Category Archives: Cybersecurity

What if anyone could access your bitcoin wallet?

If the answer is yes, then that’s a game changer for cryptocurrencies!

So how do you access a bitcoin wallet. Accessing a Bitcoin wallet requires issuing a transaction to move Bitcoin from the address at which it resides to a new address; to perform such a transaction, you need knowledge of the private key associated with the Bitcoin address. Looking at how the FBI retrieved the Bitcoin from the Colonial Pipeline Hackers, Joseph Steinberg makes the following comment …

“It is no secret that cryptocurrencies enable various types of criminal activity and facilitate money laundering and the unreported transfers of large sums of money; as a result, I have wondered for years if lawmakers and law enforcement seemingly “turning a blind eye” to much of the issue has not been the result of naiveite, but because governments have “back doors” into popular crypto networks; are various government bodies able to better trace transactions than is commonly believed, to exploit zero-day implementation vulnerabilities in the crypto networks themselves or in the communications infrastructure upon which the networks rely, or to crack private keys far faster than outsiders believe through the use of quantum computers more advanced than are publicly known to  exist? Could Satoshi Nakomoto even be some government agency somewhere? Whoever knows the answers to these questions will clearly not answer them to the public. (Of course, if the FBI has such capabilities, it would likely use them sparingly and ascribe any successes to other techniques – just as the Allies did not act on every piece of data obtained by hacking Enigma so as not to alert the Nazis to Enigma’s compromise.)”

Also, it’s not a secret that quantum computers will eventually be able to rapidly crack the asymmetric encryption that forms the heart of modern-day digital signatures, nor is it a secret that many blockchain implementations – including those utilized by several popular cryptocurrencies – rely on potentially quantum-vulnerable asymmetric encryption algorithms to establish and authenticate the “owners” of their respective per-ledge-address contents.

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and others are developed on blockchain technologies. Though advanced and sophisticated, the arrival of quantum computers are posing a serious threat to the security of blockchains. The only solution is to transition to quantum-safe blockchains utilizing post-quantum cryptography.

What is a quantum-safe blockchain? Well let’s run through the basics first. A blockchain is a database that is shared among the nodes of a computer network and stores data electronically. The jewel crown of this innovative blockchain technology is that it ensures the fidelity and security of a record of data which does not require a trusted third party.

Now that we know what blockchain truly means and how secure it is, we must also know that blockchain end points are vulnerable to quantum hacking. CISOs today and even blockchain experts are well aware of the fast-approaching quantum threats. The official Bitcoin website states that Bitcoin is vulnerable to quantum hacking just as most systems relying on cryptography in general are, including traditional banking systems. Some of the most recent hacks include $300M and $650M losses in cryptocurrencies that resulted from digital signature failures.

Besides cryptocurrency trading, the blockchain is a revolutionary technology that has many use cases. The blockchain is changing the face of businesses and governments today. It can be used for asset traceability, supply chain, trade payments, global payments, banking systems, voting and even digital identity. Using this very technology, new business models are evolving and disrupting the existing ones.

Just like all things on the internet, the blockchain requires security against quantum hacking. This is where IronCAP’s™ unique technology comes to use. We are developing the world’s first Quantum-Safe Blockchain designed for Tokens, NFTs, Smart Contracts for Metaverse, De-centralized Finance (DeFi) and more. This best-in-class quantum-safe blockchain can protect against cyber adversaries, including future quantum attacks. A revolutionary, state-of-the-art, quantum-safe blockchain has endless applications and use cases for every business.

You need to act now!

We at IronCAP™ have been trying to educate businesses and individuals that Q-day (the day the first quantum hack is publicly recognized) is around the corner and everybody needs to gear up. Nation states and governments are already at it, how about you? To learn more, visit www.ironcap.ca.

IronCAP™ is our latest innovation for the post-quantum cybersecurity. This patent-protected, post-quantum cryptographic system is based on the Goppa Code-based cryptographic technology. It has embedded our proprietary subclass of (L, G) making it not only more secured but also has faster cryptographic operations (key generation, encryption, decryption) than the traditional Goppa Code-based technology (McEliece). We are offering a live demonstration for the general public to try and experience the strength of IronCAP™ post-quantum encryption easily. To learn more, visit www.ironcap.ca.

Why did President Biden Sign a Memo to Combat Quantum Computing Threat?

This is a very good question … and at IronCAP™ we know the answer!

Finally, everyone is waking up to the fact that quantum computers are now a threat to security! There is a real and present danger. A quantum computer of sufficient size and sophistication( also known as a cryptanalytically relevant quantum computer) will be capable of breaking much of the public-key cryptography used on digital systems throughout  the world!

The White House has announced that President Joe Biden has signed a National Security Memorandum (NSM) aimed at maintaining U.S. leadership in quantum information sciences and to mitigate the risks of quantum computing to the Nation’s security.

“Promoting United States Leadership in Quantum Computing While Mitigating Risks to Vulnerable Cryptographic Systems” – also known as NSM-10 – directs U.S. Government agencies to migrate vulnerable cryptographic systems to quantum-resistant cryptography as part of multi-year effort. As the National Manager for National Security Systems, the Director of NSA will oversee this process across the 50-plus government departments and agencies using National Security Systems (NSS) – systems that contain classified information or are otherwise critical to military or intelligence operations.

“A cryptanalytically relevant quantum computer could jeopardize civilian and military communications as well as undermine supervisory and control systems for critical infrastructure,” said GEN Paul M. Nakasone, Commander, USCYBERCOM, Director, NSA/Chief, CSS. “The No. 1 defense against this quantum computing threat is to implement quantum-resistant cryptography on our most important systems.”

While NSA will spearhead many of the tasks in NSM-10 to ensure NSS are quantum resistant, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) will ensure U.S. critical infrastructure and other U.S. Government systems also move toward quantum-resistant cryptography.

“Implementing approved quantum-resistant cryptographic solutions across all of our systems will not happen overnight, but it’s critical that we chart a path to get there considering the potential threat of quantum computing,” said Rob Joyce, NSA Cybersecurity Director and Deputy National Manager for National Security Systems.

You need to act now!

We at IronCAP™ have been trying to educate businesses and individuals that Q-day (the day the first quantum hack is publicly recognized) is around the corner and everybody needs to gear up. Nation states and governments are already at it, how about you? To learn more, visit www.ironcap.ca.

IronCAP™ is our latest innovation for the post-quantum cybersecurity. This patent-protected, post-quantum cryptographic system is based on the Goppa Code-based cryptographic technology. It has embedded our proprietary subclass of (L, G) making it not only more secured but also has faster cryptographic operations (key generation, encryption, decryption) than the traditional Goppa Code-based technology (McEliece). We are offering a live demonstration for the general public to try and experience the strength of IronCAP™ post-quantum encryption easily. To learn more, visit www.ironcap.ca.

Industry adopts Quantum-Safe Encryption

It is disheartening to watch the global crisis these days.  Nevertheless, it is critical we address today’s encryption and IronCAP™ wants to educate people about the importance of cybersecurity, now more than ever.

Cyberattacks often spiked with military actions. The risk of cyberattacks now is very high and rising.  A slew of hackings have occurred in just the past two months. Recent victims include Samsung, gaming giant UbiSoft and the world’s largest GPU producer, Nvidia. Some analysts claimed that the Nvidia hack was a “national security disaster”.  In fact, every country is on high alert for cyberattacks now.  They are watching not only attacks posed by classical computers but also those posed by quantum computers.  They definitely need to ramp up their cyber defenses.

You may think that commercial quantum computers are still far away.  Well, you will realize you are wrong if you go on to read.  As per reports from March 4th 2022, The White House is concerned over the threat raised by post-quantum computing.  It recently released a National Security Memorandum which have huge implications for quantum technology and quantum security for the world.  Specifically, it instructs the National Security Agency (NSA) to update the Commercial National Security Algorithm Suite (CNSA Suite) and to transition their systems to use compliant and quantum-resistant cryptography. 

For the last 6 years our world-renowned team of crypto scientists have been working on a unique, Goppa code-based cryptographic encryption that has obtained a patent, backed by industry leaders and emerged unscathed in two global hackathons (2019 and 2020 respectively). More importantly IronCAP™ is available today!  It operates on classical computers and is quantum-safe, protecting your data from cyberattacks coming from quantum computers as well as classical computers.

We at IronCAP™ have been trying to educate businesses and individuals that Q-day (the day the first quantum hack is publicly recognized) is around the corner and everybody needs to gear up. Nation states and governments are already at it, how about you?

References:

Venture Beat

EETimes

 

All Data Today is Quantum Vulnerable

In the last two years we have seen a continuous upward trend in the number of cybersecurity breaches, with the record high being broken month-over-month. It is about time companies need to improve their cybersecurity defenses. The number one thing they need to be aware of is that the current encryption that protects their data is NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

In 2021, approximately 281.5 million people have been affected by a data breach.  More than 60% of the U.S. information security professionals said ransomware is as serious as terrorism. According to IBM, the average cost of a data breach is over $4 million and Mimecast estimates the average ransomware demand against US companies is over $6 million.  Even more alarming, Cybersecurity Ventures expects global cybercrime cost to reach $10.5 trillion USD annually by 2025.

It has been proven in the last two years that it’s a child’s play to phish individual’s private data; and no magic to breach the cybersecurity defenses of a multimillion-dollar company. This will get even more disastrous with quantum advancements headed our way.  Nation states and tech giants are already spending millions on quantum advancements. For example, on August 26th 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) budgeted $625 million for quantum advancements. In 2021, Honeywell Quantum Solutions and Cambridge Quantum achieved a quantum volume of 1,024 and demonstrated real-time error correction that enables quantum machines to do more significant calculations with fewer qubits. And most recently in 2022, research led by the University of New South Wales, Sydney has proven that a near error-free quantum computing is possible, paving the way for large silicon-based quantum processors for real-world manufacturing and application.

Q-day, the day when quantum computers render all current encryption meaningless will soon be here, and may have even arrived already. Quantum threats are very real and we must become quantum-safe now in order to beat Q-day.

Government agencies across the globe are scrambling to find the best quantum-safe methodology. Among them the highly regarded NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) in the US is still two years away from announcing their “preferred method”.  It will be a big mistake to leave our data at risk of quantum threats now and wait for two more years.   Fortunately, a group of crypto-scientists have pioneered the development of IronCAP™ starting several years ago.  It’s a patent-protected quantum-safe encryption technology based on Goppa code-based system – 1 of the 5 favorable post-quantum cryptographic approaches recommended by NIST at this time.  IronCAPTM is readily available for people to deploy on their classical computers today. It can be integrated with all kinds of vertical solutions such as email/file encryption, remote access/VPN, cloud storage, 5G/IoT, blockchains, financial transactions, etc., and safeguard you from cyber threats today and in the soon to arrive quantum computing era.

Learn more: www.ironcap.ca

References:
University of New South Wales research
Honeywell

Achieve Cyber Resilience with Thales and IronCAP

Cybersecurity is critical to an organization’s digital health and resilience.  A vast majority of organizations around the globe rely heavily on digital technologies to function daily.  Consciously or unconsciously, we allow our data to be digitized and stored.  We are sharing all kinds of data online, be it a friendly invite, financial data or corporate contracts.  01 Communique has taken another step forward, partnering with Thales, a trusted global technology leader to provide quantum-safe cryptographic solutions to help businesses and government agencies achieve cyber resilience.  IronCAP™ will work closely with Thales to integrate and ensure compatibility with Thales’ Luna HSM solutions as well as joint-marketing the solutions.  For more information about the partnership:

https://cpl.thalesgroup.com/partners/01-communique-laboratory-inc

Research suggests in 2021, approximately 281.5 million people have been affected by a data breach and there were 160 million victims in the third quarter alone compared to 121 million victims in the first and second quarters.  That’s not all.  60% of the U.S. information security professionals say ransomware is as serious as terrorism.  According to Cybersecurity Ventures, by the end of 2021, it was estimated that an organization will be hit with a ransomware attack in every 11 seconds.  Every 11 seconds…that’s something to really think about.

Whether you are a cybersecurity geek or not, you likely have heard about the various quantum advancements in 2020 and 2021.  The rapid acceleration of quantum computing advancements threaten our current encryption algorithms. It’s a known fact that early-stage quantum computers are here and readily available for anybody to use. You read that right!  Back in 2019, IBM had already unveiled their first commercial quantum computer. In 2021 IBM delivered its 127 qubit Eagle processor, and declared that by 2023 it would be able to deliver a “quantum advantage.” Even Amazon offered their quantum computers for the public to use via their cloud service BRAKET.  In the summer of 2020, Honeywell announced that their quantum computers were superior to IBM’s and Google’s.  They also claimed they would increase their quantum volume 10X each year, and are sure trying to deliver. In 2021 Honeywell Quantum Solutions and Cambridge Quantum achieved a quantum volume of 1,024 and demonstrated real-time error correction, to a breakthrough algorithm that enables quantum machines to do more significant calculations with fewer qubits. It’s evident that the global quantum computing race has begun some time ago already and is advancing rapidly.

Unlike hardware, data cannot be replaced when encryption goes obsolete.  Data lives on for years, if not for decades.  As such we cannot simply address encryption algorithm obsolescence overnight. Asif Qayyum, Managing Director, Digital Security Risk & Controls at PwC Canada said that the industry is aware Q-Day is arriving if not already arrived. We need to prepare now because once the adversarial players crack the current encryption, it will be catastrophic. Here is a link to his full video: https://youtu.be/EdpRwnx5a58

This is why we’ve built IronCAP™, the solution to combat this threat.  IronCAP™ is the first-to-market a quantum-safe encryption solution, that is proven secure and readily available today.  And together with Thales we are confident we can reach a wider audience of businesses, organizations and government agencies, providing them with quantum-safe solutions that can help them to achieve cyber resilience.

Becoming quantum-safe 1-year-too-early or 1-year-too-late is everything.  Join top cybersecurity professionals to become quantum-safe with IronCAP™ and Thales today.

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Can Quantum Computing Easily Break Current Cryptography?

The simple answer is YES. The encryption algorithms we use today will take conventional computers hundreds of years to break.  With the much more powerful quantum computer, they can be broken within a few seconds. Quantum computing will render current encryption useless.  This can happen anytime and for all we know it may have already happened on a national level!  Think about this.  The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced on August 26th 2020 that they would spend $625 million on quantum advancements.  They have also awarded $115 million to Quantum Systems Accelerator (QSA), a new research center, to pioneer the development of quantum technologies for discovery science.  In 2021 Honeywell Quantum Solutions and Cambridge Quantum achieved a quantum volume of 1,024 and demonstrated real-time error correction, to a breakthrough algorithm that enables quantum machines to do more significant calculations with fewer qubits. The above-mentioned companies and government agencies are not the only ones.  There are several others pumping millions of dollars into the R&D of quantum computing.  It’s evident that the global quantum computing race has begun some time ago already and is advancing rapidly.

So, is your data safe?  Can your current encryption safeguard against quantum threats?  The answer is an obvious NO.  And here comes the SOLUTION – IronCAP™’s quantum-safe cryptography can provide that ultimate layer of protection to your data.

IronCAP™ is the SOLUTION for 3 main reasons:

  1. Its quantum-safe cryptography is designed to operate on current computers to protect against cyber threats from not only today’s computers but also tomorrow’s quantum computers
  2. Its breakthrough technology is patent protected and industry endorsed
  3. Its cryptography has been put to test in 2 global hackathons and proved unscathed

Industry leaders need to start migrating towards quantum-safe encryption now.  Cryptographic algorithm transitions take time and involve massive coordination effort across many stakeholders in different industries. By preparing now and adopting post-quantum cryptography solutions like IronCAP™ can ensure a more orderly, less costly, and modestly disruptive changeover.

IronCAP™‘s quantum-safe solution is readily available today. To learn more, visit www.ironcap.ca.

References:
DOE $115 million award for quantum lab.
DOE $625 million investment in quantum.

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It’s not just a New Year Wish – We can make Phishing Scams Outdated in 2022

According to a new research by Venafi, nearly 60% of security professionals believe that the threat of ransomware should be treated with the same urgency as terrorism.  A survey among 1500 IT security decision-makers from around the globe revealed the growing concerns about the scale and damage of ransomware attacks, which have surged during the COVID-19 crisis.

As per Infosecurity Magazine, 67% respondents from organizations with over 500 employees experienced a ransomware attack over the past 12 months.  For organizations with 3000-4999 employees, that figure rose to an astonishing 80%.  Let’s not forget the ransom demands are a very small fraction of the total damage – business shut downs, loss of invaluable data, the PR costs and reputational damage can be up to 100X the ransom price tag.

Current ransomware protection tools are a band aid.  Education on email security best practices are useful BUT only comprehensive end-to-end encryption and digital signatures will protect your data against phishing.  This new year let’s join forces to put an end to phishing scams.  With IronCAP X™, you can send end-to-end encrypted emails without it being stored on a third-party server along the route.  AND you can digitally sign the email so your recipients can easily distinguish a legit email from an impersonated one.  PLUS IronCAP X™ is quantum-safe so it protects your sensitive data now and in the fast approaching quantum future.  So why wait?

Free yourself from phishers.  Get IronCAP X™ FREE for personal use or learn about our business options at www.ironcap.ca.

 

References:

Joseph Steinberg
Infosecurity Magazine

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IronCAP™ Wishes you a Safe Global Encryption Day!

On October 21, 2021, the Global Encryption Coalition (GEC) will hold the first annual Global Encryption Day.  This event is organized to tell governments around the world that protecting and strengthening encryption is crucial to making the internet safer for everyone.  At IronCAP™, we couldn’t agree more. True end-to-end data encryption is critical for a safe cyberspace.

Despite increased investments in cybersecurity, most organizations and government agencies are lacking the tools to fight phishing and ransomware. And most of them will only upgrade their security measures AFTER suffering from a ransomware attack instead of before.

On October 17, 2021, The US Treasury ‘s Financial Crimes Enforcement reported, “…ransomware related transactions totaled around $590 million from January 2021 to June 2021.” Furthermore, Proofpoint reported that 57% of organizations had experienced a successful phishing attack in 2020. That is an increase of more than 50% in just one year!  Ransomware attack is ranked as the top crime contributing to 44% of all business losses.  And cybercrime magazines also reported that a ransomware attack is expected on a business every 11 seconds by the end of 2021.

Current ransomware solutions based on such as zero trust, employees’ best practices, anti-virus software and AI threat detection may help.  However judging from the ransomware stats it is obvious that these are either not being applied properly or they don’t work.  It would be a huge stretch of the imagination to think that education alone is going to stop phishing. Moreover COVID has added massive numbers of remote workers to the complexity of managing the security of remote systems.  Employees’ best practices can improve the situation a bit but they are not a serious antidote to phishing.

Over the past 5 years our world-renowned team of crypto scientists have worked very hard to develop an antidote to phishing.  IronCAP X™  is the most innovative end-to-end email encryption system to cut off phishing at the root.  Its quantum-safe, true end-to-end encryption with digital signatures will eliminate phishing not just today but in the quantum future too. Organizations need to realize that their current security measures are not working.  They must implement true end-to-end email/file encryption to deal with phishing at the root.

On Global Encryption Day, the Global Encryption Coalition wants people from all over the world to make the switch to end-to-end encrypted platforms.  Let IronCAP™ help you.  To find out more, please visit www.ironcap.ca.

References:

Cybersecurity vs Cyber Resilience
The Verge – US Treasury report
Global Encryption Day

IronCAP™ is your Post-Quantum Encryption Solution

Cryptographic technologies are utilized by all industries and government bodies to verify the source and protect the data that they store. With the rapid advancement in quantum computing, we should be aware that our widely deployed cryptographic algorithms that are used to protect our data privacy and communications today will be threatened.  It’s anticipated that a quantum hack is around the corner if not here already.  Business leaders and government officials need to understand the risks and damages associated with quantum hacks and act NOW!  Cryptographic algorithm transitions take time and involve massive coordination effort across many stakeholders in different industries. By preparing now and adopting post-quantum cryptography solutions like IronCAP™ can ensure a more orderly, less costly, and modestly disruptive changeover.

IronCAP™ is designed to operate on conventional computers.  It is built on the longest time-tested Goppa code-based theory recognized by the world of post-quantum cryptography study field.  By introducing sophisticated linear codes and error syndromes into your data, our cryptography confuses even quantum computers and prevents any of your information from being compromised.  Hence IronCAP™ can safeguard against cyberattacks from today’s classical computers as well as quantum computers.

IronCAP™’s post-quantum cryptography can be used in all kinds of vertical solutions such as digital identity, email/file encryption, remote access/VPN, cloud storage, 5G/IoT, blockchains, financial transactions, etc. The IronCAP™ API is compliant with the PKCS#11 and OpenPGP (RFC4880) industry standards, allowing vendors to transform their applications or systems seamlessly to quantum-safe.

Protect your data in motion, at rest and in use with IronCAP™ today and in the quantum computing era.  To learn more, visit www.ironcap.ca.

Quantum Hacks could be the “Cyber Pearl Harbor”

It’s a known fact that quantum computers are here and readily available for anybody to use. You read that right!  Back in 2019, IBM had already unveiled their first commercial quantum computer.  In the same year, Google claimed quantum supremacy, and even Amazon offered their quantum computers for the public to use via their cloud service BRAKET.  In the summer of 2020, Honeywell announced that their quantum computers were superior to IBM’s and Google’s.  They also claimed they would increase their quantum volume 10X each year.  In December 2020, China’s University of Science and Technology announced their version of quantum computers claiming a million times faster than IBM’s and Google’s.  It’s evident that the global quantum computing race has begun some time ago already.

All of the above is just information available to the open world.  We have no idea what the closed world (i.e. national level) entails. Every day we hear news on cyberattacks at companies or government agencies that seemed unreachable before.  A quantum hack could have very well arrived quietly.  What do you think about the SolarWinds hack? The ransomware attack on the US JBS meat processing company and the Colonial Pipeline? The list goes on. Still got doubts? Here are what industry experts said at our latest quantum-safe readiness webinar.

Florin A. F., Director of CGI Innovation Center Montreal said, “…We think quantum computing is in the future and is a future risk. The reality is that every and each document that is stored today somewhere on a system for a financial institution is actually a potential document that is under attack…”

Asif Qayyum, Managing Director, Digital Security Risk & Controls at PwC Canada said, “…However one thing is for sure that everyone is realizing that the Q-day might have already occurred …..and because a breach that could have happened or a database which is encrypted but lying somewhere there, as soon as that readiness or availability of technology comes into the hand of these adversarial players that is going to explode multi-fold…”

These are just a little excerpt from the valuable insight these leaders provided at the webinar. You can watch the complete webinar here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uy0el3lCosU

It’s believed that quantum hacking is approaching fast. This will render all the current encryptions vulnerable and hence make internet data, banking transactions, emails and etc. defenseless. We CANNOT emphasize enough on the urgency to upgrade the entire digital world to become quantum-safe.

Let’s not forget the ransom demands are a very small fraction of the total damage caused by these cyberattacks. Business shut downs, loss of invaluable data, the PR costs and credibility damage can be hundred times more than the ransom price tag.  And IronCAPTM, the world’s first commercially available quantum-safe encryption solution can safeguard you from cyberattacks today and in the quantum future.  Don’t let quantum hacks become the cyber Pearl Harbor.  All business leaders and government officials should act now.  To learn more, visit www.ironcap.ca.