Internet security experts are seriously concerned about an implementation problem with some versions of OpenSSL (a cryptographic library that powers Secure Sockets Layer or Transport Security Layer encryption). So what's OpenSSL? It's basically that little padlock symbol you see in your browser when visiting a secure website. And the problem with these secure sites is called "Heartbleed:"
Even if you've never heard of OpenSSL, it's probably a part of your life in one way or another — or, more likely, in many ways. The apps you use, the sites you visit; if they encrypt the data they send back and forth, there's a good chance they use OpenSSL to do it. The Apache web server that powers something like 50 percent of the internet's web sites, for example, utilizes OpenSSL.
Through a bug that security researchers have dubbed "Heartbleed," it seems that it's possible to trick almost any system running any version of OpenSSL from the past 2 years into revealing chunks of data sitting in its system memory.
Why that's bad: very, very sensitive data often sits in a server's system memory, including the keys it uses to encrypt and decrypt communication (read: usernames, passwords, credit cards, etc.) This means an attacker could quite feasibly get a server to spit out its secret keys, allowing them to read to any communication that they intercept like it wasn't encrypted it all. Armed with those keys, an attacker could also impersonate an otherwise secure site/server in a way that would fool many of your browser's built-in security checks. [TechCrunch]
This is a programming mistake, not a problem with the cryptography itself. Luckily, there are patches out already, and web companies are scrambling to bring their systems up to date. Here is more information, and here is a tool to test whether a server is vulnerable. Ryan Cooper
"Now, this is a problem, because anyone who has the clearances that the secretary of state... knows how classified information should be handled," Snowden said. "And if an ordinary worker at the State Department or the Central Intelligence Agency, or anything like that were sending details about the security of embassies over unclassified email systems, they would not only lose their job and lose their clearance. They would very likely face prosecution for it."
Later in the interview, Snowden also expressed incredulity at Donald Trump's candidacy and labeled Russian President Vladimir Putin an "authoritarian." Watch the full exchange below. Bonnie Kristian
A Denver CBS station has obtained footage that has been concealed from the public since the incident was caught on camera occurred in February.
Two TSA agents, Ty Spicha and Yasmin Shafi, plotted to manipulate their airport security checkpoint to allow Spicha to fondle male passengers he found attractive. Shafi would tell the body scanner the passenger being screened was female so it detected an irregularity in the genital region. This allowed Spicha to conduct an unjustified pat-down of that area. In the video clip, we see their plan in action:
Another TSA employee reported the plot to superiors. Spicha and Shafi were fired, but no charges were filed. In response to this incident, the TSA has promised more training "in the long run." Bonnie Kristian
Kentucky's Rowan County isn't as conservative as this week's hoopla over issuing same-sex marriage licenses may have made it out to be, The Wall Street Journal reports. While the county's elected local clerk, Kim Davis, has rejected same-sex marriage in her refusal to grant marriage licenses, the county's demographics and voting records suggest that not all of Rowan County shares Davis' conservative standings:
Rowan County is classified as a College Town in the American Communities Project, a data analysis project based at American University. It was one of only eight counties in Kentucky that voted for Barack Obama in 2008. In 2013, Morehead, the home of Morehead State, became only the sixth city in Kentucky to extend anti-discrimination protections to LGBT people. [The Wall Street Journal]
However, while Rowan County may have less socially conservative leanings, it is nestled amid counties classified as "Working Class Country counties," which The Wall Street Journal reports are "places that are marked by strong socially conservative attitudes and values." While 56 percent of those in counties classified as College Towns support gay marriage, a 2012 Cooperative Congressional Election Study found that only 36 percent of those in Working Class Country counties do.
The juxtaposition of that conservatism with Rowan County's more liberal leanings might be exactly why tensions between religion and social issues erupted there this week. Read the full analysis of Rowan County over at The Wall Street Journal. Becca Stanek
Forget Thomas Dewey and Harry S. Truman: There's a new triumphant presidential upset brewing. Just ask The New Yorker:
KANYE 2020 USE THIS ONE pic.twitter.com/viU8hIIczH
— Silvia Killingsworth (@silviakillings) September 4, 2015
There's one 2016 matchup that Donald Trump doesn't stand a chance at winning, a new Monmouth University poll finds. While The Donald dominates just about everyone else in the Republican field in a head-to-head matchup, he loses to retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson by a whopping 19 percentage points. Faced with the choice of Trump versus Carson, voters chose Carson over Trump, 55 percent to 36 percent.
However, outside of a head-to-head matchup, Trump still leads Carson — and everyone else — by a strong margin in the national polls. The Monmouth University Poll shows Trump in first place with 30 percent of the vote, followed by Carson with 18 percent of the vote. But even if Carson isn't beating Trump in the national polls just yet, Trump had still better watch his back. Carson is quickly gaining traction among Republican voters, with support for him up 5 percent from the last Monmouth poll taken before the Republican debate.
The poll, conducted between August 31 and September 2, has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.1 percentage points. Becca Stanek
The American economy added 173,000 jobs in August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday. It's a definite downgrade from the 215,000 initially reported in July, and the 244,000 average of the past year. But on the plus side, both June and July numbers were revised up: from 231,000 to 245,000, and from 215,000 to 245,000, respectively.
On top of that, the unemployment rate dropped to 5.1 percent, while the labor force participation held steady for the third month in a row at 62.6 percent. Average hourly earnings rose 2.2 percent from where they were a year ago.
Analysts were expecting 217,000 new jobs, an unemployment rate of 5.2 percent, and 2.1 percent growth in average hourly earnings.
Earnings growth is still flat compared to what a real recovery would signal, and even at the higher 244,000 average rate of job creation, the hole in the economy will not close until well into 2017. Jeff Spross
Keleti, the central international train station in Budapest, Hungary, has essentially turned into a refugee camp, with 3,000 refuges from Syria and other conflict areas camped out, trying to get to Germany and Austria but prevented from leaving by the Hungarian government. A train purportedly bound for Germany that left the station with hundreds of migrants on Thursday was stopped a short distance away, in Bicske, and surrounded by armed police who planned to escort the migrants to a nearby camp for Syrians and others seeking asylum. The passengers, some of whom bought tickets to Berlin or Austria, have refused to get off the train; they want to apply for asylum in Germany or Sweden or another wealthy country.
Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban has taken a hardline stand against refugees, building a fence to try to keep them out and saying on national radio Friday, "We have to make it clear that we can't allow everyone in, because if we allow everyone in, Europe is finished." As this video montage from the BBC shows, many of the Syrians that are fleeing now are middle class or even wealthy, reluctantly leaving their homes as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad bombs some areas indiscriminately, Islamic State captures more territory, and the economy goes into freefall. Lebanon and Jordan have reached their limits and are turning away refugees, The New York Times says, steering the wave of migrants to Europe. But on Friday, ground zero of the crisis is in Budapest. Here, from the BBC, are scenes of what that looks like. Peter Weber