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Links for 2013-09-09

  • How the NSA Spies on Smartphones

    One of the US agents’ tools is the use of backup files established by smartphones. According to one NSA document, these files contain the kind of information that is of particular interest to analysts, such as lists of contacts, call logs and drafts of text messages. To sort out such data, the analysts don’t even require access to the iPhone itself, the document indicates. The department merely needs to infiltrate the target’s computer, with which the smartphone is synchronized, in advance. Under the heading “iPhone capability,” the NSA specialists list the kinds of data they can analyze in these cases. The document notes that there are small NSA programs, known as “scripts,” that can perform surveillance on 38 different features of the iPhone 3 and 4 operating systems. They include the mapping feature, voicemail and photos, as well as the Google Earth, Facebook and Yahoo Messenger applications.
    and, of course, the alternative means of backup is iCloud…. wonder how secure those backups are.

    (tags: nsa surveillance gchq iphone smartphones backups icloud security)

  • Behind the Screens at Loggly

    Boost ASIO at the front end (!), Kafka 0.8, Storm, and ElasticSearch

    (tags: boost scalability loggly logging ingestion cep stream-processing kafka storm architecture elasticsearch)

  • Schneier on Security: Excess Automobile Deaths as a Result of 9/11

    The inconvenience of extra passenger screening and added costs at airports after 9/11 cause many short-haul passengers to drive to their destination instead, and, since airline travel is far safer than car travel, this has led to an increase of 500 U.S. traffic fatalities per year. Using DHS-mandated value of statistical life at $6.5 million, this equates to a loss of $3.2 billion per year, or $32 billion over the period 2002 to 2011 (Blalock et al. 2007).

    (tags: risk security death 9-11 politics screening dhs air-travel driving road-safety)

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