Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hot Coffee Stock Loses Buzz Upon Leak

NY - Shares in ultra-hot Coffee Holding Co. stock cooled considerably on Wednesday after someone spilled the beans about the Staten Island roaster’s upcoming quarterly results

Coffee Holding, which packs java under such labels as Café Caribe, is one of the market’s stranger-performing stocks. Shares in the 40-year-old, family-run enterprise have soared this year, to more than $30 a share from less than $4 on Nasdaq...

After the market closed, Coffee Holding, “aware that there is certain information in the marketplace,” released preliminary figures for sales and cost of sales. The numbers were lower than investors had hoped and the stock fell 10% as of midday Wednesday...
 
CEO Andrew Gordon, who controls about 1 million shares, or 20% of his company’s stock, wouldn’t comment on the source of the leak. But it comes at a sensitive time for Coffee Holding... (more)

A Brief History of Personal Video Teleconferencing

Browsing through eBay can be an educational experience. Last night I saw the history of how we got to where we are today with smartphone video calls. Here is a quick look, in pictures, of course. Some will enlarge when clicked. ~Kevin


1912 - Scientific American


1914 - Tom Swift
1914 - Tom Swift graphic
1931 - A prediction.
1954 - Caption for Kay Labs "Soundphoto" unit.
1954 - First commercial video teleconferencing by Kay Labs.
1964 - Japanese demo at an industrial fair.

1958 - Toshiba video teleconferencing.





1964 - Bell System. Demoed at NYC World's Fair.

1979 - Early teleconferencing.
















Today - Apple iPhone FaceTime

Amazing.

More on License Plate Reading in Massachusetts

A Security Scrapbook Blue Blaze Irregular in the area checks in...

"A related observation to the automatic license plate scanners. I bet Boston/MA has more than they are admitting to.

For instance: Logan Airport central parking has been employing this technology for at least a year if not two.

They scan your plate when you take your ticket to park. This way they know which car is tagged to which serialized parking ticket. Then the periodically drive through the parking lot capturing plates. When you pay for your parking they print the location of your car as a courtesy.

I recently tested the system. I usually park facing out and I have only a rear plate. Most times the system cannot tell me where I left my car. So this past time I purposely parking with my plate facing out. Sure enough my location was printed.

I bet they drive through at night. I keep my eyes peeled when I'm there looking for the vehicle."

10-4 ~Jersey

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

SpyCam Story #621 - ...and he's still not jaded.

Australia - Hidden cameras in change rooms and toilets are far more common than people realize and advances in technology have made them so small that they are virtually impossible to detect, a Sydney counter-surveillance expert said.

Organizations are typically oblivious to the presence of hidden cameras and, on the odd occasions they do find them, are reluctant to come forward to police for fear of reputational damage, said Julian Claxton, a surveillance expert whose company, Jayde Consulting, conducts sweeps for recording devices.

Just this year, Claxton has investigated two instances in Sydney, one involving a hidden camera in the change room of a Sydney private school and another involving a camera placed in the toilet of a building in Haymarket. (more)

Remember the guy who bolted a camera to his cranium?

Cameraman now has competition... 

Take a one eyed film maker, an unemployed engineer, and a vision for something that’s never been done before and you have yourself the EyeBorg Project. Rob Spence and Kosta Grammatis are trying to make history by embedding a video camera and a transmitter in a prosthetic eye. That eye is going in Robs eye socket, and will record the world from a perspective that’s never been seen before... (videos)

San Francisco artist Tanya Marie Vlach has a very similar project underway - she lost her left eye in a car accident, and is now working on replacing it with a camera eye, that will play a part in a variety of art works. (more)


But... 
Who thought of this first?
March 7, 1974
Click to enlarge.

FutureWatch - Highway Panopticon Panic

MA - Civil libertarians are raising the alarm over the state’s plans to create a Big Brother database that could map drivers’ whereabouts with police cruiser-mounted scanners that capture thousands of license plates per hour — storing that information indefinitely where local cops, staties, feds and prosecutors could access it as they choose...

The computerized scanners, known as Automatic License Plate Recognition devices, instantly check for police alerts, warrants, traffic violations and parking tickets, which cops say could be an invaluable tool in thwarting crime...

Some ALPR scanners already are deployed on Massachusetts roads. State police have two. Several cities use them for parking enforcement. Chelsea has four scanner-mounted cruisers.

It’s great for canvassing an area, say after a homicide if you are looking for a particular plate,” said Chelsea police Capt. Keith Houghton. “You can plug it in, and drive up and down side streets. It sounds an alarm if you get a hit.” (more) (video demo - worth watching) (countermeasure:)

Libyan Spy Center Provides Glimpse of Government Capabilities Worldwide

via The Wall Street Journal...
On the ground floor of a six-story building here, agents working for Moammar Gadhafi sat in an open room, spying on emails and chat messages with the help of technology Libya acquired from the West.

The recently abandoned room is lined with posters and English-language training manuals stamped with the name Amesys, a unit of French technology firm Bull SA, which installed the monitoring center...

Earlier this year, Libyan officials held talks with Amesys and several other companies including Boeing Co.'s Narus, a maker of high-tech Internet traffic-monitoring products, as they looked to add sophisticated Internet-filtering capabilities to Libya's existing monitoring operation, people familiar with the matter said.

Libya sought advanced tools to control the encrypted online-phone service Skype, censor YouTube videos and block Libyans from disguising their online activities by using "proxy" servers, according to documents reviewed by the Journal and people familiar with the matter...

Libya is one of several Middle Eastern and North African states to use sophisticated technologies acquired abroad to crack down on dissidents. Tech firms from the U.S., Canada, Europe, China and elsewhere have, in the pursuit of profits, helped regimes block websites, intercept emails and eavesdrop on conversations...

The Tripoli Internet monitoring center was a major part of a broad surveillance apparatus built by Col. Gadhafi to keep tabs on his enemies. Amesys in 2009 equipped the center with "deep packet inspection" technology, one of the most intrusive techniques for snooping on people's online activities, according to people familiar with the matter.

Chinese telecom company ZTE Corp. also provided technology for Libya's monitoring operation, people familiar with the matter said. Amesys and ZTE had deals with different arms of Col. Gadhafi's security service, the people said. A ZTE spokeswoman declined to comment.

VASTech SA Pty Ltd, a small South African firm, provided the regime with tools to tap and log all the international phone calls going in and out of the country, according to emails reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and people familiar with the matter. VASTech declined to discuss its business in Libya due to confidentiality agreements.

Libya went on a surveillance-gear shopping spree after the international community lifted trade sanctions in exchange for Col. Gadhafi handing over the suspects in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 and ending his weapons of mass destruction program...

The Tripoli spying center reveals some of the secrets of how Col. Gadhafi's regime censored the populace. The surveillance room, which people familiar with the matter said Amesys equipped with its Eagle system in late 2009, shows how Col. Gadhafi's regime had become more attuned to the dangers posed by Internet activism...

The Eagle system allows agents to observe network traffic and peer into people's emails, among other things. In the room, one English-language poster says: "Whereas many Internet interception systems carry out basic filtering on IP address and extract only those communications from the global flow (Lawful Interception), EAGLE Interception system analyses and stores all the communications from the monitored link (Massive interception)."

On its website, Amesys says its "strategic nationwide interception" system can detect email from Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail and see chat conversations on MSN instant messaging and AIM. It says investigators can "request the entire database" of Internet traffic "in real time" by entering keywords, email addresses or the names of file attachments as search queries... 

Across town from the Internet monitoring center at Libya's international phone switch, where telephone calls exit and enter the country, a separate group of Col. Gadhafi's security agents staffed a room equipped with VASTech devices, people familiar with the matter said. There they captured roughly 30 to 40 million minutes of mobile and landline conversations a month and archived them for years, one of the people said.

A description of the company's Zebra brand surveillance product, prepared for a trade show, says it "captures and stores massive volumes of traffic" and offers filters that agents can use to "access specific communications of interest from mountains of data." Zebra also features "link analysis," the description says, a tool to help agents identify relationships between individuals based on analysis of their calling patterns.

Capabilities such as these helped Libya sow fear as the country erupted in civil war earlier this year. Anti-Gadhafi street demonstrators were paranoid of being spied on or picked up by the security forces, as it was common knowledge that the regime tapped phones. Much of the early civil unrest was organized via Skype, which activists considered safer than Internet chatting. But even then they were scared. (more)

Back When International Calls Could Not Be Direct Dialed

On Aug. 30, 1963, the hot-line communications link between Washington, D.C., and Moscow went into operation. (more)

The first generation of the hot line had no voice element at all; the memorandum called for a full-time duplex wire telegraph circuit, based on the idea that spontaneous verbal communications could lead to miscommunications and misperceptions. This circuit was routed Washington, D.C. - London - Copenhagen - Stockholm - Helsinki - Moscow. The Washington - London link was originally carried over the TAT-1, the first submarine transatlantic telephone cable. A secondary radio line was routed Washington, D.C. - Tangier - Moscow.

Leaders would state their message in their native language, which would be translated at the receiving end.
This was the Washington side of the hotline. In the foreground, an Air Force S/SGT is examining tape from the Teletype Corp. Model 28 ASR Automatic Send-Receive teletype (ASR) which is fitted with an "under the dome" reperforator. The reperforator is separate from the keyboard,  printer,  and T-D (reader), and was usually plugged into a patch panel. Directly behind the standing man is a  Teletype Model 28 ASR. Also pictured are two identical sets of equipment at the right side:  two Russian T63 teleprinters and two ETCRRM  crypto units. The above configuration would have been duplicated in Moscow.  (NSA photo enhanced by Jerry Proc)
The first use of the hotline was in 1967, during the six-day Egypt-Israel War, when both superpowers informed each other of military moves which might have been provocative or ambiguous.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Bligh me, Captain Lowcock. Right handy havin' a third leg.

UK - Private security firm G4S has sacked two members of staff who tagged a man's false leg allowing him to remove it and break a court-imposed curfew.

The pair were fooled by Christopher Lowcock, 29, who wrapped the prosthetic limb in a bandage when G4S set up the system at his Rochdale home.

He was then able to remove the limb and break a curfew imposed for offences involving drugs, driving and a weapon...
 
The company revealed the second employee who went to check on the monitoring equipment at Lowcock's home was also sacked for failing to realize he had fooled them into tagging his false leg. (more)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Project for a Rainy Day - Build a Motion Detecting SpyCam

A quick and dirty tutorial for building a spycam that begins recording when it detects motion within its field of view. With a little more effort and imagination it could be covertly re-packaged into almost any everyday object around the office, or home, or car, or... well, you get the idea. (video) Why do I mention it? So you will know what you're up against.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy comes to theaters November 18th, 2011 and stars Ralph Fiennes, Colin Firth, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Ciarán Hinds, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jared Harris. The film is directed by Tomas Alfredson. (trailer)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Woman acquitted on eavesdropping counts

IL - Tiawanda Moore went to Chicago police headquarters last August to file a complaint against a patrol officer for allegedly fondling her during a domestic disturbance call.

According to Moore, however, two police investigators assigned to investigate the officer's conduct instead tried to talk her out of pursuing the complaint. Frustrated, she put her BlackBerry on her lap and quietly flipped on its recorder.

But the former stripper was the one who ended up in trouble - criminally charged with violating an obscure state eavesdropping law that makes audio recording of police officers without their consent a felony offense.

In a quick repudiation Wednesday of the prosecution case, though, a Criminal Court jury took less than an hour to acquit Moore on both eavesdropping counts. (more)

Others have not been so lucky in escaping this double-standard Kafkaesque selective application of the eavesdropping law in "two-party consent" states.

U.S. Electronic Surveillance Laws

Federal law includes all interstate calls, and there are several sources of authority for electronic surveillance in the U.S. The Wire and Electronic Communications Interception and Interception of Oral Communications Act (formally known as the "Title III" Wiretap Act, 18 U.S.C §§ 2510-2520), typically requires a court order issued by a judge who must decide that there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been, is being or is about to be committed. 

Wiretaps can also be ordered in suspected cases of terrorist bombings, hijackings and other violent activities are crimes. The government can wiretap in advance of a crime being perpetrated. 

Judges seldom deny government requests for wiretap orders. 

Electronic surveillance involves the traditional laws on wiretapping--any interception of a telephone transmission by accessing the telephone signal itself--and eavesdropping--listening in on conversations without the consent of the parties. More recently, states have extended these laws to cover data communications as well as telephone surveillance. 

For example, in Florida, interception and disclosure of wire, oral, or electronic communications is prohibited. State and federal policymakers face the challenge of balancing security needs via electronic surveillance against individual privacy.

The list of laws was last revised one year ago, but remains a worthwhile reference. U.S. Electronic Surveillance Laws

Friday, August 26, 2011

UK Private Investigators - "...just can't get no respect."

via the Financial Times...
They eavesdrop on your conversations, rifle through dustbins and pretend to deliver pizzas while taking covert photographs with a disguised camera. They hide, watch and wait, and hang around for hours in the freezing cold, crouched down in the back of a parked car dying to use the bathroom.

This is the real life of Britain’s private investigators. There are between 4,000 and 5,000 of them now active. The stereotype is of the disgraced police officer, thrown off the force, all grubby raincoat and cigarette dangling from his lower lip; or the lithe, brooding, silent panther, with eyes in the back of his head, capturing the bad guys. Neither is quite right, nor quite wrong. (more) (Duckman - American private investigator stereotype)

SpyCam Story #619 - "Hey, I'm depraved on account I'm deprived."

Australia - A Sydney architect who filmed up a teenage girl's skirt has escaped jail, after the court heard he was under stress from political events in his native Sri Lanka at the time.

Sabapathy Chandrahasan, 57, was caught in February this year filming up a girl's skirt at Sydney's Central Railway Station. Police then searched his home at Earlwood, in the city's inner west, where they uncovered more than 1000 such videos on his computer. Chandrahasan pleaded guilty...

His lawyer argued the offenses were relatively minor and said his client suffered from events in Sri Lanka. He said Chandrahasan has been ostracized by the Sydney Tamil community, of which he was a key figure...

Chandrahasan was given a nine-month suspended sentence, which will be followed by a good behavior bond. He has also been ordered to receive medical treatment. (more) (sing-a-long)

SpyCam Story #618 - Keeping Up with The Pervs

Australia - Canberra's Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) is at the centre of another sex scandal this morning after a male cadet was arrested for allegedly videoing a female cadet as she took a shower.

Police allege the 21-year-old cadet found the phone hidden in a vent above a shower at her accommodation block last night.

It is alleged the phone was recording video while the woman was showering.

Police arrived at ADFA at 11:50pm, and seized the mobile phone, laptop and a USB memory stick from the 21-year-old male cadet's room.

The arrest came on the same day that Defence Minister Stephen Smith said an independent report into sexual abuse allegations within the ADF had to be delayed because of the sheer volume of complaints. (more)

SpyCam #620 - Not to be outdone by Australia...

OH - An Avon Lake man was formally charged Thursday for allegedly spying on his fellow employees using a pen camera placed in the women’s restroom.

James Mucha, 43, an employee of Catania Medallic, a supplier of metal awards and pins, was arraigned Thursday morning in Avon Lake Municipal Court on three counts of voyeurism, a third-degree misdemeanor, for allegedly putting a pen camera in a restroom at the company.

...someone from the business reported finding the camera. Police Lt. Duane Streator said Mucha could be seen in video from the camera. “He was observed in the camera repositioning it,” Streator said. Analysis of video from the camera revealed three female employees using the restroom. Mucha was also charged with possession of cocaine. (more)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Implant GPS Tracking Devices - Mexican Standoff

Mexico - “Unfortunately, it’s been good for business but bad for the country,” said Xega executive Diego Kuri, referring to the kidnappings. “Thirty percent of our clients arrive after someone in their family has already experienced a kidnapping,” added Kuri, interviewed at the company’s heavily fortified offices, opposite a tire shop in this industrial city 120 miles north of Mexico’s capital.

Xega calls it the VIP package. For $2,000 upfront and annual fees of $2,000, the company provides clients with a subdermal radio-frequency identification chip (RFID), essentially a small antenna in a tiny glass tube. The chip, inserted into the fatty tissue of the arm between the shoulder and elbow, is less than half an inch long and about as wide as a strand of boiled spaghetti.

The chip relays a signal to an external Global Positioning System unit the size of a cellphone, Kuri said, but if the owner is stripped of the GPS device in the event of an abduction, Xega can still track down its clients by sending radio signals to the implant. The company says it has helped rescue 178 clients in the past decade...

In recent years, all manner of Mexican media reports have featured the chips, with some estimating that as many as 10,000 people are walking around with the implants. Even former attorney general Rafael Macedo told reporters in 2004 that he had a chip embedded “so that I can be located at any moment wherever I am.”

That’s pure science fiction — a sham — say RIFD researchers and engineers in the United States. Any device that could communicate with satellites or even the local cellular network would need a battery and sizable antenna, like a cellphone, they say. (more)

BUSTED!

Are Your Passwords Sardonic Humor Fodder?

Click to enlarge
Look for yours in The Top 100 Most Common Passwords list...
123456
password
12345678
1234
puxxy
12345
dragon
qwerty
696969
mustang
letmein
baseball
master
michael
football
shadow
monkey
abc123
pass
fxxkme
6969
jordan
harley
ranger
iwantu
jennifer
hunter
fxxk
2000
test
batman
trustno1
thomas
tigger
robert
access
love
buster
1234567
soccer
hockey
killer
george
sexy
andrew
charlie
superman
axxhole
fxxkyou
dallas
jessica
panties
pepper
1111
austin
william
daniel
golfer
summer
heather
hammer
yankees
joshua
maggie
biteme
enter
ashley
thunder
cowboy
silver
richard
fxxker
orange
merlin
michelle
corvette
bigdog
cheese
matthew
121212
patrick
martin
freedom
ginger
blxxjob
nicole
sparky
yellow
camaro
secret
dick
falcon
taylor
111111
131313
123123
bitch
hello
scooter
please
*xx - edited for email spam filters

The End of Anonymous SpyCam'ing Has Arrived

Click to enlarge
Australia - The owner of a mobile phone that contains footage of women undressing in a Sydney clothing store is wanted by police for questioning.

The discovery has prompted a warning for people to be on the lookout for any recording devices when they use change rooms in retail shops.

Police have released sections of the footage that also depicts a young man they have failed to identify during their two-month investigation. Police have examined the phone and found video recordings of three women undressing and trying on clothes in a change room.

Superintendent Philip Flogel, commander of the Hills Local Area Command, said his detectives have exhausted all means to determine who owns the phone and are now asking for help from the public. "We're hoping the public will come forward; it is very clear footage." (more)

Philip, allow me to introduce you to associate professor Alessandro Acquisti from Carnegie Mellon University, in the next posting. I think he can help you. ~Kevin 

All kidding aside, the "Acquisti ID Technique" is the next big thing in the world of policing tools. 

Note to bad guys... If you're on The Net, you're in The Net.

The End of Anonymous On-Line Dating Has Arrived

Science fiction writers have long imagined a future in which facial recognition technology makes anonymity in public obsolete. A research study at Carnegie Mellon University suggests that this Minority Report future has already arrived, thanks to facial recognition products now commercially available, combined with the 750-million-person identity database called Facebook.

A CMU research team led by associate professor Alessandro Acquisti took candid photos of 93 random students on campus using a $35 webcam. Within seconds the researchers were able to determine the identities of a third of their photogenic guinea pigs, using off-the-shelf facial recognition software from PittPatt, a software company recently acquired by Google, and publicly available profile photos from Facebook. The researchers had an even higher rate of success using the same technology to identify more than 100,000 Pittsburgh singles with otherwise pseudonymous accounts on a dating site, adding yet more complexity to the world of online dating. (more)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Top Twenty Information Security Tips for Business Travelers to Closed Society Countries

Foreign travel always brings security questions. For many countries the advice is mild, like "don't carry too much cash," and "don't drink the water".

Some countries are far different. They want your information. These are usually, but not always, "closed society countries".

The following is General Information Security Awareness & Advice to keep in mind while traveling in (or through) closed society countries. You may not be able to employ every bit of advice, in every situation. but everything that you can do will help. Security is a "how high can we build the wall" effort. 

Awareness
1. Assume your communications can be monitored by the government. This includes hotel, meeting room, business office bugging, and all forms of electronic communications.

2. The use of communications encryption is generally illegal. Certain exceptions may be available to financial industry transactions. Encryption of data on your personal devices is usually allowed, though if seized you will be asked for the decryption key or password.

3. Conducting a full Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM) inspection in a closed society country is problematic. Most of the instrumentation required is not allowed to be imported, or requires a special permit. The answer or approval you receive from one government official may not be honored by another government official. Equipment may be confiscated without remuneration. This type of activity could be classified (mistakenly or intentionally) as spying, thus subjecting the participants to imprisonment, and the company to fines, loss of business, etc.

4. Anything left unattended may is subject to retrieval of information from it. This includes: computers, cell phones, USB sticks, external hard drives, and written items.

5. Spyware may be introduced onto computers, cell phones, and other devices which can hold computer instructions. This may be accomplished while the device is unattended, or via unintentional download from email or web sites.

6. Gifts may contain surveillance electronics (bugs, tracking, etc.).

7. Electronic surveillance devices may be planted in your transportation (rental car, corporate aircraft, etc.)

8. Personal surveillance and social engineering tactics may be used against you. Tactics may include: location tracking, to "the friendly stranger" who wants to help or talk, to engineering compromising positions for blackmail purposes.

9. Be aware that foreign nationals employed by your company may also be employed by, or under obligation to, the host government.

10. Provide business travelers a copy of: Staying Safe Abroad: Traveling, Working & Living in a Post-9/11 World by Edward L Lee II

Advice
11. Bring only "isolated" electronics (cell phones, cameras, laptops, USB sticks – electronics only to be used on the trip, and which are never connected to other systems (like the company LAN, computer back-ups, or even computer-stored cell phone address books and back-ups).

12. Bring as few of these electronics as possible. If everything can be accomplished with a smartphone, just bring that.

13. Keep the amount of information on these electronics as small as possible.

14. Password protect your electronics. Encrypt the contents. A password alone will not prevent the theft of unencrypted information.

15. Do not purchase electronics while in a closed society country.

16. Keep electronic communications short, dull, boring and devoid of critical information.

17. Create alternate wording for sensitive or confidential information to use when communicating with the home office. Practice using the wording before leaving on the trip. You want to be low-key, but not sneaky.

18. Conduct TSCM inspections which are specially modified to conform with local restrictions. (The common mistake is giving up and deleting inspections from the security strategy.) There is still much that can be done. People other than the government also want your company's information. You can thwart them. Contract with an experienced specialist to accomplish this portion of your information security strategy.

19. Upon returning home, have the IT department check all electronics for spyware, wipe-erase all storage, and store the electronics for use on the next trip. Keep them isolated. Do not connect them to anything.

20. Upon returning home, have a Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM) inspection conducted of corporate aircraft, and all items brought back: gifts, meeting materials, audio-visual equipment, luggage, etc.

~Kevin

"Try this one on. It broadcasts you!" -R.F. Burns, Haberdasher

Antenna clothes help phone signal
Radio antennas that can be sewn directly onto clothes have been developed by US researchers. The team from Ohio State University created a prototype using plastic film and metallic thread.

The scientists reported in an IEEE journal that the system's range is four times greater than that of a conventional antenna worn on the body.

The technology could potentially be applied in a number of fields, but is primarily designed for military use. (more)

In Honor (and awe) of Hurricane Andrew Day...

"Be prepared." 


 

FREE FEMA Publications
On Aug. 24, 1992, Hurricane Andrew smashed into Florida, causing record damage; 55 deaths in Florida, Louisiana and the Bahamas were blamed on the storm.

Google v. Facebook - Parry for Privacy

The rivalry between Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. has a new front: privacy.

Facebook said it would roll out new controls for sharing personal information on the social network on Thursday, giving its more than 750 million users new tools to manage who can see information about them. The company plans to move a number of privacy controls—which previously required navigating to a separate settings page—to users' homes pages and profile pages, next to where they view and post content.

Facebook and other social networks have at times been criticized for designs that lead users to inadvertently share information with a wider audience than they intended. Many Facebook users have hundreds or thousands of friends, and some have have urged the company to make it easier to target smaller groups when posting information. (more)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Your Life is an Open Book - Opt Out

advice from Violet Blue...
So-called “people search” sites like PeopleFinders, WhitePages and many more all buy, sell and trade your private information for profit. Few people are happy to know how any stranger - or marketing company - can obtain their home address for a few dollars, and that it’s challenging to stop.

But not impossible.

As we learned in How To Remove Yourself from People Search Websites, “peoplefinder” sites are giant databases that make money by selling your profile to anyone with a credit card. See also: our gallery: How people search sites get your information - and what you can do about it...

What You Can Do To Protect Yourself

There isn’t much we can do to stop people finder sites from getting public record information about us and making a profit off of it. Opting out of people finder sites will get your private life off the public market.

After you opt-out, there are a number of things you can do to prevent your info from being re-populated to people search sites:
• Only give out your information when you have to. If it’s optional, don’t do it. Facebook continually prompts me to give them my phone number for “better security” but I’m not falling for it.
• Look at your privacy settings on all your social networks; change them or lock them down if you can.
• When you do have to give info out for a profile or signup, consider giving the minimum of information, and be strategic about whether or not you give them your actual information. Only give them what’s absolutely necessary for site membership.
• Be wary of sites that make you register to use them. They’re not “free” to use if you give them something of yours they can - and will - sell.
• Don’t make it easy for sites to make an accurate profile about you, and know that your email address is in the hands of anyone you give it to. Use an alias or a pseudonym, and consider using an anonymous email that forwards to your real inbox to avoid getting spammed.
• Think twice before putting content on sites that want you to make a profile, like dating sites.
• Know that your likes, check-ins and and +1’s are public - not just public, but also profitable for the companies that made the buttons. Think twice about “liking,” “digging,” “upvoting,” and especially “checking in” using Foursquare and other location-based check-in services.
• Do what you can to block online tracking; it won’t hurt to use browser add-ons that block targeted advertising cookies and trackers.
• When you see a people search site being deceptive or feel you’ve been tricked by them, use this form to report them to the Federal Trade Commission. (more)

"Helloooo..." says Google++ Android Cell Phone Spyware App

A malicious Android app that disguises itself as Google's new social networking platform, Google+, is capable of stealing data, and answering and recording incoming phone calls, researchers said this week.

The spyware app disguises itself as Google+ by installing itself with the name “Google ++,” Jamz Yaneza, threat research manager at Trend Micro, told SCMagazineUS.com on Monday.

The malware contained in the app shares the same code structure as previously discovered Android spyware that also can steal information and record phone calls made from infected devices. Unlike the older variants, however, the new variant can automatically answer incoming phone calls on versions 2.2 and earlier.

Once it is installed you won't know it is doing anything malicious,” Yaneza said. (more)

NSA Field Station Teufelsberg - a late post mortem

The NSA Field Station Berlin Teufelsberg was one of the premier listening posts of the cold war. Situated on top of the highest elevation in West Berlin - the Teufelsberg, the station had unobstructed reception of signals from all directions. And viewed from West Berlin, in all directions was "East". Situated on an artificial hill near a string of lakes, the Teufelsberg enjoyed excellent reception in most radio bands that were otherwise difficult to receive at long distances. The NSA got so far in their search for better reception, that they prolonged the operation of a flywheel that was accidentally found to be a excellent resonator for certain radar installations deep in the east. (more)

TSCM Employment - Rare Private Sector Opportunity

via LinkedIn...
Honeywell (Kansas City, MO facility) has a great opportunity for a Technical Security Specialist with a specialty in TSCM. Salary is up to $109K.

A BS degree, 7 years experience in Technical Security and 1 year of project leadership experience is required. If you are interested in this position please send your resume to: EddieMorris@SourceRight.com. SourceRight Solutions is Honeywell's Staffing Partner.

This is a rare corporate opportunity. Go for it, and let us know how you make out. Good luck. ~Kevin

Monday, August 22, 2011

Taps Up in a Down Economy

Nearly 4,000 federal and state wiretaps were authorized last year, an increase of 34 percent from the previous year, according to an annual government report.

The administrative office of the United States Courts released a report last month that found an all-time high of 3,194 wiretaps were reported as authorized in 2010 – 1,207 by federal judges and 1,987 by state judges – and only one application was denied...

Wiretap applications in California, New York and New Jersey accounted for 68 percent of all applications authorized by state judges, the study found... Drug offenses were cited most often for using wiretaps in investigations -- 84 percent of all applications were drug-related. Homicides came next, followed by racketeering.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center noted that the report does not include “interceptions regulated by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) or interceptions approved by the president outside the exclusive authority of the federal wiretap law and the FISA." (more)

SpyCam Story #617 - Bed & Breakfast, and a show

Australia - A landlord has pleaded guilty to indecently filming his tenants at bed and breakfast premises in Adelaide.

A court heard the man set up hidden cameras in smoke detectors and had been watching his victims for months.

Frederick Payne pleaded guilty to 18 counts of indecent filming. ...Payne, who is an electrician, installed cameras in smoke detectors in the master bedroom, and a bedroom used by the victim's daughter. ...the victim's boyfriend had discovered the cameras and they moved out of the Maslin Beach premises immediately.

Wires from the hidden cameras led to a television and DVD player in Payne's bedroom in the house he lived in next door. Police found hours of footage... (more)