More on RFID

Children have no choice.  Katherine discusses the San Antonio school district plan to give all students “the chip” so that they can be tracked throughout the day.  They are starting with the school with the lowest number of native English speakers.

Listen to her program by tapping on “the chip”

Passwords and New Jobs…

If you have a Facebook, Twitter, or any other social networking account, can you be asked for you account and its password?  Short answer, YES they can ask but you do not have to give it up…I imagine that depends upon how badly you need the job, also.  This does seem to be the big rave on the news, other than the Obama-Care challenge.

There is software that companies tend to use to sift through the internet to find out if anyone is talking bad about their company AND people have been fired for talking bad about the company that they worked for (note the operative term “worked”).  You have an obligation to not denigrate the company you work for and many of them have policies that reflect such a thing.  If you cross the line you should be held accountable…if only it were a perfect world where everyone was held to the same standard!  But anyway…

You have a right to privacy and there are certain lines that should not be crossed.  While on Facebook, I had posted the article “Should Companies be allowed to ask for your Facebook Password?” by Tuan C. Nguyen.  Someone answered with a comment essentially saying that if a company did ask for my password I could not work for them because they acting unethically (they want their passwords to be secure, but want yours?) and it would be a security violation of password sharing which is frowned upon in the IT community.  And he is definitely right…one of the first things you are taught is security & protection.

Until the next exciting adventure!

 

References:

http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/thinking-tech/should-companies-be-allowed-to-ask-for-your-facebook-password/10872?tag=nl.e660

 

RFIDs Part 5

This segment is not actually Radio Frequency ID, but it is a related issue.  People are so hell bent on convenience that they, more often than not, fail to think of the long term and devastating possibilities.

Now you will be able to pay by using the smart technology within your phone.  there are, and will be more, applications granting access to your banking institutions to pay for your purchases.  Many of the loyalty card programs are looking into similar technology for purchase discounts.

What exactly are the ramifications for this in your life?  How secure is your phone and the signal it uses?  Most people do not even pass-code their phones, because it is inconvenient.  How inconvenient will it be when your account is wiped out?  Now your phone will contain access to all your financial data, all of your purchasing data, purchasing habits (i.e., food, clothes, technology, etc.)

By pushing everyone to use credit & debit cards the banking industry is really striving toward a cashless society.  In doing so, they are forcing everyone to make purchases with a flippant and cavalier approach and will cause much more debt spending in your life than if you were using cash.  A study was done (I heard about it on the Katherine Albrect Show http://www.katherinealbrecht.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=frontpage&Itemid=1) in which a study was done when cash money is being used to pay people tend to be more mindful on the expenditures; whereas, with the airline industry they are no longer taking cash on flights and you are forced to use credit card and you are more likely to spend more with its use.  This is because most people do not want to spend such a small amount on a card and will be more flippant with its use.

It is already a well known fact that such technology can be used to monitor your actions, expenditures, and conversations.  With the advent of many District Court decisions which permit police to do so without any warrants.

I am always concerned when privacy is concerned…it is not alright when the tech savvy peeping tom down the street does such things, but it is legal when the government does it????? hmmmmmm!

SEE ALSO:  RFID Part 1, RFID Part 2, RFID Part 3, RFID Part 4

Here are some articles to view:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2115871/The-CIA-wants-spy-TV-Agency-director-says-net-connected-gadgets-transform-surveillance.html

http://www.openforum.com/articles/belly-up-to-the-digital-loyalty-card-groupons-founders-have

http://www.statesman.com/business/new-customer-loyalty-card-good-at-100-plus-2226233.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/22/us-idtheft-javelin-idUSTRE81L16520120222

http://www.paymentobserver.com/

http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-03-mobile-industry-champions.html

 

 

Secure eMail

I recently read a c|net article about an interesting web-site and its service.  The article is “This email will self-destruct…” and mentioned the services at https://oneshar.es, which permits a person to send a one-time message; after the url is accessed one time the information is destroyed and removed from use.  I was rather curious about it and queried Mr. Cipriani about what happened to the information, of which he verified that the information was removed from the system.

This has spectacular possibilities for secure email or messaging.  There are some applications which you can encrypt the message and then you could send via oneshar.es the password or passphrase.  You could just send out a one time message to a person.  In either case, you can determine how you wish to use it, but it is one of those useful applications that may be handy to you, one day.

Keep it on the back burner for now.

http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57377686-285/this-e-mail-will-self-destruct..–heres-how/

Passwords

I was reading an article at the InfoSecurity web-site, which had an interesting note on the psychology of passwords.  A recent survey indicated the contradiction of password security, in-that, people desire password security and that they be strong and changed often; however, these people would, themselves, not change their passwords on a regular basis nor make them difficult and strong.  Rather concerning, don’t you think?

 

http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/view/24057/the-contradictions-of-password-psychology/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Browsing Privacy

In this day and age, everyone wants a little privacy, the idealistic genre has the mind “if you don’t have anything to hide, then…” kind of attitude, and as you get older you come to have a great appreciation for privacy.  There are some steps you can take to help your own privacy along.  I was reading Rob Lightner’s article for CNET, “Five Smart Ways to Keep Your Browsing Private”

 

 

  1. One of you biggest concerns is to get rid of all tracking cookies on your computer.  There is a free software that does this called CCleaner.  It is very good, I have tried it.
  2. Opting out of tracking by use of third-party software such as PrivacyChoice, which offers several tools to aid in this endeavor (I have never used it).
  3. Another thing you can do is to prevent the depositing of those tracking cookies and you can do this by making changes to you web-browser.  This is something I do and quite simple to set up.  Just search for you specific browser the way to browse privately.
  4. Anonymous browsing.  According to the article he uses a TOR set up, which I have never used but may toy with sometime.  Apparently TOR protects you via encrypted pathways, thereby protecting the anonymity of your IP address.
  5. Anonymous browsing using proxies.  This is similar to StartPage’s (www.startpage.com) Proxy setting where you use StartPage’s resources to search for something without yielding your IP address.

Of course, there is always the use of a thumb drive being set up with another operating system and setting it in such a way that you save nothing, to be totally private.  I tried this with an old version of Linux when I was in college, but my computer kept locking up.  Just couldn’t figure out what was going on.  Apparently the thumb drive itself was not very compatible with Linux, so I changed the drive and it worked great.

Hope this is useful to you!

Resource: http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57363219-285/five-smart-ways-to-keep-your-browsing-private/

 

Mobile Malware

I was reading an article on Help Net Security about malware and mobile devices.  Malware has, in effect, matured to such a place in its evolutionary cycle where they have grown in numbers that are staggering.  What makes things worse is the fact that both people, in general, and businesses, as a matter of habit, have entwined these mobile devices into their lives in such a fashion that they are a necessary tool and our life blood, so to say.

There is more malware than ever before which makes it difficult for the average user to know that they are safe from its potentially devastating effects.  Unfortunately, most people are oblivious to the potential attacks and problems, and in turn wonder why & how such a thing could have happened?

The next problem is the fact that malware is becoming smarter every day, some evolving into a polymorphic problem.  Cybercriminals are finding new ways to exploit vulnerabilities, which enable them to profit from our foolish endeavors.

The wall of protection is next to non-existent.  People are downloading and installing more applications (app) on their phone than ever before, which creates and cultivates a field of opportunity for cybercriminals.  I would be next to nothing for someone with the know-how to either create an app for mobile devices or crack one and reintroduce it into the app store.  Think about it, as of January 2011, there were approximately 90,000 apps for the iPad and roughly 475,000 for the iPhone; same time frame, there seemed to be about 250,000 apps for the android platform.  These numbers do not account for the other platforms out there in the market and I lean toward them because they are the most popular and growing in market share.  A malicious minded individual could have a field day with this by just injecting, or infecting, a few apps.

By researching the topic of the most popular apps, the ones that would cause the most devastation to people (business or common user) would be music related, social media, navigating, and games.  These seem to be, in my opinion, the most widely used by a large demographic of the mobile device carrying population.  This is not for fear for the purpose of generating fear itself, but rather to get you to think!  Your mobile device(s) are essentially a computer and no one I know would leave their computer unprotected these days – unless of course they never hooked up to the internet, just figure the odds on that?  Poking around I determined a guestimate that 90% of American Households posses at least one computer (this percentage seemed pretty constant) and approximately 75% of American Households have internet access (I saw a low of 62% and as high as 85%, so I went just above the average).  The funny thing is most people who do not posses a computer, even on the poverty line in the economic spectrum, seem to have the means to possess a smartphone.

Now, there are some free apps out there for protection and there are some for cost.  How good they are, your guess is as good as mine.  Perhaps the best place to check this out would be Consumer Reports or some thing like that.  Look into it and keep your stuff backed up so you can recover from something potentially catastrophic.

Until the next time my friends!

https://net-security.org/malware_news.php?id=2004

RFIDs Part 3

As we have discussed the RFID chips I was recently listening to one of my shows, the Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, who was talking about a microchipped pill.  This pill is primarily geared toward those who are elderly, mentally challenged, and the parents of very busy kids.  Their purpose is to be a placebo and in effect allows other(s) to see if a loved one is actually taking their pills. (Just follow the link, it takes up about 30 minutes of the first hour – you can also download it for free.)

http://direct.media.katherinealbrecht.com/archives/1201/20120121_Sat_Albrecht1.mp3

Another idea, is tracking the elderly, mentally handicapped, Alzheimer patients, and others to be injected with an RFID microchip, which essentially treats the patient as a supply that they must keep track of.  There is legislation, or was, to be passed to do this here in the US.

Just consider the next generation of this technology, which is the use of biometrics and storing that information on the chip.  This technology is being used

in India, Iraq, and I recently heard on the news that it was also being used (forced) on the people in Afghanistan.  How much longer until it is used here in the US?http://www.spychips.com/index.html

Consider the uses within the clothing industry.  As mentioned earlier, IBM possesses several patents for RFID technology.  One of which is the weaving of the RFID technology (or tags) into the material of clothing; another is to be a reader that is located at malls and shopping centers.  The idea is that when you walk by a reader it will read the RFID tag in your clothing and because you paid with your Visa, or MasterCard, it is now tied together with your Social Security Number – the database can determine your spending and purchasing habits and can therefore offer you specials on a daily basis based upon those habits.

According to the RFID Journal the global clothing retailer American Apparel has plans to equip all of its stores with this, or similar technology.  Remember the movie “Minority Report”?  Of course, its technology was based upon retina scanning, but really that is just silly thinking, isn’t it?

http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/view/9202

We have always looked upon “those” people – who constantly proposed that Orwell’s “1984” was becoming a reality, just you wait and see – were just nut jobs.  Hey, guess what?  “They” weren’t too far off the beaten path, after all.  With the advent of the RFID chips and other technology, the “Mark of the Beast” just may be injectable and electronic in nature.  This has been proposed here in the US and in other countries.  There are some countries that are using them, as mentioned prior.

Consider the alternatives if all of our money becomes just ones and zeros out in cyberland and they make the plunge to place all of your data, including financial, onto your RFID chip which can be updated in a Wi-Fi accessible area.  If you don’t comply with the injection, you cannot purchase anything.  On the other hand, if you are disruptive in any manner your RFID chip can be updated to remove any income and good name you may have…the evil possibilities are limited only by your good nature.  BEWARE my friends, but become AWARE and act through the system, while you can.  Many of the German people never knew what hit them until damn near the end of World War II.  I leave you with a couple of quotes, which give a great insight into the minds of the leaders of countries who are ambitious.

“Naturally the common people don’t want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, IT IS THE LEADERS of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is TELL THEM THEY ARE BEING ATTACKED, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. IT WORKS THE SAME IN ANY COUNTRY.”

–Goering at the Nuremberg Trials

“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”

Adolf Hitler

I believe, that despite their reference or inference to war – these quotes are quite profound, in that, people have a tendency to be followers and are always seeking someone to lead because they feel inadequate to do such a job.  Everyone can lead with some good moral grounding, an ethical mindset, have integrity and are honest, fair, & just.

SEE ALSO:

RFID Part 4

RFID Part 2

RFID Part 1