Search This Blog


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Microsoft said to beef up its Internet encryption

Edward Snowden's NSA leaks have caused Google, Yahoo, and Facebook to pledge stronger Internet encryption. Is Microsoft next on the list?

Microsoft has been an outspoken critic of the National Security Agency's surveillance program, yet it has trailed behind other major tech companies in amping up its Internet encryption practices. However, that could soon change.

The tech giant is looking to overhaul its system for encrypting Internet traffic, according to the Washington Post . Sources familiar with the matter told the newspaper that Microsoft is making the change because it believes the NSA might have breached its global communications systems.

Microsoft's conclusions most likely stem from documents leaked by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. In October, the Washington Post reported on a newly surfaced document that showed the NSA secretly accessed data from several tech giants by intercepting unencrypted Internet traffic in a program called MUSCULAR.

In the wake of these revelations, tech companies have been quick to maintain their innocence in the situation, along with show that they're working to protect users' privacy.
Google has been at the forefront of boosting its Internet encryption. In May, the company announced that it would switch over to stronger 2,048-bit encryption keys by the end of 2013. However, Google finished early and began implementation of the new keys last week. This type of encryption is said to take more than a decade to overcome because of computing power constraints.
Both Yahoo and Facebook have also said they're moving to 2,048-bit encryption keys in the near future.

Microsoft announced last week that it will introduce message encryption for Office 365 in early 2014. This new service will automatically encrypt all users' e-mail. However, the company has not yet outlined other levels of encryption it's planning for its other products.
Leaked documents from MUSCULAR and other surveillance projects show that the NSA could have spied on Microsoft's Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger, and Microsoft Passport, according to the Washington Post.

Microsoft's top executives are scheduled to meet later this week, according to the Post. During this meeting, they're supposedly scheduled to discuss what encryption practices to use and a timeline for implementation.
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment

wibiya widget

Disqus for Surut Shah

Web Analytics