Saturday, August 29, 2009

Skype Wiretapping Trojan Publicly Released

pcworld.com

The Swiss creator of a Skype Trojan that can intercept calls made using the VoIP program has released the Trojan's source code online in an attempt to allow for its widespread detection.

In a translated interview with gulli.com, Ruben Unteregger says that with the Trojan's publication, "it will get analysed... signature patterns will be created by antivirus companies, the malware will be detected, blocked and deleted, if it tries to infect a system."

Previous reports from the IDG News Service tied the in-development Skype Trojan to the Swiss Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications, which reportedly hired Unteregger's company to create the digital wiretap.

The Trojan works by recording calls on an infected PC before they're encrypted and sent across the network, according to a new story from IDG's John Dunn. The recorded mp3's could then be sent off to the Trojan's distributor for analysis.

More...

Fake Flash updater monitors Web searches



net-security.org
According to Mischel Internet Security, there's a new Trojan going around. Detected as TrojanClicker.VB.395 by TrojanHunter, it pretends to be an update for Adobe Flash:

It even looks like it's doing the updating, then tells you to shut Firefox down during the installation process (so it can install a plugin). It looks like the real deal and it proclaims to give you "unprecedented creative control with new expressive features and visual performance improvements in Adobe Flash Player [...]".

The final result is your Google searches being monitored and sent to a server at msjupdate.com where the data is stored. This is done so that the plugin can insert targeted ads into the web sites you visit. Additionally, it has been discovered that the malware also keep tabs on every URL you load. All this combined represents a grave threat to privacy.

WPA TKIP encryption cracked in a minute

net-security.org
Robert McMillan from IDG News Service reports that two Japanese scientist from the Hiroshima and Kobe Universities found a way to crack the WPA encryption system in wireless routers, and it takes them just about a minute to do it.

For years now the WEP system has been considered completely insecure. WPA with TKIP was the solution that was used instead while waiting for the development of a more secure solution. WPA 2 has been supported on Wi-Fi-certified devices and products since 2006, and this has to be a wake-up call for all to use it.

It started last November, when two German researches managed to break the WPA encryption on a small range of devices - and they didn't use a dictionary attack (long known to be a way to crack WPA encryption, but requires huge amounts of computers to do it). According to McMillan, they tricked a router and it sent lots of data their way. Combined with mathematical algorithms, it took them from 12 to 15 minutes to crack the system.

More...

Will Biometric Passports Lead to a State of Constant Surveillance?

alternet.org
The protection of privacy and personal data is vital for any democratic society, and should be respected as much as freedom of expression or movement.

One of life’s sweet pleasures is to travel. Thanks to the increasing number of low-cost flights, traveling abroad is no longer a luxury reserved for the privileged few. At the same time, however, there is an alarming increase in the demand of personal data from tourists and no clear transatlantic legal framework on personal data exchange. Though third parties such as airlines and airport operators have the right to read this data, we don’t know what happens with it afterwards.

Under legislation introduced after the September 11th attacks, the United States has tightened security measures for foreign tourists entering its country. The latest measure requires that by 2012, every traveler entering the United States who is part of the visa-waiver program must have a biometric passport or be forced to apply for a visa.

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Peeping Tom - Dr. Steven Pack Arrested for Voyeurism

spotlight.vitals.com

Dr. Steven Pack, Emergency Physician of Lehi, UT has been arrested for videotaping patients in his exam rooms.

Two young women, patients of Dr. Steven R. Pack at Mountain Medical Urgent Care, came forward after realizing that they were being videotaped while undressing to change into the hospital examination gown.

Investigators are waiting to see if other potential victims will come forward. The video camera and equipment with images of women has been found and confiscated along with the doctor’s computer hard drive, which contained additional images.

“The hidden camera was used to obtain pictures that were inappropriate. One of the victims who came forward actually discovered the camera in the room, and that’s when she called us,” said Lehi police Lt. Darren Paul.

More...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Formerly-'Gagged' FBI Whistleblower Details Congressional Blackmail, Bribery, Espionage, Corruption

huffingtonpost.com
Just over two weeks ago, FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds was finally allowed to speak about much of what the Bush Administration spent years trying to keep her from discussing publicly on the record. Twice gagged by the Bush Dept. of Justice's invocation of the so-called "State Secrets Privilege," Edmonds has been attempting to tell her story, about the crimes she became aware of while working for the FBI, for years.

Thanks to a subpoena issued by the campaign of Ohio's 2nd District Democratic U.S. Congressional candidate David Krikorian, her remarkable allegations of blackmail, bribery, espionage, infiltration, and criminal conspiracy by current and former members of the U.S. Congress, high-ranking State and Defense Department officials, and agents of the government of Turkey are seen and heard here, in full, for the first time, in her under-oath deposition.

More...

Workplace fraud increases by 69%

ftadviser.com
The number of thefts and deceptions in the workplace has increased by 69 per cent in the first half of the year compared with the last half of 2008, according to fraud prevention service CIFAS.

The effects of the recession are clearly demonstrated by the increased number of frauds during the year to June 2009, according to the 260 members firms of CIFAS, which includes banks insurers, investment managers and share dealers.

It stated that this demonstrates that as the effects of the recession cut deeper, more people are turning to fraudulent activity that they would not have considered before.

Peter Hurst, chief executive of CIFAS, said: "While it remains true that most employees are completely trustworthy, these figures do show that the impact of the current recession has been severe.

"Desperate times do, indeed, lead to desperate measures, and businesses need to put in place all possible controls to ensure that they, their employees and customers are not subjected to fraud risks that can be avoided."

More...

Eugene man admits he was go-between for jailed spy dad

registerguard.com

A 25-year-old Eugene man — the son of a former CIA agent convicted of spying for Russia — admitted Thursday that he acted as a proxy for his jailed father by meeting with and accepting money from his dad’s former Russian contacts.

Nathaniel “Nate” Nicholson pleaded guilty in a Portland federal courtroom to conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government and conspiracy to commit money laundering. He also agreed Thursday to testify against his father in a plea deal that could help him avoid prison.

Federal prosecutors said Nicholson traveled to Mexico City, Cypress and Lima, Peru, at the behest of his father, ex-CIA agent Harold “Jim” Nicholson. In his plea petition, Nate Nicholson admitted collecting more than $35,000 from Russian Federation agents hoping to continue buying information from his father. He then disbursed the money to family members as Jim Nicholson directed, prosecutors said.

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Man faces restroom spying charges

lenconnect.com
ADRIAN, Mich. - The former technology manager for Citizens Gas Fuel Co. is facing criminal charges for allegedly spying on women inside bathrooms at the company office at 127 N. Main St.

Richard Neal Gramling Jr., 54, was arraigned Wednesday in Lenawee County District Court on seven felony counts involving a hidden camera offense and use of a computer to commit a crime. He remains free on personal recognizance pending a Sept. 3 preliminary examination.

No recordings or images from the restroom cameras have been found on computers or anywhere else, said Detective Greg Lanford of the Adrian Police Department. Several women have already called the police department to ask if they were victims of a hidden camera, he said.

“It only affected a small handful of people who were employees in the building,” Lanford said.

More...

German software company SAP fined billions by US court

dw-world.de
One of Germany's biggest software makers, SAP AG, has been ordered to pay $138.6 million (97 million euros) to Versata Software Inc by a US federal court. SAP was found to have violated the American company's patents.


Both companies specialize in business software and in 2007 the Texas-based Versata sued SAP, saying that SAP's Business Suite products infringed upon its patents.

An SAP spokesman said the company denied the allegations and could potentially appeal the decision.

"SAP is reviewing the decision and is considering further steps," he said.

The software giant is also in the middle of a lengthy lawsuit with rival Oracle. That company has sued SAP for alleged industrial espionage and charges that the damage caused cost it up to one billion euros. That case is set to be heard by a San Francisco, California court next year.

The German stock market index, the DAX, dropped slightly at the news, but then bounced back in later trading.

Not so secret spying

praguepost.com

Russian spies have been caught in any number of countries; that is a sign of incompetence, not strength.

The Soviet Committee for State Security, or the KGB, was once the most feared security agency of the former Soviet Union. Its widespread use of domestic informers to denounce dissidents in order to suppress criticism of the corrupt regime and the Communist Party was the stuff of legend.
The KGB, however, also was responsible for foreign espionage, spying on countries deemed hostile to the interests of the USSR - such as the United States, West Germany, the United Kingdom and France - and on its allies in the Warsaw Pact, among them Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary and East Germany.
In the Warsaw Pact countries of Central Europe, the KGB was highly efficient. It managed to recruit agents from local security agencies such as the Czechoslovak StB, the Polish UB and others with the full cooperation of the governments in power in these countries.

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One-minute WiFi crack puts further pressure on WPA

arstechnica.com

Researchers have come a step closer to breaking open a common WiFi encryption scheme. An attacker can now read and falsify short packets in the common TKIP version of WiFi Protected Access (WPA) encryption in about one minute—a huge speed increase from the previously-required 12-15 minutes.

The hack is not a complete break; it only results in the ability to read and falsify particular short data packets, but cannot retrieve a WPA encryption key. Still, the rapid development of WPA hacks suggests that those paranoid about security ensure that their WiFi networks are using WPA2 with AES encryption rather than WPA with TKIP.

More...

Eau Claire man charged for window peeping, taking pictures of women

wqow.com
Eau Claire (WQOW) - An Eau Claire man is charged after being accused of taking pictures of women under dressing room doors.

Anthony Mahowald is also charged with possessing child pornography. He was arrested at a local store after witnesses said he put a cell phone camera under the door of a dressing room.

He was also accused of setting up a hidden camera in a bedroom. And in February, a man says he went outside to get his paper and noticed tracks in the snow towards his home.

He then saw a man, who appeared to Mahowald, peeking in a window where the man's wife was getting ready for work.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Littmann 3200 Bluetooth Stethoscope

cg
"Old School" Eavesdropping just got an upgrade!

I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a stethoscope that was any different than the same type doctors have been carrying around for generations. They stay pretty simple, but this one gives doctors the opportunity to get an upgrade. While doctors are updating their systems to make them more gadget friendly, this could be a great addition. After all, doctors should get to play with fun gadgets too. This Littmann 3200 Bluetooth Stethoscope created by both 3M and Zargis Medical would be a great way to update the classic doctor’s instruments.

This new stethoscope reduces background noise by 85% while still allowing the doctor to hear the critical body sounds they need to hear. It also reduces handling noises that are often heard with the older electronic versions. It also has up to 24x sound amplification.

Mfg's website

Jury finds Simels guilty in witness tampering case

acorn-online.com
The “Rolls Royce of attorneys” has fallen from grace. After nearly a week of deliberations, a jury has found Waccabuc resident Robert Simels guilty of attempted witness tampering, leaving him facing a potential sentence of life in prison.

Before his fall, Mr. Simels had been a high-profile criminal defense lawyer in New York City, whose clients included such noted figures as former New York Jets Ken O’Brien and Mark Gastineau, gang leader Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff, who had been accused of funneling drug money into rap music label Murder Inc., and Henry Hill, whose exploits were the basis of the movie Goodfellas.

The 62-year-old lawyer has been detained in his home with electronic monitoring until his sentencing on Nov. 20. Jurors announced on Thursday, Aug. 20, that Mr. Simels had been found guilty of the charges, which stemmed from his defense of alleged drug lord Shaheed “Short Man” Khan. Mr. Simels was convicted of eight counts of attempted witness tampering, relating to eight witnesses against Mr. Khan, as well as conspiracy to commit witness tampering, bribery, importation of eavesdropping equipment, and possession of eavesdropping equipment. The last two counts were related to equipment found in Mr. Simels’ office that was designed to intercept cellular phone calls.

More...

CIA Probe Reignites a Partisan Battle Over Spy Agency's Activities

foxnews.com

Republicans are accusing Democrats of waging "war" on America's spies.

The declaration follows Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to investigate CIA interrogators for possible abuses against high-level terror detainees and House Democratic leaders' charge that the CIA misled them on Bush-era anti-terror policies.

Now Republicans are coming to the defense of the spy agency.

"They've kept us safe for eight years," said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. "And now to have an attorney general of the United States opening up a criminal investigation against them -- it's disgraceful and I think it's going to have a demoralizing effect on the CIA."

More...

French spy 'kills his three Somalian kidnappers in dramatic escape'

dailymail.co.uk
A French security agent kidnapped by insurgents in Somalia has escaped by killing three of his captors, Somali officials have claimed.

The agent, one of two kidnapped last month, is now safely under protection at the presidential palace, officials said.

Military officer Farhan Asanyo, told how the man unexpectedly approached government soldiers early this morning, identified himself and said he had escaped.

'The man told them that he was one of the French officials held by militants,' he said.

'He said he escaped after killing three of his captors, and we sent him to the presidential palace.'

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Personal spy gear: Is it ethical? Is it legal?

networkworld.com

These days, if you want to watch over your house, your kids or your significant other, there's a whole world of high-tech security devices out there you can use, in forms you may not have even imagined.

There are tiny GPS data loggers you can slip into someone's car or backpack to learn where they're going. There are audio recorders the size of flash drives that can listen in and preserve the conversations of others nearby. And there are surveillance cams in a whole assortment of motion-activated disguises, including facial tissue dispensers, alarm clocks, outdoor home electrical boxes, bird feeders and even soft, furry teddy bears.

But while it's easy to find and buy surveillance devices, is it legal and/or ethical to use them? Is it okay if you use them to watch over strangers? Is it reasonable to use them to watch and hear family members and loved ones?

The answers can sometimes be murky.

More...

‘The Analyzer’ Pleads Guilty in $10 Million Bank-Hacking Case

WIRED

Ehud Tenenbaum, aka “The Analyzer,” quietly pleaded guilty in New York last week to a single count of bank-card fraud for his role in a sophisticated computer-hacking scheme that federal officials say scored $10 million from U.S. banks.

The Israeli hacker was arrested in Canada last year for allegedly stealing about $1.5 million from Canadian banks. But before Canadian authorities could prosecute him, U.S. officials filed an extradition request to bring him to the States.

Prosecutors alleged in an extradition affidavit that Tenenbaum hacked into two U.S. banks, a credit- and debit-card distribution company and a payment processor, in what they called a global “cash-out” conspiracy. But he was only charged with one count of conspiracy to commit access-device fraud and one count of access-device fraud.

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Huge GSM flaw allows hackers to listen in on voice calls

Note: This post comes from my friend "Mike". The previous post from the
theregister.co.uk on this threat was full of egregious error and incorrect
statements regarding; "such as in countries still under ITAR* restrictions"

"* International Traffic in Arms Regulations - US restrictions on the export of cryptographic technology."

It should be noted that the majority of encryption regulations (and explicitly "
commercial encryption", such as (GSM) are under the jurisdiction of the Dept. of Commerce, Export Administration Regulations. The encryption rules were transferred from Department of State (ITAR) to the Commerce Department (BIS) in 1996. The only remaining "encryption regulations" under the US Munitions List (USML) are specific to "military and space applications" (ie., part 121, Category XI, Category XIII, and Category XV). Thanks to "Mike" for setting the record straight! J.D.L.

neowin.net

Recently at the Hacking at Random (HAR) conference, held in the Netherlands, Karsten Nohl detailed plans for cracking standard GSM cell phone encryption, known as A5/1, and will be making the results available for anyone to use. GSM stands for Global System for Mobile communications and is the most commonly used cell phone standard in the world, and is used in Europe, Africa, Asia, New Zealand, Australia, America and Canada.

The GSM flaw is massive and would affect not only businesses but individuals also as once the hack is complete it means anyone with a $500 radio card and a laptop will be able to listen in to GSM calls, making it easier for criminals to obtain personal data and making listening in on normal voice calls a real and everyday threat.

More...

ACLU: Spying for America's Enemies

townhall.com
Savor the silence of America's self-serving champions of privacy. For once, the American Civil Liberties Union has nothing bad to say about the latest case of secret domestic surveillance -- because it is the ACLU that committed the spying.

Last week, The Washington Post reported on a new Justice Department inquiry into photographs of undercover CIA officials and other intelligence personnel taken by ACLU-sponsored researchers assisting the defense team of Guantanamo Bay detainees. According to the report, the pictures of covert American CIA officers -- "in some cases surreptitiously taken outside their homes" -- were shown to jihadi suspects tied to the 9/11 attacks in order to identify the interrogators.

The ACLU undertook the so-called "John Adams Project" with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers -- last seen crusading for convicted jihadi assistant Lynne Stewart. She's the far-left lawyer who helped sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, convicted 1993 World Trade Center bombing and N.Y. landmark bombing plot mastermind, smuggle coded messages of Islamic violence to outside followers in violation of an explicit pledge to abide by her client's court-ordered isolation.

More...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

French 007 tells of great escape from Dubai wearing a wetsuit under a burka


dailymail.co.uk













A former spy convicted of fraud in the United Arab Emirates has told how he made a bid for freedom by donning a wetsuit disguised under a burka before diving into the ocean.

Frenchman Herve Jaugbert, an ex-naval officer, alleges the Dubai secret police had threatened to insert needles up his nose and that he was about to be thrown in jail for a crime he didn't commit.

The 53-year-old explained how on the night of his escape last summer he stepped into a full-length diving suit, complete with breathing equipment, before adding padding to cover the shape of the kit.

Jaubert, who designs and builds leisure submarines, then disguised himself in a burka and walked down to the water's edge.

From there, he swam underwater to the nearby coastguard station, on a remote outpost, where he cut the fuel lines on a police patrol boat. He knew it was the only one in the area, and the coast would now be clear.

He then swam back to the beach, got into a Zodiac dinghy and headed back out to sea. Six hours later he was 25 miles off-shore and outside Dubai's territorial waters. Another former French agent met him in a yacht, he claims.

Mobile snooping for everyone in weeks

theregister.co.uk
German hackers crack GSM encryption
The Chaos Computer Club has told the FT that in the couple of months it will be releasing code capable of cracking GSM with just a laptop and an antenna.

In comments made to the German edition of the Financial Times, the hacking group claims that governments, and criminals, are already using the technique which can break the encryption used to protect 2G GSM calls in near-real time using existing systems. The group says a public exposure of the technique will take place in the next month or two and allow anyone equipped with a laptop and an antenna to listen in to GSM phone calls.

GSM has been cracked before, the early algorithms used were weak and kept secret (and thus not exposed to public scrutiny), a situation made worse by network operators padding the keys with zeros to reduce the cost of SIM cards. This made a weak algorithm that relied on obscurity even weaker. But since then, the standard has proved surprisingly secure, and even today specialist equipment will take half an hour to break a call, so real-time listening to GSM calls has been restricted to James-Bond types with unlimited budgets.

But the Chaos Computer Club reckons they've found a way to share those super-spy eavesdropping capabilities with anyone, which should have implications for celebrities using mobile phones, but will probably have a more immediate impact on low-level drug dealers who've long relied on the security of GSM for their business.

More...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Charity's offices apparently bugged

upi.com
OKLAHOMA CITY, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Oklahoma City police are trying to determine if internal feuding at a Christian non-profit organization involved illegal wiretapping.

Gary Waits, a private detective hired by Feed The Children, said he found the remains of electronic eavesdropping devices in three offices when he swept the headquarters Wednesday, The Oklahoman reports.

Feed The Children, known for late-night commercials featuring children in poor countries, recently settled a lawsuit brought by ousted board members. Under the agreement, Larry Jones, who founded the organization, will remain as a spokesman while giving up any executive role.

The group said it would not comment on allegations of wiretapping because of the police investigation.

More...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Upskirt subway camera causes scare

theglobeandmail.com
small digital camera apparently planted by an unidentified voyeur to shoot up passing skirts caused a brief bomb scare near a Manhattan subway station, police said Wednesday.

A pedestrian called police on Tuesday afternoon to report seeing a box with wires sticking out of it under a subway grate in a sidewalk on the Upper East Side. The block was closed off while the police bomb squad investigated.

The scare ended when officers discovered that the device was a digital camera.

Police said on Wednesday they believe someone positioned the camera to record so-called upskirt images of women and girls in dresses and skirts as they strolled over the grate.

Investigators found no evidence that the hidden camera had taken or transmitted any of the photos, which are featured on various websites.

As of late Wednesday, there were no arrests.

More...

Hidden camera in women's locker room brings arrest

contracostatimes.com

LAKE FOREST - An employee at a commercial gym in Lake Forest was under arrest Thursday on suspicion of concealing a camera in the women's locker room, a sheriff's spokesman said.

David Emanuel Ramos, 22, of Lake Forest, allegedly hid the camera around 3 p.m. Tuesday in a potted plant at the Synergy Gym at 23762 Mercury Road, but a woman patron reported him to the manager, said Jim Amormino of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

The camera was pointed at an area where females dress and undress, he said.

Wednesday, officers in the sheriff's Sex Crimes Unit interviewed Ramos at the gym and arrested him on suspicion of misdemeanor concealing a camera to secretly videotape and booked into the Orange County jail.

Evidence was also seized from his home, Amormino said.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Corporate Blogger, or Corporate Espionage?

WIRED
Defense contractors, just like their counterparts in the Pentagon, are trying to get their hands around this whole social media thing. Most corporate flacks are smart enough to realize that you can’t get away with simply posting press releases or talking points from the CEO in blog form, but they are still struggling to harness the power of web 2.0

Defense giant Boeing is one of those firms that was toying with the idea of a company-backed blog. But the experiment may be stillborn, thanks to a company spokesman who may have taken a bit too enthusiastically to the concept.

Defense Daily (subscription only) has the whole story. It centers around Doug Cantwell, a Boeing spokesman who attended a recent industry symposium as an “independent blogger.” By passing himself off as a blogger — and not as a Boeing employee — Cantwell stirred up a controversy that could have serious implications for both companies that want to experiment with social media — and for reporters who work in the new medium.

More...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Miami hacker accused of record credit card theft

MiamiHearld

Albert Gonzalez, the Miami cyberthief and former government informant who broke records last year in the largest credit card fraud case in U.S. history, shattered his own mark this week, prosecutors say. The 28-year-old hacker who launched his career cruising Dixie Highway with a laptop to break into the security systems of box stores was indicted Monday in New Jersey in an elaborate scheme to steal more than 130 million credit cards -- reselling them on the worldwide black market.

Known in dark corners of cyberspace as ``soupnazi,'' the Miami native was charged along with two unnamed defendants with targeting customers at convenience store giant 7-Eleven and supermarket chain Hannaford Brothers. The defendants also are accused of infiltrating the computers of a national credit card processing company.

More...

Learning From the Heartland Credit Card Breach

pcworld
Three suspected hackers are now facing federal charges in connection with the largest identity theft case ever to reach America's courts. The men are accused of breaking into the files of Heartland Payment Systems, the world's ninth largest credit processing company, and stealing more than 130 million credit and debit card numbers.

One of the men is a 28-year-old from Miami named Albert Gonzalez. The other two suspects are identified only as being from somewhere in Russia.

Data Hacking History

If Gonzalez's name sounds familiar, there's a reason: He's been tied to other large-scale data theft cases in the past. Gonzalez was charged in the theft of more than 40 million credit card numbers from TJ Maxx, Barnes & Noble, and other companies last summer. He's also accused in the theft of thousands of cards from Dave & Buster's in 2007. According to the Associated Press, Gonzalez is currently in jail awaiting that trial, which is set to begin next month.

More...

Final chapter coming in HP spying scandal

cnet
Bryan Wagner, the would-be private detective who helped Hewlett-Packard spy on technology journalists in 2006, will soon be sentenced, according to a story by The Associated Press.

Wagner admitted in 2007 to taking part in the spying campaign waged by HP in its attempt to unearth a boardroom leak. The targeted journalists worked for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and CNET News.

Wagner pleaded guilty to identity theft and conspiracy in January 2007 and on Wednesday is due to get a new sentencing date in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., the AP reported.

This will likely close the book on the scandal that fractured HPs board, triggered a congressional investigation, and shocked the tech community. Wagner is one of five people, including Patricia Dunn, the former chairman of HP, charged in California with four felonies, including conspiracy and identity theft. Wagner was one of the people who duped telephone employees into handing over private records belonging to the journalists, HP employees, and the company's board members.

More...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Postal Clerk Admits $600,000 Stamp Theft

washingtonpost.com

A Howard County postal clerk pilfered more than $600,000 worth of stamps, many of which were sold on eBay at a reduced price, federal authorities said.

Marvin L. Foster, 55, of Rosedale, who worked as a clerk at the Elkridge post office for a decade, pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore to conspiracy to steal from the U.S. Postal Service.

According to the U.S. attorney's office for Maryland, Foster stole the stamps and then sold them to others for a profit. One of his alleged co-conspirators sold more than $259,000 worth of stamps on eBay for about $229,000, authorities said.

Foster was caught on hidden camera several times in December as he sneaked into the post office supply room and rifled through boxes of "forever" stamps, according to court documents. The stamps, which never expire, come in bricks of 2,000 stamps worth $840 as well as coils of 100 stamps that cost $42.

More...

Subway pervert busted by victim who took his picture

nydailynews.com

Subway pervert Kevin Bishop faces 90 days in jail after a Harlem woman snapped pictures of him allegedly masturbating on a northbound No. 3 train.

The 44-year-old grandfather was hauled before a Manhattan judge Friday and slapped with a misdemeanor public lewdness charge.

Bishop was nabbed Thursday, six days after he allegedly victimized Celeana White, who works as an administrative specialist for the FBI and who took the photos of him on her cell phone at about 4:45 p.m.

"I deeply apologize for what happened," Bishop told police, according to the court documents. "I do admit the whole truth."

More...

Man charged for secret massage parlor videos

abclocal.go.com
Police arrest a man for secretly videotaping massage room clients.

The Lower Providence Township Police Department has charged Richard Frisco with aggravated indecent assault, invasion of privacy, indecent exposure, possession of child pornography, and related offices.

In February 2009, the Lower Providence Township Police Department began an investigation into the activities of Richard Frisco, who was operating an unlicensed massage parlor from his residence in the 3800 block of Monitor Drive, in the Collegeville section of Lower Providence Township.

During a search warrant, detectives found a hidden camera in Frisco's massage room. The camera was connected to a television in Frisco's room. THey also recovered numerous VHS tapes and pornographic material.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

US must heed electronic terror threat

AssociatedPress

ELMA, N.Y. — A New York businessman is sounding the alarm on a potential terror threat that he says has not gotten the attention or action it deserves, despite a congressional committee's finding that the country grows more vulnerable to it by the day.

Henry Schwartz, chairman of Steuben Foods and Elmhurst Dairy, is so concerned that an enemy's electromagnetic pulse attack could paralyze America that he will gather a group of scientists, congressmen and others for a conference next month on how the country should protect itself.

"I've never lived in fear in my life," said Schwartz, 75, an Air Force veteran whose unit handled nuclear warheads in Europe, "but I have to tell you, I'm in fear now."

An electromagentic pulse, or EMP, is a split-second burst of energy that occurs when a nuclear device is detonated high in the atmosphere. A Department of Homeland Security disaster guide for the public explains an EMP "acts like a stroke of lightning but is stronger, faster and shorter."

Experts warn an EMP attack with even a crude nuclear device has the potential to disable or burn out everything from cell phones and personal computers to vehicle ignitions, power grids and air traffic control systems within 1,000 miles, all while having no direct effect on people.

More...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Accuser says Pitino plotted against her

AssociatedPress

NEW YORK — The woman accused of trying to extort as much as $10 million from Rick Pitino over a sexual encounter says the Louisville coach orchestrated a plot to keep her silent, including a claim that her current husband was paid to marry her.

Karen Sypher, whose extortion charge is still pending, says in Friday's edition of the New York Post that Pitino — a married father of five — engaged her at a Louisville restaurant in 2003, where the sexual encounter is said to have occurred. Pitino admitted to the tryst Wednesday and issued a public apology.

The Post reported that Sypher, whose last name at the time of the encounter was Cunagin, went on to claim that her subsequent marriage to Tim Sypher — Pitino's equipment manager — was all part of an elaborate plot Pitino used to keep the incident private.

"The feds bugged my house and put surveillance everywhere with Tim's help," said Sypher, who is currently going through a divorce.

More...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rio Charges Spark Uproar as U.S. Secrets Cases Surge

bloomberg.com

Aug. 13 (Bloomberg) -- China’s accusation that Rio Tinto Group executives infringed business secrets is a rare public response for the country in dealing with such conduct. In the U.S., prosecutions of Chinese industrial espionage are rising.

More than 50 people have been prosecuted in the U.S. since 2006 for allegedly transporting restricted technology, stealing trade secrets or conducting business espionage for China, according to the U.S. Justice Department. Unlike the Rio Tinto case, many of the U.S. prosecutions involved military data.

“There has clearly been an uptick in export prosecutions, in large part in response to increased Chinese activity in an effort to acquire sensitive and controlled material in the United States,” said Clif Burns, an attorney specializing in international trade law in Washington.

Chinese authorities detained the four Rio Tinto executives on July 5, including Australian Stern Hu. A state-secrets agency official said the employees were “spying” on China’s steel industry. He later said that was just his opinion. The four were formally arrested on charges of trade secrets infringement and bribery, not espionage, China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate said Aug. 11, according to a Xinhua report.

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Your Palm Pre May be Spying on You

pcworld.com
Is your Palm Pre spying on you and sending your GPS coordinates and more back to the Palm mothership on a daily basis? According to mobile application developer Joey Hess, that's exactly what is happening. He asserts on his personal blog that data on the location and app used on the Palm's Pre smartphone is being sent to Palm.
The report of Palm snooping on its customers is growing in volume within the blogosphere with many taking the allegations seriously. To be clear the allegation can not be confirmed.

Palm responded to our request for comment with this statement:

"Palm takes privacy very seriously, and offers users ways to turn data collecting services on and off. Our privacy policy is like many policies in the industry and includes very detailed language about potential scenarios in which we might use a customer's information, all toward a goal of offering a great user experience. For instance, when location based services are used, we collect their information to give them relevant local results in Google Maps. We appreciate the trust that users give us with their information, and have no intention to violate that trust."

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High-Tech Bank Robbers Hitting ATMs

whsv.com
High-tech robbers are targeting Central Virginia and police say you may be at risk. The face of a modern bank robber has no physical confrontation, but at least ten Richmond-area victims know all too well what it's like to be robbed.

Robbers are placing skimmers onto ATMs that read all the information on your card's magnetic strip.

Such robbers also use a small, hidden camera to steal your PIN by recording you while you enter it. Police believe it's a team effort, even though they only have one suspect who was captured on film by an ATM camera.

Sgt. A.D. Rucker, Richmond Police Department Financial Crime Unit, says, "We believe there could be up to four individuals that could be assisting the person in the photo."

If you believe you have fallen victim to this kind of crime, call your local law enforcement agency.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

ALUMINUM FOIL DEFLECTOR BEANIE

zapatopi.net/afdb/

Via AFDB website: Practical Mind Control Protection for Paranoids
An Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie (AFDB) is a type of headwear that can shield your brain from most electromagnetic psychotronic mind control carriers. AFDBs are inexpensive (even free if you don't mind scrounging for thrown-out aluminium foil) and can be constructed by anyone with at least the dexterity of a chimp (maybe bonobo). This cheap and unobtrusive form of mind control protection offers real security to the masses. Not only do they protect against incoming signals, but they also block most forms of brain scanning and mind reading, keeping the secrets in your head truly secret. AFDBs are safe and operate automatically. All you do is make it and wear it and you're good to go! Plus, AFDBs are stylish and comfortable.

What are you waiting for? Make one today!

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Note: For those of you who need instructions, click here.

Hidden Camera Spy Watch

sporkings.com
Did you ever consider spying on someone? Perhaps you suspect your brother or sister or even your pet. Well, in case of a pet, disguising the camera as a watch doesn’t really matter, does it? However, since it is so cheap, you can still buy it. The best part comes when we are talking about human subjects! Let’s see what it has to offer.

First, we are very interested in the image quality. The hidden camera spy watch supports a very decent resolution of 352 x 288 CIF. One of its main benefits is that it has color video lens. The second most important thing you should be interested in is the capability to record sound. This device has it! It has a tiny microphone that can catch even the smallest sounds.

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Richmond ATM cash thefts tied to ‘skimmers’


timesdispatch.com

Richmond police say someone is using illegal monitoring equipment to gain access to cash through automated teller machines.

Police today said someone used five fraudulent bank cards at an ATM in the Fan District on Saturday. The thief used stolen information gained by a so-called skimmer to access the money.

A skimmer is a small device that is attached to an ATM and can capture card numbers and personal identification numbers. The skimmer is disguised to look like ATM equipment and is typically mounted to the front of the machine.

Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.

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A GPS Chip Made to Sip Power, Not Guzzle


nytimes.com
SiRF Technology recently announced the development of SiRFstarIV, which sounds like a TV show about a team of teenage spies operating from a groovy beach house.

It is a breakthrough in GPS chip design, which the company says is more accurate than current chips while using 1 percent of the energy. That matters because always-on GPS functions in phones guzzle battery power. This new chip would allow for constant positioning –- and use of location service apps –- while gently sipping electricity.

GPS positioning sucks energy in a two-step process. First, the phone connects to a satellite and locates you. That takes about one second and burns a modest amount of power.

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Security experts warn of dangers of rogue Wi-Fi hotspots

cnn
LONDON, England (CNN) -- You're sitting in an airport lounge and seize the chance to check your e-mails before your flight departs. You log on and are tempted by a wireless Internet provider offering free Internet access. So, do you take it?
Security experts warn that hackers may be masquerading as free public Wi-Fi providers to gain access to the laptops of unsuspecting travelers.

All it takes, they say, is a computer program downloaded from the Internet, an open access point and a user who has ignored basic security advice.

"The difficulty for travelers is differentiating between a good Internet access hotspot and a rogue, or somebody trying to actually glean credentials from you. The issue is that you don't necessarily know the difference between a good and a bad one," computer security expert Sean Remnant told CNN.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The NSA wiretapping story that nobody wanted


computingsa.co.za
Robert McMillan, IDG News Service (San Francisco Bureau)

They sometimes call national security the third rail of politics. Touch it and, politically, you’re dead.

The cliché doesn’t seem far off the mark after reading Mark Klein’s new book, "Wiring up the Big Brother Machine ... and Fighting It." It’s an account of his experiences as the whistleblower who exposed a secret room at a Folsom Street facility in San Francisco that was apparently used to monitor the Internet communications of ordinary Americans.

Klein, 64, was a retired AT&T communications technician in December 2005, when he read the New York Times story that blew the lid off the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping programme. Secretly authorised in 2002, the programme lets the US National Security Agency (NSA) monitor telephone conversations and e-mail messages of people inside the US in order to identify suspected terrorists. Klein knew right away that he had proof - documents from his time at AT&T - that could provide a snapshot of how the programme was siphoning data off of the AT&T network in San Francisco.

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Cell Phone Peeping Tom Suspects Is Arrested


cbs4.com
MIAMI (CBS4A) A man was allegedly caught taking video of women undressing in a Bloomingdale's department store fitting room. That man, Marcelo Matus, was arrested after a witness came forward at the Aventura Mall store. The witness says Matus was recording the women inside the dressing room.

"He should go to jail for that," said one shopper to CBS4's Jorge Estevez outside the Aventura Mall.

The police report states that Matus used his cellphone to get video of women under their skirts; the women were unaware of the defendants activities and were in various stages of undress.

"It's terrible cause I change in the dressing room too," said another shopper.

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Photographer pleads not guilty to hidden camera charges

new.khastv.com
(8/10/2009) By James Wilcox - A Grand Island photographer said he is not guilty of using a hidden camera to secretly videotape his clients changing. 54 year old Dennis Beins entered the not guilty plea Monday afternoon to 16 charges.

They include 11 counts of felony visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct and 5 misdemeanor counts of unlawful intrusion.

Beins is accused of hiding a video camera in a dressing room at his studio here on Broadwell Avenue. Police said he video taped women and girls changing.

Beins shared the studio with four other photographers. They were not involved. It happened between 2006 and 2008. The case against Beins is now assigned to a Buffalo County District Court Judge.

A judge in Hall County recused himself. A pre–trial hearing is set for next month in Kearney. A trial is tentatively scheduled for October.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Industrial espionage turns viral

financialstandard.com.au

The financial services industry could face more threats of industrial espionage online through malicious software technology often associated with credit card fraud, warns an IT security expert.

At a time when banks, fund managers and super funds already have their hands full with online money laundering schemes, another IT-related risk is emerging and this time, the stakes are higher.

In a plot reminiscent of the scandals surrounding certain Australian mining companies and accusations of industrial espionage, financial services firms too may have a corporate "traitor" within their ranks.

But the perpetrators themselves might not even know they are inadvertently supplying sensitive information to rival companies.

Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at online security firm F-Secure, said there have been cases overseas where organised crime would target certain finance professionals within a bank or a finance firm and spend weeks profiling those people.

For example, they would find out what certain employees' roles are within the company, what meetings they go to and who they hold the meetings with.

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Kwon Resigns as US-CERT Director

govinfosecurity.com

Mischel Kwon has resigned as director of the U.S. Computer Emergency Response Team, the Department of Homeland Security said late Friday.

No reason was given for her departure and no replacement had been named.

In a statement, Phil Reitinger, deputy undersecretary for National Protection and Programs Directorate and director of the National Cybersecurity Center, thanked Kwon for her service, commending her leadership and the progress she has made at U.S.-CERT over the past year.

"President Obama has made cybersecurity a top priority for the administration, and Secretary (Janet) Napolitano and I are committed to the department's mission to improve collaboration between public and private sector partners to prepare for, prevent and respond to cyber attacks," Reitinger said.

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