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March-May 2017

European security industry has failed users, says expert

The European security industry and the research community have largely failed users, according to Bart Preneel, professor of cryptology and network security at the University of Leuven in Belgium. “We have spent millions of euros, we have written hundreds of research papers, and we have delivered hundreds of millions of lines of code, but there is still no secure end-to-end communication system with a billion users,” he told the Eema ISSE 2016 security conference in Paris. Preneel said he would leave it up to his audience to decide whether or not it was a coincidence that the US National Security Agency (NSA) was able to intercept Skype to Skype calls shortly after the internet-calling company was acquired by Microsoft, when it was unable to do so in all the years Skype was under European ownership. All the “whining” by Apple and the FBI about encryption was “theatre”, he said, while the reality is that the security industry and research community have not delivered a means of communication for the masses that offers end-to-end ...

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