Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Hacking Wiretapping Systems

Nice research by Matt Blaze on evading telephone wiretapping systems. Here's his paper and a companion article. The page is worth visting just to listen in and find out what Alice and Bob have been up to.

War Sucks

I don't care what side you are on... The kids factor has to make you think-- there must be a better way.

This presents about 4,000 photographs showing the Iraq War killing and maiming, most from the Associated Press's archive and others from sources listed.

Firefox 1.5 is Out Today

Firefox 1.5 came out earlier today. I've been using the beta for a week or two now, and no complaints. If you're still using Microsoft's IE now is a great time to switch -- better ad-blocking, better usability, better security, better standards-compliance and it's free!

Download Link

Smarter Surveillance Cameras

Surveillance cameras often capture only a blurred mug shot of a suspect, either because they are moving or because the camera is not focused correctly.

But IBM has developed a solution. Instead of using a single camera to monitor a scene, IBM has patented a system that uses several cameras at once.

The idea is that a fixed camera takes a series of shots of a person, enabling a computer to then calculate their direction and speed of motion. This information will then be used to make movable cameras follow the target's path, enabling them to focus accurately. The result should be crystal clear pictures, no matter how fast the subject is moving and should also be able to follow more than one target.

The system may be good for more than security surveillance too. IBM reckons it could also be used at airports to rapidly identify passengers standing in line, if combined with face recognition software.

Read about the smarter surveillance patent here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

ET Might be a Malicious Hacker

As if spotty teenagers releasing computer viruses on to the internet from darkened rooms were not enough of a headache. According to a scientific report, planet Earth's computers are wide open to a virus attack from Little Green Men.

The concern is raised in the next issue of the journal Acta Astronautica by Richard Carrigan, a particle physicist at the US Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois. He believes scientists searching the heavens for signals from extra-terrestrial civilisations are putting Earth's security at risk, by distributing the jumble of signals they receive to computers all over the world.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Consumer Privacy Top 10

Chris Hoofnagle is the West Coast Director for EPIC, here's his "top 10" things you can do with very little money or effort to protect your privacy.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Interview: Nessus' Ron Gula

Here is an interview with Ron Gula, to get a glimpse of Tenable's free Nessus 3 vulnerability scanner. The interview discusses license changes, community involvement, daemon security, GPL open-source versus free, and more.

Secure Your Christmas - Start Your List Now!

The VisionStation - Standard flat-screen applications can display a field of view (FOV) of no more than 60°. The Elumens VisionStation allows for a fully immersive display of 160°. The VisionStation’s ultra-wide FOV creates an amazing sense of space and depth, without need for goggles or glasses. The large size of the VisionStation screen (1.5 meters) also helps promote an excellent sense of immersive 3D.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Cracking Safes with Thermal Imaging

This "research" paper presents an interesting physical world attack that may be easily deployed by a determined attacker to compromise many high-security access control systems in use today. Although this paper's findings are hardly groundbreaking (and in some ways, are downright obvious), it includes some cool pictures of what should be most certainly taken into account in risk management, secure zone planning, and when drafting operating procedures for high-risk areas.

Author Michal Zalewski is respected in the hacking and security communities for his intelligence, curiosity and creativity...

Thursday, November 24, 2005

A Secure and Happy Thanksgiving

Maybe this event is too dangerous and should be cancelled. Even only if to save one person! The humanity...
The 79th Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade stepped off as scheduled Thursday after concern windy weather would ground the famous balloons.

A straying M&M balloon, possibly whipped by the wind, hit a lamp post at Times Square, sending shattered glass to the ground and two people to the hospital, WABC, New York, said. Their condition was not known.

Another M&M balloon struck WABC's Good Morning America studio, also in Times Square...
A special thanks to all our troops around the world keeping us safe. Be safe and come home soon.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Aw Nuts - U.S. Seen Vulnerable to Space 'pulse' Attack

Are you kidding me? The "single most serious national-security challenge."
The United States is highly vulnerable to attack from electronic pulses caused by a nuclear blast in space, according to a new book on threats to U.S. security.

A single nuclear weapon carried by a ballistic missile and detonated a few hundred miles over the United States would cause "catastrophe for the nation" by damaging electricity-based networks and infrastructure, including computers and telecommunications, according to "War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World."

"This is the single most serious national-security challenge and certainly the least known," said Frank J. Gaffney Jr. of the Center for Security Policy, a former Pentagon official and lead author of the book, which includes contributions by 34 security and intelligence specialists.
People have been thinking about the EMP threat for, what, forty (fifty?) years now. "Least known?"- my fanny. I am getting a box of tin foil and heading for the basement right now!

Personal Security - 911 Audio Hears Texas Granny Shoots Intruder

Clutching her .38-caliber revolver, Susan Gaylord Buxton swung open each closet door of her northwest Arlington, TX home early Wednesday, convinced that an intruder had broken a window and hidden inside.

Finally, as she yanked open the door to the closet near the front door, her light revealed a man's face peering from underneath a coat.

"Shh," he begged.

"Then he popped out of the door like a jack-in-the-box," Buxton recalled.

Buxton, 66, warned the man to lie on the floor or she'd shoot him.

When he didn't, she did.

  • Listen to the Audio

  • Full Story - Here

    Some Folks Should be in Jail for Just Being Stupid!

    Bad idea: taking kiddie porn pictures with your digital camera and going to Best Buy for help when you can't figure out how to delete them by yourself. BTW - sounds like a nice nighborhood...
    "The customer, police say, turned to Best Buy for help in deleting the alleged child pornography from his digital camera. The employees distracted the suspect while police making a drug bust in the parking lot were alerted."

    Tuesday, November 22, 2005

    Soviet Topographic Maps

    For the 50 years prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the Soviet military sought to map every corner of the globe. The result was an extensive collection of standardized maps at various scales. John Davies been researching the history of the Soviet global mapping project and, in particular, the large scale plans of British and Irish towns and cities produced from 1950s to 1990.

    His findings so far, have been documented in two articles. Part 1 was published in Sheetlines 72 dated April 2005, part 2 in Sheetlines 73 of August 2005. Sheetlines is the journal of The Charles Close Society.

    Monday, November 21, 2005

    Mutant Worms Find A New Home Inside Your Instant Messaging Client

    An article posted on SC Magazine talks about new mutant worms and Trojans that are making their rounds on the Internet. Their mode of transportation? A local IM client near you.

    Sunday, November 20, 2005

    20 Years Of Windows

    Today marks the twentieth anniversary of Microsoft's release of Windows 1.0 - WALSTIB...
    November 20, 2005, marks the twentieth anniversary of Microsoft's release of Windows 1.0, one of the most important events in PC history. Even the staunchest Mac or OS/2 devotees must acknowledge that Windows has had a profound impact on the world of computing (although their blood pressure may rise dangerously at the thought).

    Eradicating the evils of iPorn

    Yikes, what's next... Kids downloading copies of National Geographic?

    It's been a tough week for the iPod's image. First, security experts said it could be used for major breaches in networks and servers. Now, the popular device is being blamed for spreading porn among minors and in the workplace.

    Saturday, November 19, 2005

    The New Hackers On The Block

    More evidence that hackers are migrating into crime:

    Forget the outdated hacker image of a spotty anarchic teenager holed up in his bedroom defacing the Web sites of global organisations, today's hackers are not only older but more determined than ever to claim your cash and identity.

    Many early depictions of hackers on the silver screen portrayed relatively benign individuals, such as Matthew Broderick's teenage boy in the 1984 film 'War Games', or Val Kilmer's young prodigy in 'Real Genius'.

    Since then, organised crime units have continued to provide a fruitful income for a group of hackers that are effectively on their payroll. Their willingness to pay for hacking expertise has also given rise to a new subset of hackers. These are not hardcore criminals in pursuit of defrauding a bank or duping thousands of consumers. In one sense, they are the next generation of hackers that carry out their activities in pursuit of credibility from their peers and the 'buzz' of hacking systems considered to be unbreakable.

    Where they come into contact with serious criminals is through underworld forums and chatrooms, where their findings are published and they are paid effectively for their intellectual property. This form of hacking - essentially 'hacking for hire' - is becoming more common with hackers trading zero-day exploit information, malcode, bandwidth, identities and toolkits underground for cash. So a hacker might package together a Trojan that defeats the latest version of an anti-virus client and sell that to a hacking community sponsored by criminals.

    Friday, November 18, 2005

    Friday's Are For Fun - Surveillance Cameras for Dummies

    The folks at WiLife have developed a consumer PC-based digital video surveillance system that is very simple to set-up and use.

    Simply 1) Install the LukWerks software on your PC 2) Plug the included receiver to a USB port on your Web-connected PC and 3) Begin suction-cupping these sleek cameras anywhere-you-damn-please (within 250 feet or so of the receiver). The cameras offer no sound (apparently audio snooping is against the law in most states), but delivers excellent wireless video streams, which can be accessed from any PC in the world and even via smartphones. The cameras also record all the action, so you can review video at a later date or, if you wish, have motion alerts forwarded to your e-mail. The basic setup kit‹which includes a receiver, camera and software‹will run you $299, with additional cameras costing $229 each.

    Thursday, November 17, 2005

    Securing Records - Sparrow Knocks Over 23,000 Dominoes - and is Shot

    Animal rights activists in the Netherlands want charges laid in the shooting of a rare sparrow that knocked over 23,000 dominoes as a TV company was setting up for a world-record attempt.

    The sparrow, which is on the national endangered list, had flown [through an open window] into an exposition centre on Monday in the northern city of Leeuwarden. After knocking over the dominoes, it was chased into a corner and shot by an exterminator with an air rifle.

    but wait there is more...

    'Domino sparrow' becomes a porn star

    Hackers placed very explicit porn on a Dutch website created to commemorate the "Domino D-Day sparrow", it was reported on Thursday.

    The Dutch-language site ( had recorded 53,982 hits by noon on Thursday. The porn was removed some time earlier.

    The site was set up earlier this week following the news that a common sparrow — a protected species in the Netherlands — was shot dead with an air gun on Monday.

    Cox Using Wardriving To Shut Down Customers?

    Interesting thread on -
    I just got off the phone with a good friend of mine in the mobile IT business. He had a client today who had their account suspended without notification, after a call to Cox support he was told that the customer's account was disabled because of an 'open wireless access point.' After some further questions he found out that now have vans driving around in various customer areas throughout Orange County and San Diego.

    Anyone else heard of this going on? What are the implications of this? Is Cox connecting to customer networks without their permission or just scanning to see for a AP without WEP? What are the chances of Cox turning off a customer that has an AP (without WEP) powered on but not connected to the net? What is the deal with not telling customers they have been turned off and still billing them?

    Wednesday, November 16, 2005

    ShmooCon - Registration Reminder

    The second annual ShmooCon will be January 13-15, in Washington, D.C., at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, just minutes from your choice of overly-curious 3-letter agencies. Save yourself money and a seat by registering early, please. Once ShmooCon is sold out, there is NO way to register.

    ShmooCon is a different breed of security convention.

    In a nutshell, over three days, there are three tracks:

    1. Break It! A track dedicated to the demonstration of techniques, software, and devices devised with only one purpose in mind--technology exploitation. You will bear witness to some of the most devious minds, source code, and gadgets on the planet that focus their energies on breaking the technology we mindless sheep keep on buying. Baaaaa.
    2. Build It! A track that showcases inventive software & hardware solutions--from distributed computing or stealth p2p networks to miniature form-factor community wireless network node hardware or robotics even. Let loose your inner geek, and feel free to gawk. With all the neat stuff, it's important to take notes--that way we all have evidence to shoot down some sleazeball patents 5 years from now.
    3. Bof It! A track that promotes the open discussion of critical information security issues in a "birds of a feather" format. From lightning open source code audits or wireless insecurity discussion panels to DRM rants or anonymity & privacy strategies--it's down and dirty, with plenty of controversy for folks who like hashing it out with fellow hackers. Feel free to throw your Shmooballs here, but no fisticuffs, please. Settle your differences with some head-to-head Xbox in the evening, instead.

    An Overview of Cryptography

    A very-very complete look at Cryptography.
    "Cryptography is the science of writing in secret code and is an ancient art; the first documented use of cryptography in writing dates back to circa 1900 B.C. when an Egyptian scribe used non-standard hieroglyphs in an inscription. Some experts argue that cryptography appeared spontaneously sometime after writing was invented, with applications ranging from diplomatic missives to war-time battle plans. It is no surprise, then, that new forms of cryptography came soon after the widespread development of computer communications. In data and tele- communications, cryptography is necessary when communicating over any untrusted medium, which includes just about any network, particularly the Internet."

    Point and Shoot - Was Never So Much Fun!

    Beset by Controversy and Lagging Sales, Taser to Offer Stun Gun Cameras. Taser International Inc. has developed a Taser Cam, which company executives hope will illuminate why Tasers are needed - and add another layer of accountability for any officer who would abuse the weapon.

    The Taser Cam is an audio and video recorder that attaches to the butt of the gun and starts taping when the weapon is turned on. It continues recording until the weapon is turned off. The Taser doesn't have to be fired to use the camera.

    Tuesday, November 15, 2005

    Brain Security - Effectiveness of Aluminium Foil Helmets

    Among a fringe community of paranoids, aluminum helmets serve as the protective measure of choice against invasive radio signals. We investigate the efficacy of three aluminum helmet designs on a sample group of four individuals. Using a $250,000 network analyser, we find that although on average all helmets attenuate invasive radio frequencies in either directions (either emanating from an outside source, or emanating from the cranium of the subject), certain frequencies are in fact greatly amplified. These amplified frequencies coincide with radio bands reserved for government use according to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). Statistical evidence suggests the use of helmets may in fact enhance the government's invasive abilities. We speculate that the government may in fact have started the helmet craze for this reason.

    Saturday, November 12, 2005

    Security at Disney World

    The bag searches are cursory at best; most of the guards never check bag pockets etc. There are no metal detectors...

    Sunday, November 06, 2005

    Thumb Chopping - Ratings Winner!

    The Vegas mayor and the Big O think alike...

    The mayor of Las Vegas has suggested that people who deface freeways with graffiti should have their thumbs cut off on television.

    "In the old days in France, they had beheadings of people who commit heinous crimes," Mayor Oscar Goodman said Wednesday on the TV show "Nevada Newsmakers."

    Goodman said the city has a beautiful highway landscaping project and "these punks come along and deface it."

    "I'm saying maybe you put them on TV and cut off a thumb," the mayor said. "That may be the right thing to do."

    Goodman also suggested whippings should be brought back for children who get into trouble.

    Another panelist on the show, state university system regent Howard Rosenberg, said cutting off the thumbs of taggers won't solve the problem and Goodman should "use his head for something other than a hat rack."

    Saturday, November 05, 2005

    Mysterious Signals Jamming Garage Door Openers

    Hundreds of automatic garage doors in the Ottawa area have suddenly and strangely stopped working, due to a powerful radio signal that appears to be interfering with their remote controls.

    The Door Doctor has received more than 100 calls from irate customers who can't operate their doors using the remote. It installs Liftmasters, one of the most popular door openers in North America, which operates by radio frequency.

    The signal is transmitted on the 390-megahertz band, which is used by virtually all garage door openers on the continent.

    It's the same frequency used by the U.S. military's new state-of-the-art Land Mobile Radio System.

    Friday, November 04, 2005

    Fridays Are For Fun! - NOVELTY PAYCHECK STUBS!!

    Feeling down about your Salary? Fret, no more! Are the finer things in life getting you down? Make yourself feel better with a fake paycheck stub! Whether you are looking for a great gag gift for a friend, or you need to convince your spouse you really have been waking up and going to work, we can help.

    "Will I need to provide you with my social security number?

    To make the check stubs appear authentic, we definitely recommend it."

    Just when you thought you had seen everything...

    Weekly National Security Index

    A little report known as the National Security Index, put out periodically by the Senate Democratic Policy Committee. It contains some truly grim statistics that are rarely reported by the mainstream media even though the report is available on the Committee's web site, along with footnotes documenting every statistic.

    Thursday, November 03, 2005

    Secure Planet - Model Foresees Carbonated Planet

    Given the computing/programming horsepower at the two National Labs — Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos — you can appreciate what this means to the question of Global Warming...

    Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory predicted a significant increase in average air temperature over the long term - iceless polar regions, 40 degrees Fahrenheit warmer, and a 20-foot rise in ocean sea levels by the year 2300.

    A new study uses a series of interlinked computer models, including a LLNL model that connects carbon input with climate, an ocean-atmosphere model from National Center for Atmospheric Research, and the Parallel Ocean Program (POP) from Los Alamos National Laboratory that simulates ocean circulation.

    Authenticating People by their Typing Pattern

    The University of Regensburg in Germany has released authentication software that makes use of the fact that each person's typing behavior is unique. It works by requesting that the person who seeks access to a computer or a password-protected file type a short passage on an ordinary keyboard: the longer the passage, the more reliable the authentication.

    Wednesday, November 02, 2005

    Grandpa Is Sued Over Grandson's Downloads

    To me this brings to light a bigger issue… Ethics training should be a mandatory subject in grade schools.

    Ethics, like the gyroscope, is a mechanism that must be used consciously and continuously to maintain direction, stability, and equilibrium.
    Ethics Workbook | 1999

    A 67-year-old man who says he doesn't even like watching movies has been sued by the film industry for copyright infringement after a grandson of his downloaded four movies on their home computer.

    The Motion Picture Association of America filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against Fred Lawrence of Racine, seeking as much as $600,000 in damages for downloading four movies over the Internet file-sharing service iMesh.

    The suit was filed after Lawrence refused a March offer to settle the matter by paying $4,000.

    "First of all, like I say, I guess I'd have to plead being naive about the whole thing," he said.

    "I personally didn't do it, and I wouldn't do it. But I don't think it was anything but an innocent mistake my grandson made."

    Lawrence said his grandson, who was then 12, downloaded "The Incredibles," "I, Robot," "The Grudge," and "The Forgotten" in December, without knowing it was illegal to do so.

    The Racine man said his grandson downloaded the movies out of curiosity, and deleted the computer files immediately. The family already owned three of the four titles on DVD, he said.

    "I can see where they wouldn't want this to happen, but when you get up around $4,000 ... I don't have that kind of money," Lawrence said. "I never was and never will be a wealthy person."

    Kori Bernards, vice president of corporate communications for MPAA, said the movie industry wants people to understand the consequences of Internet piracy. She said the problem is the movies that were downloaded were then available to thousands of other users on the iMesh network.

    "Basically what you are doing when you use peer-to-peer software is you are offering someone else's product that they own to thousands of other people for free, and it's not fair," Bernards said.

    Illegal downloading costs the movie industry an estimated $5.4 billion a year, she said.

    Secure Home - Man Kills Buck With Bare Hands in Bedroom

    It looked like a crime scene, but no charges will be filed after Wayne Goldsberry killed a buck with his bare hands in his daughter's bedroom.

    The engagement lasted an exhausting 40 minutes, but Goldsberry finally subdued the five-point whitetail deer that crashed through a bedroom window at his daughter's home Friday. When it was over, blood splattered the walls and the deer lay on the bedroom floor, its neck broken.

    Goldsberry was at his daughter's home when he heard glass breaking. He went back to check on the noise and found the deer.

    "I was standing about like this peeking around the corner when the deer came out of the bedroom," said Goldsberry, demonstrating while peering around his kitchen wall. The deer ran down the hall and into the master bedroom — "jumping back and forth across the bed."

    "I could tell he was really tearing up the place back there," Goldsberry said.

    Goldsberry entered the bedroom to confront the deer and, after a brief struggle, emerged to tell his wife to call police. After returning to the bedroom, the fight continued. Goldsberry finally was able to grip the animal and twist its neck, killing it.

    INSECURE Magazine - Issue 4

    This issue covers: Structured traffic analysis, Access Control Lists in Tiger and Tiger Server - true permission management, Automating I.T. security audits, Biometric security, PDA attacks, Build a custom firewall computer, and more...

    Tuesday, November 01, 2005

    Secure Earth - Those Pesky UFOs

    Admit it. It’s a common problem everyone’s faced. You wake up in the morning wondering, “Where were UFOs sighted last May?” and had nowhere to look. Well, now you do.

    Hooking into Google Maps, these people have created a visual indication of reported sightings. Make sure to click on a UFO to get the details on a sighting.

    They’ve also created some other interesting maps using the same system.

    Bluetooth Scanning goes Mainstream

    In the last week, Network Chemistry and Airmagnet both released free Windows utilities that scan for Bluetooth devices... With the release of these easy-to-use utilities, are we now on the verge of a "BlueDriving" age? Interesting piece at tomsnetworking.
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