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A customer tries out a new Apple iPhone 6S at an Apple store in Chicago. Photo: Kiichiro Sato / AP

Slovak and Czech researchers have found a vulnerability that leaves government and corporate encryption cards vulnerable to hackers to impersonate key owners, inject malicious code into digitally signed software, and decrypt sensitive data, Dan Goodin reports for ArsTechnica. The researchers exposed that some of these keys can be easily hacked, which is notable since it was previously thought that these kinds of keys were virtually impervious to hackers.

Why it matters, from Axios' Senior Developer Chris Barna: Although breaking these keys could take a lot of time and money, "when you have the resources of a malicious government, 17 days and hundreds of thousands of dollars can be worth it if the perceived payoff is big enough."

What to watch for, as Graham Steel, CEO of encryption consultancy Cryptosense, told ArsTechnica: "If you have a document digitally signed with someone's private key, you can't prove it was really them who signed it. Or if you sent sensitive data encrypted under someone's public key, you can't be sure that only they can read it."

Go deeper

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
56 mins ago - World

Remote work shakes up geopolitics

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The global adoption of remote work may leave the rising powers in the East behind.

The big picture: Despite India's and China's economic might, these countries have far fewer remote jobs than the U.S. or Europe. That's affecting the emerging economies' resilience amid the pandemic.

Trump gives Biden access to presidential intelligence briefings

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The Trump White House on Tuesday gave President-elect Biden access to daily presidential intelligence briefings, a source familiar with the matter tells Axios.

Why it matters: Trump has refused to share the briefs until now, as he continues to challenge the result of the election and declines to concede. The president's acquiescence comes as another sign that the transition to a Biden administration is taking place.

AOC and Ilhan Omar want to block Biden’s former chief of staff

Reps. Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar are boosting a petition against Joe Biden nominating his former chief of staff to a new role in his administration, calling Bruce Reed a "deficit hawk” and criticizing his past support for Social Security and Medicare cuts.

Why it matters: Progressives are mounting their pressure campaign after the president-elect did not include any of their favored candidates in his first slate of Cabinet nominees, and they are serious about installing some of their allies, blocking anyone who doesn't pass their smell test — and making noise if they are not heard.