Friday, May 30, 2014

Claims Of N.S.A. Bugging ‘Will Not Affect Tourism’ (Wait? What?!?!)

The Bahamas - A top hotel executive doesn’t believe the Bahamas’ tourism industry will be affected by revelations that the US’ National Security Agency (NSA) may be recording all cell phone calls in the country.

Baha Mar’s Senior Vice President Robert Sands said yesterday that the allegations of cell phone spying probably happens to many other countries around the world.

We all live in different communities from different parts of the world where the government makes the best decision that’s in the best interest of the sovereignty of its nation,” Mr Sands said, when asked to comment on the allegations and the repercussions they may have on the millions of visitors who visit the country each year. 

“It will have no impact on our tourism industry.” (more)

Don't you just love the optimism and élan of Bahamians. No stress. No worries. "It's better in The Bahamas!" (sing-a-long)

The Strange Case of the Chinese Academics

Japanese police were Thursday probing the death of a man believed to be a Chinese academic who told his wife he was in danger shortly before he disappeared. 

Chi Rui, a lecturer at China's Northeast Normal University, has been missing since May 16, a few days after arriving in Japan.

The 37-year-old telephoned his wife to say he believed someone was eavesdropping on him and following him, and that he was in danger, an official with Kansai International Airport police told AFP.

The academic asked his wife to contact the Chinese embassy in Japan, the official said.

On Wednesday the body of a man was found by a construction worker in the sea near a pier at the airport in western Japan...

"We are investigating to determine whether this death is the result of an accident or a crime," the official added.

In March, a Japan-based Chinese academic went missing on a visit to China. That came after the release by Chinese authorities of another academic who disappeared while visiting his home country in July last year amid espionage claims. (more)

SpyCam Prank (humor)

Popular Wiretapping Tool Used By Law Enforcement Includes Backdoor With Hardcoded Password

Software used by law enforcement organizations to intercept the communications of suspected criminals contains a litany of critical weaknesses, including an undocumented backdoor secured with a hardcoded password, security researchers said today.

In a scathing advisory published Wednesday, the researchers recommended people stop using the Nice Recording eXpress voice-recording package. It is one of several software offerings provided by Ra’anana, Israel-based Nice Systems, a company that markets itself as providing "mission-critical lawful interception solutions to support the fight against organized crime, drug trafficking and terrorist activities." The advisory warned that critical weaknesses in the software expose users to attacks that compromise investigations and the security of the agency networks.

"Attackers are able to completely compromise the voice recording/surveillance solution as they can gain access to the system and database level and listen to recorded calls without prior authentication," the researchers from security consultancy SEC Consult wrote. "Furthermore, attackers would be able to use the voice recording server as a jumphost for further attacks of the internal voice VLAN [virtual local area network], depending on the network setup." (more)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

iPhone Security Alert: The 1 Security Measure Owners Need To Take

Early Tuesday, a number of Australian iPhone and iPad owners awoke to find their devices locked, with an alert asking for $50 to $100 to give access back. The lesson: It's easier than you think for someone to get into your Apple products -- even if a thief doesn't have the actual iPhone in his or her hands.

One way to make yourself that much safer? Start using two-step verification for your Apple ID.

When you enable two-step verification, Apple will make you prove you're actually you whenever you buy anything on iTunes, the App Store or the iBooks Store. It works like this: Apple will text you a code anytime you try to sign into your Apple account to make a purchase. You will then have to input that number to verify your identity. That way, nobody else can access your account unless they have both your password and your device, making it far more difficult to steal your identity and credit card information.

Here's how you do it...

Friday, May 23, 2014

WikiLeaks Threatens To Reveal Bugging Information Glenn Greenwald Says Could Lead To People Getting Killed

On Monday The Intercept reported, based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden, that the NSA is able “to vacuum up and store the actual content of every conversation” in the Bahamas and an unnamed country.

Editor Glenn Greenwald said The Intercept didn’t reveal the country because they were “very convinced” that doing so would lead to “deaths.”

After a heated discussion between WikiLeaks, Greenwald, Intercept Editor-In-Chief John Cook, and American WikiLeaks hacker-turned-Der Spiegal contributor Jacob Appelbaum, WikiLeaks tweeted that it will reveal the name of the second country being spied on by the NSA. (more)

Firstcall Chair - The New Cone of Silence

‘Firstcall’ chair is designed to keep your personal conversation from escaping out while its doughnut like backrest is inclined in such a way so as to hide your face.

Developed by Dutch designer Ruud van Wier in collaboration with manufacturer Easy NoiseControl, the ‘Firstcall’ chair is made in a recognizable shape of a classic old phone. It has sound-absorbing upholstery to block surrounding noise ensuring you can concentrate despite being surrounded by people.

The design of the First Call phone chair is directed to short calls. It is therefore not chosen an easy chair where you can doze or not to stand out. Suitable locations include offices, waiting rooms, showrooms, shops, and public places such as airports or scholarships.

The chair is available in 32 colors across the Firstcall retails at Easy NoiseControl for €2,900 (or around $3,970). (more) (more)

China is not the Only Country Picking Our Economic Pockets

Former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Wednesday that China is far from the only country that uses its intelligence services to steal trade secrets and technologies from U.S. businesses.

“What we have accused the Chinese of doing, stealing American companies’ secrets and technology is not new, nor is it done only by the Chinese. There are probably a dozen or 15 countries that steal our technology” in this manner, Gates said during a moderated conversation with Fareed Zakaria on Wednesday hosted by the Council of Foreign Relations in New York City. 

In fact, according to Gates—who has also served as the director of the CIA—the U.S. is nearly “alone in the world in not using our intelligence services for competitive advantage of our businesses.” (more)

We've been wrestling with this moral dilemma for too long. Even Henry L. Stimson got off his high horse eventually.

Blackphone gets $30 Million in Funding

The smartphone encryption startup Silent Circle announced 
a boost in funding Wednesday, grabbing $30 million in investment capital ahead of the June shipping of its signature Blackphone, which the company says can deflect cybersnooping.

The announcement came a day before the House of Representatives on Thursday approved a bill that would end mass spying by the National Security Agency (NSA)...

Silent Circle’s founder, however, warned that Blackphone still wouldn’t deter the most determined efforts of the National Security Agency to monitor mobile phones. (more)


Town Hall Eavesdropping Probe Continues

NH - An investigation into whether town officials illegally wiretapped conversations at the Nelson Town Hall is now with the Cheshire County Attorney’s Office, police said...

...State Police executed a search warrant at the town hall on Nelson Common Road, and, afterward, interviewed residents and town officials about allegations that conversations in and/or around the building were being recorded, said State Police Sgt. Shawn M. Skahan in an interview Thursday.
“There was an investigation into members of the town of Nelson,” he said. “The original complaint was about the possibility of someone recording or eavesdropping on conversations in the town office using an electronic device.”

The alleged eavesdropping could have begun as far back as early 2013, according to police. (more)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Facebook Grows Ears

A new feature in Facebook's mobile app is a timely reminder of the eavesdropping potential of smartphones.

The feature uses the built-in microphones in mobile devices to determine what music a user is listening to or what television show or movie they are watching. The company unveiled the feature Wednesday and said it would be available for Android and iOS users in the United States in coming weeks.

The feature doesn't operate automatically, and the user must turn it on for it to work, said Facebook product manager Aryeh Selekman. But if a user leaves the feature turned on, it will listen as they use the Facebook app to write status updates, upload photos or respond to messages from friends.

However, "no sound is stored and you’ll always get to choose whether you post to your friends," Selekman said in a blog post. (more)

Friends, maybe. But what about hackers, law enforcement and determined enemies? 
I can't imagine how this feature could work without the sound being stored for some amount of time. FutureWatch: You'll be hearing more about this.

What Your Competitors are Being Told to Use... to Spy on You

Knowledge is power and in the internet age, knowledge is easily accessible. There are many tools available to scope out the competition in order to make your business or service the most successful it can be. Below are the top ten websites you can use “spy” on the competition and see what they’re up to.

The quick list...
1. Google Alerts
2. Similar Web
3. SpyFu
4. Moat
5. Compete
6. Flippa
7. Social Searcher
8. SeoBook
9. InfiniGraph
10. iSpionage

Judge Dismisses Angelina Jolie Stunt Double's Wiretapping Lawsuit

Eunice Huthart, who worked as a stunt double for Angelina Jolie and claims to have had her voicemails intercepted, won't be able to pursue a wiretapping lawsuit against News Corp. in America.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Michael Fitzgerald ruled that England would provide an adequate alternative forum to adjudicate her claims. (more)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Fun Fact: Taiwan Out-taps USA

Taiwanese courts permitted 504,788 cases of eavesdropping from late 2007 to late 2013, while the United States has had only about 1,000 to 2,000 cases per year in the last decade, according to the investigation report. (more)

Taiwan is just a little larger than Maryland.

Woman Wins $1.3M Judgment Against Guard Company in Voyeur Case

FL - A Coral Gables woman has won $1.3 million in damages from the giant security company G4S, formerly known as Wackenhut, after a Miami jury found that one of its guards psychologically harmed her when he videotaped her while she was undressing.

The woman, who was 17 at the time of the incident in her family's Old Cutler Bay home, claims she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The former Wackenhut security guard, who was accused of using an iPhone to take videos of her naked on an August night in 2010, had been convicted of a similar voyeur crime in California. But in its security check of Eric Michael Owens, then 28, Wackenhut failed to catch his criminal record as a convicted Peeping Tom.

The Miami-Dade Circuit Court jury on Thursday found the prominent security company, now owned by London-based G4S, negligent for hiring and retaining Owens, holding the firm responsible for her injuries. (more)

Security Points
• Conduct thorough employee background checks.
• Periodically check expectation of privacy areas in the workplace for hidden spycams.

Home Owners Spook Their Real Estate Agents

Lisa Ramsey, a real estate professional with The Ramsey Group in the United States, told Realtor Mag earlier this week "about the trend of sellers putting [microphones and] cameras in the home”.

"We're talking outside because..."
“I go into every house assuming there’s a recording device in the house. We’re not going to talk money or strategy in the house,” she said.

Andrew Sorensen, an agent at Raine&Horne Charmhaven, believes it’s a similar story in Australia, stating that “absolutely, without doubt” the practice goes on here.

“If I go back to when I first started out 12 years ago, I was actually tape recorded at an open house by the vendor. I could see the digital equalizer on the cassette tape going up and down by his shoulder as I spoke,” Mr Sorensen told Real Estate Business.

With real estate agents once again ranked at the bottom of the most ‘honest and ethical’ professions, Mr Sorensen said it’s little wonder vendors would be trying to do it. (more)

Herbalife Ltd. Claims to have Discovered Bugs in its Los Angeles Headquarters

Charlie Gasparino, Fox News, on reports Herbalife found listening devices at its headquarters in Los Angeles. (video)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Today in Eavesdropping History

1964 - American officials have discovered a network of 40 microphones buried for 11 years deep in the walls of four floors of the U.S. embassy in Moscow, the State Department said today [May 19]. ‘‘It must be assumed that at least some of them were in operating condition when discovered,’’ said a State Department statement. State Department officials described the discovery as the ‘‘worst case’’ of ‘‘bugging’’ found so far in U.S. posts behind the Iron Curtain. They said they were found in the ‘‘eighth, ninth and tenth floors and in apartments below.’’ Ambassador Foy D. Kohler’s office is on the ninth floor of the buff-colored, ten-story structure on Tchaikovsky Street. The offices of the U.S. military attachés are on the tenth floor. (more)

Grand jury indicts deputy director at Hudson County jail on wire-tapping charge

The deputy director of the Hudson County jail was indicted by a grand jury today on charges that he illegally wiretapped fellow employees at the jail, authorities said today.

In January Eady, 46, was charged with using a website between March and July 2012 to place telephone calls to four Hudson County jail employees. The website allowed Eady to conceal the telephone numbers from where the calls originated and also call and record two people simultaneously.

The site also made it appear that those people, and not Eady, originated the call. (more)

Flash: US Grand Jury Charges 5 Chinese Hackers with Economic Espionage, Trade Secret Theft

The U.S. accused Chinese military officials of hacking into several U.S. enterprises, including Westinghouse and U.S. Steel, to steal "significant" amounts of trade secrets and intellectual property in an indictment made public Monday. 

It is the first time the U.S. has charged a state actor in a criminal cyber espionage case.

The Chinese hackers, using military and intelligence resources, downloaded massive amounts of industrial information, including strategic plans, from U.S. businesses, the indictment said. In addition to Westinghouse and U.S. Steel, victims included Solar World, United Steel Workers Union and Alcoa...

Attorney General Eric Holder called it a case of "economic espionage."

The case "represents the first ever charges against a state actor for this type of hacking," Holder said. "The range of trade secrets and other sensitive business information stolen in this case is significant and demands an aggressive response." (more)

Flash: 100+ Arrested in Global Malware Crackdown

The FBI and police in several countries have arrested more than 100 people and conducted hundreds of searches in recent days in a global crackdown on hackers linked to the malicious software called Blackshades, two law enforcement officials told CNN. 

The years-long investigation is targeting one of the most popular tools used by cybercriminals. The malware sells for as little as $40 and can be used to hijack computers remotely and turn on webcams, access hard drives and capture keystrokes to steal passwords without the victim's knowledge, CNN Justice Reporter Evan Perez and CNN Justice Producer Shimon Prokupecz report.
People familiar with the investigation say U.S. prosecutors are expected to announce more details today. (more)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Don’t Want the Government Tracking You? Turn Your Phone Off

A federal magistrate judge in New York recently ruled that cell phone location data deserves no protection under the Fourth Amendment and that accordingly, the government can engage in real-time location surveillance without a search warrant. In an opinion straight from the Twilight Zone, magistrate judge Gary Brown ruled two weeks ago that “cell phone users who fail to turn off their cell phones do not exhibit an expectation of privacy.” (more)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Watergate Figure - Deputy Director of CREEP - Magruder Dead at 79

Jeb Stuart Magruder, a former official in the administration of President Richard Nixon jailed for his role in the Watergate scandal, died May 11 from complications from a stroke, according to a funeral notice published by a Connecticut funeral home.

Magruder, 79, joined the Nixon administration in 1969 as special assistant to the president for domestic policy development. He joined Nixon's 1972 re-election campaign and was involved in the campaign's efforts to gather intelligence on its political opponents.

In that job, Magruder helped authorize the unsuccessful June 17, 1972, break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington's Watergate office complex. The arrest of the five burglars that night triggered a coverup by the campaign, which spread to the White House and was enthusiastically embraced by Nixon. Nixon resigned in August 1974 after continued revelations about his role in the scandal and other issues. (more)
Fun Facts:
Magruder's first major political job was managing the successful 1962 primary campaign of Donald Rumsfeld for the Republican nomination, preparing for the congressional election in the 13th district of Illinois, to the United States House of Representatives.

After his fall from grace, became a Presbyterian minister.

Business Espionage - Video Report via French Television

BEYOND BUSINESS - Corporate espionage: Spying in the information age

Al Gore Sensed a Change in His Climate

The manager of the King David Hotel, in Jerusalem, said a report by Newsweek’s Jeff Stein, that an Israeli spy was caught in an air conditioner duct while spying on then U.S. Vice President Al Gore in 1998, was “ridiculous,” as the air duct is actually “so small that even a cat cannot walk in it.” (more)

Pondering Anti-Eavesdropping Laws, or Georgia on Your Mind (updated)

The parliament of Georgia has started discussions over the draft law on the protection of the security of private life and on illegal surveillance. The parliamentary majority claims that the draft reflects European Union conventions, while the minority stresses that the draft grants too much power to enforcement bodies.

The development of the draft began nearly one year ago. NGOs intensively demanded the adoption of the law against illegal eavesdropping, especially when thousands of recordings illegally typed under the previous government were destroyed. The NGOs, former officials, and members of the United National Movement (UNM) claim that the Interior Ministry still actively eavesdrops on people. (more)

In other Georgia news...
The Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia has launched an investigation over secret recordings aired by Rustavi 2 on May 10.  

Several days ago the head of Rustavi 2 Nika Gvaramia stated that the company was being eavesdropped upon. He also displayed recordings reflecting the process. Gvaramia stressed that the recordings was delivered to the channel by an informer from the Interior Ministry. According to the TV program Aktsentebi, the audio recordings, which were made in 2013, feature phone conversations between several high ranking officials. This is all during the time that Mikheil Saakashvili was president and Ugulava was Tbilisi’s mayor.

Rustavi 2 TV claims that the offices of its top executives were bugged by the current authorities. However, the prosecutor’s office states that the offices were possibly bugged in December 2012 by a security agency, which at the time was under President Saakashvili’s subordination. The office claimed these devices were used to record private conversations so they could be later used to blackmail or to discredit evidence. (more)

World's Slowest Surveillance Cameras Will Spy on Berlin for the Next 100 Years

The city of Berlin, currently undergoing the biggest real estate boom since German reunification, has been chosen to pilot a global initiative monitoring urban development and decay over the next century. Instigated by experimental philosopher Jonathon Keats in cooperation with the Berlin-based team titanic gallery, the unauthorized surveillance program will use ultra-long-exposure cameras to continuously document 100 years of municipal growth and decay for scrutiny and judgment by future generations.  

Camera in situ. Click to enlarge.
"The first people to see these photos will be children who haven't yet been conceived," says Mr. Keats. "They're impacted by every decision we make, but they're powerless. If anyone has the right to spy on us, it's our descendants."

To facilitate intergenerational surveillance in Berlin and other yet-to-be-disclosed cities, Mr. Keats has invented a new photographic system based on the traditional pinhole camera. "My photographic time capsules are extremely simple, since anything complicated is liable to break," says Mr. Keats. The cameras use sheets of black paper in place of ordinary film. The pinhole focuses light on the black paper sheet, such that the paper fades most where the light is brightest, very slowly creating a unique positive image of the scene in front of the camera. "The photograph not only shows a location, but also shows how the place changes over time," Mr. Keats explains. "For instance an old apartment building torn down after a quarter century will show up only faintly, as if it were a ghost haunting the skyscraper that replaces it." 

CenturyCamera will be released on 16 May 2014 from 7:00 PM until midnight at an opening reception organized by team titanic at Friedelstrasse 29 in Berlin-Neukölln. Jonathon Keats will be on hand to demonstrate the new technology. (more)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Coffee Table Fit for a Spy

via Cup of Zup...
The unique Kai Table is designed by Naoki Hirakoso and Takamitsu Kitahara and features an incredible amount of hidden compartments that allows you to stash away money, possessions and secrets. 

Now you don’t just have a regular coffee table but one heck of a awesome piece of furniture.

600,000 YEN – Ex-warehouse

Who Says There are No Dumb Questions?

"How does one get involved in company espionage?"

Have I got some books for this person. (more) (more)

Just Tell the Boss You Are on Loan to the CIA... for 10 years.

The EPA’s highest-paid employee and a leading expert on climate change deserves to go to prison for at least 30 months for lying to his bosses and saying he was a CIA spy working in Pakistan so he could avoid doing his real job, say federal prosecutors.

John C. Beale, who pled guilty in September to bilking the government out of nearly $1 million in salary and other benefits over a decade, will be sentenced in a Washington, D.C., federal court on Wednesday. In a newly filed sentencing memo, prosecutors said that his lies were a "crime of massive proportion" and “offensive” to those who actually do dangerous work for the CIA.

Beale’s lawyer, while acknowledging his guilt, has asked for leniency and offered a psychological explanation for the climate expert’s bizarre tales. (more)

Dumb Law + Dumb Statement... What could possibly go wrong?

A Massachusetts woman's arrest has brought the state's strict wiretapping law into the national spotlight.

Karen Dziewit was arrested early Sunday morning outside of a Springfield home, charged with disorderly conduct, carrying an open container of alcohol and an illegal wiretap, according to the Boston Herald.

The last charge came after the 24-year-old allegedly told the police, "I’ve been recording this thing the whole time, my phone is in my purse, see you in court."

A Massachusetts statute states that a private citizen can't record another person without first getting their consent. (more)

Illinois recently overturned a similar law. This may prompt Massachusetts to do the same.

Could this be the end of the flashlight?

New, low-cost chips for sensing thermal energy could lead to a raft of new night-vision products, engineers say, ushering in everything from smarter cars to handheld devices for spelunking (and possibly bug hunting).
A new technology used by Raytheon, “wafer-level packaging,” dramatically reduces the cost of making these thermal sensors. The advances could – for the first time – put a thermal weapons sight in the hands of every soldier in a platoon. But the commercial and law-enforcement uses are endless, too, developers say.

“Once it reaches a certain price point, you’ll see it kind of popping up in a lot of different areas,” said Adam Kennedy, a lead engineer at Raytheon Vision Systems. “That’s just very, very exciting.” (more)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Verizon's 2014 Data Breach Investigations Report

Gain fresh insight into cyber espionage and denial-of-service attacks in the 2014 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR). 

This year’s report features nine common incident patterns, bringing together insights from 50 global organizations, from around the globe, and more than 63,000 confirmed security incidents. 

Discover how attackers can affect your business, and learn the steps you need to take to counter threats and protect your reputation. (download)

PI Alert: Low Cost Spy Photo/Movie Gadget for Your Smartphone

Peek-I – it’s a tiny spy gadget that helps you take pictures discreetly. 

Peek-I - Easily attaches’ magnetically to the camera of your mobile device. It works as a periscope, reflecting the image at a 90 degree angle. 

Is so tiny, that it’s hard to notice it is on your device at all. And no one will ever know you were the ONE who took THAT picture or film THAT video!!! So do you feel like James Bond yet? 

Make awesome shots of your friends, completely unaware that they were on camera!!! You don’t need to point camera directly on the object! Don’t scare your astonishing award winning picture away! Peek-I is there for you! 

Only a few of us have the courage to openly take pictures of other people or objects, at times it’s merely impossible. But the outer lens for devices Peek-I opens completely new prospective for all sorts of pictures, without being afraid to draw attention. Thanks to Peek-I, you can take a picture from around a corner without being noticed. You can also get great shots of weirdos walking down the street right next to you, without them realizing what you are doing. 

The cute design makes it look like another accessory for your device; moreover it can be easily removed, like it was never there! (more)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Murray Security Tip #631 - Text 911 - Coming Soon

Starting May 15, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint will let you text police in case of an emergency. Here's how it works...

Text-to-911 is a free program for sending a text message addressed to "911" instead of placing a phone call. To use it, you address the message to 911 and enter the emergency in the body of the text, making sure that you also add your exact location -- or else emergency services won't be able to dispatch help your way. (Dumb. It should attach GPS coordinates.) 

Since it's all SMS-based, you will hear a response for more follow-up questions, or when help is on the way.

Who is Text-to-911 for?
Text-to-911 is useful for any situation in which it is dangerous or impossible to speak. Texting is also a useful way to help the younger demographic that feels more comfortable texting than calling.

Although the carriers have committed to supporting 911 texting in their service areas, that doesn't mean that text-to-911 will be available everywhere.
Emergency call centers, called PSAPs (Public Safety Answering Points), are the bodies in charge of implementing text messaging in their areas. These PSAPs are under the jurisdiction of their local states and counties, not the FCC, which governs the carriers. In other words, it's up to the call centers to receive and dispatch your texts. Until the PSAP in your county first requests Text-to-911 support, implements the technology, and trains its staff, you won't be able to use texting in an emergency. (Dumb. Should be seamless.) (more)

Spy vs Guy (short movie)

A retired Russian spy hunts down sensitive technology after it falls into unsuspecting hands. Well done, cute, improbable, with humorous moments.

New Spy Game: Tag Your IT

Foreign intelligence agencies are trying to recruit tech staff in big businesses in an attempt to gain access to vital IT systems, MI5 has warned British business chiefs.

In recent months, the UK security service has had a series of "high-level conversations with executives" to warn of the risk, according to the Financial Times. Targeting IT staff — who often have unfettered access to the most important systems — is seen as one of the quickest ways to gain access.

The security service is warning that IT workers have been recruited to help overseas spies gain sensitive personnel information, steal corporate or national secrets and even upload malware to compromise the network.

FutureWatch: Smartphones Always Snitch (Care to guess how this will be used?)

Sensors in smartphones collect data which can be used to identify you and pinpoint your location, regardless of your privacy settings, study finds...
Data gathered by smartphone sensors can be used to identify you, pinpoint your location and monitor your phone, irrespective of your privacy settings, new research has found.

Accelerometers, sensors used to track movement of smartphones, are used in countless apps, including pedometers, playing games and monitoring sleep. Research from the University of Illinois' Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering found that minuscule imperfections during the manufacturing process create a unique 'fingerprint' on the generated data.

The gathered data can be used to identify you as it is sent to the cloud for processing, bypassing privacy settings concerning the withholding of location data and with no need to discern your phone number or SIM card number, leaving you potentially vulnerable to cyber attack...

Graduate student Sanorita Dey said you can best protect yourself and your device by not sharing your accelerometer data without thinking about how legitimate or how secure that application is. (more)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Security Alert: Yet Another Creepy Peeper Baby Cam Hack Story

OH - According to FOX19, Heather and Adam Schreck were woken up in the middle of the night recently to hear a man screaming “wake up baby.”
The man had hacked the monitor, which streams video to the Schreck’s cell phone, and was watching the baby sleep.

When Heather and Adam ran to her room, they saw the camera moving, and it eventually pointed away from the baby to Adam.

The man then started swearing and screaming at Adam from the monitor.

They quickly unplugged the camera. (more with video report) (more)

An almost identical incident occurred last August in Texas.

Murray Security Tip #823 - Hackers search for and post the URLs of unsecured cameras. Once your camera is tagged, you can expect any number of outsiders peering through your electronic window. If you remotely view your baby camera (or other home surveillance products) do the following:
• Replace the default password with your own (decent) password.
• Use a non-standard port. Hackers generally target camera default ports. (8100 or highter)
• Periodically check the manufacturer's web site for software and firmware updates. Often these updates are released to specifically fix security loopholes. Example.
• Foscam cameras were mentioned in both of these hacks. If you have a Foscam product, read their security alert.
• Don't forget to secure your home wireless network as well. Top 10 Tips.

Example of someone who didn't take security seriously.

Related Security Scrapbook items: here & here.