Saturday, October 31, 2009

Spy cams easier to get than you think

wishtv.com
NDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - A Muncie man is in trouble for allegedly installing a hidden camera in a woman's bedroom.

David Keller, 66, is a Muncie home builder and now, an accused voyeur.

Police said Keller put a hidden camera in the home of a woman for whom he had done some electrical work.

She told police she found the camera on her bedroom door.

Indianapolis private investigator Tim Wilcox showed 24-Hour News 8 a variety of cameras disguised as things like packs of gum and tennis shoes.

He showed 24-Hour News 8 cameras so little, they can fit in just about anywhere.

One is the size of his pinky fingernail. They're tiny, and they're affordable.

"The cost on a camera like this would range anywhere from $75 to $300," Wilcox said. "Depending on the resolution quality and all that."

And it's easy to find. Just look on the Internet.

"The capability of perverts and voyeurs to access this technology is unlimited," said Wilcox.

More...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Smartphone security threats likely to rise

cnn.com
(CNN)
-- Worms, spam, viruses and hackers -- they're not just for your desktop or laptop anymore. According to internet security experts they could be well on their way into your pocket or purse.

The popularity of smartphones -- like the Blackberry, iPhone, Palm and the emerging Droid -- is on the rise and shows no signs of letting up.

And that's making the phones a sweeter target for online ne'er do-wells looking to, at the very least, cause mischief and, at worst, rip off unsuspecting phone owners.

"It's guaranteed that almost everything we see on a computer will show up on a smartphone -- and some new things," said Jake Widman, a San Francisco-based technology writer and analyst.

Last year, more than 139 million smartphones were sold worldwide, a 13.9 percent increase from 2007, according to the British technology analysis firm Gartner.

With Apple planning to release the iPhone in China, and a more affordable Android handset expected to hit the market by the end of the year, the pool of potential targets is only expected to get deeper.

More...


Note: Smartphone Anti-Virus, Malware, Trojan protection Click Here!

Miami Beach Cops Play I Spy on Each Other

nbcmiami.com
Cameras in a police station are nothing new for officers to deal with. But finding one in the internal affairs office interrogation room, where officers often go to rat on each other, may tear the Miami Beach Police Department apart.

A hidden camera was discovered by some Miami Beach officers earlier this month and now the rank and file are demanding an explanation, according to the Miami Herald.

Internal affairs officials said the camera, which could record audio and video, was installed for the "safety of the officer."

The police union is calling it foul play.

"It's illegal,'' Union president Gene Gibbons told the Herald. "It's completely unprofessional. It's unethical.''

The Miami-Dade State Attorney's office is investigating "cameragate" to see if anything criminal was behind the video equipment.

The camera has since been removed and a few memos explaining its origin has surfaced. And none of them involve Bob Saget from "America's Funniest Home Videos." The camera was requested and installed in 2004 by former Police Chief Donald DeLucca. Still, none of the rank and file knew of the covert camera.

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Venezuela accuses Colombia of spying and warns of US aggression

timesonline.co.uk
Venezuela mobilised its troops last night and conjured up two alleged Colombian spies in the latest bout of muscle-flexing before the arrival of US drug-fighting troops in the region.

In an announcement during a televised Cabinet meeting, President Chávez accused Colombia of dispatching spies at the behest of the CIA in preparation for an invasion. Colombia denied the charge and hit back by saying that Venezuela was infested with drug traffickers.

Mr Chávez, a socialist who has antagonized the US by seeking to nationalize foreign-owned companies, said that two members of the Colombian intelligence agency DAS had been arrested for trying to bribe Venezuelan officials for information on military operations.

Behind the espionage lay “the hand of the CIA and the Government of the United States”, Mr Chávez said. “They were captured red-handed, practicing espionage and it’s not the first time. We will not release them.”

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The raid that rocked the Met...

mailonsunday.co.uk
The Finchley Road is one of the busiest thoroughfares heading out of . It leads traffic north past Lord's Cricket Ground and the multimillion-pound houses of some of the country's richest hedge-fund managers all the way to the M1. At three in the afternoon it's always pretty slow going, but on this particular summer Monday the traffic was almost at a standstill.

This was partly because the normal three lanes going north had been cut down to one. But it was also because of drivers slowing down to a crawl so they could gawp at the massive police operation unfolding on a busy corner of the road.

Police vehicles - both cars and menacing armoured trucks - jammed up two lanes. Dozens of armed officers in bulletproof vests were standing ready, waiting to be called inside an anonymous-looking building. From the sheer manpower and weapons on display it looked like the capital was under another terrorist attack. But while this was the Metropolitan Police's most ambitious operation in its 180-year history, it had nothing to do with national security. Only hours before, at a special briefing, teams from SCD6 (the Economic And Specialist Crime unit) and C019 (Specialist Firearms Command) hunkered down with technicians armed with angle grinders and drills. Also present were dog handlers, their animals trained to sniff out guns, drugs and explosives.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

US-CERT warns about free BlackBerry spyware app

Note: This comes to us from our friend "Mike", so pay attention!
news.cnet.com
The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team warned BlackBerry users on Tuesday about a new program called PhoneSnoop that allows someone to remotely eavesdrop on phone conversations.

The PhoneSnoop application must be installed on the phone by someone who has physical access to it or by tricking the user into downloading it, the CERT advisory said.

The author of the app, Sheran Gunasekera, director of security for Hermis Consulting in Jakarta, Indonesia, says it wasn't written to do any actual harm, but rather to warn of the dangers that still exist with the BlackBerry.

The application can be used by anyone to spy on any BlackBerry user's phone. However, Gunasekera says it is not hidden on the device after it's installed, so users should be able to easily see it.

"My intention was to raise awareness that even though the BlackBerry is one of the more secure platforms, there are still means where its users can be spied upon," Gunasekera wrote in an e-mail on Tuesday. "I wanted to highlight that even with such technical security controls, the human element can be exploited through social engineering."

More...

Note: Click Here for Eavesdropping Protection for your Blackberry!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cyberattacks: Espionage now, sabotage soon

arstechnica.com
An analysis of recent cyberattacks on Korea and the US suggests that the nations with advanced digital sabotage capabilities have, so far, kept them in check... but it also says that we're only a few years from this technology filtering down to non-state actors.

In April 2009, the US National Academies of Science suggested that it was time for the US to get serious about cyberwarfare, setting official policy for its offensive use and spearheading the development of international norms governing its deployment. Less than three months later, the US and Korea were each hit by a series of network-based attacks that are thought to have originated in North Korea.

An analysis of these attacks has now concluded that their relative lack of sophistication reinforces the conclusion that only major nations have advanced cyberwarfare capabilities, but warns that this situation will only last for a few more years.

More...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cybersecurity Quiz: Know Your Threats


pcworld.com

Separate cybersecurity fact from fiction in this survey of the threats posed by cyberattacks.

This is National Cybersecurity Awareness month so we have prepared a list of 10 questions to gauge your awareness of the dangers facing you on the world's cyber battlefields. Keep track of your score for a rating at the end.

Test your Cybersecurity skills here...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

China Expands Cyberspying in U.S., Report Says

online.wsj.com

WASHINGTON -- The Chinese government is ratcheting up its cyberspying operations against the U.S., a congressional advisory panel found, citing an example of a carefully orchestrated campaign against one U.S. company that appears to have been sponsored by Beijing.

The unnamed company was just one of several successfully penetrated by a campaign of cyberespionage, according to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission report to be released Thursday. Chinese espionage operations are "straining the U.S. capacity to respond," the report concludes.

The bipartisan commission, formed by Congress in 2000 to investigate the security implications of growing trade with China, is made up largely of former U.S. government officials in the national security field.

The commission contracted analysts at defense giant Northrop Grumman Corp. to write the report. The analysts wouldn't name the company described in the case study, describing it only as "a firm involved in high-technology development."

More...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

CIA to start spying on social media?

news.cnet.com
Visible Technologies, a company that monitors online social activity and packages the findings for clients, has forged a "strategic partnership" with In-Q-Tel, the CIA's not-for-profit investment arm, to give the organization insight into social media.

The deal was first reported on Monday by Wired.

According to Visible Technologies, In-Q-Tel is also investing in the company through a "technology development agreement." It did not release more details than that.

However, examining Visible Technologies' work may offer insight into what In-Q-Tel has in mind.

Visible Technologies, which is based in the Seattle area, provides services that allow companies to monitor social-media activity. Companies tend to be interested in consumer opinions. With Visible Technologies' service, companies can view content from mainstream media, cultivate information from blogs, check out open Web 2.0 sites, read tweets, and more. Visible Technologies said its goal is to provide clients "with actionable insight into social-media conversations."

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hotel Peeping Toms Not Limited to Pretty Sportscasters

hotelchatter.com

We were just starting to get over the uncomfortable idea that the creepy stalker of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews was actually helped on his perv mission by a hotel staffer when we came across this news last night--a family staying at a TownPlaces Suites Hotel outside Denver were also the victims of a hidden camera placed inside their hotel room.

Robert Reams and his family checked into their hotel room during a vacation in August. But while they were there, they had no idea that someone was watching them. WOWT TV reports:

From a hole nearly invisible to the eye, David Fugate was in the room with the family. The hole caught the attention of a hotel employee after the family checked out. "The maintenance people poked a pin in the hole and it poked back. They went and got a knife and cut it open to look inside," says Reams. "When they looked inside the wall they found a camera." Fugate had been observing the Reams family from an adjacent room using a wireless camera.

Can we reiterate--this was just an average family, at an average hotel. Not a famous sportscaster or a pop star going on a bender in a luxury hotel. Making it even worse, the family did not know that a perp has been spying on them until two months after they checked out.

More...

US scientist charged with spying

*Update*

news.bbc.co.uk

An American scientist who worked for the US defence department and the space agency Nasa has been charged with attempted espionage, officials say.

Stewart David Nozette tried to give classified information to a person whom he believed was an Israeli intelligence officer, the justice department said.

The 52-year-old, who once had top security clearance, was arrested on Monday by FBI agents, it added.

The complaint does not allege Israel or anyone acting for it violated US law.

Mr Nozette, who is expected to appear in court in Washington on Tuesday, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.

"The conduct alleged in this complaint is serious and should serve as a warning to anyone who would consider compromising our nation's secrets for profit," said US Assistant Attorney General David Kris. According to an affidavit, Mr Nozette worked at the White House on the National Space Council from 1989 to 1990, where he developed a radar experiment that purportedly discovered water on the Moon.

More...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Maryland Man Arrested on Attempted Espionage Charge

bloomberg.com

Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) -- A Maryland scientist who worked for the Defense Department and Energy Department and had access to classified information was arrested on charges of attempting to spy for Israel, according to the Justice Department.

A criminal complaint unsealed today in Washington charges Stewart David Nozette, 52, of Chevy Chase, with attempted espionage. Nozette is accused of attempting to deliver classified U.S. defense information to an undercover FBI agent he believed to be an Israeli intelligence officer in exchange for money, the Justice Department said in a statement.

Nozette, who also has worked for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, held security clearances as high as top secret, and had access to classified information and documents related to national defense, according to the Justice Department. Nozette developed a radar experiment that purportedly discovered water on the south pole of the moon, and designed “highly advanced” technology at the Energy Department, according to the statement.

More...

Facebook, Twitter users beware: Crooks are a mouse click away

cnn.com
(CNN) -- If you're on Facebook, Twitter or any other social networking site, you could be the next victim.

That's because more cyberthieves are targeting increasingly popular social networking sites that provide a gold mine of personal information, according to the FBI. Since 2006, nearly 3,200 account hijacking cases have been reported to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership between the FBI, the National White Collar Crime Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance.

It starts with a friend updating his or her status or sending you a message with an innocent link or video. Maybe your friend is in distress abroad and needs some help.

All you have to do is click.

When the message or link is opened, social network users are lured to fake Web sites that trick them into divulging personal details and passwords. The process, known as a phishing attack or malware, can infiltrate users' accounts without their consent.

More...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

6 accused of insider trading after wiretapping investigation

latimes.com
Reporting from Los Angeles and New York - Federal authorities shook the often secretive world of hedge funds with the arrests Friday of the billionaire founder of a major New York operation and five others on charges they engaged in extensive insider trading that allegedly netted more than $20 million in illicit profits.

After taking the unusual step of using wiretaps in the investigation, authorities accused Raj Rajaratnam, the founder of the $7-billion hedge fund Galleon Group, two executives at California companies and three others of multiple counts of conspiracy and securities fraud.

It's the biggest criminal case involving hedge fund insider trading, said Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for Manhattan, and is believed to be the first time that court-authorized wiretaps have been used in insider-trading cases.

"This aggressive use of wiretaps is important. It shows that we are targeting white-collar insider trading rings with the same powerful investigative tools that have worked so successfully against the mob and drug cartels," Bharara said.

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Passenger Advocate Sues Delta for Allegedly Hacking Her E-Mail


ethioplanet.com
An airline passenger advocate has accused Delta Airlines of hacking her e-mail accounts and computer in order to sabotage her organization’s lobbying efforts to pass federal legislation to help stranded fliers, according to a lawsuit filed in Texas Tuesday.

Kate Hanni, the executive director and founder of the Coalition for an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights , also known as FlyersRights.org, recently learned from America Online that her organization’s AOL e-mail — which included spreadsheets, lists of donors and other data — was being redirected to an unspecified location.

Hanni alleges in her complaint (.pdf) that the e-mail hacking began in 2008. She’s suing Delta and Metron Aviation, Inc. to discover how they obtained her correspondence. She also alleges that other files on her personal computer were “hacked, copied and then corrupted,” rendering all the data on her laptop useless.

More...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Ex-Ford engineer charged with stealing trade secrets


freep.com
A former product engineer for the Ford Motor Co. has been indicted on allegations that he stole trade secrets from the automaker, federal officials in Detroit announced today.

Xiang Dong Yu, aka Mike Yu, 47, of Beijing, China, was arrested Wednesday at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport after he exited a flight from China. He is charged with theft of trade secrets, attempted theft of trade secrets and unauthorized access to a protected computer.

According to an indictment, Yu was a product engineer for the Ford Motor Co. from 1997 to 2007 and had access to Ford trade secrets, including Ford design
documents. In December 2006, Yu accepted a job at the China branch of a U.S. company.

More...

Man guilty in cottage voyeur case

news.bbc.co.uk

A man has been found guilty of setting up secret cameras to spy on holidaymakers renting his cottage.

David Sturgess, 54, had denied 12 charges of voyeurism and three of taking indecent images of children.

Swansea Crown Court heard Sturgess hid four cameras in fake smoke alarms to film guests undressing, showering and having sex at Llandysul, Ceredigion.

He was told a jail sentence was likely because the offences against the children were so serious.

The case has been adjourned for pre-sentence reports.

He was bailed on condition he does not leave his home county of Ceredigion.

More...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Congressmen Accuse Muslim Group of Spying on Congress

dakotavoice.com
A group of congressmen announced today that the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has been trying to infiltrate Capitol Hill, ostensibly to gather information and/or affect policy.
From Fox News:

The four lawmakers, members of the anti-terror caucus, asked for an investigation into the Council on American Islamic Relations after discovering an internal memo noting the group’s strategy. They also highlighted a new book by Paul Sperry titled “Muslim Mafia,” scheduled for release on Thursday, which claims the group has been actively infiltrating Congress.

Reps. Sue Myrick of North Carolina, Trent Franks of Arizona, Paul Broun of Georgia and John Shadegg of Arizona asked the Internal Revenue Service to determine whether CAIR deserves its nonprofit status. They also are asking their colleagues to review a summary of findings that led the Justice Department to name CAIR as a co-conspirator in a terrorism case.

The internal memo, provided to FOXNews.com, stated that CAIR would “focus on influencing congressmen responsible for policy that directly impacts the American Muslim community.”

The memo cited three House committees — Homeland Security, Intelligence and the Judiciary — as panels on which lawmakers preside over policy affecting American Muslims.

“We will develop national initiatives such as a lobby day and placing Muslim interns in Congressional offices,” the memo read.

Earlier this year the FBI severed its once-close ties with CAIR as evidence mounted of the group’s links to a support network for Hamas, which the U.S. has designated a terrorist organization.

Muslim extremists are counting on Western gullibilty and naivete to open doors for them that any wise government would keep closed. Unfortunately the liberal mindset is all too willing to accommodate.

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Insurance slugfest with accusations of espionage

richmondbizsense.com
A Richmond-based insurance company thinks its former CEO went rogue and broke his contract when he left to start a competing firm. The company wants its day in court and an injunction against the upstart.

The startup, meanwhile, says it followed all non-compete clauses and that it’s ploy to drown it in legal fees before it can launch successfully.

For six years, Mike Kehoe was the boss at James River Insurance. He helped get the company going in 2002 and helped it grow. He also helped sell it for $575 million in 2007, pocketing $6.4 million in stock options and bonuses, according to the lawsuit.

But something went wrong after the buyout, and Kehoe left in May 2007 and started working on his own insurance startup, Kinsale.

And that’s about when the trouble started. In a suit filed in July in U.S. District Court in Richmond, James River Insurance seeks to prevent Kinsale from launching, and seeks compensation for the damage it has suffered and may suffer. It is also seeking a jury trial, which has been tentatively scheduled for January.

James River claims Kehoe committed business espionage when he left to form a competing firm, and that he and other accomplices stole secrets and some of its top employees, who also hacked computers and ordered a hard drive “swap” to hide their alleged misdeeds. Kinsale has at least four former James River executives on staff, according to the complaint, and may have hired more.

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Neil Ellerbeck: the suspicious husband's bugging gadgets

telegraph.co.uk

Neil Ellerbeck invested in a range of hi-tech gadgets to gain evidence of his wife Kate's infidelities. But it was a simple tape recorder that proved his most useful tool.

The HSBC banker recorded 127 hours of her phone calls on a voice-activated Dictaphone that he hid on a shelf in their study.

The six-inch long gadget, which can be bought on any High Street for £80, picked up everything said in the room. The rudimentary bugging operation proved so successful that he turned to more sophisticated tools, including two devices capable of retrieving deleted text messages from mobile phones. The pocket-sized gadgets, costing around £100 each, extract data from SIM cards and a phone’s internal memory.

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Slidell man arrested for spying on woman in shower


wwltv.com
BOGALUSA, La. – Slidell Police arrested a man for allegedly spying on a woman while she showered, according to a statement from police spokesman Capt. Kevin Foltz.

Tuesday, Aaron Morphis, 26, of Slidell, turned himself into police after learning that he had an outstanding warrant, Foltz said.

The warrant was issued after a woman reported that while she was showering at her grandmother’s house, she noticed someone looking at her between the ceiling and shower vent, police said.

After the woman covered up and exited the shower, Morphis was seen coming out of the attic by the victim and her grandmother, police said.

More...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Snow Leopard bug deletes all user data


computerworld.com
Snow Leopard users have reported that they've lost all their personal data when they've logged into a "Guest" account after upgrading from Leopard, according to messages on Apple's support forum.

The bug, users said in a well-read thread on Apple's support forum, resets all settings on the Mac, resets all applications' settings and erases the contents of critical folders containing documents, photos and music.

The MacFixIt site first reported the problem more than a month ago.

Users claimed that they lost data when they'd logged into their Macs using a "Guest" account, either purposefully or by accident. Reports of the bug go back to Sept. 3, just six days after Apple launched Snow Leopard, or Mac OS X 10.6. Users who said they'd encountered the bug said that they had upgraded their systems from Mac OS X 10.5, known as Leopard.

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Eviltron for the really diabolical minded


coolest-gadgets.com
Love teasing your fellow cubicle mates at the office? How about scaring the pants of those who are weak-hearted and yet work late into the night all alone? The Eviltron from ThinkGeek fits the bill berfectly.

This fiendishly small device features six creepy sound choices perfect for frightening your “friends” and co-workers. Simply choose your favorite sound (or use the random mode), place it in a dark hiding spot and watch the madness begin. Perfectly suitable for dorm, office and home use. Or try putting it in someone’s car – that gets them every time.

Among the sounds available include some unsettling creaking, unidentifiable scratching sounds, gasping last breaths, a sinister child laughing and an eerie whisper of “Hey, can you hear me?” – turn on the Random Mode if you’re going to have some real fun. Retailing for $9.99 each, it will be able to last for slightly more than a month of continuous use.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

USB Computer Prankster

Note:Be forewarned, this is a nasty little device and will reek havoc on your PC and on your day! JDL

dvice.com

If you slipped this $32 USB Computer Prankster into a USB port in the back of my PC, I probably wouldn't be fooled when it started turning caps lock on and off, typing random text, and taking my cursor on random trips to cloud cuckoo land.

This diabolical dongle could wreak havoc on the uninitiated, especially if you install it and then set its time delay so you can sneak away undetected. Really, be careful where you apply this annoyance; someone might notify Homeland Security.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hilton Worldwide may be accused of corporate espionage

asap.co.uk

A civil lawsuit filed by Starwood hotels accuses two of its former executives, now in the employment of Hilton Worldwide, of stealing proprietary and confidential company information. Hilton Worldwide and the said executives may face a criminal corporate espionage charge, in addition to the above mentioned civil lawsuit.

According to reports, a federal grand jury is currently investigating claims that the former Starwood employees stole confidential documents on a large scale, to help Hilton launch a new brand that would be a rival to Starwood’s W hotels. The investigations into the possible criminal charges are being conducted as part of the civil case filed by Starwood’s in April this year.

Two former Starwood executives were named in the civil lawsuit. Amar Lalvani and Ross Klein have both been accused of stealing large amounts of confidential documentation, ahead of their defection to the Hilton group.

The lawsuit claims that information contained in the documents was used to help Hilton make an expedited entry into the lifestyle hotel market, through the development of the Hilton ‘Denizen’ brand. Starwood claims the information was used by the Hilton group to reposition its luxury brands, while minimizing costs and risks.

Starwood has claimed that a total of 100,000 electronic files were appropriated by Lalvani and Klein, both directly and through other Starwood employees that they took with them to Hilton. The theft is claimed to have taken place both before and after the executives joined Hilton.

Hilton has reportedly dismissed or put several of its employees –including some former Starwood employees – on leave, since the story came to light.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

HSBC banker began affair 'after bugging wife's sexy chats'

telegraph.co.uk
A millionaire banker accused of murdering his wife told a court yesterday how he was driven to having an affair with an old friend after listening to secretly recorded sexual conversations between his wife and their children’s tennis coach.


Neil Ellerbeck said he hid a dictaphone on a shelf in the study of the family home to check up on his wife, Kate, after finding "flirty" text messages on her phone.

The Old Bailey heard that before her death in November last year, he believed she was having affairs with three different lovers and was "afraid" of a divorce and the break up of their young family. After hearing his wife engage in "explicit" conversations he himself turned to a former lover, the 46-year-old HSBC executive admitted.

Mr Ellerbeck denies murdering his wife during an argument in which she told him to move out of the family home. He is alleged to have strangled her to death and then gone to pick up their daughter from a school entrance examination before returning home and calling 999.

More...

Study: 54 Percent of Companies Ban Facebook, Twitter at Work

wired.com
Planning on firing off a short missive on Twitter or posting an update to your friends on Facebook from the office?

Better check the rules of your workplace first.

According to a study commissioned by Robert Half Technology, an IT staffing company, 54 percent of U.S. companies say they’ve banned workers from using social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace, while on the job. The study, released today, also found that 19 percent of companies allow social networking use only for business purposes, while 16 percent allow limited personal use.

Only 10 percent of the 1,400 CIOs interviewed said that their companies allow employees full access to social networks during work hours.

“Using social networking sites may divert employees’ attention away from more pressing priorities, so it’s understandable that some companies limit access,” said Dave Willmer, executive director of Robert Half Technology, in a statement. “For some professions, however, these sites can be leveraged as effective business tools, which may be why about one in five companies allows their use for work-related purposes.”

A study released last summer concluded that social networking use can hurt the bottom line.

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DAS denounces private detectives' wiretapping cartel

colombiareports.com

Felipe Muñoz, director of Colombia's intelligence agency DAS denounced Tuesday the existence of a cartel of private detectives who wiretap telephones and carry out industrial espionage.

The intelligence chief had been called to the House of Representative to talk about the illegal wiretapping of government critics conducted by his own agency that because of this scandal will be dismantled.

Muñoz said that also some private detectives wiretap telephones are carrying out industrial espionage and that it was not just the state agency who did so

"We are even talking about industrial espionage. The evidence we have shows that none of those activities were conducted with DAS devices," Muñoz said to the representatives.

Muñoz added that telephone eavesdropping is so easy that a cell phone can be wiretapped with a pin anyone can buy at Bogota's downtown. That's why he asked that the mobile phone companies be invastigated too.

According to Muñoz the wiretapping cartels operate from Bogota, Medellin, and Cali.

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Watch What You Tweet

truthdig.com

A social worker from New York City was arrested last week while in Pittsburgh to participate in the G-20 protests, then subjected to an FBI raid this week at his home—all for using Twitter. Elliot Madison faces charges of hindering apprehension or prosecution, criminal use of a communication facility and possession of instruments of crime. He was posting to a Twitter feed (or tweeting, as it is called) publicly available information about police activities around the G-20 protests, including information about where police had been ordered to disperse protesters.

While alerting people to public information may not seem to be an arrestable offense, be forewarned: Many people have been arrested for the same “crime”—in Iran, that is.

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Dear iPhone Users: Your Apps are Spying on You

readwriteweb.com
Recently, Palm came under fire when programmer Joey Hess discovered the Pre's smartphone OS was sending users' GPS locations back to Palm on a daily basis. Although this information was disclosed in the company's privacy policy, the majority of the phone's owners were unaware. The incident raised questions about consumer privacy and the extent to which both handset makers and developers were gathering data on mobile users.

If you think you aren't affected by these types of troubles because you don't own a Pre, think again. Multiple iPhone applications - yes, even the ones approved by Apple - are also busy tracking your personal data and "phoning home." Which applications? What data? As an end user, determining this information is difficult. But some iPhone developers have been digging into this issue and the results of their findings may surprise you.

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The Tiny Spy Camcorder Clock

coolest-gadgets.com
There are all types of spy gadgets out there, the trick is finding the one that blends in the most with your style. After all, if you have top of the line electronics everywhere, a cheap alarm clock is going to stand out. If you have very sparse college room type furniture then a tissue box holder with a camera in it is probably going to raise some eyebrows. Well this tiny clock is just one of the many ways you can spy on people while you’re away.

Some might find it a touch paranoid that you have video surveillance going on, but if it helps you sleep at night, then it’s worth the cash. This tiny camcorder is built into the clock and has a built-in rechargeable Li-Battery. That battery will work for up to 2 hours of continuous use. It has 4GB of built-in memory and then is able to use a USB flash drive. It hooks up to your computer to swap out data and charge through a USB cable. It has a switch on and off button that will kick on a light that only briefly twinkles to let you know it’s working.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Security researcher shows how hackers spy on BlackBerry and other smartphones

infoworld.com
Social engineering is used to trick smartphone users into downloading spyware that lets hackers listen to phone conversations, steal contact lists, read text messages


IPhone lovers and other smartphone users should take heed: A security researcher showed ways to spy on a BlackBerry user during a presentation at the Hack In The Box (HITB) conference Wednesday, including listening to phone conversations, stealing contact lists, reading text messages, taking and viewing photos, and figuring out the handset's location via GPS.

And ironically, Sheran Gunasekera, head of research and development at ZenConsult, said the BlackBerry is one of the most secure smartphones available -- in some ways better than the iPhone. "There is no technical way of hacking a BlackBerry, it's impossible," said Gunasekera, during a presentation at the Hack In The Box security conference in Kuala Lumpur. "It's just too secure for that. So we have to rely on social engineering."

More...

Gmail and Yahoo Mail passwords exposed


infoworld.com

Google's Gmail and Yahoo's Mail were also targeted by a large-scale phishing attack, perhaps the same one that harvested at least 10,000 passwords from Microsoft's Windows Live Hotmail, according to a report by the BBC.

Microsoft , for its part, said late yesterday that it had blocked all hijacked Hotmail accounts, and offered tools to help users who had lost control of their e-mail.

Gmail was the target of what Google called a large-scale phishing campaign, the company told the BBC. "We recently became aware of an industry-wide phishing scheme through which hackers gained user credentials for Web-based mail accounts including Gmail accounts," a Google spokesperson told the news network.

The BBC also said it has seen a list of some 20,000 hijacked e-mail accounts; the list included accounts from Gmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL, Comcast and EarthLink. The latter two are major U.S. Internet service providers. "As soon as we learned of the attack, we forced password resets on the affected accounts," the Google spokesperson also told the BBC. "We will continue to force password resets on additional accounts when we become aware of them."

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Hilton could face criminal charges over corporate espionage


caterersearch.com

A federal grand jury is investigating whether Hilton Worldwide and a number of its former executives could face criminal charges in an ongoing legal battle with Starwood Hotels and Resorts over theft of ideas, the Wall Street Journal reports today.

The grand jury will look into whether the hotel group, which is owned by private equity firm Blackstone Group, used confidential documents and concepts taken from the rival operator by former Starwood executives who defected to Hilton and helped launch the hotel group’s Denizen brand.

Denizen was developed to rival Starwood’s W brand by Ross Klein, a former Starwood executive instrumental - along with his colleague Amar Lalvani who went with him to Hilton - in the development of W.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

BlackBerry smartphones open to SMS attack

news.zdnet.co.uk
BlackBerry mobile devices are open to attack due to a certificate notification flaw in the smartphone's software, according to Research In Motion.

The problem lies in the BlackBerry Browser, specifically in the dialog box that alerts users if the URL they have clicked on does not match the domain they are being sent to, the company warned in an advisory on Monday.

To exploit the flaw, a hacker could craft a malicious website that spoofs a trusted website, then send users a link to that site using text messaging or email. If the malicious domain name contains a null character and the user chooses to access the site, the certificate-handling software on the device will note that there is a mismatch, but the warning dialog box will not display the null character in the link.

For example, the URL 'zd[null character]net.co.uk' will generate an alert, which will tell the user they are about to visit 'zdnet.co.uk'. BlackBerry users may ignore this alert, as malicious websites could appear benign, RIM said. "RIM recommends that BlackBerry device users exercise caution when clicking on links that they receive in email or SMS messages," the company said in its advisory.

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Annual report says cyber spying increases


washingtontimes.com

Economic espionage

Foreign spies are targeting U.S. BlackBerrys and iPhones in a bid to steal economic and trade secrets, as the use of computers for economic espionage is growing, according to the latest annual report from the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive.

"Cyber threats are increasingly pervasive and are rapidly becoming a priority means of obtaining economic and technical information," the report to Congress stated. "Reports of new cyber attacks against U.S. government and business entities proliferated in fiscal year 2008. Several adversaries expanded their computer network operations, and the use of new venues for intrusions increased." Read: Report to Congress on economic espionage

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Erin's stalker used cell phone camera

nypost.com
The accused video creep who allegedly made secret naked tapes of ESPN hottie Erin Andrews was hauled into a Chicago court today and told he would have to be brought to California to face charges.

Michael David Barrett, a divorced insurance company worker, faces up to five years in prison on interstate stalking charges for allegedly using a cell phone camera to capture a nude images of Andrews through peepholes at a pair of hotels.

He was ordered to go to California, and will be held until Monday, when U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys will decide if he will be taken there in custody or be released until a court date.

In the wake of the stunning arrest – which occurred Friday, when Barrett was nabbed at O’Hare International airport – Andrews released a statement praising the government for taking down her alleged stalker.

"I hope that [this] action will help the countless others who have been similarly victimized," she said, according to the statement from her attorney. "For my part, I will make every effort to strengthen the laws on a State and Federal level to better protect victims of criminal stalking. I am also grateful to those who have expressed their concerns and good wishes for my family and me."

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Anti-Wi-Fi paint keeps your wireless signal to yourself


tech.yahoo.com
Don't like the idea of your neighbors rudely snooping on the wireless signal you slaved to pay for from the lazy comfort of their living room? It's not just about slowing down your connection; while they're downloading Mad Men via bittorrent, you could be on the hook for their actions.

Wireless security and encryption systems are fraught with problems and insecurity, and other methods to restrict your signal to a small area are cumbersome at best.

Enter a new solution: Anti-Wi-Fi paint.

The idea is simple: Use a special paint on walls where you don't want wireless to pass through (say the exterior of your house). The secret is mixing aluminum-iron oxide particles in with the paint. The metal particles resonate at the same frequency as Wi-Fi and other radio waves, so signals can't pass through the thin layer of pigment. Outsiders would simply be unable to access your wireless network, just as you, inside the house, won't be able to interlope on anything beamed on the outside.

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Your office may have been bugged by BAE, investigators told MP


dailymail.co.uk

A senior MP was warned by the Serious Fraud Office that he might be the target of a bugging operation involving BAE Systems, the British arms firm facing a criminal investigation for corruption.

Liberal Democrat frontbencher Norman Lamb was advised by an SFO investigator they should meet in a public place rather than his Commons office to avoid their conversation being secretly monitored.

Mr Lamb, who has been pursuing BAE over corruption allegations since 2001, became aware of the suspected security breach when the investigator asked him at short notice to meet in the bustling atrium of nearby Portcullis House.

Documents seen by this newspaper show that Mr Lamb wrote to the SFO expressing concern that such monitoring might be taking place.

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U.S. Homeland Security Wants Cybersecurity Pros

pcworld.com

The Department of Homeland Security is looking to hire 1,000 cybersecurity professionals in the next three years according to the agency's secretary Janet Napolitano.

The department now has the authority to recruit and hire cybersecurity professionals across DHS over the next three years in order to help fulfill its mission to protect the nation's cyber infrastructure, systems and networks, she said.

NetworkWorld 8 Extra: 12 changes that would give US cybersecurity a much needed kick in the pants

"This new hiring authority will enable DHS to recruit the best cyber analysts, developers and engineers in the world to serve their country by leading the nation's defenses against cyber threats," Napolitano stated. DHS his the focal point for the security of cyberspace -- including analysis, warning, information sharing, vulnerability reduction, mitigation, and recovery efforts for public and private critical infrastructure information systems.

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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Spy camera masquerades as iPod shuffle


slashgear.com

Rather than messing around trying to disguise a hidden camera as a button hole or tie, one enterprising Chinese manufacturer decided to take advantage of something we’re pretty used to seeing pinned to people’s chests: Apple’s iPod shuffle. The “Mini MP3 Cam DVR” is an old-shape shuffle lookalike packed with a 1.3-megapixel video camera, TF slot and rechargeable battery.

Once triggered, the dinky spy cam starts recording 640 x 480 20fps AVI video or, alternatively, grabbing JPEG snapshots. These can be pulled off via a USB connection.

Israel denies report of Russian 'espionage' crisis

jpost.com
Senior Israeli officials on Thursday denied reports of a diplomatic spat between Israel and Russia over supposed allegations that an Israeli diplomat had spied on Moscow.

The diplomat, Shmuel Polishuk, was until this week head of the Nativ delegation to Russia. He was asked to leave, and returned to Israel this week, not because of any alleged espionage activities, the officials said, but because of unspecified personal behavior inappropriate for a diplomat.

The Nativ organization, now in its sixth decade, was once part of Israel's intelligence community, operating clandestinely to maintain Israeli contact with the Jewish community trapped behind the Iron Curtain. Since the end of the Cold War, Nativ has transformed into a more transparent, and much smaller, Diaspora outreach and aliya agency in the Prime Minister's Office which focuses on Russian-speaking Jewish communities worldwide.

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Former FBI Agent Confirms: Bush State Official Was Target of ‘Decade-Long’ Espionage Probe

prisonplanet.com
George W. Bush’s third-highest ranking State Department official, Marc Grossman, who became the Under Secretary of State after previously serving as Ambassador to Turkey, was targeted as part of a “decade-long investigation” by the FBI, according to an 18-year veteran manager of the agency’s Counterintelligence and Counterespionage departments.

For still-unknown reasons, the investigation, which also involved a multitude of cases involving Israeli espionage, was ultimately “buried and covered up,” according to the official.

The comment from the former FBI official John M. Cole, in response to recent, stunning disclosures made by former FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, helps to shore up a key aspect of her allegations. Cole is now calling for an investigation to help “bring about accountability” in the matter.

Edmonds’ allegations of bribery, blackmail, and infiltration by foreign agents at the highest levels of the U.S. government were recently detailed in a remarkable cover story interview, as published last week by the American Conservative magazine.

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Man arrested in ESPN reporter nude video case

AssociatedPress

LOS ANGELES — A Chicago-area man accused of filming surreptitious nude videos of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews in a hotel room was arrested at Chicago's O'Hare airport Friday night, the FBI said.

Michael David Barrett faces federal charges of interstate stalking for taking the videos, posting the videos online and trying to sell them to celebrity Web site TMZ, the FBI said in a statement. He's scheduled to make an initial court appearance Saturday morning in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

The charges were filed in Los Angeles, where TMZ is based. Andrews is identified in the federal complaint as E.A.

Barrett, 48, was arrested after returning from a trip to Buffalo, N.Y., authorities said.

Seven of the eight videos posted online were taken through a modified door peephole while the 31-year-old Andrews was alone and undressed in hotel rooms in Nashville, Tenn., in September 2008. Investigators believe the eighth video was taken in a hotel in Milwaukee in July 2008.

Several TV networks and newspapers aired brief clips or printed screen grabs from a blurry five-minute video in July.

FBI agents believe Barrett requested a Nashville hotel room next to Andrews' and rigged the door's peephole.

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Spy Fears: Twitter Terrorists, Cell Phone Jihadists

wired.com
Could Twitter become terrorists’ newest killer app? A draft Army intelligence report, making its way through spy circles, thinks the miniature messaging software could be used as an effective tool for coordinating militant attacks.

For years, American analysts have been concerned that militants would take advantage of commercial hardware and software to help plan and carry out their strikes. Everything from online games to remote-controlled toys to social network sites to garage door openers has been fingered as possible tools for mayhem.

This recent presentation — put together on the Army’s 304th Military Intelligence Battalion and found on the Federation of the American Scientists website — focuses on some of the newer applications for mobile phones: digital maps, GPS locators, photo swappers, and Twitter mash-ups of it all.

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