Press

The secret way most apps spy on you even when you think they aren’t
March 10, 2020 | Shubham Agarwal, Digital Trends

“Unfortunately, most developers might not know … how intrusive a given SDK can be when building their own software, while users are completely unaware of the fact that, when running a mobile app, there might be dozens of other organizations potentially collecting sensitive and personal data,” said Narseo Vallina-Rodriguez, a research scientist at the International Computer Science Institute’s Networking and Security division and a member of the team that developed Lumen, an app that monitors which SDKs your phone is transmitting data to.

Nicholas Weaver, a senior researcher at the International Computer Science Institute at UC Berkeley, said that the response "gives you an insight into the various sources being scraped." He noted that Clearview is not just obtaining images from social media sites like Instagram themselves, but also from other sites that have already scraped Instagram, like Insta Stalker.

Here's why Big Tech is winning the war against the government
February 15, 2020 | Andy Serwer with Max Zahn, Yahoo Finance

“Huawei of course has the capability [to spy and steal secrets] but Huawei can say with a straight face that there’s no evidence of them having used the capability,” says Nicholas Weaver, staff researcher at the International Computer Science Institute, University of California, Berkeley. “Countries with 5G have a choice: Go with Huawei and let China have an easy mode [to access telco networks.] Or go with European competitors and spend more money.”

"In the end, you're left with a policy that's essentially meaningless because it doesn't describe what's accurately happening," said Serge Egelman, director of usable security and privacy research at the International Computer Science Institute. "The only way to answer that question is going in and seeing what the app is doing with that data."

Trump’s Digital Advantage Is Freaking Out Democratic Strategists
January 29, 2020 | Thomas B. Edsall, New York Times 

Serge Egelman, a research director at Berkeley’s International Computer Science Institute noted that "From the user’s perspective, there’s literally no way of preventing it from happening or even knowing when it’s happening.” The expectation “that app users should be able to figure this all out and manage it is absolutely ludicrous.”

UK Has a Plan to Corral Huawei. But Security Concerns Linger
January 28, 2020 | Klint Finley, Wired

As UC Berkeley security researcher Nicholas Weaver puts it: "5G 'antennas' aren't simply wires, but complex computers in their own right doing a lot of signal processing."

Is machine learning useful for cybersecurity?
January 27, 2020 | Jeff Elder, Avast Blog

This month Avast artificial intelligence researcher Sadia Afroz will explain to San Francisco conference goers at Enigma 2020 how to build robust machine learning systems to defend against real-world attacks. In a paper written with Avast’s head of AI Rajarshi Gupta, Afroz calls for new industry-wide consistency in cybersecurity. “We need a systematic approach to model the adversary of a machine learning system in security. Different papers using different incomparable adversaries make it hard to track progress in this area.” A research scientist at the International Computer Science Institute at UC-Berkeley (ICSI), Afroz works with the Avast team of data scientists and threat researches from the world’s top schools including Berkeley, Stanford, MIG and Charles University. and Avast Software. Avast’s user base of over 435 million makes up one of the world’s largest threat detection networks, allowing us to build the best machine learning models and stop cyberthreats before they do harm.

UC Berkeley cybersecurity researcher Bill Marczak cautioned that there's still no conclusive evidence that the Saudi video was malicious, adding that it might be premature to jump to broader conclusions about it.

AI for Voice Transcription: Is It Here to Last?
January 20, 2020 | Sean Patrick Hopwood, Marketing Technology Insights

In a 2016 Wired Interview, Gerald Friedland, Director of UC Berkley’s Audio and Multimedia lab, said that “depending who you ask, speech recognition is either solved or impossible… The truth is somewhere in between.”

Nicholas Weaver, a computer scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, said that the FBI’s efforts to push Apple to crack its own iPhones were “more disingenuous than normal.” “It’s entirely about legislation, not the courts,” he said.

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