Wednesday, December 7, 2016

"Spy Toys" that use voice recognition tech to “listen” to the kids that play with them..

These particular toys — basically a “girl” and “boy” theme on the same core idea — both use voice recognition tech to “listen” to the kids that play with them.
They connect via Bluetooth to a mobile phone app, usually belonging to a parent, and then from there access the internet in order to interact with kids and answer their questions. To accomplish that feat, the apps record and collect conversations between the toys and the kids, and use speech-to-text protocols to turn kids’ questions into searchable queries. 
View Video below.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Delete yourself from the internet by pressing this button..

The internet can be a beautiful and horrible place at the same time, and it isn’t weird to sometimes feel like you want to leave — there’s wasn’t an easy way out, until now.
Swedish developers Wille Dahlbo and Linus Unneb├Ąck created, which offers a way to wipe your entire existence off the internet in a few clicks.
When logging into the website with a Google account it scans for apps and services you’ve created an account for, and creates a list of them with easy delete links.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Hack the Army: US military begs white hats to sweep it for bugs..

Security experts reckon the US government’s newly unveiled "Hack the Army" bug bounty programme may usher in greater co-operation across the whole arena of security research.

The US Army will offer cash rewards to hackers who find vulnerabilities in selected, public-facing Army websites under the scheme, which builds on the US military’s previous "Hack the Pentagon" programme.

The Hack the Pentagon programme gave security researchers the chance to earn money by finding bugs on static websites that “weren't operationally significant as targets”. Hack the Army goes one step further by inviting security researchers to look for flaws in websites that offer dynamic exchanges of personal identifiable information, sites considered central to the Army's recruiting mission.

Chris Lynch, the US Department of Defense's head of Digital Service, said: ”Hack the Army [will show] that bringing in creative hackers from a wide variety of backgrounds can fundamentally improve the way we protect our soldiers and secure our systems."

New Malware Turns Headphones into Makeshift Microphones to Record Your Conversations

Mark Zuckerberg made headlines earlier this year for tapping his webcam and microphone. While he forgot the security 101 of not reusing old passwords, the Facebook CEO was definitely paranoid of someone trying to spy on him more than someone hacking his LinkedIn or Pinterest accounts.
Spying makes everyone uncomfortable. Are those so-called IoT devices really surveilling on you? Should you tape up your webcam and microphone slot? The paranoia would see no end because there’s no end to the lengths an attacker could go to spy on their targets. Now, a group of Israeli researchers at Ben Gurion University have given us yet another reason to freak out with malware that converts your headphones into microphones that can record your conversations.
Researchers demonstrated the hack in a video, using a malware they are calling “Speak(a)r” to hijack a computer to record audio, even when the target device’s microphone has been disabled or entirely removed. This malware tweaks the speakers in the earbuds to turn them into makeshift microphones, covertly listening to you.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Spray-on conductive concrete will shield us from EMP attacks..

You don't have to build that Faraday cage after all.

While the threat of an EMP attack knocking out electronics and sending the world into an apocalyptic spiral seems far off, it's good to know that someone is working to protect us from it anyway. University of Nebraska engineers Christopher Tuan and Lim Nguyen have successfully created a cost-effective concrete mix that acts as a shield against "intense pulses of electromagnetic energy" and protects any electronic devices inside.

The EMP-proof concrete has actually been adapted from Tuan and Nguyen's previous -- and slightly more pedestrian -- breakthrough: self-warming concrete that can melt ice and snow with a safe, low-level electrical current. The pair was originally working on a way to build safer roads and bridges when they realized their new concrete could also block electromagnetic energy.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Secret Back Door in Some U.S. Phones Sent Data to China..

Security contractors recently discovered preinstalled software in some Android phones that monitors where users go, whom they talk to and what they write in text messages.

WASHINGTON — For about $50, you can get a smartphone with a high-definition display, fast data service and, according to security contractors, a secret feature: a backdoor that sends all your text messages to China every 72 hours.

Security contractors recently discovered preinstalled software in some Android phones that monitors where users go, whom they talk to and what they write in text messages. The American authorities say it is not clear whether this represents secretive data mining for advertising purposes or a Chinese government effort to collect intelligence.

International customers and users of disposable or prepaid phones are the people most affected by the software. But the scope is unclear. The Chinese company that wrote the software, Shanghai Adups Technology Company, says its code runs on more than 700 million phones, cars and other smart devices. One American phone manufacturer, BLU Products, said that 120,000 of its phones had been affected and that it had updated the software to eliminate the feature.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Democratic National Committee Has Told the FBI It Found Evidence Its HQ Was Bugged

In an episode reminiscent of Watergate, the Democratic Party recently informed the FBI that it had collected evidence suggesting its Washington headquarters had been bugged, according to two Democratic National Committee officials who asked not to be named.
In September, according to these sources, the DNC hired a firm to conduct an electronic sweep of its offices. After Russian hackers had penetrated its email system and those of other Democratic targets, DNC officials believed it was prudent to scrutinize their offices. This examination found nothing unusual.
In late October, after conservative activist James O'Keefe released a new set of hidden-camera videos targeting Democrats, interim party chairwoman Donna Brazile ordered up another sweep. There was a concern that Republican foes might have infiltrated the DNC offices, where volunteers were reporting to work on phone banks and other election activities. (For some of their actions, O'Keefe and his crew have used people posing as volunteers to gain access to Democratic outfits.)

Thursday, September 22, 2016


Tips on What Not To Do and The Best Way to Find a Hidden Camera or Spy Gadget

f you suspect your business or home is under surveillance with a hidden camera or spy gadget, you may not know where to turn for help. Chances are your quest will include an online search for the best way to find a hidden camera or spy gadget. 

If you aren’t familiar with the acronym TSCM (technical surveillance countermeasures) your search for help may be lengthy. In fact, typing the subject line of this article in a search engine will lead you to a variety of suggestions including hiring a private investigator or using a spy gadget store for services. 

Others suggestions include performing your own physical search, buying a “cheap” bug detector or choosing the “cheap” bug sweep option. While all of these options may seem like a solution, we caution you to consider the following information before making a decision.

Read more here.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

This malware sold to governments could help them spy on iPhones...

Many people assume their iPhones are secure, but new research sent Apple scrambling to fix vulnerabilities that left users at risk.
Spyware relying on three previously unknown, or “zero-day,” flaws in Apple’s iOS mobile operating system for years made it possible for governments to take over victims' phones by tricking them into clicking on a link in a text message, according to new reports from Lookout, a cybersecurity firm that looks for security holes in mobile products, and Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs.
"This is the most sophisticated bad actor we have ever seen targeting mobile phones out in the wild," said Mike Murray, vice president of security research at Lookout.
The malware, which the researchers said came from an Israeli company called NSO Group that was bought by the U.S. private equity firm Francisco Partners in 2014, was used to target journalists and activists in some cases, according to Citizen Lab, a group focused on the intersection of technology and information security.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Spy gadgets aren’t about exploding cigarettes anymore...

James Bond and Mission: Impossible (the original TV show and the movies) have colored the way we think of spy tech. Watching old spy movies, one would think intelligence gathering hinged on cigarette rocket launchers, courtesy of Q Branch, or impossibly lifelike masks.

And that’s not completely wrong — if a bit overboard. Intelligence tools are often subtle and creative. But modern intelligence gathering is simultaneously less gaudy and far more effective than what’s seen on the screen.

This was readily apparent at the 2016 Department of Defense Intelligence Information Systems (DoDIIS) Worldwide conference in Atlanta, Georgia, Aug. 1-3, where officials from DoD, the intelligence community and the private sector gathered to share the latest in intelligence tech.

Conference Coverage: DoDIIS Worldwide 2016

Instead of “spy gadgets” seen in the movies, modern intelligence tools are more about processing large amounts of data in real- or near-real-time to give operatives on the ground as much information as possible during missions.

For the CIA, this change has been a natural response to a shift in the way intelligence is gathered, according to Sean Roche, the agency’s associate deputy director for digital innovation.

These days, open source intelligence — information gathered by culling publicly available sources — “is as valuable and more valuable everyday as the information we get clandestinely. The old story is that open source was always doing good things. But unless a paper was marked ‘top secret,’ it didn’t seem to have the same weight. We know that not to be true today.”

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Registration Open for 2016 Espionage Research Institute International (ERII) Annual Counterespionage Conference

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Aug. 4, 2016 - PRLog -- ERII today announced registration is open for the2016 Annual ERII Counterespionage Conference, an annual gathering of worldwide technical surveillance countermeasures (TSCM), counterintelligence and counterespionage professionals.
The conference will be held September 9-11, 2016, at the Embassy Suites Old Town in Alexandria, Virginia. ERII membership 3-day conference tickets are offered at a $200 discount as compared to non-member tickets through August 9, 2016 only. Single-day conference tickets are also available for ERII members and non-members.

Prior to the conference, Professional Development TSCM Group will provide two Kestrel TSCM Software training sessions. A Basic Operator Training session for government, government contractors & military will be held on September 6, 2016. On September 7-8, 2016 an Advanced Operator Certification class will be offered for ERII Members and select attendees.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Judge blasts FBI for bugging courthouse..

The FBI violated the Fourth Amendment by recording more than 200 hours of conversation at the entrance to a county courthouse in the Bay Area, a federal judge has ruled.

Federal agents planted the concealed microphones around the San Mateo County Courthouse in 2009 and 2010 as part of an investigation into alleged bid-rigging at public auctions for foreclosed homes. In November, lawyers representing five defendants filed a motion arguing that the tactic was unconstitutional, since the Fourth Amendment bans unreasonable searches.

"The government utterly failed to justify a warrantless electronic surveillance that recorded private conversations spoken in hushed tones by judges, attorneys, and court staff entering and exiting a courthouse," US District Judge Charles Breyer wrote in an order (PDF) published yesterday. "Even putting aside the sensitive nature of the location here, Defendants have established that they believed their conversations were private and they took reasonable steps to thwart eavesdroppers."

Breyer concluded that the disputed evidence must be suppressed. At a hearing next week, he'll consider whether the recordings tainted the rest of the prosecution's case.

Read more here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Facebook listens and records your conversations...

Have you been on your computer and seen an ad for the brand of shoes you were just talking about with your coworker? Or seen a link to a special sale that Home Depot is having minutes after you heard about it on your radio?

Coincidence? Maybe not.
Recent reports suggest that this information is being gathered in the sneakiest way. And it all has to do with a certain app that we all use multiple times a day, every day.

We're talking about the Facebook app, specifically its always-listening feature.

According to Kelli Burns, a mass communication professor at the University of South Florida, not only is Facebook gathering information from you based on the conversations you're having, it's showing you ads for products related to what you were talking about.

"The tool appears to be using the audio it gathers not simply to help out users, but to listen in to discussions and serve them with relevant advertising," Burns explained. In an effort to prove her theory, Burns would talk about certain topics with her phone nearby and then observe that ads related to her conversations would appear on her Facebook News Feed.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Beware of keystroke loggers disguised as USB phone chargers

FBI officials are warning private industry partners to be on the lookout for highly stealthy keystroke loggers that surreptitiously sniff passwords and other input typed into wireless keyboards.

The FBI's Private Industry Notification is dated April 29, more than 15 months after whitehat hacker Samy Kamkar released a KeySweeper, a proof-of-concept attack platform that covertly logged and decrypted keystrokes from many Microsoft-branded wireless keyboards and transmitted the data over cellular networks. To lower the chances that the sniffing device might be discovered by a target, Kamkar designed it to look almost identical to USB phone chargers that are nearly ubiquitous in homes and offices.
"If placed strategically in an office or other location where individuals might use wireless devices, a malicious cyber actor could potentially harvest personally identifiable information, intellectual property, trade secrets, passwords, or other sensitive information," FBI officials wrote in last month's advisory. "Since the data is intercepted prior to reaching the CPU, security managers may not have insight into how sensitive information is being stolen."

Sunday, May 15, 2016

2016 Espionage Research Institute International Counterespionage Conference

Annual ERII Counterespionage Conference September 9, 10 & 11th 2016 at the Embassy Suites - Old Town Alexandria, VA 22314.

TSCM professionals from across the globe will meet to discuss counter espionage news and events, see demonstrations of new TSCM equipment and network with colleagues.

The ERII Conference experience will include presentations by top experts in the fields of Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM), Counterintelligence Counterespionage, Cyber Countermeasures, Equipment vendors and more.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Corporate Espionage and Protecting Proprietary Information

>>        On average, corporate espionage costs businesses more than $400 billion yearly.
>>        Certain precautions must be incorporated into the framework of an effective Data Security Program to protect valuable corporate information from espionage attempts.>>        TSCM is an acronym that stands for Technical Surveillance Countermeasures.  
>>        Personnel charged with maintaining your cybersecurity program are trained to detect network threats, and typically are not trained to detect eavesdropping devices.>>        If your risk management program does not include Cyber TSCM™ , you have made the job of the corporate spy much easier. 
On average, corporate espionage costs businesses more than $400 billion yearly. Corporate information theft implements can range from cyber espionage attacks in your enterprise to the use of bugging devices to capture data, audio or video. The individual or “spy” behind the attack may be anyone motivated to: damage the reputation of a business, access insider information to profit from making illicit trades, undermine relationships with business partners, gain a competitive advantage or access personal/sensitive data.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

ComSec, LLC Announces New Office in Washington DC

Demand for company's TSCM and Cyber TSCM™ services fuels need for expansion

WASHINGTONApril 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- ComSec, LLC, a world-class provider of Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM) services, today announced the opening of an office in Washington DC. ComSec's electronic eavesdropping detection services are already widely used by corporations, executives, government agencies, non-profit organizations and dignitaries throughout the US and globally. ComSec's office in Washington DC will provide businesses and government agencies a local asset in their efforts to defend and protect valuable information from electronic eavesdropping exposures.

Read more here.

Sunday, February 21, 2016


Election years present an increased risk of politically motived electronic eavesdropping. The candidates, campaign staff, political organizations, the press and/or news media may be targeted for electronic eavesdropping. From campaign strategies to dirty little secrets, an election can be won (or lost) because valuable information is captured, leveraged and/or reported.

An exclusive election news story can make the career of a reporter, or generate significant revenue for a news organization. An election news story can launch a candidate to the top of the polls, or destroy their chances of winning the election. Was the information collected legally? Maybe, and maybe not. But, to a spy who seeks to influence an election, the potential reward far outweighs the risk of being caught. The news organization that breaks the pivotal story is often the winner. The candidate that outwits the eavesdropper(s) may be closer to the election victory. But, the bugged candidate or organization may be faced with a very damaging outcome.

The election candidate’s hopes for victory may instead collide with the demise of their political aspirations. How can damaging politically motivated election outcomes be prevented? Have you heard of technical surveillance countermeasures (TSCM)? It’s the science of detecting bugging devices. We’ll explain how TSCM can help prevent the damaging outcomes of politically motivated electronic eavesdropping.

Read more here.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Gift Rolex watches to three senior Liberal politicians might have been bugged..

It is unknown watch exact model of the luxury Rolex watch Tony Abbott, Ian Macfarland and Stuart Robert were given.

Former Defence minister Joel Fitzgibbon says it is "absolutely possible" Rolex watches gifted to Tony Abbott, Stuart Robert and Ian Macfarlane by a Chinese businessman were bugged.

Intelligence sources are concerned about Chinese intelligence agencies targeting Australian MPs and want all items offered as gifts checked for bugs, Fairfax Media reports.
Mr Fitzgibbon confirmed today any gifts he received were sent to the Defence Signals Directorate, now the Australian Signals Directorate, for X-raying.

"Anyone in a senior position should do the same in the interests of national security," Mr Fitzgibbon said.

However, spokespeople for Mr Robert and Mr Macfarlane admitted the watches were not submitted for any sort of testing. Mr Abbott's office declined to comment, according to Fairfax.

The Rolex watches were gifted to the three politicians by Chinese billionaire Li Ruipeng in June 2013.

Read more here.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Your VoIP phone may be spying on you...

A simple exploit has been discovered that allows an attacker to leverage the weak default passwords of a Voice over IP (VoIP) phone in order to eavesdrop on conversations.

Security consultant Paul Moore writes on his website that he first came up with the idea when he was asked to observe a company's installation of several wireless access points and VoIP phones as well as provide recommendations on how to harden the access points' security.

Despite the fact that the organization was fitting enterprise-grade Cisco, Snom and Ubiquiti UniFi equipment, the personnel with whom Moore was working agreed that there was no immediate need to change the VoIP phones' default credentials.

"We'll just use defaults, for now," Moore quotes them to have said. "That password will do, for now."

It was then that the security consultant decided to see just how insecure a VoIP phone's default settings are.

Little did he know what surprise lay in store.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Cops arrest teen for hack and leak of DHS, FBI data

A 16-year-old boy living in England has been arrested in connection with the recent hack of FBI and DHS data, as well as the personal email accounts of CIA director John Brennan and homeland security chief Jeh Johnson.

Fox has confirmed that British authorities have arrested the still- unnamed teen with help from the FBI and that they are looking for possible accomplices.

The alleged hacker had told Motherboard webzine that he had swiped the names, titles and contact information for 20,000 FBI employees and 9,000 Department of Homeland Security employees. He told Motherboard this was possible through a compromised Department of Justice email.

Authorities believe this is the same hacker who compromised the private email accounts of Brennan and Johnson in October, though officials say neither man used these accounts for government use. As for the agency data, reports indicate that the pilfered information amounted to an internal phone directory.

Spying equipment sales soar for Valentine’s Day

(KWQC) – Is distance separating you from your significant other this Valentine’s Day?

He or she may still be with you, and not just in spirit.
Sales of hidden cameras and GPS trackers “have been soaring in the 2-3 weeks before Valentine’s Day,” according to Allen Walton of online retailer SpyGuy Security.

“We’ve seen sales go up by about 30% over the usual volume,” Walton tells KWQC.
“This time of year is way busier for us over Black Friday or Cyber Monday.”And leery lovers are not shy about their suspicion.“People are straight up telling us that they think their partner is going to cheat on them this weekend,” Walton says.

“Yesterday a male customer paid nearly $500 for our top of the line GPS tracking kit and overnight shipping. He’s going to be out of town this weekend and thinks his wife is having an affair.”

Read more here.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

People turn their smartphones into spying devices for just $5/month

Last month, Wired introduced us to “Symphony, the company that tracks Netflix’s elusive ratings.” Netflix famously doesn’t release information about how many people watch its shows and movies, but Symphony Advanced Media reported that 4.8 million people aged 18-49 watchedJessica Jones and 3.8 million in the same group watched Master of None.How did Symphony come up with these secretive numbers? By turning thousands of people’s phones into listening devices.

Symphony Advanced Media, founded in 2010, has recruited over 15,000 people to be part of its “panel of media insiders.” They downloaded an app from Symphony that collects a ton of information from their smartphones, and turns on their microphones every minute for 5-6 seconds to see what they’re watching on their TV or computer. Here’s how Symphony describes on its website what it knows about each individual in its panel:

Read more here.