Posts Tagged ‘Computers’

IE8 Privacy is an Oxymoron

September 20, 2008

I could have said that the IE8 privacy function is a lie or a joke but I happen to like the word oxymoron. In my preliminary tests I was acting as if my life and future depended on my online privacy and didn’t bother doing a comparison. I found my surfing history in cache memory, that Ccleaner didn’t wipe the cache memory information and that there was a hidden system file called PrivacIE (pronounce that “Priv A C”) which contained a hashed index.dat file which was untouchable. Not a bad find for a quick survey. I did a preliminary test against Firefox 3 automatically wiping all privacy data on closing and found a few lingering cookies which Ccleaner seemed to wipe out but no cache memory of the sites I visited.

I sort of find a hashed index.dat file (in a folder called PrivacIE) and a record of my surfing history in cache memory an insulting and direct compromise of the promise of real internet privacy.

If anyone cares about the method, I’ll do a post on it.

Resistance is Futile!

July 21, 2008

Once you realize that Resistance is Futile, knowledge truly is soporific. The problem is, life without knowledge acquisition becomes somewhat boring. After all how much, sex, booze,beach time and loud music can a sing person handle. So for various reasons such as the potential for my liver falling out and fear of going brain dead, I decided to sober up and read the content of all my emails from Sans to see what I’ve been missing since April. The following is extracted from various Sans newsletters and attracted my attention because of the “unique” content.

WINDOWS SECURITY
Researchers at the Internet Storm Center estimate that it takes about
four minutes for an unpatched Windows PC to be compromised once it
connects to the Internet. The survival time has consistently dropped
over the past years due to the increasing number of worms and viruses
and hackers using more and more automated attacking tools. However, a
researcher with the German Honeypot Project claims the survival time is
much higher than 4 minutes and in fact is nearer 16 hours. Either way its less than one day on line.

Google can’t stand the competition
A controversial law was narrowly voted
in last month and allows Swedish security services to eavesdrop on all
international calls into and out of Sweden. In response to the new law
TeliaSonera, the Finnish-Swedish telecoms operator, has moved its
servers from Sweden to Finland and Google is also considering a similar
course of action. After all, why should Google allow anyone other than Google to snoop on your surfing
habits and keep a history of your actions

Google Caches Retain Stolen Data
Stolen sensitive personal data, including financial account information,
have been found to linger in Google caches for months even after the
server holding the stolen information has been disabled. Cyber
criminals collect information through keystroke loggers and store the
data on servers. When the servers are discovered, they are taken down,
but the Google pages are not unless specific requests are made. A
Google spokesperson said that in general, the company does not remove
cached information, but that it eventually disappears on its own after
the original source is no longer accessible.

Coming to America!

Phorm’s technology can be
used by Internet Service Providers to track end user activity on the
Internet and place advertisements based on their online activity. Phorm
already has agreements in place with some of the U.K.’s top ISPs such
as the BT Group PLC (BT), Carphone Warehouse’s (CPW.LN) Talk Talk and
Virgin Media.

Expanding the Patriot Act
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance
Act (FISA) allows for warrantless surveillance of
telecommunications and immunity from subsequent lawsuits served against
the telecommunications companies facilitating the surveillance. A
lawsuit claims that FISA breaches the Fourth Amendment of the U.S.
Constitution, which prevents the government from unreasonable searches
and seizures. Supporters of the law claim it is a vital weapon in the
fight against terrorism.

Don’t Xerox any $3 Bills
A feature built into many modern laser printers is raising concerns
among civil liberties groups that individuals’ privacy may be eroded.
The feature uses technology to print hidden yellow dots that are unique
to the printer onto each page. These dots are invisible to the eye, but
when viewed under a blue LED light they can identify the printer and the time of use. The
technology is used to track those who attempt to use color laser
printers to create counterfeit money. However, privacy advocates are
concerned that the technology could be misused to track and identify
whistleblowers or dissidents in totalitarian regimes.

Read it and Weep!