Monday, June 30, 2014

Hackers On Planet Earth (HOPE X) Conference - New York City, July 18-20

HOPE X will take place on July 18, 19, and 20, 2014 at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City. H.O.P.E. stands for Hackers On Planet Earth, one of the most creative and diverse hacker events in the world. It's been happening since 1994.

Three full days and nights of activities, including the provocative and enlightening speakers for which the HOPE conferences are known. In addition, there will be access to a massive amount of space to put together all sorts of hacker projects and assorted fun stuff.

Pre-register for HOPE X! Tickets are on sale at the 2600 store or can be purchased with Bitcoins! (more)

Why Every Newsroom Needs a TSCM Consultant on Call

In the post-Edward Snowden era, newsrooms are increasingly aware of state-sponsored breaches of privacy and the threat they pose to journalists and their sources. 

Some newsrooms have introduced sophisticated anti-surveillance technology, and others have literally reverted to notepad, pen and clandestine meetings in the interests of shielding their sources and avoiding state, and corporate, electronic surveillance. (more)

One solution.

Translation: Make an Artificial Brain That Can Think Like a Spy.... then make us a zillion of them.

A secretive United States intelligence organization has organized a conference to find firms capable of creating computer algorithms that learn in a similar manner to the human brain...

The July 17 conference in College Park, Maryland, gives prospective companies time to deliver presentations and slide shows of their existing research.

IARPA says it is involved in "high-payoff research programs to tackle some of the most difficult challenges of the agencies and disciplines in the intelligence community".

It undertakes research for more than a dozen organizations, including the Pentagon, the CIA and the National Security Agency. (more)

"They are spying on us with Jinns." (Hey, I only pass the stories along.)

An Iranian cleric has accused Israel of using “jinn” to spy on Iran and its allies.

Iranian TV has broadcast a segment where Waliullah Naqi Borfer, an expert in the supernatural jinn of Arab mythology, said that Jews have long experience in manipulating jinn and Israel has tried to use the creatures to perform espionage on Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas.

The Israelis were unsuccessful in their attempts, however, according to Borfer.

He did not give details. (more) (video)

Air Force One - Gets TEMPEST TSCM Tested

When it's time to make sure that communications from and to the aircraft of the president of the United States are safe from eavesdropping, who do you call? The Air Force's 346th Test Squadron.

Part of the 688th Cyberspace Wing, which itself is part of the 24th Air Force, based at Lackland Air Force base here, the 346th is tasked with making sure that electronic emissions aboard all the service's aircraft are secure. Even Air Force One.

As part of CNET Road Trip 2014, I've come to Lackland, located in this south-central Texas city of 1.3 million, to see just how the Air Force "hardens" its aircraft from unwanted eavesdropping. Though I came to hear technicians talk about their efforts on board any number of the service's planes, I wasn't expecting to hear about their recent work to secure communications on Air Force One. (more)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Smartphone SpyWare Gets Smarter

Android and iOS mobile trojans likely used for surveillance through mobile devices of journalists and politicians, activists and human rights advocates have been discovered circulating in the wild...

The mobile trojans are designed to operate in a discreet manner, for instance monitoring a mobile device’s battery life so as not to ostensibly drain it, arousing suspicion. Then, when a victim is connected to a particular Wi-Fi network or while the device is plugged in to charge, it springs to life, unbeknownst to the user. Kaspersky said that the trojans are capable of performing a variety of surveillance functions, including intercepting phone calls and SMS messages, and chat messages sent from specific applications such as Viber, WhatsApp and Skype. It can also report the target’s location, take photos, copy events from the device’s calendar and more.
These mobile trojans are part of the allegedly ‘legal’ spyware tool, Remote Control System (RCS), aka Galileo. The mapping shows the presence of more than 320 RCS command & control servers in 40+ countries. The majority of the servers were found in the US, Kazakhstan, Ecuador, the UK and Canada. (more)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Business Espionage: Old Spy Tactics Return

Last month it was reported that British intelligence agency MI5 had, in a series of high-level meetings, painted a worrying picture for leading British corporations in which their IT workers may become targets for foreign powers seeking sensitive data.

The idea of an IT department infiltrated with double agents may sound a little fanciful but the threat of a rival nation trying to influence them is far more realistic than many may think according to Uri Rivner, vice-president for cyber strategy at Israeli security company BioCatch.

“Obviously there are cases like this,” says Rivner, who compares the situation to having “someone on the inside” of a bank before committing a robbery. Of the companies or organisations that will be targeted, he says that “whatever a nation is good at, that’s interesting to other nations”.

In the case of the UK, he says this may be the financial sector, while in Scandinavia two industries in particular, telecommunications and mining, “have been targeted”. (more)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Obi-Wan Kenobi Jammin' Cloak

Austrian architecture firm Coop-Himmelblau has designed a Snuggie-like piece of clothing that jams the wearer's phone, effectively rendering him invisible. 

The Jammer Coat shields the phone from wireless signals, so the device becomes undetectable to things like search engines or tracking software, and there's no way for anyone to pull credit card information.

Click to enlarge.
The code is basically a Faraday cage, with metals embedded in the fabric that reflect incoming radio waves, protecting the wearer from unwittingly sharing any information on any device beneath it.

Apparently, one of the cloak's most useful features is its lumpy pattern, which acts as a disguise for would-be phone hackers and thieves.

"The Wave Circle pattern of the fabric gives an illusion of strange multiple body parts, which hides and frees the individual physicality," the product's website states. (more)

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Next Thing in TSCM - Drone Detection

Worried about spying? Maybe you need a personal drone detection system.

Privacy in the drone-filled age is going to be more difficult to protect than ever. Competitors, thieves, or even just your neighbors could be spying on your every move using a remote-controlled flying camera.

That’s the kind of paranoia Domestic Drone Countermeasures (DDC) is hoping to tap into with its new personal drone detection system (PDDS) Kickstarter project – a black box that promises to go beep when a drone flies within 15m of its sensors. (more)

Tortured Journalist Reports Wiretap Evidence Missing (We're Shocked)

An inspection by agents from Colombia’s investigation unit discovered that evidence was missing from the National Archive in Bogota regarding the wiretapping scandal of Colombia’s former intelligence agency. 

The disappearance of the evidence in the wiretapping case against Colombia’s now-defunct intelligence agency, DAS, was confirmed by journalist Claudia Julieta Duque, who claims to have been “psychologically tortured” and harassed by the former agency, Colombia’s Caracol Radio reported on Thursday. (more)

Business Espionage: Classic Spying is Back

According to a security and counterintelligence expert, Fortune 500 companies and the world’s media face a crisis. Chinese operatives are gaining control over the crucial nexus through which market intelligence is gathered and cash flows to media companies: ad agencies.

The issue is known to top executives at some of the largest companies in the United States. Five spoke off the record and gave a common answer: they’re aware, but cannot step forward for fear of retribution...

After having learned that spies were targeting proprietary information through their ad agencies, a chief executive officer at a Fortune 100 technology firm said, “We had no idea as to the relentlessness and depth the Chinese were willing to go to in obtaining our negotiating and pricing strategies.”...

In the case of the ad agencies, the information is being gathered by spies inside the companies.

The sending of agents, rather than the launching of cyberattacks, shows the strong value placed on the targets.
Singer said, “You’re talking about something that’s costly on your side, so what you’re going after has to be of great value to you.” (more)

Knock-off Smartphone Sends Info Back to China

A cheap brand of Chinese-made smartphones carried by major online retailers comes pre-installed with espionage software, a German security firm has said.

G Data Software said it found malicious code hidden deep in the propriety software of the Star N9500 when it ordered the handset from a website late last month. The find is the latest in a series of incidents where smartphones have appeared preloaded with malicious software...
G Data said the spyware it found on the N9500 could allow a hacker to steal personal data, place rogue calls, or turn on the phone's camera and microphone. G Data said the stolen information was sent to a server in China.

Bjoern Rupp, chief executive of the Berlin-based mobile security consultancy firm GSMK, said such cases are more common than people think. Last fall, German cellphone service provider E-Plus found malicious software on some handsets delivered to customers of its Base brand. (more)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Surgeon Cuts Deal to Excise Spying Charges

TX - A pioneer in cancer research, who was facing a second-degree felony charge in an alleged plot to spy on his ex-wife during their divorce, has reached a plea deal to dismiss the charges.

According to prosecutors, Dr. Steven Curley plotted with a computer expert to install a program called eBlaster. Dr. Curley and his ex, a physician’s assistant, once worked together at MD Anderson Hospital. (more)

Die Spy: We hack dead people's computers, so you don't have to!

Has a family member recently died leaving you with more stuff than answers? 
Die Spy can help!  

Our teams can find out everything you want to know about your deceased loved one. You may find out so much you will wonder why you ever bothered to get to know the person when he or she was alive!

We have a service package to fit any budget...

Open Sesame
Do you want to make sure there aren't any paperless bills to be paid or recurring payments that should be canceled? Perhaps you want to notify the deceased's social media contacts of the death. With our most basic package a low level hacker will get you logged in to your loved one's computer, tablet, and smart phone to help you find that person's most used accounts... (more)

Someone forensic examiner better buy up fast.

 Wish I published this on April 1st.

UK Man Restores WWII Surveillance Gear

UK - Spy supremo Peter Sables has tapped into history with his collection of wartime surveillance gear.

The radio buff has lovingly restored a string of listening devices used by the Allies against Nazi Germany during World War Two to create a nostalgic goldmine dating back more than 70 years.

And now his hobby has sparked the interest of a museum which is to take up some of his wireless sets as part of a new exhibition. (more)

Survey: People's Beliefs about Cell Phone Spying

Only a tenth (12 per cent) of people in the UK believe that calls on a mobile phone and texts are private, research from Silent Circle has found following Vodafone revealing secret wires that allow state surveillance.

The research of 1,000 employed Brits found that over half (54 per cent) believe ‘anyone with the right equipment’ has the ability to listen in on their mobile calls and texts.
Respondents named the government as the group most likely to have the ability to listen in on calls and texts (54 per cent), while 44 per cent believe the police can eavesdrop and a third think mobile phone providers could listen in.

Criminals (28 per cent) and jealous spouses (17 per cent) also raise suspicions for eavesdropping. (more)

This Phone Ain't No Stool Pigeon

Local police confiscate a suspected drug dealer's phone—only to find that he has called his mother and no one else. 

Meanwhile a journalist's phone is examined by airport security. But when officials look to see what is on it, they find that she has spent all her time at the beach. The drug dealer and the journalist are free to go. Minutes later the names, numbers and GPS data that the police were looking for reappear.

A new programming technique could bring these scenarios to life. Computer scientist Karl-Johan Karlsson has reprogrammed a phone to lie. By modifying the operating system of an Android-based smartphone, he was able to put decoy data on it—innocent numbers, for example—so that the real data escape forensics. (more)

Friday, June 13, 2014

"A Winemaker, a Spy, and a PI" or "Drunk with IT Power" What could possibly go wrong?

Swiss authorities say they have arrested a Swiss winemaker, a spy and two others on charges of hacking the computers of at least two journalists.

The Geneva public prosecutor says winemaker Dominique Giroud and an unnamed federal intelligence officer, along with a professional hacker and a private investigator, were arrested for hacking while allegedly trying to identify the source of media leaks about a criminal investigation into Giroud in Swiss canton (state) Vaud...

News outlets including broadcaster Radio Television Suisse and Le Temps newspaper reported recently about a probe by Swiss authorities into suspected tax fraud involving Giroud's empire. (more)

Security Directors & Meeting Planners - Off-Site Meeting Counterespionage Tip

Smartphones certainly offer countless advantages for meetings and events. However, they also introduce a unique set of security concerns, creating a window of vulnerability for cyber attackers. Among common scams are phony SMS messages (known as SMiShing attacks) that are indistinguishable to attendees from official blasts, or malicious QR codes that bring attendees to hostile websites. Phone calls, texts and Wi-Fi traffic can be intercepted and leaked, providing hackers access to personal data.

The following precautions can help you protect your attendees.


For approximately $3,000, a hacker can set up a miniature cell phone tower that fits in a backpack and is capable of intercepting cellular calls and SMS messages. Attendees would not know if their phones were connecting to the impersonating or legitimate equipment from the hotel and cell phone carriers. For about $200, a hacker can set up a special wireless router that is capable of impersonating those set up by hotels and conferences. People who surf the web or transmit sensitive information would be victims without knowing it.

To prevent these devices from being deployed at your facility, arrange for qualified people from your staff or a vendor to provide real-time scans of the airwaves. This task requires specialized security training and equipment that is not usually part of a physical security team. Including this feature during the planning stages and throughout your event can provide valuable security for your attendees. (more)

FutureWatch: Bug Your Life with a Butterfleye (It aint' your dad's surveillance CCTV)

Surveillance cameras aren’t what they used to be. Butterfleye aims to be not just a surveillance camera, but a home monitoring camera – and that means more than just security concerns. Butterfleye wants to record your life, too.

In the same vein as Dropcam, Butterfleye is a camera you can set up to monitor your home, allowing you to check on the stream as long as you have an Internet connection. The camera itself takes 1920 x 1080 resolution video using a wide-angle 3 MP lens. 

Interestingly, Butterfleye can also operate wirelessly – it pulls off this trick by having a smart camera system that shuts down when no activity is detected. Using sensors, video analysis software, and learning algorithms, the camera will know to start recording if someone comes into a room, which will save some battery life. 

Butterfleye will also be able to pick up audio, and use that as a cue to start recording. There’s actually two-way audio here, so you can use Butterfleye in a pinch as a speakerphone to talk to someone at home while you’re away. 

That’s just the surveillance part, though... (more)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

SpyCam Nabs Care Worker Stealing from 82-year-old

An 82-year-old Winnipeg woman who used a hidden camera to catch her home-care worker stealing money from her says she hopes her story will empower other seniors to stand up for their rights.
"My dad taught us morals, and all of a sudden I'm in my home and somebody rips me off.
It made me mad."
Viola Dufresne said she noticed money vanishing from her wallet starting last January, totalling nearly $1,100 over six months...

Winnipeg police told Dufresne there wasn't much they could do without evidence, so she went online and bought a spy camera.

The camera, which resembles a clock radio, showed the home-care aide taking $25 from Dufresne's wallet...

The 54-year-old aide pleaded guilty to theft, alleging that she took the money to buy cigarettes. She has since been fired. (more)

A Drone Was Caught 'Spying' on Team France at the World Cup

French national team coach Didier Deschamps is reportedly calling for an investigation into a quadcoptor drone that was spotted spying over his team’s closed training session on Tuesday...

The culprit? A hobbyist and fan, flying his unlicensed drone in Brazilian airspace, according to BFMTV. 

Local police are investigating and are promising a quick resolution. (more)

Spy Trivia - When was the term "Spook" first used to describe a spy?

The earliest known reference of "spook" used as a term for spy is from 1942. (more)

alt.eMail - Send Spyproof Messages

Beepip uses your own computer's power to scramble messages. It then blasts these encrypted messages out over a peer-to-peer network and only descrambles them when they arrive at the right beepip address. Because no central server is involved, there is no chance of snooping.
Encrypted email isn't secure.
Unlike traditional email and instant messaging which leave data trails that companies and governments can access, the security and anonymity built into Beepip means that no outside force—not even the team that built Beepip—can see your messages or track down senders or receivers of messages.

Simply Beepip.
Beepip’s easy-to-use interface brings cryptography and secure communication to non-expert users, but also achieving military-grade security against hackers.

Whisper or shout Beepips.

A beepip can be sent to an individual or a whole group of subscribers. Broadcasts are messages that are sent out to any group of Beepip users that are listening. In this way, organisations or individuals can get information out to their subscribers anonymously if they choose. (more)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Israeli ‘Eavesdropper’ Hears You 1,000 Feet Away

A device developed by an Israeli scientist can pick up conversations from hundreds of feet away without a microphone. “Using a laser beam with a camera, we can detect the voice wave patterns of the sounds that a person makes when they are talking,” says Bar-Ilan University Professor Zev Zalevsky, who helped design the system. “We take these wave patterns and translate them back into voice, and thus can interpret what was said from even a long distance away.”

 The system is the latest use for a technology and device Zalevsky designed in 2011 together with Javier Garcia of the University of Valencia in Spain. Called the Opto-Phone, the device was designed to gather medical data about an individual, allowing doctors to read heartbeat, blood pressure or blood glucose levels from 100 meters away. With the latest tweaks to the Opto-Phone, Zalevsky told Channel 2 Tuesday night, the device can now detect voice wave patterns from up to 400 meters (about 1,200 feet) away. This makes it the perfect tool not only for “long-distance” medical diagnosis, but for long-distance eavesdropping, as well. 

Using a laser beam, an advanced camera and sensors, the Opto-Phone uses nano-photonics to detect movement on the surface of the body. This movement creates a “speckle pattern,” which can be read by the Opto-Phone. By analyzing this pattern, the system can “hear” the number of heartbeats in a person’s body, the rush of blood in the bloodstream and voice wave patterns as they bounce off two people engaged in a conversation. The technology is so precise, Zalevsky said, “we can differentiate between different people based on their position,” listening in on whatever they are involved in, Zalevsky told the Times of Israel. (more)

Conference Call Eavesdropping: The Secretary Will Disavow Any Knowledge...

CO - Kelly Cronin, former vice chancellor for institutional advancement for the Texas Tech System, is leaving her fundraising post at the University of Colorado after her assistant was found to have eavesdropped on a private meeting of the CU Foundation’s Board of Directors.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, a $40,000 outside investigation found Cronin’s assistant listened in on a closed-session conference call of the board
, but found no evidence Cronin told the assistant to do so. (more)

SpyWare Stalking Apps Stalked By Congress

The U.S. Congress must pass legislation to ban mobile spying apps in order to protect victims of domestic violence, a senator said Wednesday.

Groups aiding victims of domestic violence report growing numbers of clients being stalked through mobile apps secretly installed on their phones by abusers, said Senator Al Franken, a Minnesota Democrat. Tens of thousands of U.S. residents are stalked each year through spy apps, he said...

The bill would also require companies to get permission from smartphone, tablet and car navigation device owners before collecting location information, except in emergencies. It would require companies collecting the location data from more than 1,000 devices to post information online about the kind of data they collect, how they share it and how people can stop the collection. (more)

How to Deck Out Your Next Secure Conference Room

Click to enlarge.
A clear plastic table and chairs are seen in a soundproof vault built into the heart of Kiev’s tax ministry. Officials say the vault is equipped with thick walls and a white noise generator to prevent eavesdropping; they add that the transparent furniture was intended to reassure the vault’s users that their conversations weren’t being bugged. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov) (more) (shop one) (shop two)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Town Officials Accused of Eavesdropping

NH - The Cheshire County Attorney’s Office is now looking into allegations of wiretapping and eavesdropping that prompted a state police search of the Nelson town offices in late March.

According to documents filed in the 8th Circuit Court District Division in Keene, the state police investigation was triggered when several residents reported audio and visual equipment were being used in the main entry way and just outside the front doors of the town hall on Nelson Common Road.

In the recently unsealed supporting affidavit requesting the search warrant, state police Troop C Sgt. Shawn M. Skahan wrote, that on March 13, “I received an e-mail from T. Faulkner outlining his concerns that the town of Nelson has been illegally recording conversations within the town hall building.”...

Skahan concluded that based upon the evidence, there is probable cause for the crimes of wiretapping and eavesdropping. (more) (video)

Artist's Countersurveillance Masks Make You Look Like Him

Artist Leo Selvaggio launched a project called URME on Indiegogo to fund the creation of countersurveillance masks with his face on them. The campaign will conclude June 13 but has already raised more than twice its $1,000 goal.

"We don't believe you should be tracked just because you want to walk outside, and you shouldn't have to hide, either," the project's website states. "Instead, use one of our products to present an alternative identity when in public." (more)

"So, why sweep the court for bugs if you post it on the Internet?"

The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals took a judicial mulligan Monday after staff failed last week to follow standard practice and record what was supposed to be the only such hearing in a terrorist case touching on surveillance issues broached by Edward Snowden.

The rare do-over of oral arguments at a U.S. appellate court started slowly with one judge even saying she would try and carefully recreate as best she could the questions she asked the parties in the unrecorded hearing...

Officials said last week that workers responsible for turning on a court recorder at the initial hearing were startled by U.S. agents who swept the room for bugging devices and so assumed — wrongly — that all recordings were prohibited. A recording of Monday's hearing was successfully made and promptly posted on the court website later in the afternoon. (more)

Think Tank Thinks Economic Espionage Costs World Economy About $445b

The likely annual cost of cybercrime and economic espionage to the world economy is more than $445 billion — or almost 1 percent of global income, according to estimates from a Washington think tank.

That figure is lower than the eye-popping $1 trillion figure cited by President Obama, but it nonetheless puts cybercrime in the ranks of drug trafficking in terms of worldwide economic harm.

‘‘This is a global problem and we aren’t doing enough to manage risk,’’ said James Lewis, a senior fellow at the think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and co-writer of the report. (more)

NSA News Prompts Dance Rap Music Video

An anti-mass-surveillance music video by Shahid Buttar, director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. Download the extended dance floor mix. The lyrics (annotated with hyperlinks). (more)

Banksy Confesses: He Made the Eavesdropping Mural

In a rare exchange with the public, the elusive graffiti artist Banksy has acknowledged painting a mural depicting secret agents eavesdropping on a telephone booth, which appeared in April in the city of Cheltenham, where one of Britain’s intelligence agencies has its headquarters.

The mural had not been claimed by the artist until Tuesday, when he posted the admission on his official website. In a question and answer session he was asked: “Did you paint the spies in Cheltenham?” “Yes,” he replied. He is known to communicate with the public only via email. (more)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

REPORT: Vodafone Reveals Existence of Secret Wires that allow State Surveillance

Vodafone, one of the world's largest mobile phone groups, has revealed the existence of secret wires that allow government agencies to listen to all conversations on its networks, saying they are widely used in some of the 29 countries in which it operates in Europe and beyond.

The company has broken its silence on government surveillance in order to push back against the increasingly widespread use of phone and broadband networks to spy on citizens, and will publish its first Law Enforcement Disclosure Report on Friday. At 40,000 words, it is the most comprehensive survey yet of how governments monitor the conversations and whereabouts of their people.

The company said wires had been connected directly to its network and those of other telecoms groups, allowing agencies to listen to or record live conversations and, in certain cases, track the whereabouts of a customer. Privacy campaigners said the revelations were a "nightmare scenario" that confirmed their worst fears on the extent of snooping.

In Albania, Egypt, Hungary, India, Malta, Qatar, Romania, South Africa and Turkey, it is unlawful to disclose any information related to wiretapping or interception of the content of phone calls and messages including whether such capabilities exist. (more)

How to Find a Perp? Just Ask Their Cell Phone.

...the cops deployed a secretive device called a stingray, which operates as a fake cell phone tower used to track targeted phones.  

Though law enforcement typically fights attempts to learn how stingrays work or how often they are used, a court victory by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has just unsealed Tallahassee police testimony of exactly how the 2008 cell phone hunt happened.

This newly released transcript (PDF) provides what is likely the first-ever verbatim account of how stingrays are used in actual police operations. And it shows that stingrays are so accurate, they can pinpoint the very room in which a phone is located. (more)

How Your iPhone Could Eavesdrop on You Even When Switched-Off

...Like any magic trick, the most plausible method of eavesdropping through a switched-off phone starts with an illusion. Security researchers posit that if an attacker has a chance to install malware before you shut down your phone, that software could make the phone look like it’s shutting down—complete with a fake “slide to power off” screen. Instead of powering down, it enters a low-power mode that leaves its baseband chip—which controls communication with the carrier—on.

This “playing dead” state would allow the phone to receive commands, including one to activate its microphone, says Eric McDonald, a hardware engineer in Los Angeles. McDonald is also a member of the Evad3rs, a team of iPhone hackers who created jailbreaks for the two previous iPhone operating systems. If the NSA used an exploit like those McDonald’s worked on to infect phone with malware that fakes a shutdown, “the screen would look black and nothing would happen if you pressed buttons,” he says. “But it’s conceivable that the baseband is still on, or turns on periodically. And it would be very difficult to know whether the phone has been compromised.”

The Solution
McDonald suggests users turn off their iPhones by putting them into device firmware upgrade (DFU) mode, a kind of “panic” state designed to let the phone reinstall its firmware or recover from repeated operating system crashes. In DFU mode, says McDonald, all elements of the phone are entirely shut down except its USB port, which is designed to wait for a signal from iTunes to install new firmware. (more)

P.S. If you do this, be sure to watch the tutorial about getting your iPhone out of DFU mode.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

SpyCam Stalker (11,000 covert images) Receives Suspended Sentence and Fine

UK - A cyber stalker who bugged computers to spy on women has walked free from court with a 12-month suspended sentence and a fine.

Andrew Meldrum, 30, secretly installed spying software on his victims' computers, allowing him to access private, nude pictures taken covertly. 

Andrew Meldrum's 11,000 covert images included some of one victim naked, in her underwear, on the toilet and "in positions of intimacy". Credit: Police handout 

Meldrum admitted three counts of unauthorized access to computer material and was found guilty of two counts of voyeurism after a trial at Woolwich Crown Court.

One of his victims wept in court and held her head in her hands at the sentence. (more)

Sealed Court Files Obscure Rise in Electronic Surveillance

Law-Enforcement Requests to Monitor Cellphones Are Routinely Sealed—And Stay That Way

In eight years as a federal magistrate judge in Texas, Brian Owsley approved scores of government requests for electronic surveillance in connection with criminal investigations—then sealed them at the government's request. The secrecy nagged at him.

So before he left the bench last year, the judge decided to unseal more than 100 of his own orders, along with the government's legal justification for the surveillance. The investigations, he says, involved ordinary crimes such as bank robbery and drug trafficking, not "state secrets." Most had long since ended.

A senior judge halted the effort with a one-paragraph order that offered no explanation for the decision and that itself was sealed. Mr. Owsley's orders remain buried in folders in a federal courthouse overlooking Corpus Christi Bay. "It's like something out of Kafka," says Mr. Owsley, recently a visiting law professor at Texas Tech University. (more)

"Spy this!" or A Public Taste of One's Own Medicine

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono allowed journalists to listen in to a conversation with Australia's leader Tony Abbott, the BBC reported.

Australia's ABC quoted top-level Indonesian sources as saying the eavesdropping was a "mistake."

Reporters were apparently in the same room as Mr Yudhoyono during the call and one of them recorded the exchange.

The two leaders are due to meet this week, with tension still high over claims of Australian spying. (more)