source:  sciencedaily.com

image - cell phone tracking

Calls via the LTE mobile network, also known as 4G, are encrypted and should therefore be tap-proof. However, researchers from the Horst Görtz Institute for IT Security (HGI) at Ruhr-Universität Bochum have shown that this is not always the case. They were able to decrypt the contents of telephone calls if they were in the same radio cell as their target, whose mobile phone they then called immediately following the call they wanted to intercept. They exploit a flaw that some manufacturers had made in implementing the base stations.

The results were published by the HGI team David Rupprecht, Dr. Katharina Kohls, and Professor Thorsten Holz from the Chair of Systems Security together with Professor Christina Pöpper from the New York University Abu Dhabi at the 29th Usenix Security Symposium, which takes place as an online conference from 12 to 14 August 2020. The relevant providers and manufacturers were contacted prior to the publication; by now the vulnerability should be fixed.

Continue reading “Security Gap Allows Eavesdropping On Mobile Phone Calls”

source:  independent.co.uk

 

surveillance illustration

Researchers in China have developed an ultra-powerful camera capable of identifying a single person among stadium crowds of tens of thousands of people.

The 500-megapixel camera was developed by scientists at Fudan University, in conjunction with Changchun Institute of Optics from the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Its resolution is five-times more detailed than the human eye but it is not the most high-resolution camera ever developed. A 570-megapixel camera was put to work at an observatory in Chile in 2018, however its purpose is to point skywards in the hope of observing distant galaxies.

The camera is instead built for surveillance, with Chinese state media praising the camera’s “military, national defence and public security applications”.

Continue reading “CHINA INVENTS SUPER SURVEILLANCE CAMERA”

source: cnet.com

App developers are creating tools to monitor people when they shop and work, despite lacking proof that it works or has safeguards to protect your data.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the ways we interact and has everyone thinking more about our health and well-being. But that shift in mindset means that daily activities like going grocery shopping or simple things like standing in an elevator will come with even more surveillance strings attached. 

The response by governments and the tech industry to the coronavirus outbreak has already raised many concerns about privacy from contact tracing apps, mobile location data tracking and police surveillance drones. The outbreak has also brought new privacy issues, as companies beef up surveillance with tech like thermal cameras and facial recognition in preparation for when people return to their everyday lives. 

 

Surveillance technology has slowly integrated into our daily lives, with facial recognition getting added as a “convenience” feature for casinos and ordering food. The coronavirus has sped up that process, in the name of public health. Shopping centers have long used Bluetooth trackers to determine crowd sizes and whereabouts, and the pandemic has shifted its use to enable contact tracing

Vantiq, a software company that builds a platform for developers and businesses to roll out their apps, has been repurposing its tools to focus on technology tied to tracing COVID-19. Since March, the company has built tools to enable the tracking of COVID-19 through facial recognition and thermal cameras being used by private companies. Its tools have been used in social distancing programs like an app to reserve a spot at a food market. 

Continue reading “COVID-19 COULD SET A NEW NORM FOR SURVEILLANCE AND PRIVACY”

source: securityweek.com

The hovering drone emits a mechanical buzz reminiscent of a wasp and shouts down instructions in a tinny voice.

“Attention! You are in a prohibited area. Get out immediately,” commands the drone, about the size of a loaf of bread.

A heat sensor takes the offender’s temperature and sends the information to a drone operator, who stares at a thermal map on his hand-held screen — shining orange and purple blobs.

“Violations of the regulations result in administrative and criminal penalties,” the drone says.

Italy’s coronavirus epicentre in the northern province of Bergamo, in Lombardy region, has had enough of people spreading COVID-19.

Continue reading “DRONES TAKE ITALIANS’ TEMPERATURE AND ISSUE FINES”

source:  http://news.mit.edu/

In a new metadata-protecting scheme, users send encrypted messages to multiple chains of servers, with each chain mathematically guaranteed to have at least one hacker-free server. Each server decrypts and shuffles the messages in random order, before shooting them to the next server in line.

System ensures hackers eavesdropping on large networks can’t find out who’s communicating and when they’re doing so.

MIT researchers have designed a scalable system that secures the metadata — such as who’s corresponding and when — of millions of users in communications networks, to help protect the information against possible state-level surveillance.

Data encryption schemes that protect the content of online communications are prevalent today. Apps like WhatsApp, for instance, use “end-to-end encryption” (E2EE), a scheme that ensures third-party eavesdroppers can’t read messages sent by end users.

But most of those schemes overlook metadata, which contains information about who’s talking, when the messages are sent, the size of message, and other information. Many times, that’s all a government or other hacker needs to know to track an individual. This can be especially dangerous for, say, a government whistleblower or people living in oppressive regimes talking with journalists.

Continue reading “PROTECTING SENSITIVE METADATA SO IT CAN’T BE USED FOR SURVEILLANCE”