684 posts tagged with security.
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Apple forces upgrade for security

Unlike Microsoft, which supports their OS releases for 5 years, Apple is forcing users to purchase new OSX 10.3 to fix security issues. No support is provided for any other OSs in the OSX family.

Sounds like an open door for intentional software bugs and issues.
posted by omidius on Oct 30, 2003 - 30 comments

Diebold protestors stand ground

"If voting could really change things, it would be illegal." More fun from Diebold: on Tuesday, two PA-based student groups announced they will engage in "electronic civil disobedience" by ignoring Diebold's demands to remove public access to leaked memos from Diebold offices, which indicate among other things "...that Diebold, which counts the votes in 37 states, knowingly created an electronic system which allows anyone with access to the machines to add and delete votes without detection."
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Oct 22, 2003 - 49 comments

20-year old college student calls the TSA and tells them security is below-par. Then he proves it.

20-year old college student calls the TSA and tells them security is below-par. Then he proves it. Taking the hacker's ethic of "exposing weakness for the greater good, law be damned" this guy did just that by planting knives and other objects with little notes admonishing the TSA. Feeling safe yet? The TSA thinks we should be.
posted by skallas on Oct 17, 2003 - 52 comments

The 5pm Deadline is approaching,

The 5pm Deadline is approaching, but the White House doesn't care. The White House--expected to turn in all documents relevant to the Justice Department investigation of the Plame affair--has instead decided that a team of lawyers ought to spend two weeks determining which evidence can be used against their clients. Meanwhile, President Bush continues his two-month initiative to get to the bottom of the matter himself.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly on Oct 7, 2003 - 21 comments

FBI Stomping on protected speech

The Subpoenas are Coming! The FBI, in an attempt to prosecute Adrian Lamo (discussed here) is sending letters to journalists telling them to secretly prepare to turn over their notes, e-mails and sources to the bureau. And by secretly, they mean don't tell your colleagues, editors or lawyers, or risk facing obstruction of justice charges. (Via dailyrotten)
posted by Officeslacker on Sep 30, 2003 - 11 comments

RFID: Taking Away Your Privacy One Product at a Time

We've discussed it before, but RFID, that fun-loving little radio transmitter that can be attached to everything from that stereo system to a carton of milk, is plowing ahead faster than you can say "unregulated." Earlier this year, Wal-Mart issued a mandate that required its top 100 suppliers to include RFIDs on their merchandise by 2005, bringing new meaning to the phrase "panties in a bunch." (Incidentally, Wal-Mart was also the benign corporation that ushered in bar codes for mass consumption in the late 70s and early 80s.) With no regulations on the table, the New York Times reports that the Defense Department plans to issue a statement requiring all suppliers to use RFID. Hitachi has even offered to put it in your currency. Imagine a store a few years from now that can track all of the objects in your cart, and that, thanks to a microscopic RFID stuck to your shoe when you slide through the doors, can determine how many seconds you or your children react to a display. Imagine a world that tracks exactly where each one of your dollar bills go. (So much for the anonymity of johns and porn enthusiasts.) Is this the kind of world we want to abdicate to large retail corporations? Is this the kind of information that governments or private institutions are entitled to know? Discuss.
posted by ed on Sep 29, 2003 - 96 comments

Whisky of Mass Destruction

Weapons of Mass Drunkenness. The ever vigilante U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency has been monitoring the web cams at the Bruichladdich Scotch Whisky Distillery on Islay island, Scotland, to make sure the facilities are not being used to make chemical weapons. I, for one, am glad to know that my government takes the safety of whiskey distilleries seriously. [First link via Boing Boing.]
posted by homunculus on Sep 27, 2003 - 12 comments

UN Security Council.

Does India belong on the UN security council? A fascinating analysis of UN politics from a developing country's perspective.
posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy on Sep 23, 2003 - 15 comments

Border Breach?

Amazing security! They’ll screen you at airports, they’ll check your emails, they’ll arrest and hold you without obvious reason. Yes, they say this is the way to make America safer. But, hell…
posted by acrobat on Sep 12, 2003 - 20 comments

visit the house

White house open to tours again to the public on September 16th-only by reservation that is. How do you get a reservation? Submit your full name, date of birth, social security number and a copy of a photo ID-to your member of Congress for a security "screening". Visit the house paid for by you.
posted by omidius on Sep 8, 2003 - 16 comments


New Phase for Sobig.f Expected to Hit Friday. Any . . . minute . . . now. . .
posted by archimago on Aug 22, 2003 - 37 comments

Stupid Security

The intent of stupidsecurity.com is to expose a particularly seamy aspect of modern life -- misguided thrashings labeled "security" and defended -- if at all -- by an appeal to paranoia.  My hope is that by providing a chronicle of really stupid security measures, we can make it more uncomfortable for pointy haired bosses of various types to approve really stupid security measures. [via codemode.org]
posted by soundofsuburbia on Aug 3, 2003 - 14 comments

'Suspected terrorist' removed from flight

EFF co-founder John Gilmore was prevented from flying because he was wearing a button deemed to be in "poor taste" and refused to take it off. Seems he won't be flying anywhere for a while, unless he wins his court case. [Source: Boing Boing]
posted by cbrody on Jul 19, 2003 - 140 comments

Eyes in the Skies

Southeast Airlines has plans to install digital video cameras throughout the cabins of its planes to record the faces and activities of its passengers at all times. Furthermore, the charter airline will store the digitized video for up to 10 years. And it may use face recognition software to match faces to names and personal records.
posted by Irontom on Jul 18, 2003 - 17 comments

What do you know about CALEA?

Bob Cringely thinks the government's information gathering capability is a disaster waiting to happen. Does our government have too much faith in computers as a solution to our problems? Just as electronic voting is looked at skeptically by the computer-savvy among us, so should the use of computers to gather information.
posted by TedW on Jul 16, 2003 - 13 comments

Rumsfeld made his own intelligence

Rumsfeld's personal spy ring The defense secretary couldn't count on the CIA or the State Department to provide a pretext for war in Iraq. So he created a new agency that would tell him what he wanted to hear. Today, Salon also looks into the role played by John Bolton. Is investigative journalism now just relegated to the web? [you have to look at an ad, I believe]
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly on Jul 15, 2003 - 26 comments

Tampering with democracy

Are our elections fixed? Diebold Election Systems makes electronic voting machines being installed throughout the US. The problem? The systems contain serious security flaws that could possibly have been the reason for major swings in vote counts and discrepancies with exit polling. Also, a step-by-step guide to manipulating Diebold results -- and covering your tracks.
posted by dogmatic on Jul 9, 2003 - 40 comments

Universal Surveillance, Inc.

RFID tagging and tracking plans (mirror 1, mirror 2) With the tag line "Identify Any Object Anywhere Automatically", this group (the MIT Auto-ID Center) is leading the way into our bold new future of total tracking. {Originally uncovered by CASPIAN (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering)}
posted by Irontom on Jul 8, 2003 - 18 comments

Police abandon photo targets

Apologies come from the top Queensland, Australia: "QUEENSLAND'S elite anti-terrorism police will no longer use photos of real people in target practice after concerns were raised by indigenous and civil liberties groups." Dp the police have the right to use someone's mugshot for target practice, without permission or consent?
posted by skinsuit on Jul 7, 2003 - 16 comments

It Takes a Village, People

DOJ Introduces New Threat Levels Citizens should be alert, but continue to go about their normal daily spending activities.
posted by kirkaracha on Jul 6, 2003 - 12 comments

Will this technology fly?

Would you prefer this to being patted down? A scanner the government is testing for airport screening reveals much more than meets the eye to be comfortable for most passengers. The agency hopes to modify the machines with an electronic fig leaf - programming that fuzzes out sensitive body parts or distorts the body so it does not appear so, well, graphic.
posted by orange swan on Jun 26, 2003 - 38 comments


The RAPTOR Mark III - "The RAPTOR Mark III is the fastest and most versatile security vehicle in the world. It mounts a devastating choice of firepower as well as a comprehensive assortment of non-lethal weapons, all interchangeable and deployed through a retractable top."

You in the Hummer 2! Hold on a second... via William Gibson's blog
posted by GriffX on Jun 13, 2003 - 24 comments

homeland security alerts

Arizona may ignore the next Homeland Security Orange Alert "It creates incredible problems: overtime, financial, functional," said Frank Navarrete, the state's homeland security director. "It's not quite to the point where it creates havoc, but it's quite disruptive."
posted by thedailygrowl on Jun 4, 2003 - 22 comments

Passing The Buck On Homeland Security

I've written before about the myth of the heartland--roughly speaking, the "red states," which voted for George W. Bush in the 2000 election, as opposed to the "blue states," which voted for Al Gore. The nation's interior is supposedly a place of rugged individualists, unlike the spongers and whiners along the coasts. In reality, of course, rural states are heavily subsidized by urban states. New Jersey pays about $1.50 in federal taxes for every dollar it gets in return; Montana receives about $1.75 in federal spending for every dollar it pays in taxes.

Any sensible program of spending on homeland security would at least partly redress this balance. The most natural targets for terrorism lie in or near great metropolitan areas; surely protecting those areas is the highest priority, right?

Apparently not. Even in the first months after Sept. 11, Republican lawmakers made it clear that they would not support any major effort to rebuild or even secure New York. And now that anti-urban prejudice has taken statistical form: under the formula the Department of Homeland Security has adopted for handing out money, it spends 7 times as much protecting each resident of Wyoming as it does protecting each resident of New York.

Paul Krugman, cited by Eric Alterman in regards to Jonathan Chait's The 9/10 President, a story we all seemed to have missed. Not long ago, the Washington Post carried Begging, Borrowing for Security.
Welcome to Trickle Down Homeland Security.
posted by y2karl on Apr 21, 2003 - 27 comments


A "Disappearance" In America - Arrested without charge. Secret warrants and subpoenas. No arrest record. No accusation of a crime. Solitary confinement. No access to a lawyer. No comment from the authorities. No court appearance. In other countries, this would be a "disappearance". Here in America, it's just the Patriot Act at work. Read the story of Mike Hawash, and ponder where this country is headed.
posted by laz-e-boy on Apr 7, 2003 - 44 comments

Freedom vs. Security cost benefit analysis

Civil liberties and privacy may be priceless, but they may soon have a price tag. In this NYT article, describes efforts by the White House Office of Management and Budget to quantify the cost of enhanced security and lessened liberties. "As long as they're going to deal with monetary evaluations, I told them they should start asking about the cost of destroying democracy," said Mr. Nader.
posted by Birichini on Mar 11, 2003 - 10 comments

Big Brother Is Watching You...Idiotically

Nominate the world's stupidest security procedure. UK-based watchdog group, Privacy International, is accepting nominations until March 15th from the general public about the most annoying and invasive security measures with the lowest effectiveness in protecting individual safety. What would you nominate?
posted by jonp72 on Mar 6, 2003 - 19 comments


U.S. BUNKERS: Life assurance, not life insurance. If you lack faith in duct tape and plastic sheeting, perhaps this is the solution for you.
posted by aladfar on Feb 26, 2003 - 9 comments

It's Justice Time!

Know what time it is, Kidz? It's U.S. Department of Justice Time!

On today's show, we'll learn why Hacking is REAL BAD, and give you a chance to find out if you are a good cybercitizen. Next, we'll meet Axel, the talking drug dog, and his friends the Bomb Dog Bunch! Then, we'll check in on the ATF, for some cool science fair ideas.

And finally, just for you kids with crooks or international terrorists for parents, here's a nifty PDF coloring book (Native American version also available).
posted by eatitlive on Feb 25, 2003 - 11 comments

How to guide to taking over the country's nuclear secrets

In this exposé a Wired News reporter easily gains access to some sensitive areas of the Los Alamos National Lab, and brings back pictures to prove it. While certainly an embarrassment for a place throwing workshops on homeland security (and doubly so because their seminars started today), is it wise for Wired News to post essentially a how-to guide on breaking into the lab where America's nuclear secrets reside?
posted by mathowie on Feb 25, 2003 - 17 comments

Terror alert level goes orange

Bush will raise the national terror threat level today from yellow to orange (CNN). This means little to us here in NYC where we've already been at orange. (At least that's what I've heard, although orange looks like a brownish color on my TV screen and a sort of muddy green on my computer monitor.) What, if anything, will your town, city, state, company, family do in response to this heightened threat level?
posted by jellybuzz on Feb 7, 2003 - 58 comments

Microsoft = Megatarget.

Microsoft = Megatarget. A new worm is rapidly spreading across the Internet, functioning like a massive DDOS attack and crippling ISPs in South Korea. It's host? Microsoft SQL server. (Get yor fix on, then reboot!) What impact will it have over here, I wonder...
posted by insomnia_lj on Jan 25, 2003 - 63 comments

Master keys easy to make.

Anyone with access to a lock and key can easily create a master key. An AT&T Labs researcher has discovered that most master-key lock systems are vulnerable. NY Times (reg. req'd) reports that the technique is known, but not widely known. For instance, it does not appear in the ubiquitous document formerly known as the MIT Guide to Lockpicking. The AT&T Labs-Research paper is troubling some security experts, one of whom said that the "technique could open doors worldwide for criminals and terrorists." Because publishing the paper "could lead to an increase in thefts and other crimes, it presented an ethical quandary" for the researcher (Matt Blaze) and AT&T Labs-Research.
posted by found missing on Jan 23, 2003 - 27 comments

But Can I Bring My Spear Gun?

What should I pack? According to the official list Toy Transformer Robots are OK (presumably real ones are not), but I'll have to put my throwing stars in my checked luggage.
posted by JoanArkham on Jan 15, 2003 - 31 comments

Mitnick and Me

Mitnick and Me. Kevin Mitnick's girlfriend, TechTV producer Darci Wood, blogs their lives and defends his activities in anticipation of Kevin's return to the Internet later this month. Mitnick anticipates the end of his probation in today's NY Times.
posted by PrinceValium on Jan 12, 2003 - 9 comments

Let's make the mall a little more surreal

Shopping Bliss "Selected police officers were tasked to wear mascot costumes as they patrol the shopping malls in the capital to make their presence less obtrusive and more friendly." - welcome to mall security, LSD style.
posted by jdaura on Jan 5, 2003 - 18 comments

Coffee, Tea or should we feel your pregnant wife's breasts

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 )
posted by jeremias on Dec 22, 2002 - 138 comments

Red Alert!!

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?
posted by SweetJesus on Dec 13, 2002 - 21 comments

E-Bay Scammers and Internet Fraud

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?
posted by tgrundke on Dec 12, 2002 - 51 comments

Reasonable security measures or invasion of privacy?

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.
posted by orange swan on Nov 25, 2002 - 36 comments

Is state government finally doing something right?

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?
posted by Captain Supermarket on Nov 21, 2002 - 11 comments

Someone set us up the bomb.

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)
posted by crunchland on Nov 11, 2002 - 6 comments

Detailed collection of resources about the movement to reform the UN Security Council, including news, data and commentary.
posted by mediareport on Nov 11, 2002 - 5 comments

"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.
posted by tranquileye on Nov 3, 2002 - 78 comments

The Mark of the Beast?

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 or another.
posted by Espoo2 on Oct 25, 2002 - 28 comments

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?
posted by cedar on Oct 17, 2002 - 7 comments

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.
posted by judith on Oct 11, 2002 - 30 comments

Shots Fired at the UN

Shots Fired at the UN - So much for heightened security.
posted by mikhail on Oct 3, 2002 - 32 comments

Student arrested with boxcutter & scissors.

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?
posted by MidasMulligan on Sep 30, 2002 - 45 comments

Turkish Police Seize 33lbs of Weapons-Grade Uranium.

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.
posted by Mick on Sep 28, 2002 - 43 comments

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