Friday, September 30, 2016

Hackers Infect Army of Cameras, DVRs for Massive Internet Attacks

Attackers used an army of hijacked security cameras and video recorders to launch several massive internet attacks last week, prompting fresh concern about the vulnerability of millions of “smart” devices​in homes and businesses connected to the internet.
The assaults raised eyebrows among security experts both for their size and for the machines that made them happen. The attackers used as many as one million Chinese-made security cameras, digital video recorders and other infected devices to generate webpage requests and data that knocked their targets offline, security experts said. It is unclear whether the attackers had access to video feeds from the devices.

Click to enlarge.

"The Cone of Silence" invented at MIT

Once heralded as an ingenious design strategy for saving money and fostering collaboration, the open-plan office has fallen from grace. 
It's increasingly viewed by employees as a stressful, noisy nuisance, but with real estate prices soaring, it's not an easy trend for many companies to reverse. That's why some of the best solutions have been small-scale interventions that reconfigure existing open-plan spaces to fit employees' needs in the moment.
But ask Skylar Tibbits to design a reconfigurable space for your open office and you're going to get a whole different animal. That's what happened after Drew Wenzel, a civil and environmental engineer who is part of the campus development team at Google, met Tibbits and started collaborating with him earlier this year...

The original Cone of Silence.
The lab's latest project brings its wild material experimentation to the everyday office: a wooden pod that lowers down from the ceiling and expands into a temporary work space. Born out of a conversation Tibbits had with Wenzel and others at Google, the transformable workspace offers a real-world application of the lab's future-focused work. more
Could also be used to secure open-area desks and cubicles from after-hours snoops. ~Kevin

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

How The Great Seal Bug Became Your Electronic Toll Tag

The story of the electronic tollbooth begins at the turn of the century, in St. Petersburg, Russia. That's where Leon Theremin was born.

Yes, that Theremin — the creator of the musical instrument you play without even touching.

"Just as World War I was starting, and then the Russian Revolution, he found himself in the middle of that and was pulled into the new Soviet inner circle and told he was now a Soviet scientist," says Albert Glinksy, who wrote the biography Theremin: Ether Music and Espionage.

Playing with electromagnetic fields while working on a gas detection meter, Theremin discovered a trick: Using the radio frequency between two antennas, he'd wave one hand for volume and the other for pitch...

Theremin was sent to New York City, where he performed and continued to invent. But he also had another mission.

"He was carrying out espionage, so he had this sort of double life in New York," Glinsky says.

In 1938, Theremin returns to Russia.

But the political winds had changed, and he was sent to a Siberian labor camp, then transferred to a prison for scientists.

It was there that Theremin took spying to a new level when he was ordered to build a bugging device to spy on the U.S. ambassador in Moscow.

"The brilliance of this device was it had no batteries, it needed no electrical external source," Glinsky says. "And it was perfectly inert until it was activated, when they wanted to externally, by microwave beams from a companion device that was a few buildings down."

The bug was the size of a quarter and placed in the office of the U.S. ambassador in Moscow. It was hidden in a seal of the United States, where it stayed for seven years before being accidentally discovered.  (Not true. It was found during a TSCM search.)

Theremin may have created the first RFID-like device. But it took a Brooklyn inventor to connect another technology — friend or foe radar — with modern computing that gets us to electronic toll collection. more

Industrial Espionage: An update on what it includes.

Industrial espionage comes in many forms; the most commonly seen is the surveillance type methods, usually seen in the secret spy books and television programs. However, the truth is far from the glamour of the fictitious man who find out about the wrong, puts it right and gets the girl. In the real world this problem is a very real thing and one of the worst types of industrial espionage is the selling of trade secrets.
But this is only one cell of a much bigger definition, in recent years the definition of what is seen as industrial espionage has increased to cover such areas as; attempts to sabotage a corporation, in some cases, malware and spyware has even entered the arena of corporate espionage. And as earlier mentioned there are the more obvious kinds of industrial espionage such as theft of trade secrets, bribery, blackmail, and technological surveillance. more

Keep all this in mind when you suspect business espionage. The attack vectors are many; about half people, half technological. Solving the problem requires a holistic strategy, and working with specialists who have holistic mindsets. ~Kevin

Two answers to, "How can corporate espionage firms exist when hacking people is illegal?"

Answer #1. You have to prove the espionage firm did something illegal. This is sometimes much harder than it might seem.

I was once interviewed by an IT manager of a major telecoms company. They had security like nothing I had ever seen - it was like the introduction of the old spy comedy Get Smart - layer after layer of heavy doors, big muscle doormen, ID checks, cameras…


I asked why they had all the security. The IT manager said “our main rival is hiring investigators to learn anything about us, any way they can”. Of course, his firm was doing the same to the rival firm - so they were in no position to complain about illegal tactics.

And of course, if the other firm had snuck someone in, someone who planted say a radio network bug, to give the spy direct access to the firm’s internal network - how could anyone prove who they were, and why they were there? I’m sure that “copping a trespass charge” was part of the deal for spies who entered the premises illegally.

Answer #2. Simple : Spying is not limited to hackingmore

Monday, September 26, 2016

Chinese Spy Museum - Now Open to All

The Yuhuatai Memorial Park of Revolutionary Martyrs is hallowed ground for the Chinese Communist Party...

...the most recent addition to the site has garnered less interest than the memorial, or the souvenir stalls nearby — but serves as a tangible testament to China’s perennial preoccupation: espionage.

Billed as the country's only such institution, the Brutalist, barrel-shaped Jiangsu National Security Education Exhibition Hall — a.k.a. the Spy Museum — opened in 2009, closed for more than a year and reopened in mid-April after a face-lift. The reopening came on China’s inaugural national security education day.

The newly renovated exhibition hall has emerged as a showcase of curated propaganda about the myriad threats posed by foreign spies. Gone is a warning sign in four languages that once barred all foreign visitors. more

Surveillance Camera Installer 'Scopes It Out'

NJ—A 38-year-old Franklin Township business owner... Thomas Canales was arrested at his South Lawrence Avenue home in the Somerset section of Franklin Township...
He owns a security based company "Scope It Out" in Somerset, according to authorities, who also charged him in connection with his work installing a surveillance system at a private residence.

The charge of "computer theft" came after he installed a surveillance system in a customer's home, and then monitored the residence from his computer and mobile phone. more

Business Espionage: Tram Boss Quits due to Buses Spying

Scotland - The former boss of Edinburgh Trams quit his job in anger over the “outrageous” spying carried out against his colleagues by rival transport firm Lothian Buses. 

According to his leaked resignation letter, Tom Norris left his £80,000 a year post last year over the bus company’s covert monitoring of staff.

He also wrote it was “extraordinary” the individual behind the snooping had not been fired and hit out at the “gross mishandling” of the scandal.

Edinburgh Trams and Lothian Buses are separate companies, but they share IT, media relations and human resources and are ultimately owned by the city council. more

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Alert Security Guard Nails Corporate Espionage Spy

South Korea - A senior official at Samsung Electronics Co. was arrested for trying to steal a core chip-making technology...

The international crime investigation unit at Gyeonggi Police Agency on Thursday arrested an unnamed executive vice president at Samsung Electronics of the semiconductor division on suspicion of committing industrial espionage.

A security guard at the company reportedly found confidential documents in his car during a routine security check.

The company immediately searched his house and called the police upon discovering thousands of classified documents he kept at his house. more

Bird, James Bird - Suspected of Fowl Play

The Indian police on Saturday detained another pigeon that flew into a village near the heavily militarised border with Pakistan on a suspicion of 'spy'. 

The state intelligence and army officers were inspecting the pigeon that might have flown across border from Pakistan and landed in Punjab's Hoshiarpur district with some words in Urdu inscribed on its wings.

The bird was handed over to police by a local Naresh Kumar who spotted some 'suspicious text' on the wings which were actually names of the week days. The pigeon was X-rayed to verify if something was hidden inside but no clues were discovered having any links with Pakistan.

It is pertinent to mention here that in 2015, Indian authorities had captured a pigeon which was claimed to be a 'spy' pigeon from Pakistan. In 2013, Indian security forces found a dead falcon fitted with a small camera, and in 2010 another pigeon was detained over espionage fears. more

When the porn hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a-problem.

WA - Ferino’s Pizzeria owner Adam Burns says he may not reactivate the interactive part of his Facebook page ever again after it was hacked and photos of female employees using a restroom were posted online.

Burns said he first thought that someone was prank-calling the Port Hadlock business, but then he looked on the business’s Facebook account and “it was blowing up with disgusting comments.”

The videos showed females, in various levels of undress, using the restroom...

Brett Anglin, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office detective, confirmed that the sheriff's office received a call from Adams about a video recording device having apparently been used inside an employee restroom...

Deputies came and checked the restaurant for hidden cameras. Burns did not reopen the restaurant that day.

“They found nothing,” he said. “Whatever was in here is gone now. Never in a million years did I feel like this would happen here. It's like it's not real,” he said. more 

WA - Redmond Police arrested a 25-year-old lifeguard for allegedly taping a cell phone to a wall in the female locker room of Redmond’s Hartman Pool.

Redmond Police said the man was suspended from his job and prohibited from returning to the property as detectives continue their investigation. A female coach discovered the phone and immediately called 911. more

IN - The man accused of recording topless women in his Granger Tiki Tan tanning salon pleaded guilty to four felony charges; three counts of voyeurism and one count of obstruction of justice. Albert Reasonover was arrested in April when an alleged victim discovered she was being filmed during a spray tan. more

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Talk to Real Secret Agents on New 'Call a Spy' Hotline

If you ever wanted to chat to a spy, now's your chance – a group of German artists have set up the "Call a Spy" hotline.

Ariel Fischer from the art group "Peng!" told Sputnik Deutschland that they can set up the hotline anywhere with a stable internet connection. It looks like an ordinary telephone, but is connected to the "Call a Spy" server.

The server contains a database of spy's numbers, and randomly selects one to connect the caller with. Calls are routed through a private network that masks the original source of the call.

Fischer said that despite the secrecy of intelligence work, the majority of the numbers were freely available on the internet, and come from a range of different countries.  more

USB Warning: Treat Unsolicited USB Sticks Like Junk Mail

Police in the Australian State of Victoria have warned citizens not to trust un-marked USB sticks that appear in their letterboxes.

The warning, issued today, says “The USB drives are believed to be extremely harmful and members of the public are urged to avoid plugging them into their computers or other devices.”... 

(...and who could forget the attempt at industrial espionage that saw USB sticks left in the parking lot of Dutch chemical giant DSM?) more

Photons FUBAR Eavesdropping

In a first, scientists have successfully teleported a photon – particle of light – over a distance of six kilometres, an advance that may enable secure communication without having to worry about eavesdropping.

Researchers at the University of Calgary in Canada, led by professor Wolfgang Tittel, set a new record for distance of transferring a quantum state by teleportation, using fibre optics cable infrastructure.

“Such a network will enable secure communication without having to worry about eavesdropping, and allow distant quantum computers to connect,” said Tittel.

The experiment is based on the entanglement property of quantum mechanics, also known as “spooky action at a distance” – a property so mysterious that not even German physicist Albert Einstein could come to terms with it. more

Spying & Espionage Infographic

Click to enlarge.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

One Spy Outs Another at City Council Meeting

CA - A former Scientologist confronted a City Council candidate at a California meeting, where she revealed they both had been sent as spies by the group to harass one of the church’s critics.

Paulien Lombard, who has since left the church, addressed a City Council meeting in Garden Grove, describing how she and candidate Clay Bock had been sent by Scientology’s spy wing, the Office of Special Affairs, to intimidate a man who’d been protesting outside the group’s “Int Base,”... 
Bock was actually in attendance when Lombard outed him as a Scientology spy, and the stunned City Council candidate nervously addressed the meeting afterward.

“I had no idea Paulien would be here or that this would be an issue,” Bock said. more

Spycam News: Video Voyeur Builds Spy Camera into Toy Jukeboxes—Gives them to Kids

FL - Deputies with the Lake County Sheriff's Office seized various equipment after Robert Anthony O'Hare's arrest last year. Through the seizure, they learned O'Hare had placed hidden cameras in two miniature jukeboxes that were later delivered to children.

"They didn't go through the post office, it looks as they he hand-delivered them," said John Herrell, with the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

The hidden cameras were used to film the children unbeknownst to them, according to deputies.

"As long as they (the jukeboxes) were plugged into the wall, those cameras were activated," Herrell said. "He could use a remote control and remotely control what the camera was viewing."

O'Hare is accused of producing hundreds of videos using a telescopic lens and camera found in his closet during a search of his home in October 2015, deputies said.

Hundreds of downloaded pornographic videos involving adults were also found on his devices, according to authorities. O’Hare is also accused of downloading child porn at a coffee shop. more

Revision to Federal Criminal Procedure Rule May Lead to Widespread Electronic Surveillance

US - Effective December 1, 2016, Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure will be amended to expand the reach of the authority of federal judges when they are issuing search warrants. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon contends that the upcoming changes present a major threat to civil liberties associated with content stored on or accessible through electronic devices.

As modified, Rule 41 will permit federal judges to authorize expanded remote searches of electronic devices including computers and smartphones. Senator Wyden contends that the revised rule will enable federal judges to issue search warrants to permit remote searches of virtually any device, and the material accessible through that device, no matter where the device is located.

Wyden claims that this broad authority would enable a single federal judge to facilitate remote searches of millions of devices and all the materials accessible through those devices. He has proposed legislation which would block this rule modification. His legislative proposal has, however, not yet been enacted, thus the proposed rule changes currently remain on track for the December 1 effective date. more

Monday, September 19, 2016

Spy Chip Implants - Common Complaint - Best handled with an X-ray

United Kingdom-based NRI (A Non-Resident Indian is a citizen of India who holds an Indian passport and has temporarily emigrated to another country for six months or more...) who claims ‘spying chips’ were installed in his body would be examined at Jalandhar’s Army hospital after the Ministry of Home Affairs forwarded his plea requesting their removal to the Punjab government.

Harinder Pal Singh, who returned from the UK three years ago, claimed British police had installed chips in his body for spying...

Narrating his bizarre-sounding story... “I went to UK in 1987 at the age of 15 with my grandmom. One day, I was sleeping in my room and some plainclothes policemen made me unconscious and got instruments installed in my body.”

“In 1996, my nearly four-year-old daughter died in an accident, which was changed into murder. I was convicted for it and sentenced to 15 years. After completing my jail term on February 13, 2013, I was deported,’’ he claimed. more

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Federal Court to Unseal Secret Electronic Surveillance Records... maybe

US - In a major victory for journalists and privacy and transparency advocates, a federal court has started the process of unsealing secret records related to the government's use of electronic surveillance.

US District Court Judge Beryl Howell said at a hearing Friday morning that absent an objection by government attorneys (the maybe), the court would post to its website next week a list of all case numbers from 2012 in which federal prosecutors in Washington, DC applied for an order to install a pen register or a trap and trace device.

A pen register is an electronic apparatus that tracks phone numbers called from a specific telephone line (though the 2001 USA PATRIOT Act expanded the definition of pen register to allow for collection of email headers as well). A trap and trace device is similar, but tracks the phone numbers of incoming calls. For decades, court records relating to these documents have typically been sealed in their entirety, including even the docket numbers. more

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Security Director Alert: USB Sabotage Kills Devices in Split-Second - Only $49.95

For just a few bucks, you can pick up a USB stick that destroys almost anything that it's plugged into. Laptops, PCs, televisions, photo booths -- you name it.

Once a proof-of-concept, the pocket-sized USB stick now fits in any security tester's repertoire of tools and hacks, says the Hong Kong-based company that developed it.

It works like this: when the USB Kill stick is plugged in, it rapidly charges its capacitors from the USB power supply, and then discharges -- all in the matter of seconds.

On unprotected equipment, the device's makers say it will "instantly and permanently disable unprotected hardware"...

The lesson here is simple enough. If a device has an exposed USB port -- such as a copy machine or even an airline entertainment system -- it can be used and abused, not just by a hacker or malicious actor, but also electrical attacks.

"Any public facing USB port should be considered an attack vector," says the company. "In data security, these ports are often locked down to prevent exfiltration of data, or infiltration of malware, but are very often unprotected against electrical attack."

Not every device is vulnerable to a USB Kill attack. The device maker said that Apple "voluntarily" protected its hardware. more

From strongly condems malicious use of its products.
The USB Killer is developed and sold as a testing device. Use of the device can permanently damage hardware. Customers agree to the terms and conditions of sale, and acknowledge the consequences of use.

In a nutshell, users are responsible for their acts.
A hammer used maliciously can permanently damage to a third party's device. The USB Killer, used maliciously, can permanently damage a third party's device.

As with any tool, it is the individual, not the manufacturer of the tool, responsible for how the individual uses the tool.

The USB Killer was used on our equipment
Please see above. We suggest pursuing the individual responsible, or reporting the act to the appropriate authorities.

This is only one spy trick. 
We know hundreds more.  
Call us for a TSCM / Information Security Survey.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

New Chip Could Bring Highest Level of Encryption to Any Mobile Device

Random number generators are crucial to the encryption that protects our privacy and security...
For the first time, engineers have developed a fast random number generator based on a quantum mechanical process that could deliver the world’s most secure encryption keys in a package tiny enough to use in a mobile device.

In The Optical Society's journal for high impact research, Optica, the researchers report on their fully integrated device for random number generation. The new work represents a key advancement... delivering the highest quality numbers and thus the highest level of security — into computers, tablets and mobile phones.

“We’ve managed to put quantum-based technology that has been used in high profile science experiments into a package that might allow it to be used commercially,” said the paper’s first author, Carlos Abellan, a doctoral student at ICFO-The Institute of Photonic Sciences, a member of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, Spain. “This is likely just one example of quantum technologies that will soon be available for use in real commercial products. It is a big step forward as far as integration is concerned.” more

Hey Kids - Learn How to Operate a Stingray IMSI-Catcher!

Using mass surveillance software without a warrant is almost as easy as installing Skype, according to leaked footage and instruction manuals for Harris Corp. stingray devices.

The footage, obtained by the Intercept, shows Harris Corp.'s Gemini software being used on a personal computer demonstrating how accessible the program is with a noticeable lack of any registration keys, proof of ownership, or safety measures to ensure the software was only used for authorized purposes.

The manuals include instructions for several Harris surveillance boxes, including the Hailstorm, ArrowHead, AmberJack, KingFish and other products in the RayFish Product Family.

Some features mentioned in the manuals are the ability to impersonate four cellular communication towers at once, monitor up to four cellular provider networks at once, and the ability to knock a targets devices down to an inferior network, such as from LTE to 2G.

The manual also details how to set up a target or “subscriber” and how to set up bulk surveillance, according to a Gemini device “Quick Start Guide” that was leaked on DocumentCloud. more

Business Espionage: At these rates, employees may start selling your passwords.

Hackers are claiming to have accounts at major United States government agencies for sale, including NASA, the Navy, and the Department of Veteran Affairs.

The unverified cache found by Infoarmor chief intelligence officer Andrew Komarov includes 33,000 records tied to the US Government, plus research and educational organizations and universities.

Agencies on the list include the US General Services Administration, National Parks Service, and the Federal Aviation Administration. One government data listing visited by The Register promised alleged access to six unnamed accounts for subdomains of the US Navy including 3.5 bitcoins (US$2132).

They are also selling alleged access to five accounts across subdomains for NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab for three bitcoins (US$1827).

Another three logins to servers of the US Centres of Disease Control and Prevention over FTP and SFTP were being flogged for half a Bitcoin (US$300). more

Spycam Incident: Coach Resigned - Team Member Confessed - Police TSCM Search

The head coach of South Korea's national team resigned on Wednesday as police investigate allegations that two male swimmers secretly filmed female swimmers after installing a spy camera in their locker room at a training facility in 2013.

Police Search
Ahn Jong-taek, who was named head coach in 2012, felt responsible for what allegedly happened under his watch, but maintained he and other coaches didn't know what went on, said Park Seong-su, an official from the Korean Olympic Committee.

Police in Seoul have been investigating two former national team swimmers over the allegations, and said one of them has admitted installing a camera at the national training facility in Jincheon, central South Korea, and discarding it after footage was taken. more

Attorney No-Show to Answer Questions About a Vast Eavesdropping Operation

CA - A judge in Palm Springs has issued an arrest warrant 
for former Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach after he failed to appear at a court hearing to answer questions about a vast eavesdropping operation...

“He should have been there,” said Jan Ronis, the attorney who subpoenaed Zellerbach, according to the newspaper. “But he just blew us off. We could have had court today.”

In a telephone interview Tuesday night, Zellerbach insisted the warrant had been issued in error because of “lies and misinformation.” more

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Classic Spy Tradecraft: Sexy Spies at G20 Summit

This is a cautionary tale for all business people (men and women) who travel for work...

While Americans in Hangzhou may be worried about red-carpeted stairways, British officials are concerned about something much more important -- honey traps.

The team of officials accompanying new British Prime Minister Theresa May to the G20 summit have been warned to take steps to protect themselves from alluring Chinese spies offering sex during their stay in Hangzhou, the Telegraph reports.

Apparently, British security agents haven't just been reading too many James Bond novels; this kind of thing has happened before and they are taking care that it won't happen again by issuing officials with temporary mobile phones and email addresses.

The scandalous incident occurred during former prime minister Gordon Brown's visit to China in 2008. According to Brown's special advisor Damien McBride, the British officials were “accosted on one side by a beautiful posse of Chinese girls and on the other side by an equivalent group of Russian blondes."

Before they knew what was going on, one of the officials was lured away to his hotel room, where he was drugged and robbed of his Blackberry and "half the contents of his briefcase." more

PS - They can also plant eavesdropping devices and spycams.

How Strangers Can Hack the Phone in Your Pocket

These days no one leaves home without a smartphone. But as 60 Minutes Overtime reports, you may need a "CryptoPhone" if you want to avoid hacking.

“In today’s world, there’s really only two types of companies or two types of people which are those who have been hacked and realize it and those who have been hacked and haven’t.” 

That’s what mobile security expert John Hering tells 60 Minutes correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi about the danger of cellphone hacking on this week’s broadcast. more

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Five Steps to Countering Business Espionage

Everyone has heard the phrase "loose lips sink ships." 

That's the very essence of military operational security. Commonly shortened into "OPSEC," it is a fundamental—if not the most important—part of military operations...

The business world isn't nearly as life and death but that doesn't mean the same rules don't apply. The military has five basic steps to proper OPSEC, and they're just as useful in the civilian world, especially with the proliferation of tech that makes leaks and security breaches more common.

1. Identify critical information
2. Analyze potential threats
3. Know your own weaknesses
4. Assess risks
5. Apply countermeasures

  • OPSEC requires complete understanding of your company from the inside out. If you're truly going to be as secure as a well-oiled military unit you need to think about—and think like—the enemy.
  • Think about the threats you might face and compare those to your vulnerabilities. The military uses that comparison to figure out where they need to focus on OPSEC—it is no different in the civilian world.
  • Planning is nothing without execution. Make sure you're putting OPSEC lessons into play, and also be sure that everyone in your company is on board. The lowest ranking Private in the Army takes OPSEC classes, and so should the lowest level employee at your company. more  
I want to get started, right now.

The Real Whole Spy Catalog

A confidential, 120-page catalog of spy equipment, 
originating from British defense firm Cobham and circulated to U.S. law enforcement, touts gear that can intercept wireless calls and text messages, locate people via their mobile phones, and jam cellular communications in a particular area.

The catalogue was obtained by The Intercept as part of a large trove of documents originating within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, where spokesperson Molly Best confirmed Cobham wares have been purchased but did not provide further information.

The document provides a rare look at the wide range of electronic surveillance tactics used by police and militaries in the U.S. and abroad, offering equipment ranging from black boxes that can monitor an entire town’s cellular signals to microphones hidden in lighters and cameras hidden in trashcans. more

The original Whole Spy Catalog.

Relive Watergate by Living in Watergate

Watergate will forever be notorious as the site of the Democratic National Committee break-in. Now for $1.33 million, you can buy your place in its history.

That’s the asking price of the four-bedroom residence where then-Attorney General John Mitchell lived when planning the infamous break-in of 1972. The apartment, located in one of the Watergate’s three residential towers, measures 3,150 square feet and includes a private elevator entrance.

The buildings that make up the Watergate complex have a long list of A-list residents influential in politics, public policy, the arts and business. Current owners include Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, former Sens. Bob and Elizabeth Dole, and Jacqueline Mars, heiress to the Mars candy fortune. We take you behind the scenes in the Washington landmark. more

Fun Facts
John Mitchell was the person who evaluated the results of the first Watergate burglary and ordered the five men to return to fix wiretaps and photograph more documents.

• "If it hadn't been for Martha Mitchell,
there'd have been no Watergate."

Thursday, September 1, 2016

50% of Email Users Deserve the Problems They Create

Security experts often talk about the importance of educating people
about the risks of "phishing" e-mails containing links to malicious websites. But sometimes, even awareness isn't enough.  

A study by researchers at a university in Germany found that about half of the subjects in a recent experiment clicked on links from strangers in e-mails and Facebook messages—even though most of them claimed to be aware of the risks. more

Sports Smartphone App Accused of Eavesdropping

A putative class action suit filed in a California court on Monday against Oakland’s Golden State Warriors basketball team accuses the team of offering a smartphone app that secretly records the user’s conversations. 

The app, developed by Yinzcam Inc., uses the phone’s microphone to track the user’s location by picking up on sonic beacons built by Signal360, but fails to warn users that it is doing so and that it is picking up nearby conversations in the process, plaintiff Latisha Satchell said.

“Unbeknownst to plaintiff and without her consent, defendants programmed the app to turn on her smartphone’s microphone and listen in. Specifically, because plaintiff carried her smartphone to locations where she would have private conversations and the app was continuously running on her phone, defendants app listened in to private oral communications,” Satchell said.

According to the complaint, the app, which is advertised as a source of scores, game schedules, news, statistics and other information about the Warriors, uses the phone’s microphone to pick up sound tones generated by Signal360 beacons and uses those tones to track the user’s location in the Warrior’s stadium and send the user appropriate notifications and advertisements or track the user’s movements for later analysis. Satchell argued that the app also picks up and temporarily records other nearby sounds, including conversations. more