Sunday, December 20, 2015

Irony Alert: Video Voyeur Sentenced - He Was Caught Spying by Spying

Former Border Patrol agent Armando Gonzalez was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for planting a hidden camera in the women’s restroom at a Chula Vista Border Patrol facility. 

The camera, which Gonzalez used to violate the privacy of female employees who used the restroom, was discovered when he made reference to it in an email sent from his personal account to a friend and fellow voyeur-cam enthusiast...

Back Stories...
  • Department of Homeland Security’s surveillance of private emails credited with discovery of Border Patrol agent’s hidden camera voyeurism...
  • Further, drone footage taken through Mr. Gonzalez’s bedroom window clearly shows him viewing the camera’s digital feed on this personal computer. more

The Spy Pen in the Pen, or... Why You Need a Recording in the Workplace Policy

In March, state computer technician Rob Jones was on a routine job assignment at Maury Correctional Institution east of Goldsboro, working on a computer in an office used by private maintenance contractors.

Jones wanted to write a note but did not have a pen, so he grabbed one from the desk and clicked it.

Instead of a protruding pen point, Jones saw a blue light. He clicked again and the light changed to amber.

Jones didn’t know what the pen was, but he apparently knew it didn’t belong inside a maximum security prison. Jones took the pen to his office, unscrewed the top and found a USB plug. When he plugged it into a computer he saw the pen was actually a video camera.

Spy cameras, like cellphones and weapons, are contraband in prison. Jones gave it to his supervisors, whose investigation showed that a maintenance worker employed by The Keith Corp. brought the spy pen into the prison.

The investigation found that Andrew Foster, the top Keith employee at Maury, used the camera several months before to secretly record a meeting with the prison superintendent, whom Foster believed had mistreated him. Foster sent the recording to his bosses in Charlotte, who watched it but did not report the contraband to prison officials. more

P.S. I provide a "Recording in the Workplace" policy template (no charge) to all my clients.

Smartphone App: Record, Store & More

There are plenty of apps for recording your phone calls, but Yallo one has some extra tricks... like adding a subject line to your phone call. 
  • "Not urgent if you're busy."
  • "Emergency. Pick up."
  • "Quick question, promise."
  • "This is the kidnapper."
The full feature set... 

iPhone Call Recording App features:
  1. Outgoing Call Recording
  2. Free Incoming Call Recording - Unlimited!
  3. Saved on a Secure Cloud - Free Up Space
  4. Truly Unlimited Call Duration
  5. Keep Your Caller ID
  6. Mark Favorite Calls
  7. Custom Call Title 

Android App features:
  1. Go Yallo: No cell reception? No problem! With Go Yallo you are still available for calls to your regular number via WiFi and Yallo. 
  2. For the Record: Record and playback your calls, send them to your email, HD call quality. Save calls and listen later. Forward a recorded call to somebody else. Search based on keywords and phrases used in the call. 
  3. Call Caption: Want to let someone know why you’re calling so they can decide to pick up or not? Call Caption is the answer. Write a quick message that gives someone the context in advance.
  4. Existing Phone Numbers Welcome: No need to get a new number or transfer your existing one. Yallo works with your current number.
  5. Flexible: Make any device your phone, regardless of where your SIM card is. Out of juice or lost your phone? No problem. Log into Yallo on someone else’s phone and voila! it is your phone. Outgoing calls have your caller ID and incoming calls to your regular number, now come to your newly adopted phone.

The Ultimate Smartphone Brain Sucking Spider

As Razyone describes its product, "InterApp is a game-changing tactical intelligence system, developed for intelligence and law enforcement agencies, enabling them to stealthily collect information from the cloud using smartphone application vulnerabilities."

InterApp can allow its operators to break into nearby smartphones that have their WiFi connection open, and then, employing a diverse arsenal of security vulnerabilities, gain root permission on devices and exfiltrate information to a tactical server.

InterApp can steal passwords and data from targeted smartphones.

According to Rayzone, InterApp can steal a user's email address password and content, passwords for social networking apps, Dropbox passwords and files, the user's phone contact list, and his photo gallery.

Additionally, the gadget can also acquire the phone's previous geographical locations and plot them on a map, IMEI details, MSISDN data, MAC address, device model, OS info, and personal information on the target, such as gender, age, address, education, and more...

Even better, InterApp's hacking operations leave no forensics traces on a target's smartphone, or so Rayzone claims. more

Thursday, December 17, 2015

A History of Privacy - From 1844 to the NSA

An extraordinary fuss about eavesdropping 
started in the spring of 1844, when Giuseppe Mazzini, an Italian exile in London, became convinced that the British government was opening his mail.

Mazzini, a revolutionary who’d been thrown in jail in Genoa, imprisoned in Savona, sentenced to death in absentia, and arrested in Paris, was plotting the unification of the kingdoms of Italy and the founding of an Italian republic.

He suspected that, in London, he’d been the victim of what he called “post-office espionage”... more

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

From Ear Trumpets to Listening Urns: 2,500 Years of Chinese Bugging

Wee Kek Koon says, in light of Hong Kong University Council leaks, that China has a long history of clandestine recording.

Given the number of audio recordings involving members of the University of Hong Kong council leaked recently, one fears Hong Kong will become a place where everybody either watches what they say or chooses not to say anything for fear of being tried and fried by public opinion. The obvious question – who’s been doing the recording? – on everyone’s minds notwithstanding, it can’t be that hard to screen for listening devices.

Illustration: Bay Leung

Clandestine listening devices in ancient China were simple cylindrical tubes pressed against the wall, which gave rise to the saying geqiang you’er (“the walls have ears”).

“Listening urns”, which were detailed in a military treatise some 2,500 years ago, were used on battlefields to provide advance warning of enemy approach. A wide-bodied urn would be buried with its small opening above ground, over which a thin piece of leather was stretched. By pressing one’s ear to the leather, one could detect the direction from which an enemy was approaching. For precision, huge urns were used, with someone sitting inside, at times. The visually impaired were preferred, for their supposedly acute sense of hearing. more

Bugging Incident - Episcopal Church COO Placed on Administrative Leave

via David W. Virtue DD
The Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, Michael Curry, has suspended his right hand man, COO Bishop Stacey Sauls, and placed him on administrative leave along with two other senior church officers over what is being described as "misconduct in carrying out their duties as members of senior management of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society."

No one will give information about the exact nature of the incident...

A tape-recording device had been concealed and was running, Barlowe told a shocked room. Council members were exhorted to look under their tables to see if anything was taped. The hidden tape recorder was found on the floor near the lead table where top church leaders had been seated throughout Executive Council... No surveillance cameras that might have recorded someone hiding the recorder were found.

Who would possibly want to bug a church that is dying and has already passed all the hot button issues at various General Conventions? What is there left to bug, pray tell? Apparently a lot.

The incident resembles something out of an episode of Fawlty Towers, when Fawlty (John Cleese) bugged a guest's room to check how much toilet paper was being used. more

VPN Equip All Your Devices... especially if you use public Wi-Fi

To put it simply, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a service or program that allows a device to connect to a secure offsite server over a network using an encrypted, “tunnel-like” connection.

It allows the user’s IP address to be masked, providing a layer of all-important privacy and anonymity. Besides, the encryption of the connection is generally of such a high-grade that any data transmitted can be considered perfectly safe. Originally used for businesses, companies offering VPN services to consumers started to form, realizing the immense security benefits that users can reap from the service.

They are used by everyone from families at home who want to make sure no one can track their online habits to a journalist who doesn’t want people or governments to know where they are. Travelers love them in particular due to the safety they grant one on unknown networks. The underlying thread is protection, and running a quality VPN on your computer is a surefire way to make yourself safer and protect your personal information. more

The First Clip on a Spycam is Usually the Perp

LA - Baton Rouge Police detectives are attempting to identify a man who is believed to have placed a small video camera in the men’s urinal at the office building of 4000 S. Sherwood Forest.

According to police, the camera was found by a male using the restroom.

The camera was retrieved and an analysis was completed in which the image of this individual was observed.

Anyone with information on the identity of this individual is urged to contact the Special Victims Division at 225-389-3853 or Crime Stoppers at 225-344-7867. video

The Smallest Cameras Keep Getting Smaller

Misumi Electronics Corp. specializes in spy applications, surveillance systems, industrial inspection, and medical applications.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Field Reports from the Blue Blaze Irregulars - iPhone & Micro TV News

Your iPhone Keeps a List of Everywhere You’ve Ever Been. Here’s How to Delete It 

Your iPhone lists all of the exact locations of the major cities you’ve been recently.beneath every location you’ve visited, it lists the number of recorded visits in a certain time period. If you click on a location, it will list out all of the times and dates of your visit.  more

Want to turn it off? Here’s how:
  1. Go to the Settings menu, select Privacy
  2. Select Location Services
  3. Scroll down (really far) to the bottom (keep going) and select System Services
  4. Scroll and select Frequent Locations
  5. Get sufficiently creeped out by how much your iPhone knows about you
  6. Select ‘Clear History’ and swipe the Frequent Locations tab left
 (Submitted without comment.) ~BBI 62521

The Smallest Camera in the World
Medigus has developed a range of micro CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) and CCD (charge-coupled device) video cameras, including micro ScoutCam™ 1.2, which to the best of the company's knowledge, is the smallest in the world. more

While these are intended to some degree for medical use they can be used for any “special” need. When you get down to the nano-sized cameras, the potential is mind-boggling. There are cameras now in insect-like drones too that would probably land on your shirt to save power. Hmmm…that buzzing in your ear is a camera!  ~BBI 77377

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Security Director Alert: A Brilliant Answer to Shredding Security Worries, and Cost

Epson Develops the World's First Office Papermaking System
Turns Waste Paper into New Paper 
PaperLab promises to revolutionize office recycling by securely destroying documents and turning them into office paper using a dry process.

Seiko Epson Corporation has developed what it believes to be the world's first compact office papermaking system capable of producing new paper from securely shredded waste paper, without the use of water.

Epson plans to put the new "PaperLab" into commercial production in Japan in 2016, with sales in other regions to be decided at a later date.

Businesses and government offices that install a PaperLab in a backyard area will be able to produce paper of various sizes, thicknesses, and types, from office paper and business card paper to paper that is colored and scented.

Until now enterprise has had to hire contractors to handle the disposal of confidential documents or has shredded them themselves. With a PaperLab, however, enterprise will be able to safely dispose of documents onsite instead of handing them over to a contractor. PaperLab breaks documents down into paper fibers, so the information on them is completely destroyed. more

This could be the biggest information security news of the year for many corporations and government agencies. ~Kevin

Being Ordinary Saves Apple from Wiretapping Charge

CA - A federal judge Monday found no evidence that Apple's failure to deliver text messages sent via iMessage to non-iPhone users amounts to wiretapping.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh... wrote. "Defendant does not 'intercept' the message within the meaning of the Wiretap Act by erroneously classifying the message as an iMessage."

Koh agreed with Apple that its server falls under the Wiretap Act's "ordinary course of business" exception, saying the evidence, redacted and undisputed by both sides, showed that the iMessage server never operated outside its ordinary functions. A device acting within the ordinary course of business, Koh wrote, cannot form the basis of a Wiretap Act claim. She granted Apple's motion for summary judgment.  more

Montreal Makes Spying a Hackneyed Phrase

Montreal Is Now Spying On The City’s Taxi Drivers

...the Montreal taxi bureau will be sending out “mystery passengers” that will spy on cab drivers.

Hoping to get a real picture of how drivers treat passengers, 150 mystery riders will get in cabs around the city and evaluate drivers, according to Global News...

On the other hand, now that we’re all talking about the taxi-driver-spies, drivers may be on their toes and act all nice and pleasant in fear of being reprimanded, which isn’t a solution to an ongoing problem. Guess we’ll have to wait and see. more

U-2 Spy Plane Teardown

Aircraft maintenance is no laughing matter. Keeping planes, especially multi-million-dollar spy planes, in the air requires loads of work. Like many military aircraft, the U-2 spy plane gets a complete and total disassembly, a thorough inspection of all its parts, and in the case of the Dragon Lady, a complete repainting.

Sploid has an awesome time-lapse video of the process, which is handled every 4,700 flight hours by Lockheed Martin technicians. The video shows everything from the roll in to the post-maintenance takeoff, with the breakdown of parts, stripping of paint and the general inspection shown in a decent degree of detail. What we find most fascinating, though, is the way the entire plane seems to come apart like a giant Lego assembly. The wings and tail just sort of pop off, leaving the surprisingly tiny fuselage to be inspected.

Following the inspection and reassembly, the U-2 is returned to the Air Force where it can conduct its usual spying and reconnaissance operations. more