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According to an investigation into a massive data leak, human rights activists, journalists, and lawyers across the world have been targeted by authoritarian governments using hacking software sold by the Israeli surveillance company NSO Group.
The revelations could implicate the Israeli Ministry of Defense in granting NSO permission to export hacking software that was then used by countries with authoritarian governments to suppress opposition.
The investigation suggests widespread and continuing abuse of NSO’s hacking spyware, Pegasus, which the company insists is only intended for use against criminals and terrorists.
Pegasus is malware that infects iPhones and Android devices to enable operators of the tool to extract messages, photos, and emails, record calls, and secretly activate microphones.
Once a phone was infected with Pegasus, a client of NSO could in effect take control of a phone, enabling them to extract a person’s messages, calls, photos, and emails, secretly activate cameras or microphones and read the contents of encrypted messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal.
The leak contains a list of more than 50,000 phone numbers that, it is believed, have been identified as those of people of interest by clients of NSO since 2016.
Cybersecurity experts who have examined how NSO’s Pegasus spyware works say the software does not discriminate between encrypted messaging apps and can access pretty much everything on an infected phone.
They say Telegram and WhatsApp, Signal, and other messaging apps promising end-to-end encryption are in effect rendered powerless if the device on which they are installed is infected by hacking software as powerful as Pegasus.
While the argument made by various governments might make sense to a certain extent, there’s always a question mark regarding their full intentions.
Do they care about the crimes that may be hidden because of end-to-end encryption, or are they crying foul in order to serve a bigger agenda: having the power to easily spy on people?
Blockchain is a distributed ledger that is decentralized, verifiable, non-tampered, secure, and dependable.
P2P (Peer-to-Peer) protocol, digital encryption technology, consensus mechanism, smart contract, and other technologies are all integrated.
Blockchain encryption keeps critical information out of the wrong hands, where it might be abused or fabricated.
The way blockchain and encryption security function is via a mining network and based on arithmetic.
Pravica: Blockchain Data Encryption and Encrypted Messaging
What about the privacy and security of data?
Sure, no one can edit data once it’s on the blockchain, but what if you didn’t want anybody reading it? Pravica, a secure private messaging app is built on Blockchain and secured by Bitcoin, where you may leverage a public blockchain to your advantage by storing data or hashes of data that you don’t mind being public, or you may utilize encryption, such as zero-knowledge proofs, to ensure that the data can only be decrypted by known parties.
With Pravica, you can ensure that data is only seen by those who are supposed to see it. All of this, however, assumes that your infrastructure has impenetrable security that will never be breached.
Data at rest encryption ensures the privacy and confidentiality of blockchain data saved on the database by encrypting it with a specified key that is complicated and is kept securely elsewhere.
This implies that if the database was “spied” on, the information would be worthless to the viewer without the decryption key.
How private is our conversation? This topic has emerged in recent months because of a rush of news reports. They document the weakening of encrypted chat applications at the request of law enforcement.
A systematic attempt by the government to backdoor messaging applications and snoop on our most private communications should worry every member of the cryptocurrency community.
Fortunately, we can safeguard data on blockchains while keeping them valuable. We not only can but also must do this to keep blockchain technology effective.