Online Privacy ! No Such Thing.

September 23, 2006 @ 1:57 pm

A very compelling argument…a must read !!

Earlier this month, the popular social networking site Facebook learned a hard lesson in privacy. It introduced a new feature called “News Feeds” that shows an aggregation of everything members do on the site, such as added and deleted friends, a change in relationship status, a new favorite song, a new interest. Instead of a member’s friends having to go to his page to view any changes, these changes are all presented to them automatically……
Privacy used to be about secrecy. Someone defending himself in court against the charge of revealing someone else’s personal information could use as a defense the fact that it was not secret. But clearly, privacy is more complicated than that. Just because you tell your insurance company something doesn’t mean you don’t feel violated when that information is sold to a data broker. Just because you tell your friend a secret doesn’t mean you’re happy when he tells others. Same with your employer, your bank or any company you do business with……..
But public perception is important. The lesson here for Facebook and other companies — for Google and MySpace and AOL and everyone else who hosts our e-mails and webpages and chat sessions — is that people believe they own their data. Even though the user agreement might technically give companies the right to sell the data, change the access rules to that data or otherwise own that data, we — the users — believe otherwise. And when we who are affected by those actions start expressing our views — watch out.

Complete WIRED News Article

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ATM Hack Uncovered

September 22, 2006 @ 1:03 pm


A security expert in New York has learned how to get free money from some ATMs by entering a special code sequence on the PIN pad.

Last week, news reports circulated about a cyber thief who strolled into a gas station in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and, with no special equipment, reprogrammed the mini ATM in the corner to think it had $5.00 bills in its dispensing tray, instead of $20.00 bills.

Using a pre-paid debit card, the crook then made a withdrawal, and casually strolled off with a 300% profit in his pocket.

Foolishly, he left the ATM misprogrammed this way for 9 days — presumably to the delight of other customers — before a good Samaritan reported the issue and exposed the caper.

How, exactly, he pulled off the swindle remained unreported. Curious, Dave Goldsmith, a computer security researcher at Matasano Security began poking around. Based on CNN’s video, he identified the ATM as a Tranax Mini Bank 1500 series.

He then set out to see if he could get a copy of the manual for the apparently-vulnerable machine to find out how the hack worked. Fifteen minutes later, he reported success.

From Wired Blog

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Hezbollah Cracks Israeli Radio Code !

September 21, 2006 @ 12:25 am

Hezbollah fighters reportedly used Iranian-supplied technology to tap Israeli radio comms during last month’s war in southern Lebanon. The intelligence gleaned from these intercepts helped frustrate Israeli tank attacks, according to Hezbollah and Lebanese officials.

Military radio transmissions typically use frequency-hopping – switching between dozens of transmission frequencies per second as a means to frustrate jamming and interception – and encryption.

But troops in combat might sometimes make mistakes in following secure radio procedures, creating a possible means for Hezbollah eavesdropping teams to snatch valuable snippets of intelligence using kit capable of monitoring changing radio frequencies (if not capable of breaking scrambling codes).

from The Register

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Nazi Secret Messages in Fashion Drawings

September 5, 2006 @ 2:08 pm

Secret Messages

German spies hid secret messages in drawings of models wearing the latest fashions in an attempt to outwit Allied censors during World War Two, according to British security service files released on Monday.

Nazi agents relayed sensitive military information using the dots and dashes of Morse code incorporated in the drawings.

They posted the letters to their handlers, hoping that counterespionage experts would be fooled by the seemingly innocent pictures.

But British secret service officials were aware of the ruse and issued censors with a code-breaking guide to intercept them.

The book — part of a batch of British secret service files made public for the first time — included an example of a code hidden in a drawing of three young models.

See complete CNN News Article.

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Hackers Steal AT&T Customer Data

September 1, 2006 @ 2:08 pm


Hackers have obtained the credit card details of almost 19,000 online shoppers from telecoms giant AT&T.

The US company said it had notified shoppers at its online store of the security breach, which affected people buying high-speed DSL internet items.

Security was breached at the weekend, the company said, and online stores were quickly shut down in response.

AT&T said it would reimburse customers for any fraudulent transactions and pay for any necessary credit services.

There were no indications that fraudulent transactions had been carried out before the stolen information came to light, AT&T said.

more here..

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