Biometric security is often focused on the more boring anatomical parts, like the pads of the fingers (ehhh) or the eyes (who cares). So little attention has been paid to the security possibilities of the butt. Well, not anymore: researchers at the Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology in Tokyo have come up with a car seat that measures the precise contours and pressures left by your posterior.
By Sarah Fecht
Posted 11.11.2011 at 12:08 pm 2 Comments
As telephone landlines become obsolete, so do the hardwired security systems that rely on them. Cellular modems and Wi-Fi receivers are now so affordable that manufacturers can install them in security devices for a nominal cost. Meanwhile, the proliferation of smartphones means that more people have the ability to receive texts, e-mails and live video from a home monitor.
In an international cyber sting that is being called the biggest cyber criminal takedown in history, the FBI has arrested six Estonians accused of running a botnet that controlled more than 4 million computers in 100 countries (keep in mind there are only about 200 countries in the world). But as nefarious and far-reaching as that sounds, the scheme itself brings the story to something of an anti-climax.
Roll call is going high-tech in Washington County, Fla. Rather than the usual name calling and response, students are now checking into class with finger scanning devices. And to keep better track of students from the minute they come under district supervision until they are delivered safely home again, the scanners are now moving from the school building to the school bus.
Hunting the world's most wanted man for school credit
By Paul Kvinta and Madhumita Venkataramana
Posted 09.04.2011 at 2:58 pm 0 Comments
In 2008, students in Tom Gillespie’s geography class at the University of California at Los Angeles were floating ideas for class projects. One student wanted to calculate changes in the size of refugee camps in Sudan. Another figured he could gauge the effectiveness of the military surge in Iraq by looking at aerial images of Baghdad at night. To execute these projects, the students planned to employ the methodologies and systems Gillespie had been teaching them about, primarily geographic information systems (GIS), remote-sensing and GPS.
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.
Last time we looked at the UK’s teeming video surveillance technology sector we were writing about facial recognition software that Scotland Yard was trialling during the recent London riots. But facial recognition is both fraught with privacy concerns and difficult to make reliable.
According to Jaunted, the TSA has begun rolling out a new style of body scanner to select airports that will hopefully have the effect of maintaining security while reducing the "random TSA agents in some dark room are seeing me naked" problem the current scanners struggle with.
With London streets ablaze amid a rash of rioting last week, law enforcement turned to the social nature of the Internet and the images posted to photo sharing sites to try and identify people photographed committing crimes. But even given the instantaneous sharing power of the Web, London cops could only hope to catch perpetrators well after the fact.
Police in London likely aren’t relishing their jobs this week, but Scotland Yard is getting a chance to test drive facial recognition technology that’s under consideration for use during the 2012 Olympic Games. The AP has learned that police there are feeding images into the newly upgraded program, and the results are somewhat promising.
It’s a good rule of thumb that you shouldn’t post anything to the Internet that you don’t want your significant other/priest/grandmother/boss/parole officer to see. You can add the New York City Police Department to that list. The NYPD has established a new unit to track crimes--both past offenses and upcoming trouble--via social media.
By Andrew Rosenblum
Posted 08.08.2011 at 10:24 am 9 Comments
In January, at the newly opened $4-billion Cosmopolitan casino in Las Vegas, a gang called the Cutters cheated at baccarat. Before play began, the dealer offered one member of the group a stack of eight decks of cards for a pre-game cut. The player probably rubbed the stack for good luck, at the same instant riffling some of the corners of the cards underneath with his index finger. A small camera, hidden under his forearm, recorded the order.
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.
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.