Thursday, April 30, 2009

Trispecs merges trio of functionalities in one device

Convergence devices are cool in their own right since they allow you to do more with just a single device, saving you money as well as space in the process. The Trispecs is one of such devices, masquerading as a standard pair of fashionable sunglasses while doubling as a Bluetooth headset and earphones without anyone else knowing the better. There are three buttons located along the arms of the shades that allow you to control your MP3 player as well as phone functions, making them look slightly more bulky than usual although that ought to be fine since many fashion sunglasses do feature outrageously huge arms from time to time. The retractable headphones also feature noise cancellation technology courtesy of the boffins at STEP Labs, while their STEPvoice software provides voice-recognition to further enhance the performance of the Trispecs.

Ennova Direct releases newfangled USB flash drive with OLED display

Just take a look at your everyday USB flash drive and see whether there is anything outstanding or not. We thought that the level of progress has stopped when it came to retractable USB connectors (so that you don’t run the risk of losing the cap, of course), along comes Ennova Direct Corporation (DBA ION Technologies) who has just announced to the whole wide world its latest USB flash drive that boasts an OLED display. As if having n OLED display on it is not special enough, we also know that the built-in cover helps keep your OLED display in pristine condition always while featuring an integrated biometric fingerprint scanner which adds to the security level on the USB flash drive. Not only that, the OLED display will change color to indicate the success or failure of a match of the user’s stored fingerprint, while doubling up as an interactive interface which enables the user to select specific files and initiate specific functions.
According to Peter Garrett, Executive VP of Ennova Direct, “With USB flash drive memory capacities now reaching 64GB and higher, user’s are now utilizing their USB flash drives as full external backup drives, making it even more important for users to secure the large amounts of personal data they are storing on their USB flash drives.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How Hackers Can Steal Secrets from Reflections

Even with the best network security, your electronic data may not be safe from a determined hacker. Researchers have extracted information from nothing more than the reflection of a computer monitor off an eyeball or the sounds emanating from a printer. These attacks are difficult to defend against and impossible to trace.
Through the eyepiece of Michael Backes’s small Celestron telescope, the 18-point letters on the laptop screen at the end of the hall look nearly as clear as if the notebook computer were on my lap. I do a double take. Not only is the laptop 10 meters (33 feet) down the corridor, it faces away from the telescope. The image that seems so legible is a reflection off a glass teapot on a nearby table. In experiments here at his laboratory at Saarland University in Germany, Backes has discovered that an alarmingly wide range of objects can bounce secrets right off our screens and into an eavesdropper’s camera. Spectacles work just fine, as do coffee cups, plastic bottles, metal jewelry—even, in his most recent work, the eyeballs of the computer user. The mere act of viewing information can give it away.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Beware, your partner may be spying

SPURNED husbands and wives are using hi-tech spyware to catch their cheating partners.
Among those caught cheating include a businessman whose wife used a GPS car tracker to confirm he was having an affair.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, split from his wife this year.
It is believed he admitted to the relationship after private detectives used GPS technology to confirm he was making regular visits to his lover's flat in Prahran.
The GPS tracker is among a wave of cheap new spyware helping mistrusting lovers confirm or quash their darkest suspicions.
In another recent case "Tim", a millionaire Brighton property developer, discovered his wife was cheating on him after he gave her a mobile phone fitted with secret spy technology.
The software allowed the husband to read all text messages sent and received from his wife's mobile.
He intercepted the lovers at a St Kilda Rd hotel and has filed for divorce.
In a third case South Yarra businessman "Stephano" fitted spy software to his girlfriend's laptop and discovered she was finding regular partners on internet dating sites.
Businesses are also cashing in on the spy game.
One city firm used GPS devices to confirm suspicions a member of its on-road sales team was lying about his daily locations. He was busted using company time to set up his own business.

Lip-reading computer "Spy" can distinguish languages

Watch what you say. Scientists in England have developed a computer that can not only read lips, but can tell the difference between languages. Researchers at the University of East Anglia's School of Computing Sciences developed the technology by statistically modeling the lip motions of 23 bilingual and trilingual speakers. The resulting system is able to identify the language spoken by an individual with "very high accuracy," according to the university. Identifiable languages included English, French, German, Arabic, Mandarin, Cantonese, Italian, Polish, and Russian.
What gives you away? The movement of your articulators--when you wag your tongue, jaw, and lips, you are generating the measurable characteristics of visual speech, the recognition of which is known as lip reading. Computer vision has already been used in lip reading, or "feature extraction," but this is the first time computers have been "taught" to recognize different languages, according to UEA. "This is an exciting advance in automatic lip-reading technology and the first scientific confirmation of something we already intuitively suspected--that when people speak different languages, they use different mouth shapes in different sequences," said Professor Stephen Cox, who led the
research along with Jake Newman. "For example, we found frequent 'lip rounding' among French speakers, and more prominent tongue movements among Arabic speakers."

Monday, April 27, 2009

Secrets missing in agent's handbag

LONDON: As the plane landed in the Colombian capital, Agent T must have felt excitement about her new assignment.
She was being posted to Bogota - the drugs capital of the world - to gather intelligence in the war against the global cocaine trade, worth $100 billion a year.
An undercover customs officer with Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency, she would be responsible for dozens of undercover agents providing information on drugs cartels.
In her handbag was a memory stick full of secret information she had downloaded from the computer systems at her former office, the SOCA station in Quito, Ecuador. On it, sources say, were "SOCA's crown jewels" - the names, code names, addresses and operational details of dozens of the agency's operatives.
After the plane landed at Bogota's El Dorado international airport in April 2006, Agent T boarded a transit coach to the terminal. She went through immigration and caught a bus to the centre of the city, near her new office at the British embassy. By the time she left the airport, her handbag - and the memory stick - were gone.
It was a blunder of catastrophic proportions. Such information was gold for Colombia's drug lords, and a potential death sentence for those identified.
According to insiders, there was panic at SOCA's headquarters in London when Agent T reported the mistake. Her boss, Paul Evans, a former MI6 officer, ordered an immediate internal inquiry, fearing his job was on the line. Agent T was recalled to London.
A source claims the cost of aborted operations and the relocation of informants was pound stg. 100 million ($204 million).

Cyberwar's first casualty: Your privacy

April 27, 2009 (Computerworld) The first casualty of war, the Greek playwright Aeschylus said, is the truth. But when it comes to cyberwarfare, the first casualty will more likely be your privacy.
And unlike in past wars, the government itself may not do the snooping. Instead, it will most likely let private industry do the dirty work, essentially outsourcing cyber intelligence gathering.
In warfare, information is one of the most important weapons in a government's arsenal. No matter the physical weaponry, the key to victory is an understanding of the enemy's intentions and who and where he is. I've been reading Caesar, Life of a Colossus, by Adrian Goldsworthy, and was struck by how important gathering information about the movements of his enemies was to Caesar's conquest of Gaul. Look at any war, and you'll generally find that the victor had better intelligence.
You'll see government outsourcing its intelligence gathering to companies that already do the work legally -- and primarily that means Google.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Spy Camera Pen, with Audio

Watched too many spy movies that you wish you had your very own Q along with a collection of toys and gadgets that would put James Bond to shame? Why not start off with the Spy Camera Pen that is able to hold up to 15 hours of footage, where it also doubles up as a fully functional pen to put down your John Hancock on those official government documents.
A tiny built in Spy Camera lens is situated above the pen clip, hard to see even with the keenest eye. Use the Spy Camera Pen in meetings, to document important conversations or just to try out your spy skills wherever you go! Just place the pen in your front pocket and record everything in front of you in full color. The Spy Pen camcorder also features sound! A microphone is hidden under the pen clip giving you full video camera capabilities. To download your footage simply install the software disc and attach your Spy Camera to your computer with the USB connector. Simple to use and effective on Watchdog style missions.


Note: Be on the lookout for these Spy Pens to show up anywhere & everywhere! Remember this pen boasts audio & video capabilities.

Wondering how you can protect yourself? Contact: ComSec LLc for Anti-Surveillance options.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Security experts rate the world's most dangerous exploits

Criminal hackers continue to penetrate many more company networks than most administrators care to admit, according to two security experts who offered a list of the most effective exploits used to gain entry.

Topping the list is an attack dubbed super-flexible pivoting. It abuses Linux machines connected to a network's DMZ, or demilitarized zone, to bypass corporate firewalls and access sensitive resources on an internal network. The technique has already been used to steal vast amounts of data, including "millions of credit cards," said Ed Skoudis, a senior security consultant for InGuardians, a security company that frequently responds to major network breaches. "If the bad guy can get control of one of your DMZ machines, he doesn't need to make inbound connections there anymore," Skoudis said during a panel at the RSA security conference. "Instead, he can make outbound connections that effectively give him inbound access on your internal network."


How your cell phone can be used against you

SALT LAKE CITY -- Your cell phone connects you to the world, but now it could be used to snoop into your private life too. Investigative reporter Debbie Dujanovic discovered how easily technology can turn your cell phone into a super spy.
We gave our brand new cell phone to KSL employee Katie Oborn. She agreed to take part in our experiment. She used the phone for 10 days straight, and the phone secretly fed us the scoop on her every move. Every text message, every phone call and every place she went. "Just tap into my personal life, it's shocking. You feel stalked, you feel watched over, not in a good way," said Katie Oborn. "It just makes you feel uncomfortable."

The phone secretly detailed her days and nights. We could log on to any computer and get instant access to every single e-mail and text message sent and received, word-for-word. We could track the phone numbers of every incoming call and number she dialed.

If that's not enough, we always knew her precise location. We acquired the GPS coordinates, complete with photographs of her whereabouts. In one day alone, we received 136 updates telling and showing us exactly where we could find Katie.


Note: Cell phone "bugging" is a very real and growing threat. Visit ComSec LLc for more information.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Hilton delays = Industrial Espionage


Hilton Hotels has suspended development of a new super-luxury chain of hotels after claims of industrial espionage triggered a criminal investigation.

Last month Hilton revealed the creation of Denizen Hotels, aimed at "citizens of the world", with sites planned in 13 major cities including London, New York and Mumbai.

However, Starwood, owner of the luxury W chain of hotels and the Sheraton and Le Meridien brands, alleges that Denizen's launch had been based on 100,000 documents, presentations and market research stolen by its former employees.

Hilton poached two executives, Ross Klein and Amar Lalvani, from Starwood to work on Denizen in June last year, and Starwood claims the two men downloaded the documents to personal email addresses before they left. Together, the documents amounted to a blueprint for the launch of the W chain, Starwood claims, and Hilton would not have been able to launch Denizen in the space of less than a year without all that information.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

DOJ May Dismiss Spy Case

The Justice Department may drop charges against two pro-Israel lobbyists suspected of spying for Israel and transmitting national security information to Israeli diplomats and journalists, sources briefed on the case tell ABC News. This news comes after allegations surfaced earlier in the week that Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) promised to intervene in the case on behalf of the lobbyists, according to published reports in Congressional Quarterly and elsewhere. Law enforcement officials say the Justice Department may have to dismiss the espionage charges and tell ABC News a review is underway to possibly dismiss the entire case against Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, both former lobbyists for the American-Israeli Political Action Committee.


US Attorney used GPS to track cell phones

The Associated Press: TRENTON, N.J. — A former federal prosecutor running for governor approved the tracking of citizens through their cell phones without warrants while he was head of the U.S. Attorney's Office for New Jersey, civil rights attorneys said Thursday.

Christopher Christie, a former U.S. Attorney who is the Republican front-runner in the governor's race said all actions were approved by the court.

The American Civil Liberties Union released documents Thursday showing federal officials in New Jersey have gotten judges to approve the surveillance without showing evidence that a crime is taking place.

Tracking without a warrant disregards an internal U.S. Justice Department recommendation that prosecutors obtain probable cause warrants before gathering location data from cell phones.

Using a little-known GPS chip inside a cell phone, federal prosecutors can locate a person to within about 30 feet. They're also able to gather less exact location data by tracing mobile phone signals as they ping off cell towers.


Obama to soon get secure BlackBerry

President Obama will soon get his souped-up, high-security BlackBerry for use in and around the White House and during presidential travel, said Obama administration officials.
The top-secret BlackBerry 8830 is in the final stages of development by the National Security Agency, which will soon begin checking to make sure its encryption software meets federal standards. The device could be ready for use in the next few months.
Once in hand, the president will be able to send text and email and make phone calls to others with the secure software loaded on their devices. Others expected to get secure BlackBerrys likely include top aides as well as first lady Michelle Obama.
The software being used to secure the personal digital assistant is called SecureVoice, developed by the Genesis Key, Inc. of Washington. It can turn any BlackBerry 8830 or Curve into a top-secret device for handling phone calls, e-mail and video streaming, as well as Internet access.

Obama's Cyber Czar Offers Few Details on Govt. Strategy

Those who were hoping to hear details today about how the Obama administration plans to revamp the government's approach to cyber security threats may have to wait a little while longer.
In a much-anticipated speech at the RSA security conference in San Francisco today, Melissa Hathaway, the White House's top cyber official, instead highlighted all of the meetings, studies, and recommendations that have informed the administration's 60-day cyberspace policy review, which was completed last week. But details about how the administration might seek to organize and streamline the government's cyber efforts were lacking.
Much of the coverage of the administration's cyber review has focused on the power struggle on cyber underway between the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency. The Obama administration also is finalizing plans for
a new Pentagon command to coordinate the security of military computer networks and to develop new offensive cyber weapons. Meanwhile, civil liberty advocates are concerned that the government's effort to define cyber security in broad economic and national security terms could sweep virtually every aspect of American life into the mix.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Aston Martin Dealers Are Charged With Spying on Rival

April 22 (Bloomberg) -- The owners of a Long Island, New York, exotic-car dealership that sells Bentleys and Aston Martins were charged with corporate espionage against a rival that sells Ferraris and Maseratis.

Giacomo Ciaccia and Leka Vuksanaj, owners of Universal Autosports LLC in Glen Cove, were arrested today at their homes, along with Creative Director Michael Lussos, Acting U.S. Attorney Lev Dassin in Manhattan said in a statement. They are accused of illegally tapping into the e-mail of Ferrari Maserati of Fort Lauderdale-Long Island in Plainview, New York.

The defendants gained access to Ferrari Maserati’s e-mail server about 2,500 times from February to September last year from their homes and Universal Autosports, according to the criminal complaint dated April 16 and unsealed today.

“In one instance a dealer associated with Universal Autosports e-mailed a customer who had been negotiating with Ferrari Maserati to buy a rare Ferrari Enzo worth more than $1.3 million,” according to the statement.

“Is there any way I can help or get in the middle,” the dealer wrote, according to the complaint. “Have they found you a car yet?”

The three defendants appeared in court today. Ciaccia and Vuksanaj were released on bonds of $100,000 each. Lussos was released on a $50,000 bond.


Harman Attacks U.S. Government for Recording Her Phone Call

April 22 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Representative Jane Harman said the taping of one of her phone calls as part of a federal investigation represented an “abuse of power” and demanded that the Justice Department release the transcript.

“I am offended by it. It’s an abuse of power,” Harman, a California Democrat, said in an interview yesterday with CNN. “Those were informal conversations with friends of mine.”

Harman, a former senior member of the House intelligence committee, went on the offensive following media reports that she was taped in 2005 offering to intercede in a Justice Department espionage investigation of lobbyists for Israel. Harman denied trying to influence the investigation.

She sent a letter to the Justice Department demanding the release of the wiretap transcripts and appeared in television and radio interviews criticizing the government surveillance.

“I’m one member of Congress who may be caught up in it, but I have a bully pulpit and I can fight back,” Harman said in an interview with NBC News. “I’m thinking about others who have no bully pulpit and may not be aware, as I was not, that right now, somewhere, someone’s listening in on their conversations, and they’re innocent Americans.”


Note: When the U.S. Government (legally & with a warrant) eavesdrops on Jane Harman, that is an outrageous invasion of privacy and a violent assault on her rights as an American citizen! Just ask her how she voted on President Bush's NSA warrant less eavesdropping program...

Morrison & Foerster Wins $36 Million in Trade Secrets Trial

A San Jose, Calif., jury hit Luna Innovations for $36 million in damages in a trade secret case Tuesday, handing Hansen Medical and its lawyers at Morrison & Foerster the victory.
MoFo's Arturo Gonzalez had squared off with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati's Jamie DiBoise in the three-week trial, culminating in animated closing arguments Thursday.
The jury took 1 1/2 days to come to a verdict. They found that Luna broke an agreement it had to help Hansen develop a robotic catheter and misused trade secrets to land a lucrative contract with a Hansen competitor, Intuitive Surgical Inc., instead.
"It's huge because the winner controls the industry," Gonzalez crowed on Tuesday.
DiBoise warned jurors last week that Luna, a Virginia tech development company with a $20 million market cap, "would cease to exist" if they awarded the damages being sought.

Spies hack into U.S. military computers

WASHINGTON, April 21 (UPI) -- Spies hacked into U.S. military computers, copying data that could threaten the effectiveness of U.S. fighter jets, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
In recent months, the newspaper said, someone was able to get into
Pentagon's $300 billion Joint Strike Fighter project and take several terabytes of information concerning design and electronics systems. Officials told the Journal it could make it easier for America's enemies to defend against the F-35 Lightning I fighter jet.
The Journal reported the Air Force's air-traffic-control system also was breached in recent months.
"There's never been anything like it," one source told the Journal, adding that other military and civilian agencies as well as private companies are affected.

Secretary Napolitano is the real extremist

Note to liberals: Watch out for tea partying grandmas with framed Reagan pictures, blue-collared manufacturing workers in the unemployment line, and U.S. veterans who just returned from military combat.
They might sneak up behind you with a club if you start eyeing Al Franken's latest book at Barnes and Noble! That is, according to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
Last week Napolitano, Democrat and former Arizona governor, released an intelligent assessment titled "Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment." The report outlines which political beliefs enforcement officers should use to evaluate if someone is a "right-wing extremist," which is evidently synonymous with a national security threat.
How exactly does the DHS profile a supposed right-wing extremist? The report lists a series of traditional (and I would argue rational) conservative views to beware of. Here are a few of my favorites: Opposes the policies of President Barack Obama to expand social programs - Basically, if you're not a socialist, you are now getting classified as a dangerous extremist.
Upset with the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs to China and India - Guilty, as charged. If wanting to keep Americans working in well-paying jobs makes me a right-wing extremist, so be it.
The positions this report warns of do not come close to defining an extremist; instead, they describe someone who genuinely supports the United States.

New Military Command to Focus on Cybersecurity

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration plans to create a new military command to coordinate the defense of Pentagon computer networks and improve U.S. offensive capabilities in cyberwarfare, according to current and former officials familiar with the plans.
The initiative will reshape the military's efforts to protect its networks from attacks by hackers, especially those from countries such as China and Russia. The new command will be unveiled within the next few weeks, Pentagon officials said.
The move comes amid growing evidence that sophisticated cyberspies are attacking the U.S. electric grid and key defense programs. A
page-one story in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday reported that hackers breached the Pentagon's biggest weapons program, the $300 billion Joint Strike Fighter, and stole data. Lawmakers on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee wrote to the defense secretary Tuesday requesting a briefing on the matter.

Harman demands bugging transcripts

WASHIN, D.C., April 21 (UPI) -- A California Democrat Tuesday demanded that U.S. intelligence agencies release full wiretap transcripts that purportedly show her seeking a quid pro quo.
Reports say the National Security Agency and the FBI bugged Rep.
Jane Harman's conversations with lobbyists for Israel about the case of two American Israel Public Affairs Committee officials accused of spying for Israel, Politico reported.
A story in The New York Times suggested Harman demanded a quid pro quo in which she would push U.S. officials to drop or reduce the charges, and an Israeli-American financier, a major campaign contributor, would pressure incoming House Speaker
Nancy Pelosi to name Harman to head the House Intelligence Committee. Harman vigorously denies the allegation, Politico reported, and has demanded U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder release unedited transcripts of the eavesdropping.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Gaylord police chief charged in bugging scheme

The police chief of Gaylord in Sibley County is charged with two gross misdemeanors in connection with ordering his officers to attempt to secretly record conversations of City Council members. At the time, the council was considering doing away with the police department and hiring the Sheriff's Office to provide protection.

Dale Lee Roiger, 60, is charged with misconduct of a public officer and illegal interception of communications by the Carver County attorney's office in connection with his alleged actions, which occurred in summer 2007.

According to charges: In late July 2007, Roiger ordered one of his police officers to secretly place a voice-activated tape recorder in the Chamber of Commerce office. Roiger allegedly suspected members of the City Council of violating Minnesota's open meeting law by secretly convening in the Chamber office, the complaint said. At the time, the council was considering hiring the Sibley County Sheriff's Office rather than having a police department.


Newspaper CEO Testifies On Alleged Taping

PHILADELPHIA - A judge wants bankrupt Philadelphia Newspapers to focus on its financial reorganization while others investigate claims an investor illegally tape-recorded a sensitive financial meeting.
The judge Monday appointed unsecured creditors to pursue the allegation so it does not remain a "sideshow" of the bankruptcy case.
Both sides appear pleased by the decision.
The ruling follows testimony Monday from Brian Tierney, chief executive of Philadelphia Newspapers. Tierney says a representative of New York-based CIT Group Inc. recorded a November meeting in his office. He says the pre-bankruptcy negotiations soured after he raised concerns about the taping.
Philadelphia Newspapers filed for bankruptcy in February.

How to hack a smartphone with little more than a business card and SMS

A security firm has demonstrated how to hack a mobile phone using what is known as the 'Midnight Raid' exploit, by triggering an Internet Explorer vulnerability with simple online tools, a business card and SMS.
Business users be warned - your business card may be giving up your mobile security. Up until now, it was presumed that SMS was relatively secure. But with the recent growth of smartphones, (including those that run Internet Explorer), the stakes have been raised.
Hacking your mobile now appears to be deceptively simple according to a YouTube tutorial posted by security firm, Trust Digital. Smartphone users are forewarned to be vigilant against the detection of any suspicious SMS's.
The YouTube video in question shows just how easy it is to hack your mobile phone with a few simple SMS instructions.
The hack, known as 'Midnight Raid', takes its name from the time of day it preys on its victims, many of whom are business users with unsecured smartphones.

Digital espionage - off the shelf

I've talked in this column before about the dangers lurking online. But while I'm sure you guys are listening, I'm not sure governments are.
Researchers from Canada recently unearthed an espionage network - apparently run from inside China - that has penetrated the computers of governments and embassies from 18 countries, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Asian Development Bank, and at least one major news organization.
This is somewhat alarming. But maybe what is more alarming about this is about how easy it seems to have been. All of it was done with software tools you could probably buy in your local pirated software store.
The team, from the Munk Center for International Studies at the University of Toronto, was investigating claims that the Dalai Lama's Tibetan "government-in-exile" in India had been badly compromised.
One young Tibetan woman returning home was stopped at the border, for example, and interrogated for two months. When she denied any involvement in the Dalai Lama's operations, they waved a dossier of full transcripts of all her Internet chats over the years.

Congresswoman Waddles Into Israeli Spy Storm

How many hot-buttons does the news that the NSA wiretapped Congresswoman Jane Harman involve? Let's count: 1) public corruption, 2) "Israel Lobby" espionage, 3) intelligence agencies spying on lawmakers and 4) Bush's hyper-politicization of everything.
The National Security Agency eavesdropped on a telephone conversation Harman had with a "suspected Israeli agent" in October 2005, in which Harman agreed to try to quash an investigation into an Israeli lobby.
At the time, the Justice Department was pursuing an espionage case against two lobbyists for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the powerful Israeli lobbying group. According to CQ's Jeff Stein, the NSA was listening in on an Israeli operative's calls when they picked up a conversation between the target and Harman in which the congresswoman promised to "waddle in" to the AIPAC case "if you think it'll make a difference."

Shredders a must for home-based business

It's the stuff movies are made of – wire tapping, computer hacking, network tampering.
A man lurking in the shadows, hunting through the day's trash searching for your most valued corporate information which someone has inadvertently tossed into the recycling bin. Or worse yet, a vital internal document gets e-mailed to your biggest competitor.
Think your home business is protected from corporate espionage? Think again.
The information your competitors seek may not be as sophisticated as your latest prototype for a new product or service. It could be as basic as supplier agreements, personnel records or research documents.
What about your client list? Client lists are the holy grail of many companies – highly regarded and fiercely protected. But what would happen if your client list ended up in the wrong hands?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Deutsche Bahn hit by new spying allegations

In an ever-expanding spying scandal, the German national rail operator has now admitted to searching the computer hard drives of its employees, but only in those cases when criminal activity was suspected.
Deutsche Bahn employees' computer files were scrutinized "only in those cases, in which there was a concrete suspicion of internal company data being illegally passed on," the company said in a statement on Sunday, April 19.
The announcement came in response to a report by the German weekly Der Spiegel, which claimed that Deutsche Bahn had not only - as previously assumed - monitored hundreds of thousands of emails of employees, but also secretly searched their computer hard drives.
The existing spying quagmire was rendered even more treacherous by additional media reports linking the company's monitoring activity to a parliamentarian of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's governing grand coalition.

Cellular Phone and GPS Jamming: To jam or not to jam

Why would anyone want to “jam” or block a cellular phone? In truth its already done by the federal government in certain areas to prevent the detonation of bombs by simply dialing a lethal number.
However, many businesses would also like to use them as well. Movie theaters and restaurants for one, prisons and financial institutions as well, but in the city of Chicago along with most other municipalities doing so is illegal. In fact, each country has unique laws. The UK and Japan allow you possess but not use jamming technology. The equipment exists to block cellular networks and also GPS tracking, and can readily be purchased over the internet regardless of the fact it is technically illegal. It is sold by two groups of people. The first are legitimate distributors who and supply the government with cellular and more sophisticated radio frequency signal blocking equipment, and the second group, which is everybody else who imports them for resale, largely from China.

Office bug sweep necessary

Mayor Linda Jackson is staying mum on whether a sweep for bugs in her office last year uncovered anything illicit, citing the security of the City of Vaughan as reason for her silence.
ProtechConsult Services was hired to search her office for hidden recording devices, she says. A payment to the company of $2,600, dated Jan. 31, 2008, appears in the mayor’s expense records, though the invoice shows $2,730 was paid after the GST was included.“City security is a necessary expense and I do not regret my efforts in protecting the City of Vaughan,” Jackson said in a statement released to the media last week.She said the bug sweep was needed after she received information her office may have been compromised.
“As you can appreciate, a lot of confidential conversations occur in my office and I felt that it was important to safeguard the corporation as I believed that someone entered my office without authorization,” she said.
Note: When was the last time you scheduled a Bug Sweep? Contact: ComSec LLc and schedule yours today!

Homeland Security leaders defend memo on veterans

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Top Department of Homeland Security officials on Sunday defended an agency intelligence assessment warning that veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan could be susceptible to recruitment by right-wing extremists, though one said it should have been "more tightly written and presented."
Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano said on CNN's "State of the Union" that she regrets that some people took offense over the report, but added that "a number of groups far too numerous to mention" were targeting returning veterans to carry out domestic terrorism attacks.
She said the warning report, which went out to American law enforcement agencies two weeks ago, was consistent with earlier reports.
The report, which also warned of veterans engaging in lone acts of violence, was criticized by conservatives who called it offensive and said the agency should apologize to veterans.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Chinese Espionage Continues With Latest Theft Of Trade Secrets

Yan Zhu, also known as "Westerly Zhu", age 31, a Chinese citizen in the U.S. on a work visa, was arrested Friday morning by FBI agents at his residence, 9 Victor Street, Apt 26, Lodi, New Jersey, on charges of theft of trade secrets, conspiracy, wire fraud, and theft of honest services fraud announced Weysan Dun, Special Agent In Charge.

The investigation, code named "Westerly Winds", began in November of 2008 based on a complaint from the victim company.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Federal District Court in Trenton, Zhu was employed at "Company A" as a senior environmental engineer from May of 2006 until his termination in July of 2008. Company A is a comprehensive multi-media environmental information management

portal that developed a proprietary software program for the Chinese market which allows users to manage air emissions, ambient water quality, and ground water quality.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

British Secret Service Seeks High-Tech Gadget Guru

Now, Britain's domestic spy agency — MI5 — is hunting for its very own "Q," of sorts.

MI6's sister organization, which carries out surveillance on terror suspects inside Britain and gives security advice to the government, is searching for someone to lead its scientific work.

Projects could include everything from developing counterterrorism technology to tackling a biological or chemical attack. "Looking for a chief scientific adviser to lead and coordinate the scientific work of the security service so that the service continues to be supported by excellent science and technology advice," MI5's Web site ad reads.


US looks to hackers to protect cyber networks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wanted: Computer hackers.

Buffeted by millions of digital scans and attacks each day, federal authorities are looking for hackers — not to prosecute them, but to pay them to secure the nation's networks.

General Dynamics Information Technology put out an ad last month on behalf of the Homeland Security Department seeking someone who could "think like the bad guy." Applicants, it said, must understand hackers' tools and tactics and be able to analyze Internet traffic and identify vulnerabilities in the federal systems.

And in the Pentagon's budget request submitted last week, Defense Secretary Robert Gates hung out his own help-wanted sign, saying the Pentagon will increase the number of cyber experts it can train each year from 80 to 250 by 2011.

Amid dire warnings that the U.S. is ill-prepared for a cyber attack, the White House conducted a 60-day study of how the government can better manage and use technology to protect everything from the nation's electrical grid and stock markets to tax data, airline flight systems, and nuclear launch codes.

President Barack Obama appointed former Bush administration aide Melissa Hathaway to head the effort, and her report was delivered Friday, the White House said.


Director indicted in Hollywood wiretaps case


A Los Angeles federal grand jury has indicted a Hollywood director who pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents investigating a wiretapping case and later withdrew his plea.

John McTiernan, who directed "Die Hard" and "Predator," was indicted Friday on two counts of making false statements to the FBI about private investigator Anthony Pellicano and one count of perjury. A phone message for his attorney, S. Todd Neal, was not immediately returned.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Chinese spies may have put chips in US planes

WASHINGTON: The Chinese cyber spies have penetrated so deep into the US system — ranging from its secure defense network, banking system, electricity grid to putting spy chips into its defense planes — that it can cause serious damage to the US any time, a top US official on counter-intelligence has said. “Chinese penetrations of unclassified DoD networks have also been widely reported.
Those are more sophisticated, though hardly state of the art,” said National Counterintelligence Executive, Joel Brenner, at the Austin University Texas last week, according to a transcript made available on Wednesday.
Listing out some of the examples of Chinese cyber spy penetration, he said: “We’re also seeing counterfeit routers and chips, and some of those chips have made their way into US military fighter aircraft.. You don’t sneak counterfeit chips into another nation’s aircraft to steal data. When it’s done intentionally, it’s done to degrade systems, or to have the ability to do so at a time of one’s choosing.”


Cellcrypt Secure VoIP Heading to BlackBerry

Cellcrypt, a British vendor of software for encrypting cell phone calls, has set up shop in Silicon Valley and is getting a product ready for North America's beloved BlackBerry.
The company sells software to enterprises, government agencies and individuals who want to make sure their mobile phone calls are private. Its Cellcrypt Mobile product is a downloadable, phone-based application that encrypts VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) calls all the way from one handset to the other. Unlike other cell encryption systems, it allows users to make calls pretty much as they would normally, and even to use international roaming, according to Ian Meakin, Cellcrypt's vice president of marketing.
Security researchers claim the encryption used for standard GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) voice traffic has been compromised. Hackers could break into GSM networks in about 30 minutes, with inexpensive tools, and listen to calls from 20 miles away, some researchers said last year.

Verizon Business 2009 Data Breach Study, Rise in Targeted Attacks

Financial Industry Accounts for 93 Percent of 285 Million Compromised Records; Most Breaches Avoidable if Proper Precautions Taken.
BASKING RIDGE, N.J., April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- More electronic records were breached in 2008 than the previous four years combined, fueled by a targeting of the financial services industry and a strong involvement of organized crime, according to the "2009 Verizon Business Data Breach Investigations Report" (DBIR) released Wednesday (April 15).
This second annual study -- based on data analyzed from Verizon Business' actual caseload comprising 285 million compromised records from 90 confirmed breaches -- revealed that corporations fell victim to some of the largest cybercrimes ever during 2008. The financial sector accounted for 93 percent of all such records compromised last year, and a staggering 90 percent of these records involved groups identified by law enforcement as engaged in organized crime.
Similar to the first study's findings, the latest study found that highly sophisticated attacks account for only 17 percent of breaches. However, these relatively few cases accounted for 95 percent of the total records breached - proving that motivated hackers know where and what to target.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Starwood sues Hilton for corporate espionage

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. on Thursday sued Hilton Hotels Corp. and two former Starwood executives for allegedly stealing confidential information used to help Hilton quickly and cheaply enter the lifestyle luxury-hotel market.

Starwood filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleging that former Starwood executives Ross Klein and Amar Lalvani stole "truckloads of documents" later used by Hilton to enter the lifestyle hotel market and "reposition its luxury brands and substantially reduce its costs and risks of doing so." White Plains, N.Y.-based Starwood alleges that Hilton recruited Klein and Lalvani in June of last year, after Hilton was acquired by private equity firm Blackstone Group , and stole the documents both before and after they joined Hilton.

"Among the stolen materials was confidential information about Starwood's W(R) hotel brand, which Hilton used in the development of its Denizen brand," Starwood said.


N.S.A.’s intercepts exceed limits set by Congress

WASHINGTON - The National Security Agency intercepted private e-mail messages and phone calls of Americans in recent months on a scale that went beyond the broad legal limits established by Congress last year, government officials said in recent interviews.

Several intelligence officials, as well as lawyers briefed about the matter, said the N.S.A. had been engaged in “overcollection” of domestic communications of Americans. They described the practice as significant and systemic, although one official said it was believed to have been unintentional. The legal and operational problems surrounding the N.S.A.’s surveillance activities have come under scrutiny from the Obama administration, Congressional intelligence committees and a secret national security court, said the intelligence officials, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity because N.S.A. activities are classified. Classified government briefings have been held in recent weeks in response to a brewing controversy that some officials worry could damage the credibility of legitimate intelligence-gathering efforts.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Report warns of rise of "right-wing extremists"

In a report made public today, the Department of Homeland Security warns that the recession and the election of President Obama are "fueling resurgence" of right-wing extremist groups that are seeking new recruits, especially returning veterans.
intelligence assessment suggests that veterans make attractive recruits because of "combat skills and experience" that could boost the "violent capabilities" of radical right groups. Further, it says that any possible new restrictions on gun ownership, combined with vets' trouble reintegrating into their communities during a bad economy, "could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks."
"The high volume of purchases and stockpiling of weapons and ammunition by right-wing extremists in anticipation of restrictions and bans in some parts of the country continue to be a primary concern to law enforcement," the report states.
Note: Download a copy of the DHS REPORT HERE

AK007 cell phone for Chinese police


We all know that police as well as other authorities often have their own versions of devices and gadgets, presumably allowing them to nab lawbreakers with added efficiency. Apart from rugged laptops, here we are with QiGi Future Technology’s AK007 cell phone. No idea whether the 007 code at the second half of the device name has anything to do with paying homage to the world’s most famous fictional secret agent or not, but it does have a nice ring to it. This handset will be tough as nails to cater to a police’s everyday line of work, featuring a 2.8″ display at 320 x 240 resolution, a 2-megapixel to capture incriminating evidence of a crime in progress, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity to help one while the time away on a nearby Wi-Fi hotspot when on duty, GPS navigation to know where one is headed to if he/she is a rookie in that particular area of the ‘hood and quad-band (850/900/1800/1900MHz) GSM telephony to help keep the police in question connected with the rest of the force.

Obama Administration Continues Warrantless Spying

San Francisco - The Obama administration formally adopted the Bush administration's position that the courts cannot judge the legality of the National Security Agency's (NSA's) warrantless wiretapping program.
In Jewel v. NSA, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is challenging the agency's dragnet surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans. The Obama Justice Department claims that litigation over the NSA domestic wiretapping program would require the government to disclose privileged "state secrets."
These are essentially the same arguments made by the Bush administration three years ago in Hepting v. AT&T, EFF's lawsuit against one of the telecom giants complicit in the NSA spying.
"President Obama promised the American people a new era of transparency, accountability and respect for civil liberties," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston. "But with the Obama Justice Department continuing the Bush administration's cover-up of the National Security Agency's dragnet surveillance of millions of Americans, and insisting that the much-publicized warrantless wiretapping program is still a 'secret' that cannot be reviewed by the courts, it feels like deja vu all over again." (EFF)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hidden camera found in restroom

An employee of fast-food Chinese restaurant Hungry Ninja in Valencia was arrested Friday and charged with making pictures of female co-workers undressing in a restroom, authorities said.
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies arrested the suspect, Diego Ortiz, of Santa Clarita, at the restaurant Friday around 3 p.m. The arrest occurred after a female co-worker discovered a cell phone video camera hidden in the employee's restroom and made a report at the sheriff's station, said Sgt. Gary Parker.
The camera was hidden in a box behind a pinhole, Parker said. Ortiz was released from custody Saturday on notice to appear in court, according to Parker. The owner of Hungry Ninja was not immediately available for comment.

Exxon Outfits CEO With ‘Secure’ Phone

The whole country is now worried about the specter of cyber attacks that will bring down the electricity grid. Big Oil is worried about another kind of cybersecurity: eavesdropping. Exxon spent $222,985 last year on security for chairman and chief executive Rex Tillerson. The bulk of that went for standard-issue stuff: a car and driver, and residential security.
But just over $9,000 apparently went for his phones, listed in Exxon’s proxy statement as security expenses “for mobile phones and other communications equipment for conducting businSecuring high-level conversations in an age where everybody has a cellphone has become something of a national obsession.
After he won the election, President Obama warned handlers would have to “pry” his Blackberry out of his hands; he eventually was equipped with a special secure phone rigged up by the National Security Agency.ess in a secure manner.”
But corporate chieftains—especially globe-trotting oil execs–can’t live in a communications-free bubble, which would explain Exxon’s expenditure on Mr. Tillerson’s secure mobile phones.

Fed Contractor, Cell Phone Maker Sold Spy System to Iran

The Washington Times -- By Eli Lake, The Washington Times
Apr. 13--TWO EUROPEAN COMPANIES -- a major contractor to the U.S. government and a top cell-phone equipment maker -- last year installed an electronic surveillance system for Iran that human rights advocates and intelligence experts say can help Iran target dissidents.

Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), a joint venture between the Finnish cell-phone giant Nokia and German powerhouse Siemens, delivered what is known as a monitoring center to Irantelecom, Iran's state-owned telephone company.
A spokesman for NSN said the servers were sold for "lawful intercept functionality," a technical term used by the cell-phone industry to refer to law enforcement's ability to tap phones, read e-mails and surveil electronic data on communications networks.
In Iran, a country that frequently jails dissidents and where regime opponents rely heavily on Web-based communication with the outside world, a monitoring center that can archive these intercepts could provide a valuable tool to intensify repression. Lily Mazaheri, a human rights and immigration lawyer who represents high-profile Iranian dissidents, said she had suspected that the government had increased its capability to monitor its perceived enemies.
Recently, one of her clients was arrested because of instant messaging he had participated in with Ms. Mazaheri, she said.

Spy-catcher Stephanie Douglas to head local FBI

The FBI has named a counterintelligence specialist with a record of capturing spies and pursuing corporate criminals and drug dealers to head its San Francisco office. Stephanie Douglas, who for the past year has been deputy assistant director for operations support in the FBI's counterintelligence division, will be special agent in charge of the San Francisco division, the FBI announced Monday.
The San Francisco division includes much of coastal Northern and Central California, including the Bay Area - excepting Solano County. The division is based in San Francisco, with offices in Concord, Eureka, Hayward, Monterey, Oakland, Palo Alto, San Jose, San Rafael and Santa Rosa.
Douglas has been with the FBI since 1989 and was acting special agent in charge of the San Francisco division for two months in late 2006. During that time, she oversaw investigations, including a crackdown on drug traffickers in north Richmond that resulted in seven arrests and an investigation that led to the conviction of a Walnut Creek chief executive officer for defrauding investors out of $1.5 million.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Candidate's Husband Arrested for Wiretapping


POCOMOKE CITY, Md. (WBOC) - The husband of a candidate for a council seat in Pocomoke's election, says he has been arrested for wiretapping.
William "Billy" Burke, the husband of candidate Stephanie Burke, says police arrested him last night.
According to court documents, Burke was arrested for a wiretapping charge on March 27. Burke says he's accused of recording the mayor of Pocomoke on the front steps of city hall.
Pocomoke Mayor Michael A. McDermott released a press release saying, "I was informed by the Office of the Worcester County State's Attorney that I was a victim in a case involving an alleged illegal wire tap. I have been advised by the State Attorney's Office to not discuss this ongoing legal matter and to refer any inquiries regarding this legal matter to the Office of State's Attorney Joel Todd."