Home/Tag: security

Get owned like Al Capone(d).

How the feds busted the Silk Road. Sometimes, oldskool is best skool.

Incidentally, whenever there’s a narrative around a big crime bust that focuses on the technology used rather than the actual detective work, you can almost always bet it’s a PR move to push for more backdoors in consumer tech products (“See! See, look how it helped us put away this guy!”). It’s the equivalent of putting those body scanners in airports: does nothing to stop terrorism, but man it made some guy hella rich.

The other thing is that it’s often a dick measuring contest between national law enforcement and the intelligence services. I’m not necessarily saying in so many words that your average state intelligence service already has access to a lot of the capabilities that law enforcement wants, but they certainly could, in theory, do similar things by other methods. If you get my meaning. They also don’t like to share,1 which pisses off law enforcement. Hence the dick measuring contest, in which end user privacy is always the loser. Joy.

  1. Tl;dr: the more they share data out of one channel, the less useful that channel becomes, and intel agencies aren’t usually looking for the same thing law enforcement is. []
2016-03-03T09:10:21+11:0022nd March, 2016|Tags: security, tech|

How to read a boarding pass.

Tl;dr here is don’t take photos of boarding passes and post them online. Boarding passes are designed to be read visually (by those machines the staff wave them under at the gate), so, yanno. They actually have quite a lot of data on them.

(And, yes. You can print out dupes of someone else’s pass–they have little to no anti-counterfeiting–and use it instead of the person it actually belongs to.)

2016-02-16T07:50:06+11:0018th February, 2016|Tags: security|

Everything can be beaten.

A brief history of “unpickable” locks… and the locksmith who beat them.

This subject is one that’s close to my heart, not just because of my background dealing with the computerised version of this, but because my convict ancestor was, in fact, deported to Australia for being a locksmith by day, and “locksmith” by night.1

My favourite line from the article:

The lock on your front door is probably pretty easy to pick, but using a crowbar or going through a window would probably also suffice. It’s not just locks that keep us safe—it’s the existing social order.


  1. Luckily for the officials on the First Fleet, as it turned out, because they lost the keys to their document chests on the voyage. []
2015-05-15T08:03:58+10:008th June, 2015|Tags: security|

Passwords suck.

The Onion explains why.

2017-11-16T11:19:57+11:0012th October, 2014|Tags: security|

Location-based security for smartphones.

This is a pretty cool idea from Apple; changing your phone’s security settings based on location. So, say, making it so you don’t have to constantly re-enter your screen unlock password when you’re in your house.

2018-11-26T07:52:28+11:0025th August, 2014|Tags: apple, ios, security|