Tag Archives | spyware

Who Needs the NSA? Anyone Can Spy on Your Kids Thanks to ComputerCop

via Fusion:


It doesn’t take an NSA spymaster to snoop on your digital doings. Thanks to a free software program, distributed by police departments all around the country, any creep with a basic knowledge of the Internet could be monitoring your children’s online activities.

ComputerCop is advertised as an easy-to-install tool for parents to monitor what their kids do online.  And because it’s handed out by law enforcement, it has an official seal of approval.

But ComputerCop is actually a form of spyware that could transmit information your kids type to an unencrypted third party server that anyone can see.

Fusion first heard of this from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit that defends online civil liberties and privacy rights.

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The police are spending thousands of dollars to distribute spyware to parents

via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

via Vox:

It’s standard advice that parents should monitor what their young children do online. For many parents, that means having the computer in a public area so they can see what’s on the screen as their kids surf the web. But some police departments are pushing a far more intrusive option: installing spyware on your computer to monitor every single keystroke your children make.

An investigation by the Electronic Frontier Foundation has found that dozens of police departments around the country are distributing software called ComputerCOP. The software has two features. One is a search engine that lets parents search a computer’s hard drive for pornographic images as well as files relating to sensitive subjects such as drugs and violence. But the other is a keylogger, a program that records every key typed and sends it to a third-party server.

Police departments pay a few dollars per copy to ComputerCOP, and in return they get the software in customized packaging that prominently features the department that paid for the software.

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Fake Cell Phone Towers Could Be Intercepting Your Calls

August GSM Interceptor Map ESD via Popular Science

August GSM Interceptor Map ESD via Popular Science

According to Popular Science, there are at least 17 phony cell phone towers across the United States. Their purpose? It’s not yet clear, but once a connection happens “a variety of ‘over-the-air’ attacks become possible, from eavesdropping on calls and texts to pushing spyware to the device.”

via Popsci [Follow the link to read the entire article]:

Like many of the ultra-secure phones that have come to market in the wake of Edward Snowden’s leaks, the CryptoPhone 500, which is marketed in the U.S. by ESD America and built on top of an unassuming Samsung Galaxy SIII body, features high-powered encryption. Les Goldsmith, the CEO of ESD America, says the phone also runs a customized or “hardened” version of Android that removes 468 vulnerabilities that his engineering team team found in the stock installation of the OS.

His mobile security team also found that the version of the Android OS that comes standard on the Samsung Galaxy SIII leaks data to parts unknown 80-90 times every hour.

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Internal NSA Publication Reveals Agency Backdoors Into Cisco, Dell and Others

PROBLEM?

PROBLEM?

I’m sure that this won’t surprise our intrepid disinfonauts, but an internal NSA catalog reveals that the agency has a backdoor pass through the firewalls of many major companies, like Cisco.

Via Der Spiegel:

After years of speculation that electronics can be accessed by intelligence agencies through a back door, an internal NSA catalog reveals that such methods already exist for numerous end-user devices.

When it comes to modern firewalls for corporate computer networks, the world’s second largest network equipment manufacturer doesn’t skimp on praising its own work. According to Juniper Networks’ online PR copy, the company’s products are “ideal” for protecting large companies and computing centers from unwanted access from outside. They claim the performance of the company’s special computers is “unmatched” and their firewalls are the “best-in-class.” Despite these assurances, though, there is one attacker none of these products can fend off — the United States’ National Security Agency.

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Furniture Chain’s Rental Computers Sent 185,000 Spyware Emails Containing Customers’ Passwords, Explicit Photos, Financial Information Back to Headquarters

The Atlanta-based national furniture chain Aaron’s offers computers on a rent-to-own basis. Many of the computers contained secretly activated spyware which tracked customers’ locations, took webcam photos inside their homes, and forwarded intimate photos and information back to corporate servers, reports NBC News:

Spyware installed on computers leased from furniture renter Aaron’s Inc. secretly sent 185,000 emails containing sensitive information — including pictures of nude children and people having sex — back to the company’s corporate computers, according to court documents filed Wednesday in a class-action lawsuit.

According to the filings, some of the spyware emails contained pictures secretly taken by the rental computers’ webcams or other sensitive information including Social Security numbers, social media and email passwords, and customer keystrokes, the Federal Trade Commission determined last year.

Aaron’s officials have previously said the company never installed the spyware on computers rented out of 1,140 company-operated stores and blamed individual franchisees for installing it.

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