Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Is Your Connected Home Spying on You For Criminals?

The Internet of Things is still at an early adoption stage, but it's already changing the way that we live our lives. 2008 was the year there were more devices online than people. By the year 2019, it's estimated that 1.9 billion devices that connect homes to the Internet will be in place. That's 1.9 billion opportunities for hackers to get into your home.

So What Is The Internet of Things?

Steve Weisman, a professor at Bentley University in Boston and the proprietor of, explains the Internet of Things as any device that's connected to the Internet. "Your fridge can tell you when it needs repairs," he says. "You can raise or lower the heat from afar. It can make a lot of things easier."

"The problem is that when most of these were developed, they didn't build in security," Weisman said, noting that last year, Hewlett-Packard Security Research found that most common "things" on the Internet of Things had security flaws. "90% of them used weak passwords and unencrypted wireless," Weisman added.

Read more:

Did you know that ComSec's residential TSCM services include more than an evaluation of your home for eavesdropping devices? We also include an examination of your computer, your cellphone and your wireless network for security issues. The Internet of Things gives spies an opportunity to penetrate your home privacy in many more ways. Since we incorporate Cyber TSCM into our TSCM services, we have you covered. We provide TSCM solutions that are top rated by our clients because they are thorough and effective. Learn more here:

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Monday, November 23, 2015

FBI Warns of Spies Targeting Medical Researchers

The same week that Jonathan Pollard walked out of a U.S prison after serving 30 years for spying on behalf of Israel, U.S. federal agents, academics and information technology specialists gathered in Houston to discuss this region’s vulnerability to espionage.

When it comes to espionage, it might not seem that foreign governments would target cancer and other medical research, but the FBI is warning that academics and others who work in disciplines that might seem far removed from national security to be on guard.

Foreign governments and their companies _ as well as elements of organized crime _ are known to try and infiltrate academia to steal work that can be reproduced back home without having to spend the time and money the United States has put into research and development.

Read more:

Research labs, pharmaceutical companies, medical device companies, universities, etc. that have access to, or are developing, medical technologies are increasingly at risk for industrial espionage. Cybersecurity is but one element of thoroughly protecting valuable intellectual property. ComSec LLC's cyber counterespionage experts employ a multi-faceted counterespionage approach that includes HUMINT (Human Intelligence), OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) vulnerability assessments, cyber technical surveillance countermeasures (Cyber TSCM) and mobile device forensics. We assess your vulnerabilities to identify human, 
technical and electronic threats. Contact us to learn more about our counterespionage services. 

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Police used apparently illegal wiretaps to make hundreds of arrests

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Prosecutors in the Los Angeles suburb responsible for a huge share of the nation’s wiretaps almost certainly violated federal law when they authorized widespread eavesdropping that police used to make more than 300 arrests and seize millions of dollars in cash and drugs throughout the USA.

The violations could undermine the legality of as many as 738 wiretaps approved in Riverside County, Calif., since the middle of 2013, an investigation by USA TODAY and The Desert Sun, based on interviews and court records, has found. Prosecutors reported that those taps, often conducted by federal drug investigators, intercepted phone calls and text messages by more than 52,000 people. 

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

US Urged to Investigate Alleged Spying Against Chinese Americans

Some Congressional members and Asian American groups are calling on the U.S. Justice Department to investigate what they say is a trend of Asian American scientists being suspected of spying for China.

Temple University physics professor Xi Xiaoxing and Sherry Chen, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service, were accused of spying for China. The government later dropped the cases against them.

At a news conference Tuesday on Capitol Hill, Xi and Chen – both naturalized U.S. citizens – told their stories of being arrested by the FBI in front of coworkers and family members. Both said they are innocent and were unfairly targeted because of their race.

Read more:

Protecting corporate technologies and information from industrial and economic espionage is a necessity. Nation state sponsored corporate espionage is on the rise, and prevention is much more effective than prosecution. Not all who are suspected are guilty. And, it may be extremely difficult to prove spying after the fact.  If you are interested in protecting valuable corporate intellectual property from corporate, economic or industrial espionage, contact us for information about The Assurance Option

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Pa. landlord accused of taping mom, kids

HAZELTON, Pa. — A Pennsylvania landlord who police say used a surveillance camera hidden in a bathroom vanity to record a mother and her two children has been arrested.

Christopher Shenyo, of Sheppton, faces charges including sexual abuse of children and invasion of privacy.

Hazelton police say Shenyo recorded the woman and children showering and using the toilet at their Hazelton rental property.

Forty-year-old Shenyo was arraigned Tuesday and is being held at the Luzerne County Prison because he couldn’t post bail.

Read more:

Yes, cameras and listen devices are still planted in washrooms and bathrooms by voyeurs. They can be hidden in a public restroom, an office washroom, a hotel bathroom and even in rented property bathrooms as in the story above. If you are responsible for security for a restaurant, hotel, business or rental property, you should not overlook the potential for the property to be compromised by hidden cameras. Once privacy is compromised, it can damage to your brand and lead to lawsuits. A physical inspection for hidden cameras, cell phones, and other recording devices in washroom and bathrooms should be conducted on a regular basis. And, if there is suspicion of electronic eavesdropping, call ComSec. Our bug sweep experts detect electronic eavesdropping devices that are well hidden and/or passive until activated. 

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Defense Claims Courthouse Was Illegally Bugged

SAN FRANCISCO — You might want to watch what you say on your way in and out of court.According to court papers filed Friday, federal agents placed secret recording devices in at least three locations around the entrance to the San Mateo County courthouse in Redwood City without first getting judicial approval.

The courthouse bugs were used in 2009 and 2010 to investigate bid-rigging at public foreclosure auctions. Their existence surfaced in a motion from defense lawyers for a group of five real estate investors accused of colluding to deflate prices at the auctions, which were held on the courthouse steps.

Electronic eavesdropping remains a very popular method of obtaining private information. Whether it's in public spaces, a private business or a home, bugging unsuspecting victims happens more often than you might think. And, it's easier to bug someone now than it ever has been. Eavesdropping devices have evolved. They're easy to use, small, inexpensive and the information can be captured without having to retrieve the device. If you're concerned you are the victim of electronic eavesdropping, contact us. We're thorough and effective! 

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Vizio slapped with two class-action lawsuits over alleged smart-TV spying

The company stands accused of sharing smart TV owners’ personal information with third parties without their approval.

Vizio, the company best known for its bang-for-buck TVs, is these days in the news for all the wrong reasons owing to some truly troubling data collection practices. And it doesn’t seem as if the controversy is going to blow over in a jiffy. On the contrary, as first reported by Consumer Reports, it has boiled over into court.

While that site only referred to a single lawsuit in its report, turns out the company is facing two different class action complaints. In both the lawsuits—filed two days apart in separate California courts last week—Cognitive Media Networks has been named as a co-defendant alongside the TV maker. Cognitive’s Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) technology is essential to Vizio’s ability to track users’ viewing habits, so much so that it acquired the San Francisco-based company earlier this year and renamed it Inscape Data Services.

Read more: 

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Friday, November 13, 2015

Protecting Trade Secrets in an Age of Cyber Insecurity

If your company electronically stores or transmits trade secrets, they are at risk. Cybercrime is, after all, its own industry now. The corporate world has entered an age of cyber espionage far beyond unsophisticated phishing emails and run-of-the-mill malware. And a new era of IP-focused data breach litigation is not far behind.

Against that background, this article examines an important tool for understanding the cybersecurity standard that a company will need to meet in a litigation environment, and also for fighting back. It is none other than old-fashioned trade secret law.

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If you're tasked with protecting corporate intellectual property, it's important to consider CYBER TSCM in your risk management strategy.  Not all IT related threats and breaches can be detected by corporate or supply chain IT professionals. Call us at 1-800-615-0392 to learn more about our CYBER TSCM services!

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Report finds apps regularly 'spy on users'

Apps on Apple and Android smartphones leak lots of users' information to third parties, research has suggested.

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard, and Carnegie-Mellon universities studied 110 apps available on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

They found 73% of the Android apps shared users' email addresses, and 47% of the iOS apps shared location data.

Privacy International said it was more evidence of how devices "betray us".

The study, Who Know What About Me? A Survey of Behind the Scenes Personal Data Sharing to Third Parties by Mobile Apps, tested 55 of the most popular Android apps and the same number of iOS apps.

Read more:

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Harris showcases Signal Sentry 1000 solution that detects, locates GPS-jamming sources

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At the heart of many communications solutions is satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, which is used to provide location and timing information that helps automate and simplify multiple complex tasks. If GPS does not function properly, tasks like flying a plane or operating a shipping port become much more difficult, if not impossible.

Given this, the ability to detect GPS jamming and quickly locate the source can be vital to many critical-infrastructure operators. Harris last week exhibited at IACP 2015 in Chicago its Signal Sentry 1000 that provides this information in real time to critical-infrastructure operators, so they can quickly identify the jamming source and take steps to mitigate it, according to Joe Rolli, business development manager for the Harris precision navigation and timing business unit. 

Check Point Security unveils the inner workings of cyber-espionage campaign against CEOs, ministry officials and others

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The cyber-espionage activities of a group with possible ties to Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps called Rocket Kitten are being detailed in a new report from Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.

Led by researchers in the software and hardware security company that has an office in San Carlos, the report highlights malware attacks supported by extensive spear phishing campaigns and a list of 1,600 of the group's targets.

Read more:

Friday, November 6, 2015

Old-school espionage is on the rise

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Idea go
A pivotal operation in the lead up to D-Day during World War II was a deception plan using dummy airfields and landing craft to mask the actual Allied landing sites. While the tools of modern warfare may have rendered such a ploy seemingly obsolete, 21st century advances such as CCTV, HD satellites and drone technology are actually reviving a new era of classic espionage. 

“There has been a drastic paradigm shift in this regard,” Fred Burton, vice president of Intelligence for Texas-based global intelligence company Stratfor told “The challenges posed by the digital age have led to a return to old-school tradecraft.”

Read more:

What some would consider "old-school" tradecraft is very effective in penetrating an organization and capturing valuable corporate information or technology.  HUMINT, electronic eavesdropping and other non-cybersecurity related espionage methods often require much less technical expertise to accomplish in comparison to hacking a network, installing malware, etc. Bugging devices have become easier to use, inexpensive and the captured information can be collected remotely. The potential rewards for the eavesdropper increase at a much lower risk of being detected during retrieval of the captured information. If you suspect your corporate information is the target of spies, call us to discuss. Economic, industrial and nation-state sponsored espionage are on the rise. We can help you detect it and help you prevent future recurrence with our corporate TSCM services.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

5 times as much Mac malware this year

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If you're worried about hackers and cybercriminals, but you think you're safe because you've got a Mac, you need to change your thinking fast. Macs are no longer the invulnerable devices they once were.

Years ago, Macs were remarkably safe, compared to Windows PCs. Part of the reason for that is hackers didn't spend much time attacking them because they were relatively unpopular.

That has changed. In fact, Macs are one of the few bright spots in the PC marketplace. While overall PC sales were down 7.7 percent from third quarter last year, according to Gartner, Mac sales were up 1.5 percent, and rank as the No. 4 computer brand. Read more:

Concerned your Mac is infected with malware? ComSec LLC detects malware, spyware and related malicious software on smartphones and computers. The service is included with our comprehensive, flat fee residential TSCM service. Get more information:

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Apps That Can Secretly Spy on You Through Your Cellphone

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Imagine being tracked through your cellphone without even knowing it.

That’s what one woman says happened to her. She told “GMA” Investigates that her ex-husband installed a spy app on her phone and tracked her, all without her knowledge.

“I don’t know if when I’m sending an email, he’s reading it. Or if I’m making a phone call, if he can hear what I say,” said the woman, who asked not to be named out of fear for her safety.  
Read more:

Concerned your cellphone has a tracking app, malware, spyware or other covert spying software? ComSec LLC offers Cellular Forensic Services that detect these threats to your privacy. Learn more:

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Espionage is fueling China's development of high-end weapons systems

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Between its development of fifth-generation fighters and upgraded models of ballistic missiles, China's military is quickly becoming one of the most powerful and technologically advanced armed forces on the planet.

But it isn't happening because of Chinese technological ingenuity — at least not in the usual sense. One of the principal reasons for the country's new wave of hardware, USNI notes, is Beijing's willingness to copy and steal other nations' military technology.

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Manufacturers of military technologies and defense contractors are targets of nation state sponsored espionage. Espionage can be accomplished by several means, including by electronic eavesdropping. ComSec LLC offers The Assurance Option, which is a contracted, proactive TSCM service plan. If your company develops or handles military or defense related technologies, ComSec's Assurance Option can help you detect electronic eavesdropping aimed at stealing military and defense technologies. Contact us today to learn more!