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

FDA chief vows agency will not accept political pressure on coronavirus vaccine

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn promised that "science will guide our decision" for a coronavirus vaccine at a Senate hearing on Wednesday.

Why it matters: More Americans are expressing doubt about a first-generation vaccine, despite President Trump's efforts to push an unrealistic timeline that conflicts with medical experts in his administration.

CEO confidence rises for the first time in over 2 years

Data: Business Roundtable; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

A closely-watched CEO economic confidence index rose for the first time after declining for nine straight quarters, according to a survey of 150 chief executives of the biggest U.S. companies by trade group Business Roundtable.

Why it matters: The index, which still remains at a decade low, reflects corporate America's expectations for sales, hiring and spending — which plummeted amid uncertainty when the pandemic hit.

Official says White House political appointees "commandeered" Bolton book review

John Bolton's book "The Room Where it Happened." Photo: Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images

A former career official at the National Security Council claims her pre-publication review of former national security adviser John Bolton's explosive book on President Trump was "commandeered by political appointees for a seemingly political purpose," according to a letter from her lawyers filed in court on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The White House fought against the publication of Bolton's book for most of the year on the grounds that it contained harmful and "significant amounts of classified information."

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