Taxi Cams, School Lunch Theft and More – Security News Roundup, Week of July 22

Blog_round-up-taxisIn a week that brought many highlights from the security world, we see cows being tracked with GPS, surveillance cameras that save lives, and more stories from around the globe. Surveillance Cameras Save Lives in Taxis The Atlantic looked at the effectiveness of public surveillance cameras in helping keep citizens safe and drew at least one clear conclusion: in taxis, security cameras save lives. Taxi drivers have long faced serious safety and security threats despite attempts to use other technology, such as bullet-proof glass, to keep them safe. One major study found a significant drop off in taxi driver murders after cities installed security cams in-cab, with rates roughly three times lower than for cab drivers in cities without in-cab cams. This study and others mentioned in the article all suggest that in-cab cameras are an intuitive step for keeping drivers safer from all kinds of violence. Read more at The Atlantic New Zealand Teacher Caught Stealing Lunches on Security Camera School security cameras caught a childcare worker stealing from kids’ lunches, sometimes eating the booty and other times saving it in baggies for later. The problem has been going on since November of 2011, but it was only when multiple complaints from students about items missing from their lunches prompted the school to respond with security cameras that the woman was found out. The woman was obviously caught and has confessed. Her punishment seems to include severe restrictions on how and where she works in the future, in order to prevent any future Billy Madison incidents. Read more at the NY Daily News North England County Implements GPS Tracking on Cows GPS collars are replacing cow bells in Cheviot Hills, England, where the local university hopes to learn about cows’ movement habits. The study is releasing the cows in College Valley in order to study the effects of grazing on local flora and fauna. The GPS information from their movement, combined with evaluations of how the local area handles their presence will contribute to efforts for more sustainable cattle raising and help livestock producers understand how to deal with the effects of global climate change. Read more at the BBC Tumblr Mobile Password Security Woes The popular microblogging site Tumblr appealed to its iPhone and iPad users this week, asking them to reset passwords to help it overcome a gaping hole in its password security. Cybersecurity is an increasingly common concern as we sign up for a bevy of new online services and are asked to provide a secure password. In this case, the Tumblr app interface didn’t use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) to protect the transmission of username and password combinations, making their interception incredibly easy. This kind of compromise threatens many people’s overall security, because they often use one or a few main passwords for all their logins. Read more at The Atlantic Construction Company Uses

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Hidden GPS to Catch Thieves A North Carolina construction site was suffering expensive losses, as over $21,000 in roofing material had been stolen from its apartment complex construction site over the past month, when an employee thought to hide a GPS in some of the materials likely to be stolen. Once the GPS started moving, the employee called police, who tracked the signal to another construction site the robbers had targeted. They captured the thieves and the site hasn’t experienced any further problems with materials being stolen. Read more at the the Fort Mill Times

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