November 21st, 2014

The NSA teaches us how to scrub documents

If you’ve always wished you could “redact with confidence”, then here’s the document for you. NSA published a guide on scrubbing Word documents, removing hidden meta-data and proper graphic censoring. Apparently people didn’t know that just drawing a black box widget over something in Word doesn’t actually remove or even hide the content well. I don’t think I’ve ever seen word “redact” used so frequently/frivolously. I think I just like hot-linking to the NSA.

RFID, tinfoil, “luciferian beehivers” and you

I’m not sure why I (or the register) didn’t hear about this earlier, but apparently the proposed Dutch biometric passport has already been cracked. It looks like this was announced here some time ago. Electronic (being used here as a euphemism for RFID now that it’s a bad word) passports are going to be issued during a pilot program in the US starting this month, but full compliance isn’t mandatory until this October.

This seems awfully fast considering that the Department of State says that they “will not issue passports incorporating integrated circuits until privacy-related concerns have been addressed.“, and the initial feedback they received on the proposal was apparently 98.5% negative. This feedback, by the way, has been posted in whole on their website. When I say “in whole”, I mean all of it, including the name, email address and sometimes physical address and phone number, and anything else in the feedback (both email and snail mail). So, way to go, thanks for addressing our privacy concerns by posting the personal information of everyone that had feedback on the subject.

Just for grins, I whipped something up to grab all of the submitted comments, and did find this a particular gem (I promise I did not make this up, it’s on the site!):

No mark of the beast for me you Luciferian beehivers.
You can take all those RFID chips wrapped like a burrito in the HR 4(6+6+6)
national id bill and stick it up yor own arse!

That left me to wonder what a “Luciferian beehiver” was though, I’m not a big fan of either Satan or Bees, much less a ghastly union of the two. Burritos are good though. This comment was left by someone claiming to be simultaneously from both Texas and Heaven, though I’m pretty sure the two are nowhere near each other. I also found 9 other comments that referenced the “mark of the beast”, 17 that speak of “evil”, and 4 “Anti-Christs”.

Anyway, beehives aside, here is a link to the slides of the original researchers (Bart Jacobs & Ronny Wichers Schreur) who exposed the dutch passport crack, and here are a couple slides on the demo that he gave. The good thing is that it takes two hours with a computer (nobody ever waits two hours in an international airport, right?), and that there is still time for improvements (hopefully fixes) before they are primetime.

Pirate monkey pants

Don’t click this. Via JWZ.

Imhotep theme designed by Chris Lin. Proudly powered by Wordpress.
XHTML | CSS | RSS | Comments RSS