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Prison Inmates Built Working PCs Out Of Ewaste, Networked Them, and Hid Them*

Prison Inmates Built Working PCs Out Of Ewaste, Networked Them, and Hid Them*

By Luke Miller

Inmates in Ohio’s Marion Correctional Institution smuggled computer parts out of an ewaste recycling workshop and built two working computers out of them, hiding them in the ceiling of a training room closet ceiling and covertly patching them into the prison’s network.

The prisoners used the PCs for a number of activities, including several criminal acts like identity theft and credit-card fraud. They were able to network their PC by using a guard’s password; the use of this account on days when the guard wasn’t on-shift tipped off the prison’s systems administrators that something was awry.

James Clavell’s debut novel King Rat contains a fictionalized account of the real hidden radios that British POWs built in Changi, a Japanese death-camp in Malaya (now Singapore), building them into bedposts and water-bottles and plugging them in at night to hear Allied radio broadcasts about the war’s progress. American prisoners have displayed similar levels of ingenuity in the decades since, matched only by the desperate inventiveness of Soviet makers.

“It surprised me that the inmates had the ability to not only connect these computers to the state’s network but had the ability to build these computers,” Ohio Inspector General Randall J. Meyer said.

“They were able to travel through the institution more than 1,100 feet without being checked by security through several check points, and not a single correction’s staff member stopped them from transporting these computers into the administrative portion of the building. It’s almost if it’s an episode of Hogan’s Heroes.”

Source*

Related Topics:

Former Israeli MP Jailed for Smuggling Phones to Palestinian Prison Inmates*

The Science of Sound – Proves You Are a Cosmic Instrument*

Red Cross cuts Family Visits to Palestinian Prisoners*

Iraqi Troops Free Yazidi, Christian Women Prisoners from ISIS*

Iraq Forces Free Prisoners from Underground ISIS Jail*

Rasmea Odeh: Another Political Prisoner of the U.S.*

Ex CIA Operative, Victim of Child Trafficking, and Political Prisoner in U.S.*

Mursi Pardons All Political Prisoners of Jan.25th Rev*

 

 

How Social and Popular Media is Desensitising our Youth*

How Social and Popular Media is Desensitising our Youth*

By Muntadhir Abbas

As we plunge deeper into a world full of innovation in technological entertainment and social media frenzies, I have recently found myself seriously questioning the effects many of these platforms are having on our youth, as well the naivety of parents in this fast-paced and ever changing society we live in. Don’t get me wrong, there are numerous advantages to so many new and diverse sources of communication and entertainment. However, we are often blind to the risks they pose to children and adolescents.

In this, the first of two articles exploring the main social issues that stem from mediums such as TV, music, social media and console games, I hope to simply provide an insight into the reality of the effects of such media, coupled with my observations as a secondary/high school teacher.

It was the last day of term before Easter holiday, in particular, that prompted me to write this, as well as the exclusion from school of several Muslim children so far this academic year. Please note, I really don’t care whether children are Muslim are not, as I believe the welfare of EVERY child is important and the points I hope to raise apply to all demographics of society.

As it was the last lesson, deemed to be a ‘fun lesson’, I allowed the children, who are thirteen going on fourteen, to ‘chill on their phones’ as long as they didn’t use social media – the root of all disputes these days (a topic best discussed another time).

As I marked books, I noticed near on silence. When questioned, pupils almost unanimously said they were watching Netflix on their phone. Perhaps trusting my better judgement and not originally allowing them to use their phones would’ve been wiser, but now I was curious and felt the need to discuss things further. I asked about the phones they had, the contract they were on, who pays for bills, whether it was their own Netflix subscription, what they watch and so on. To my astonishment – and I’m still young and with the times – almost all pupils had the latest smartphone, with a fully paid contract, their own Netflix subscription and were free to watch whatever they wanted without any parental control. They were even viewing series that I watch – like Narcos, House of Cards and Top Boy – all of which have scenes I feel the need to skip! Furthermore, one of the girls said she was going to watch the infamous film 50 Shades of Grey film over the weekend. It was at this point that they could all see the concern and shock on my face, so we discussed things a little further. After some very tactful questions and reasoning on my part, the children – of various ethnicities and religions – all agreed and concluded that they are bombarded with so many scenes of violence, sex, drug and alcohol abuse that many of these social vices just aren’t, for lack of a better word, an ‘issue’ these days. Whilst I almost felt old fashioned, I think what really hit me was the acceptance and desensitisation that existed within these naive and somewhat vulnerable children – and they are just that, children!

“Do not follow that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed! The hearing, the sight and the heart — about each of these you will be questioned.” (Quran 17:36)

A study carried out by Dr. Steve Martino in 2013, published by research organisation RAND, discovered the following in relation to the links between media and psychosocial issues:

The more sexual content that kids see on television, the earlier they initiate sexual activity, the more likely they are to regret their early sexual experiences, and the more likely they are to have an unplanned teen pregnancy.

– There is a strong casual connection between youth exposure to violence in the media and violent or aggressive behaviour and thoughts.

– Kids are exposed to nearly 300 alcohol commercials per year. Similarly, more than 80% of movies depict alcohol use.

– The motives movie characters convey for smoking can adversely affect adolescents’ real-world smoking risk.

Furthermore, a study in 2005 by the notable pressure group the Keiser Family Foundation found the following in an intense survey:

– In 2005 there were 3,783 (sexual related) scenes in a 1,000-hour sample, compared with 1,930 in 1998.

– It found that 70% of shows had sexual content, ranging from a sexual reference to full depiction, with five sex-related scenes per hour on average.

As responsible adults, whether you are a parent or not, and whether you are religious or not, you don’t even need the studies above to tell you that there are real and alarming links between the mediums children and adolescents interact with and the types of behavioural and social issues they manifest.

To be blunt, consider the following areas of entertainment and their possible vices, remembering that everything about them is not bad, but if left unchecked, our youth are vulnerable.

TV and Films

With so many more scenes of violence, sex, nudity, substance abuse and gore, even during family hours (traditionally 7-9pm), we need to censor what is appropriate for youngsters to watch. The people they watch will often become a source of emulation, and if that is a drug dealer or a beautified popular cheerleader (forgive the clichés) then their perception of reality and aspiration in life will be warped. To give a better idea of how sexual activity has changed over time, a fact sheet released in 2011 by the Family Planning Association, found that the average age of sexual intercourse for both men and women was 16. This is down from 17 years of age from a similar study carried out a decade earlier.

“And the right of your sight is that you lower it before everything which is unlawful to you. And that you abandon using it except in situations in which you can take heed in such a way that you gain insight or acquire knowledge by it. Indeed the sight is the gateway to reflection.” – A Treatise of Rights; The Right of the Eye (Ali ibn Hussain as-Sajjad)

Music

Aside from the traditional view of music being impermissible (haram) in Islam (and that debate is well outside the scope of this article) generally certain types of music are seen to be detrimental to society. In some cases they stereotype specific cultures and result in self-fulfilling prophecies of gang culture and substance abuse, and in other cases the raw sexual content is alarming especially when the age of the listeners are as young as five. For example, in 2008, the song ‘I Kissed A Girl’ by Kate Perry was number one in the U.K. charts for several weeks, with children of all ages buying the single and singing the lyrics. The song was in reference to a lesbian experience, which the singer romanticised and soon gained fame for doing so. Again, the discussion on homosexuality is for another time, but the point is, we need to pay attention to what children are listening to. Other genres consist of constant references to drug abuse, womanising and gang culture, and yet have become so popular amongst teenage boys in particular. And these mainstream themes show no sign of abating.

And the right of hearing is to keep it pure by not making it the direct pathway to your heart, except for noble words that establish some good in your heart or grant you a noble trait. Indeed hearing is the gateway through which various concepts reach the heart —whether good or evil. And there is no power but in God. – A Treatise of Rights; The Right of the Ear (Ali ibn Hussain as-Sajjad)

Video Games

No-one needs to be told how popular one particular video game is, but the statistics are scary. In late 2013 for example, when Grand Theft Auto (GTA) V was released, it took three days for it to generate over one billion dollars in sales, making it the fastest selling entertainment product in history. This game is filled with violence, seeking gamers to use torture tactics, featuring grotesque depictions of women and general bad taste. Yet, the sales figures don’t lie, and youngsters across the globe are hooked to a game which simply numbs emotion towards what are very serious and sensitive issues in the world we live in.

Social media

Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Tinder, Twitter…the list goes on. All these innovative social media platforms, some of which have fantastic uses, are also places of much controversy. From child sexual grooming to radicalisation, there is a plethora of issues that arise from social media platforms. On a more day to day basis, children are using these sites and apps to express emotions in very unhealthy ways. This also extends to it being a major source of e-bullying, and the unmonitored sexual freedoms that exist online. From my experience in dealing with teenagers and social media, there are far too many conflicts that emanate as a result of irresponsible use of social media. The vast amount of freedom teenagers have been afforded both by parents and the owners of social media has resulted in unprecedented exchanges of sexualised images. From pouting poses to ‘nudes’ (pictures of one’s self posing fully or partially nude), many girls, in particular, face increasing pressure to post revealing and risqué pictures of themselves. Coupled with sexualised advertising that bombards children on a daily basis, there is an alarming risk that children are interacting with sexual issue they can’t fully comprehend, and far too young an age. Social media ‘celebrities’ all too often romanticise a hedonistic, narcissistic lifestyle, setting concerning ideals for our youngest generation.

Tell the believing men to lower their gaze, and protect their private parts. That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All- Aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze, and protect their private parts and not to show off their adornment… (Quran 24:30-31)

1700 words of (unintentional) scaremongering later, it is my belief parents, carers, children, community members and society in general need to take a long hard look at the influence entertainment is having on our youth. As I have said, there are many advantages and developments that stem from these innovations, but we need to be mindful about the holistic effects they are having. As I once heard a scholar say, “a knife can be used to cut an orange or to inflict harm”, and if we responsibly nurture our youth, we will most certainly see the fruits in the future.

As for practical ways in which I believe we can nurture, safeguard and nourish children at various ages, I will be including them part 2 of this series.

And verily God is the all-Knowing.

Source*

Related Topics:

Why I Don’t Have Facebook or a Smartphone

How Facebook gives the U.S. Govt Access to your Profile Data*

WhatsApp and Facebook Data Sharing*

Your Facebook, Twitter and blog are about to be monitored for references to the Government

Can You Be Detained Over Facebook!

There Were 88 Media Companies… Now There Are 6 which get their News from Rothschild*

Five Times Western Media Failed to Call White Shooters Terrorists*

Taking Control of Your Family Home

WiFi — an Invisible Threat to all Life*

‘Digital Dementia’ Puts Half the Brain to Sleep … permanently!*

School-issued Devices Allow the Feds to Spy on Everything Students have ever Done*

School-issued Devices Allow the Feds to Spy on Everything Students have ever Done*

The Feds, and educational technology (edtech) companies are using tablets and laptops to spy on students from kindergarten through college.

Students, teachers, administrators and librarians across the country are being forced to use school-issued tablets and laptops which use educational cloud services that spy on everything.

According to a EFF’s “Spying on Students” report, more than 30 million students, teachers, and administrators use Google’s education suite of software.

“Across the U.S., more than 30 million students, teachers, and administrators use Google’s G Suite for Education (formerly known as Google Apps for Education), and that number is rapidly growing.”

According to the report, students are being given Google login ID’s with no option to opt-out.

Feds collect intimate and detailed reports of everything students have ever done

EFF’s report warns, these device spy on everyone and keep their information indefinitely. Imagine big brother having an intimate and detailed knowledge of everyone’s entire education from PreK-12 and beyond.

EFF warns, school-issued devices know everyone’s name, student ID, date of birth, their browsing history, their search terms, their location, their contact lists, their graduation dates, and behavioral information.

EFF also warns, some school programs upload this data to the cloud automatically by default.

School-issued devices spy on families nationwide

Schools often require students to use these devices at home to do homework, which means the Feds could easily use it to spy on your home network without a warrant.

In other words, the Feds are using government issued devices to spy on families across the country!

Knewton CEO Joe Ferreira: “Education is the most data mineable industry by far”

What Ferreira is really saying is, students from PreK-12 and beyond is the most spied on data by far.

The ‘Software & Information Industry Association’ estimates that spying on PreK-12 is an $8.38 billion dollar industry.

What does this mean for our kid’s future?

A parent from a Maryland public school had suspicions about data collection, retention, and eventual use by ed tech companies:

“They are collecting and storing data to be used against my child in the future, creating a profile before he can intellectually understand the consequences of his searches and digital behaviour.”

 

Imagine your child going through school and applying for a job or applying for college. Imagine big brother, employers and universities being able to see their entire educational history and flag anything that would disqualify them from a job, higher education, or higher salary.

Imagine law enforcement, politicians, etc., spying on kids throughout their school years and flagging them for activism or being subversive.

That’s the future the Feds and corporations are creating!

Source*

Related Topics:

World Freemasons Gather in Tokyo to Select New Leader as Golden Age Dawns*

From Public Schools to Indoctrination Centres*

Occupy World: Parents Defeat Attempt to Implement Palm Scanners in School*

Google Fined for Spying on Wi-Fi Users*

A Courageous School Girl Challenges the Personalized Electronic Tracking System

Toy Dolls are Recording Your Conversations and Uploading them to Police*

How a Young American Escaped the No-Fly List*

RFID Monitoring and DNA Profiles Unite*

Implant RFID Chip Technology in Students without Parental Consent*

Non-Compliance Stops California’s RFID Tracking Plans for Drivers

A Successful Strike Against RFID’s – Personalized Electronic Tracking System

Leaked NSA Malware Threatens Windows Users Around the World*

Leaked NSA Malware Threatens Windows Users Around the World*

People sit in front of devices running the Microsoft Windows 8 operating system at a press conference launch of the system in New York City, on Oct. 25, 2012

 

By Sam Biddle

The ShadowBrokers, an entity previously confirmed by The Intercept to have leaked authentic malware used by the NSA to attack computers around the world, today released another cache of what appears to be extremely potent (and previously unknown) software capable of breaking into systems running Windows. The software could give nearly anyone with sufficient technical knowledge the ability to wreak havoc on millions of Microsoft users.

The leak includes a litany of typically codenamed software “implants” with names like ODDJOB, ZIPPYBEER, and ESTEEMAUDIT, capable of breaking into — and in some cases seizing control of — computers running version of the Windows operating system earlier than the most recent Windows 10. The vulnerable Windows versions ran more than 65% of desktop computers surfing the web last month, according to estimates from the tracking firm Net Market Share.

The crown jewel of the implant collection appears to be a program named FUZZBUNCH, which essentially automates the deployment of NSA malware, and would allow a member of agency’s Tailored Access Operations group to more easily infect a target from their desk.

According to security researcher and hacker Matthew Hickey, co-founder of Hacker House, the significance of what’s now publicly available, including “zero day” attacks on previously undisclosed vulnerabilities, cannot be overstated:

“I don’t think I have ever seen so much exploits and 0day [exploits] released at one time in my entire life,” he told The Intercept via Twitter DM,

“and I have been involved in computer hacking and security for 20 years.”

Affected computers will remain vulnerable until Microsoft releases patches for the zero-day vulnerabilities and, more crucially, until their owners then apply those patches.

“This is as big as it gets,” Hickey said.

Nation-state attack tools are now in the hands of anyone who cares to download them…it’s literally a cyber-weapon for hacking into computers…people will be using these attacks for years to come.”

Hickey provided The Intercept with a video of FUZZBUNCH being used to compromise a virtual computer running Windows Server 2008–an industry survey from 2016 cited this operating system as the most widely used of its kind.

Susan Hennessey, an editor at Lawfare and former NSA attorney, wrote on Twitter that the leak will cause

“immense harm to both U.S. intel interests and public security simultaneously.”

A Microsoft spokesperson told The Intercept

“We are reviewing the report and will take the necessary actions to protect our customers.”

We asked Microsoft if the NSA at any point offered to provide information that would help protect Windows users from these attacks, given that the leak has been threatened since August 2016, to which they replied “our focus at this time is reviewing the current report.”

The company later clarified that

“At this time, other than reporters, no individual or organization has contacted us in relation to the materials released by Shadow Brokers.”

Update: April 15, 2017

Late Friday night, Microsoft published a blog post stating that after an analysis of the ShadowBrokers leak, it had determined that most of the vulnerabilities were patched in a series of Windows updates released in March — updates that security researchers who analyzed the NSA tools apparently neglected to install. This means the exploits in question were not in fact “zero days” and that anyone running the most recent updates on software still supported by Microsoft is safe from the ShadowBrokers arsenal. But the timing of the patch in question is interesting: If Microsoft truly did not receive any help from the NSA, as it claims, the fact that it fixed a litany of holes vulnerable to secret NSA tools exactly a month before those tools were made public is an amazingly fortunate coincidence (curiously, Microsoft skipped the usual acknowledgements section with the patch, which typically nods to how they were informed of the threats fixed in a given update). At any rate, this is certainly good news for Windows users who keep their computers up to date, good news for Microsoft, and still very bad news for the NSA.

Update: April 14, 2017
This post has been updated with an additional comment from Microsoft.

Source*

Related Topics:

Windows 10 Settings Still Raise Concerns: E.U. Privacy Watchdogs*

Microsoft Taking Vengeance on Windows 7 Users*

Microsoft Shifts Spyware Windows 10 to Recommended Update, Automatic Download*

Microsoft Adding Windows 10 Spyware to Windows 7 and 8*

Senior Russian Lawmaker Seeks Ban on Windows 10 in State Agencies*

The Five Eyes Silencing Snowden, Silencing Us*

 

So you think you can secure your Mobile Phone with a Fingerprint?*

So you think you can secure your Mobile Phone with a Fingerprint?*

Similarities in partial fingerprints may be sufficient to trick biometric security systems on smartphones

Smartphones typically capture a limited portion of the full fingerprint using small sensors. Multiple partial fingerprints are captured for the same finger during enrollment. The figure shows a set of partial fingerprints (b) extracted from the full fingerprint (a). Credit: Image courtesy of NYU Tandon School of Engineering

 

No two people are believed to have identical fingerprints, but researchers at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering and Michigan State University College of Engineering have found that partial similarities between prints are common enough that the fingerprint-based security systems used in mobile phones and other electronic devices can be more vulnerable than previously thought.

The vulnerability lies in the fact that fingerprint-based authentication systems feature small sensors that do not capture a user’s full fingerprint. Instead, they scan and store partial fingerprints, and many phones allow users to enroll several different fingers in their authentication system. Identity is confirmed when a user’s fingerprint matches any one of the saved partial prints. The researchers hypothesized that there could be enough similarities among different people’s partial prints that one could create a “MasterPrint.”

Nasir Memon, a professor of computer science and engineering at NYU Tandon and the research team leader, explained that the MasterPrint concept bears some similarity to a hacker who attempts to crack a PIN-based system using a commonly adopted password such as 1234. “About 4% of the time, the password 1234 will be correct, which is a relatively high probability when you’re just guessing,” said Memon. The research team set out to see if they could find a MasterPrint that could reveal a similar level of vulnerability. Indeed, they found that certain attributes in human fingerprint patterns were common enough to raise security concerns.

Memon and his colleagues, NYU Tandon Postdoctoral Fellow Aditi Roy and Michigan State University Professor of Computer Science and Engineering Arun Ross, undertook their analysis using 8,200 partial fingerprints. Using commercial fingerprint verification software, they found an average of 92 potential MasterPrints for every randomly sampled batch of 800 partial prints. (They defined a MasterPrint as one that matches at least 4 percent of the other prints in the randomly sampled batch.)

They found, however, just one full-fingerprint MasterPrint in a sample of 800 full prints. “Not surprisingly, there’s a much greater chance of falsely matching a partial print than a full one, and most devices rely only on partials for identification,” said Memon.

The team analyzed the attributes of MasterPrints culled from real fingerprint images, and then built an algorithm for creating synthetic partial MasterPrints. Experiments showed that synthetic partial prints have an even wider matching potential, making them more likely to fool biometric security systems than real partial fingerprints. With their digitally simulated MasterPrints, the team reported successfully matching between 26 and 65 percent of users, depending on how many partial fingerprint impressions were stored for each user and assuming a maximum number of five attempts per authentication. The more partial fingerprints a given smartphone stores for each user, the more vulnerable it is.

Roy emphasized that their work was done in a simulated environment. She noted, however, that improvements in creating synthetic prints and techniques for transferring digital MasterPrints to physical artifacts in order to spoof a device pose significant security concerns. The high matching capability of MasterPrints points to the challenges of designing trustworthy fingerprint-based authentication systems and reinforces the need for multi-factor authentication schemes. She said this work may inform future designs.

“As fingerprint sensors become smaller in size, it is imperative for the resolution of the sensors to be significantly improved in order for them to capture additional fingerprint features,” Ross said.

“If resolution is not improved, the distinctiveness of a user’s fingerprint will be inevitably compromised. The empirical analysis conducted in this research clearly substantiates this.”

Memon noted that the results of the team’s research are based on minutiae-based matching, which any particular vendor may or may not use. Nevertheless, as long as partial fingerprints are used for unlocking devices and multiple partial impressions per finger are stored, the probability of finding MasterPrints increases significantly, he said.

“NSF’s investments in cybersecurity research build the foundational knowledge base needed to protect us in cyberspace,” said Nina Amla, program director in the Division of Computing and Communication Foundations at the National Science Foundation. “Much as other NSF-funded research has helped identify vulnerabilities in everyday technologies, such as cars or medical devices, investigating the vulnerabilities of fingerprint-based authentication systems informs continuous advancements in security, ensuring more reliable protection for users.”

Source*

Related Topics:

U.S. Marshals Biometric Scan Passenger Retinas to Board Flight: “Like Everyone Else, I Complied”*

NWO: Central Banks Imposing Biometric ID in Developing Countries First*

Biometric Identification Control: What Will You Do?

A Biometric Passport Can Be Easily Faked*

FBI Errors Lead to Discovery that DNA Evidence is not Reliable*

Hackers can Steal PINs and Passwords by Tracking the Motion of your Phone*

Hackers can Steal PINs and Passwords by Tracking the Motion of your Phone*

 

 

Hackers are able to decipher PINs and passwords just from the way we tilt our phone when we are typing in the information.

Cyber experts at Newcastle University, UK, have revealed the ease with which malicious websites, as well as installed apps, can spy on us using just the information from the motion sensors in our mobile phones.

Analysing the movement of the device as we type in information, they have shown it is possible to crack four-digit PINs with a 70% accuracy on the first guess – 100% by the fifth guess – using just the data collected via the phone’s numerous internal sensors.

Despite the threat, the research shows that people are unaware of the risks and most of us have little idea what the majority of the twenty five different sensors available on current smart phones do.

And while all the major players in the industry are aware of the problem, no-one has yet been able to find a solution.

Publishing their findings today in the International Journal of Information Security, the team are now looking at the additional risks posed by personal fitness trackers which are linked up to our online profiles and can potentially be used to interpret the slightest wrist movements as well as general physical activities such as sitting, walking, running, and different forms of commute.

Dr Maryam Mehrnezhad, a Research Fellow in the School of Computing Science and lead author on the paper, explains:

“Most smart phones, tablets, and other wearables are now equipped with a multitude of sensors, from the well-known GPS, camera and microphone to instruments such as the gyroscope, proximity, NFC, and rotation sensors and accelerometer.

“But because mobile apps and websites don’t need to ask permission to access most of them, malicious programs can covertly ‘listen in’ on your sensor data and use it to discover a wide range of sensitive information about you such as phone call timing, physical activities and even your touch actions, PINs and passwords.

“More worrying, on some browsers, we found that if you open a page on your phone or tablet which hosts one of these malicious code and then open, for example, your online banking account without closing the previous tab, then they can spy on every personal detail you enter.

And worse still, in some cases, unless you close them down completely, they can even spy on you when your phone is locked.

“Despite the very real risks, when we asked people which sensors they were most concerned about we found a direct correlation between perceived risk and understanding. So people were far more concerned about the camera and GPS than they were about the silent sensors.”

Access without permission

Sensors are now commonplace in smart devices and are largely responsible for the boom in mobile gaming and health and fitness apps, and soon in all devices in the Internet of Things (IoT).

The data provided by them combined with the growing computational ability of mobile phones and tablets has transformed the way we use them.

In total, the team identified 25 different sensors which now come as standard on most smart devices and are used to give different information about the device and its user. Only a small number of these – such as the camera and GPS – ask the user’s permission to access the device.

The study found that each user touch action – clicking, scrolling, holding and tapping – induces a unique orientation and motion trace. So on a known webpage, the team were able to determine what part of the page the user was clicking on and what they were typing.

 

“It’s a bit like doing a jigsaw – the more pieces you put together the easier it is to see the picture,” explains Dr Siamak Shahandashti, a Senior Research Associate in the School of Computing Science and co-author on the study.

“Depending on how we type – whether you hold your phone in one hand and use your thumb, or perhaps hold with one hand and type with the other, whether you touch or swipe – the device will tilt in a certain way and it’s quite easy to start to recognise tilt patterns associated with ‘Touch Signatures’ that we use regularly.

“So the internal sensors each provide a different bit of the jigsaw. Personal fitness trackers which you wear on your wrist and, by their very nature, are designed to track the movement of your hand and pass information to your online profile pose a whole new threat.

“Potentially, they are able to provide additional information which, when combined with this sensor data, will make it even easier to decipher personal information.”

So are we able to protect ourselves?

The team has alerted all the major browser providers – including Google and Apple – of the risks but for the moment, says Dr Mehrnezhad, no-one has been able to come up with an answer.

“It’s a battle between usability and security,” she says.

“We all clamour for the latest phone with the latest features and better user experience but because there is no uniform way of managing sensors across the industry they pose a real threat to our personal security.

“One way would be to deny access to the browser altogether but we don’t want to lose all the benefits associated with in-built motion sensors.”

As the result of the research, some of the mobile browser vendors such as Mozilla, Firefox and Apple Safari have partially fixed the problem, but for an ultimate solution, the Newcastle team is still working with industry.

Dr Mehrnezhad, who together with her colleague and co-author Ehsan Toreini run the Cyber Security: Safety at Home, Online, In Life course, part of Newcastle University’s series of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), say there are some simple rules people should follow:

  • Make sure you change PINs and passwords regularly so malicious websites can’t start to recognise a pattern.
  • Close background apps when you are not using them and uninstall apps you no longer need
  • Keep your phone operating system and apps up to date
  • Only install applications from approved app stores
  • Audit the permissions that apps have on your phone
  • Scrutinise the permission requested by apps before you install them and choose alternatives with more sensible permissions if needed

Source*

Related Topics:

Canada’s Telecom made $37mn Last Year Charging to Unlock Cellphones*

Four-Year-Olds Forced to Mine for Cobalt to Make Smartphones Work*

U.S.-born NASA Employee Detained at Airport, Forced to Hand over Phone and Pin Code*

Mobile Phone and Computer Searches by Police Becoming Normal in U.K.*

Six Seconds to Hack a Credit Card*

Muslim Postmaster Saves Elderly Customer after Foiling MoneyGram Scam*

 

The Real Secrets Hidden in Antarctica…

The Real Secrets Hidden in Antarctica…

From Alexandra Bruce

There have been a lot of rumours swirling around recent activities in Antarctica and a clamor to know more about what is happening there but there has been very little of any credibility that’s been released.

Thank goodness for Truthstream Media, consummate journalists and storytellers who here unearth reports of early explorations of the Continent in 1893 by Captain Anton Larsen, where he found artifacts which appeared to be man made and subsequent explorations by the Soviets, the Polish, the UK, US and others, documenting “snowless oases”, unfrozen lakes and areas where soil temperatures averaged 77ºF at midday, due to geothermal activity. Sifting through speculation and many interesting confirmed  factoids, they reveal what is true about Antarctica.

Related Topics:

Antarctica, and It’s Deceptions*

The Elite on Retreat in Antarctica!?*

Russian Scientists Find New Life Form in Antarctica, only 86% Genetically Similar to all Known Living Organisms*

Who owns Antarctica?*

Global Warming! The Coldest June in Antarctica, and Australia*

Pakistan Gv’t Warns the Country to Prepare for Global Cooling*

U.S. Sky Will Be Sprayed in Geoengineering Experiment Blocking Sun for ‘Climate Change’*

New Report Exposes Rockefeller Dynasty’s Role in “Climate” Scam*