Review Category : Security News

How to Stop Someone Like Kanye Worst From Stealing Your Spotlight

kanye-west-grabs-the-mic-001On Sunday night, viewers were shocked and disgusted by the inappropriate actions of Kanye West as they watched the VMA’s live. After announcing Taylor Swift as the winner of “Best Female Video of the Year,” Kanye West proceeded to snatch the microphone out of her hand stating that Beyonce should have won. Having a personal opinion towards someone’s style of music is one thing, but stepping in on someone’s acceptance speech to alert the world of your disappointment is something completely different. For Taylor Swift, a moment like receiving your first VMA award is a super-special occasion that should be respected, and protected at all costs. Therefore we at BrickHouse Security have conspired a couple of ways to help keep your spotlight safe when the time comes for you.

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Surveillance Cameras Taking a Bite out of Crime in Newark Public Housing Complex

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A Contract Security worker from Winfield Monitoring the Security feeds

Until recently, the Newark Public Housing Complex was a regular spot for drug dealers to do their business. The drug dealers would hold up a parking lot, customers would make a purchase and they would drive away. But police have made strides in reducing the crime thanks to the over 700 cameras that were recently installed on rooftops, poles and hallways.

The cameras are under 24/7 surveillance and keep a watchful eye on 10,000 city residents and 27 housing complexes. The surveillance systems have helped keep the drug dealers from making open air transactions as well as keeping crack junkies and prostitutes from using the local residences as a hang out. Along with the security cameras, the Housing Complex also taps into the New Jersey state police department to make regular rounds through the houses and the Winfield security company has also been hired to monitor the video cameras.

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Lawyers Use GPS Ankle Bracelet Data to Defend Accused Shooter of Five Year Old Girl

gps_ankle_braceletPolice plan to use GPS coordinates to try and determine the location of a teen involved in the shooting of a five year old girl. Lamont Davis was wearing a GPS ankle bracelet that police cut off when he was arrested. Davis’ defense attorneys have also stated that at least three other witnesses identified another person as the shooter.

A motion was filed in the Baltimore Circuit Court stating that the makers of the GPS ankle device device have records showing that Davis was in violation of his parole at 4:09 pm. The defense attorney’s hope to prove that because the company is based in Nebraska the records reflected Central Daylight Time which would mean that Davis had violated his parole in Baltimore at 5:09 pm. Vicki Anzalone will testify that Davis “no more than 150 feet” from his residence which is half a mile away from the shooting site.

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Peephole Video Revealed – Oprah's Exclusive with Erin Andrews

andrewsAfter months of silence, ESPN anchor Erin Andrews is finally speaking out about the nude peephole video that rocked the nation.  Refusing to give any other interviews on the topic, Andrews says that today’s interview with Oprah will be both her first and last.

Andrews was caught on hidden camera by a peeping tom snooping around her hotel room earlier in the summer. The nude videos seemed to have been taken at multiple locations and were leaked onto the Internet by an anonymous source. Both degraded and humiliated, Andrews is finally speaking out.

“It’s been a nightmare,” Erin says. “I’m ready to wake up.” She describes her feeling when she first say the video, “I opened up the computer, could hear my heart pounding, saw it for two seconds and got hysterical,” she says.

Fearing that this invasion of privacy would damage her career, she described her feelings of panic to host, Oprah Winfrey. She says she still feels panic when she’s in a hotel or her own home, feeling like she’s being videotaped. Law enforcement is trying to pinpoint where exactly the video came from, all while trying to remove every trace of the video online.

Erin says officials have told her this won’t be easy.  “I was told by law enforcement, ‘You’re just going to have to get used to the fact you’ll probably never get it all off,'” she says. “It keeps popping up.”

Although she has been a victim of the Internet, Andrews describes that she has found great comfort in the online community. Victims of similar crimes have reached out to Andrews, hoping that she will be the one to put an end to this type of stalking and abuse.

“I think it will always make me feel nervous. But I also feel it’s my duty to come out and show this person: ‘You know what? I worked hard for my career, and I got there the right way, and you’re not going to break me down,'” she says. “I also feel it’s my responsibility for these women and other victims of video voyeurism to just come out and say: ‘Look, I’m going to show my face. I’m going to get back to work. Let’s do it. You can too.'”

Undeterred, Erin Andrews says she’s looking forward to this year’s football season, covering the games from the sideline for sports mega station ESPN.

(Via Oprah)

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New York City Remembers 9/11

Sept 11 AnniversaryProbably the biggest tragedy in U.S. history, everyone remembers where they were on September 11th, 2001.

I remember visiting the World Trade Center in 5th grade on a family trip from Boston. It was one of the biggest buildings I’d ever seen, and I practically had to bend backwards to see the entire building. I jumped on the elevator to the top, which took much longer than any other elevator and made everyone’s ears pop.  Once I reached the top, I remember stepping out on the deck to huge gusts of winds and the best view that Manhattan had to offer. 5 years later I would have never imagined sitting in math class and hearing that a plane had hit one of the towers. Panic, loss, and sadness. How could such powerful and grandiose buildings fall so easily?

Today, the scene is much different. In the center of Lower Manhattan’s hustling and established Financial District, lies an empty void marked by construction cranes and dirt. 8 years later, the site looks very much similar to the days after the event. The air is heavy and sad.

Today is a somber day in New York City, both in weather and tone, as the nation and world remember the tragic events that took place on that fateful day. Thousands gathered this morning at the site of the World Trade Center to hear the victims’ names read aloud and to listen to words of remembrance. Never forgotten, both New York City and the world are standing behind the victims, the FDNY, the NYPD, and the countless volunteers who contributed hours, time, and their lives on that fated day.

(Via USA Today)


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Police to Install Cameras Inside Notorious Baltimore Pub

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Shirley's Honey Hole as Seen from Google Maps Street View

A bar in Baltimore named Shirley’s Honey Hole, has agreed to having surveillance cameras being installed both inside and outside their premises. These cameras will have a direct feed to the Baltimore Police department. The owner of the bar agreed to the cameras as part of a settlement deal to help keep her bar from being padlocked. She also must close the bar for a month to install the cameras, and she must hire a security guard for to have on premises. The police believe that the bar is a popular spot for drug dealing and also believe that some of the bars costumers have been linked to several recent shootings. By installing surveillance cameras with a live feed going to the police, they believe that bar patrons will feel more secure drinking at Shirley’s, and that ultimately this will be a crime deterrent.

The police have stated that this is still an experimental system and are not sure whether the cameras will stay in the bar indefinitely or if they will be removed after and certain amount of time. They are also unsure as to whether or not they are going to implement this same strategy in other establishments.

The owner of Shirley’s Honey Hole said that she will place two large signs up to let people know that they are being watched.

(Via The Baltimore Sun)


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Hackers Declare War Against Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

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The Prime Minister's Government Web Site

Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd’s website was recently hacked. Rudd’s website www.pm.gov.au were both attacked and brought down at around 7:20pm (AEST). Along with the Prime Minister’s site, the Australian Communications and Media Authority site was also hacked and attacked. Fortunately, both websites were up and running just an hour after the attacks took place.

A post was made on the Inquisitor Blog by the group Anonymous, claiming that they were responsible for the hack. The web attack was a direct response to a Federal Government proposal that would make internet filtering mandatory. The group’s post claims that by making internet filtering mandatory, the government would be blocking legal internet content and would be effectively creating censorship levels such as those seen in China.

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With ATM Attacks on the Rise – Bank Security Fails

atm-machine1ATM attacks seem to be on the rise according to a recent report released by the European Security agency, Enisa. The report shows a 149 percent increase in ATM attacks including 10,302 “skimming” incidents. What is more alarming is the fact that hackers are making moves towards attacking the server networks used by banks to connect the ATM’s to the bank-office systems, which could result in a widespread attack. They plan to install software on the ATM’s that would record the pin information of costumers.

Andrea Pirotti the Executive Director at Enisa said she hopes that the report will raise awareness of the alarming growth of ATM attacks. “ATM crime is likely to become even more attractive as the latest generation of ATMs is designed to dispense other services and products, such as phone top-ups and stamps.”  According to the reports from Enisa, “The thieves collect cad numbers and, if necessary, alter the PIN for the cards they are planning to use. The thieves then sell the cards and their data to other thieves.”

William Beer, the head of the security OneSecurity team at consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers, argued that companies needed to wake up and realize that their ATM’s are becoming a much easier target. “Once upon a time they were running proprietary hardware and using operating systems and network protocols that were definitely not off-the-shelf, and these were difficult for the common criminal to replicate,” said Beer. “The fact that they’ve now moved to off-the-shelf hardware, standard operating systems and open network protocols makes the end game easier for the criminals – there needs to be a clearer recognition that these systems are vulnerable.”

It seems that with ATM attacks on the rise and bank security procedures becoming less and less effective, customers are going to have fewer places to safely store their money. The banking companies that are so concerned with keeping our business should spend some time increasing their security so fewer people start reverting to hiding their money under their mattresses.

(Via www.computing.co.uk)


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$100 Bucks & Hackers Promise Full Access to E-mail Accounts

chick-at-computerDozens of people experience computers hacks everyday spanning from stolen Facebook login credentials that result in embarrassing status updates, to something more serious like bank or identity theft. Stealing these passwords used to be reserved for computer savvy hackers or psycho ex girlfriends, but apparently now all you need is a $100 cash to hack an e-mail account. A website called YourHackerz.com claims that, with the exception of .gov and .edu, they can get the password and effectively hack into any e-mail account. And if you use the same password for multiple accounts, you could be in serious trouble.

Although hacking into someone’s e-mail is considered a federal offense, it is treated like a misdemeanor as long as no other laws are broken. Orin Kerr, a George Washington University law professor and former computer crimes attorney, stated “The Feds don’t usually have the resources to investigate and prosecute misdemeanors. And part of the reason is that normally it’s hard to know when an account has been compromised, because e-mail snooping doesn’t leave a trace.”

However, there are some simple steps that every person can take to help make sure that they are not so easily defeated. Simple things such as keeping passwords secret and consistently changing passwords can greatly decrease the probability of getting hacked. Also, one should refrain from using the same password for more than one account. Using a combination of numbers and letters can also increase password strength, making it harder to figure out and crack. Simple preventative measures is all it takes to help keep yourself a little safer in today’s technological world.

Via (Wtop.com)


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Lost Your iPhone? Gadget Companies Say 'Tough Luck'

kindle1Items like the iPhone and the Kindle make it possible to cram books, music, pictures, and games into one single device with ease. With these devices closely linked to GPS and Internet, consumers would assume that locating these devices would be easy if stolen or lost. High tech gadget companies are telling consumers, think again.

Makers of these high tech devices have taken different approaches when it comes to handling theft and misplacement. Amazon’s Kindle is quickly becoming a favorite for techies but if it’s lost or stolen, well that’s a different story. According to Amazon, the only way the company will deactivate a stolen Kindle is with a phone call AND police report from the cops. This has outraged one  customer in particular who said,  “Amazon knew the device was being used and preferred to sell content to anyone who possessed the device, rather than assist in returning it to its rightful owner.” An Amazon spokesman replied, stating that the company acted in accordance with the law and cooperated with law enforcement officials. “Beyond that, we aren’t going to speculate on hypotheticals.satelliteradio1

Amazon is not the only company with this policy. Sirius XM Radio also needs a subpoena from a police officer before it can discontinue service or release information about one of it’s radios.  Company spokesman Patrick Reilly said the goal of this policy is “to protect the original subscriber who has lost the radio, but also not to incriminate someone who legitimately comes in possession of a radio.” He added “Radios that have been reported stolen are reactivated only after someone provides a “proof of purchase,” like a receipt from eBay.”

iphonepic2iPhone users have a few more options when it comes to lost phones. Using GPS technology, iPhone users can attempt to track and locate a misplaced phone, or they can remotely wipe the phone clean of any sensitive information. Mark Siegal, a spokesman for AT&T, stated “When we address lost or stolen iPhones, all we’re focused on is preventing any charges from accruing to that account. We don’t disable the phone.”

With no policy changes in the works, consumers can look forward to years of frustration from high tech companies. Until then, I recommend being careful with your high tech toys.

(Via NewYorkTimes)



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