EncryptoTel weekly digest(18.08.19)
5G perspectives in Russia, another scandal around Facebook and not all blockchains are good for you
Putin did not allow to give military frequencies for 5G networks
The development of a new generation of digital economy and mobile communications in Russia seems to be postponed indefinitely. Russian President Vladimir Putin supported the Security Council, which does not want to give 3.4–3.8 GHz frequencies to telecom operators for 5G networks. It is unclear, how Putin’s national project Digital Economy will be implemented, which involves development of 5G networks in Russia’s largest cities by 2021.
Instead of military frequencies, it is proposed to use other frequency bands, for example, 4.4–4.99 GHz. These frequency bands for 5G are used only in two countries — China and Japan. The main problem is that not so much equipment has yet been created for this range, and it will become mass accessible in 2–3 years in the best case -, and at worst — in 5–7 years.
Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov called the clearing of the 3.4–3.8 GHz band for 5G “a matter of survival if we do not want to lose technological leadership.”
Facebook listened to voice messages from Messenger users
Scandals will not lag behind the American social network. This time, Bloomberg unearthed a story about how Facebook sent voice messages to hundreds of contractors for decryption. The goal was to understand how Facebook’s artificial intelligence decrypts voice messages. According to the reviews of the contracting companies, they did not know why they were deciphering private conversations, among which many were obscene.
Among the companies that have already been caught tapping users are Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.
IDC: blockchain solutions will cost $ 20 billion by 2023
According to the International Data Corporation forecast, the costs of blockchain solutions will increase by 80% in 2019 compared to a year before and reach $ 2.7 billion. By 2023, they will amount to $ 15.9 billion. It is expected that the lion’s share of global investment in the blockchain — about 30% — will be in the banking sector, and 20% — in discrete and manufacturing.
“The adoption of blockchain for financial services, identification, trade and other markets is encouraging. Companies recognize the value of the initial pilot programs and put these projects into production, ”said James Wester, Director of IDC Block Chain Strategy Research, Worldwide.
The blockchain voting system from the Moscow authorities can be hacked in 20 minutes
During the elections to the Moscow City Duma in September 2019, the Moscow authorities planned to test the supposedly safer new voting system using blockchain technology. But in practice, they managed to hack it in 20 minutes. Pierre Godrey, one of the most respected cryptographers in the world, discovered vulnerabilities in the blockchain voting system. Godry writes that the encryption scheme used in part of the code is “completely unsafe” and can be “cracked in about 20 minutes using a standard personal computer and free software.” The reason for the vulnerability of the code, according to Godry, is that the length of the public encryption key is less than 256 bits, which means attackers can easily calculate private keys, and knowing the public keys they can easily decrypt the encrypted data.
“Although we have not found (yet?) a publicly available protocol specification in English, we see that it uses the Ethereum blockchain with its smart contract creation capabilities.”
The Moscow Department of Information Technologies responded in a comment to a graduate student of Tallinn University of Technology Yulia Krivonosova, who detailed the blockchain system bugs in her blog on Medium, which is planned to increase the length of the public encryption key to 1024 bits in the near future. DIT Moscow explained the lack of a protocol specification by the fact that it has not yet been translated from Russian into English, but this will be soon be done. The DIT also emphasized that even in the event of hacking and decryption, hackers would not be able to associate the responses in the ballots with the identified voters.
Part of the source code of the blockchain voting system was uploaded to the Github repository for public testing at the end of July. The one who could hack the system was promised a reward of 1.5 million rubles.
EncryptoTel Develops Marketing Direction
Our team spent the past week preparing to open EncryptoTel’s physical sales office. Although the sales office will be franchised, the EncryptoTel team is actively involved in the launch, considering it is important to back up direct interactions with the main customers of EncryptoTel products.
The first sales office is planned to open in Russia. It will serve as a starting point to strengthen our market presence.
Having a physical sales office will help to work more closely with business representatives, maintain an active relationship with them and receive feedback on EncryptoTel services, created by our team, the first virtual PBX with an increased level of privacy. This way we can test the performance of our business models and offer only demanded products to the market