Google re­veals 77pc of its on­line traf­fic is en­crypted

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

Google is dis­clos­ing how much of the traf­fic to its search en­gine and other ser­vices is be­ing pro­tected from hack­ers as part of its push to en­crypt all on­line ac­tiv­ity.

En­cryp­tion shields 77 per­cent of the re­quests sent from around the world to Google's data cen­ters, up from 52 per­cent at the end of 2013, ac­cord­ing to com­pany sta­tis­tics re­leased Tues­day. The num­bers cover all Google ser­vices ex­pect its YouTube video site, which has more than 1 bil­lion users. Google plans to add YouTube to its en­cryp­tion break­down by the end of this year.

En­cryp­tion is a se­cu­rity mea­sure that scram­bles trans­mit­ted in­for­ma­tion so it's un­in­tel­li­gi­ble if it's in­ter­cepted by a third party.

Google be­gan em­pha­siz­ing the need to en­crypt peo­ple's on­line ac­tiv­i­ties af­ter con­fi­den­tial doc­u­ments leaked in 2013 by for­mer Na­tional Se­cu­rity Agency con­trac­tor Ed­ward Snow­den re­vealed that the U.S. govern­ment had been vac­u­um­ing up per­sonal data trans­ferred over the In­ter­net. The sur­veil­lance pro­grams ex­ploited gap­ing holes in un­en­crypted web­sites.

While rolling out more en­cryp­tion on its ser­vices, Google has been try­ing to use the clout of its in­flu­en­tial search en­gine to prod other web­sites to strengthen their se­cu­rity.

In Au­gust 2014, Google re­vised its se­cret for­mula for rank­ing web­sites in its search or­der to boost those that au­to­mat­i­cally en­crypted their ser­vices. The change meant web­sites risked be­ing de­moted in Google's search re­sults and los­ing vis­i­tors if they didn't em­brace en­cryp­tion.

Google is high­light­ing its own progress on dig­i­tal se­cu­rity while the FBI and Ap­ple Inc. are locked in a court bat­tle over ac­cess to an en­crypted iPhone used by one of the two ex­trem­ist killers be­hind the mass shoot­ings in San Bernardino, Cal­i­for­nia, in De­cem­ber.

Google joined sev­eral other ma­jor tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies to back Ap­ple in its re­fusal to honor a court or­der to un­lock the iPhone, ar­gu­ing that it would re­quire spe­cial soft­ware that could be ex­ploited by hack­ers and gov­ern­ments to pry their way into other en­crypted devices.

In its en­cryp­tion cru­sade, Google's is try­ing to make it nearly im­pos­si­ble for govern­ment spies and other snoops from de­ci­pher­ing per­sonal in­for­ma­tion seized while in tran­sit over the In­ter­net.

"Our aim with this pro­ject is to hold our­selves ac­count­able and en­cour­age oth­ers to en­crypt so we can make the web even safer for ev­ery­one," Google en­cryp­tion "evan­ge­lists" Rut­ledge Chin Fe­man and Tim Wil­lis wrote in a blog post .

The sta­tis­tics show that Google's Gmail ser­vice is com­pletely en­crypted as long as the cor­re­spon­dence re­mains con­fined to Gmail. Mail ex­changes be­tween Gmail and other email ser­vices aren't nec­es­sar­ily en­crypted.

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