As German politicians ponder a return to mechanical typewriters in the wake of the United States’ surveillance scandal, it is clear that the wonders of technology are not always yielding such wonderful results.
This is evidenced in some of the worrying threats to security that have emerged this week. Let’s have a quick look at the technologically wrought horror unfolding around us.
Hacker shows that jets’ navigation systems can be manipulatedFirst of all, aeroplanes. Right now, thousands of huge metal tubes crammed with humans are thundering through the skies tens of thousands of feet above firm ground. A combination of physics and complicated computers keeps them up there. But now these essential computer systems are under scrutiny after it emerged that a cyber-security company researcher has worked out how to hack satellite communications used on passenger jets.
The researcher, Ruben Santamarta, said he could hack the communications systems through passenger jets’ Wifi and enterBlockednment systems.
“These devices are wide open. The goal of this talk is to help change that situation,” Santamarta, said to the Reuters news agency, ahead of a conference on cyber-security.
Wearable tech is transmitting your info to anyone who cares to look
Wearable tech is booming. You can track and meBlockedre your eating, sleeping, exercising, heart rate, and a whole lot of other thrilling day-to-day activities using technology such as watches, arm bands and glasses.
This pastime has become known as either “life hacking”, alluding to the fact you can find out why you are such an inefficient organism and aim to do something about it, or, the alternate name is the somewhat arch “quantified self”, as you begin to amass vast quantities of data about your own existence.
But how safe is your quantified self? That is the question being asked by tech company Symantec, who recently used a dirt-cheap computer to gain access to sensitive personal data being transmitted through the air by wearable devices.
The company used a £35 Rasberry Pi computer to look at the data of people jogging in public, and found that even devices from leading tech companies were vulnerable to location tracking, lacked basic security meBlockedres, and that information including passwords could be accessed through the freely available info.
Why worry? Aside from anyone gaining access to your emails and even online banking services, according to Symantec, “it’s possible that burglars or stalkers could use location-tracking information for malicious intent. Burglars have been known to use location-tracking systems to tell when a potential victim is not at home.”
Mozilla has leaked 76,000 email addresses
Oops. Mozilla, the company most famous for its Firefox web browser has been the unfortunate victim of a server malfunction which meant stored data was not being encrypted properly.
In this case the leak is particularly embarrassing given Mozilla’s keen emphasis on security and privacy.
Not only did the problem mean that 76,000 email addresses were exposed, but also about 4,000 encrypted passwords were made vulnerable.
The company moved swiftly to address the malfunctioning server after the problem was highlighted by one of its developers, and advised those whose passwords may have been disclosed to change them.