There’s more to iris scans than meets the eye, and that could end up being their undoing. New academic research coming out at the Black Hat Security conference this week shows a way to recreate iris images from the digital codes underlying iris-scanning security protocols--images that are so good that they can trick commercial-grade iris-scanning security devices into thinking they’re the real thing.
At a hacker conference in New York on Friday, a German security consultant demonstrated just how "disruptive" 3-D printing can really be. Using a 3-D printer, the hacker/consultant printed out various plastic copies of handcuff keys for bracelets manufactured by both English and German security firms. Then he used them to easily pop open both sets of cuffs.
Fox News revealed this morning the identity of the man who's been assisting the FBI in their takedown of LulzSec, a hacker group loosely associated with Anonymous that's variously referred to as a group of "hacktivists," "pranksters," and "cyber terrorists," and is responsible for attacks against government agencies like the CIA and FBI in addition to corporations like Sony. According to Fox News, the FBI arrested one Hector Xavier Monsegur back in August. Monsegur has been helping the FBI track down and arrest other members of the group ever since--and he's been in a good position to do so, since he's is also known as Sabu, the original leader of LulzSec. More analysis over at Gizmodo.
This NASA hack story keeps getting worse and worse. We knew that NASA had been the target of a handful off attempted cyber attacks last year, but in testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology over the last week, we’re getting the details straight from Paul Martin, NASA’s inspector general. NASA was targeted 47 times last year and 13 of those hacks were successful, at various points handing hackers “full functional control” of critical NASA networks. At one point the agency even lost the keys to the International Space Station.
There’s more than one way to stick it to The Man. There’s civil disobedience, subversive propaganda, political art, outright violent revolt--each possessing its own degree of difficulty and consequence. In a decidedly 21st-century twist, team of German hackers bent on fighting the powers that be has chosen a rather ambitious means of taking the power back: building a hacker-owned and -operated space program, complete with a constellation of communications satellites beaming uncensored Internet to users on the ground.
Richard Perkins and Mike Tassey both worked in information technology in the U.S. Air Force before decamping to various cybersecurity consulting roles in and around the Department of Defense. But throughout their careers they’ve always considered themselves hackers at heart, which is why they spent the past two years developing the ultimate mobile hacking device: a drone aircraft that can discreetly break into Wi-Fi networks, emit jamming signals, and even pose as a cellphone tower to intercept communications from the ground.
Beijing officials are denying accusations the Chinese military interfered with two U.S. Earth-monitoring satellites, the wires are reporting today. On Friday, a draft report to Congress said at least two satellites were tampered with four or more times in 2007 and 2008, and that the breaches were consistent with Chinese military strategy.
The PIN digits you punch into an ATM’s keypad to authenticate your transactions are leaving traces of themselves behind in the form of heat, says a paper recently presented by a team of UC San Diego security researchers. Someone following immediately behind an ATM user can use a digital infrared camera to determine what keys were pushed with about 80 percent accuracy, their study shows. Even a full minute later the camera can pick up the correct digits about half the time.
When you don’t have an advanced flying spy drone, launching a wireless camera 500 feet into the air could be your best option. But most people, even in law enforcement, don’t have access to 40mm grenade launchers, the logical choice for such a task. How about using a flare gun instead?
A simple tool that can turn any iPhone into a credit card machine can also be a simple way for crooks to steal cash, hackers demonstrated this week. Square can eliminate the hassle of money laundering.
Instead of stealing credit card numbers, buying items and then selling those items for cash, Square can deposit money directly into a user’s account. Computer security experts from a firm called Aperture Labs described the process at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas.
The biggest hack ever discovered has been exposed by McAfee, and the breadth and depth would be impressive it wasn’t so disconcerting: five years, at least 72 different governments, NGOs, and other organizations (including the United Nations and the International Olympic Committee) and reams and reams of secret data. Of course, McAfee believes there is a single “state actor” behind the attacks, but the company has declined to name it.
By Lucas Pollock
Posted 07.30.2011 at 3:04 pm 0 Comments
When Jacob Appelbaum spoke at a workshop for Arab bloggers in Beirut in 2009, he knew his audience would pay special attention. The 26-year-old American programmer had spent the previous year in Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Tunisia and Hong Kong training communities and activists how to use an increasingly popular program called Tor to evade government attempts to track their movements online.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.