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hannah

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Posts: 797
Reply with quote  #1 
Andy Greenberg

Andy Greenberg, Forbes Staff

Covering the worlds of data security, privacy and hacker culture.

 
Security
|
7/23/2012 @ 12:17PM |152,956 views

Hacker Will Expose Potential Security Flaw In Four Million Hotel Room Keycard Locks

Eight Million Email Addresses And Passwords Spilled From Gaming Site Gamigo Months After Hacker Breach
Hacker Opens High Security Handcuffs With 3D-Printed And Laser-Cut Keys

Brocious demonstrating his unlocking tool on an Onity lock in a New York City hotel.

The next time you stay in a hotel room, run your fingers under the keycard lock outside your door. If you find a DC power port there, take note: With a few hacker tricks and a handful of cheap hardware, that tiny round hole might offer access to your room just as completely as your keycard.

At the Black Hat security conference Tuesday evening, a Mozilla software developer and 24-year old security researcher named Cody Brocious plans to present a pair of vulnerabilities he’s discovered in hotel room locks from the manufacturer Onity, whose devices are installed on the doors of between four and five million hotel rooms around the world according to the company’s figures. Using an open-source hardware gadget Brocious built for less than $50, he can insert a plug into that DC port and sometimes, albeit unreliably, open the lock in a matter of seconds. “I plug it in, power it up, and the lock opens,” he says simply.

In fact, Brocious’s break-in trick isn’t quite so straightforward. Testing a standard Onity lock he ordered online, he’s able to easily bypass the card reader and trigger the opening mechanism every time. But on three Onity locks installed on real hotel doors he and I tested at well-known independent and franchise hotels in New York, results were much more mixed: Only one of the three opened, and even that one only worked on the second try, with Brocious taking a break to tweak his software between tests.

Even with an unreliable method, however, Brocious’s work–and his ability to open one out of the three doors we tested without a key–suggests real flaws in Onity’s security architecture. And Brocious says he plans to release all his research in a paper as well as source code through his website following his talk, potentially enabling others to perfect his methods.

Brocious’s exploit works by spoofing a portable programming device that hotel staff use to control a facility’s locks and set which master keys open which doors. The portable programmer, which plugs into the DC port under the locks, can also open any door, even providing power through that port to trigger the mechanism of a door lock in which the battery has run out.

The system’s vulnerability arises, Brocious says, from the fact that every lock’s memory is entirely exposed to whatever device attempts to read it through that port. Though each lock has a cryptographic key that’s required to trigger its “open” mechanism, that string of data is also stored in the lock’s memory, like a spare key hidden under the welcome mat. So it can be immediately accessed by Brocious’s own spoofed portable device and used to open the door a fraction of a second later.

Brocious believes that the unreliability of his method stems from timing issues in how his hacked-together unlocking device communicates with Onity’s locks. He doesn’t plan to complete the development and debugging of the technique himself, due to what he says are time constraints and concerns about what a universally effective exploit would mean for the security of millions of hotel guests. But he believes that with more experimentation and tweaking, someone could easily access a significant fraction of hotel rooms around the country without leaving a trace.

In fact, Brocious isn’t the only one who knows his tricks. His former employer, a startup that sought to reverse engineer Onity’s hotel front desk system and offer a cheaper and more interoperable product, sold the intellectual property behind Brocious’s hack to the locksmith training company the Locksmith Institute (LSI) for $20,000 last year. LSI students, who often include law enforcement, may already have the ability to open Onity doors at will.

“With how stupidly simple this is, it wouldn’t surprise me if a thousand other people have found this same vulnerability and sold it to other governments,” says Brocious. “An intern at the NSA could find this in five minutes.”

The ability to access the devices’ memory is just one of the two vulnerabilities Brocious says he found in Onity’s locks. He says the company also uses a weak encryption scheme that allows him to derive the “site code”–a unique numerical key for every facility–from two cards encoded one after another for the same room. By reading the encrypted data off of two cards and testing thousands of potential site codes against both cards until the decoded data displays a predictable interval between the two, he can find the site code and use it to create more card keys with a magnetizing device. But given that he can only create more cards for the same room as the two keys he’s been issued, that security flaw represents a fairly low risk compared with the ability to open any door arbitrarily.

Brocious says he stumbled upon the the flaws in Onity’s locks while working as the chief technology officer for a startup called Unified Platform Management Corporation, which sought to compete with bigger players in the hotel lock industry by creating a universal front end system for hotels that used common lock technologies. Brocious was hired to reverse engineer hotel locks, and Onity was his first target. The discovery of Onity’s security vulnerabilities was entirely unintentional, he says.

UPM failed to find customers or investment and soon folded. With the exception of the sale of his exploit methods to LSI–the biggest sale the startup ever achieved–Brocious kept quiet about his discovery, until now.

“This wasn’t the way we wanted to disrupt the business, exactly,” says Brian Thomason, one of UPM’s founders. “But hey, stuff happens, right?”

In a move that may dismay security practitioners, Brocious never contacted Onity or its parent company United Technologies Corporation to tell the firm about its security flaws, and doesn’t plan to ahead of his talk. But he says that’s because there’s little the company could do: the locks can’t be simply upgraded with new firmware to fix the problem. New circuitboards will have to be installed in every affected lock, a logistical nightmare if millions of locks prove to be vulnerable. “I didn’t want to delay putting this out there any further than I had to. I see no path to mitigate this from Onity’s side,” he says. “The best way to help hotels at this point is educate them about this, not to go through Onity and delay getting the information out longer than I had to.”

When I contacted Onity and provided a detailed description of Brocious’s work, the company responded with this statement: “We have not seen Mr. Brocious’ presentation and cannot comment on the content. Onity places the highest priority on the safety and security provided by its products and works every day to develop and supply the latest security technologies to the marketplace.”

And if Onity’s locks are in fact as insecure and unsecurable as Brocious says, how does he suggest hotels and their guests protect themselves? “Hotels need to come up with a plan to move to more secure locks,” he says.

And in the meantime, there are always these.


__________________
Test your connection for leaks:
http://ip-check.info/?lang=en

Use TAILS
https://tails.boum.org/

How to boot from USB and other great stuff:
http://www.rmprepusb.com/

Open pdf and word files online instead of on your puter'
http://view.samurajdata.se/

USE the net more securely:
https://pressfreedomfoundation.org/blog/2014/04/help-support-little-known-privacy-tool-has-been-critical-journalists-reporting-nsa
https://www.torproject.org/download/download

http://www.theintelligencenews.com/


"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
0
hannah

Registered:
Posts: 797
Reply with quote  #2 


Prepared for Proceedings of SPIE Vol. #4677, Optical Security and Counterfeit Deterrence Techniques IV, Thursday-Friday 24-25 January 2002 (http://www.spie.org/Conferences/Programs/02/pw/confs/4677.html)

Impact of Artificial "Gummy" Fingers on Fingerprint Systems

Tsutomu Matsumoto
Hiroyuki Matsumoto
Koji Yamada
Satoshi Hoshino

Graduate School of Environment and Information Sciences
Yokohama National University
79-7 Tokiwadai, Hodogaya, Yokohama 240-8501, Japan
email: tsutomu@mlab.jks.ynu.ac.jp

ABSTRACT

Potential threats caused by something like real fingers, which are called fake or artificial fingers, should be crucial for authentication based on fingerprint systems. Security evaluation against attacks using such artificial fingers has been rarely disclosed. Only in patent literature, measures, such as "live and well" detection, against fake fingers have been proposed. However, the providers of fingerprint systems usually do not mention whether or not these measures are actually implmented in emerging fingerprint systems for PCs or smart cards or portable terminals, which are expected to enhance the grade of personal authentication necessary for digital transactions. As researchers who are pursuing secure systems, we would like to discuss attacks using artificial fingers and conduct experimental research to clarify the reality. This paper reports that gummy fingers, namely artificial fingers that are easily made of cheap and readily available gelatin, were accepted by extremely high rates by particular fingerprint devices with optical or capacitive sensors. We have used the molds, which we made by pressing our live fingers against them or by processing fingerprint images from prints on glass surfaces, etc. We describe how to make the molds, and then show that the gummy fingers, which are made with these molds, can fool the fingerprint devices.

Keywords:biometrics, fingerprint, live and well detection, artificial finger, fingerprint image.

1. INTRODUCTION

Biometrics is utilized in individual authentication techniques which identify individuals, i.e., living bodies by checking physiological or behavioral characteristics, such as fingerprints, voice, dynamic signatures, etc. Biometric systems are said to be convenient because they need neither something to memorize such as passwords or something to carry about such as ID cards. In spite of that, a user of biometric systems would get into a dangerous situation when her/his biometric data are abused. That is to say, the user cannot frequently replace or change her/his biometric data to prevent the abuse because of limits of biometric data intrinsic to her/himself. Therefore, biometric systems must protect the electronic information for biometrics against abuse, and also prevent fake biometrics.

We have focused on fingerprint systems since they have become widespread as authentication terminals for PCs or smart cards or portable terminals. Some of fingerprint systems may positively utilize artificial fingers as substitutes in order to solve the problem that a legitimate user cannot access, for example, when s/he gets injured on her/his fingertip in an accident.12 Some other cases include dry fingers, worn fingers, and other fingers with a low-quality fingerprint. However, the users of those systems would run a risk because artificial fingers can be stolen and used by other persons if the systems are utilized for a security application. Except for the above-mentioned cases, fingerprint systems generally must reject artificial fingers. In order to reject them, fingerprint systems should take measures to examine some other features intrinsic to live fingers than those of fingerprints. These measures are called "live and well detection 9, 15, 20, 23, 26" and have been proposed mainly in patent literature.13 Although a number of fingerprint systems have come into wide use, it is not clear whether or not these measures are actually implemented in commercial fingerprint systems. Moreover, as far as we know, security evaluation against attacks using fake fingers has been rarely disclosed. In connection, some researchers reported, in 1998, that four of the six fingerprint systems with optical devices accepted silicone fingers.19After that, some measures against silicone fingers may have been taken in fingerprint systems. But, someone might object that fingerprint systems with capacitive devices can prevent fake fingers, so they are secure.

Previous to our experiments described in this paper, we made silicone fingers, and then checked fingerprint systems with them. From the results, we ascertained that all the systems with a capacitive sensor and some systems with an optical sensor could reject the silicone fingers. Also, we confirmed that an inked fingerprint on a paper could be accepted by one of fingerprint systems. A series of our preliminary experiments brought up a question whether or not "live and well" functions are actually implemented in commercial fingerprint systems. Finally, we have carried out experiments with artificial fingers to inquire into the fact.9,16,27-29 In this paper we discuss security evaluation of fingerprint systems, especially for its resistance against artificial fingers. Here, the term "fake fingers" may be widely used to refer fingers which are used to deceive fingerprint systems. However, we use the term "artificial fingers" to refer fingers which are artificially produced because "fake fingers" may include fingers which are modified from live fingers. In addition, we use the term "live fingers" to mean fingers which are part of living bodies.

2. FINGERPRINT SYSTEMS

2.1 Fingerprint Systems

The principle of fingerprint systems is schematically illustrated in Fig. 2.1. In an enrollment process, the system captures finger data from an enrollee with sensing devices, extracts features from the finger data, and then record them as template with a personal information, e.g. a personal identification number (PIN), of the enrollee into a database. We are using the word "finger data" to mean not only features of the fingerprint but also other features of the finger, such as "live and well" features. In an identification (or verification) process, the system captures finger data from a finger with sensing devices, extracts features, identifies (or verifies) the features by comparing with templates in the database, and then outputs a result as "Acceptance" only when the features correspond to one of the templates.

Most of fingerprint systems utilize optical or capacitive sensors for capturing fingerprints.3, 10, 14, 22 These sensors detect difference between ridges and valleys of fingerprints. Optical sensors detect difference in reflection. Capacitive sensors, by contrast, detect difference in capacitance. Some systems utilize other types of sensors, such as thermal sensors, ultrasound sensors.6, 15, 24In this paper we examine fingerprint systems which utilize optical or capacitive sensors.

2.2 A Risk Analysis for Fingerprint Systems

Generally, fingerprint systems capture images of fingerprints, extract features from the images, encrypt the features, transmit them on communication lines, and then store them as templates into their database. Some systems encrypt templates with a secure cryptographic scheme and manage not whole original images but compressed images. Therefore, it is said to be difficult to reproduce valid fingerprints by using the templates. Some systems are secured against a so-called replay attack in which an attacker copies a data stream from a fingerprint scanner to a server and later replays it, with an one time protocol or a random challenge response device. We are here not concerned with the security for the communication and database of fingerprint systems, assuming that they are secure enough by being protected with some encryption schemes. In this section, we would like to address security of fingerprint scanners.

When a legitimate user has registered her/his live finger with a fingerprint system, there would be several ways to deceive the system. In order to deceive the fingerprint system, an attacker may present the following things to its fingerprint scanner.

(1) The registered finger: The highest risk is being forced to press the live finger against the scanner by an armed criminal, or under duress. Another risk is being compelled the legitimate user to fall asleep with a sleeping drug, in order to make free use of her/his live finger. There are some deterrent techniques against these crimes. Combination with another authentication method, such as by PINs, passwords, or ID cards, would be helpful to deter the crimes.20Furthermore, a duress control enables the users to alarm "as under duress" with a secret code or manner, which is different with a PIN or usual manner respectively. Combining a duress control with a fingerprint system would provide a helpful measure to apply to someone for protection. Similarly, a two persons control, namely a two persons rule, where the authentication process requires two persons properties, i.e., fingerprints, or would be helpful to deter the crimes.

(2) An unregistered finger (an imposter's finger): An attack against authentication systems by an imposter with his own biometrics is referred to as non-effort forgery.26 Commonly, accuracy of authentication of fingerprint systems are evaluated by the false rejection rate (FRR) and the false acceptance rate (FAR).1, 2The FAR is important indicator for the security against such a method as with an unregistered finger. Moreover, fingerprints are usually categorized as "loops," "whorls," "arches," and others. If an attacker knows what category of the registered finger is, an unregistered finger of which pattern is similar to the registered one would be presented to the scanner. In this case, the probability of the acceptance may be different from the ordinary FAR. From this point of view, the accuracy of authentication for the system should be evaluated not only, as usual, for fingers throughout the categories of fingerprints but also for fingers within each category. Another attacker may modify his fingerprint by painting, cutting, or injuring his own fingertip. However, it is thought to be very difficult to deceive the fingerprint system with such a modified finger. The reason for this is that fingerprints are so random the attacker cannot identify which patterns should be modified. Ordinarily, ten-odd features, such as ridge's and valley's distinctive patterns are used for the authentication.

(3) A severed fingertip from the registered finger: A horrible attack may be performed with the finger which is severed from the legitimate user's hand. Even if the finger severed from the user's half-decomposed corpse, the attacker may use, for the wrong purpose, a scientific crime detection technique to clarify its fingerprint.6In the same way as the above-mentioned registered finger, combination with another authentication method, or a duress/two-persons control would be helpful to deter these crimes. The detection whether the finger is alive or not would be helpful as well.

(4) A genetic clone of the registered finger:In general, it is said that identical twins do not have the same fingerprint, and neither would clones. The reason is that fingerprints are not entirely genetically determined, and rather determined in part by its pattern of nerve growth into the skin. As a result, this is not exactly the same even in identical twins. However, it is also said that fingerprints are different in identical twins, but only slightly different. If the genetic clone's fingerprint is similar to the registered finger's, an attacker may try to deceive fingerprint systems by using it. Now is the time when we must keep a close watch on such possibility with genetic engineering,

(5) An artificial clone of the registered finger:More casual attacks against fingerprint systems may use an artificial finger. An artificial finger can be produced as a printed fingerprint with a copier or a desk top publishing (DTP) technique as well as forged documents. If an attacker can make a mold of the registered finger directly modeling it, s/he can produce an artificial finger with some materials. Even if not, s/he may make a mold of the registered finger modeling its residual fingerprint at second hand, so as to produce an artificial finger. And, if an attacker can make an artificial finger which can deceive a fingerprint system, one of countermeasures against the attack obviously is the detection whether or not the finger is alive. Again, combination with another authentication method, or two-persons control would be also helpful to deter the crimes.

(6) The others: In some fingerprint systems, an error in authentication may be caused by making noise or flashing a light against the fingerprint scanner, or by heating up, cooling down, humidifying, impacting on, or vibrating the scanner outside its environmental tolerances. Some attackers may use the error to deceive the system. This method is well-known as a "fault based attack," and may be carried out with above-mentioned attacks. Furthermore, a fingerprint image may be stood out in strong relief against the scanner surface, if we spray some materials on the surface. The image would be the residual fingerprint of a registered finger. In this case, a bald thing or finger, regardless of alive or not, which are pressed on the surface, may be accepted by the fingerprint system.

As fingerprint systems come into wide use, they are still more exposed themselves to a risk of casual attacks. Apart from duress or other crimes, our great concern, in this paper, is the possibilities of attacks with artificial fingers.

2.3 Dishonest Acts with Artiflcial Fingers

In this section, on the assumption that artificial fingers can be accepted by fingerprint systems, we discuss dishonest acts against the system with the artificial fingers. Several patterns of dishonest acts, with artificial fingers, in a fingerprint system are shown in Table 2.1. In this table, L(X) and L(Y) denote live fingers of persons X and Y respectively. A(X) and A(Y) denote artificial fingers which are molded after L(X) and L(Y) respectively. A(Z) denotes artificial fingers which are created artificially without being molded after live fingers. There may be at the total of 25 possible combinations because we can enroll and verify each of L(X), L(Y), A(X), A(Y) and A(Z) in the system. However, we show 15 in 25 combinations and focus on 5 combinations, from (1) to (5), in the table on the following assumptions;

Table 2.1Several patterns of dishonest acts with artifical fingers in a fingerprint system

 

Verification / Identification

Enrollment

L(X)

A(X)

L(Y)

A(Y)

A(Z)

L(X)

(1)

(2)

- *

-

-

A(Y)

-

-

(3)

(4)

-

A(Z)

-

-

-

-

(5)

  • Only X can enroll fingers in the system,
  • but X cannot enroll Y's live finger L(Y),
  • the fingers must be enrolled with a genuine X's PIN,
  • and X can obtain and enroll A(Y) and A(Z) in the system.

The case (1) is the proper way in the system. The case (2) or (5) is also the proper way in some systems which positively utilize artificial fingers. However, we discuss dishonest acts of artificial fingers regarding the cases from (2) to (5) as dishonest ways. The possible dishonest acts are:

  • Some other persons than X can pretend, in the system, to be X by presenting artificial fingers in all the cases of (2), (4) and (5), and
  • Y can pretend, in the system, to be X by presenting her/his own fingers L(Y) in the case (3).

In addition, X can deny the participation showing by means of evidence that her/his own live fingers cannot be accepted by the system, when the dishonest act was detected in the cases (3), (4) and (5).

Most discussion on dishonest acts with artificial fingers have mainly focused on the case (2). However, it should be noted that the dishonest acts, which correspond to the cases (4) and (5), can be done if artificial fingers are accepted by the system. The cases (3), (4) and (5) can be probably prevented by a practical measure that enrollment is closely watched to prevent using artificial fingers. Moreover, dishonest acts which correspond to the cases, from (2) to (5), never occur if the system can successfully reject artificial fingers.

Accuracy of authentication of fingerprint systems are commonly evaluated by the false rejection rate (FRR) and the false acceptance rate (FAR).1, 2 In Table 2.1, the case (1) and the case indicated by the sign '*' correspond to those which are commonly evaluated by the FRR and FAR in its ordinary performance test for live finger samples, respectively. It is important that the acceptance rate for the cases from (2) to (5) should be evaluated if the system cannot perfectly reject artificial fingers.

3. EXPERIMENTS

3.1 How to make Artificial Fingers

There are several major ways to make an artificial finger of a given live finger, as shown in Fig. 3.1. First of all, an impression must be obtained from the live finger. The fingerprint image of the impression is mostly the lateral reversal, i.e., transposed from left to right as in a mirror reflection, of the original. This impression may be used as an artificial finger to deceive the system, if an attacker can make an impression without being lateral reversal. However, most of the impressions have a lateral reversal fingerprint image. When a live finger was pressed on an impression material, a fingerprint image on the impression may be used as a mold of an artificial finger. If an impression was captured with a digital camera as an electronic fingerprint image, it may be set right side left by an image processing software, and then printed on a material to make an artificial finger. This electronic fingerprint image also can be used to make a mold, as it is. The impression may be a residual or inked fingerprint. Even if the fingerprint image is latent, some techniques for scientific crime detection can enhance it with some material, e.g. aluminum powder, a ninhydrin solution, a cyanoacrylate adhesive,6, 18then producing the artificial finger with them. Besides these, we can, without original live fingers, create an artificial finger with a fictitious fingerprint, such as, using a so-called fingerprint generator.

In our experiments, we make artificial fingers by the following two ways, which are; ( 1) we make an impression directly pressing a live finger to plastic material, and then mold an artificial finger with it, and (2) we wapture an fingerprint image from a residual fingerprint with a digital microscope, and then make a mold to produce an artificial finger. The material for artificial fingers is gelatin which is obtained from bone, skin, etc., of animals. In this paper we are using the word "gummy" to refer not a sol but a gel of gelatinous materials. Accordingly, we use the terms "gummy" fingers to refer artificial fingers which are made of gelatin, since its toughness are nearly equal to gummies which are one kind of sweets, and also made of gelatin with some additives such as sugar and/or fruit juice. Here, the origin of the word "gummy" is "gummi" in the German language. APPENDIX Adetails the processes for making artificial fingers.

Fingerprint Table 3.1 Types of Experiments.

Experiment

Enrollment

Verification

Type 1

Live Finger

Live Finger

Type 2

Live Finger

Gummy Finger

Type 3

Gummy Finger

Live Finger

Type 4

Gummy Finger

Gummy Finger

e.g., Live Fingers, Generators,

Experiment Enrollment Verification

Impression Type 1 Live Finger Live Finger

e c7., Moids, Pesiduaf F'Oluerprints, Type 2 Live Finger Gummy Finger

Type 3 Gummy Finger Live Finger

ID Type 4 iGummy Finger Gummy Finger

Artificial Finger

Figure 3.1 How to map a fingerprint onto artificial fingers.

3.2 Experimental Procedures

The goal of experiments which we conducted is to examine whether fingerprint systems, which are commercially available, accept the artificial fingers or not. Accordingly, we examined the acceptance rates of fingerprint systems by using the artificial fingers, i.e.. gummyfingers, and live fingers. The following describes procedures of the experiments.

(1) Types of artificial fingers:Two types of artificial fingers were examined. One is produced by cloning with a plastic mold. The other is produced by cloning from a residual fingerprint. These are detailed in APPENDIX A.

(2) Types of experiments:Four types of experiments (shown in Table 3.1) were conducted. Difference in the types are follows:

Type 1:A subject presents her/his live finger to verify with a template which was made by enrolling the live finger.

Type 2:A subject presents her/his live finger to verify with a template which was made by enrolling her/his live finger.

Type 3: A subject presents her/his live ringer to verify with a template which was made by enrolling her/his gummyfinger.

Type 4: A subject presents her/his gummy finger to verify with a template which was rnade by enrolling the artificial finger.

(3) Rules in experiments:We conducted the experiments under the extra rules as follows:

[1] We allowed a tester as deputy for the subject to present or enroll the subject's artificial finger.

[2] In Type 4 experiment, we also allowed that an artificial finger which is presented is not always the same as one which was used in enrollment.

[3] The subject or tester must intentionally present the live/gummyfinger to fit the center of it to that of a scanning area of the fingerprint devise.

[4] The gummy fingers can be modified their shape to fit the scanning area.

(4) The acceptance rates: Only one live/gummyfinger must be enrolled as a template while we allowed to retry in enrollment. We attempted one-to-one verification 100 times in each type of experiment for each fingerprint system counting the number of times that it accepts a finger presented. As a result, we measured the acceptance rates in verification for the fingerprint systems.

(5) Subjects: The subjects are five persons whose ages are from 20's to 40's, in the experiment for the gummy fingers cloned with a plastic mold, whereas the subject is only one person in the experiment for the gummyfingers cloned from a residual fingerprint.

(6) Artificial Fingers: Gummyfingers of each subject were made in the two ways which we explained in APPENDIX A and used in the experiments.

(7) Fingerprint systems: We tested  11 types of fingerprint systems which are shown in APPENDIX B.1. Each of them consists of a finger device and a software for verification. We set a threshold value for the highest security level if the fingerprint system allows to adjust or select threshold values in verification. All of fingerprint devices can be connected with a personal computer (PC), and used for access control. The procedures for fingerprint systems are detailed in APPENDIX B.2.

4. EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS

4.1 Cloning with a Plastic Mold

4.1.1 Artificial Fingers

Figure 4.1 shows photomicrographs of a live finger and its artificial fingers. The gummy finger which is cloned by using a plastic mold with an impression of the live finger. The molded gummy fingers are rather transparent and amber while having ridges and valleys similar to those of the live finger, in terms of the outside appearance. Fingerprint images of a live finger, a silicone finger and a gummy finger, which were displayed by the system with Device C (equipped with an optical scanner), are shown in Fig. 4.2. Here, the silicone finger is the artificial finger made of silicone rubber, and presented so as to compare with the others. The captured image of the gummy finger in Fig. 4.2 is very similar to that of the live fingerprint images of a live finger and a gummy finger, which were displayed by the system with Device H (equipped with a capacitive sensor), are shown in Fig. 4.3. While some defects are observed in the image (right side) of a gummy finger, both of the images are similar to each other. Here, the reason why we do not present the image of a silicone finger is that it cannot be accepted by the system with Device H.

4.1.2 Acceptance Rates of the Artificial Fingers

The results of the experiments for the artificial fingers, which were cloned with molds, are shown in Fig 4.4. It was found through the experiments that we could enroll the gummy fingers in all of the 11 types of fingerprint systems. It was also found that all of the fingerprint systems accepted the gummyfingers in their verification procedures with the probability of 68-100%.

4.2 Cloning from a Residual Fingerprint

4.2.1 Artificial Fingers

Figure 4.5 (a) shows the outside appearance of the mold which we used in our experiments. Figure 4.5 (b) shows a photograph of the gummy finger which was produced from a residual fingerprint on a glass plate, enhancing it with a cyanoacrylate adhesive. We applied a technique for processing printed circuit boards to the production of the molds for cloning the gummy fingers. The fingerprint image of the gummy finger, which was displayed by the system with Device H (equipped with a capacitive sensor), is shown in Fig. 4.6.

4.2.2. Acceptance Rates of the Artificial Fingers

The results of the experiments for an artificial finger, which was cloned from a residual fingerprint, are shown in Fig. 4.7. As a result, we could enroll the gummy finger in all of the 11 types of fingerprint systems. It was found that all of the fingerprint systems accepted the gummyfinger in their verification procedures with the probability of more than 67%.

4.3 Discussions

The number of samples in the experiments is so small that we cannot compare performance of the fingerprint systems. However, the number of samples is enough for us to see evidence that the gummy fingers could be accepted by commercial fingerprint systems. Based on our analysis, these variations may be caused by deformation of gummy fingers. We found that some of artificial fingers were damaged while being heated by the fingerprint sensors in the experiments. Some of the sensors frequently heated up when repeating verification in a short period. We think that the number of acceptance will increase if we pause for cooling every time after verification. We mentioned, in section 3.2, that the gummy fingers can be modified their shape to fit the scanning area. Accordingly, we cut the gummy fingers to fit the sensing area for some devices. This might cause decrease of errors in positioning the gummy fingers. Another reason why the number of acceptance varies is that we allowed retrying in enrollment. Finally, all of gummy fingers could be enrolled in the end in our experiments, even if the systems employ some protection. Also, the number of acceptance of live fingers is greater than that of gummyfingers for some systems that may employ so-called live and well detection.

We have investigated the difference in characteristics of live, gummy and silicone fingers. While silicone fingers were impossible to measure, the moisture and electric resistance of the gummy fingers could be measured as shown in Table 4.1. We used a moisture meter, and a digital multimeter (range: from 0 to 40 Mohms). According to this comparison, gummy fingers are more similar to live fingers in their characteristics than silicone fingers. The compliance was also examined for live and gummy fingers as shown in Fig. 4.8. Here, the compliance indicated by the change in resonance frequency (i.e., tactile sensor output) as the function of the pressure (i.e., pressure sensor output). In brief, Fig. 4.8 shows that the live finger is softer than the gummy finger. We found that these fingers are clearly different in compliance.8

If "live and well" detectors can clearly distinguish their moisture, electric resistance, transparency or bubble content (i.e., bubble rich material or not) between live fingers and gummy fingers, fingerprint systems can reject gummy fingers. Also, detection of compliance would be helpful for preventing gummy fingers. Furthermore, some of measures which have been proposed in patent literature may be useful in preventing gummy fingers.

5. CONCLUSIONS

In this paper, we illustrated a risk analysis for fingerprint systems. The risk analysis revealed that there are many attack ways to deceive the systems, even if their templates and communication are protected by a secure measure. Conventional arguments tend to focus on a question how to detect use of artificial fingers, which derive from live fingers of legitimate users. However, as we pointed out, there can be various dishonest acts using artificial fingers against the systems. We also pointed out that artificial fingers can be made not only of silicone but also of gelatin, and examined 11 types of fingerprint systems whether or not they accept the gummy fingers. Consequently, all of these systems accepted the gummy fingers all in their enrollment procedures and also with the rather higher probability in theirverification procedures. The results are enough for us to see evidence that artificial fingers can be accepted by commercial fingerprint systems. The objection will no doubt be raised that it is very difficult to take an impression of the live finger from a legitimate user without the cooperation of her/him. Therefore, we demonstrated that the gummyfingers made from residual fingerprints can be accepted by all of the 11 systems.

After we started this study, we come to know by the published book, that Dutch researchers reported that an artificial finger, which was made of silicone rubber, putting saliva on its surface can be accepted by fingerprint systems with capacitive devices. Their studyand ours share certain similarities in that both intend to encourage the suppliers and users of fingerprint systems to reconsider security of their systems. While their study is seen to be of use in designing fingerprint systems, unfortunately, details of the experimental conditions have not been described.

As we mentioned, a user of biometric systems cannot frequently replace or change her/his biometric data because of limits of biometric data intrinsic to her/himself. For example, gelatin, i.e., an ingredient of gummies, and soft plastic materials are easy to obtain at grocery stores and hobby shops, respectively. The fact that gummy fingers, which are easy to make with cheap, easily obtainable tools and materials, can be accepted suggests review not only of fingerprint systems but also of biometric systems. Manufacturers and vendors of biometric systems should carefully examine the security of their systems against artificial clones. Also, they should make public results of their examination, which lead users of their system to a deeper understanding of the security. The experimental study on the gummyfingers will have considerable impact on security assessment of fingerprint systems.

Declaration: We would like to stress that this study intends to encourage the suppliers and users of fingerprint systems to reconsider security of their systems, not to criticize libelously fingerprint systems for their security, and not to compare their performance.17 For this purpose, we have collected, for our experiments, as many fingerprint systems commercially vailable as we could, and have detailed their specification and the experimental conditions.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

The authors thank Yuldko Endo for her assistance in the experiments. This research was partially supported by MEXT Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research 13224040 (Tsutomu Matsu

REFERENCES

1. AfB and ICSA: 1998 Glossary of Biometric Terms, Association for Biometrics and International Computer Security Association, to be referred at URL: http://www.afb.org.uk/(1998).

2. ANSI A9.84-2001, Biometrics Information Management and Security (2001).

3. Bahuguna, R.D. and Corboline, T.: Prism fingerprint sensor that uses a holographic optical element, APPLIED OPTICS, Vol. 35, No. 26 (1996).

4. Bicz, W. et al.: Fingerprint structure imaging based on an ultrasound camera, http://www.optel.com.pl/article/english/article.htm, July 1 (2000).

5. Bovelander, E. and van Renesse, R. L.: An Introduction to Biometrics, in Chip Card: Trump Card? Consequences for investigation and prosecution2nd Edition, Knopjs, F. and Lakeman, P. J. eds., Politie, Amsterdam (1999).

6. Collins, C. G.: Problems and Practices in Fingerprinting the Dead, FINGERPRINT SCIENCE: How to Roll, Classify, File and Use Fingerprints, Copperhouse Bublishing Company, ISBN 0-942728-18-1, Chapter 11, pp. 131-165:(1998).

7. ECOM: Report by the Working Group on PersonalAuthentication (WG6) Ver. 1.0, Electronic Commerce Promotion of Japan (ECOM), April 27 (1998).

8. Endo, Y., Matsumoto H. and Matsumoto, T.: Comparison Between Dry Live Fingers and Artificial Fingers in Fingerprint Authentication, Technical Report of IEICE, ISEC2001-14, pp. 17-24, May (2000).

9. Hoshino, S., Matsumoto H. and Matsumoto, T.: Mapping a Fingerprint linage to an Artificial Finger, Technical Report of IEICE, ISEC2001-60, pp. 5,3-59, September (2001).

10. Igaki, S., Eguchi, S, Yamagishi, F., Ikeda, H. and Inagaki, T.: Real-time fingerprint sensor using a hologram, APPLIED OPTICS, Vol. 31, No. 11 ( 1992).T

11. Jain, K.: INTRODUCTION TO BIOMETRICS, in Biometrics: Personal Identification in a Networked Society. The Kluwer Academic Publishers, International Series in Engineering and Computer Science, Jain, A. K., Bolle, R. and Pankanti, S. eds., Vol. 479, Chapter 1, pp. 1-41 (1999).

12. Japanese patent numbers; 11-250255 and 10-105710.

13. Japanese patent numbers; 2000-76450, 2000-20684, 11-45338, 10-307904, 10-302047, 10-290796, 10-261086, 10-240942, 10-154231, 9-259272, 6-187430, 6-162 175, 4-241680, 3-188574, 1-233556. 63-123 168, and 61-221883.

14. Jung, S., Thewes, R, Scheiter, T. and Gorser K. F.: A Low-Power and High-Performance CMOS Fingerprint Sensing and Encoding Architecture, IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuit, Vol. 34, No. 7 (1999).

15. Mainguet, J. F., Pegulu, P. and Harris, J. B.: Fingerprint recognition based on silicon chips, Future Generation Computer Systems, Vol. 16, No.4 pp.403-15, (1999).

16. Matsumoto, T.: Availability of Artificial Fingers That Fool Fingerprint Systems, Proc. JCP2000, Yokoh ma, Japan, October (2000).

17. Matsumoto, T.: What will you do if you find a particular weakness of a security technology?, Journal of IEICE, Vol. 84, No.3 (2001).

18. Miyauchi, H., et al.: Fluorigenic Detection for Latent Fingerprints on the Colored paper with NBD-C1 and NBD-F, Reports of National Research Institute of Police Science. Vol. 42, No.4, pp. 16-18 (1989).

19. Network Computing: Six biometric devices point the finger at security, reviews, pp. 84-96 (1998). also to be referred at URL: http://www.networkcomputing.com, August 2000.

20. O'Gorman, L.: Fingerprint Verification, in Biometrics: Personal Identification in Networked Society, The Kluwer Academic Publishers, International Series in Engineering and Computer Science, Jain, A. K., Belle R. and ankanti, S. eds., Vol. 479, Chapter 2, pp. 43-64 (1999).

21. Ratha. N. K. and Bolle, R.: SMARTCARD BASED AUTHENTICATION, in Biometrics: Personal Identification in Networked Society, The Kluwer Academic Publishers, International Series in Engineering and Computer Science, Jain, A. K., Bolle R. and Pankanti. S. eds., Vol. 479, Chapter 18, pp. 369-384 (1999).

22. Shigematsu, S., Morimura, H., Tanabe, Y., Adachi, T. and Machida, K.: A Single-Chip Fingerprint Sensor and Identifier, IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuit, Vol. 34, No. 12 (1999).

23. SJB Service: Fingerprint Verification, in The Biometric Report 1999, Second Edition, Newham, E., Bunney, C. and Mearns, C. eds., Chapter 4, pp. 61-91 (1998).

24. Sonident : US patent numbers 5258922 and 5515298.

25. van der Putte, T. and Keuning, J.: Biometrical Fingerprint Recognition: Don't Get Your Fingers Burned, SMART CARD RESEARCH AND ADVANCED APPLICATIONS, IFIP TCS/WG8.8 Four\th Working Conference on Smart Card Research and Advanced Applications, pp. 289-303 (2001) [See http://cryptome.org/fake-prints.htm ]

26. van Renesse. R. L.: An Introduction to Biometrics, in Optical Document Security, Second Edition, Artech House, Rudolph L. van Renesse ed., Chapter 15, (1998).

27. Yamada, K., Matsumoto H. and Matsumoto, T.: Can We Make Artificial Fingers That Fool Fingerprint Systems? Technical Report of IEICE and IPSJ, ISEC2000-45, pp. 159-166, and Vol. 2000 No.68, pp 159-166 respectively, July (2000).

28. Yamada, K., Matsumoto H. and Matsumoto, T.: Can We Make Artificial Fingers That Fool Fingerprint Systems? (Part II), Proc. of IPSJ for Computer Security Symposium 2000, Vol. 2000, No. 12, pp. 109-114, Tokyo, Japan, October (2000).

29. Yamada, K., Matsumoto H. and Matsumoto, T.: Can We Make Artificial Fingers That Fool Fingerprint Systems? (Part III), Proc. of IEICE for The 2001 Symposium on Cryptography and Information Security. Vol. II, pp. 719-724, Oiso, V Kanagawa, Japan, January (2001).


APPENDIX A

A. Recipes for Artificial Fingers

A.1 Making an Artificial Finger Directly from a Live Finger27-29

+ Ingredients

  • Material for molds: "FREEPLASTIC"

    Free molding plastic is used for plastic models and can be bought at hobby shops. The cost of the material is around 300 yen per 35 grams. Here, "FREEPLASTIC" is a registered trademark of Daicel FineChem Ltd. (formerly Dalcel Craft Ltd.). Also, silicone rubber can be alternatively used for the impression material.
  • Material for artificial fingers: "GELATINE LEAF"

    Solid gelatin sheet is used for ingredients for confectionery such gel foods as jellied meats. soups, and candies and molded desserts, and also can be bought at grocery stores. The cost of the material is around 200 yen per 30 grams. Here, "GELATINE LEAF" is a product of MARUHA CORP. Gelatin powder can be used altematively for solid gelatin sheet, and however is a little hard to treat.

+ How to make a mold

We make molds, which are made of free molding plastic, of live fingers, and then make artificial fingers, which are made of gelatin, with the molds.

We make molds by the following procedures.

(1) Put the material "FREEPLASTIC" into hot water, which temperature is more than around 60 degrees Centigrade, to soften it, and then take it out.

(2) Wait until the plastic will get a little cool, and then make it round as a small ball.

(3) Press against the plastic ball so as to make the fingertip be in the same condition as it was scanned by fingerprint devices.

(4) Wait till the plastic hardens. And then, remove the fingertip from the mold. It takes around ten minutes.

+ How to make artificial fingers

We make artificial fingers by the following procedures.

(1) Add boiling water (30cc) to solid gelatin (30 grams) in a bottle and mix up them. Cap the bottle and wait till the mixture forms a gel as it cools, and then melt to form a sol by heating with a microwave oven. After that, cool down to form a gel and heat up to form a sol several times to reduce bubbles, if necessary. As a result of this procedure, a liquid in which immersed gelatin at 50 wt.% (a sol) will be obtained.

(2) Prepare a mold, and pour the liquid into the mold. Remove carefully bubbles which are formed around the base of the mold, if necessary.

(3) Put this mold into a refrigerator to cool, and wait for about ten minutes till the liquid changes back to a gel. Pull the gel (i.e., artificial finger) out of the mold.

Repeat (2) and (3) to make the gummyfingers.

A.2 Making an Artificial Finger from a Residual Fingerprint9

+ Ingredients

  • Material for molds: photosensitive coated PCBs "10K"

    You can find a photo sensitive coated printed circuit board (PCB) ready to use in most electronics shops, or hobby shops. The cost of the PCB is around 320 yen per sheet. Here, "10K" is a product of Sanhavato Co., Ltd. The other materials necessary for processing will be given in the followings.
Material for artificial fingers: "GELATINE LEAF"

Solid gelatin sheet is used for ingredients for confectionery such gel foods as jellied meats, soups, and candies and molded desserts, and also can be bought at grocery stores. The cost of the material is around 200 yen per 30 grams. Here, "GELATINE LEAF" is a product of MARUHA CORP. Gelatin powder can be used alternatively for solid gelatin sheet, and however is a little hard to treat.

+ How to make a mold

We make molds, which are made by photolithographic processes, of live fingers, and then make artificial fingers, which are made of gelatin, with the molds.

We make molds by the following procedures.

  • Making a mask

    (1) Press the live finger against a glass plate so as to make its residual fingerprint.

    (2) Enhance this latent fingerprint with a cyanoacrylate adhesive. If you put the adhesive with the glass plate intolairtight container, it will keep for quite a long time. Wait for a minute. The fingerprint will stand clearly outlined against the glass plate.

    (3) Capture an image of the fingerprint with a digital microscopic camera (e.g., KEYENCE; VH-6300, 900k pixels). Set the fingerprint image right side left, and make its contrast better with an image processing software (e.g., Adobe; Photoshop 6.0).

    (4) Print the fingerprint image in a transparency sheet with an inkjet printer (e.g., Canon; BJ-F800, 1200x600dpi). It can be used for a mask.
  • Making a mold

    (1) Prepare a photo sensitive coated PCB, and fix the mask so that its printed surface is attached on the PCB. Exose an UV light source for 6 minutes to copy the mask to the photo resist layer of the PCB. Caution: The UV light are harmful for your eyes and you shouldn't look it many time, or any at all.

    (2) Develop the PCB to remove all the unnecessary photo resist, and expose the unnecessary copper.

    (3) Etch the developed PCB to remove all the unnecessary copper, and get only the fingerprint. Finally, the mold for artificial fingers can be obtained.
  • Making an artiflicial finger

    We make artificial fingers by the following procedures.

    (1) Add boiling water (30cc) to solid gelatin (24 grams) in a bottle and mix up them. Cap the bottle and wait till mixture forms a gel as it cools, and then melt to form a sol by heating with a microwave oven. After that, cool down to form a gel and heat up to form a sol several times to reduce bubbles, if necessary. As a result of this procedure, a liquid in which immersed gelatin at around 40 wt.% (a sol) will be obtained.

    (2) Prepare a mold, and drip the liquid onto the mold. Remove carefully bubbles which are formed around the base of the mold, if necessary.

    (3) Put this mold into a refrigerator to cool, and wait for about ten minutes till the liquid changes back to a gel. Peel carefully the gel (i.e., artificial finger) from the mold.

    Repeat (2) and (3) to make the gummy fingers.

 


APPENDIX B

B. Fingerprint Systems

The list of fingerprint devices and the procedures for the fingerprint systems are shown in APPENDIX B.1, and B.2, respectively.

B.1 The List of Fingerprint Devices

 

Hardware Specifications

Software Specifications

Methods
for
Verification


References

(Note: '*' stands for a web site in Japanese

 

Manufacturer/
Selling Agency

Product Name

Type

Product
Number

Sensor

Live and
Well
Detection

Manufacturer/
Selling Agency

Product Name
(Application)

Comparison
Levels

Device A

Compaq Computer
Corporation

Compaq Stand-Alone
Fingerprint Identification
Unit

DFRTM -200

E03811US001

Optical
Sensor

unknown

Compaq Computer
Corporation

Fingerprint Identification
Technology Software
version 1.1

1 through 3

Minutiae
Matching
http://www.compaq.com/products/quickspecs/10690_na/10690_na.HTML
Device B

MITSUBISHI
ELECTRIC
CORPORATION

Fingerprint
Recognizer

FPR-DTmkII

003136

Optical
Sensor

unknown

Sumikin Izumi
Computer Service
Co., Ltd.

SecFP V1.11

Fixed

Minutiae
Matching
http://www.melco.co.jp/rd_home/map/iesl/fields/b03e.html

* http://www.mitsubishi-fpr.com/jp/index.html

Device C

NEC Corporation

Fingerprint Identification
Unit (Prism)

N7950-41

9Y00003

Optical
Sensor

unknown

NEC Corporation

Basic Utilities for
Fingerprint Identification

Fixed

Minutiae
Matching
(Minutia and
Relation)
http://www.sw.nec.co.jp/english/pid_e/index.html

* http://www.sw.nec.co.jp/pid

Device D

OMRON
Corporation

Fingerprint Recognition
Sensor

FPS-1000

90500854

Optical
Sensor

unknown

OMRON
Corporation

"YUBI PASS" U.are.UTM
Fingerprint Verification
Software

Fixed

Minutiae
Matching
http://www.digitalpersona.com/

* http://www.omron.co.jp/ped-j/home.html

Device E

Sony Corporation

Sony Fingerprint Identification
Unit

FIU-002-F11

00709

Optical
Sensor

Live Finger
Detection

TSUBASA
SYSTEM
CO., LTD.

Fingerprint Identification
Unit Windows TM 95
Interactive Demo Version
1.0 Build 13

1 through 5

Pattern
Matching
* http://www.sony.co.jp/SonyInfo/News/Press/199705/97Co-035/

http://www.biometrix.at/page19.htm

Device F

FUJITSU LIMITED

Fingsensor

FS-200U

00AA000257

Capacitive
Sensor

unknown

FUJITSU LIMITED

Logon for Fingsensor V1.0
for Windows TM 95/98

Fixed

Minutiae
Matching
(Correlation)
* http://www.fmworld.net/product/hard/keyboard/finsensor/index.html
Device G

NEC Corporation

Fingerprint Identification
Unit (Serial)

PK-FP002

0300529S

Capacitive
Sensor

unknown

NEC Corporation

Basic Utilities for
Fingerprint Identification

Fixed

Minutiae
Matching
(Minutia and
Relation)
http://www.sw.nec.co.jp/english/pid_e/index.html

* http://www.sw.nec.co.jp/pid

Device H

Siemens AG
(Infineon
Technologies AG)

FingerTIPTM
EVALUATION KIT

EVALUATION- KIT

C98451-
D6100-A900-
4

Capacitive
Sensor

unknown

Siemens AG
(Infineon
Technologies AG)

FingerTIPTM Software
Development Kit (SDK)
Version: V0.90, Beta 3
"Demo Program"

Fixed

Minutiae
Matching
http://www.Fingertip.de/

http://www.infineon.com/products/chipcds/portfol/biometr/introduction.htm

Device I

Sony Corporation

Sony Fingerprint Identification
Unit

FIU-710

3000398

Capacitive
Sensor

Live Finger
Detection

Systemneeds Inc.

SecuDesktopTM 1.55
Japanese version

1 through 5

Pattern
Matching
http://www.sony.co.jp/en/Products/puppy/contents03.html

* http://systemneeds.co.jp/products/index.htm

Device J

SecuGenTM
Corporation

EyeD Mouse II
(SecuGenTM Mouse)

SMB-800

9650172004

Optical
Sensor

unknown

Secugen

Secure Suite Release 1.0

1 through 9

Minutiae
Matching
* http://secugen.co.jp/products.html

http://secugen.com/products.html

Device K

Ethentica Inc.

EthenticatorTM MS 3000
PC Card

MS 3000

M300F200991

Optical
Sensor

unknown

Ethentica

 

Fixed

Minutiae
Matching
http://www.ethentica.com/product.html
Note 1: DFRTM is a registered trademark of Compaq Computer Corporation. Windows TM is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. FingerTIP TM is a registered trademark of Siemens AG (Infineon Technlogies AG). U.ar.UTM is a registered trademark of DigitalPersona, Inc. SecuGenTM and SecuDesktopTM are a registered trademarks of SecuGen Corporation. EthenticatorTMis a registered trademark of Ethentica Inc.

Note 2:All contents of this table are based on our investigation on attached catalogs, web sites in the references, etc.

[Chart image(355KB)]

B.2 The Procedures for the Fingerprint Systems

The followings give the procedures for each fingerprint device.

Device A:We enroll a finger as a template in the system. And then, enrollment will be finished if the template can be verified in a subsequent verification. We used a logon sequence, which is a function of the system, to know whether the system accepts the finger or not. Fingerprint images are displayed on the screen of the PC both in enrollment an in verification.

Device B:We enroll a finger four times in the system to make a template. We can check whether the template in good condition by activating a verification function. We used this function to know whether the system accepts the finger or not Fingerprint images are not displayed on the screen ofthe PC.

Device C:We enroll a finger three times in the system to make a template. And then, we exit the application of the fingerprint system. We can encounter a verification procedure when we start the application again. We used this procedure to know whether the system accepts the finger or not. Fingerprint images are displayed on the screen of the PC only in enrollment.

Device D:We enroll a finger four times in the system to make a template. We used a logon sequence, which is a function of the system, to know whether the system accepts the finger or not. Fingerprint images are displayed on the screen of the PC only in enrollment.

Device E:We enroll a finger as a template in the system. We can check whether the template is in good condition by activating a verification function. We used this function to know whether the system accepts the finger or not. Fingerprint images are displayed on the screen of the PC both in enrollment and in verification.

Device F:We enroll a finger four times in the system to make a template. We used a logon sequence, which is a function of the system, to know whether the system accepts the finger or not. Fingerprint images are displayed on the screen of the PC only in enrollment.

Device G:The system is the same as that of Device C.

Device H:We enroll a finger three times in the system to make a template. We can check whether the template is in good condition by activating a verification function. We used this function to know whether the system accepts the finger or not. Fingerprint images are displayed on the screen of the PC both in enrollment and in verification.

Device I:We enroll a finger four times in the system to make a template. We can check whether the template is in good condition by activating a verification function. We used this function to know whether the system accepts the finger or not. Fingerprint images are displayed on the screen of the PC only in enrollment.

Device J:We enroll a finger two times in the system to make a template. We used a logon sequence, which is a function of the system, to know whether the system accepts the finger or not. Fingerprint images are displayed on the screen f the PC only in enrollment.

Device K: We enroll a finger three times in the system to make a template. We used a logon sequence entering the user's ID, activating a verification function, to know whether the system accepts the finger or not. Fingerprint images are displayed on the screen of the PC only in enrollment, but not in verification.




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Reply with quote  #3 

From Bruce Schneier's Crypto-Gram, 15 May 2002

Fun with Fingerprint Readers

Tsutomu Matsumoto, a Japanese cryptographer, recently decided to look at biometric fingerprint devices.  These are security systems that attempt to identify people based on their fingerprint.  For years the companies selling these devices have claimed that they are very secure, and that it is almost impossible to fool them into accepting a fake finger as genuine.  Matsumoto, along with his students at the Yokohama National University, showed that they can be reliably fooled with a little ingenuity and $10 worth of household supplies.

Matsumoto uses gelatin, the stuff that Gummi Bears are made out of.  First he takes a live finger and makes a plastic mold.  (He uses a free-molding plastic used to make plastic molds, and is sold at hobby shops.)  Then he pours liquid gelatin into the mold and lets it harden.  (The gelatin comes in solid sheets, and is used to make jellied meats, soups, and candies, and is sold in grocery stores.)  This gelatin fake finger fools fingerprint detectors about 80% of the time.

His more interesting experiment involves latent fingerprints.  He takes a fingerprint left on a piece of glass, enhances it with a cyanoacrylate adhesive, and then photographs it with a digital camera.  Using PhotoShop, he improves the contrast and prints the fingerprint onto a transparency sheet.  Then, he takes a photo-sensitive printed-circuit board (PCB) and uses the fingerprint transparency to etch the fingerprint into the copper, making it three-dimensional.  (You can find photo-sensitive PCBs, along with instructions for use, in most electronics hobby shops.)  Finally, he makes a gelatin finger using the print on the PCB.  This also fools fingerprint detectors about 80% of the time.

Gummy fingers can even fool sensors being watched by guards.  Simply form the clear gelatin finger over your own.  This lets you hide it as you press your own finger onto the sensor.  After it lets you in, eat the evidence.

Matsumoto tried these attacks against eleven commercially available fingerprint biometric systems, and was able to reliably fool all of them.  The results are enough to scrap the systems completely, and to send the various fingerprint biometric companies packing.  Impressive is an understatement.

There's both a specific and a general moral to take away from this result.  Matsumoto is not a professional fake-finger scientist; he's a mathematician.  He didn't use expensive equipment or a specialized laboratory.  He used $10 of ingredients you could buy, and whipped up his gummy fingers in the equivalent of a home kitchen.  And he defeated eleven different commercial fingerprint readers, with both optical and capacitive sensors, and some with "live finger detection" features.  (Moistening the gummy finger helps defeat sensors that measure moisture or electrical resistance; it takes some practice to get it right.)  If he could do this, then any semi-professional can almost certainly do much much more.

More generally, be very careful before believing claims from security companies.  All the fingerprint companies have claimed for years that this kind of thing is impossible.  When they read Matsumoto's results, they're going to claim that they don't really work, or that they don't apply to them, or that they've fixed the problem.  Think twice before believing them.

Matsumoto's paper is not on the Web.  You can get a copy by asking:

Tsutomu Matsumoto <tsutomu[at]mlab.jks.ynu.ac.jp>

Here's the reference:

T. Matsumoto, H. Matsumoto, K. Yamada, S. Hoshino, "Impact of Artificial Gummy Fingers on Fingerprint Systems," Proceedings of SPIE Vol. #4677, Optical Security and Counterfeit Deterrence Techniques IV, 2002.

Some slides from the presentation are here:

http://www.itu.int/itudoc/itu-t/workshop/security/present/s5p4.pdf

My previous essay on the uses and abuses of biometrics:

http://www.counterpane.com/crypto-gram-9808.html#biometrics>

Biometrics at the shopping center: pay for your groceries with your thumbprint.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/68217_thumb27.shtml

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"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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Tech
|
7/26/2012 @ 9:55AM |267 views

Researchers Trick Iris Scanner With Forged Eye Images

Could Iris Scanners Replace Our Wallets?
Hacker Will Expose Potential Security Flaw In Four Million Hotel Room Keycard Locks
English: Iris in the right eye of a girl

Researchers have found a way to subvert iris-recognition technology. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As the Black Hat 2012 security conference explores the ever-shifting cyber security battle between black-hats and white-hats, one of the more compelling developments to have come out of the event has been in the field of biometrics. Javier Galbally and his team at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain, claim to have tricked an iris-scanner into validating a fake image of someone’s eye.

In the past, researchers have been able to reproduce images of irises that merely looked realistic to iris scanners. This time, Galbally has been able to forge real ones, throwing up the possibility of copying someone’s identity to get through one of the most stringent security checks out there.

Galbally’s research showed that 80% of the time, a commercial scanner validated his forged prints as real. According to Wired, Galbally and his team, which included researchers from West Virginia University, tested print-outs of synthetic images of irises against VeriEye, an iris-scanner made by Nerotechnology.

White-hat hackers have for years been looking for vulnerabilities in biometric scanning — which covers everything from iris, to voice to finger-print recognition — part and parcel of making sure that makers of high-end scanning systems keep ahead of the crackers. Galbally, an assistant researcher at Universidad Autonoma, is himself involved with European projects to asses vulnerabilities in biometric scanning, notably one called Tabula Rasa.

Researcher Javier Galbally; image via atvs.ii.uam.es

On blackhat.com he says that his forged irises, or “binary iriscodes” probably wouldn’t get past a human expert, but “there is a high chance that they can break into an iris recognition system.”

It’s an area that security experts are still feeling out. Earlier this year two airports in the United Kingdom — in Manchester and Birmingham – said they were shelving their iris scanners to review other ways of advancing and automating airport security technology. British airports like Heathrow now use full face-recognition scanners in conjunction with biometric e-passports being distributed to U.K. citizens.

In the United States however, the FBI is reportedly testing a database which by by 2014 will let it run nationwide searches on iris scans to more quickly track criminals. According to NextGov.com, the Next Generation Identification system is a multiyear $1 billion program that will expand on the FBI’s current fingerprint database to include and aggregate other biometric features like facial images, palm prints and even tattoos. The database is reportedly 60% complete.

Follow me on Twitter: @Parmy

Order my book: We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous and the Global Cyber Insurgency

 


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Sweet bypass for student finger scanner

Summary: A NSW high school has installed "secure" fingerprint scanners for roll call, which savvy kids may be able to circumvent with sweets from their lunch box.

 

A NSW high school has installed "secure" fingerprint scanners for roll call, which savvy kids may be able to circumvent with sweets from their lunch box.

Gummi bears

(Munich 154 image by Betsy Weber, CC2.0)

The system replaces the school's traditional sign-in system with biometric readers that require senior students to have their fingerprints read to verify attendance.

Henry Kendall High School, on the NSW Central Coast, has pitched the system to parents as a convenient way for students to clock in and out of school during their irregular hours.

Principal Bob Cox told the ABC that the system was preferred over swipe cards, which students can abuse by signing-in for each other.

But a litany of fingerprint scanners have fallen victim to bypass methods, many of which are explained publicly in detail on the internet. The hacks could potentially be used by students to make replicas of their own fingerprints, or lift those of others from imprints left on the reader.

Japanese cryptographer Tsutomu Matsumoto used gelatin, the ingredient in Gummi Bears, to forge a replica finger that fooled 11 fingerprint scanners during tests in 2002. Gelatine has virtually the same capacitance as a finger's skin, meaning it can fool scanners designed to detect electrical charges within the human body.

"Simply form the clear gelatine finger over your own [which] lets you hide it as you press your own finger onto the sensor. After [the reader] lets you in, eat the evidence," BT chief technology officer Bruce Schneier said of the so-called Gummi Bear attack.

Chris Gatford, director of penetration testing firm HackLabs, has foiled biometric fingerprint scanners before.

"Whether it can be hacked depends on how clever the device is. If it is a reasonable quality, it will look for blood flow and heat, but entry-level models do not."

The NSW Department of Education said in a statement that the software does not store digital copies of fingerprints, but creates templates of unique characteristics.

This should prevent stored fingerprint images from being stolen, but would not prevent students bypassing machines.

The department said the decision to adopt the technology is up to the school, and participation in the scheme is optional.

Fingerprints can be lifted from a variety of surfaces, and then scanned, printed and applied to receptacle mediums which are used to trick scanners.

Finnish researcher Ton van der Putte hacked a scanner used for checkout payments in a chain of stores based in the Netherlands in 2008, while another Finnish researcher Mikko Kiviarju lifted prints (PDF) from Microsoft's now defunct Fingerprint Reader.

Topics: Security, Health


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Learn How to Pass (or Beat) a Polygraph Test | AntiPolygraph.org

 
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"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



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 Prepaid cell phone tracking Ok with the courts......

"The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that it is okay for police to track your cellphone signal without a warrant. Using information about the cell tower that a prepaid cell phone was connected to, the police were able to track a suspected drug smuggler. Apparently, keeping your cellphone on is authorization for the police to know where you are. According to the ruling (PDF), '[The defendant] did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the data emanating from his cell phone that showed its location.' Also, 'if a tool used to transport contraband gives off a signal that can be tracked for location, certainly the police can track the signal.'"


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Hotel lock problem solved....by replacing hardware



http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2012/08/17/hotel-lock-firms-fix-for-security-flaw-requires-hardware-changes-for-millions-of-locks/

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"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



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Reply with quote  #9 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2012/10/02/hackers-crack-hotel-room-locks-with-a-tool-disguised-as-a-dry-erase-marker/

Hackers Crack Hotel Room Locks With A Tool Disguised As A Dry Erase Marker


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"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



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http://www.lovepalz.com/

handy gadgets

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http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2011/06/22/openwatch-turns-your-smartphone-into-a-reverse-surveillance-camera/

http://openwatch.net/contact/




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FCC targets Craigslist cellphone jammer vendors, issues six citations

One ad responder even tells the FCC he'll need 1-2 weeks to fill the order.

The Federal Communications Commission has stepped up its enforcement game, issuing citations to six individuals for advertising and selling signal cellphone jamming devices on Craigslist. The FCC has also warned several online vendors and produced public service announcements in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.

“Over the last two weeks, the Bureau has targeted 23 signal jammer ads on Craigslist,” the FCC wrote in a press release on Monday.

“These actions resulted from aggressive undercover operations. Signal jamming devices, or ‘jammers,’ are radio frequency transmitters that intentionally block, jam, or interfere with authorized communications, such as cell phone calls, text messages, GPS systems, and Wi-Fi networks. Jammers are indiscriminate—they can block critical public safety and other emergency communications along with the targeted transmissions. As a result, it is a violation of federal law to market, sell, or use a jammer in the United States.”

In 2010, the FCC went after a UK-based jamming company that sold to American customers. That came a year after a US Senate hearing about the use of jammers in prisons, where one Texas state senator testified he had been called by a death row inmate from inside the prison.

A summer of stings

Over the summer, the FCC appears to have engaged a number of vendors across the country that were advertising jammers on Craigslist. The six new publicly listed jamming-related citations have a similar structure, outlining precisely where on Craigslist and how they were caught. Each of the citations—which appear to be mere warnings—describe how the agency may step up its enforcement game.

“Therefore, we caution you and other potential violators that going forward, and as circumstances warrant, we intend to impose substantial monetary penalties, rather than (or in addition to) warnings, on individuals who operate a jammer,” the FCC wrote. “Furthermore, the issuance of the instant citation does not preclude the Commission from taking additional enforcement action in this case.”

Under federal law, those possessing or selling jammers can be hit with a $16,000 fine for each violation, or each day of a continuing violations. The maximum penalty is $112,500.

"To keep your immediate surrounds annoyance free"

Of the six hit with new citations and orders posted Monday to the FCC website, nearly all of them involved individual men. However, one specifically cited Jason Carpenter, of Tupelo, Mississippi, who is named as the owner of a computer vendor and repair shop called Dancing Bear Technologies.

“On July 26, 2012, the Spectrum Enforcement Division of the Enforcement Bureau (Bureau) through its market surveillance efforts, observed an advertisement for a jamming device on Craigslist,” wrote the FCC in its citation.

“The advertisement offered for sale a ‘[p]ortable GSM+3G Cell Mobile Phone signal Jammer.’ The posting, titled 'Cell Phone Signal Jammer—$88 (Tupelo, Mississippi),' read in part: 'This jammer system comes with a built in rechargeable Li-ion battery for hours of signal jamming, and with the included car power adapter, recharge and use this in your car as well as the office. Incredibly easy to operate, just switch it on and it will immediately start blocking CDMA, GSM, DCS, and 3G to keep your immediate surrounds annoyance free.' The advertisement also stated that bands of operation of the device were ‘850~960Mhz,’ ‘1805~1990Mhz,’ and ‘2110~2170Mhz’ and listed the name of the business offering the jammer—'Dancing Bear Technologies.'"

The citation goes on to explain that Bureau staff corresponded with Carpenter, who confirmed to the FCC his company was offering jammers for sale and that he would need “about 1-2 weeks” to fulfill the order.

Ars called and e-mailed Carpenter, but received no response as of press time.


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(U//LES) FBI Going Dark: Law Enforcement Problems in Lawful Surveillance

September 14, 2012 in Federal Bureau of Investigation

The following report was released on September 7 by WikiLeaks.  For more information on the FBI’s efforts to extend domestic electronic surveillance see our article on the Domestic Communications Assistance Center’s vision statement recently released by Cryptome.

FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION SITUATIONAL INFORMATION REPORT

  •  4 pages
  • Law Enforcement Sensitive
  • June 29, 2011

Download

(U//LES) ‘Going Dark’ is a Law Enforcement (LE) initiative to address the gap between the legal authority and practical ability of LE to conduct lawfully-authorized electronic surveillance. Problems highlighted by the Going Dark initiative include LE’s difficulty in receiving information from some technology companies, and criminal’s use of advanced technologies and techniques that can complicate carrying out of lawfully-authorized court orders to conduct electronic surveillance.

(U) This Situational Information Report (SIR) is being provided to state and local Law Enforcement Officers (LEO) in response to questions asked about the Going Dark initiative. The intent of this document is to explain basic information on the initiative and a small sampling of the technologies and techniques that may pose problems during lawfully-authorized electronic surveillance. This product reflects the views of FBI Albany on problems state and local LE may encounter and has not been vetted by FBI Headquarters.

(U) There are many sophisticated technologies and techniques that can complicate lawfully-authorized electronic surveillance. Additionally, it is possible to use these technologies and techniques in tandem, for instance, a criminal may encrypt their web traffic and use a proxy server to hide their location.

(U) Compliance Issues

(U//LES) LE’s ability to monitor sophisticated technologies is complicated by the companies that sell the technologies. Some companies are unable to comply with LE requests for lawful intercepts due to a lack of knowledge regarding LE authority, a belief that they are not subject to the laws providing LE intercept authority, or a lack of technical capability to provide the requested information. Due to the Internet and the ease with which consumers are able to purchase/use items from around the world, other companies are sometimes located outside the United States and not subject to US electronic surveillance legislation. Additionally, some companies simply do not keep the documentation necessary to comply with legal requests, either because they are not aware of the requirements or because they purposely seek to protect privacy or impede LE activities.

(U) Hiding Data

(U//LES) Encryption is one of the most common techniques and it is extremely difficult for LE to decrypt information without cooperation. Encryption is the process of applying an algorithm to a set of data that alters the data into an unrecognizable format. Only users with the decryption keys are able to decrypt the data. Through the use of hardware and software-based encryption, consumers are able to use encryption to secure individual files, hard drives, removable media (CDs, USB sticks, etc.), e-mails, instant messages, text messages and even phone calls. Encryption can be achieved through a wide variety of software and smartphone applications, that are typically user friendly. LE may be able to decrypt some data without cooperation due to poor user practices, including notes and e-mails containing passwords, and decryption keys contained in computer memory (RAM); however, frequently LE receives encrypted data, but has no way to decrypt it.

(U//LES) Steganography is a tool that physically embeds a set of data within another set of data. Methods exist to embed data inside of digital images and may allow for steganography to be applied to streamed content, like videos, music, and phone calls. The existence of the embedded data is invisible to a user unless the LEO has special training in what indicators to look for, and even if LE knows about the data, it may be impossible to retrieve the embedded data.

(U//LES) Some Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services encrypt voice traffic. The use of these technologies means that criminals carry on phone conversations that LE has difficulty intercepting, and even if the calls are intercepted, LE some data may be encrypted and unable to be analyzed.

(U) Hiding Originator Information

(U//LES) When encryption and steganography is deployed, LE can determine who the sender and receiver is, however, there are technologies and techniques that prevent LE from determining who sent and/or received the information. A Proxy server is an intermediary for another computer to connect to the Internet. Typically, the destination computer only sees that the request came from the proxy server and does not know who originated the request. To find both the destination and originator information, LE must identify and work with the proxy server owner, who could be in another country, and are frequently unwilling to cooperate with LE requests. Proxy servers may or may not keep log files that can aid Law Enforcement in determining where the traffic originated. The Onion Router (Tor) is a sophisticated network of proxy servers that allow Internet users to route their traffic through multiple intermediaries (Tor nodes), completely masking the originating computer. Tor is specifically designed so that no single computer in the chain knows both the destination and origination information, and the Tor network is comprised of multiple home and business users throughout the world, making it almost impossible to find the originating and/or destination computer.

(U//LES) While not always considered Going Dark issues, the following are worth mentioning due to their use in recent local cases and the difficulties they caused investigators.

(U//LES) Anonymous remailers prevent the identification of an e-mail writer, allowing the writer to send an e-mail without any originating information. The program accepts the properly formatted e-mail and forwards it to the recipient without any information about the sender. Some remailers will forward the e-mail at a random date and time, up to seven days after the writer hits “send” to prevent anyone from using the date-time stamp to identify the sender. Many of these services do not keep log files, which can make it impossible to trace the e-mail back to the sender.

(U//LES) Communication companies offer phone number spoofing and voice changing services, which allow callers to mask their identities. When a phone number spoofer is used, the application/service hides the number of the caller and provides false caller identification information. Some applications allow the caller to choose what number they want displayed, which makes it easy to impersonate another person or company.

(U//LES) FBI Albany is interested in information regarding criminal use of sophisticated tradecraft to counter LE activity.


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"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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ICANN Law Enforcement Recommendations for Domain Registration and WHOIS Data Collection Revisions

October 11, 2012 in United States

The following documentation from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) relates to recommended changes to the standard agreements with registrars for collecting WHOIS data from registrants.  The changes were recommended by several international law enforcement agencies including the FBI, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Serious Organizsed Crime Agency and the Australian Federal Police as a way to combat online crime.  A letter sent by European Commission Article 29 Data Protection Working Group to ICANN in late September stated that some of the proposed changes are likely illegal under European privacy law.  More information on the proposals and an upcoming “community consultation” on the proposed changes is available via ICANN.

Law Enforcement Recommended RAA Amendments and ICANN Due Diligence7 pagesOctober 18, 2010Download
ICANN Board – GAC Consultation: Law Enforcement Due Diligence Recommendations—Due Diligence and Registrar Accreditation Agreement10 pagesFebruary 21, 2011Download
Law Enforcement Due Diligence Recommendations for ICANN- Revisions to Part I, (9) – Collection and Maintenance of Registrant Data2 pagesMay 14, 2012Download
Law Enforcement Due Diligence Recommendations for ICANN- Revisions to Part I, (10) – Validation of Registrant Data2 pagesMay 14, 2012Download
ICANN Proposed Draft Registration Data Directory (WHOIS) Specification6 pagesJune 3, 2012Download
ICANN Proposed Draft WHOIS Accuracy Program Specification2 pagesJune 3, 2012Download
ICANN Proposed Draft Data Retention Program Specification2 pagesJune 3, 2012Download

Below are: 1) suggested amendments to the RAA and; 2) due diligence recommendations for ICANN to adopt in accrediting registrars and registries. Both are supported by the following international law enforcement agencies:

- Australian Federal Police;
- Department of Justice (US);
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (US);
- New Zealand Police;
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police;
- Serious Organised Crime Agency (UK)

The amendments are considered to be required in order to aid the prevention and disruption of efforts to exploit domain registration procedures by Criminal Groups for criminal purposes. The proposed amendments take account of existing EU, US, Canadian and Australian legislation and those countries commitment to preserving individual’s rights to privacy. These amendments would maintain these protections whilst facilitating effective investigation of Internet related crime.

I. Proposed Amendments to the RAA (May 21, 2009 version)

1) The RAA should not explicitly condone or encourage the use of Proxy Registrations or Privacy Services, as it appears in paragraphs 3.4.1 and 3.12.4. This goes directly against the Joint Project Agreement (JPA) ICANN signed with the United States Department of Commerce on September 25, 2006 which specifically states “ICANN shall continue to enforce existing (Whois) policy”, i.e., totally open and public WHOIS, and the September 30, 2009, Affirmation of Commitments, paragraph 9.3.1 which states “ICANN implement measures to maintain timely, unrestricted and public access to accurate and complete WHOIS information, including registrant, technical, billing, and administrative contact information.” Lastly, proxy and privacy registrations contravene the 2007 GAC Principles on WHOIS. If there are proxy and/or privacy domain name registrations, the following is recommended concerning their use:

a. Registrars are to accept proxy/privacy registrations only from ICANN accredited Proxy Registration Services;

b. Registrants using privacy/proxy registration services will have authentic WHOIS information immediately published by the Registrar when registrant is found to be violating terms of service, including but not limited to the use of false data, fraudulent use, spamming and/or criminal activity.

2) To RAA paragraph 5.3.2.1, language should be added to the effect “or knowingly and/or through gross negligence permit criminal activity in the registration of domain names or provision of domain name WHOIS information…”

9) Registrars and all associated third-party beneficiaries to Registrars are required to collect and securely maintain the following data:

(i) Source IP address

(ii) HTTP Request Headers

(a) From
(b) Accept
(c) Accept‐Encoding
(d) Accept‐Language
(e) User‐Agent
(f) Referrer
(g) Authorization
(h) Charge‐To
(i) If‐Modified‐Since

(iii) Collect and store the following data from registrants:

(a) First Name:
(b) Last Name:
(c) E‐mail Address:
(d) Alternate E‐mail address
(e) Company Name:
(f) Position:
(g) Address 1:
(h) Address 2:
(i) City:
(j) Country:
(k) State:
(l) Enter State:
(m) Zip:
(n) Phone Number:
(o) Additional Phone:
(p) Fax:
(q) Alternative Contact First Name:
(r) Alternative Contact Last Name:
(s) Alternative Contact E‐mail:
(t) Alternative Contact Phone:

(iv) Collect data on all additional add‐on services purchased during the registration process.

(v) All financial transactions, including, but not limited to credit card, payment information.


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"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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hannah

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Reply with quote  #15 
http://sdiwc.net/conferences/2013/Malaysia3/

The Second International Conference on Cyber Security, Cyber Warfare and Digital Forensic (CyberSec2013)



The Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU)

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - March 4-6, 2013

All accepted papers will be included in SDIWC Digital Library..

SDIWC Logo

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"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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hannah

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Reply with quote  #16 
http://www.vice.com/read/the-glory-hole-got-a-twenty-first-century-makeover


http://www.businessinsider.com/russian-website-sells-access-to-servers-of-american-fortune-500-companies-2012-10

http://www.businessinsider.com/us-started-worldwide-cyberwar-hacking-2012-10


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"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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hannah

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Reply with quote  #17 


Pocket Litter: The Evidence That Criminals Carry

October 25, 2012 | 0900 GMT

By Scott Stewart

On Oct. 12, a pregnant medical doctor from Guadalajara, Mexico, attempted to enter the United States through the San Ysidro border crossing. The woman reportedly wanted to give birth in the United States so that her child would be a U.S. citizen. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers arrested the woman, who has since been charged with visa fraud in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

Ordinarily, the arrest of a Mexican national for document fraud at a border crossing would hardly be newsworthy. However, this case may be anything but ordinary: Authorities have identified the woman as Alejandrina Gisselle Guzman Salazar, who reportedly is the daughter of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera, one of the world's most wanted men.

If Guzman is indeed the daughter of El Chapo, the arrest could provide much-needed intelligence to those pursuing the fugitive drug lord. Aside from the intelligence gathered during her interrogation, investigators could also learn much from the information she may have been inadvertently carrying on her person. In law enforcement and intelligence circles, the items of miscellaneous information an individual carries are called "pocket litter" and are carefully reviewed for intelligence value. But the concept of combing through pocket litter for critical information also carries with it some important implications for people who are not criminals.

Danger for Criminals

When law enforcement officers arrest someone, they conduct a thorough search of the suspect and his or her immediate possessions. This is referred to as a "search incident to arrest," and items discovered during this search are considered admissible as evidence in U.S. courts (and the courts of many other countries). During the search, officers are looking for items of evidentiary value to the case in question and for items that could endanger the officers -- weapons and handcuff keys, for example. But in addition to these items, a search incident to arrest also gives law enforcement officers an excellent chance to gather intelligence that could be used to identify other individuals involved in the criminal activity.

Of course, items found in pockets, purses or wallets -- business cards, slips of paper containing names, telephone numbers, addresses and email addresses, to name a few -- can provide intelligence leads. But even less obvious items, such as receipts and airline boarding passes, are likewise valuable. In narcotics cases, pocket litter frequently helps identify drug suppliers, and in cases of document fraud, pocket litter helps identify the document vendor.

Once these items of potential intelligence are collected, they are processed. This means determining who corresponds to a particular phone number, address or email account and then running them through local, state or federal law enforcement databases. Public records, the Internet and social media can also be searched for relevant information. Often this process will produce additional leads that can later be investigated.

In addition to its uses in fighting street crime, pocket litter is also important in counterterrorism and counterintelligence cases. It can help identify associates, weapons or explosives components purchases, the location of storage lockers used to house such materials, bombmaking recipes, fund transfers and information pertaining to targets the subject has surveilled.

Since the October 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, the U.S. military has turned the collection and processing of pocket litter into a highly sophisticated and productive exercise. When the military captures a militant on the battlefield, or when special operations forces seize or kill a high-value target, his body and the surrounding area are immediately searched for pocket litter, which is then collected, categorized and sent to the appropriate intelligence unit for processing.

Document exploitation teams operating in Afghanistan (and later Iraq) created huge searchable databases containing data from militants. In many cases, these teams proved more successful in satisfying intelligence taskings than did interrogation teams working with captured individuals. 

Notably, what we refer to as pocket litter has changed as technology has evolved. Originally denoting physical items like slips of paper, the term now includes electronic devices, such as iPods, smartphones, tablets and laptop computers, from which vast amounts of intelligence can be gleaned. These devices can contain photographs, Internet search histories, voice mails, call logs and text message archives. Many phones also have features that, if activated, can provide historical GPS data on their owners' locations.

How far a search incident to arrest can go in cases involving cellphones currently is a controversial subject in the United States because cellphones can contain vast amounts of information regarding their owners. Conflicting rulings in different U.S. circuit courts make it likely that the topic will be brought to the U.S. Supreme Court at some point. The fact that judges must often compare cellphones to diaries or locked containers while looking for comparable case law illustrates the challenges the new technology has presented to the judicial system.

Danger for Civilians

Pocket litter has been exploited as long as there have been criminals, law enforcement, pockets and writing. Yet despite hundreds of years of this practice, criminals continue to carry incriminating evidence on their persons. The reason for this is quite simple: human nature has not changed. Most people do not trust their memories, and they consider it safer and easier to jot down the information on a slip of paper and place it in a wallet or purse, or in modern times, store it in a cellphone or computer. The number of items jotted down or otherwise stored in this manner can become quite substantial as this practice continues over time.

But these shortcomings exemplified by criminals also pertain to law-abiding citizens. Most people walk around with significant amounts of information on their person, and many cannot account for all their belongings. Some people are completely unaware of the treasure trove of information they carry in their cellphones, tablets and laptop computers. For most civilians, it is not intelligence exploitation by the government that is a concern, but exploitation by cunning criminals, who can use pocket litter to commit credit card, bank or identity fraud.

Therefore, it is imperative that people examine and carefully consider their pocket litter and attempt to reduce that litter to only those items that are absolutely necessary. This is especially true of people traveling in areas with high crime or intelligence threats, but the concept is universal. One can have a wallet, purse or cellphone stolen at a place of worship, the supermarket or the gym. It is also important to remember that pocket litter inadvertently tossed into the trash can be recovered and exploited by criminals.

Recovering from the theft of a purse or cellphone is difficult enough under the best of circumstances, but it is much more difficult if one does not know what information was compromised or if one unnecessarily exposed documents and information to theft. For example, many people needlessly carry their original social security cards or write their social security numbers and ATM pin numbers down rather than memorizing them. People should maintain a list of the credit cards they carry with them, along with contact numbers for those card companies in a separate place.

While there are many vulnerabilities associated with smartphones, locking them with passwords and using encrypted files for storing information such as account numbers and passwords are steps in the right direction. These measures may not save a terrorist suspect from the computing power of the U.S. National Security Agency, but they will likely prevent most thieves from accessing your important information.


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"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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hannah

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Reply with quote  #18 

Crimes by ATF and DEA informants not tracked by feds

5:33 PM, Oct 7, 2012   |  
Comments
 
Informant James "Whitey" Bulger is escoted from a helicopter after a June 2011 court hearing in Boston. The FBI acknowledged its agents had allowed the accused mobster to run a crime ring in exchange for information about the mafia. / Stuart Cahill, Boston Herald

WASHINGTON â?? The nation's top drug and gun enforcement agencies do not track how often they give their informants permission to break the law on the government's behalf.

U.S. Justice Department rules put strict limits on when and how agents at the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives can authorize their informants â?? often drawn from the ranks of the criminals they are investigating â?? to commit a crime. But both the ATF and DEA acknowledged, in response to open-records requests and in written statements, that they do not track how often such permission is given.

That routine, if controversial, tactic has come under renewed scrutiny in the wake of the bungled "Fast and Furious" gun-trafficking investigation, which allowed 2,000 weapons to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels and other criminals. A report by the Justice Department's Inspector General found that ATF agents failed to get authorization from their superiors before they allowed gun dealers to sell weapons to suspected cartel operatives.

The report, delivered in September, is the latest internal probe to find agents ignoring the rules. And the department continues to face accusations that its agents overlook crimes by their informants, including one case this year involving an alleged Boston mob captain who was working for the FBI.

"The way we use confidential informants is a huge aspect of the daily operation and also the legitimacy of the criminal justice system," said Alexandra Natapoff, a professor at Loyola Law School Los Angeles. "It's insane that even the law enforcement agencies that actually carry out this policy may not always know how their operatives are doing it."

The ATF and DEA said in written statements that they are "in compliance'' with the rules for using informants, and that information about crimes by individual informants is "collected at both the field division and headquarters levels." The rules do not require the agencies to tally authorizations to engage in what the department calls "otherwise illegal activity" to determine how often it happens.

The FBI, by comparison, is required to collect information on how often each of the bureau's 56 field offices allows informants to break the law, though the bureau would not release those figures. (The FBI initially said in response to a request by USA TODAY that it, too, had no reports that would indicate how often informants are allowed to commit crimes.)

"There has to be some new accountability," said Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., who introduced a bill last year to force federal law enforcement agencies to tell Congress about crimes by their informants. "There can be a big upside when informants are used and the FBI actually pulls bad people off the street. But no one is looking at the collateral damage."

Informants' work is a closely guarded secret, in large part because of the danger involved. But records suggest the government's network of cooperators is vast: In 2005, the DEA estimated it had 4,000 informants, and two years later the FBI said in a budget request that its agents had 15,000 more. DEA officials told the inspector general's office that "without confidential sources, the DEA could not effectively enforce the controlled substances laws of the United States."

As part of that work, agents have authorized their informants to do everything from buying and selling drugs to participating in Medicaid fraud rings. Agents are supposed to get supervisors' approval before they permit informants to commit even minor crimes; in more serious cases â?? involving violence or big drug shipments â?? they must also get permission from Justice Department lawyers.

The department tightened those rules a decade ago, after the FBI acknowledged that its agents had allowed accused Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger to run a crime ring responsible for extortion and murder in exchange for information about the mafia.



Copyright 2012 USATODAY.com

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"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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hannah

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Reply with quote  #19 
http://www.businessinsider.com/combined-arms-school-training-slams-ex-president-george-wbush-2012-10
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"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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hannah

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Reply with quote  #20 

Protecting (and Collecting) the DNA of World Leaders

There's a lot of hype and hyperbole in this story, but here's the interesting bit:

According to Ronald Kessler, the author of the 2009 book In the President’s Secret Service, Navy stewards gather bedsheets, drinking glasses, and other objects the president has touched­they are later sanitized or destroyed­in an effort to keep would be malefactors from obtaining his genetic material. (The Secret Service would neither confirm nor deny this practice, nor would it comment on any other aspect of this article.) And according to a 2010 release of secret cables by WikiLeaks, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton directed our embassies to surreptitiously collect DNA samples from foreign heads of state and senior United Nations officials. Clearly, the U.S. sees strategic advantage in knowing the specific biology of world leaders; it would be surprising if other nations didn’t feel the same.

The rest of the article is about individually targeted bioweapons.

Posted on October 29, 2012 at 1:53 PM27 Comments


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"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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hannah

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Reply with quote  #21 

New WWII Cryptanalysis

I'd sure like to know more about this:

Government code-breakers are working on deciphering a message that has remained a secret for 70 years.

It was found on the remains of a carrier pigeon that was discovered in a chimney, in Surrey, having been there for decades.

It is thought the contents of the note, once decoded, could provide fresh information from World War II.

It was a British pigeon, presumed to have died while heading back to Bletchley Park.

Some more articles. Additional video.

ETA (11/5): Another article, and Bletchley Park news release.

I look forward to seeing the decryption.

Posted on November 5, 2012 at 1:26 PM8 Comments


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"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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hannah

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Reply with quote  #22 

Court OKs warrantless use of hidden surveillance cameras

In latest case to test how technological developments alter Americans' privacy, federal court sides with Justice Department on police use of concealed surveillance cameras on private property.

October 30, 2012 10:45 AM PDT

Police are allowed in some circumstances to install hidden surveillance cameras on private property without obtaining a search warrant, a federal judge said yesterday.

CNET has learned that U.S. District Judge William Griesbach ruled that it was reasonable for Drug Enforcement Administration agents to enter rural property without permission -- and without a warrant -- to install multiple "covert digital surveillance cameras" in hopes of uncovering evidence that 30 to 40 marijuana plants were being grown.

This is the latest case to highlight how advances in technology are causing the legal system to rethink how Americans' privacy rights are protected by law. In January, the Supreme Court rejected warrantless GPS tracking after previously rejecting warrantless thermal imaging, but it has not yet ruled on warrantless cell phone tracking or warrantless use of surveillance cameras placed on private property without permission.

Yesterday Griesbach adopted a recommendation by U.S. Magistrate Judge William Callahan dated October 9. That recommendation said that the DEA's warrantless surveillance did not violate the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and requires that warrants describe the place that's being searched.

"The Supreme Court has upheld the use of technology as a substitute for ordinary police surveillance," Callahan wrote.

Two defendants in the case, Manuel Mendoza and Marco Magana of Green Bay, Wis., have been charged with federal drug crimes after DEA agent Steven Curran claimed to have discovered more than 1,000 marijuana plants grown on the property, and face possible life imprisonment and fines of up to $10 million. Mendoza and Magana asked Callahan to throw out the video evidence on Fourth Amendment grounds, noting that "No Trespassing" signs were posted throughout the heavily wooded, 22-acre property owned by Magana and that it also had a locked gate.

U.S. Attorney James Santelle, who argued that warrantless surveillance cameras on private property &#34;does not violate the Fourth Amendment.&#34;

U.S. Attorney James Santelle, who argued that warrantless surveillance cameras on private property "does not violate the Fourth Amendment."

(Credit: U.S. Department of Justice)

Callahan based his reasoning on a 1984 Supreme Court case called Oliver v. United States, in which a majority of the justices said that "open fields" could be searched without warrants because they're not covered by the Fourth Amendment. What lawyers call "curtilage," on the other hand, meaning the land immediately surrounding a residence, still has greater privacy protections.

"Placing a video camera in a location that allows law enforcement to record activities outside of a home and beyond protected curtilage does not violate the Fourth Amendment," Justice Department prosecutors James Santelle and William Lipscomb told Callahan.

As digital sensors become cheaper and wireless connections become more powerful, the Justice Department's argument would allow police to install cameras on private property without court oversight -- subject only to budgetary limits and political pressure.

About four days after the DEA's warrantless installation of surveillance cameras, a magistrate judge did subsequently grant a warrant. But attorneys for Mendoza and Magana noticed that the surveillance took place before the warrant was granted.

"That one's actions could be recorded on their own property, even if the property is not within the curtilage, is contrary to society's concept of privacy," wrote Brett Reetz, Magana's attorney, in a legal filing last month. "The owner and his guest... had reason to believe that their activities on the property were not subject to video surveillance as it would constitute a violation of privacy."

A jury trial has been scheduled for January 22.


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"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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hannah

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Reply with quote  #23 

'Dark' motive: FBI seeks signs of carrier roadblocks to surveillance

The agency wants tougher wiretap laws, and in its "Going Dark" campaign it's enlisted Homeland Security for examples of how companies like Comcast, Cricket, and T-Mobile are standing in the way.

November 5, 2012 1:03 PM PST

The FBI has tried to bolster its case for expanded Internet surveillance powers by gathering finger-pointing examples of how communications companies have stymied government agencies, CNET has learned.

An internal Homeland Security report shows that a working group convened by an FBI office in Chantilly, Va. requested details about "investigations have been negatively impacted" by companies' delays, partial compliance, or inability to comply with police surveillance requests.

One of the claims in that report: A police arm of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which conducts investigations into immigration, drug, computer, and copyright crimes, reported that no-contract wireless provider Cricket Communications had "hindered" an investigation because "system technical issues" interfered with a wiretap and location tracking. Cricket, a subsidiary of Leap Wireless, has approximately 6 million subscribers.

The "noncompliance incident report" says that:

 

On almost a daily basis, we experienced technical issues with our target line serviced by Cricket Communications. These problems included daily occurrences of intercepted communications that were missing either data or content. We had numerous instances of calls received where direction and/or digits were not provided by the service provider. Also, for approximately four months the office attempted to obtain a usable cellsite mapping template for target location data. Several Cricket employees were notified of the problem multiple times over a four month time period. No satisfactory resolution was ever provided by Cricket.

Greg Lund, a spokesman for Cricket, told CNET today that "we review all incoming legal requests to determine what information is requested and whether disclosure of that information is lawfully permitted pursuant to the type of request submitted." If disclosure is legally permitted, he said, Cricket turns over the data, but "if not, we deny the request."

The information collection is part of the FBI's controversial effort, known internally as "Going Dark," aimed in part at convincing Congress to rewrite federal wiretapping law to require Internet companies including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo to build in back doors for government surveillance. CNET reported in May that the FBI has asked tech companies not to oppose the plan.

Homeland Security's response said its agents had encountered problems when interacting with some mobile and broadband companies -- including Comcast, MetroPCS, and T-Mobile -- though none of the delays or glitches were reported to have derailed a criminal investigation. Other delays appear to be due to disagreements that companies had with Homeland Security's interpretation of the law.

"On a regular basis, the government is unable to obtain communications and related data, even when authorized by a court to do so," the FBI's then-general counsel, Valerie Caproni, told a House of Representatives committee last year.

The request from the FBI's Law Enforcement Executive Forum, a surveillance-focused working group the bureau created in 2001, aims to buttress law enforcement's request for surveillance authority by identifying obstacles posed by current law. It also asks for examples of companies that are not complying with a 1994 law called the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA, which applies to phone companies and broadband providers, but not social-networking Web sites and e-mail and instant messaging providers.

The Homeland Security report, made public this afternoon, was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is enmeshed in a lawsuit against the FBI after many of the documents it requested were withheld. CNET reported last week that a federal judge ruled that the government did not adequately respond to EFF's request.

In an unusual twist, Homeland Security provided the partially redacted report (PDF) to the EFF under open government laws -- but then turned around and demanded the document's return, which the EFF refused to do.

A spokesman for the FBI declined to comment on the documents.

In another example from the report, Homeland Security reported that a suspect in an immigration case "was not located" due to SouthernLINC Wireless not permitting agents to access the target's cell phone location in real time because of the request's wording. SouthernLINC, which has about 4.5 million subscribers, would only turn over location data that was one hour old.

That dispute echoes, on a micro scale, a broader dispute about warrantless location tracking that has played out in the courts -- including oral arguments before a federal appeals court last month -- and in the U.S. Congress. James Baker, the associate deputy attorney general, has told Congress that requiring warrants before police could obtain location data from mobile providers would hinder "the government's ability to obtain important information in investigations of serious crimes."

Homeland Security's Honolulu office reported "delays as long as three to four months" in receiving responses to subpoenas sent to T-Mobile and Cricket, and its Phoenix office said that a "significant number" of targets were using Mexican Nextel phones. Homeland Security also complained that Comcast was slow in responding to a "customs summons" because agents asked for "connection records" without specifying Internet Protocol addresses assigned to customers.


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"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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Backdoor in computer controls opens critical infrastructure to hackers

Widely used software used to control machinery in power plants is vulnerable.

A screen from CoDeSys Visualization.

Software used to manage equipment in power plants, military environments, and nautical ships contains an undocumented backdoor that could allow malicious hackers to access sensitive systems without authorization.

The CoDeSys software tool, which is used in industrial control systems sold by 261 different manufacturers, contains functionality that allows people to remotely issue powerful system commands, Reid Wightman, a researcher with security firm ioActive, told Ars. The CoDeSys tool will grant a command shell to anyone who knows the proper command syntax and inner workings, leaving systems that are connected to the public Internet open to malicious tampering.

"There is absolutely no authentication needed to perform this privileged command," Wightman said. "Imagine if your laptop had a service that accepted an unauthenticated 'shutdown' command, and if someone sent it your laptop [would] shut off and you [would lose] all your work. Anybody on the network could shut off your laptop without needing your password. That would suck. And that's the case here."

Of the two specific programmable logic controllers (PLCs) Wightman has tested, both allowed him to issue commands that halted the devices' process control. He estimated there are thousands of other models that also ship with CoDeSys installed, and he said most of them are probably vulnerable to the same types of attacks. He declined to identify the specific models he tested except to say that one ran the Linux operating system on Intel-compatible processors and the other used Microsoft's Windows CE running on ARM chips. Wightman said a quick search using the Shodan computer location service showed 117 devices directly connected to the Internet, but he suspects more detailed queries could turn up many more. A blog post that contains additional vulnerability details says code that automates the exploit is expected to be added to the Metasploit software framework used by hackers and security professionals.

The discovery is the latest example of the security vulnerabilities that threaten power plants and other critical infrastructure both in the United States and elsewhere in the world. The defective software is embedded in thousands or millions of tiny, mission-critical devices that reside in environments that are often hard to reach and are required to run around the clock. So it's often infeasible to update them once patches are available. Adding to the difficulty, most devices require the firmware to be "reflashed," a process that's harder and riskier than a simple software update.

Vulnerabilities in PLCs sold by German conglomerate Siemens opened the door for the Stuxnet worm, which burrowed into Iran's Natanz nuclear facility to damage centrifuges for enriching uranium. The complexity of fixing security bugs in industrial control systems has led to the term "forever day vulnerabilities" because manufacturers often consider the process too difficult to carry out in many environments or on older products.

As their names imply, programmable logic controllers are devices that can be programmed to open valves, flip on switches, and control other physical pieces of machinery based on input they receive from sensors or computers they are connected to. By seizing control of them, hackers can potentially hijack the normal functioning of sensitive equipment in factories, refineries, and other infrastructure that use them. Companies that are advertised as using CoDeSys sell products used in electric grids, military operations, and nautical navigation, among other things.

Wightman said 3S-Smart Software Solutions, the company that designs CoDeSys, recently issued an advisory that recommended users set a password. He said the advice is ineffective because the password doesn't affect access to the backdoor shell, but instead protects code changes to the controller. As a result the hackers can easily circumvent the password protection without knowing the current password by using a backdoor shell command. Ars has asked company officials to comment, and this article will be updated if they respond.


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"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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Reply with quote  #25 
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/11/ff-the-manuscript/all/

They Cracked This 250-Year-Old Code, and Found a Secret Society Inside


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Reply with quote  #26 
 

Get our top stories

follow gizmodo

 

How Crypto Keys Can Be Stolen Across the Cloud

Jacob Aron - New Scientist

Most people are happy to give their neighbours a spare house key in case of emergencies, but you probably wouldn't want to give them your digital passwords. Now security researchers have shown that you may not have a choice, at least when it comes to cloud computing.

Cloud servers let users run simulations of an ordinary computer, called virtual machines (VMs), on remote hardware. A VM performs exactly as an ordinary computer would, but because it is entirely software-based, many of them can run on a single hardware base. Yinqian Zhang of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and colleagues have discovered that it is possible for one VM to steal cryptographic keys - used to keep your data secure - from another running on the same physical hardware, potentially putting cloud-computing users at risk.

The attack exploits the fact that both VMs share the same hardware cache, a memory component that stores data for use by the computer's processor. The attacking VM fills the cache in such a way that the target VM, which is processing a cryptographic key, is likely to overwrite some of the attacker's data. By looking at which parts of the cache are changed, the attacking VM can learn something about the key in use.

Zhang and team did not test the attack in the cloud for real, but used hardware similar to that employed by Amazon's cloud service to try stealing a decryption key. They were able to reconstruct a 4096-bit key in just a few hours, as reported in a paper presented at the Computer and Communications Security conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, last month.

This attack won't apply in all situations, as an attacker would have to establish a VM on the same hardware as yours, which isn't always possible. What's more, an attack would not work on hardware running more than two VMs. Still, those looking to use cloud services for high-security applications may want to reconsider.

Image by David Malan/Getty


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Reply with quote  #27 

Hotel room burglars exploit critical flaw in electronic door locks

Attacks affected some 4 million locks; company wants customers to cover repair costs.

A Houston-based Hyatt is one of a handful of hotels in Texas targeted by digital tools that effortlessly open electronic door locks in a matter of seconds, according to a published report.

In September, Janet Wolf, a 45-year-old IT services consultant for Dell, returned to her locked room at the Hyatt in Houston's Galleria district to find her Toshiba laptop stolen, Forbes reported on Monday. Management for the hotel later concluded the thief accessed the room by exploiting a vulnerability in the electronic door lock provided by Onity. The exploit was unveiled at this year's Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas, and it affects some four million locks. It works by inserting the plug of a custom-made device into the port of an electronic lock to access the digital key that in turn accesses the opening mechanism.

The investigation into the burglary came around the same time that insurance firm Petra Pacific issued an alert claiming that "several" Texas hotels had their locks picked using the hacking technique, which was developed by researcher Cody Brocious. A director at Petra told Forbes there are at least three such hotels, but he declined to identify them.

Representatives for the firm that owns the Houston-based Hyatt told Forbes it implemented a fix for the vulnerability following the burglary, about two months after reporter Andy Greenberg first alerted Onity to it. Even then, the fix amounted to putting "epoxy putty" into a small hole in each hotel room lock until management puts in place a more permanent solution. Brocious said in an August blog post that "mechanical" approaches are a good temporary fix but suggested they aren't good long-term solutions because they rely on security through obscurity.

The only way to permanently fix the locks, according to Forbes, is to replace the circuit board of each vulnerable lock. That's something Onity is asking hotel customers pay for rather than covering the costs itself.


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"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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Reply with quote  #28 

E-Mail Security in the Wake of Petraeus

I've been reading lots of articles articles discussing how little e-mail and Internet privacy we actually have in the U.S. This is a good one to start with:

The FBI obliged apparently obtaining subpoenasfor Internet Protocol logs, which allowed them to connect the sender’s anonymous Google Mail account to others accessed from the same computers, accounts that belonged to Petraeus biographer Paula Broadwell. The bureau could then subpoena guest records from hotels, tracking the WiFi networks, and confirm that they matched Broadwell’s travel history. None of this would have required judicial approval let alone a Fourth Amendment search warrant based on probable cause.

While we don't know the investigators’ other methods, the FBI has an impressive arsenal of tools to track Broadwell’s digital footprints -- all without a warrant. On a mere showing of "relevance," they can obtain a court order for cell phone location records, providing a detailed history of her movements, as well as all people she called. Little wonder that law enforcement requests to cell providers have exploded -- with a staggering 1.3 million demands for user data just last year, according to major carriers.

An order under this same weak standard could reveal all her e-mail correspondents and Web surfing activity. With the rapid decline of data storage costs, an ever larger treasure trove is routinely retained for ever longer time periods by phone and Internet companies.

Had the FBI chosen to pursue this investigation as a counterintelligence inquiry rather than a cyberstalking case, much of that data could have been obtained without even a subpoena. National Security Letters, secret tools for obtaining sensitive financial and telecommunications records, require only the say-so of an FBI field office chief.

And:

While the details of this investigation that have leaked thus far provide us all a fascinating glimpse into the usually sensitive methods used by FBI agents, this should also serve as a warning, by demonstrating the extent to which the government can pierce the veil of communications anonymity without ever having to obtain a search warrant or other court order from a neutral judge.

The guest lists from hotels, IP login records, as well as the creative request to email providers for "information about other accounts that have logged in from this IP address" are all forms of data that the government can obtain with a subpoena. There is no independent review, no check against abuse, and further, the target of the subpoena will often never learn that the government obtained data (unless charges are filed, or, as in this particular case, government officials eagerly leak details of the investigation to the press). Unfortunately, our existing surveillance laws really only protect the "what" being communicated; the government's powers to determine "who" communicated remain largely unchecked.

This is good, too.

The EFF tries to explain the relevant laws. Summary: they're confusing, and they don't protect us very much.

My favorite quote is from the New York Times:

Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, said the chain of unexpected disclosures was not unusual in computer-centric cases.

"It's a particular problem with cyberinvestigations ­ they rapidly become open-ended because there’s such a huge quantity of information available and it’s so easily searchable," he said, adding, "If the C.I.A. director can get caught, it’s pretty much open season on everyone else."

And a day later:

"If the director of central intelligence isn't able to successfully keep his emails private, what chance do I have?" said Kurt Opsahl, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital-liberties advocacy group.

In more words:

But there's another, more important lesson to be gleaned from this tale of a biographer run amok. Broadwell's debacle confirms something that some privacy experts have been warning about for years: Government surveillance of ordinary citizens is now cheaper and easier than ever before. Without needing to go before a judge, the government can gather vast amounts of information about us with minimal expenditure of manpower. We used to be able to count on a certain amount of privacy protection simply because invading our privacy was hard work. That is no longer the case. Our always-on, Internet-connected, cellphone-enabled lives are an open door to Big Brother.

Remember that this problem is bigger than Petraeus. The FBI goes after electronic records all the time:

In Google’s semi-annual transparency report released Tuesday, the company stated that it received 20,938 requests from governments around the world for its users’ private data in the first six months of 2012. Nearly 8,000 of those requests came from the U.S. government, and 7,172 of them were fulfilled to some degree, an increase of 26% from the prior six months, according to Google’s stats.

So what's the answer? Would they have been safe if they'd used Tor or a regular old VPN? Silent Circle? Something else? This article attempts to give advice; this is the article's most important caveat:

DON'T MESS UPIt is hard to pull off one of these steps, let alone all of them all the time. It takes just one mistake ­-- forgetting to use Tor, leaving your encryption keys where someone can find them, connecting to an airport Wi-Fi just once ­-- to ruin you.

"Robust tools for privacy and anonymity exist, but they are not integrated in a way that makes them easy to use," Mr. Blaze warned. "We've all made the mistake of accidentally hitting 'Reply All.' Well, if you're trying to hide your e-mails or account or I.P. address, there are a thousand other mistakes you can make."

In the end, Mr. Kaminsky noted, if the F.B.I. is after your e-mails, it will find a way to read them. In that case, any attempt to stand in its way may just lull you into a false sense of security.

Some people think that if something is difficult to do, "it has security benefits, but that’s all fake -- everything is logged," said Mr. Kaminsky. "The reality is if you don't want something to show up on the front page of The New York Times, then don't say it."

The real answer is to rein in the FBI, of course:

If we don't take steps to rein in the burgeoning surveillance state now, there’s no guarantee we'll even be aware of the ways in which control is exercised through this information architecture. We will all remain exposed but the extent of our exposure, and the potential damage done to democracy, is likely to remain invisible.

More here:

"Hopefully this [case] will be a wake-up call for Congress that the Stored Communications Act is old and busted," Mr Fakhoury says.

I don't see any chance of that happening anytime soon.

Posted on November 19, 2012 at 12:40 PM53 Comments


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"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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Reply with quote  #29 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2239705/Robocod-Homeland-Security-adds-underwater-drones-arsenal-robots-based-fish.html




Robocod: Homeland Security adds underwater drones to their arsenal with robots based on fish

  • Flexible body and fins allow it to dart around the water like a real fish

By Daniel Miller

|


Meet Robocod, the latest weapon in Homeland Security's increasingly high-tech underwater arsenal, a robotic fish designed to safeguard the coastline of America and bring justice to the deep.

Well almost.

The new robot, named BioSwimmer, is actually based not on a cod but a tuna which is said to have the ideal natural shape for an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV).

Scroll down for video

 

Fishy business: Homeland Security's latest drone - the BioSwimmer - unmanned underwater vehicle is based on a tuna

Its ultra-flexible body coupled with mechanical fins and tail allow it to dart around the water just like a real fish even in the harshest of environments.

 

And while it does have a number of security applications, this high maneuverability makes it perfectly suited for accessing hard-to-reach places such as flooded areas of ships, sea chests and parts of oil tankers.

Other potential missions include inspecting and protecting harbors and piers, performing area searches and military applications.

BioSwimmer uses the latest battery technology for long-duration operation and boasts an array of navigation, sensor processing, and communications equipment designed for constricted spaces.

It is being developed by Boston Engineering Corporation's Advanced Systems Group (ASG) basesd in Waltham, Massachusetts.

 

Trials: The BioSwimmer's flexible body and mechanical fins make it extremely maneuverable

 

 

The fish-like design makes BioSwimmer perfectly suited for accessing hard-to-reach places such as flooded areas of ships, sea chests and parts of oil tankers

 

 

BioSwimmer uses the latest battery technology for long-duration operation and boasts an array of navigation, sensor processing, and communications equipment designed for constricted spaces

David Taylor, program manager for the project at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security told Fox News: 'It's all about distilling the science. It's called 'biomimetics.

'We're using nature as a basis for design and engineering a system that works exceedingly well.

'Tuna have had millions of years to develop their ability to move in the water with astounding efficiency. Hopefully we won't take that long.'

BioSwimmer is also capable of operating in high viscocity fluids such as crude oil, which could make it a valuable tool for off-shore drilling operations.

It can be controlled by an operator using a laptop computer but is also being designed to function autonomously.

AGS Director Mike Rufo added: 'It's designed to support a variety of tactical missions and with its interchangeable sensor payloads and reconfigurable Operator Controls, and can be optimized on a per-mission basis.'

NATURALLY BRILLIANT: THE REAL-LIFE ROBOTS INSPIRED BY ANIMALS

Reaching for the sky: The Festo SmartBird

BioSwimmer is far from the first robot to be inspired by the natural world.

Over the years designers have attempted to replicate everything from the slithering of a snake to the bounding of a cheetah, in their quest for mechanical perfection.

One of the most tricky traits to mimic is flight, but the SmartBird, which was inspired by the herring seagull and created by scientists at technology firm Festo, has been deemed so realistic it could be mistaken for the real thing.

Its revolutionary design allows it to start, fly and land autonomously. It can be controlled by a radio handset but will also simply glide through the skies if left to its own devices.

One recent creation with obvious military potential is the Boston Dynamics LS3 AlphaDog, a four-legged, autonomous robot that can follow a soldier like a cross between a faithful hound and a pack mule.

This incredible machine can stand upright, walk for 20 miles without a break and carry up to 400 pounds.

 

Walkies: Boston Dynamics LS3 AlphaDog, a four-legged, autonomous robot that can carry 400 pounds of supplies

Another impressive design from the Boston Dynamics stable is a robot cheetah which, funded by the US Military, has set a new speed record for legged robots by sprinting at 28.3 mph - faster than Olympic sprint champ Usain Bolt.

Engineers at Boeing aviation this year demonstrated new technology that enables aerial military drones to function like a 'swarm of insects' where they can communicate and carry out tasks in mid-air.

The drone development could lead to lower costs and less risk in military welfare, Boeing said in a statement.

OCRobotics a company based in Bristol, UK, have successfully created a robot arm that moves like a snake, capable of wriggling its way into hard to reach or hazardous places such as nuclear reactors where they can carry out delicate tasks.

 

Slithery: The Snake arm developed by OCRobotics, designed to wriggle into hazardous places such as the inside of a nuclear reactor

The arm, which is self-supporting, is controlled by steel wires that run through movable links, while various tools can be fitted to the end such as cameras, lights, cutting equipment or swabs.

The robot has already been used to carry out vital repair work at a nuclear facility in Sweden and a safety inspection at a plant in Canada.

Insectoid: Harvard University's robot fly

Meanwhile researchers at Harvard University are perfecting their incredible robot fly which weighs just 60 milligrams and has a wingspan of three centimeters.

This tiny robot's movements are modeled on those of a real fly. While much work remains to be done on the mechanical insect, the researchers say that such small flying machines could one day be used as spies, or for detecting harmful chemicals.

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is funding the research in the hope that it will lead to stealth surveillance robots for the battlefield and urban environments.

Recreating a fly's efficient movements in a robot roughly the size of the real insect was difficult, however, because existing manufacturing processes couldn't be used to make the sturdy, lightweight parts required.

The motors, bearings, and joints typically used for large-scale robots wouldn't work for something the size of a fly.

At the other end of the scale is the Kabutom RX-03 - a large beetle shaped robot designed in Japan.

The hulking Kabutom measures 11-metres in length and weighs a hefty 17-tonnes. It can walk with its six legs and is powered by diesel engines and blow smoke from its nose.  

 

Imposing: The hulking Kabutom RX-03 a large beetle shaped robot designed in Japan

 
 

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"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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hannah

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Reply with quote  #30 
0948.pdf              RATS: Guide to Protection Against Informants     November 30, 2012

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"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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Reply with quote  #31 

(U//FOUO) FBI Cyber Alert: Unauthorized Access to a New Jersey Company’s Industrial Control System

December 8, 2012 in Federal Bureau of Investigation

Vulnerabilities in Tridium Niagara Framework Result in Unauthorized Access to a New Jersey Company’s Industrial Control System

  • 5 pages
  • For Official Use Only
  • July 23, 2012

(U//FOUO) In February and March 2012, unauthorized IP addresses accessed the Industrial Control System (ICS) network of a New Jersey air conditioning company, US Business 1. The intruders were able to access a backdoor into the ICS system that allowed access to the main control mechanism for the company’s internal heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units. US Business 1 was using the Tridium Niagara ICS system, which has been widely reported in the media to contain multiple vulnerabilities that could allow an attacker to remotely control the system.

(U//FOUO) On 21 and 23 January 2012, an unknown subject posted comments on a known US website, titled “#US #SCADA #IDIOTS” and “#US #SCADA #IDIOTS part-II”. The postings were linked to the moniker “@ntisec”, and indicated that hackers were targeting SCADA systems this year, and something had to be done to address SCADA vulnerabilities.

(U) The user of the “@ntisec” moniker searched Google, and the website http://www.shodanhq.com, for the term “unknown character) slot:/” and “#TRIDIUM / #NIAGARA vector”. The posting by “@ntisec” included a list of URLs, one of which was an IP address that resolved to US Business 1, and was assigned to its office building’s HVAC control system.

(U//FOUO) The main control box for the HVAC system of US Business 1 was a Tridium brand, Niagara model controller. US Business 1 actively used this system in-house, but also installed the control system for customers, which included banking institutions and other commercial entities. An IT contractor of US Business 1 confirmed the Niagara control box was directly connected to the Internet with no interposing firewall.

(U//FOUO) US Business 1 had a controller for the system that was password protected, but was set up for remote/Internet access. By using the link posted by the hacktivist, the published backdoor URL provided the same level of access to the company’s control system as the password-protected administrator login. The backdoor required no password and allowed direct access to the control system.

(U//FOUO) Logs from the controller at US Business 1 dated back to 3 February 2012, and access to the controller was found from multiple unauthorized international and US-based IP addresses.

(U//FOUO) The URL that linked to the control system of US Business 1 provided access to a Graphical User Interface (GUI), which provided a floor plan layout of the office, with control fields and feedback for each office and shop area. All areas of the office were clearly labeled with employee names or area names.

(U) On 13 July 2012, the Department of Homeland Security released ICS-CERT ALERT entitled, “Tridium Niagara Directory Traversal and Weak Credential Storage Vulnerability”, which detailed vulnerabilities within the Niagara AX ICS that are exploitable by downloading and decrypting the file containing the user credential from the server.

(U) According to the Tridium website, over 300,000 instances of Niagara AX Framework are installed worldwide in applications that include energy management, building automation, telecommunications, security automation and lighting control.


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"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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hannah

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Reply with quote  #32 

Lock Firm Onity Starts To Shell Out For Security Fixes To Hotels’ Hackable Locks

An Onity lock and (inset) the circuit board Onity has now offered to replace for a full reimbursement in many hotels' doors.

After four months, countless hacking embarrassments and a string of hotel burglaries, the maker of one of the world’s most common hotel keycard locks is finally owning up to the cost of an epic–and expensive–security mess.

Onity, the company whose locks protect 4 million or more hotel rooms around the world, has agreed to reimburse at least some fraction of its hotel customers for the cost of fixing a security flaw exposed in July that allows any hacker with a $50 homemade device to open its locks in seconds, according to written agreements between the company and several of its largest buyers.

Internal memos circulated by executives at Marriott, InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) and Hyatt over the last month lay out deals with Onity in which it has agreed to sell the hotel chains and their franchisees replacement circuit boards for any of its vulnerable keycard locks purchased after 2005, and then to repay the hotels for any of the replaced circuit boards mailed back to Onity–in effect offering a free recall. For certain customers, Onity has agreed to upgrade the firmware of the locks on the hotels’ premises at its own expense.

Just how much of the fix Onity is paying for in each customer’s case seems to vary: Though Onity seems to be offering the full price of the hardware fix for returned circuit boards from IHG and Marriott, the Hyatt memo states that Onity would charge $11 for every new circuit board it installed and repay only $6 for the replaced ones. It also mentions a $10 charge per lock for on-site firmware upgrades, as opposed to the free firmware upgrades in the other two deals. continue »


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Reply with quote  #33 

Scottsdale Inventions Electric Shock Handcuffs for Detainees Patent

December 13, 2012 in Corporate

The following patent for restraints that are capable of emitting electrical shocks and administering drugs to subdue detainees was published November 29, 2012.  It was first pointed out by Patent Bolt.

APPARATUS AND SYSTEM FOR AUGMENTED DETAINEE RESTRAINT

  • 43 pages
  • November 29, 2012

There is provided a device and system for restraining detainees through devices attached to the detainees and configured to administer electrical shocks when certain predetermined conditions occur. Restraining devices may be activated by internal control systems or by external controllers that transmit activation signals to the restraining device. External controllers may be actuated by an external controlling entity such as a detention guard or other person or system, or may be controlled by an enabling signal sent by wired or wireless connections to the controller. There is also provided a system for detainee restraint where multiple detainees may be restrained collectively or individually in a controlled environment such as a detention facility, a jail, or a detainee transport vehicle.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0016] There is provided a device and system for restraining detainees through devices attached to the detainees and configured to administer electrical shocks when certain predetermined conditions occur. Restraining devices may be activated by internal control systems or by external controllers that transmit activation signals to the restraining device. External controllers may be actuated by an external controlling entity such as a detention guard or other person or system, or may be controlled by an enabling signal sent by wired or wireless connections to the controller. There is also provided a system for detainee restraint where multiple detainees may be restrained collectively or individually in a controlled environment such as a detention facility, a jail, or a detainee transport vehicle.

[0017] Embodiments of the restraining device of the present invention includes a restraint for physically constraining movement of at least a portion of a detainee’s body; an electric shock component coupled to the restraint; and a control system coupled to the electric shock component, the control system configured to cause the electric shock component to deliver a shock to the detainee when a predetermined condition occurs. The restraining device may be any device capable ofbeing attached to a detainee and restraining at least a portion of the detainee’s body, and in various implementations may include at least one of: a handcuff; an ankle cuff; a restraining belt; a straightjacket; a harness; a facial restraint; a helmet; and a neck collar; and combinations thereof. The restraint further includes one or more electrodes coupled to the electric shock component, and one of the one or more electrodes are configured to contact the skin of the detainee to deliver a shock when a predetermined condition occurs. Warnings in various forms may be provided to the detainee by the restraining device prior to administration of shock, and may be managed selectively by the control system coupled to the restraining device. Examples of warnings may include one or more of: an audio warning; a tactile warning such as a vibration or low-intensity shock; a visual warning such as a flashing light or text indicating a shock may be administered; and combinations thereof. The warnings may be varied in intensity to attempt to modify behavior of the detainee prior to administration of a shock, and the output of the administered shock may be tailored to a predetermined or variable amount based upon conditions perceived by an external controlling entity.

[0018] In various embodiments, the shock output of the restraining device may be varied to achieve any desired result. For example, the control system may be configured to cause the electric shock component to vary at least one of: a magnitude of the electric shock; a frequency of a signal generating the electric shock; and duration of the electric shock.

[0019] Embodiments of the restraining device may further include one or more sensors in communication with the control system. A sensor may be configured to detect whether the detainee engages in an unauthorized activity, and when such condition occurs the control system may be configured to deliver a shock to the detainee. The unauthorized activity may be defined to include any condition such as the detainee entering an unauthorized location; the detainee approaching a restricted area within a predetermined distance; the detainee approaching a keep-out zone broadcasting a keep-out signal, wherein a signal power level of the keep-out signal received by the device exceeds a predetermined threshold; the detainee attempting to tamper with the restraining device; or the detainee exiting an authorized location. Additionally, unauthorized activities may include the detainee making a threatening movement, where the restraining device measures through its sensors that the detainee is making movements of an aggressive nature or is modifying posture to a posture of potential aggression, such as drawing back a fist to swing, raising an arm suddenly, yanking against the restraining device, or rising suddenly from a prone or seated posture. Also, sensors on the restraining device may determine an unauthorized activity has occurred when the detainee makes an utterance that exceeds a predetermined volume measured by sensors coupled to the restraining device (such as a microphone); such a situation may be desirable to prevent the detainee from interfering in court proceedings, for example. In another embodiment, an unauthorized activity may include use of an unauthorized system such as any structure, device, or system to which use or access by the detainee can be controlled, including: a door to a building, ignition to a police car, computer system, or a weapon. In one embodiment, if a weapon is equipped with an RFID or other identification device, sensors in the restraining device may transmit a signal and receive a response signal indicating that a weapon is in a predetermined the proximity, and if the detainee does not move away from the weapon to cause the response signal to fall below a predetermined threshold, a shock will be administered. In yet another embodiment, an unauthorized activity occurs when the detainee fails to provide a predetermined verbal acknowledgement. Various combinations of these states may lead to additional unauthorized activities being detected.


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The Internet Will Literally Kill You By 2014, Predicts Security Firm

Dec 20, 2012 12:19 PM EST
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By Max Eddy

Skull

In a self-described bold move, the security firm Internet Identity released a statement this week in which it prognosticated that the Internet will become a murder weapon by 2014.

The predictions read like some kind of cyberpunk nightmare, with Internet Identity (IID) president and CTO Rod Rasmussen writing that the increased connectivity of vehicles and medical devices will eventually allow fiends to kill via their Internet connection. IID points to remotely operated pacemakers and self-driving cars that could be hijacked.

"With so many devices being Internet connected, it makes murdering people remotely relatively simple, at least from a technical perspective," writes Rasmussen. He continues, "if human history shows us anything, if you can find a new way to kill, it will be eventually be used."

The IID release goes on to outline a bleak vision of the near future. They believe that by 2014 we will see an increase in the use of malware in conflicts between nations; that there will be a successful breach at a major piece of infrastructure, such as a power plant; that military hardware, such as drones, will be hijacked with "real-world consequences."

IID's claims are grandiose, to say the least, but there is some truth to them. Cybersecurity is no longer an issue of hardened computer systems, but of an interconnected world of devices and services providing more potential points of entry – many of which go overlooked. Take, for example, Ang Cui who demonstrated how VoIP phones and networked printers could be used to remotely gather information.

The concerns over state-controlled cyberweapons, particularly those used by nations, is a very real one as the likely origins of Stuxnet's revealed. Concerns about defending the computer networks at critical infrastructure has been echoed by high ranking officials and even grabbed some headlines. And though armed drones, for the moment, are limited to overseas operations, their computer systems struggle with a very real (though as yet mundane) malware problem.

Of course, the problem with IID's claims about death-by-Internet is that there is far more incentive to steal and sell personal information via an Internet connection than, say, hacking someone's pacemaker. After all, a dead man can't continue to send checks to various and sundry Nigerian princes.

In their statement, Radmussen comes close to explaining why IID's predictions are the way they are.

"Being bold is predicting the end of the world this week coinciding with the end of the Mayan long-count calendar as some people are," he writes. "What isn’t bold in cybersecurity is prognosticating the same old same old with more mobile malware, APTs giving cybercriminals backdoor access to their intended victims and even more data breaches of Fortune 500 companies as most industry pundits are."

More pedestrian, to be sure, but also more likely.

Following in the footsteps of IID my personal "bold" predictions for 2014 include surgical computer implants, cyber jockeys engaged in dangerous adventures on the net, electrowizards with mohawks listening to exotic computer generated music, and people with the entire text of William Gibson's Mona Lisa Overdrive tattooed on their body.

For more from Max, follow him on Twitter @wmaxeddy.

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Reply with quote  #35 
http://securitywatch.pcmag.com/none/306172-can-your-cisco-voip-phone-spy-on-you

Can Your Cisco VoIP Phone Spy On You?

Dec 19, 2012 10:55 AM EST
0 Comments

By Max Eddy

Cisco 7975G VoIP Phone

Earlier this month, fifth year Columbia grad student Ang Cui demonstrated a vulnerability that allowed a 7900 series Cisco VoIP phone to be turned into a high-tech listening device, capturing any sound near the phone.

Cui revealed the exploit he and his colleague Salvatore Stolfo discovered at the San Francisco Amphion Forum. In the demonstration, Cui quickly attached a device he calls the "Thingp3wn3r" to the phone, showing the ease with which it could be physically compromised. Once attached, the Thingp3wn3r circumvents the phone's "off hook switch" which normally disconnects the receiver's microphone when the phone is hung up.

The compromised phone, however, kept its microphone active and sent the audio it captured to Cui through a custom-made smartphone app. Though the phone's receive was in its cradle – seemingly inactive – it had effectively become a means to eavesdrop on anything said nearby.

The dramatic demonstration was made all the more serious when Cui showed pictures of various high ranking government officials, among them President Barack Obama, with Cisco VoIP phones on their desks. Worse still, PhysOrg reports that once a single phone was compromised with Cui's device the entire network of phones was potentially accessible.

Thankfully, this specific vulnerability is no longer viable. In a statement issued by Cisco, the company acknowledged both the vulnerability and their efforts to address it.

From Forbes:

"We can confirm that workarounds and a software patch are available to address this vulnerability, and note that successful exploitation requires physical access to the device serial port, or the combination of remote authentication privileges and non-default device settings. Cisco thanks Ang Cui and Salvatore Stolfo for allowing our team to validate the vulnerability and prepare a software patch ahead of the presentation."

Forbes also reported that a patch is already available and will be in wide release come January. Concerned users should contact Cisco directly.

The presentation, and much of Cui's research, demonstrates that a threat can come from a seemingly innocuous source like a VoIP phone or a network printer. For governments and corporations, simply securing the computers and networks is simply not enough.

Cui's demonstration is available here, as a PDF.

For more from Max, follow him on Twitter @wmaxeddy.

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Reply with quote  #36 
He also sells a lead lined pouch so that people cannot steal data from your phone while you walkabout the city......






Stealth Hoodie Hides Wearer From Drones
Jan 18, 2013 02:38 PM ET // by Jesse Emspak

http://news.discovery.com/tech/gear-and-gadgets/stealth-hoodie-hides-wearer-drones-130118.htm







Camouflage from Computer Vision

by Adam Harvey | ahprojects.com | adam@ahprojects.com | @adamhrv


Sept. 2012
The Future of the Future

CV Dazzle is an independent project, but it won't be for long.

If you're a coder, computer vision expert, fashion designer, hacker, makeup artist, hair stylist, 3D modeler, privacy enthusiast, activist, fashion designer, or have something to contribute to the project, you should really introduce yourself: adam@ahprojects.com
http://cvdazzle.com/








EXHIBITION: ADAM HARVEY – STEALTH WEAR: NEW DESIGNS FOR COUNTER SURVEILLANCE
POSTED ON January 4, 2013__ BY PRIMITIVE

Enter PRIMITIVE Jan 17 for Privacy Mode, an unveiling of new counter surveillance fashions from New York-based artist Adam Harvey.

http://www.primitivelondon.co.uk/exhibition-adam-harvey-stealth-wear-new-designs-for-counter-surveillance-presented-by-primitive-london-and-tank-magazine/

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Reply with quote  #37 
IR used to defeat CCTV
July 27, 2008 — 585

We are repeatedly told the CCTV is here to protect us from the worst of the worlds offenders, including terrorists and international criminals. Despite the obvious flaw in the argument that suicide bombers are not bothered if they are filmed blowing themselves up (especially as they normally release videos to that effect shortly afterwards anway), there is the additional issue that if a person wants to hide their face from a standard CCTV camera it is incredibly easy.



https://whereismydata.wordpress.com/2008/07/27/ir-used-to-defeat-cctv/


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Reply with quote  #38 
http://miami.cbslocal.com/2013/01/24/fort-lauderdale-police-uses-high-tech-water-to-catch-thieves/

FLPD Uses High-Tech Water To Catch Thieves
January 24, 2013 6:36 PM

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Reply with quote  #39 
Imagining a Drone-Proof City

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/politics/2013/02/imagining-drone-proof-city/4606/
Sarah Goodyear
Feb 06, 2013
82 Comments

Imagining a Drone-Proof City Asher J. Kohn

"Architecture against drones is not just a science-fiction scenario but a contemporary imperative," writes Asher J. Kohn.

Kohn, an American law student and editor of The Tuqay, a website covering "Central Asia and its hinterlands," has recently put forth a theoretical proposal for a city built to passively shield its residents against this ultramodern tool of warfare -- a drone-deflecting city. He created it for a class he was auditing in extreme architecture, and it has since been picked up for discussion by several websites.

Kohn’s envisioned drone-proof community, which he calls “Shura City,” is a thought experiment, a provocation (shura, Arabic for consultation, is a word associated with group decision-making in the Islamic world). It’s a self-contained environment with elaborate architectural devices designed to thwart robotic predators overhead. Minarets, along with the wind-catching cooling towers called badgirs, would obstruct the flight path of the drones. A latticed roof, extending over the entire community, would create shade patterns to make visual target identification difficult. A fully climate-controlled environment would confuse heat-seeking detection systems. He has not included any anti-aircraft weapons in this scenario.

Shura City’s design looks like a sci-fi riff on Middle Eastern building traditions. Yet the circumstances Kohn is responding to are no futuristic construct. The drone war is a very real fact of today, coming under increasing international scrutiny. Just this week, NBC News released a U.S. Justice Department white paper it had obtained detailing the government’s legal justification for the use of lethal force against U.S. citizens abroad who are suspected of being top Al Qaeda agents – attacks that in practice are almost always carried out by drones.

And of course, U.S. drones don’t just target U.S. citizens. Hundreds of drone attacks have been executed in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia since the practice began under the Bush Administration in 2002. These forays have proliferated under President Obama’s tenure. The United Nations is just now launching an investigation into the practice of targeted killing by drone strike and other means, but critics say it won’t go far enough.

Reports on the number of people killed vary widely, because the drone war has been shrouded in secrecy. But the independent Bureau for Investigative Journalism in the United Kingdom estimates numbers as high as 3,461 in Pakistan, 1,112 in Yemen, and 170 in Somalia — including hundreds of civilians, many of them children.

As Conor Friedersdorf wrote for The Atlantic last fall, these strikes have become a terrifying fact of life for significant numbers of people. Those people would probably be happy to live in an environment that offered some protection against these aerial bombardments, the same way that people around the world have hurried to retreat from crime to the perceived sanctuary represented by more traditional gated communities.

Kohn, an American, told me that some people have attacked his idea as anti-American. A few of his critics insisted on calling the drone-proof city a "compound," a term he objects to. "This isn’t a compound, it’s a family home," he writes in an email. "Nobody would call … the gated community I grew up in a 'compound.' Was it a compound only when family was visiting for Thanksgiving? Or when I had friends over for the Super Bowl? It's not a compound, it's a community. A passive gated community. What’s so scary about that?"

Kohn writes in his proposal that he envisions Shura City as a brick-and-mortar response to a 21st-century conundrum, a world in which war is ill-defined and combatants on both sides live in an extrajudicial limbo:

As a law student, I am fascinated by drones’ existence in a post-legal world. Architecture can adapt, and this project clearly aims to show just those adaptations, but American jurisprudence is simply not capable of making clear, comforting, adjudications on drones and the sorts of crimes they have been created to deter. Architecture as a discipline has a long history of being capable of developing within the cracks left by law.

Kohn elaborated on his thoughts in an email to me. "In the case of drones, the current legal regime is just wholly unprepared for warfare by algorithm," he writes. "Architecture can work where law cannot by giving dignity and safety to people physically when they are not afforded those privileges legally."

Kohn does imagine the construction of a few unlikely high-tech physical defenses, such as window grilles (mashrabiyas) that would somehow contain embedded QR-type codes that would cause drones to self-destruct. But most of his design plays on types of structures that already exist, all in service of the ancient instinct of a community to protect itself against intruders:

If there are people who want to strike with constant fear, the best defense is a life of comfort free from that fear. Shura City is constructed to be livable. It is built according to local logic, using local materials, and amenable to local needs. It is meant to be alien – but not hostile – from the outside while homey and familiar from the inside. It is meant to confuse the machines and their distant operators while creating a safe zone for people whose lives are being rended by war. … Shura City is about using architecture to create a space for humanity in an increasingly inhuman sphere.

Kohn says that he thinks it is a duty for his generation to challenge the newly mechanized means of warfare that have become routine over the last 10 years. "If people are going to create new and exciting ways to kill people, I think there's no harm in pushing the envelope of peace technology,” he says. Imagining Shura City is part of Kohn’s personal response to that challenge, a way to hack the machines of modern war.

"There is a deliberate impudence to the City," he wrote to me. "Drones rely on data mining of individuals and tracking of individuals, kind of like Facebook. The City hides the individual in the embrace of the community, using human traits drones cannot understand as protection. The City subverts the aggressor."
Keywords: bombing, Pakistan, Drones

Sarah Goodyear has written about cities for a variety of publications, including Grist and Streetsblog. She lives in Brooklyn. All posts »

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Reply with quote  #40 
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/03/brazilian-docs-fool-biometric-scanners-with-bag-full-of-fake-fingers/


Brazilian docs fool biometric scanners with bag full of fake fingers
Some fingerprint scanners aren't very discerning.

by Lee Hutchinson - Mar 13, 2013 3:35 pm UTC

Hacking

58
Six silicone fingers, all in a row.
BBC

The BBC is one of several outlets carrying the bizarre story of a Brazilian doctor arrested for allegedly defrauding her employer, a hospital in the town of Ferraz de Vasconcelos, near São Paulo. At the time of her arrest, she was equipped with a total of sixteen fingers—ten of which God gave her, and six of which were crafted of silicone and given to her by coworkers. At least three of the extra fingers bore the prints of fellow doctors at the hospital.

The doctor, Thaune Nunes Ferreira, 29, claims through her attorney that she was forced to use the silicone fingers to clock in to the hospital's time card system in order to cover for absentee colleagues. "She says she was innocent because it is a condition they imposed on her to keep her job," the attorney notes.

According to the Bangkok Post and several other sources, Brazil's Globo TV International network obtained and played footage of Ferreira clocking in to the hospital with her own permanently attached digits, then touching the same fingerprint scanner with two of the silicone fakes. The scanner produced paper time card receipts for her and the two employees to whom the silicone fingers' prints belonged. In this way, notes the Post, "it looked like there were three doctors on duty when there was just one."

Five doctors at the hospital have been suspended so far for allegedly taking part in the scam, which let them pocket pay while not showing up for work. However, this is endemic of a much larger "ghost employee" problem in Ferraz de Vasconcelos. The mayor speculated that there are at least 300 more public employees in the town spread across health, education, and security who are engaged in similar time card fraud. The members of this "army of ghosts," as the mayor calls it, are all receiving pay without showing up for work.

It is not stated whether the army of ghosts employs an army of silicone fingers to clock in for them, but that would definitely be creepy.
Reader comments 58

Lee Hutchinson / Lee is the Senior Reviews Editor at Ars and handles all of the non-Apple product reviews. He also knows a lot about enterprise storage and security. Lee is based in Houston, TX.
@Lee_Ars



http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/technolog/would-be-counterfeiter-tries-return-printer-fake-money-still-inside-1C8793604

Would-be counterfeiter tries to return printer ... with fake money still inside

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Reply with quote  #41 
Google Wants to Replace All Your Passwords with a Ring

The world’s largest search engine is now experimenting with jewelry that would eliminate the need to remember dozens of passwords.

By Tom Simonite on March 12, 2013

Why It Matters

Passwords remain the standard method of protecting personal accounts, but people struggle to remember them, and they are often stored insecurely.

As part of research into doing away with typed passwords, Google has built rings that not only adorn a finger but also can be used to log in to a computer or online account.

The search and ad company first revealed its plans to put an end to passwords in an academic paper published online in January (see “Google’s Alternative to the Password”). The effort focused on having people plug a small USB key that provides their credentials into a computer. The possibility of using special jewelry in a similar manner was mentioned in that paper.

At the RSA security conference in San Francisco last month, Mayank Upadhyay, a principal engineer at Google who specializes in security, became the first person at Google to speak in public about that research. He said that using personal hardware to log in would remove the dangers of people reusing passwords or writing them down. He also thought people would feel some familiarity with the approach. “Everyone is familiar with an ATM. What if you could use the same experience with a computer?”

Upadhyay said that Google’s trial was focused on a slim USB key that performs a cryptographic transaction with an online service to prove the key’s validity when it’s plugged into a computer. The key also has a contactless chip inside so that it can be used to log in via mobile devices.

Tokens like the ones Google is testing do not contain a static password that could be copied. The cryptographic key unique to the device is stored inside and is never transmitted. When the key is plugged in, it proves its validity by correctly responding to a mathematical challenge posed by the online service it is being used to log into, in a way that doesn’t produce any information that could be used to log in again.

Speaking after the session, Upadhyay said that the company also had a prototype ring that could take the place of a password token, although he didn’t give details on how it works. “Some people are not comfortable with a [USB] token,” he said.

Google is already talking with other companies to lay the groundwork for using the technology to access different services and websites. “It’s extremely early stages, and we’re trying to get more partners,” said Upadhyay. Talks have already started with the FIDO Alliance, a consortium that in February launched technology intended to enable new methods of secure log-in that rely less heavily on typed passwords (see “PayPal, Lenovo Launch New Campaign to Kill the Password”).

“The other cool thing, which we’re really pushing for, is that it’s just built into the browser, so that you don’t have to bother installing middleware or anything else,” said Upadhyay. “We want to have the case where you could just go to your friend’s house and it just works.”

Google already offers a more secure log-in service called two-factor authentication, which involves a person entering a one-time code sent to their cell phone each time they log in. However, only an estimated 1 percent of Google’s users have adopted it, and Upadhyay says most people consider it too much effort to use.

Upadhyay didn’t say which company supplied the hardware at the core of the new trial, but the features he described are identical to a USB security key called the NEO made by Yubikey, a California company that launched in late 2012. Consumers can buy a NEO for $50, although companies buy them in bulk at lower prices.

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How to boot from USB and other great stuff:
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Open pdf and word files online instead of on your puter'
http://view.samurajdata.se/

USE the net more securely:
https://pressfreedomfoundation.org/blog/2014/04/help-support-little-known-privacy-tool-has-been-critical-journalists-reporting-nsa
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http://www.theintelligencenews.com/


"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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hannah

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Reply with quote  #42 

The Lock Pickers
Entry 1: Victorian England made the strongest locks in the world—until an American showed up and promised he could pick them.

By Tom Vanderbilt|Posted Monday, March 11, 2013, at 12:00 AM

3: Is It Possible to Make an Unpickable Lock?
By: Tom Vanderbilt

2: The Strange Things That Happen at a Lock-picking Convention
By: Tom Vanderbilt

1: The American Who Shocked Victorian England by Picking the World’s Strongest Lock
By: Tom Vanderbilt

The interior of the Crystal Palace in London during the Great Exhibition of 1851.
The interior of the Crystal Palace in London during the Great Exhibition of 1851

Photo courtesy of J. McNeven/V&A Museum

On July 22, 1851, on a day when a visitor to London had any number of amusements at his disposal—from M. Gompertz’s Giant Panorama (“including a new diorama of intense interest”) at the Parthenium Rooms on St. Martin’s Lane, to the “Real Darkies from the South” (replete with “the Sayings and Doings and Lights and Shadows of the Ethiopian race”) appearing at Gothic Hall—a group of men assembled in a small room in Westminster.

They were drawn by a curious invitation: “To witness an attempt to open a lock throwing three bolts, and having six tumblers, affixed to the iron door of a strong room.” The men gathered around the door to a vault, once the repository of records for the South-Eastern Railway. At their center was an unassuming figure, an American named Alfred C. Hobbs, clad in waistcoat and collar. At 11:35 a.m., Hobbs produced a few small tools from his pocket—“a description of which, for obvious reasons, we fear to give” a correspondent for the Times wrote—and turned his attention to the vault’s lock. His heavy brows knitted, Hobbs’ hands flitted about the lock with a faint metallic scratching. Twenty-five minutes later, it opened with a sharp click. Amid the excited murmur, the witnesses asked Hobbs to repeat the task. Having relocked the vault, he once again set upon it with deft economy. The vault opened “in the short space of seven minutes,” as the witnesses would testify, “without the slightest injury to the lock or the door.”

The lock was known as the “Detector,” and it needed no introduction. Indeed, since its patenting in 1818 by Jeremiah Chubb, a Portsmouth ironmonger, it had become one of the country’s most popular locks, advertised in the Bleak House serials and enshrined in magazine doggerel: “My name is Chubb, that makes the Patent Locks; Look on my works, ye burglars, and despair.” It was renowned for its impregnability, having survived any number of picking attempts; in one trial, a notorious London picklock, given a chance at a pardon if he could crack Chubb’s masterwork, testified “that these locks were the most secure he had ever met with, and that he did not think it possible for any man to pick or open them with any false instruments whatever.” But it was also famed for its “Detector,” an anti-picking lever that tripped the bolt if any of the lock’s six standard levers were lifted too high. “In this state the lock is what I call detected,” wrote Chubb in his patent, “and the possessor of the true key has evidence that an attempt has been made to violate the lock, because the true key will not now open it.” (If the lock had been violated, its owner could retrieve his belongings by using a “regulating key” that would not open the lock but rather restore it to its original, openable condition.)
Small Chubb Detector lock fitted to a circa-1910 guncase.
Small Chubb Detector lock fitted to a circa-1910 guncase

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Given the failure of all previous picking attempts, the arrival on July 21 of a letter, headed “American Department, Crystal Palace,” at the firm’s offices likely brooked small concern. “An attempt will be made to open a lock of your manufacture on the door of a Strong-room at 34, Great George Street, Westminster, tomorrow, Tuesday, at 11 o'clock A.M. You are respectfully invited to be present, to witness the operation.” Chubb, perhaps mildly piqued, sent a man to watch. But the letter was a gauntlet, and it had been thrown. Hobbs had not only opened the lock, but he had opened it again. The Detector had been foiled.

Hobbs had a penchant for this sort of thing. Born in 1812 to a Boston carpenter—whose death not long after left the family destitute—Hobbs rambled through a number of professions in his teens: farmhand, dry-goods clerk, carriage painter, coach trimmer, harness maker, firefighter, sailor, glass cutter, and, eventually, exclusive vendor of safe locks for the prominent New York City firm Day and Newell.

Hobbs quickly determined that the best way to sell someone a new lock was to expose the weakness of their current one. And so, for several years, Hobbs toured America, calling upon banks, “equipped with a lock and suspicious implements.” In 1848, Hobbs responded to an ad, placed by a “Mr. Woodbridge, of Perth Amboy” wagering $500 that a safe in the Merchant’s Exchange reading room could not be opened. As one account notes, Woodbridge had rigged the lock so the bolt would catch if tried before the tumblers were set, rendering it unopenable. Hobbs worked on the lock for a few hours in the evening, before retiring for the night. In the morning, as a crowd gathered, Hobbs requested Woodbridge. “Hallo, Mr. Hobbs, what is the trouble?” Woodbridge replied. “There is something the matter with the lock,” Hobbs said. “What is it?” asked Woodbridge. Hobbs, opening the safe, said, “Your lock won’t keep the door shut.”

And so, like some kind of midcentury Melvillean trickster, Hobbs roamed the country, a succession of sprung doors and flabbergasted bank managers in his wake. In April 1851, Hobbs boarded the steamship Washington, bound for Southampton, for a task of a different nature. He was bound for London’s Great Exhibition, where Day and Newell’s “Parautopic Lock” (from the Greek, for “hidden”) would join the teeming cavalcade of objects—numbering more than 100,000—on display.
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Officially, Hobbs was a salesman en route to a trade show, traveling across the Atlantic to help Day and Newell promote their new lock. But the American had additional plans. Among Hobbs’ luggage was a small trunk with six drawers’ worth of lock-picking tools; and, to help smooth the passage through customs with a bevy of illicit implements, a letter from George W. Matsell, New York City’s chief of police, which announced: “I can unhesitatingly bear ample testimony to your character as a gentleman and a citizen.” What Hobbs had in mind was not the usual cajoling of a provincial bank into an upgrade, but exposing weaknesses in the British Empire itself by revealing the faults of one of Day and Newell’s competitors.

In the window of Bramah and Co., Engineers and Founders, at 124 Piccadilly, sat a lock and a small printed board, which announced: “The Artist who can make an Instrument that will pick or Open this Lock, shall Receive 200 Guineas The Moment it is produced.” The Bramah Precision lock, a “monster” lock that, along with Chubb’s Detector, represented the pinnacle of Britain’s lock supremacy, had not been picked since it was manufactured—in 1790.

Not surprisingly, Hobbs had it in his sights. In June he visited the shop to make wax impressions of the keyhole. A few days later, he wrote to Bramah, saying he “would be pleased to see you in relation to the offer you make on the sign in your window for picking your lock.” On July 22, Hobbs and Bramah chose arbitrators and settled on terms: The American would have a month to attempt to pick the lock, which would be mounted in a board in a room above Bramah’s shop. On July 24, Hobbs set to work, armed with various tools, including what the Observer described as a “something like a crochet needle.” On Aug. 23, after logging some 50 hours of work, Hobbs opened the lock. On Aug. 29, upon Bramah’s request, Hobbs opened it again.

It was a click that became a thundershot. “We believed before the Exhibition opened that we had the best locks in the world,” wrote the Times, “and among us Bramah and Chubb were reckoned quite as impregnable as Gibraltar.” But a “Great Lock Controversy,” as the papers called it, was afoot: Had Hobbs opened it properly? Was some form of mischief present? Was the lock safe against normal theft? With the kind of scrutiny normally reserved for contested elections, the press pored over the trial’s details. Bramah protested that while it had granted Hobbs the right to find the single instrument that would open the lock, “we never for a moment agreed that he was to be allowed to keep the spring fixed down as long as he pleased during his thirty days’ labour, and affix his apparatus to the woodwork in which the lock was enclosed, while he used at pleasure three other separate and distinct instruments to assist him in his operations.” Chubb, still stung after what it called the “doings at the empty house in Great George-street,” sniffed with enthusiastic scorn: “We congratulate Mr. Hobbs on the envied honour of having picked a Bramah’s lock after ‘16 days’ labour.’ ” With cool condescension, the Bankers’ Magazine wrote that “the result of the experiment has simply shown that, under a combination of the most favourable circumstances, and such as practically could never exist, Mr. Hobbs has opened the lock.”
Alfred Charles Hobbs, noted 19th century defeater of locks, 1886.
Alfred Charles Hobbs

Photo courtesy of Samuel Orcutt/Wikimedia Commons

But no matter. The committee awarded the 200 gold guineas (roughly equivalent to $20,000 today), Hobbs became a folk hero (and lock-picking a popular sensation), and Britain’s vaunted image of lock-making supremacy, as inviolable as the locks themselves, was called into question. The Bank of England itself promptly swapped out Chubb’s locks for those of Day and Newell. As to why something as seemingly arcane as locks became a cause célèbre, with the public devouring obscure details of their innermost workings—tumblers, sliders, false notches—the most immediate answer is that Hobbs’ successful challenges occurred during the Great Exhibition, that presumptive showcase of the might and ingenuity of the world’s leading industrial power, and on its home court. It was, in rough contemporary analogy, the Washington Generals defeating the Harlem Globetrotters. But there was more to the defeats of Chubb and Bramah. As historian Jeffrey Auerbach writes, “the Great Exhibition revealed, for the astute observer, signs of underlying weaknesses, the beginning of the erosion of Britain’s economic preeminence upon which its military and imperial strength rested.”

There was another form of insecurity in the air. 1851 was, as it happens, the first year in Britain that cities’ populations outnumbered that of the countryside. In London, the world’s largest city, an emerging middle class with property to guard grew anxious (“we increase in poverty and crime as we increase in wealth,” wrote Henry Mayhew in London Labour and the London Poor, published that same year). The Exhibition itself, England’s first taste of mass tourism, inflamed these fears, as Londoners steeled for an influx of foreigners; the Express urged careful vigilance, “to trace, if possible, under his jaunty, careless manner, the sinister aspect of the spy and the conspirator.” Urban crowding, combined with a rising middle class with new possessions and new wants, created, as historian David L. Smith describes in his fascinating dissertation “Under Lock and Key: Securing Privacy and Property in Victorian Fiction and Culture,” a rising interest in security. “The Victorians,” Smith writes, “were obsessed with security, and patent locks and keys provided them with a set of material signifiers for fundamental middle-class values of privacy, property ownership, domestic propriety, and autonomy.” One German journalist visiting London described a “mania for fortification.” (The rise in perceived, or actual, insecurity was accompanied by a proliferation of lock patents. As Smith notes, “from the beginning of the 19th century until 1851, the government issued some 70 patents for locks. By 1865 that number had exceeded 120; and within the next 55 years it climbed to over 3,000.”)

Hobbs had done more than pick a few locks; he had picked the nation’s psyche. “[I]n this faith we had quietly established ourselves for years,” wrote the Times, referring to the country’s interrelated sense of technological superiority and safety, “and it seems cruel at this time of day, when men have been taught to look at their bunches of keys and at their drawers and safes with something like confidence, to scatter that feeling to the winds.”

The Lock Controversy raised a number of questions about the nature of security and how best to achieve it, and troubled Victorian England with a question that still haunts us today: How safe could something—or someone—ever be?

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/crime/features/2013/the_lock_pickers/alfred_c_hobbs_the_american_who_shocked_victorian_england_by_picking_the.html?

__________________
Test your connection for leaks:
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Use TAILS
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How to boot from USB and other great stuff:
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Open pdf and word files online instead of on your puter'
http://view.samurajdata.se/

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"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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hannah

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Reply with quote  #43 
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/crime/features/2013/the_lock_pickers/locksport_the_strange_things_that_happen_at_a_lock_picking_convention.html



The Lock Pickers
Entry 2: The strange things that happen at a lock-picking convention.

By Tom Vanderbilt|Posted Tuesday, March 12, 2013, at 7:19 AM

3: Is It Possible to Make an Unpickable Lock?
By: Tom Vanderbilt

2: The Strange Things That Happen at a Lock-picking Convention
By: Tom Vanderbilt

1: The American Who Shocked Victorian England by Picking the World’s Strongest Lock
By: Tom Vanderbilt

Deviant Ollam talks about lock-picking at a Hackers on Planet Earth event in July 2010.
Deviant Ollam talks about lock picking at a Hackers on Planet Earth event in July 2010

Photo courtesy of J. M. De Cristofaro/Flickr

A note to Dutch innkeepers: If you are going to host a convention of lock pickers, and you promise them free Wi-Fi, it is probably a futile gesture to then require paid access with a password. I learned this one evening a few years ago in the Stay-Okay Hostel in Sneek (pronounced like the serpent), a midsized city in the north of the Netherlands. When I asked a conventioneer if Wi-Fi was complimentary, he said there had been some confusion with the hostel. But not to worry, he said: Someone had clandestinely added an access point. I logged on.

In fairness, the conference, known as LockCon, hosted by TOOOL (The Open Organization of Lockpickers, which demurely describes itself as a “growing group of enthusiasts interested in locks, keys and ways of opening locks without keys”) was a far tamer affair than I had expected, given that my visit had been foregrounded with viewings of, for example, a YouTube video showing TOOOL co-founder and president Barry (“the Key”) Wels—as with hackers, a nickname is often de rigueur for lock pickers—opening a standard hotel door, from the outside, using a bent metal bar.

TOOOL, perhaps not surprisingly given that it spends its time figuring out how to open the world’s locks, is sensitive about its portrayal, and LockCon itself is “invitation only.” As Wels had told me, “we spend a lot of time trying to keep the bad guys—or guys with bad intentions—out.” Those who had gathered were a diverse and almost disappointingly legitimate lot, ranging from German pilots to Spanish locksmiths to a British distributed systems architect working in Iceland, not to mention the crew I had traveled with from Amsterdam in a borrowed RV driven by Wels: Deviant Ollam, Datagram, Scorche (and his girlfriend), and Babak Javadi, all members of the American branch of TOOOL and all employed, in one way or another, in the security business. And while LockCon had a whiff of Stieg Larsson—the hacker speak (e.g., “epic fail”) and T-shirts (“Masters of Penetration”), the Northern European location and demographic tilt—its sense of mischief was largely sealed within the confines of the hostel’s conference rooms where, during the day, attendees sat through intensely technical presentations, and by night, fueled by healthy glasses of the hostel’s all-inclusive lagers, engaged in competitive lock-picking trials.
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There is an inevitable lure to picking a lock. “A lock is psychological threshold,” writes Gaston Bachelard. The physicist Richard Feynman, himself possessed of what he termed the “puzzle drive” and a notorious lock picker, described it as: “One guy tries to make something to keep another guy out; there must be a way to beat it!” I have a firm memory of clicking open the lock on the bathroom door in my childhood home with a bobby-pin; that the lock is what is called in the business a “privacy lock,” designed not at all for security but merely to prevent unintentional intrusions, did not diminish my ardor in that moment.

Everyone at LockCon seemed to have their own seminal moment. “My first recollection was standing at the gumball machine,” Wels said. “I remember thinking as a child, I know that’s not a difficult lock. I know I’m not skilled enough to open that now, but I know this is not a difficult lock.” Wels did not want to steal the gumballs; rather, he was intrigued by the idea that “there’s something you don’t know yet.” His “hacker spirit” migrated quite naturally to computers—computer hacking, with its “backdoors” and “key spaces,” is nothing if not digital lock picking. So it was with an historical inevitability that Wels would, at a hacker conference in the early 1990s, do an onstage demonstration of lock picking. “Now there’s not a serious security conference that doesn’t have a locksmith village,” notes Wels. Whereas it had taken him several years of effort to acquire his expertise, tracking down as a youth quasi-samizdat lock picking guides like Eddie the Wire’s Complete Guide to Lockpicking, published by the legendary Loompanics, Wels says “the things that took me three years to figure out people now learn in 15 minutes at the lock-pick village.”

I had had my first exposure to real lock picking at one of these villages a month earlier, at the Maker Faire in New York City. When I arrived at the TOOOL tent there, Javadi, shaved-headed and intense, and Deviant Ollam (a.k.a. Bryan Rea), who faintly resembles a more svelte version of the actor Kevin James, were addressing a rapt crowd.* Loose locks and tools—half-diamonds, Bogotá rakes, Gonzo hooks—were scattered around a table. The first thing to note here is the plural: Contrary to Hollywood depiction, locks, in most cases, cannot be opened with a single tool. Rather, one needs a pick and a tension wrench, or as Javidi described it, a “tension tool.” The word wrench, he suggested, compels people to use too much force. “How much pressure do you need to press the key on a modern laptop keyboard?” Javadi asked the crowd. “You want to use about half that.” Afterward, a boy looked longingly at the pick set I had bought, and I saw the father’s brief reckoning of cost versus son’s happiness. The latter won out.

Picking a basic, modern pin-tumbler lock, the kind most of us encounter in regular life, is simple to understand, but can be achingly difficult to master. When I met Dev, as Deviant Ollam is often called, a few weeks later at a Chinese restaurant in Princeton, N.J., one of the first things he asked, after greeting the server in Mandarin, was that I lay my keys on the table. “This is a Kwikset,” he said, looking at the first. “The head of the key will tell you a lot about the manufacturer.” “That looks like a Schlage there,” he said, identifying my front door key. His eyes narrowed. “There’s not a lot of variation here—looks like you have a 2, 3, 3. I could rake that very effectively.” One of the curious byproducts of spending time with Ollam was that the more we talked about security, the less safe I felt. I began to see the world as a set of glaring weaknesses and loopholes; the architectural standardization brought on by ADA requirements, he mentioned, which tend to put things like door handles (easier to manipulate than knobs) in rote places, were a boon for unauthorized entry. Or, to take the subject of one of his most popular talks at “cons,” the best way to avoid having one’s checked baggage pilfered is to pack firearms, thus demanding the flyer not use a notoriously unreliable TSA-approved baggage lock.
A pin-tumbler locking device comprised of a locking cylinder and a matching key.
A pin-tumbler locking device comprised of a locking cylinder and a matching key

Image courtesy of USPTO

But keys say a lot about locks. Even in everyday use, the lock is a kind of puzzle, as Peter Field, research director at the lock maker Medeco, told me, “and the key is the solution.” If you were to take your keys out now, chances are you would have a key to a pin-tumbler lock. You will see the key “head” (the part that one grips), the key “shoulder” (just below the head, naturally), then a “collar” (that extension that stops the key from going in further). You will then see, along the length of the key, a series of slopes and valleys (reminding me of the jagged, scrolling landscape from the old video game Defender). These are known as “bitting cuts,” and the progression of these cuts is referred to as the “bitting code.” A “1” cut is quite shallow; a “9” is very deep. For mechanical reasons, the bit depths cannot vary too widely from one to another; a “1” cannot follow a “9.” When the key is inserted, these cuts sweep across a series of segmented pins that keep the cylinder from turning. The correct key will come to rest in such a position that the pins have been pushed to the “shear line,” that small gap between the inner and outer cylinders, which allows the inner cylinder to turn and the lock to open. To “rake” the lock is to take a tool, thin and curvy at its tip, and rapidly “scrub” in and out of the lock. As Ollam notes in his book Practical Lock Picking, this can be brutally effective, “with the lock popping open so suddenly as to take a person by surprise.”

“Small imperfections in the way a lock is machined go a long way toward making picking possible,” Ollam told me. The edge of a pin may be chipped, or the pin chambers out of alignment. Feynman describes the process: “Now, if you push a little wire gadget—maybe a paper clip with a slight bump at the end—and jiggle it back and forth in the lock, you’ll eventually push that one pin that’s doing the most holding, up to the right height. The lock gives, just a little bit, so the first pin stays up—it’s caught on the edge. Now most of the load is held by another pin, and you repeat the same random process for a few more minutes, until all the pins are pushed up.” The process is called “setting the pins”—with raking, a number of pins are often set at once. “When you feel that first click,” Ollam said, “it can be profound.”

None of this is easy, however, as I learned at LockCon, sitting in the hostel bar with John Naughton, an English civil servant and lock-picking enthusiast. As a languid, jazzy cover of “Billie Jean” played in the background, I struggled over a variety of European locks (which, by LockCon consensus, are generally superior to American locks—apparently they have tighter “keyways”). “It took me hours to get my first lock,” Naughton said, counseling me through rookie mistakes like “overlifting,” or pushing the pin stack past the shear line, meaning, basically, one has to start over. Our efforts soon attracted a jovial group of local men, who began plying us with metworst (“special Dutch meat”) as they watched us closely, only adding to my howling anxiety. “Don’t worry,” said Naughton, “it always draws an audience.” We were joined by Jaakko Fagerlund, a taciturn Finn with pale skin and strikingly black hair. Naughton told me that Fagerlund had found a way to exploit a manufacturing deficiency of a different sort: In the original model of the Abus Granit lock, the manufacturers had stamped the bitting code inside the lock. Fagerlund created a tool that, with a bit of blue tack applied to the end, could “read” the code—allowing him to make a key.

Locks tell stories. “Your nose can tell whether a lock has been lubricated recently,” advises The MIT Guide to Lock Picking. “You want to project your senses onto the lock to receive a full picture of how it is responding to your manipulations.” One classic tactic is “impressioning,” or making a duplicate key based on information extracted from the lock. Naughton and I soon headed upstairs, where the Dutch Open impressioning championships were about to begin. A dozen or so people were seated at small tables, each with a lock clamped in a vise, surrounded by myriad files and workbench magnifiers. When a TOOOL member counted three, the room erupted with the high-pitched screech of files on metal. As Naughton explained it to me, the trick was to insert a key “blank,” (the sort one gets at a hardware store when having a key copied), turn it with force, then look for tiny but telltale indentations. “Every time you see a mark, you file it down a step,” Naughton said. “When you no longer see a mark, it means another one’s binding or that one’s done.” The idea, Naughton said, is that “you end up with a key that works in the end—it’s easier to get in next time.” My eyes were drawn to a stocky Dutchman with a bald head and a kilt. He would crank the key in the lock tremendously, in rapid succession, whip it out, rotate it and peer intently at it under a magnifier, then take several upstrokes with a file—notching roughly one “depth” with each stroke—then repeat the process. This, it turned out, was Jos Weyers, possessor of the impressioning speed record. A minute later, he shouted “open” and raised his hands.

The next night, the lock-picking championships were held in a similar setting, though this time the noise resembled a thousand mechanical crickets, as participants delicately probed or violently scrubbed the locks before them. Competition of any sort tends to fall along familiar narrative lines. There was, for example, the intimidating presence of the Germans, who tend to dominate locksport, and as the rounds progressed, it was not uncommon to hear a winning cry of “offen”—often, disconcertingly, a half dozen seconds after the starter’s command. The underdog, for me and the fellow Americans, after they themselves had been eliminated, was Naughton, who cleared several rounds, red and sweating at the end of each. But he too soon fell. The eventual winner was Arthur Meister, a big, gregarious German—a member of the Hamburg branch of the locksport group SSDeV—with leather pants and a ferocious spiked mullet.

And while it initially seemed strange, these men (and a few women) hunched over locks on a Saturday night, I soon found myself carried along by the proceedings, and it began to dawn on me that here were the descendants of the legendary 19th-century American lock pick Alfred C. Hobbs, the man who’d shown up Britain’s master locksmiths with his suitcase of picking tools. But these modern enthusiasts were working not for rival manufacturers but for the sheer spirit of the thing. “For me it has to do with the quest for the perfect lock,” Wels told me. “I always want to know what the state of the art is—what comes out if clever people really put their effort to it and make the best they can.”

He demonstrated the exacting level of this interest in an afternoon talk on ARX pins, a pick-resistant technology found in the latest generation of high-security Medeco locks. With taxonomic rigor, Wels ran through myriad (and seemingly endless) permutations of the small metal bits, and puzzled out loud, in a kind of exercise in group epistemology, the meaning of their variations. “Could this be a limitation of the milling process?” someone asked from the audience. “No,” said Wels. “These people know what they’re doing. This is not a limitation.” After cataloging some 30 pin variations, Wels concluded: “I don’t know the classification, but it would be fun to figure it out,” he said. “If you go to one island and see a monkey with one stripe on his back, and go to another island and see a monkey with three stripes on his back, there’s probably also an island with monkeys with two stripes.” Laughter from the audience. “This is how I look at it.”

At one level, LockCon was an exercise in the almost ironically outsized bravado of geek one-upmanship (stickers for the “Masters of Penetration” group featured a mudflap girl curled around a pick). At one point, Datagram, who does “lock forensics” in addition to computer security work, presented a lock he had opened to a small circle of people. Impressed, they pressed for the secret. “BDG,” he said. This drew quizzical looks. “Be Datagram.”

But at another level, the members of TOOOL (and other groups, like SSDeV) are exposing real flaws in the products of multinational corporations, products that consumers assume, with a certain amount of faith, cannot be easily compromised. And TOOOL, to its credit, takes on this responsibility with a certain gravitas. “What we did with TOOOL, from the very beginning, was warn manufacturers that if we discovered a problem, we’ll always give them at least six months,” Wels said.

This philosophy echoes an old debate in the security world. Alfred Hobbs, in his Rudimentary Treatise on the Construction of Locks, had noted: “A commercial, and in some respects a social, doubt has been started within the last year or two, whether or not it is right to discuss so openly the security or insecurity of locks. Many well-meaning persons suppose that the discussion respecting the means for baffling the supposed safety of locks offers a premium for dishonesty, by shewing others how to be dishonest.” Hobbs certainly didn’t buy this argument, but this ethos has long held sway among locksmiths, a trade born of closed medieval guilds. As Ed Roskelly, a New Jersey locksmith, told me at LockCon, “in the 1970s, it was a very closed profession. Unless you were related you weren’t getting in.” Books like The Art of Manipulation, an out-of-print guide to opening safes, came cloaked with warnings: “We also suggest after you become proficient in the art of manipulation to destroy this book completely, so as to protect yourself and our craft.” As Matt Blaze notes, this approach has not rested comfortably with the open-source world of “white hat” hackers, which derides “security through obscurity.” As one source describes it, this is software vendors’ “favorite way of coping with security holes—namely, ignoring them, documenting neither any known holes nor the underlying security algorithms, trusting that nobody will find out about them and that people who do find out about them won’t exploit them.”

A few days before LockCon, Ollam and Javadi had visited a large security convention in Essen, Germany. There, they had come across a German company selling a new lock, promoted via its website as the “the safest locking system in the world.” Their interest naturally piqued, they tried, unsuccessfully, to pick it. They then, with admirable tact, persuaded the company to let them borrow the prototype and bring it to LockCon. The manufacturers, much as Bramah had more than a century before in his shop on Piccadilly, granted the request with a kind of casually bemused interest. In Sneek, after managing to crack it themselves, Ollam and Javadi began passing it around. They wrote the opening times on a piece of a paper (awarding the winner, as Ollam said, a pair of “high-end Korean handcuffs from my private stock”). They locked the list inside of the lock’s cylinder, and sent the whole thing back to the manufacturer. Upon receiving the package, the manufacturers (who Ollam did not want named, as per the ethics of disclosure) were, as Ollam later described it, incredulous and more than a bit fascinated, and in the midst of discussions with the lock pickers on how to improve their product.

This was Hobbs 2.0. It was the old cloistered lock world meeting the open-source ethos of Linus’ Law (after Linus Torvalds, the Finnish hacker and creator of Linux): “Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.” This is not to say this relationship is entirely comfortable. When Peter Field of Medeco, a company that has been the focus of well-publicized attacks (and an entire book, Open in Thirty Seconds), gave a four-plus-hour presentation on lock design—he began with the proviso, “I talk about how they’re made, I don’t talk about how to compromise them”—and ended by quoting Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat: “It’s not only the software writers and computer geeks who get empowered to collaborate in a flat world. It’s also al-Qaida and other terrorist networks. The playing field is not being leveled only in ways that draw in and superempower a whole new group of innovators. It’s being leveled in a way that draws in and superempowers a whole new group of angry, frustrated, and humiliated men and women.” There was an uncomfortable silence, and some awkward seat-shifting, as Field closed the book; whether intended or not, it seemed to come off as an admonition.

Correction, March 12, 2013: On subsequent references to Babak Javadi, this article originally misidentified him twice as "Savadi." (Return to the corrected sentence.)

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Reply with quote  #44 
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/crime/features/2013/the_lock_pickers/lockpicking_why_we_ll_never_make_an_unpickable_lock.html



The Lock Pickers
Entry 3: Why we’ll never make an unpickable lock.

By Tom Vanderbilt|Posted Wednesday, March 13, 2013, at 12:00 AM

3: Is It Possible to Make an Unpickable Lock?
By: Tom Vanderbilt

2: The Strange Things That Happen at a Lock-picking Convention
By: Tom Vanderbilt

1: The American Who Shocked Victorian England by Picking the World’s Strongest Lock
By: Tom Vanderbilt

Holms New Electric, version #2, 1884.
Holms New Electric, version No. 2, 1884

Photo courtesy of Mark Frank

It would be roughly accurate to say that there have been locks as long as there have been things humans wanted to guard. Locks figure in the Bible (“And the key of the house of David I will lay upon his shoulder”), and in Homer. The pin tumbler lock, a technology popularized by Linus Yale Jr., dates more than 4,000 years ago to Egypt, where, as Scientific American observed in 1899, it “can still be seen in any of the older streets in Cairo.” England issued its first lock patent in 1774, the United States in 1790. With the Industrial Revolution came a flurry of activity, new wealth to guard. The bank vaults of the 19th century, sporting names like the “Magic Infallible Bank Lock,” were ornate portals to the monumental caches they secured, bristling with features; there were locks that occluded the key as it entered (to prevent revealing its shape to nearby onlookers), locks that fired bullets or tear gas canisters if opened improperly. In the early 1870s, banks began to equip their vaults with “time locks,” set to be opened only on Monday morning.

John Erroll is the curator of the Mossman Collection, an impressive, if little visited, assortment of locks housed in a small room in New York City’s General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen. As we tour the display cases, Erroll tells me that time locks emerged in response to a series of masked robberies, in which armed gunmen would roust bank managers from their beds at home on the weekend, march them to the bank, and force them to open the vault. “After the Civil War, there was a certain kind of violent atmosphere in the U.S.,” he said. “All these young men came back from the war, young men out of work, and they went into the bank-robbing business.” One of the most curious locks Erroll showed me, “Wooley’s Fluid Time Lock” (patented in 1877), used water for its time-keeping mechanism. “One difficulty with water,” Erroll noted, “is that it doesn’t really drip at a constant rate.”
Edward J. Woolly fluid time lock
Edward J. Woolly fluid time lock, 1877

Photo courtesy of Mark Frank

A few days later, I drove to Long Branch, N.J., to visit Ed Roskelly, who I had met at the Dutch lock-picking conference LockCon. His locksmith’s shop, Bullet Lock, is located on Broadway in an old men’s clothing store. Roskelly, who as it turned out had installed the locks guarding the locks at the Mossman Collection, is an enthusiastic lock collector, and he walked me through his holdings: ancient, ornate warded keys (which, despite their complex appearance, were rather easy to pick); medieval lady’s rings that were themselves keys to small chests; stout Nuremberg iron strong boxes; wooden locks from Africa; and trick Turkish locks in which a series of keys open a successive chain of keyholes. A poster of Houdini (“Europe’s Eclipsing Sensation”) was on one wall; a poster of Louis XVI on another. “He was supposed to be a great locksmith,” Roskelly said. “Before they cut his head off.”

For all the rich history in the shop, the modern locksmithing business is rather less exotic (even if Roskelly has done the security for the homes of some of the Garden State’s better known musical performers). Behind the front counter, he shows me a collection of thousands of key “blanks”—the raw material of duplicating keys—noting, however, that most of the 200-some keys he cuts in a week come from a handful of brands like Schlage and Kwikset. (Many keys for high-security locks, like Medeco, cannot be openly displayed, as a wannabe picker could examine them for telltale grooves and the like.)

Another large part of the locksmith trade is what are called “lockouts”—or someone losing their keys. “I’ve got a guy out right now opening a safe,” he says. “The lady lost the combination.” And while I envisioned a safe technician, crouching in front of a dial, stethoscope in his ears, the reality is more prosaic. “We’re never going to make a living picking a lock,” he says. While he has sent his employees on safe manipulation courses, he says they are allowed “maybe five minutes” to pick a lock. “If you can’t pick it in five minutes, get the drill, drill it out, and put a new lock in.”
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In fact, drilling has long been the preferred criminal method of entry. Why pick a lock when you can obliterate one, or, as Roskelly demonstrated, with a small safe, simply peel back the metal sides and chip away at the concrete inside. “You have to keep in mind,” Wels had told me, “the lock is a rather fragile thing.” The most common burglary method in the Netherlands, he told me, is the “Bulgarian method,” named for a technique employed by criminal gangs from that country which involves simply using a pliers on a weak spot of the lock to wrench it free, then opening the door with a screwdriver.

Actual skilled lock-picking is an elusive creature in the wild. One afternoon at LockCon, I had walked to Gamma, a Dutch home improvement store, with Datagram and Schuyler Towne (editor of NDE—or “non-destructive entry”—magazine), to buy some tools for the impressioning championships. Datagram, a longtime computer security consultant, has recently begun working in the field of forensic locksmithing. He is occasionally called in to crime scenes to determine not only a means of entry, but whether the lock-picking itself was authentic or merely insurance fraud. “There’s the obvious stuff, people just run a screwdriver across the face of the lock and say, ‘It was picked,’ ” he said. “Or what happens is they’ll leave marks on half the components of the lock. But you can’t pick a lock by manipulating half the components.” We paused by a soda vending machine, where he intently fingered a series of buttons. “Free soda?” I asked. “No, but sometimes you get the debug code.”
A Medeco lock and key.
A Medeco lock and key

Photo courtesy of AB Security Group, Inc.

There are some lock pickers in the real world. A few weeks after LockCon, I met with Peter Field, of Medeco, in New York City. In the late 1960s, he said, police were noting a high number of burglaries with no signs of forced entries. “There were a lot of pin tumblers that had been around for years, there was no key control”—that is, there were a lot of duplicate keys floating around. Medeco, he said, was founded on a simple idea: “Pin tumbler locks move up and down. Medeco moves up and down and rotates. It moves in three dimensions rather than two dimensions. Tumblers read the elevation, while sidebars read the rotation.” It is something akin to the modern tamper-resistant caps on pill bottles, where one must both squeeze and rotate at once. But, as Field notes, a few years later a locksmith made a “decoding” tool that opened the lock; Medeco made a change so it wouldn’t work—and the pattern repeats. A few years ago, a lock hobbyist named Jon King created a new decoding device, exploiting a new weakness. “Jon has a very good kinesthetic sense,” says Field. “I’ve only known another man like him, and he was an expert on picking lever locks.” And so it goes, with the lock company adding new types of pins, “false grooves,” sidebars—any number of tweaks to reduce feedback to the picker or throw him off the trail.

What you are buying, in essence, is time. This is how locks are rated, by agencies like the Underwriters Laboratory: How long will it be able to withstand a variety of attacks. “I have always been happy to acknowledge any lock can be compromised,” Field said. “It’s just how much effort is someone going to take.”

“Anyone who says they have a lock that can never be picked is fooling themselves,” he continued. “There will be a compromise of some sort.” I was unsettled to hear this from a maker of locks, and I wanted to press him: But what about the perfect lock? What if money were no object? But I began to see I was on the wrong track. “Why would you want this elaborate thing when you’ve got windows on the first floor? People would smash windows and come in,” he said. “All you want is something that will show you a sign of forced entry. You want to protect things. If someone does break in you’ve got the insurance—that’s part of your risk management.”

The words “forced entry” speak to a crucial distinction in the lock world. For the most part, sophisticated lock picking does not flourish in criminal circles, either for lack of knowledge, or because it is simply not worth the time compared to an expedient brute force attack. But as I learned at LockCon, there are those for whom lock picking is not merely a means to gain entry, but a concealing move as well: a way to hide the fact that they were there. One night, late into the conference, after many rounds of beer and air hockey, a murmur ran through the halls. There was, it was announced, an unscheduled “secret session” that would be taking place, in a conference room upstairs, at around 11 p.m. When I joined the crowded room, Wels was asking that participants put away cellphones and cameras; anyone not complying would be asked to leave. A man got up, launched a PowerPoint, and began to talk about a “special tool” he had briefly had access to, which essentially would allow “untrained field agents” to read the inner details of a lock, and make a key. These high-end tools, crafted by a handful of people in the world, are made with one specific lock in mind, costing upward of $10,000. They are bought by, it is widely understood, intelligence agencies wishing to gain surreptitious, and presumably undetected, entry. Given the small contours of this world, I was sternly warned that any further information I were to give, about where the man came from or about the tool itself could result in his losing his job. And here was a curious twist on the notion of security by obscurity: This group of lock obsessives wanted access to this tool for themselves, but did not want the disclosure to travel further. As Wels said, “I want to know if the government can get in my place.”

The lock is both symbol and act of our security. That security may be broadly defined; Freudian psychoanalysis suggested that in dreams, keys were phallic symbols, locks the “unexplored vagina.” But locks, merely by having an opening, by needing to admit that key, are inherently vulnerable. The mechanical tolerances necessary to allow the key to function over time are themselves a weakness. The key itself, with each swipe in and out, each minor scraping of metal, contributes to that vulnerability; “as the lock wears,” Roskelly told me, “you’re almost picking the lock” as you open it with a key. And what, in the end, is the purpose of locking up all those secrets behind sophisticated locks if, as in the case of WikiLeaks, the greatest security lapse of our age, the documents in question left the premises on a thumb drive?

Still, these weaknesses do not keep people like Wels from imagining, almost desiring, the perfect lock. “At the end of the day, the perfect lock is a combination of electronic and mechanics,” Wels told me. “It will be open source; I don’t believe in a black box. Only if enough clever people look at it can it be considered secure.” Then he broached what seemed like an apostasy. “The perfect lock may not be a lock at all. It may a door with no lock in it at all, with some part in the frame, behind a steel plate, remote controlled.” But then that lock too would only be as secure as those who used it.

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hannah

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Reply with quote  #45 
http://vision.ucsd.edu/~blaxton/sneakey.html

Sneakey
UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering (Original Press Release)
                               
Click to enlarge

It looks like the writers of CBS's Numb3rs were inspired by SneaKey...check it out above.


Reconsidering Physical Key Secrecy: Teleduplication via Optical Decoding


Benjamin Laxton         Kai Wang         Stefan Savage
University of California, San Diego         University of California, San Diego         University of California, San Diego

ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS) 2008


Our SNEAKEY system correctly decoded the keys shown in the above image that was taken from the rooftop of a four floor building. The inlay shows the image that was used for decoding while the background provides a context for the extreme distances that our system can operate from. In this case the image was taken from 195 feet. This demonstration shows that a motivated attacker can covertly steal a victim's keys without fear of detection. The SNEAKEY system provides a compelling example of how digital computing techniques can breach the security of even physical analog systems in the real-world.


Abstract
The access control provided by a physical lock is based on the assumption that the information content of the corresponding key is private --- that duplication should require either possession of the key or a priori knowledge of how it was cut. However, the ever-increasing capabilities and prevalence of digital imaging technologies present a fundamental challenge to this privacy assumption. Using modest imaging equipment and standard computer vision algorithms, we demonstrate the effectiveness of physical key teleduplication --- extracting a key's complete and precise bitting code at a distance via optical decoding and then cutting precise duplicates. We describe our prototype system, Sneakey, and evaluate its effectiveness, in both laboratory and real-world settings, using the most popular residential key types in the U.S.


Citation
Benjamin Laxton, Kai Wang, and Stefan Savage
Reconsidering Physical Key Secrecy: Teleduplication via Optical Decoding.
ACM CCS 2008, Alexandria, VA, October 2008.

Paper
Paper pdf.
http://vision.ucsd.edu/~blaxton/pagePapers/laxton_wang_savage_ccs2008.pdf

Code
The code for this project was developed in Matlab. If there is sufficient interest I may release it in the future.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/technology/reviews/software/sneakey-software-key-to-unlocking-your-secrets/2008/11/07/1225561137112.html

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hannah

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Reply with quote  #46 
Chrome OS Remains Undefeated at Pwnium 3

Written by Ravi Mandalia
Saturday, 09 March 2013 00:06
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DISQUS_COMMENTS        

Chrome OS Remains Undefeated at Pwnium 3

Google has announced that its Chrome OS has managed to remain undefeated during the Pwnium 3 event that was held alongside Pwn2Own.

Announced by Google on January 28, 2013 the Pwnium 3 event is a hacking competition whereby the search engine giant rewards security research attractive prize money for different levels of exploits against Chrome browser and Chrome OS. This year’s prize money was a whopping $3.14 million.

Researchers were asked to carry out attacks against “a base (WiFi) model of the Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook, running the latest stable version of Chrome OS.” The researchers were allowed to use any software available on the system including kernel and drivers to attempt their hacks.

It turns out security researchers were not able to come up with winning exploits and the Chrome OS remained undefeated. None of the security researchers were able to defeat the security of the Pixel maker’s operating system. Google Chrome team even went to the extent of extending the deadline of the competition by few hours but, to no avail.

Updating the status, the team noted on a Google+ post, "We just closed out the competition. We did not receive any winning entries but we are evaluating some work that may qualify as partial exploits."

No further details have been made available yet. But considering the fact that none of the browsers were able to withstand the attacks of crackers on the Windows platform at Pwn2Own, it is a safe bet to assume that Linux in general and Chrome OS in specific may be an ideal choice for security conscious users across the globe.
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"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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hannah

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Reply with quote  #47 
http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/01/18/the-man-who-steals-all-the-phones-in-las-vegas-pinpointed-precisely/

http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2012/11/21/prince-william-photos-password/

http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/03/14/bill-gates-personal-info/

http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/02/06/top-ten-ciphertexts-cracked/

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"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



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Reply with quote  #48 
VPN Gate Client Plug-in with SoftEther VPN Client


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"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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maynard

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Reply with quote  #49 
Alfred Anaya Put Secret Compartments in Cars. So the DEA Put Him in Prison

By Brendan I. Koerner
03.19.13
6:30 AM


http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/03/alfred-anaya/all/

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A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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hannah

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Reply with quote  #50 
Off the grid
Thousands of paroled CA sex offenders, felons easily disable GPS monitors

Similar problems nationwide: recently, a NY-man removed his anklet in 60 seconds.

by Cyrus Farivar - Mar 31 2013, 7:30pm UTC
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/03/thousands-of-paroled-ca-sex-offenders-felons-easily-disable-gps-monitors/

__________________
Test your connection for leaks:
http://ip-check.info/?lang=en

Use TAILS
https://tails.boum.org/

How to boot from USB and other great stuff:
http://www.rmprepusb.com/

Open pdf and word files online instead of on your puter'
http://view.samurajdata.se/

USE the net more securely:
https://pressfreedomfoundation.org/blog/2014/04/help-support-little-known-privacy-tool-has-been-critical-journalists-reporting-nsa
https://www.torproject.org/download/download

http://www.theintelligencenews.com/


"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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