US intelligence community to begin social networking site

By Mark O’Neill Contributing Writer, [GAS] They won’t be able to poke one another or post photos of their drunken one night stands.  Or install widgets that plays games or sends virtual Winnie The Poohs.  But the US Intelligence community’s “A-Space”, the ‘Facebook and YouTube for Spies’ which is about to begin, will be hopefully […]

British bank changes “pants” password

By Mark O’Neill Contributing Writer, [GAS] Here’s some food for thought if you think your online banking password is securely hidden from curious eyes at the bank. A British banking customer, Steve Jetley, phoned up his bank (Lloyds TSB Bank) and discovered that his password “Lloyds is pants” had been changed to “no it’s not” […]

Comcast Planning to Dump Bandwidth Hogs

By PatB Contributing Writer, [GAS] After a stinging rebuke from the FCC over Comcast’s efforts in bandwidth shaping to preserve bandwidth for all their customers, Comcast is planning to retreat behind a stingy Acceptable Usage Policy. Instead of shaping bandwidth, they are just going to give the finger and pull the plug on P2P users. […]

Perspectives extension for Firefox gives second opinion on security

The ubiquity of secure online transactions often makes us take them for granted.  Most people will happily type their credit card and other personal information into a web form and hit Submit, as long as they see that little padlock in the status bar.  Sometimes they don’t even check for that. Have you ever had your […]

DefCon Presentation on Subway Hacking Exposes Critical Weaknesses

By PatB Contributing Writer, [GAS] A gag order prevented three MIT students from presenting their findings to a Defcon audience on a penetration test at Boston’s Subway system. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority filed a lawsuit to stop the speech and a U.S. District Court granted the temporary injunction, which kept the vulnerabilities in the […]

8300 Scottish schoolchildren to be biometrically fingerprinted

By Mark O’Neill
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

A political row is erupting in Scotland after it emerged that 8,300 Scottish schoolchildren are to be biometrically fingerprinted at a cost of 20,000 pounds ($37,300) per school per year. As well as the staggering cost, angry parents are also voicing their opposition to the Big Brother privacy intrusions into their children’s lives.

It’s all part of a pilot scheme which is being tested at eight secondary schools (high schools) at East Dunbartonshire. Supporters of the scheme are citing the advantages of the fingerprinting database including class attendance monitoring, better monitoring of library book borrowing and the buying of school meals (and the end of stigma for those who receive free meals).

Electronic Passports Hacked Within Minutes, Engineer Says

By JR Raphael Contributing Writer, [GAS] They’re billed as an international security solution, but the high-tech electronic passports developed after 9/11 may be easier to forge than their ink-and-paper counterparts. The passports, issued by the U.S. and 44 other countries, feature embedded microchips that contain the owner’s data. They were designed to boost protection against […]

Defcon 16 Cometh: Hide Your Servers

By Jimmy Rogers Contributing Writer, [GAS] If you happen to find yourself in Las Vegas this weekend, make sure your wireless networks are protected and your firewall is engaged. It won’t really help you, but at least you’ll feel safer. Why the precautions? What could be going down in the desert to make your laptop […]

Electronic Nose May Replace Police Dogs

By JR Raphael Contributing Writer, [GAS] The days of the police dog’s career may be numbered. Scientists are working on a new breed of electronic noses that could replace the canine cadets, CNN reports. The high-tech sniffers would be able to find even the smallest amounts of explosive substances in places like airports and could […]

Followup: San Fran Network Guru Coughs Up Key for Mayor

Last week I wrote about Terry Childs, the jailed network administrator for the City of San Francisco who, if the press is to be believed, went nutty, changed the admin passwords, and then locked everyone out of administration of city systems.  It was the cyber equivalent of swallowing the key. In a twist to this […]

Microsoft, Cisco, Conspire with Homeland Security to Keep Internet Running?

By PatB Contributing Writer, [GAS] US-CERT, the organization absorbed into the United States Department of Homeland Security in 2004, is keeping the Internet secure by coordinating the efforts of industry leaders and keeping those efforts top-secret. Yesterday, the biggest companies on the Internet, including Cisco, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems, came to a decision on security […]

Google Must Divulge Video Viewing Habits Of Every YouTube User, Says US Court

This is potentially huge. Viacom, which owns MTV and Paramount Pictures, has been involved in a legal battle with YouTube (and now Google) over what Viacom alleges is massive copyright infringement of their property. Viacom claims to have identified 160,000 unauthorised clips of its programmes. Now, a US court has told Google that it must […]