Chat Users to Report Child Abuse

August 26, 2006 @ 12:34 pm

Windows Messenger

Users of Windows Messenger can now report suspected sexual predators of children with a mouse click.

A “report abuse” icon will soon appear on the chat software as a result of work by the UK’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP).

Users will be encouraged to click the icon when they suffer or witness inappropriate sexual contact.

CEOP said, if necessary, reports would be passed to police forces around the world to track down sexual predators.

full story here..

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Fugitive Caught by Tracing Skype Call

August 25, 2006 @ 9:23 pm

Top Hi-Tech Fugitive Caught by Tracing Skype Call

Skype Logo

Kobi Alexander, the founder of Comverse, was nabbed in Negombo, Sri Lanka yesterday by a private investigator. He is wanted by the US government in connection with financial fraud charges. He is accused of profiting from some very shady stock-option deals, to the detriment of Comverse shareholders. Once the deals became public and he was indicted, he resigned as CEO and fled the US.

Alexander was traced to the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo after he placed a one-minute call using Skype. That was enough to alert authorities to his presence and hunt him down.

Ars Technica :

The fugitive former CEO may have been convinced that using Skype made him safe from tracking, but he—and everyone else that believes VoIP is inherently more secure than a landline—was wrong. Tracking anonymous peer-to-peer VoIP traffic over the Internet is possible (PDF File-George Mason University). In fact, it can be done even if the parties have taken some steps to disguise the traffic.

VoIP and law enforcement have been in the news lately, due primarily to the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act. CALEA, passed in 1994, gives the FBI the ability to easily tap landline and cell phone calls. As written, CALEA had originally included some exemptions for Internet-based systems, but the FBI convinced the Federal Communications Commission that they should not apply to VoIP traffic. As a result, VoIP operators in the US will need to make their systems wiretap friendly.

If nothing else, Alexander’s capture reinforces the message that despite appearances, nothing we do on the Internet is truly anonymous.

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Police Decryption Powers ‘Flawed’

August 19, 2006 @ 1:33 am


The government faces criticism over plans to give police powers to make suspects produce readable copies of encrypted computer evidence.

“But the draft code of conduct has no guidance on weighing privacy against the demands of law enforcement,” said Caspar Bowden, former head of FIPR.

Already, he said, there had been one court case in which a suspect was acquitted after claiming a computer virus under someone else’s control had caused the offences for which he faced trial. Mr Bowden speculated that other suspects could use the same tactic or would fake a virus infection to get themselves off the hook.

“Will it deter the mass of honest users from properly securing their data?” said Mr Bowden.

Lord Phillips of Sudbury described RIPA as a “hair-raising” piece of legislation and expressed reservations about the effect the powers being given to police would have.

“You do not secure the liberty of our country and value of our democracy by undermining them,” he said. “That’s the road to hell.”

BBC News

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Hackers Clone E-Passports

August 6, 2006 @ 12:46 pm

Electronic Passport

A German computer security consultant has shown that he can clone the electronic passports that the United States and other countries are beginning to distribute this year.

“The whole passport design is totally brain damaged,” Grunwald says. “From my point of view all of these RFID passports are a huge waste of money. They’re not increasing security at all.”

Although countries have talked about encrypting data that’s stored on passport chips, this would require that a complicated infrastructure be built first, so currently the data is not encrypted.

“And of course if you can read the data, you can clone the data and put it in a new tag,” Grunwald says.

Wired News

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Satellite Images of Beirut Destruction

August 5, 2006 @ 9:25 pm

 Before Harat After Harat   
A close up of Beirut’s Harat Hurayk neighborhood before and after the Israeli bombing. (Digital Globe)

 Before Harat 2 After Harat 2
Beirut’s Harat Hurayk neighborhood before after the Israeli bombing. (Digital Globe)

Before  Airport After Airport
Beirut International Airport before and after the Israeli bombing. (Space Imaging)

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