privacy

Report: Crematoriums To Caterpillars Shodan Reveals Internet Of Things

What kind of stuff is lurking out there on the vast (and growing) Internet of Things? A recent story in Forbes makes the point that its a lot more varied than you might think – everything from Caterpillar trucks to public school classrooms to a crematorium. And “yes,” I said “crematorium.” The idea that surveillance cameras can be accessed from the public Internet isn’t really new. Security researchers have been showing off ways to sidestep security features for IP enabled surveillance cameras for years. We wrote last week about the Federal Trade Commission’s case against a California company, TRENDNet, which made a line of balky, in secure home surveillance gear. But Kashmir Hill makes the point in her story that surveillance cameras are just the tip of the iceberg. Hill interviewed security researchers and professional Shodan jockeys, who use that hardware focused search engine to uncover supposedly secure equipment and industrial control […]

Report: Cell Phone Data, Blackberry Mail Swept Up In NSA’s Net

Sensitive data from every major brand of cell phone can be captured and analyzed by the U.S. National Security Agency, (NSA) according to a report in the German magazine Der Spiegel on Saturday.   Citing “top-secret, internal NSA documents viewed by SPIEGEL reporters, the magazine said that NSA security researchers have developed tools to sap contact lists, SMS traffic, notes and location information from popular devices such as Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Blackberry phones, including Blackberry e-mail, a supposedly secure system that is one of the phone’s most trumpeted features. The documents describe a large-scale and well-organized program within the NSA to obtain data from mobile devices, with discrete teams of security analysts working on a specific platform, developing malware that infiltrates the computers the phones “synch” with, and then loads scripts onto the phones that provide access to a range of other features. See Also: Secure e-mail firms […]

Sensinode Homepage

That ARM-Sensinode Buy: What Does It Mean For Security And IoT?

We wrote last week about the decision of chip-maker ARM to buy the small(ish) Finnish software maker Sensinode Oy, which has become a big player in the market for software that runs low power devices like embedded sensors. The deal makes sense at the 100,000 foot level – ARM makes chips that power embedded devices, Sensinode makes the software that is powered by them. Perfect. But the deal actually works at a bunch of different levels, as I learned from a conversation with Michael Koster, the co-founder and lead architect at the group The Open Source Internet of Things (OSIOT). Koster is an authority on The Internet of Things and has helped create open-source toolkits and APIs that promote interaction among intelligent devices. Koster said that ARM’s purchase of Sensinode is as much about both firms’ investment in emerging IoT standards for low-powered, intelligent devices like Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP) […]

What Is The NSA’s Big Crypto Breakthrough?

The revelations about US government spying keep coming fast and furious, thanks to Edward Snowden, the former Booz Allen Hamilton contractor who absconded with reams of classified (and highly classified) documents from the National Security Agency. The latest details come courtesy of The Washington Post which on Thursday published documents detailing the so-called “Black Budget” – government spending on its intelligence services including the CIA and NSA – over the last nine years, including the $52 billion spent in 2013. The documents give the most detailed accounting to date on U.S. government spending on intelligence in the post September 11 world and contain quite a few surprises. Among them: proof that the CIA receives far more money than does the NSA. But it is Uncle Sam’s work on cryptanalysis  that has attracted a lot of attention from computer security and privacy experts. First, the Black Budget reveals that the NSA […]

ToR

Is Jump In ToR Use Blowback From PRISM?

It’s ironic that government surveillance might push the public to embrace technology pioneered by the Department of Defense. But so it is: new metrics from The Tor Project show that use of the online anonymity service has exploded since early June: up more than 100 percent, from just over 500,000 global users to more than 1.2 million. Why the sudden surge in privacy conscious Internet users? It would be easy to connect the dots between revelations about the U.S. government’s omnibus data gathering program PRISM and the sudden desire of Internet users to sacrifice some speed and performance for the privilege of having their online doings passed through The Onion Router. Still, it’s not clear that this is the case. To be sure: growth is being seen across the board, not just in active users, but in the number of ToR clients running, the data suggests. There are steep increases […]