Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

Browsing Posts tagged Security

Appelbaum spoke of a NSA program that allows its analysts to search through vast databases containing e-mails, IMs and the browsing histories of millions of people. Called XKeyscore, the program was designed to develop intelligence from the Internet.

Jacob Appelbaum discusses the fallacy of Americans thinking that they won’t be targeted, passive and active surveillance methods, AI and human analyst systems working together, satellite networks, deep packet inspection & injection, military contractors getting special access to surveillance programs, proprietary vs open source software, OTR messaging, hoarding exploits for self-gain.

If you are having trouble viewing the audio or video, there is a cleaned up version here.

What Appelbaum is talking about at 17:30 is the video below.

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In April, Heartbleed showed us that 66 percent of the Internet was prone to attack. That meant that everybody who had ever used Facebook or made a purchase on Amazon or watched a movie on Hulu or Netflix was in the potential crosshairs of some very bad people. Which is to say, practically everyone who uses the Internet.

While the number of data breaches is increasing – 30 percent higher in 2013 than the previous year – most of them have been deemed preventable. Retailers and any other organizations that are entrusted with consumer data need to get ahead of this issue now. The bad guys do not sleep.

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Late last year, hackers breached Target’s data security and stole information from millions of credit cards. Brian Krebs, who writes about cybercrime and computer security for his blog, Krebs on Security, broke the story. A few days later, he broke the story of a credit card breach at Neiman Marcus.

Krebs spends time in the dark areas of the Internet, where hackers steal data off credit cards and sell the information in online underground stores.

“There are some very bad people and I think it’s never a good idea to dismiss your personal security and safety and that of your family — particularly when you’re dealing with what I would consider sociopaths,” Krebs tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross.

To do his work, Krebs has learned computer code, the Russian language and how to get onto black market websites and cybercrime networks. And cybercriminals who don’t appreciate his work have found creative and frightening ways to harass him, including calling in a fake hostage situation.

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Cyber forensics experts at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell have developed a way to steal passwords entered on a smartphone or tablet using video from Google’s face-mounted gadget and other video-capturing devices. The thief can be nearly ten feet away and doesn’t even need to be able to read the screen — meaning glare is not an antidote.

The security researchers created software that maps the shadows from fingertips typing on a tablet or smartphone. Their algorithm then converts those touch points into the actual keys they were touching, enabling the researchers to crack the passcode.

Why should you be worried?

“We could get your bank account password,” researcher Xinwen Fu said.

“Unfortunately, stealing passwords by watching people as they type them into ATMs and laptops is nothing new,” said a Google spokesman in an emailed statement. “The fact that Glass is worn above the eyes and the screen lights up whenever it’s activated clearly signals it’s in use and makes it a fairly lousy surveillance device.”

Except for the fact that most people don’t pay attention to what’s going on around them when they are using ATMs, laptops or tablets.

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