Review Category : Security News

New York's Taxi GPS System Succeeds in Recovering a $500K Violin

*Aug 17 - 00:05*22-year-old violinist Hahn-Bin Yoo spent this morning performing Chopin and Kreisler for investigators after they helped find a $500,000 violin he left in the back seat of a New York cab. Yoo had spent Sunday in the Hamptons and ended his night practicing on the borrowed violin at Lincoln Center. Afterwards he got into Dalbir Singh’s cab were he left the 19th century violin in the back seat.

“I was exhausted,” the South Korean native said. “I completely forgot about it.”

After dialing 311 he was, by chance, patched through to one of the cities top detectives Ming Li. Li contacted the Taxi and Limousine Commission and using their GPS tracking systems they were able to determine which cab Yoo had traveled in. Within minutes they were able to contact Dalbir Singh and retrieve the violin. When questioned about the violin Singh simply said  “He is lucky, he was my last fare.” Yoo is actually the city’s second lost violin case in eight days. Gregor Kitzis told police about a pair of violins he accidentally left on the No. 1 train last Sunday. They have yet to be found.

While we have all had the experience of leaving something behind in a cab from time to time, it sounds like more people should be investing in a GPS tracker to attach onto their more valuable possessions, because you might not be so fortunate to recover your items the way Yoo did.

(Via NY Daily News)


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SQL Injection Hack Mastermind Gets Indicted on Conspiracy Charges

fbitacticalThe U.S. Department of Justice announced on Monday that Albert Gonzalez along with two others were being indicted for five new corporate data breaches, aside from his most famous escapade: the infamous TJ Maxx breech that affected 94 million accounts. Gonzalez, indicted in 2008, is the supposed ring leader of a cybercrime enterprise that was able to steal around 170 credit and debit card numbers from companies such as Heartland Payment Systems, Hannaford Brothers Co., and even 7-Eleven. Gonzalez and his cohorts targeted Fortune 500 companies by finding physical and virtual weaknesses within the organizations to exploit.

Investigators were left asking, how did he do it? Gonzalez’ approach was simple. He would first identify point of sale machines and upload information to create a hacking platform. He would then launch a SQL-injection attack on the system using instant messages to relay his discoveries to his partners in crime. Using malware and sniffers they were able to absorb the credit card numbers with relative ease. They avoided detection by using intermediary, or “proxy,” computers and testing their malware against twenty of the leading anti-virus products. While none of these tactics solicit technological genius, it was more than enough to exploit the weak defenses these powerful companies had.

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Despite Attacks, High Tech Security Suveillance Still Ongoing in Afghanistan

kabul460_1462983cIn Afghanistan protective measures are being put into place in order to ensure a safe democratic process for the upcoming presidential elections.  In the town of Kabul alone, there are 46 sensor cameras as well as a high tech security balloon. This balloon floats above the city with high tech cameras attached keeping it under 24 hour surveillance. There are several checkpoints along the town to ensure the safety of the local townspeople as well.

This is all being done in order to foster a safe voting environment for the Afghan people. However local militants are determined to disrupt this process in any way they can. Two days after the new high security balloon was put up a suicide bomber was able to infiltrate one of the highest security points in Kabul with a car filled with explosives. The suicide attack killed seven and left at least 90 wounded. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack and warned locals to stay away from voting poles.

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Identity Theft: There is an App For That

identEvery day thousands of people download new applications onto their smart phones without much care for  the terms of service they so easily agree to. What most of these people don’t know is they may be volunteering information and allowing for companies to gather data without their consent. Recently a company called Pinch Media was charged with being a little too invasive when it comes to gathering information through their iPhone apps.

According to one iPhone developer, applications using Pinch Media can retrieve information like your phone’s personal ID number and can work in conjunction with other applications like Facebook to determine your gender, birth year and even your exact longitude and latitude. Pinch Media has been accused of gathering information that has nothing to do with its applications. Instead, they have been using this data collection for advertisements and other marketing purposes. Worse, is that this information is often taken without the consent of the user and more often than not does not allow the user the option to stop the information gathering.

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Cyber Security Now Considered a Serious Issue in California

alg_cyber-attackAs businesses and individuals become increasingly dependent on digital technology, a series of cities in the Inland Valley and San Bernardino County in California have began to take steps that will provide for more efficient social security and personal privacy as computer technology constantly evolves.

“It requires constant vigilance and making sure that you are prepared,” said Elliott Ellsworth, information technology director for the city of Ontario.

Several government agencies have made steps to tackle threats such as viruses and denials of service attacks by installing services such as anti-virus software, firewalls, and application security. Orleans established a department similar to this over a decade ago and now operates with several network security specialists. Many cities including Ontario, Claremont, Pomona and Fontana have information technology or services departments, which often provide technical support and network security.

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Slowed Surveillance Camera Program Faltering in Philadelphia

phillypoliceIn the big city, the cameras have gone dark. The watchful eyes have gone blind, and crime is allowed to roam with the tool of surveillance neutralized. The city of Philadelphia is supposed to have 250 surveillance cameras patrolling the streets and protecting their citizens, but the program has become neglected and gone awry.

In late 2007, Philadelphia government announced its plan to install 250 surveillance cameras by 2008. Unfortunately, it’s now 2009 and only 161 cameras have been installed. Out of these 161, only 98 of these cameras are usable and another 63 are sitting there waiting to be activated. The 63 cameras that are being unused have been covered in black plastic bags.

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MTA Implements New System That Lets You Know Bus Arrival Times

11m34-480The panic rushes through your body as the pressure to make your final decision increases with every passing second.  15 minutes is all you have.  A weird, contrived facial expression envelops your face as you try to do the math.  It’ll take 20 minutes to walk. 15 minutes is the longest possible time you’d have to wait assuming that you JUST missed the bus.  It should take 6 minutes to get there by bus.  But, there is absolutely no way of knowing when the next bus is coming. This is starting to remind you of the physics problem on your final that made you fail for the year.  If one train is X distance from point A and another train going in the opposite direction is X distance traveling Y mph at which point will they fly?  Er. Well, it was something like that.  The confusion is taking over and you need to sit down.  Take a deep breath and calm down because the mayor of NYC has finally heard your cries for mercy and has decided to solve all of your problems.  The answer? Electronic countdown displays.

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GPS Fleet Tracking System Turning Around Town

As the global economy continues to struggle on the long road towards recovery, towns and cities need to be creative in order to spend money wisely. Using existing but untapped technology such as GPS tracking can be an essential way for cities to improve and streamline the services they provide, and one forward-thinking mayor is doing that to improve his city’s public works service.

North Providence, Rhode Island Mayor Charles A. Lombardi is choosing GPS  fleet tracking to monitor the town’s public works vehicles. In late spring, Lombardi began placing tracking units on 14 pickups and dump trucks. The units were installed with the goal of giving workers more motivation to be efficient at work throughout the town and to save fuel and manpower by improving the overall management of fieldwork. The units were installed at a desperate time for North Providence Public Works, during which attrition had forced them to lose employees.

“We knew we could get the job done with less people,” Lombardi said. “This was a way to support that. It’s proven it.”fleets

In late May and early June, Public Works was in a tight spot with only 23 workers after severe layoffs. They were not able to complete all the daily tasks necessary, which typically consisted of picking up debris and repairing roads. Lombardi argued that by bringing in GPS and using a smaller workforce, Public Works could be more efficient in their daily tasks and avoid time-wasters such as crossing town to pick up debris when there was a nearby spot that needed attention.

With GPS technology, Public Works Director Glenn Corrente is able to track the location of every one of his crews over the course of the day. So far, Corrente is satisfied with the effectiveness of the new plan and how it’s changing some of the department’s method’s, including gas used and efficient use of time.

(Via The Providence Journal)

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Cavu iPhone App Lets You View Surveillance Footage Remotely

screenshot-04Imagine that you are vacationing and get a phone call from your neighbor telling you that your alarm just went off, but there is nothing you can do about it. You don’t know what set it off and if it is just a fluke. You find yourself now wide awake, asking yourself why you got the alarm to begin with.

For iPhone users, the solution to this kind of situation lies in an application provided by CAVU Mobile Surveillance Solution. This app allows you to view live footage taken from any security camera on your iPhone, transforming it into a portable advanced home security system. With the CAVU Mobile Surveillance Solution, the next time a neighbor calls to tell you that your alarm has gone off again, you can automatically see what is going on inside your house on our phone- no matter where you are.

This application also lets you save footage on your phone, which is useful in case you need to show/reference the footage on the go. From your phone you can even control the position of the camera – providing you with multi-camera views.

If you’re thinking to yourself right now about how you wish you had been nicer to your neighbor, because then he/she would be more likely to actually call you to tell you that there is a good chance you’re being robbed- stop. This iPhone app also allows for poor neighbor to neighbor relations. It provides a self sufficient, independent of any neighbor, surveillance system on your phone to tell your that there is suspicious action going on.

For a cool $19.99 you can be your own FBI squad team, the C, the, S and the I in CSI Crime Scene Investigation, and most importantly, sure that your home is safe.

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