Personal Security and Privacy Warning

I’ve discussed this before but just in case here is another story about photos with GPS coordinates built in…

One other caution for you – if you have a GPS in your car and you have “Home” programmed into it you should change “Home” to something else like Daycare or somewhere no one would want to go like “the Dentist’s Office”. Why? Lets say you are at a baseball game and a thief smashes your car window and takes the GPS, not only do they know where your home is but they also know you won’t be there or even know what happened to your car until after the game is over so they have a known amount of time to rob you blind. Also if your garage door opener is in the car, they will have an easy way in! Don’t make it easy for these idiots. Now for the rest of the story…

Beware The Kama Sutra Virus

I just had to have a post with the words Kama Sutra – now the Google hits will come pouring in! Unfortunately this one is not a fun post its another virus – so if you see Kama Sutra in your inbox delete it!

Computer security firm Sophos released a warning this week that hackers are spreading a new damaging computer virus with a file that promises a PowerPoint presentation of sexual positions from the Kama Sutra. Graham Cluley of Sophos said in an online post that Internet surfers need to be wary about what they do “with that mouse.” “When you click on the file you do get to see a real PowerPoint presentation, but in the background a backdoor Trojan called Troj/Bckdr-RFM is installed which allows hackers to gain remote access to your computer,” said Cluley. Once a computer becomes infected with the nasty malware, the hacker can steal personal information and spy on users’ activities or take control of the computer and use it for illegal activities such as sending spam or attacking websites.

One more time for Google… Kama Sutra!!!

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Android SMS Fail

Google has acknowledged that there is a bug in Android’s default text messaging app that sends texts to the wrong person. But, according to Mashable’s Charlie White, that may not even be the most disturbing issue; the problem has been going on since March, and Google hasn’t fixed it yet. While most of the complaints poured in July, the initial complaint was filed back on March 17, and appears on Google’s Nexus One support forum: “When I have three or four separate text message conversations going, the software gets confused and sends texts to the wrong person some times. You will think that you are typing a response to contact A and then suddenly the contact name at the top switches to contact B.” In addition to this problem, some users reported texts being sent to random people who are not even in their address book. According to informal polls, the problem is a relatively small issue with small percentages of people being affected, but it is still significant. ZDNet site Hardware 2.0 has been running has been running an informal poll since early Friday morning, with 10 percent of the respondents reporting trouble with SMS messaging sent to the wrong person.

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Ceiling lights in Minn. send coded Internet data

Flickering ceiling lights are usually a nuisance, but in city offices in St. Cloud, they will actually be a pathway to the Internet. The lights will transmit data to specially equipped computers on desks below by flickering faster than the eye can see. Ultimately, the technique could ease wireless congestion by opening up new expressways for short-range communications. The first few light fixtures built by LVX System, a local startup, will be installed Wednesday in six municipal buildings in this city of 66,000 in the snowy farm fields of central Minnesota. The LVX system puts clusters of its light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, in a standard-sized light fixture. The LEDs transmit coded messages — as a series of 1s and 0s in computer speak — to special modems attached to computers. A light on the modem talks back to the fixture overhead, where there is sensor to receive the return signal and transmit the data over the Internet. Those computers on the desks aren’t connected to the Internet, except through these light signals, much as Wi-Fi allows people to connect wirelessly.

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New virus threatens phones using Android

A virus infecting mobile phones using Google’s Android operating system has emerged in China that can allow a hacker to gain access to personal data, US security experts said. A report this week from Lookout Mobile Security said the new Trojan affecting Android devices has been dubbed “Geinimi” and “can compromise a significant amount of personal data on a user?s phone and send it to remote servers.” The firm called the virus “the most sophisticated Android malware we’ve seen to date.” “Once the malware is installed on a user’s phone, it has the potential to receive commands from a remote server that allow the owner of that server to control the phone,” Lookout said. “Geinimi’s author(s) have raised the sophistication bar significantly over and above previously observed Android malware by employing techniques to obfuscate its activities.” The motive for the virus was not clear, accoring the Lookout, which added that this could be used for anything from “a malicious ad-network to an attempt to create an Android botnet.” But the company said the only users likely to be affected are those downloading Android apps from China.

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Did the US Gov’t try to sneak in a back door?

OpenBSD founder Theo De Raadt believes there were attempts by a contractor to plant backdoors in the open-source operating system. The startling revelation first surfaced last week when a former government contractor e-mailed DeRaadt with a claim that the FBI installed a number of back doors into the encryption software used by OpenBSD. De Raadt went public with the e-mail and followed up with a note addressing the allegations. “I believe that NETSEC was probably contracted to write backdoors as alleged,” De Raadt said, referring to a company that accepted contracts to do security and anti-security work for parts of the U.S. government.

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13 Passwords That Hackers Will Never Guess!

Recently, everyone registered on a Gawker Media site such as Jezebel, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, and Gawker itself found themselves in possession of a compromised identity. Hackers were able to take Gawker’s database of username/password combinations and break into accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other popular sites where users had registered with the same name and password. Users who didn’t change their passwords fast enough found themselves unwitting spokespersons for Free Weightloss Using Acai Berries Act Now!, and may or may not have transferred the contents of their bank accounts into the hands of a grateful Nigerian prince.

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Fake chips threaten military computers

Counterfeit computer chips could pose a threat to military computer-based hardware and systems, crippling or disabling them, U.K. experts say. A U.K. electronics firm discovered that a classified avionics system it makes for military aircraft failed when it was installed in a test plane, reported Tuesday. Upon investigating, it found many of the connecting pads on a key microchip were not connected to the metal legs of the chip carrier, the plastic package that houses and protects the chip. When the chip carrier was soldered to the system’s circuit board, the entire system failed to work. What made it shocking, a company source told NewScientist, was that the chip was supplied by an authenticated U.K. defense supplier.

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Mobile Malware Will Grow in 2011

In a four-page white paper released last week, the Web and e-mail security firm released their top eight cyberthreat predictions for the new year. Among the multiplicity of threats facing Web and e-mail users, M86 devotes the most time to mobile devices. “Smartphone adoption in the enterprise will only continue to grow, and, as the focus shifts toward the tablet platform, we anticipate malware targeting all of the mobile platforms to increase in 2011,” Bradley Anstis, vice president of technical strategy for M86 Security, said in a statement. But the white paper disproportionately concentrates on Google’s mobile operating system, Android, because of its growing market share and open source platform. The open source nature on the Android platform particularly seems to worry M86.

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Molecular biologist on the dangers of pornoscanners

Homer Jason Bell, “a molecular biologist and biophysicist… a Ph.D. candidate in Steve Kowalczykowski’s lab at UC Davis,” has posted a detailed critique of the research on the safety of airport backscatter radiation scanners. His specialty is the “molecular mechanism of how mutations in the breast cancer susceptibility gene, BRCA2, result in cancer,” and he’s posted a detailed, lay-friendly explanation of the scientific concerns expressed by the UCSF team that believes that they are unsafe for use.

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