Friday, March 30, 2018

If only all privacy invasions could be so delicious

from here

I suppose a close second might be giving up your passwords for candy bars.

What are you hiding in these?

found on ICT4Kids

Thank goodness for the authorities or who knows what dangerous items the Easter Bunny might sneak into our homes.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The blockchain is forever

from here

Monero isn't the first cryptocurrency to wind up being not as private as people thought and it won't be the last. Everything humans make has flaws, including the privacy/anonymity protections in cryptocurrencies.

And that immutable blockchain that everyone loves so much will preserve the imperfectly protected transactions forever, exposing them not just to today's vulnerabilities but also tomorrow's, next week's, next month's, next year's, etc.

Watch out for radical feline extremism

found on Funny Junk

I hope they don't find out about the concealed weapons in Mr. Whiskers' paws.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Maybe it'll be end-to-end-to-end encrypted (Microsoft-in-the-middle)

from here

In January everyone was singing Microsoft's praises for their promise to incorporate the Signal protocol into Skype. I'm pretty sure that praise is about to come to an abrupt end if they're banning bad words. Microsoft can't do both. They can't have their cake and eat it too.

Taking a page out of the movies

found on The Art Of Trolling

I don't know how many times I've seen a surveillance countermeasure in a movie that involved feeding false data to the camera, but usually it's a little more sophisticated than this.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Don't shit where you eat applies to more than just office romance

from here

Congratulations to the Spanish National Police for catching someone who clearly had more online smarts than offline smarts.

On the flip side though, it's a bit of a downer. I mean, you could try restricting your crimes to shit-hole countries where you're unlikely to want to vacation but my guess is you won't make nearly as much money for the same criminal effort.

Also when it's not on

found on Know Your Meme

Is it really still paranoia when all sorts of people really are getting watched that way (by crooks, and schools, and the FBI)?

Monday, March 26, 2018

Time to check those app permissions

from here (image source one and two)

Sometimes it seems like Facebook is a little bit too much like the US government, gathering all your call data.

Sometimes machines are better than people

found on The Art Of Trolling

There are all sorts of creative CAPTCHAs out there but this one seems to be asking humans to do something they frequently rely on machines to do for them.

Friday, March 23, 2018

The filthiest of lucres

from here

I imagine this cryptocurrency-for-watching-porn system is going to be a bit like those javascript-based bitcoin miners that some sites are starting to use instead of ads. I wonder if people will be more open to those miners in this particular context than they are for the open web in general.

Have you ever gotten so much spam...

found on CommuniCrossings

Have you ever gotten so much spam that your computer became little more than a can full of spam?

If you don't take steps to control the amount of spam you get (by filtering, reporting, etc) then eventually that is what will happen to your computer. Some people are already abandoning email because the spam outnumbers their legitimate messages by such a large margin that email isn't even worth trying to salvage. I can imagine some people doing that with entire computers, especially since some people already do that in the case of malware.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

So much for being sneaky

from here

I take it as a given that governmental malware vendors would prefer the public not know what they're up to. Otherwise they make themselves a target for increased scrutiny and all sorts of retaliation. One wonders, then, why anyone in that field would hire from the pool of past Hacking Team employees.

Mr. Puzzle: A Padlock with 3 Keys but no Keyholes

Watch on YouTube

This is a rather neat device. Hard to pick and given the size of that shackle it might take longer than a normal lock to cut through with an angle grinder.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The problem with #DeleteFacebook

from here

I don't think I'm giving anyone any new ideas here. Squatting on established names/pseudonyms/etc. is a thing that's been going on for many years, but a movement to abandon Facebook is going to open up a lot of opportunities for fraud all at once.

I get that people are fed up with Facebook, but it's not the size of their user database that makes them money, it's users who are actually actively using the service. If you want to deny them the ability to use your data, there isn't much you can do about the data you've already given them but you can certainly stop giving them anything new by simply not using the service anymore or if you like by disabling (rather than deleting) your account.

I can't reveal all my secrets, but...

found on Quick Meme

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Not sure which is worse

from here

People want to call it a data breach but Facebook is willing to sue to stop it from being reported that way? I mean, do they realize what the alternative is? Maybe it would be better to say someone stole the data than to admit that you gave away far too much data to far too many people and may potentially be in violation of rules set forth by the Federal Trade Commission as a result.

A criminal mastermind is born

found on Funny Junk

I think this actually asks some interesting questions. There's an argument to be made here that the birds are the actual criminals and he's just providing them with good in exchange for money. It's just that we have a tough time imagining animals (especially birds) having any kind of agency so we think we must be to blame for the things they do.

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.