Showing all posts tagged: security

Stalkerware users should be watching themselves, not others

21 March 2024

Sydney based Australian author Kerri Sackville, writing for The Sydney Morning Herald, on the subject of stalkerware, insidious apps that track the activities of a person you want to keep tabs on:

But I had nothing to gain from spying on him because I already knew what to do. In intimate partnerships, the desire to spy can only mean one of two things: that something is terribly wrong in your relationship, or that something is terribly wrong with you. If it’s the former, the solution is not to dig up answers; the solution is to get out of the relationship.

But trust, or lack thereof, isn’t necessarily why people use stalkerware apps. They sometimes also seek to control and coerce those they are monitoring. To them, it has little to do with trust. It’s more about rampant entitlement. They somehow feel as if they have every right to spy on someone, and as such are completely oblivious to the wrong they are doing.

Something is indeed terribly wrong with such people.


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Privacy warning: your car may be monitoring your sex life

12 September 2023

The Mozilla Foundation, which is part of the same organisation that produces the Firefox web browser, and the Thunderbird email client, recently examined twenty-five car brands, and found consumer privacy left — to put it mildly — much to be desired. In fact, the foundation discovered cars to be in the “official worst category of products for privacy” that they had ever seen:

Car makers have been bragging about their cars being “computers on wheels” for years to promote their advanced features. However, the conversation about what driving a computer means for its occupants’ privacy hasn’t really caught up. While we worried that our doorbells and watches that connect to the internet might be spying on us, car brands quietly entered the data business by turning their vehicles into powerful data-gobbling machines. Machines that, because of their all those brag-worthy bells and whistles, have an unmatched power to watch, listen, and collect information about what you do and where you go in your car.

Not only did the majority of car brands that were studied collect large quantities of personal data, they were also highly inclined to on-sell that information. But there’s more. Some car brands were found to be gathering information about the “sexual activity” of customers. In other words, if you’re thinking about having sex in your vehicle, think again. Your car may be monitoring, and recording…


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United States government is considering a full TikTok ban

2 March 2023

Law makers in the United States are considering legislation to ban the use of video sharing app TikTok, citing national security concerns:

On Tuesday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee was expected to move forward with a bill that would give President Joe Biden the authority to ban TikTok from all US devices. That’s an estimated 130 million US users. A ban would require passage by the full House and the Senate before the President can sign it into law.

While there are concerns ByteDance, the company who owns TikTok, is sharing user data with the Chinese government, a blanket ban on the app would be a drastic move. I don’t know what the numbers are, but there must be fair few Americans — TikTok influencers for instance — whose livelihoods could be threatened by outlawing TikTok.


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Blockade Australia protestors forced to surrender smartphones, passcodes

29 June 2022

Say what you will about the recent Blockade Australia protests (do we not now have a climate-change friendly government?), but the conduct of police in dealing with the protestors they have been detaining has been causing alarm.

According to Digital Rights Watch, an organisation dedicated to protecting the digital rights of Australians, some arresting officers are demanding alleged offenders hand over devices such as smartphones, and also surrender access passcodes.

Digital Rights Watch has also been made aware of an incident where an individual who was simply near a location thought to be connected with Blockade Australia activities has had their phone seized by police. The police made a number of attempts to guess the passcode before handing the phone back.

Posted at Daring Fireball yesterday, and possibly useful: how to temporarily disable face id or touch id, and require a passcode to unlock your iPhone or iPad.


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How locks, including the unpickable Enclave lock, work

27 June 2022

The Enclave lock, designed by Andrew Magill, comes with the claim that it cannot be picked. This might be the news the security conscious have been waiting for.

Some locks are more difficult to pick than others. Some have more perfect tolerances, or more positions, or keyways that are more difficult to fit tools into, or parts that move in unusual ways, or parts designed to mislead pickers, and so on. But these are only incremental improvements, and don’t address the fundamental flaw. The solution is to make it so that the two steps- accepting input, and testing that input- can never happen at the same time. When those two steps cannot interact with each other, a well-designed lock will never reveal information about the correct positions of its individual parts, nor can they be made to ‘fall into’ their unlocked positions through manipulation.

Watch the video clip for the Enclave lock though. As well as demonstrating Magill’s new lock, it also shows how conventional locks work. Quite fascinating.


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