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Archive for the ‘privacy’ category

Sep 11, 2019

Silicon Valley’s final frontier for mobile payments — ‘the neoliberal takeover of the human body’

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, finance, mobile phones, privacy

Biometric mobile wallets — payment technologies using our faces, fingerprints or retinas — already exist. Notable technology companies including Apple AAPL, +2.62% and Amazon AMZN, +0.26% await a day when a critical mass of consumers is sufficiently comfortable walking into a store and paying for goods without a card or device, according to Sinnreich, author of “The Essential Guide to Intellectual Property.”

Removing the last physical barrier — smartphones, watches, smart glasses and credit cards — between our bodies and corporate America is the final frontier in mobile payments. “The deeper the tie between the human body and the financial networks, the fewer intimate spaces will be left unconnected to those networks,” Sinnreich said.

Sep 6, 2019

Can Bitcoin Transactions be Made Private?

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, privacy

The blockchain is public, yet a Bitcoin wallet can be created anonymously. So are Bitcoin transactions anonymous? Not at all…

Each transaction into and out of a wallet is a bread crumb. Following the trail is trivial. Every day, an army of armchair sleuths help the FBI. That’s how Silk Road was brought down.

The problem is that some of that money eventually interacts with the real world (a dentist is paid, a package shipped or a candy is purchased at a gas station). Even if the real-world transaction is 4 hops before or after hitting the “anonymous” wallet, it creates a forensic focal point. Next comes a tax man, an ex-spouse or a goon.

The first article linked below addresses the state of tumblers (aka “mixers”). They anonymize an open network by obfuscating the trail of bread crumbs.

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Aug 9, 2019

NSA’s reverse-engineering malware tool, Ghidra, to get new features to save time, boost accuracy

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, engineering, privacy, robotics/AI

Just five months ago at the RSA conference, the NSA released Ghidra, a piece of open source software for reverse-engineering malware. It was an unusual move for the spy agency, and it’s sticking to its plan for regular updates — including some based on requests from the public.

In the coming months, Ghidra will get support for Android binaries, according to Brian Knighton, a senior researcher for the NSA, and Chris Delikat, a cyber team lead in its Research Directorate, who previewed details of the upcoming release with CyberScoop. Knighton and Delikat are discussing their plans at a session of the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas Thursday.

Before the Android support arrives, a version 9.1 will include new features intended to save time for users and boost accuracy in reverse-engineering malware — enhancements that will come from features such as processor modules, new support for system calls and the ability to conduct additional editing, known as sleigh editing, in the Eclipse development environment.

Aug 3, 2019

How to Hack a Face: From Facial Recognition to Facial Recreation

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, information science, mobile phones, privacy, robotics/AI, surveillance

Given that going viral on the Internet is often cyclical, it should come as no surprise that an app that made its debut in 2017 has once again surged in popularity. FaceApp applies various transformations to the image of any face, but the option that ages facial features has been especially popular. However, the fun has been accompanied by controversy; since biometric systems are replacing access passwords, is it wise to freely offer up our image and our personal data? The truth is that today the face is ceasing to be as non-transferable as it used to be, and in just a few years it could be more hackable than the password of a lifetime.

Our countenance is the most recognisable key to social relationships. We might have doubts when hearing a voice on the phone, but never when looking at the face of a familiar person. In the 1960s, a handful of pioneering researchers began training computers to recognise human faces, although it was not until the 1990s that this technology really began to take off. Facial recognition algorithms have improved to such an extent that since 1993 their error rate has been halved every two years. When it comes to recognising unfamiliar faces in laboratory experiments, today’s systems outperform human capabilities.

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Aug 2, 2019

NSA Whistleblower — Karen Melton-Stewart

Posted by in categories: government, privacy

The government would never target innocent citizens much less whistleblowers, journalists or activists who are “inconvenient”, right? No history of heinous wrong-doing — right?

Jul 18, 2019

Google and Facebook Are Quietly Tracking You on Sex Websites

Posted by in categories: privacy, sex

A new study scanned 22,484 pornography sites and found them riddled with trackers from major technology companies.

Jul 15, 2019

Human bioacoustic biology: Acoustically anomalous vocal patterns used to detect biometric expressions relating to structural integrity and states of health

Posted by in categories: biological, health, privacy

Computerized analyses of acoustically anomalous vocal patterns are being used as biomarkers for predictive, prediagnostic, and efficient management of individual biological form and function. To da…

Jul 14, 2019

Can I Check Web Sites Visited by my Kids/Staff?

Posted by in categories: computing, internet, policy, privacy, security, software, surveillance

Early this morning, I was asked this question at Quora. It’s a pretty basic request of network administrators, including parents, schools and anyone who administers a public, sensitive or legally exposed WiFi hot spot.

Is there a quick and easy way to view, log, or otherwise monitor the web sites visited by people on your home or office network?

Yes. It’s free and and it is pretty easy to do.

It gets a bit trickier, if the individual on your network is using a VPN service that they have configured on their device.[1] A VPN does not stop you from logging their browsing, but all of their activity will point to the VPN address instead of the site that they are actually visiting. In that case, there is another way to monitor their activity. See note #1, below.

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Jul 13, 2019

These LED smart lights are tracking your moves

Posted by in categories: privacy, security, transportation

While more people and places are switching to energy-saving LED light bulbs, a California company has found a way to turn them into smart networks that can collect and feed data. However, the new technological opportunities are also raising privacy concerns, reports CBS News’ Bill Whitaker.

For example, should you find yourself in terminal “B” at Newark airport, look up. Those aren’t just new lights. They’re smart lights — a sophisticated array of LED fixtures with built-in sensors and cameras connected over a wireless network. They monitor security and the flow of foot traffic.

“Newark’s primarily interested in energy saving,” said Hugh Martin, president of Sensity, the Silicon Valley company that developed the smart lights at Newark and also a parking garage in San Jose.

Jul 1, 2019

Novel sensor enables remote biometric-data acquisition

Posted by in categories: privacy, security

Biometrics is defined as the measurement of life signs. One of the main aims of current security research is to acquire biometric data of sufficient detail and reliability for verification or identification of individuals.


A newly developed electric-field sensing technology with unprecedented sensitivity and noise immunity can passively acquire physiological signals in an electrically noisy environment.

Robert Prance

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