Monday, March 19, 2018

I wonder what other features we don't know about

from here

Is Alexa really spying on you? Supposedly not, but without constant supervision, who can know for sure? Do we trust Amazon? Maybe but then why is laughing even a thing the device can do? And it's creepy laughing too. You know what else had a creepy laugh? The virus from the movie Independence Day

My First Booby Trap

View on Twitter

Thanks to Stephanie Ortiz for sharing this story of a child who clearly understands the concept of laying traps better than some adults.

Friday, March 16, 2018

That sounds too much like hard work

from here

Does anyone else get the feeling the authorities have gotten lazy?

So that's why it's so advanced

found on 9Gag

I was surprised by how advanced the facial recognition technology was in the new iPhone, but maybe I shouldn't have been surprised after all.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Butter the OK button to continue

from here

It appears that there's some curiously impractical advice about securing IoT devices going around. We have enough trouble getting people to apply updates to their computers, and those are designed with the idea of users modifying the contents in mind. The idea of people applying updates to each and every smart appliance in their home when those appliances are designed to have the same user experience as their non-smart counterpart (rather than that of a computer) is ridiculous.

Know who's watching

found on Izismile

I've seen kidnapping-oriented tailgate art before and I remarked at the time that it was a good way to get in trouble with law enforcement because people will keep reporting you.

This time, however, my guess is that no one in Russia is going to care if they see you driving around with Obama and Merkel in the back of your pickup truck.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

At least the kittens won't be harmed

from here (image source)

The more the FBI whines about encryption, the ridiculous they seem.

The "Going Dark" problem can be solved, but the FBI is barking up the wrong tree. The solution is old-school trade-craft like they would have used before the digital revolution gave us communication tools that were accidentally able to let anyone listen in. That means planting bugs and developing human assets inside organizations they're investigating, not stamping their feet and demanding evidence be given to them on a silver platter.

Keep an eye on your privacy settings

found on Fail Blog

I don't know about you but I'm sick and tired of Facebook always opting me into stuff instead of leaving it off by default. I hate having to patrol my privacy settings just in case something changed without me knowing about it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Your threat model sucks

from here (image source)

If you have long hair and a robot vacuum, I would suggest not sleeping on the floor like this poor woman.

Don't bring a gun to a chair fight

Watch on YouTube

Obviously this could have gone a lot differently, and the samaritan is lucky it didn't, but it's still fun to watch the tables get turned on a bad guy.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Give up your data like a good little consumer

from here

It's amazing how different the reactions are to governmental and corporate surveillance. One people will pay to avoid while the other they'll actually pay to have.

Prove your worth, meatbag

found on Dump A Day

I'm not sure how I feel about this alternate explanation of what a CAPTCHA is. It's like the machines are judging us or something.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Best Buy Peek Squad

from here

I always wondered about the privacy issues involved in repair shops, and now we know for sure that they violate customer privacy. Something to keep in mind next time you're considering taking your machine in for repair.

Feline Bathroom Inspectors don't care about your privacy

found on Dump A Day

The FBI are always sticking their noses into other people's business.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Next Action: Develop sophisticated VR reminder technology

from here

Right about now the entire Oculus company is finding out how important a particular person's job is the hard way.

Jack Vale: NSA Webcam Spying Prank

Watch on YouTube

It's easy to believe it doesn't matter if the government spies on you because you have so little concept of what it means until you get a demonstration like this and find out just how unsettling it really is that someone knows about ever booger you dig out of your nose, ever itch you scratch, every embarrassing dance you do in what was supposed to be the privacy of your own home, etc.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Vulnerabilities written in stone

from here

While there may be tricks and kludges out there enabling you to write smart contracts that can be updated, it's not a property they have by default because they're stored on the blockchain. On the other hand, being prone to errors is a property they do have by default by nature of them being code (all code has bugs, nothing is perfect).

The reason patches become mandatory

found on Reddit

When they're big and intrusive and they just keep coming over and over again it's no wonder people get sick of them and don't want to put up with them anymore. It's only a matter of time before people start trying to interfere with the update process, but the vendor can't fix problems without the update process being in place. Therefore customers and vendors eventually enter into a kind of adversarial relationship with respect to updates, where the vendor actively works against the customers (potentially misguided) interests.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Talk about dressed to kill

from here (image source)

On the one hand it doesn't look physically comfortable, but on the other hand some people just aren't emotionally comfortable without weapons to protect themselves with.

Keeping your kids safe and secure

found on Distinguished Baloney

Putting teachers in charge of preventing every threat that your kid might face is pretty much this. I'm not sure how a teacher is supposed to actually teach like this, but I guess learning isn't the point of school anymore.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Malware naming is the real joke

from here

I suspect the name Mirai was based on the character from the Naruto anime/manga, but it translates to "the future" which I further suspect is not the name the anti-malware industry would have selected if they'd have known. Either that, or there are some lame punsters in the anti-malware industry and this is exactly the joke they were making with that name.

At least they have a sharp sense of humour

posted to Instagram by the TSA

The puns are strong with this particular TSA employee. I can only assume this isn't one of the ones who got their job from  a pizza box.

Also, who tries to sneak a comb-knife past security in a sheath that clearly says "comb knife"?

Friday, March 2, 2018

Someone might step on a brick

from here

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I don't believe in Lego terrorism. Whatever threat may have been made, it was almost certainly empty. If the teen had current access to a real gun he most certainly could have posted a picture of that instead. Heck, he could have even googled for a picture of someone else's gun, but instead he used a picture of a child's toy. I don't know how anyone takes such a threat seriously.

Some assembly required

found on Izismile

Presumably this cartoon can actually be found at (as suggested by the lettering at the top) but I couldn't find it there, nor most of the artist's other work either.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Someone forgot the meaning of the word "private"

from here
Not only does Trustico not appear to understand the meaning of the word "private", but they also appear to not understand the meaning of the word "compromise" as they claim the private keys they had (which should only have been in the hands of their customers) had never been compromised. They were either compromised by someone else and Trustico acquired them that way, or Trustico always had them and compromised them by emailing them to DigiCert. There is no way they weren't compromised by the time DigiCert got them.

Now that's sick-urity

found on Team Coco

The Skunklock is an interesting idea, but if it catches on I think people should just paint their regular U-locks to look like Skunklocks in order to fake the bike thieves out.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Keep your packets in your pants

from here

Monster DDoS attacks seem to be on the horizon. Hopefully not, but I don't have a lot of faith in the people who try to take down parts of the Internet, and it sounds like they're going to be able to do a better job now.

Get 'em while they're young

found on Know Your Meme

The artist who produced this picture surely felt that this could represent a model of how spy agencies could win over the hearts and minds of the next generation and thereby be more accepted by them. In reality, though, people already ignore the surveillance cameras that are everywhere, so I'm not sure winning over hearts and minds will accomplish much.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Invisible tape would be particularly useless

from here

Pretty much the only way tape is going to stop your conversations from being recorded by your microphone is if you put the tape over your mouth.

That must be one of those new S pies

found on The Art Of Trolling

The NSA are getting into everything these days.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Time for some folks to get a new business model

from here

So a malware developer gets jailtime without ever launching an attack? Good. It's about time getting charged with "aiding and abetting" became a real risk for the people who provide attack tools.

Somehow not quite as threatening as the original

found on Know Your Meme

I'm all for 'outside the box' alternatives, but only if they accomplish what the original accomplished. While I'm sure there will be some enemies who lay down their arms to marvel at the cuteness of an otter with a squirt gun, that's not going to win any battles.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Votey McVoteface for 2020

from here

Oh, you thought voting machines were air-gapped? Yeah, not so much, apparently.

It's not just the walls that have ears

found on Meme Center

I'd say something clever at the NSA's expense but I don't want to be on any more lists.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

They've got enough wheels already

from here (source image)

Someone who can't move their arms or legs probably can't steal this bike. Someone who merely can't move their legs, however, may very well use their arms to get around (by pushing the wheels), and so are probably plenty strong enough to lift the bike off of that post.

Exodus of privacy

found on Kudelka Cartoons

We all know what an invasion of privacy is, right? It's when someone goes where they don't belong and acquires what should be private information. But what should we call it when, rather than someone invading a private space and taking private information away, the private information leaves on it's own because of our own actions? I'm sort of leaning towards calling it an exodus of privacy.

As always with a cartoon site, check out the other cartoons there. There are years worth of them.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Attacker, Pwn Thyself

from here

Do they really qualify as advanced persistent threats if they give themselves away by infecting themselves with their own malware? That seems a little less than advanced to me.

Stalking 101

found on Dump A Day

It may not technically be an invasion of privacy if you're following someone around in public spaces (online or in real life), but it sure as heck feels like it.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Never go full malware

from here

I dunno what this flight simulator company was thinking but part of me thinks that every company that decides to distribute malware to their own customers (whether or not they planned to use it) deserves to be made an example of.

Now there's a situation you need to be aware of

found on Izismile

Situational awareness is important, but sometimes the world doesn't provide us with all the information we need to be aware of what's out there, so we need aids like the one pictured here.

Monday, February 19, 2018

That's the secret

from here

Most government agencies seem to have names that describe them pretty well. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, for example, is an agency that does in fact perform investigations. The Secret Service, on the other hand, doesn't really seem all that secret to me.

(It appears as though Imgur has lost the image. Not sure why)

Nagware reinvented

found on Acid Cow

Nagware used to refer to a really annoying form of shareware. Does anyone release their software as shareware anymore? I haven't seen it in quite a while, so software updates seem to have become the new king of nagging.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Spyware: The Next Generation

from here

I'm starting to think smart devices like smart water bottles and smart pillows and the like are really just market research trojan horses wrapped in a thin veneer of utility and convenience. The concepts are absurd, the science behind the "goals" these devices promote is questionable at best, and seemingly the only reason you pay for these things that spy on you instead of getting them for free like so many Internet services is that there isn't yet a proven market for the novel data these things gather and the cost of development needs to be recouped.

The room is bugged

found on The Meta Picture

Roaches certainly like to scurry away to dark, unseen corners when you turn on the lights, so who knows, maybe they really do prefer privacy.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Jim Jefferies: Gun Control

Watch on YouTube

Watch on YouTube

Thoughts and prayers? Seems like it's been mostly praying and not enough thinking, frankly.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Not the kind of compromise you want in a relationship

from here

Somehow not quite as exciting when you find out the truth

from here

A true and embarrassing story.

It's catphish season

found on Meme Center

T'is the season when secret admirers magically become a lot more believable for no good reason. Be careful out there.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Left hand, have you met right hand yet?

from here

Inspired by Chris Boyd, whose complaint strikes a significant chord with this particular blogger (for reasons that I hope are obvious)

Integrity isn't just about bits and bytes

found on The Art Of Trolling

Just as attacks against availability and confidentiality can take place in the real world, so too can attacks against integrity.

At least people will still be able to figure out what you're trying to spell, though.

Monday, February 12, 2018

We can only hope it's the right one

from here and here

Going dark is for dim bulbs. Investigators got along perfectly fine before smartphones were invented, so not being able to see inside of them now shouldn't be that big a deal. Sure, being able to get into the contents of the smartphone would make investigators' lives easier, but since when do we give up our individual privacy and security to make things easier for law enforcement? The serve part of protect and serve means they serve our interests, not the other way around.

The Internet Never Forgets (merchandise)

product page

So I'm trawling through my normal sources of funny things when a phrase pops into my head:
The Internet Never Forgets
I thought it would make a pretty good catch phrase so I googled to see if someone else had already come up with it and lo and behold many people had. I decided to highlight this particular example because I'd very much like to encourage people walk around wearing this reminder to everyone that if you make a mistake on the Internet, that mistake is permanent. The Internet may seem like a great place to share things, but be careful you don't share something you'll later regret.

Friday, February 9, 2018

That doesn't roll off the tongue quite as nicely

from here

If only there was a way to describe what is normally called identity theft that was both catchy AND accurate.