Review Category : Security News

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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Kids Stuck in Drain Use Facebook Status to Call for Help

helpRecently, two young girls in South Australia, aged 10 and 12, found themselves in the precarious situation of being stuck in a storm drain. Armed with their mobile phones, they resorted to Facebook for help. But instead of calling emergency services, they simply updated their Facebook status. Fortunate for them, a friend who was online saw their Facebook status, and took it seriously enough to call for help. Of course had they called for help themselves, the whole rescue process would have been much quicker.

This is one story that totally boggles the mind. Could it be that kids nowadays are growing up with a mindset that social networking is naturally their first form of communication before anything else? It certainly seems so.

(Via Tech Radar)

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GPS Being Used to Track Mamma and Papa Bear

bear2Because of the increased development throughout the state of Florida, the black bear’s habitats have been dwindling in size. As a result, black bears are traveling less, and becoming more isolated.  This isolation results in unhealthy inbreeding. Researchers have turned to GPS to help out the bears. According to Dr. John Cox, head of the South-Central Florida Bear Project, bears need to travel to and from different-bear habitats in order to stay healthy.

“This population of bears is actually losing genetic diversity,” Cox said. “You see that loss of healthy genes in the population over time….That is a sign of isolation.”

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Apple Store Robbed Blind In 31 Seconds – Caught on Camera

apple-storeThe Apple store is one of the most interactive and display-centric stores out there. They have all their top of the line gear on display including iPhones, Macbooks, desktops, and iPods for people to touch and test. Maybe that’s why thieves targeted the Apple store in Marlton, New Jersey.

In a well organized heist, thieves cleaned out the store in an amazing 31 seconds, snagging 23 Macbook Pros, 14 iPhones, and 9 iPod touches. Thieves brandished guns to scare security guards and were in and out before police could even arrive on the scene. Unfortunately, the thieves covered their faces, rendering security footage useless.


(Via Mashable)

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Football Star Saves Busload of Kids From Gun Violence

eulls

Aside from notebooks, pencils, and pens, a 14-year-old girl was apparently packing a gun in her backpack on Monday afternoon. The girl, who had been bullied, pulled out the gun and began to load it, when 18 year-old Kaleb Eulls, a star athlete and now local hero, came to the rescue. He was able to tackle the girl and disarm the gun, ensuring the bus rider’s safety.

Eulls explains, “I just realized something had to be done, and it was just a lot of kids on the bus and [I] couldn’t let anything happen to them,” he said. “I tried to grab her attention, just keep her from pointing it at anyone else in the bus,” he said. In a matter of seconds, the girl was disarmed before any serious damage could be done.

Reports state that the 14 year-old girl (whose identity remains private) was bullied and is now being held in a county youth detention center. She has been charged with possession of a firearm on school property, 22 counts of attempted aggravated assault, and kidnapping.

Embedded video from <a href=”http://www.cnn.com/video” mce_href=”http://www.cnn.com/video”>CNN Video</a>

(Via CNN)

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Angry Man Slaps Child in WalMart

artstephensThere is always something crazy happening at Walmart and yesterday was no exception when Atlanta resident Roger Stephens, 61, decided to make an afternoon visit to the store.

When Stephens heard a 2-year-old crying loudly in the store, he reportedly approached the mother and stated, “If you don’t shut the baby up, I will shut her up for you.” The mother claims that Stephens grabbed the baby and slapped her four times until she was quiet at which point he stated, “See I told you I would shut her up.”

Stephens was then arrested and charged with first-degree cruelty to children. Parents nationwide are outraged at the flagrant display of abuse on an afternoon shopping trip.

(Via CNN)

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GPS Tracker Helps Cops Locate 10,000 Marijuana Plants

marijuana2Police discovered over 10,000 marijuana plants in both Idaho and Oregon with the help of GPS tracking.

Detectives in Ada and Canyon County noticed that there were huge amounts of plastic pipes and water emitters being purchased in cash from local distributors. Suspecting production of an illegal substance, investigators planted GPS trackers on the goods and followed the suspects to their marijuana grow operations where they uncovered 6,000 marijuana plants.

Using similar tactics, police were also able to locate another 4,000 marijuana plants in a remote region of Oregon, apparently connected to this particular grow operation. Authorities arrested three men and charged them in connection to serious marijuana grows in both Idaho and Oregon. Police value the marijuana at millions of dollars.

(Via ABC6 Boise)

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Did a Facebook Status Update Lead to Murder?

fbcheatWe’ve all heard about social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook causing drama in relationships. Questions like “you were WHERE?” and “why would you post a comment on so-and-so’s wall?” have become common confrontations. As if this drama wasn’t bad enough, prosecutors in the U.K. are speculating that shady Facebook activity could have prompted a murder.

Welsh born Brian Lewis has been accused of strangling his partner and the mother of his four children, Hayley Jones. Apparently prosecutors are looking towards Facebook as the possible precipitate for the crime.

Jones had become very involved with Facebook and her buddies online. She began hiding the site from her partner and preventing him from looking at her profile or viewing her friends. Ten days before the murder, Jones changed her status from “in a relationship” to “single.”

Psychologists have confirmed that Facebook increases jealousy in relationships, which in turn is  a common motivator for murder. The trial is ongoing but the outcome doesn’t look very good for Lewis, since he reportedly told authorities on the phone that he had just strangled his partner.

(Via Mashable)

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Zeus Instant Messaging Trojan Lets Hackers Steal Your Financial Data

eyeimWith the recent release of Mac’s Snow Leopard and the upcoming Windows 7, it’s  only natural that hackers gave their viruses an upgrade as well. According to security company RSA, the Zeus trojan virus now employs the use of instant messaging. After the Zeus trojan has gotten a hold of someone’s account, a hacker will automatically receive an instant message notifying him that that his hack was successful.

Once installed on a PC, the Zeus virus sends the hacker the user’s log-in information and passwords. Then a module, that can be applied to the virus, can search for information specifically concerning financial institutions. A security company called Damballa estimates that the number of PCs that have been infected with the virus are currently at around 3.6 million,  making the Zeus Trojan one of the most aggressive invasive malware viruses around.

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Andy Roddick Speaks Out Against Twitter Ban at US Open

twittennisRecently the US Open made the decision that the players who participate in the tournament are not allowed to tweet on twitter. They fear that it may become a security issue if certain information becomes known to the public. Andy Roddick, however, feels that this new rule is completely unnecessary.

According to the Associated Press, Roddick has been using Twitter to express his frustration with signs posted around the US Open facilities warning players that tweeting may be in violation of the Anti-Corruption Program Rules. The US Open fears that if information such as the weather, conditions of the court, or even the conditions of the player, were to be leaked, it could create gambling for the sport.

Roddick responded to this by tweeting “you would seriously have to be a moron to send ‘inside info’ through a tweet.”

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