approach, a shared proof-of-work (POW) system was proposed to secure new cryptocurrencies with different use cases.
Namecoin's flagship use case is the censorship-resistant top level domain
.bit, which is functionally similar to
.net domains but is independent of ICANN, the main governing body for domain names.
- "Namecoin" | 2014-03-16 | 150 Upvotes 51 Comments
NOBUS (Nobody but Us)
NOBUS ("nobody but us") are security vulnerabilities which the United States National Security Agency (NSA) believes that only it can exploit. As such, NSA sometimes chooses to leave such vulnerabilities open if NSA finds them, in order to exploit them against NSA's targets. More broadly, it refers to the notion that some signals intelligence capabilities are so powerful or otherwise inaccessible that only the NSA will be able to deploy them, though recent analyses suggest that this advantage may be under stress.
- "NOBUS (Nobody but Us)" | 2020-01-15 | 184 Upvotes 55 Comments
In computer networking, port knocking is a method of externally opening ports on a firewall by generating a connection attempt on a set of prespecified closed ports. Once a correct sequence of connection attempts is received, the firewall rules are dynamically modified to allow the host which sent the connection attempts to connect over specific port(s). A variant called single packet authorization (SPA) exists, where only a single "knock" is needed, consisting of an encrypted packet.
The primary purpose of port knocking is to prevent an attacker from scanning a system for potentially exploitable services by doing a port scan, because unless the attacker sends the correct knock sequence, the protected ports will appear closed.
- "Port knocking" | 2020-05-15 | 254 Upvotes 178 Comments
Post-quantum cryptography: just in case
Post-quantum cryptography (sometimes referred to as quantum-proof, quantum-safe or quantum-resistant) refers to cryptographic algorithms (usually public-key algorithms) that are thought to be secure against an attack by a quantum computer. As of 2019, this is not true for the most popular public-key algorithms, which can be efficiently broken by a sufficiently strong quantum computer. The problem with currently popular algorithms is that their security relies on one of three hard mathematical problems: the integer factorization problem, the discrete logarithm problem or the elliptic-curve discrete logarithm problem. All of these problems can be easily solved on a sufficiently powerful quantum computer running Shor's algorithm. Even though current, publicly known, experimental quantum computers lack processing power to break any real cryptographic algorithm, many cryptographers are designing new algorithms to prepare for a time when quantum computing becomes a threat. This work has gained greater attention from academics and industry through the PQCrypto conference series since 2006 and more recently by several workshops on Quantum Safe Cryptography hosted by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and the Institute for Quantum Computing.
In contrast to the threat quantum computing poses to current public-key algorithms, most current symmetric cryptographic algorithms and hash functions are considered to be relatively secure against attacks by quantum computers. While the quantum Grover's algorithm does speed up attacks against symmetric ciphers, doubling the key size can effectively block these attacks. Thus post-quantum symmetric cryptography does not need to differ significantly from current symmetric cryptography. See section on symmetric-key approach below.
- "Post-quantum cryptography" | 2018-11-12 | 20 Upvotes 14 Comments
- "Post-quantum cryptography" | 2015-08-22 | 50 Upvotes 21 Comments