Archive for the ‘Security’ Category
Tuesday, March 26th, 2013
Lawyers for the Obama administration will argue next week that US authorities are not required to obtain a search warrant before attaching a GPS device to an individual’s car in order to keep tabs on them.
The case, set to be heard on Tuesday by the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, comes over a year after a US Supreme Court decision failed to convince the Department of Justice that warrantless GPS tracking is an infringement on Americans’ Constitutional rights.
“This case is the government’s primary hope that it does not need a judge’s approval to attach a GPS device to a car,” Catherine Crump, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) told Wired magazine.
In January 2012 the Supreme Court overruled an Obama administration assertion that police should be permitted to affix a GPS device to a personal vehicle without a search warrant. Questions were left, however, when the Court declined to answer whether that type of search was unreasonable and when justices could not reach a consensus on how police would need to monitor a suspect before requesting a warrant.
“We hold that the government’s installation of a GPS device on a target’s vehicle, and its use of that device to monitor the vehicle’s movement, constitutes a ‘search,’” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the five-justice majority last January. (more…)
Thursday, March 14th, 2013
OKLAHOMA CITY–Homeowners and business owners often use surveillance cameras as a measure of security.
Now, one advocacy group says they should be used in our state’s nursing homes as well.
Wes Bledsoe is the founder of A Perfect Cause, an organization dedicated to ending abuse in nursing homes.
Bledsoe said, “Residents when they’re in these facilities, right now we don’t know what’s happening to them. And we have residents that we know are being abused by staff.”
He says families have a right to know what goes on behind the walls of these facilities.
He said, “Well this is Senate Bill 587 and we refer to it as the Protect Our Loved Ones Act, or POLO Act.”
SB587 would require nursing homes to provide surveillance cameras in the residents’ rooms if families want it.
Bledsoe said, “It would provide video monitoring, video only, in the common areas as well as the residents’ rooms. It would also provide audio monitoring, which is recommended by the silver-haired legislature, audio monitoring in the bathrooms and bathing areas.” (more…)
Tuesday, March 12th, 2013
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Cyber attacks and cyber espionage have supplanted terrorism as the top threats to the United States in an annual “worldwide threat” assessment released on Tuesday by theU.S. intelligence community.
However, in testimony prepared for a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, played down the likelihood of catastrophic attacks on the United States by either cyber attackers or foreign or domestic militants in the immediate future.
In what has become an annual ritual, Clapper presented to the Senate panel a 34-page paper that ran through a wide variety of threats covered by U.S. intelligence agencies.
These included high-profile issues such as North Korea’s belligerence and the proliferation of nuclear weapons, as well as regional and economic issues like continuing instability in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings. Also covered was a potential transition in Cuba and what is predicted to be China’s continuing domination of the world’s supply of rare earth elements.
On two of the most volatile global crisis points, the U.S. spy agencies’ assessment was restrained.
While Iran is improving its expertise in technologies, including uranium enrichment and ballistic missiles, that could be used in a nuclear weapons program, the intelligence community does not believe Iran’s leadership has decided to build a nuclear weapon and does not know if or when it might do so.
This assessment is consistent with a controversial 2007 finding, known as a National Intelligence Estimate, which declared Tehran had “halted its nuclear weapons program” in autumn 2003 and had not restarted it as of mid-2007, although it was keeping open the option of building nuclear weapons. (more…)
Thursday, March 7th, 2013
Police in North Carolina say suspected burglar who returned to a retired widow’s home to apologize for robbing her found himself staring down the barrel of her gun.
WCRBTV.com reports that Nathaniel Leatherwood, 26, of Georgia, allegedly stole a shotgun, cell phone and medication from Sue Johnson’s Cherokee County home.
When Leatherwood returned to apologize for the alleged burglary, Johnson had no intention of letting him get away, according to the station.
“So I just pulled my gun out of my pocket and said I’m calling the sheriff’s office,” Johnson tells the station. “They’re going to come pick you up. I’m not going to let this happen to an old, retired lady who lives alone.”
Sheriff Keith Lovin, who had recently taught a gun course at Johnson’s church, arrived on the scene and arrested Leatherwood, according to the report. He says he was relieved Johnson wasn’t harmed.
“A medical emergency or whether it’s a fire, whether it’s an intruder, whether it’s a natural disaster, I think sometimes citizens sometimes get complacent,” Lovin tells WCRBTV.com.
Read more: foxnews
Monday, February 11th, 2013
Researchers at Universidad Carlos III of Madrid (UC3M) and the firms Abertis and Solusoft have developed an intelligent system that analyzes video surveillance camera images in real time, detects anomalous situations and alerts the nearest security agents in urgent situations, such as the presence of a vehicle moving in the wrong direction.
This platform, which combines artificial vision technology with geolocalization and ITC is part of DONDE, an R+D+i project that studies and validates mobility, localization and video processing technologies in order to offer new services to the public. Specifically, this system can be applied in the area of public and road safety, as the researchers explain. “It can automatically detect the presence of a driver moving in the wrong direction, recognize a danger, identify its position, indicate which security agent can handle the situation the fastest, and alert nearby drivers,” declares Professor Antonio Berlanga, of UC3M’s Grupo de Inteligencia Artificial Aplicada (GIAA- Applied Artificial Intelligence Group). In the area of emergency management, this system can accelerate decisions and shorten response time.
The main advantage of this platform is that it makes it possible to know exactly what is occurring and where it is occurring. The researchers add that it does not require an expensive, complex, new infrastructure to be built, because most cities already have surveillance cameras and other types of sensors that can be integrated into the system. “Furthermore, we include citizens in the concept of 360 degrees, because users do not just receive information, but they can generate it as well, using their smartphones,” points out the Solusoft’s Director of R+D+i, Sergio Alcalde. For example, with the implementation of this platform, a person who notices a dangerous situation caused by a specific object (a sewer without a grate, a cornice that may fall off, etc.) can photograph that object and situate it using a mobile phone’s GPS, and then send the photo to the corresponding maintenance services so that they can intervene as soon as possible. (more…)
Tuesday, November 6th, 2012
CHICAGO (AP) — A Utah-based company has agreed to pay $1 million to settle allegations that it hired convicted felons to sell security systems door to door in Illinois.
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced the settlement Wednesday with Pinnacle Security of Orem, Utah. It’s the largest fine the department has issued against a security company.
The company admitted no wrongdoing in the agreement. State regulators alleged Pinnacle knowingly used deceptive practices and hire unlicensed sales people.
Investigators found that 700 of Pinnacle’s 1,100 employees were not licensed by the state as required. Some had been charged with or convicted of felonies, including larceny, robbery, theft and conspiracy to commit burglary.
The company agreed to stop sales and advertising in Illinois for two years.
Read Original Story Here: www.sfgate.com
Wednesday, July 25th, 2012
Between jewelry, passports, laptops, and even tablets, a lot of us carry some very expensive things when we travel. And we expect the hotel we’re staying at to do all they reasonably can to keep us and our belongings safe. But according to a Forbes report, hotel doors with keycard entry offer virtually no security at all — they can be easily hacked with as little as $50 worth of equipment.
According to 24-year old security expert Cody Brocious, if your hotel room door’s keycard lock has a DC power port, it can be broken in to with inexpensive software and other hacking tools. And to prove it, Brocious has created a device capable of breaking into as many as 5,000,000 hotel rooms worldwide. The device works by spoofing the all-access cards used by hotel staff. According to Brocious, while every locked hotel room door requires its own access code to open, that access code is programmed into the door itself. The hacking tool can read the code, and then use it moments later to unlock the door.
Brocious will talk more about his hacking tool (and, more broadly, hotel room security) at the Black Hat USA security conference on July 24
Read original story here: yahoo.com
Wednesday, July 25th, 2012
PITTSBURGH (AP) — High-tech security? Forget those irksome digital eye scans. Meet the biometric shoe.
A new lab is working to perfect special shoe insoles that can help monitor access to high-security areas, like nuclear power plants or special military bases.
The concept is based on research that shows each person has unique feet, and ways of walking. Sensors in the bio-soles check the pressure of feet, monitor gait, and use a microcomputer to compare the patterns to a master file for that person. If the patterns match the bio-soles go to sleep. If they don’t, a wireless alarm message can go out.
“It’s part of a shoe that you don’t have to think about,” said Marios Savvides, head of Carnegie Mellon University’s new Pedo-Biometrics Lab, in Pittsburgh.
The lab, which has $1.5 million in startup funding, is a partnership with Autonomous ID, a Canadian company that is relocating to several U.S. cities. Todd Gray, the company president, said he saw the potential when his daughter was in a maternity ward decorated with representations of different baby feet all along a wall.
Autonomous ID has been working on prototypes since 2009, with the goal of making a relatively low cost ID system. Gray said they’ve already run tests on sample bio-soles, which are no thicker than a common foot pad sold in pharmacies, and achieved an accuracy rate of more than 99 percent. He said Carnegie Mellon will broaden the tests to include “a full spectrum of society: big, tall, thin, heavy, athletic, multicultural, on a diet, twins and so on.”
Gray wouldn’t speculate on what the system will cost or when it might reach the marketplace, but each worker at a site would have his or her own pair of bio-soles.
“Within the third step, it knows it’s you, and it goes back to sleep,” he said. “If I put on yours, it would know almost instantly that I’m not you.”
The idea may seem far-fetched, but scientists have known for centuries that individuals have unique ways of walking, and in recent years the U.S. Department of Defense has been funding millions of dollars of gait research, as has the Chinese government.
The Institute of Intelligent Machines is doing extensive research into gait biometrics, including reports of systems where a floor monitors footsteps without people’s knowledge.
One expert who is not connected with the CMU lab said the biometric sole seems promising.
“I must admit I find this news very exciting,” said John DiMaggio, an Oregon podiatrist who has worked with law enforcement to use foot information in forensic investigations. While it is too early to fully judge the CMU research plan, DiMaggio said using feet as a biometric identification source makes sense.
While researchers have noted that gait can vary with injuries, fatigue and other factors, Savvides said the bio-soles can detect signs of those things, too.
The bio-soles might also have medical uses. Several papers presented this month at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Vancouver suggest changes in how elderly people walk — such as a slowing pace or variable stride — can provide early warnings of dementia.
Gray said the technology is less invasive of privacy than eye scans and other biometrics, in part because the individual data stays inside the bio-soles. (more…)
Friday, June 8th, 2012
Social network LinkedIn confirmed a security breach Wednesday that resulted in the loss of encrypted passwords and could allow criminals to break into subscribers’ accounts.
Norway-based tech blog Dagens IT reported earlier in the day that hacked passwords were first posted to a Russian hackers forum. Two security firms, Sophos and Rapid7, said they were able to confirm the breach by searching for the known passwords of colleagues within the massive file they say has been spreading through other hacker forums.
Vicente Silveira a director at Linkedin confirmed in a blog post on the site “that some of the passwords that were compromised correspond to LinkedIn accounts.” The company said effected members would have their passwords deactivated and would receive instructions by email on how to reset.
Silveira added that LinkedIn has “just recently” put in place security measures that would prevent hackers from easily guessing passwords.
LinkedIn didn’t specify how many passwords were compromised. Dagens IT reported 6.5 million passwords, which would represent about 4% of LinkedIn’s 150 million users.
Other hackers have managed to de-encrypt and post passwords online, said Graham Cluley, a security consultant at Sophos. Mr. Cluley said there is so far no evidence that the passwords have been linked to user email addresses.
Read Original Story Here: blog