Category: Bruce Schneier
New research paper: ” New methods for examining expertise in burglars in natural and simulated environments: preliminary findings “: Expertise literature in mainstream cognitive psychology is rarely applied to criminal behaviour. Yet, if closely scrutinised, examples of the characteristics of expertise can be identified in many studies examining the cognitive processes of offenders, especially regarding residential burglary. We evaluated two new methodologies that might improve our understanding of cognitive processing in offenders through empirically observing offending behaviour and decision-making in a free-responding environment
Google has a new Chrome extension called “Password Alert”: To help keep your account safe, today we’re launching Password Alert, a free, open-source Chrome extension that protects your Google and Google Apps for Work Accounts. Once you’ve installed it, Password Alert will show you a warning if you type your Google password into a site that isn’t a Google sign-in page. This protects you from phishing attacks and also encourages you to use different passwords for different sites, a security best practice
A drug dealer claims that the police leaned him over an 18th floor balcony and threatened to kill him if he didn’t give up his password. One of the policemen involved corroborates this story. This is what’s known as “rubber-hose cryptanalysis,” well-described in this xkcd cartoon
This is good: Just as “data” is being sold as “intelligence”, a lot of security technologies are being sold as “security solutions” rather than what they for the most part are, namely very narrow focused appliances that as a best case can be part of your broader security effort. Too many of these appliances do unfortunately not easily integrate with other appliances or with the rest of your security portfolio, or with your policies and procedures.
Stingray is the code name for an IMSI-catcher, which is basically a fake cell phone tower sold by Harris Corporation to various law enforcement agencies. (It’s actually just one of a series of devices with fish names — Amberjack is another — but it’s the name used in the media.) What is basically does is trick nearby cell phones into connecting to it. Once that happens, the IMSI-catcher can collect identification and location information of the phones and, in some cases, eavesdrop on phone conversations, text messages, and web browsing.