Facebook wants your data: 5 ways to keep it safe
May 17, 2019 | Laura Hautala, CNET

"The funny thing -- well, funny in a perverse way -- is that the truth is a lot scarier than the myth," said Serge Egelman, a privacy researcher at the International Computer Science Institute.

The Improbable Rise of Huawei
March 25, 2019 | Keith Johnson, Elias Groll

To satisfy the demands of law enforcement, telecommunications networks are typically built to enable some type of wiretapping function. Such abilities have in the past been subverted by intelligence agencies to snoop on calls and scoop up data, so using Chinese-designed equipment for such networks practically represents an invitation to Beijing to spy, “since the infrastructure itself is designed to support such meddling,” argued Nicholas Weaver, a senior researcher at the International Computer Science Institute.

The study, which was carried out by researchers at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) and the IMDEA Networks Institute, in collaboration with the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) at Berkeley (USA) and Stony Brook University of New York (US), encompassed more than 82,000 pre-installed Android apps across more than 1,700 devices manufactured by 214 brands, according to the IMDEA institute.

Is Huawei a security threat? Seven experts weigh in​
March 17, 2018 | Colin Lecher and Russell Brandom, The Verge

Nicholas Weaver notes that "Sabotage can be really, really subtle. There are entire contests around how you make sabotage almost undetectable, such as the “underhanded C contest.” It is even more so in hardware. For example, you could sabotage the cryptographic random number generator so that if you knew the secret you could predict it, but if not, you can’t."

Your phone and TV are tracking you, and political campaigns are listening in
February 20, 2019 | Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times

Serge Egelman, research director of the Usable Security & Privacy Group at UC Berkeley’s International Computer Science Institute, said his team can unearth which opaque data brokerages are amassing information, but not which political campaigns or interest groups buy it from them. “There are a lot of industries buying this data for things that most people are not expecting,” Egelman said. Some might be trying to get you to purchase a Volvo, while others aim to manipulate your vote. But none disclose what they know about you and how. “That is the fundamental problem,” Egelman said. “People can’t find that out.”

18,000 Android Apps Found Violating Ad Tracking Rules
February 15, 2019 | Michael Kan, PC Mag

However, the International Computer Science Institute in Berkeley, California, has discovered that many popular apps are doing more than just capturing the advertising ID from Android phones. They're also collecting other identifiers, such as the device's serial number, the IMEI number, and other hardware or network indicators — none of which you can reset.

New research published by the International Computer Science Institute in California suggests that these apps are using your Advertising ID, alongside persistent identifiers which can be used for the purposes of ad personalization and targeting, in order to create fixed records of past and present user online activity without user consent.

Roughly 17,000 Android apps collect identifying information that creates a permanent record of the activity on your device, according to research from the International Computer Science Institute. The data collection appears to violate the search giant's policy on collecting data that can be used to target users for advertising in most cases, the researchers said.

Nicholas Weaver made no bones about it: he really, really dislikes cryptocurrencies. Speaking at the Enigma security conference in Burlingame, California, last week, the researcher at UC Berkeley's International Computer Science Institute characterized bitcoin and its many follow-on digital currencies as energy-sucking leeches with no redeeming qualities.

This Time It’s Russia’s Emails Getting Leaked
January 24, 2019 | Kevin Poulsen, The Daily Beast

“A lot of what WikiLeaks will do is organize and re-publish information that’s appeared elsewhere,” said Nicholas Weaver, a researcher at the University of California at Berkeley’s International Computer Science Institute. “They’ve never done that with anything out of Russia.”