Thursday, December 15, 2011

Not a bad pay packet

The Herald reports:
(edited) Judge Clark sentenced Brian Joseph Scandlyn, 29, unemployed, to a year's home detention, 180 hours of community work and ordered $7,643.21 reparation be paid to local businesses affected by Scandlyn who wrote cheques from a closed bank account. He had earlier pleaded guilty to two charges of engaging in a money-laundering transaction knowing that part of the $883,533.40 he had obtained was the proceeds of a serious offence. NZ Herald Full story

Let's see. One year in home detention and the equivalent of 4½ weeks work for which you get $883,533.40 less about 9% reparation. Who says crime doesn't pay?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Carrier IQ Spyware

In a way this is a follow-up to yesterdays post.

Bruce Schneier's recent blog is about the latest in the Carrier IQ rootkit saga. This malware is installed on people's smart phones either by the phone company or by the phone manufacturers on their behalf and can report back all activity on the phone, including encrypted https sessions to other sites.

Bruce's blog:
Spyware on many smart phones monitors your every action, including collecting individual keystrokes. The company that makes and runs this software[...], Carrier IQ, freaked when a security researcher outed them. It initially claimed it didn't monitor keystrokes -- an easily refuted lie -- and threatened to sue the researcher. [...]

Carrier IQ is reacting really badly here. Threatening the researcher was a panic reaction, but I think it's still clinging to the notion that it can keep the details of what it does secret, or hide behind such statements such as:

"Our customers select which metrics they need to gather based on their business need--such as network planning, customer care, device performance--within the bounds of the agreement they form with their end users."

More at Schneier on Security: Carrier IQ Spyware

Monday, December 5, 2011

WikiLeaks Warns of Surveillance State

The USA, Britain, Australia, South Africa and Canada are among countries developing spying systems that intercept mobile phones and portable computers. They are not only using these on their own citizens but selling to "dictators and democracies alike." Libya and Syria are among countries using the technology to monitor political opponents, said a WikiLeaks spokesman.

"Who here has an iPhone? Who here has a BlackBerry? Who here uses Gmail? Well, you're all screwed," Assange told a news conference.

"It sounds like something out of Hollywood, but as of today, mass interception systems, built by Western intelligence contractors, are a reality."

More at Enterprise Security Today


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