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Ian Stafford, Former Mayor of Preesall

Female residents in Preesall, Lancashire were becoming anxious of a ladies underwear thief and were surprised to find that the lead suspect was actually the mayor of the town. Local women had begun to call police after they noticed that multiple articles of clothing began disappearing from their homes. One woman in particular was so nervous about the ongoing perverted thefts, that she installed a hidden camcorder into her home.

The video she recorded was of a half naked man breaking into her house stealing her underwear, putting them on, and then performing lewd sexual acts with them. Upon further investigation police were able to determine that the underwear thief was none other than the local Mayor Ian Stanford.  Stanford had been an independent member of the town council for years and was only recently elected as the mayor for a second term.

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lindsay-lohanActress Lindsay Lohan has had her home in Hollywood Hills Los Angeles, burglarized. It has been reported that besides a safe that had been ripped out of the wall, only a few watches were missing. The Los Angeles police have made no official arrest and are still investigating the house. Lindsey Lohan’s father Michael Lohan said he believed it was an “inside job” as the house alarm systems were left off the night of the robbery.

The celebrity news website TMZ also sited an unidentified source that stated three men were seen on the security cameras breaking into Lohan’s home. Luckily the actress was not home at the time and no one was hurt during the burglary. According to Diana Lohan, Lindsay’s mother, they discovered that the front door was off the hinges and that its handles had been removed.

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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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With this new technology, anyone can rob casinos and become a multi-millionaire like George Clooney and his team in Ocean’s 11, 12, and 13.

At the most recent DefCon conference, a new hack was demonstrated, that involves hijacking IP video streams and seamlessly replacing them with new content. Basically they showed how Danny (George Clooney) and Rusty (Brad Pitt) were able to replace the video steam in the Bellagio’s vault to show them stealing “money” in Ocean’s 11.  This new hack allows anyone to gain access to an IP video surveillance feed and to see exactly what the camera is seeing.  But the key to this hack is that it not only lets you see whats going on, it lets you replace the footage with whatever you want, fooling the actual security guards into thinking that absolutely nothing is happening when you are in their vault.  Or, as in Ocean’s 11, the crew fools Benedict into thinking that people are stealing his money from his vault when they are really outside waiting for a squad truck to come boceans-elevenring them to their airplane.

Experts at the conference warned that most enterprises don’t have the tools necessary to prevent these attacks. The need for better security has increased as the popularity of IP video streams skyrocketed in the past few years.  For example, Dallas Cowboys Stadium just installed over 3000 of these video cameras.  An official at the conference said that “depending on how the network is configured, an attacker might be able to plug into the Ethernet jack in one of the Dallas Cowboys Stadium’s luxury boxes and conduct an attack.”

Hollywood heists may paint a glamorous picture of what these kinds of hacks can result in, but the reality is that instead of ending up sitting in first class eating caviar, you will be sitting in a grimey, smelly, sticky, and rather unpleasant jail cell waiting for your one phone call.

(via Privacy Digest)

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10commandments1Thou shall not kill, Honor thy father and thy mother, thou shall not steal. We all know the 10 commandments, but at what lengths will some go to avoid having to hear them again?

Ask the 7 year old boy from Utah who wanted to leave church so badly that he drove his dad’s car home. Mid-drive he ran a stop sign, almost hit another driver and managed to escape a chase by the police. Upon arrival he ran inside his house and hid, realizing that he had just broken 2 out of the 10 commandments.

When his father asked him what had happened, the boy admitted to just wanting to go on a joyride.

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iphoneIt will come as soon as it leaves and the damage will be irreparable.  In a matter of seconds, your iPhone can be taken over, leaving you absolutely powerless.

Two researchers, Charlie Miller and Collin Mulliner, have found a flaw in the iPhone’s SMS text messaging system that allows hackers to send a text message that gives them complete power over the phone.  The message, a small, symmetrical square is the perfect indicator to an iPhone user that their phone has been hijacked in such a beautifully simple manner.  Once the hijacker has control he/she can dial the phone, visit web sites, turn on the device’s camera and microphone and, most importantly, send more text messages to further propagate a mass-gadget hijacking.

There is no definitive way to protect yourself against these viral text messages as of yet, but the researchers hope that in identifying the flaw and notifying Apple, there will be patches and changes to the system to prevent malicious attackers from executing what could be a fatal virus.  Unfortunately, the researchers plan has not gone as planned.  They reported this hole in the system over a month ago to Apple, but no patch has been made to correct it.  The researchers contend that possibly turning off your phone as soon as possible after recieving a text message might be a short term solution that could deter the hacker.

Using SMS text messaging to deliver viruses to smart phones should be a priority in cybersecurity. These attacks are only the tip of a very large, Titanic-esque iceberg.

We are in a new Cold War- hackers vs. cybersecurity- trying to explore the final frontier: SMS hacking.  The chase is no longer a game; it’s necessary to prevent millions of users from becoming victims.

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setupcamera_540 In a surprising revelation Thursday, NASA acknowledged that they treated one of the iconic recordings in American history like just another tape, erasing the Apollo 11 moon footage years ago in an effort to reuse the tape. Luckily for NASA, Hollywood is the land of second chances, and that is exactly what the agency is getting.

Lowry Digital, of Burbank Calif., is digitally sharpening and cleaning up the ghostly, grainy footage of the moon landing, making it even better than what TV viewers saw on July 20, 1969. Even more remarkable about their effort is that they are working with only four copies of the landing that NASA was able to pick up from across the world. In a move that seems eerily similar to re-releasing a film on its anniversary as a means of promotion, the first group of restored footage was released just in time for the 40th anniversary of the landing.

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otlawgpsThe New York State Court of Appeals recently issued a ruling baring police from tracking the cars of criminal suspects with GPS systems unless a warrant is first obtained from a judge. The ruling was set in motion by a case in Albany County where the state police believed a man may have been committing burglaries. The GPS device was used to place the suspects car at the scene of a shopping center burglary. However, Chief Judge John Lippman ruled that this type of GPS tracking violated the state Constitution.

In the majority opinion, Lippman wrote that “It is quite clear that this would not, and indeed, realistically could not be done without GPS and this dragnet use of of this technology at the sole discretion of law enforcement authorities to pry into the details of people’s daily lives is not consistent with the values at the core of the state Constitution’s prohibition against unreasonable searches.”

A New York State attorney who had been involved in a similar case with a man who was tracked by a GPS device praised the verdict as a strong one. William Tendy, a native of Poughkeepsie, stated that “The decision makes good sense; it’s well-reasoned.” He also said that the ruling was a good sign, as law enforcement agencies are usually believed to be slow in addressing advancements in technology that are seen as eroding citizens privacy.

Ulster County D.A. Holley Carnight, who said that GPS devices are sometimes used in law enforcement cases in the county, particularly in drug investigations, was one law enforcement official who disagreed with the Court of Appeals ruling. He believes that GPS tracking does not give enough information on drivers to be an infringement on privacy.

“It doesn’t tell you who the driver is or what he’s doing, so I don’t think the situation is as sinister as the majority seems to believe,” Carnight said.

The New York State Court of Appeals may have the state’s citizens best interests at heart, but with this ruling, law enforcement may face a major set back in fighting crime. The vehicle GPS tracking systems that law enforcement uses in both New York and other states at this moment in time are very simple and have a clear goal: to track and stop suspected criminals and in doing so, protect communities. Our pinion is that there is no “Big Brother” effect at work here with the trackers. Rather, it is just law enforcement serving and protecting, as it’s their duty to do so.

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xin_54040207093151554427The Queen of England faced a covert spy detection disaster when her chauffeur gave undercover reporters a tour of her fleet. The royal chauffeur Brian Sirjusingh was bribed with $1,500 by the reporters who posed as middle eastern businessmen.  They were allowed to enter the palace grounds without being checked for weapons or bombs. They also learned the code names of the queen’s cars and security weaknesses of some of the royal coaches. They even learned about the queen’s weekend plans. A good deal of information for anyone who may want to harm her royal highness.

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