Privacy, Security, & Ethics - Computer Science's "Jüdische Physik"

by @edent | # # # # # | 1 comment | Read ~234 times.
A fist emerges from a computer screen and punches the user.

I'm going to tell you an anecdote which is a gross oversimplification of a complex topic. In the early half of the twentieth century, certain physicists made breakthroughs in relativity, quantum mechanics, and nuclear energy. Many of these scientists were Jewish. The Nazis called these heretical ideas "Jewish Science" and suppressed their teaching. Jewish physicists… Continue reading →

Would you trust this ATM?

by @edent | # # | 3 comments | Read ~280 times.
A sign is taped haphazardly to an ATM. It warns people that the ATM is slow and may take a while to return their card. There is no branding on the sign.

Fake cash-machines are an increasing problem around the UK. Criminals attach all sorts of machinery - including fake fronts - to ATMs with the aim of stealing cash or card details. Wandering around Oxford yesterday, I noticed this sign attached to a bank's ATM: "This ATM is running slow and may take a while to… Continue reading →

Udacity Bug Bounty - or, please stop tracking every link in your emails

by @edent | # # # | 2 comments | Read ~402 times.
Clicking on the button shows an insecure web address.

Look, I know your company wants metrics. I know your boss wants to see the exact percentages of people who click on links in your emails. Your sales team are desperate to track conversions. Someone wants to optimise your funnel for reasons which are unclear to you, a lowly engineer. So you make the mistake… Continue reading →

Advertising Screens Hacked To Mine BitCoin

by @edent | # # # # | 1 comment | Read ~16,760 times.
The display shows a windows desktop with a variety of icons. There is a window open

Spotted in London, yesterday. A large, Microsoft Windows-powered advertising hoarding has been hijacked. It's not uncommon to see broken-down Windows displays - I run https://windowsisbroken.tumblr.com/ - which is dedicated to pointing and laughing at such mistakes. But this is the first time I've seen a display repurposed for profit! It appears to be running NiceHash… Continue reading →

MailChimp leaks your email address

by @edent | # # # # | 6 comments | Read ~4,188 times.
Change email address page with obscured email address

An annoying privacy violation from leading email newsletter company MailChimp. Responsibly disclosed on 2017-12-04. When you click a link on a webpage or an email, your browser opens up that link and sends the newly visited webpage a Referer Header. (The misspelling is a historical artefact.) This says "Hello new site, I was referred here… Continue reading →

There's no HTTPS for the Internet of Things

by @edent | # # # # | 8 comments | Read ~526 times.
An error message in the browser warning of an unsafe SSL connection

Me being grumpy and stupid again. I have an IP Camera on my LAN, I want to connect to it via HTTPS. I can't. Why is that? Why do this? I have a username and password to access my IP camera. And my TV. And my lightbulbs. And all my networked gadgets. If I try… Continue reading →

Co-Op Bank - Making Banking Inaccessible

by @edent | # # # # # # | 2 comments | Read ~369 times.
Screenshot of the scope website showing a donation of £25

I've blogged before about how backward the Co-op bank is - sadly, they've not improved in the last few years. I needed to close down my business bank account. I hopped on to online banking, provided all my details, went through 2FA with a physical token, remembered my mother's maiden name and began searching the… Continue reading →

Telnet and Root on the Sercomm iCamera2

by @edent | # # # # # | 4 comments | Read ~1,927 times.
A web browser displaying the message "Open Telnet Daemon successfully!"

tldr; URL http://[IP]/adm/file.cgi?todo=inject_telnetd Telnet username root Telnet password Aq0+0009 History Four years ago to the day, I wrote an exposé of the hideous security failings of Sercomm IP Cameras. The blog has since attracked 200 comments - as people try to unlock their cameras, and find out what flaws they have. Despite my best efforts… Continue reading →

Don't Cover Your Webcam's LED

by @edent | # # | 3 comments | Read ~354 times.

Just a quick note on a mistake I see people making. Webcam covers are a cheap and easy way to prevent your laptop's camera from spying on you. But too many of the covers obscure the LED which indicates that the camera is on. If you cover your activation LED then you won't be able… Continue reading →

A grumpy look at using a Yubico Neo NFC on Ubuntu & Android

by @edent | # # # # | 8 comments | Read ~2,762 times.
YubiKey Neo - a thumb sized USB device - on cardboard backing

Twenty One. I have 21 accounts which use Two-Factor Authentication. I use the Authy app to manage them all, but it is still a pain to scroll through and find the exact 2FA token I need. Encouraged by my friend Tom Morris's blog post, I picked up a YubiKey NEO for £50. It implements the… Continue reading →