Friday, February 28, 2020

Blockchain is not the answer

from here and here (image source)

It's something that comes up again and again in all sorts of areas. People who are trying to solve a problem think "I know, I'll use the blockchain" and then they have a bunch of problems. It seems even Ron Rivest agrees (at least in the context of voting) that blockchain is not the answer.

Privacy on social media

found on Imgur

People have a weird expectation of privacy on social media. It's almost like they think privacy is magic and you have to make a conscious effort to invade someone's privacy when they're broadcasting their thoughts and feelings for all to see.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Live by the privacy violation, die by the privacy violation

from here

It seems to me that if you go around collecting people's data without their consent, you may have it coming when someone collects your data without your consent.

Edmonton Police Service Porch Pirate Sting

Watch on YouTube

This demonstrates that something can in fact be done about those pernicious package thieves, but look at how many police resources it takes to deal with a single porch pirate. Are there enough police to deal with the scale of that problem in this way?

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

$50,000,000 per lead

from here

I'm pretty sure if you show Trump the cost benefit analysis of $100 million for 2 leads he'd kill that program in a heartbeat. He may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he knows the value of not paying for things.

Don't you hate getting ghosted?

found on Memebase

This woman isn't actually eating alone, but I can imagine she might wish she was. The irony of this camouflage fail is that you wish you couldn't see it.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

You're gonna need more hands

from here and here (image source)

It's an effective technique if you don't have much to hold on to, but it doesn't scale that well without the aid of locks and safes to serve as substitute hands.

Shirts that mess with automatic license plate readers

Product Page
Product Page

I'm sure you've see a variety of shirts and hats and make-up styles that mess facial recognition surveillance, but what about license plate readers? Well, now you can mess with those too. Turns out there are also hoodies and even a skirt (which you don't often see)

Monday, February 24, 2020

I guess it's not Barbie's anymore

from here and here (image source)

I don't think security factored into any of those Barbie playsets, so perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise that someone is driving off with someone else's very Barbie-esque scooter in their trunk.

Blending in like a boss

found on Imgur

I mean, if you're trying to blend into the background and you're in space, you kinda need to look like space. It's certainly better than some of the camo I've seen.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Gonna get burned by IoT (in)security

from here (image source)

Remotely ignitable candles are sure to be a big hit with arsonists and insurance fraudsters, but they just seems to dangerous to allow into one's own home.


found on Imgflip

If you're going to arm school staff (questionable as that may seem), surely the school library needs protection too.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Prepare for trouble and make it double

from here and here

I wonder how the people who make Pokemon feel about ransomware named EKANS. I imagine they're as happy as the folks at Hormel were when spam was used as the name for unwanted email - in other words NOT AT ALL happy.

How To Make a Private Computer Screen

Watch on YouTube

In case the laptop privacy sweater is a little too uncomfortable for you when protecting your computing privacy in public, here's another (somewhat destructive) option. I think this is a pretty cool idea so long it doesn't become mainstream - then everyone will have the polarizing glasses and your privacy is gone again. It might also raise some awkward questions when you're going through airport security and they order you to power on your laptop to prove it works.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Freedom of speaking other people's secrets

from here

It takes a special sort of ISP to argue they have the constitutional right to market and sell other people's data without their explicit, informed consent.

Remembering is not the way

found on Imgur

No one can remember strong unique passwords (or passphrases) for every site they use. Use a password manager. It's an elegant tool for a more civilized age.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

No signal, no go

from here

Thanks to Kari Paul for sharing her experience with an Internet-Of-Shit-mobile. Apparently this isn't the only time this has happened. Thankfully these weren't cases where a person was in imminent danger, but those circumstances do exist and it would be horrifying if this vulnerability were exploited to make matters worse.

Faraday Sleeves For Phones

Product Page

Now, I have it on good authority that a proper Faraday cage needs to be grounded for optimal performance, and a sleeve like this obviously isn't grounded, but that doesn't mean that it won't block signals to/from your phone well enough to increase your privacy. It depends on a variety of things so your mileage may vary, but it's certainly an interesting option to keep in mind if you're trying to find a balance between the convenience of having a cell phone and the privacy of not being tracked or listened to surreptitiously.

Monday, February 17, 2020

What could possibly go wrong?

from here (image source)

People are notoriously bad at judging how risky something is, but some people take things even further. Don't follow that link, don't open that attachment, don't put your head there.

How not to make friends down at the station

found on Izismile

It amazes me that people not only think it's a good idea to do things that are illegal but to also do so while wearing a target on their back.

Friday, February 14, 2020

You want my log-in?

from here

Happy Valentines Day and don't give out your password.

Threat modeling fail

found on Reddit

Apple seems to have had thieves in mind when they designed this security feature, but not babies. I wonder which one is more common.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Throwback Thursday for scammers

from here

Some attackers are highly creative geniuses. And then there's the other guys. Reusing a scam from years ago is not exactly an original thought, and I can't help but wonder what took them so long? Even unoriginal scammers could have simply jumped on the bandwagon back when this was new.

Anonymous Hackers: Mr.Peter's Cyber Bullies

Watch on YouTube

This is a parody (I hope) of the kind of videos released by Anonymous. I think Mr. Peter could be a good hacker, though. He could specialize in cross-eyed scripting.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Who wants a refund?

from here and here

It's one thing to spy on allies and adversaries alike, but it's something else entirely to turn a profit while doing so.

Are you feline lucky, punk?

found on Funny Junk

That is one angry looking cat. I think I'll steer well clear of that one.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Who needs the news when you can read privacy policies?

from here

577 companies is a ludicrous number of companies to share data with, and basically impossible for end users to manage. It's basically DDoSing their ability to formulate informed consent. Did the framers of the GDPR consider their goals could be subverted through brute force?

Camera Lens Mug

Product Page

Want to smuggle a beverage into a venue? Apparently all you have to do is pretend to be a photographer and get one of these. I wonder if you could also use it to smuggle liquid onto a plane?

Monday, February 10, 2020

Stop giving mixed messages

from here

One or the other, not both. Either hiding things is OK or we shouldn't hide anything.

Beware Of Chuck's Dog

found on I Can Has Cheezburger Animals

Hey, if cats can chase bears, why not wiener dogs chasing rhinos? Clearly some big animals have difficulty gauging the threats they're facing. Not unlike some people, but at least the animals err on the side of caution.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Your face palm is your password

from here and here (image source)

Let's see tech start-ups scrape that into their biometric databases.

How can you hate the colonel?

found on Funny Junk

Being drugged by a restaurant owner probably isn't part of your threat model, and the argument could be made that it shouldn't be. No matter what your threat model is there will always be something that isn't covered. You can't account for every crazy stunt someone somewhere pulls.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Stay healthy, stay private

from here and here (image source)

It appears that there's a tiny bit of silver lining being discovered as a result of mandated face masks in China. That's something to learn from for sure.

All My Passwords Are Protected By Amnesia button

Product Page

I laughed out loud when I saw this. It's very clever and speaks well to the need to use assistive technologies like password managers.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Probably not cruelty-free

from here and here (image source)

I like to imagine this would have worked against the guys in Home Alone, but maybe not so much against real burglars.

No glove, no gate love

found on Memedroid

It must be those latex gloves that make it OK to touch people like that. It makes screeners part doctor (and the uniform makes them part cop)

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

I think I see some holes in his plan

from here and here (image source)

I understand why people might want to cosplay as Bubble Boy, but there are holes for your hands to go through and the zipper isn't completely shut, and even if it was, it's not designed to keep out microscopic pathogens. Still, a little protection may be better than no protection at all (at least as long as you realize the limitations and aren't lulled into a false sense of security). Maybe this will reduce his chances of coming down with something.

Never underestimate your adversary

Watch on YouTube

From time to time I think we all need a little reminder that our adversaries (even the 4 legged variety) may be smarter or more talented (or stronger) than we give them credit for. Underestimate them and you can expect an unwelcome surprise

Monday, February 3, 2020

Fourth time's the charm

from here (image source)

Locking your car like you would your gate doesn't seem like it would be very effective, and it looks like the holes bear that out.

Just because it's out in the open doesn't mean it's going to be easy

found on Know Your Meme

First off, you definitely want to change the WiFi password from the default, and while it certainly is convenient to have it attached to the router, there are still ways you could make it difficult for someone to read it without your help. Of course, for some people, their own handwriting is security enough.