News

29 May, 2020

Friday Squid Blogging: Humboldt Squid Communication

Humboldt Squid communicate by changing their skin patterns and glowing. As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven't covered. Read my blog posting guidelines…

29 May, 2020

Bogus Security Technology: An Anti-5G USB Stick

The 5GBioShield sells for £339.60, and the description sounds like snake oil: ...its website, which describes it as a USB key that "provides protection for your home and family, thanks to the wearable holographic nano-layer catalyser, which can be worn or placed near to a smartphone or any other electrical, radiation or EMF [electromagnetic field] emitting device". "Through a…

29 May, 2020

Facebook Announces Messenger Security Features that Don't Compromise Privacy

Note that this is "announced," so we don't know when it's actually going to be implemented. Facebook today announced new features for Messenger that will alert you when messages appear to come from financial scammers or potential child abusers, displaying warnings in the Messenger app that provide tips and suggest you block the offenders. The feature, which Facebook started…

28 May, 2020

Thermal Imaging as Security Theater

Seems like thermal imaging is the security theater technology of today. These features are so tempting that thermal cameras are being installed at an increasing pace. They're used in airports and other public transportation centers to screen travelers, increasingly used by companies to screen employees and by businesses to screen customers, and even used in health care facilities to…

27 May, 2020

Websites Conducting Port Scans

Security researcher Charlie Belmer is reporting that commercial websites such as eBay are conducting port scans of their visitors. Looking at the list of ports they are scanning, they are looking for VNC services being run on the host, which is the same thing that was reported for bank sites. I marked out the ports and what they are…

26 May, 2020

Bluetooth Vulnerability: BIAS

This is new research on a Bluetooth vulnerability (called BIAS) that allows someone to impersonate a trusted device: Abstract: Bluetooth (BR/EDR) is a pervasive technology for wireless communication used by billions of devices. The Bluetooth standard includes a legacy authentication procedure and a secure authentication procedure, allowing devices to authenticate to each other using a long term key. Those…

22 May, 2020

Friday Squid Blogging: Squid Can Edit Their Own Genomes

This is new news: Revealing yet another super-power in the skillful squid, scientists have discovered that squid massively edit their own genetic instructions not only within the nucleus of their neurons, but also within the axon -- the long, slender neural projections that transmit electrical impulses to other neurons. This is the first time that edits to genetic information…

21 May, 2020

Ann Mitchell, Bletchley Park Cryptanalyst, Dies

Obituary....…

20 May, 2020

Bart Gellman on Snowden

Bart Gellman's long-awaited (at least by me) book on Edward Snowden, Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the American Surveillance State, will finally be published in a couple of weeks. There is an adapted excerpt in the Atlantic. It's an interesting read, mostly about the government surveillance of him and other journalists. He speaks about an NSA program called FIRSTFRUITS…

20 May, 2020

Criminals and the Normalization of Masks

I was wondering about this: Masks that have made criminals stand apart long before bandanna-wearing robbers knocked over stagecoaches in the Old West and ski-masked bandits held up banks now allow them to blend in like concerned accountants, nurses and store clerks trying to avoid a deadly virus. "Criminals, they're smart and this is a perfect opportunity for them…

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