Broke Eats is launching another series with Paul Prado called Eat Broke Love. Check it out!
If you think the private messages you send over Skype are protected by end-to-end encryption, think again. The Microsoft-owned service regularly scans message contents for signs of fraud, and company managers may log the results indefinitely, Ars has confirmed. And this can only happen if Microsoft can convert the messages into human-readable form at will.
With the help of independent privacy and security researcher Ashkan Soltani, Ars used Skype to send four Web links that were created solely for purposes of this article. Two of them were never clicked on, but the other two—one beginning in HTTP link and the other HTTPS—were accessed by a machine at 220.127.116.11, an IP address belonging to Microsoft. For those interested in the technical details, the log line looked like this:
'18.104.22.168 - - [16/May/2013 11:30:10] "HEAD /index.html?test_never_clicked HTTP/1.1" 200 -'
The results—which were similar but not identical to those reported last week by The H Security—prove conclusively that Microsoft not only has ability to peer at the plaintext sent from one Skype user to another, but that the company regularly flexes that monitoring muscle.
The number of shots of espresso one takes is like a badge of honor. You don’t just get to ask for a triple espresso, unless you’ve demonstrated the ability to fall asleep after a double espresso.
If you liked this comic, then you might like this one, posted two weeks ago. The punchlines are eerily similar. Jeff from pleated-jeans.com built a time machine, went into the future, and inspired by our comic, went back in time to post his own version. Well done, Jeff.
There are a ton of browser extensions that promise to protect your privacy, which leads to some natural questions: Which is the best? Do they all do the same thing? What should I really download? In this guide, we’re going to look at the most popular browser extensions that promise to protect your privacy online, and give you our recommendations.
Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft Skydrive and Mega are just a few examples of the many file-storage and backup services that are available today.
All these services rely on external cloud based hosting to back up and store files. This means that you have to trust these companies with your personal and confidential files, and that your storage space is limited.
For those people who want to be in control of their own data there haven’t been many alternatives, but BitTorrent Sync has the potential to trigger a small revolution on this front.
BitTorrent Sync’s functionality is comparable to services such as Dropbox and Skydrive, except for the fact that there’s no cloud involved. Users sync the files between their own computers and no third-party has access to it.
Besides increased security, BitTorrent sync transfers also tend to go a lot faster than competing cloud services. Another advantage is that there are no storage or transfer limits, so users can sync as many files as they want, for free.
Earlier this year BitTorrent started a closed Alpha test with a limited number of users, and today Sync is being released to the public for the first time.
“We’re really excited about opening up this Alpha. The feedback has been universally positive. Those in the closed Alpha have already synced more than 200TB since we started the program,” BitTorrent announces.
Over the past weeks many improvements have been made to the Sync application, prompted by user feedback. Among other things it is now possible to allow one-way synchronization and to exclude files or directories from being shared.
While Sync uses BitTorrent technology, people’s files are not accessible to outsiders. Only those who have the unique private key can access the shared folder.
“All the traffic is encrypted using a private key derived from the shared secret. Your files can be viewed and received only by the people with whom you share your private secret,” BitTorrent explains.
To increase security, the latest Sync version also has the option to let the secret key expire after a day so new devices can’t be added, even if outsiders have the private key.
BitTorrent stresses that Sync is still in Alpha development but tests carried out by TorrentFreak confirm that it works very well. It is an ideal tool for people who want to share large amounts of data between computers without going through third-party services.
The application is also surprisingly easy to configure. There’s no need to create an account and it only takes a few clicks to get going.
The Sync application is available for Windows, OSX, Linux and has the ability run on NAS devices through a web-interface. Readers who are interested in giving it a spin can head over to BitTorrent labs, where the Sync app can be downloaded.
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