Coffee, tea or should we feel your pregnant wife's breasts?
Well, like most of you I've read many personal accounts of the change in air travel since 9/11. But this one packs a major wallop, well written, infuriating and containing one of the best concluding sentences . . . ever. ( via Blogdex
At InfoSecuity 2002,
an annual corporate security conference, new "computer forensics" software is on display, including software "that allows corporate IT folks to research employees' criminal histories, credit information, financial asset details, friends and associates. "
The software is called Red Alert 2.0
, and more specifically the research software is an optional subscription based add-on called Intelligent Information Dossier plus. Isn't this tantamount to your employer spying on your private life, in real time?
As I work for a very large military contractor
myself, I could easily see something like this being used where I work. Would you feel comfortable working for a company that uses this sort of intrusive software?
A Mac user scorned is a dangerous thing...
Gotta hand it to this guy: persistence pays off. After being scammed with $3000 in forged cashier checques in an eBay transaction, this seller took matters into his own hands. How secure do you feel making transaction over eBay and related services? What kinds of internet fraud have you faced or fear? And most interesting of all, to what extent have you gone to correct evils done to you?
This article is about new border crossing security measures that are supposedly in the works.
Cross the U.S. border in a few years, and a hidden camera may zero in on you from 150 metres away, able to recognize you by the shape of your face, perhaps by the telltale markings of your eyeball or even in the way you walk past the border guard.
In milliseconds, a supercomputer would sift through a massive "data warehouse," able to dip into your life: Credit-card purchases, travel patterns, health and banking records would all be scanned. Your old telephone conversations -- in any language -- would be instantly available, along with e-mails that you sent years ago.
Perhaps they'll even be able to read your MetaFilter posts.
Is state government finally doing something right?
Who knows? this seems legit enough. Apparently, if you register you can get cyber security alerts
delivered to your mailbox. Can I register if I'm from say, Nebraska? Furthermore, how real
is the threat to Florida's cyber infrastructure anyways?
Someone set us up the bomb. The Bomb Project is a comprehensive on-line compendium of nuclear-related links, imagery and documentation. It makes accessible the declassified files and graphic documentation produced by the nuclear industry itself, providing a context for comparative study, analysis and creativity. (courtesy of Bruce Sterling's Infinite Matrix)
"The first flight we took my wife and I, we were greeted by a ticket agent who cheerfully told us that we had been selected randomly for a special security check. Then it began to happen at every single stop, at every single airport. The random process took on a 100 per cent certitude." Canadian award winning writer Rohinton Mistry cancels his US book tour after being subjected to racial profiling.
The Mark of the Beast?
After the quick FDA approval of implantable human chips
, Applied Digital Solutions
, the manufacturer of the chips, has already launched a national campaign with the tagline "Get Chipped", and people are lining up
. Other's are afraid, for one reason
The US government recently released a draft of the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace
, essentially it advocates ensuring security through consensus, with vendors, government agencies and consumers taking responsibility for the tools they use. That's not enough for Marcus Ranman who in the TISC
newsletter advocates passing legislation mandating consumers and ISPs
to install firewalls and anti-viral software. At what point does an individuals (corporate or consumer) chosen level of computer security become a concern for the federal government?
While MS-bashing is often too easy, this statement about recent security holes
seemed especially astounding: "Outlook Express ships with every Windows system, or rather as part of IE, so it's on every system. But unless it is configured to receive mail, you are not at risk," said Scott Culp, manager for Microsoft security response. Interesting. Unless it is configured to receive mail
, like, you know, an email program.
Shots Fired at the UN
- So much for heightened security.
Student arrested with boxcutter & scissors.
But the thing that really boggled my mind was this:
"Since February, we've taken more than 25,000 boxcutters from carry-ons and off of passengers. We've taken more than 500 firearms and 215,000 knives," Johnson said."
For one thing, I guess I had never realized how much box cutting went on in the US - but the bizarre piece is the guns. A half dozen I can see, but five freakin' hundred
? How can that many people - in the post 9/11 world - still be trying to get serious weapony onto airplanes?
Turkish Police Seize 33lbs of Weapons-Grade Uranium.
The destination of the Uranium is still under investigation but it was seized 155 miles from the Iraqi border.
Preventing Piracy With Krazy Glue.
(NY Times) Man...what will they think of next?
Attempted hijack on Dallas to Houston flight?
RTE in Ireland is reporting an American Airlines jet bound for Dallas, Texas returned to Houston Airport shortly after takeoff because of what an airlines spokesman called 'a security incident' on board...just a precaution or was something serious going on?
''Am I proud to have served my country? Hardly.
On September 11, I will awaken at dawn. I will retrieve all my variously colored medals from their little box in my dresser drawer. I'll put my robe on, go into my daughter's room and tell her I love her. I will unlock the deadbolt (my homeland security), and proceed out the front door, remove the lid to the trashcan, and throw my medals in the garbage, where they belong." (via yellowtimes.org)
Napoleon once said he could make men fight and die for brass, and bits of colored ribbon. There will be no more fitting memorial for September 11 than destroying the symbols of a way that contributed so mightily to the terrible events of that day....an American Waterloo.
If you've ever flown commercially in the past 16 years, you had to answer two questions about your luggage before receiving your boarding pass. Starting today, they are no longer required
since they "never prevented a bombing or hijacking."
Open Source or Bust?
"Named the "Digital Software Security Act," the proposal essentially would make California the "Live Free or Die" state when it comes to software. If enacted as written, state agencies would be able to buy software only from companies that do not place restrictions on use or access to source code. The agencies would also be given the freedom to "make and distribute copies of the software."" If open source wants to be taken seriously, shouldn't it compete on the merits (or with martketing) rather than forcing gov't agencies to use it?
"The national security of the United States of America has been hijacked ..."
why should'nt we trust what scott ritter has to say - more than bush and his shadowy bunch of cronies?
Does Security Trump Union Rights?
It has always seemed to me that collective bargaining
is a fair way for workers to create a balance of power. Do unions
still have a role?
And how many rights
is it okay to lose in the name of security?
Is the passenger screening
less secure than purely random screening? According to the write-up in this paper, complete with probabilistic analysis and computer simulation, the answer is yes. I've hijacked the link from BoingBoing
Paranoia or prudence? You decide.
Seven people from an American Trans Air Chicago to New York flight were questioned by police, then released after a fellow passenger alerted flight attendants when she saw them "passing notes and changing seats". The plane was escorted to La Guardia by F-16's. Does this sound like safeguarding our freedom or are we getting rather creepy here?
This is some scary stuff
Life in prison for malicious hacking? We can't keep rapists and murderers away from society for very long but now hackers & crackers could be jailed for life? And on top of that the FBI can monitor internet packets without a warrant?
If you enjoy your freedom from gov't surveillance, it looks like it's time to start using PGP
Using Internet Explorer, Outlook, or Outlook Express on a PC? There's a new hack in town
, ready to exploit cross site scripts like nobody's business. Do yourself a favor and disarm ActiveX on your settings.
Gunman kills one at LAX El Al terminal
, is killed by security personnel. Developing.
Happy freakin' Fourth of July.
Did you install it yet?
You may want to think twice. That new software update for Windows Media Player isn't just a security update, if you read the End User License Agreement carefully, it states:
"In order to protect the integrity of content and software protected by digital rights management 'Secure Content', Microsoft may provide security related updates to the OS Components that will be automatically downloaded onto your computer."
Does anyone know anything more about this? How about recommendations for a suitable replacement for WMP?
First JPEG virus discovered...
"The W32/Perrun virus, as it is now being called, extracts data from JPEG files and then injects picture files with infected digital images. A fair warning to those individuals who are fond of sending multimedia files to friends and families." Is everyone's porn stash threatened now?
BBC's Newsnight reports on a massive security oversight that makes unencrypted NATO video surveillance available on the Internet
"Nato surveillance flights in the Balkans are beaming their pictures over an insecure satellite link - and anyone can tune in and watch their operations live," reports Mark Urban of BBC2's late-night news analysis show.
Near-realtime footage of NATO surveillance operations in the Balkans is routinely gathered by spy planes and returned to base as an encrypted signal and then forwarded to intelligence facilities in the US. However, when they are beamed back to Europe for analysis at NATO headquarters, no encryption is used. It is possible to tune into and watch these live video feeds (complete with map references and information about the type of aircraft in use) and so, in theory, an unfriendly agency could use the pictures to see what troops are up to and who they are watching. How long before this loophole is acknowledged and closed? Or should all surveillance data be made ever more available to whoever wants it?
have a place in society anymore? Or is it incompatible
with a crowded and technologically-advanced world? If we must submit to constant surveillance, who should we trust to watch
I had trouble sleeping Saturday night because of a CNN story
suggesting that "increased level of chatter and activity" indicated that "another al Qaeda terrorist operation could be in the works." The "warnings" have been coming ever since: Cheney said Sunday that future attacks were "almost a certainty"
and FBI director Robert Mueller stated "we will not be able to stop it"
, with Ridge
spinning similar tales today. Is there a new threat? Ridge hasn't changed the nation's security alert from "yellow," and
AP reported today
that "a top White House aide said last week's criticism prompted a two-pronged political response: Bush accused Democrats of playing politics with the issue as his advisers reminded voters that America is still a target
Fun with Fingerprint Readers.
A Japanese cryptoanalyst recently found that he could reliably fool biometric fingerprint scanners using only gelatin like that found in gummy bears. Not only could he create a fake finger using the original, he was also successful in fooling the scanners based on a gelatin mold of a fingerprint lifted from a piece of glass.
President Bush was told that Osama bin Laden might be plotting to hijack U.S. passenger planes well before September 11th.
The warning was never made public. AP reported earlier this month that FBI headquarters did not act on a memo last July from its Arizona office warning there were a large number of Arabs seeking pilot, security and airport operations training. Said a spokeman for Sen. Bob Graham, Senate Intelligence Committee chair: "It represents a failure to connect the dots."
We don't like your name - you don't get to fly.
At least not without a great deal of hassle. A 70 year old black woman is repeatedly subjected to lengthy delays by US Airways. Why? Because her name is similar to an alias used by a person who murdered his wife and kids. The interesting part? He's a 28 year old white man. Apprehended 3 months before
the incidents described in the article.
Competition to "reverse engineer" mystery program.
Another cool thingy from the HoneyNet Project
; they're inviting people to convert a binary file into its original source. So, who's participating?
Hollings privacy bill really a trojan horse for spyware and data miners?
But Hollings' bill should outrage Internet users just as much as Brilliant Digital's spyware. For while it talks a good game about protecting "sensitive" information, the truth is that it would place a congressional stamp of approval on precisely the kinds of practices that purveyors of spyware are eager to engage in.
How much freedom should we trade for our security?
That is the title of this years Economist/Shell essay competition. The winner will receive $20,000 as well as inclusion in The Economist: The World in 2003. The closing date is August 15. Anyone feel like entering? If I can learn to write English in time I may submit an essay that takes the form of a discussion between a 68 year old Japanese American ex-internee and a 7 year old Israeli girl.
Another gaping hole in Internet Explorer. This one's pretty alarming. Mozilla, anyone?
How to Think About Security
from Bruce Schneier's Cryptogram. It's a brief discussion with a five point filter to use when evaluating security measures. Good food for thought and best of all, he echos many things I've already spouted off about airport security...
Biometric authentication system.
Starship Enterprise? No, Kenworth. Their new T800 High-Tech Truck
is loaded with security features for the long haul. Could airplane manufacturers learn a thing or two from the grand-daddy of big rigs?
"You can't professionalize unless you federalize",
we were told. So, this is a professional case of giardia
, I guess. Still, the kid COULD have mentioned that the muck was a project, and not his favorite tonic.
Would you fly with them?
Having the information, whatever you think it proves, would you get on the plane to find out what's behind it?
Robot Guard Dogs
- two new types of robo-dog on their way to market (in Japan) next year from Sanyo (the T7S Type 1
and Type 2
) About 3 feet long, 80 pounds of Aibo-style security for $750. Cool factor - their onboard CCD cameras and cell phones can watch for intruders and beam images to your own 3G phone.
Stick with WinAmp, not RealOne or WMP...
Security vulnerability with RealOne
and Windows Media Player
, but not with WinAmp
Microsoft Windows + NSA = loopholes in security:
"A careless mistake by Microsoft programmers has revealed that special access codes prepared by the US National Security Agency have been secretly built into [almost all versions of] Windows." an interesting article that really shouldnt be surprising, and all the more reason to buy a mac.
Robbers escape with $3m (£2.1m) in cash after hijacking a van at Heathrow Airport, London, the second such raid there in recent weeks.
Nice to see that security has improved then, at the worlds busiest airport
Air Canada bans Salman Rushdie
because "the extra security required for him to fly could mean long delays for other passengers." Extra security? You mean it isn't at maximum already?
Winona Ryder Tape exonerates her?
Apparently the tape shows nothing about Winona Ryder removing security tags, contrary to what police said about it. Also, her attourney makes a really cheesy Girl Interrupted
No Profiling, No Saftey? ...to placate special interest groups that fear profiling will result in widespread racial or religious discrimination, authorities are imposing screening quotas that are unlikely to thwart a future terrorist attack. They should be doing the very opposite by creating more sophisticated profiling systems that catch real criminals.
Is it really "damned if they do, damned if they don't" or is there a better way?