blackberry

A new program called PhoneSnoop was recently released that lets people listen in on BlackBerry user’s  phone conversation without their knowledge. The way it works is that when a specific number calls you, your BlackBerry will automatically answer it and put it on speaker phone.

Unlike regular viruses and spyware that you get on computers just by surfing a website or opening up an e-mail, this program has to be installed on your phone by someone with physical access to it. So unless you give out your BlackBerry to people to mess with, you should be pretty safe. But if there’s someone in your life that may be concerned about your personal business, you may want to keep your BlackBerry guarded.

But just in case you are still worried about the security of your BlackBerry, a new tool called “Kisses” has been made just for that. It finds any hidden apps that are on your phone and lets you uninstall them.

(Via CNET)

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today

 

This week, the Today Show showcased “over the top” gadgets for Halloween and ways to keep your kids safe while they’re out trick-or-treating. Showcasing the BrickHouse Child Locator, they explained how the devices helps you locate your child even when in costume or a group of kids.

 

They also showed a GPS tracking device for your older kids that are out on their own. This second tracker is the Spark Nano Real-Time GPS Tracking Device. The great thing about this one is that the battery lasts on it for 5 days on a single charge and it can be tracked from anywhere through the Internet. This is different from the BrickHouse Child Locator since it uses GPS to locate your kids instead of RFID, which is more used for directional guidance.  Whatever age your kids are, make sure that they are safe this Halloween.

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sanford Sanford Wallace, an Internet marketer who is notoriously known as the “Spam King” for sending out as many as 30 million junk e-mails a day in the 1990′s, was found guilty in court for spamming Facebook and now has to pay them $711 million in damages. He is charged with hacking into user’s accounts and sending out phony messages and posts trying to make money from the users (which apparently he made tons of, and it’s not the first time).

In May, 2008, he did the same thing with MySpace, in which case he was also caught and forced to pay the social media site $230 million. And once again before that, $4 million for running an operation that spread a spyware virus.

Aside from having to pay such a huge amount of money, again, Wallace might also face jail time since the government is cracking down on cyber crime and Internet fraud.

(Via HuffingtonPost
)

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xray-scanner A Manchester Airport is testing a new X-Ray scanner that allows people to simply walk through a scanner for a few seconds without having to remove their clothes or get patted down. The way this scanner works is that it uses magnets to create a black and white 3D image of a person, allowing security personnel to see right through their clothes to reveal any hidden items. These scanners are also completely safe and “Passengers can go through this machine 5,000 times a year each without worrying. The amount of radiation transmitted is tiny.”

This will make finding weapons and explosives very easy since you can see any kind object the person is carrying. There are some objections to this device since it will show breast enlargements, body piercings, and a clear black-and-white outline of passengers’ genitals. The company claims that the pictures are immediately checked then deleted and will not be stored. For these people that do not want to go through it they can just ask to be patted down and checked the old fashioned way.

The scanners, manufactured by RapiScan Systems, have already been tested in Heathrow Airport from 2004 to 2008 and proven to be very effective. Airports are considering wider use of these scanners in the future and are also slowly being rolled out across major cities like New York and Los Angeles.

(Via BBC)

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hacked-phoneRecently cyber criminals found a new platform for their latest hacks:  Internet phone services. VoiP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) has becoming increasingly used and its particularly susceptible to hacker attack.

In the past few weeks, dozens of telephone systems across the country have been hacked into. Once hacked, these phones will automatically call banking customers and trick them into giving out sensitive financial information.  Typically the hackers target small businesses as they are least likely to have proper system defenses. Once hacked, when a customer receives a call, a prerecorded message will play telling them that there has been a bank error and that their accounts have been temporarily suspended. It then prompts the customer to enter his account or ATM card number, which the hacker then uses to open fake debit cards and clean out the accounts. As more phone systems move to the Internet, this new technology is more susceptible to attack due to weak or non existant defenses.

(Via CIO.com)

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hackedThe U.S. is preparing a new report for the Congressional panel that shows evidence of China launching cyber attacks to steal U.S. government and industry secrets. Since these attacks are using a lot more resources than your average hacker would have access too, the evidence points to the fact that these attacks are not being performed by some regular hacker who happens to just be based out of China.

The report says: “The problem is characterized by disciplined, standardized operations, sophisticated techniques, access to high-end software development resources, a deep knowledge of the targeted networks, and an ability to sustain activities inside targeted networks, sometimes over a period of months”

These attacks have been made on government computers, including those belonging to the Department of State, the White House, NASA, and Department of Defense agencies. Most of the files stolen were defense and policy related which further suggests that it was a government doing this and not just some random hacker. The hackers also knew exactly what they were doing and had total access to everything. The report states that:

“Analysis of the operation suggests that the adversaries previously identified specific directories, file shares, servers, user accounts, employee full names, password policies, and group memberships on the network, likely during their detailed reconnaissance phase”

It’s a known fact that China has been working on strategies for “information warfare” for the last 10 years, which might just be the case here. In response to this and other possible threats the U.S. government has also been developing its own cybersecurity and cyberwar capabilities, most recently bringing cyberwar responsibilities under the leadership of a new Cyber Command, headed by NSA director Keith Alexander.

(Via InformationWeek)

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cameraThere has always been somewhat of a struggle involved when trying to get people to actively participate in their communities safety. However a new innovative and cooperative system used to get people to participate in their safety, has been implemented in England.

Internet Eyes is a new “game” where the public is invited to watch thousands of CCTV cameras for criminal activity. The way the game works is that they have thousands of people watching thousands of cameras and when someone observes a crime they can report it. There are even prizes given being awarded to those who aid in the capture of criminals. Along with the streaming cameras there will also be a gallery posted that will display the images of wanted criminals. Internet Eyes is totally free to participate in and it is scheduled to launch next month.

According to Internet Eyes, “The locations of the feeds are not disclosed and Viewers reporting remain anonymous. Viewers can earn money by detecting an event that matches the above scenarios. The Viewers notification is sent to an SMS device of the owner of the video feed. The owner of the video feed is known as a Customer. The customer will also get a screenshot sent to their Customer Control Panel. As a Viewer you’ll need to be quick if you’re certain of activity as there maybe other Viewers watching the same video feeds. Only the first notification gets through.”

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Hopefully this new system will help lower crime rates and give people another reason to pay attention to security in their neighborhoods.

(Via Boing Boing)

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stealthibotThe first time I ever saw this technology presented, it was in a closed door session of a Counter Intelligence briefing in a room full of very serious individuals…. “Spies”, if you really must know. After the presentation of its capabilities I remember the stunned looks of unbelief on some of the faces of those individuals….and then the lip curling smiles
that come with the knowing that what we just saw would change everything…..in the world of spying that is.

That lasted about 10 seconds, then the gauntlet was thrown down; “Our anti-virus program will nail this type of threat within minutes” …”we’ve seen this threat before, it’s been floating around for years” …were just a few of the comments from the “Cyber Wizards” in the room. Then the challenge was on!

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1026_barackobama_pass_398x206A blogger who prefers to remain anonymous, has successfully hacked into Barack Obama’s campaign site, BarackObama.com. It appears that the blogger did not have any malicious intent by making the hack known to the public, but rather he released the information about the attack in order to bring attention to the site’s lack of database security.

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larry_johson

Lary Johnson

Larry Johnson, the Kansas City Chiefs running back, was recently suspended for making a gay-slur on his twitter account. According to the Associated Press, at this time he can’t participate in team activities while an investigation into his use of the slur is ongoing.

Johnson issued an apology in which he stated “I regret my actions. The words were used by me in frustration, and they were not appropriate. I did not intend to offend anyone, but that is no excuse for what I said. ”

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