Counterspy

Creepy: OnStar Will Track You Whether You’re Subscribed or Not

You know those melodramatic OnStar commercials? The ones where someone somehow locks their baby (and keys) in the car on a blazing hot summer day, panics and calls the service to remotely unlock the vehicle’s doors? Imagine that, except without the baby, the accidentally locking the keys in the car, or the part where you have a …

Why I Can Guess Your iPad Password

Friend of mine, a smart journalist, had his iPad stolen. He couldn’t help that — the thief broke into his house. But his private, personal data wasn’t stolen, exactly. Donated, more like. He had no passcode set on the iPad. All his email, calendar, address book, and work documents were free for the taking. Oh, yeah. He had the iPad …

China Denies Gmail Hack, Claims It’s a ‘Victim’ Too

China’s response to Google’s accusation that Chinese hackers broke into Gmail, the company’s free online email service, and absconded with the login details of hundreds of senior U.S. and Asian government officials, military personnel, journalists and Chinese political activists?

We didn’t do it, and your “unacceptable” attempt to …

Hide Your Hard Drive’s Secrets in Plain Sight

Encrypting data on your hard drive can be such nuisance, what with all the special apps and public/private keys, and the whole thing might as well be a pound of slag if you forget the passcode.

What if you could just hide everything in plain sight?

Turns out you can. It’s called steganography, from the Greek steganos, …

Sony Exec: “No Intention” of Ending Partnership With iTunes

Despite having their e-reader app banned from the App Store, Sony Network Entertainment COO Shawn Layden said the company has no plans of stopping their relationship with Apple’s music service, even though they are launching their own music subscription service, Music Unlimited, in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand today.

“Sony …

World Web War I: Why Egypt’s Digital Uprising is Different

We’ve seen cyberwar declared before, but the one playing out in Egypt is my own candidate for World Web War I. Hosni Mubarak fired the first shot,  switching off the internet and mobile phones after crude attempts to block Twitter and Facebook fell apart. The web fought back in ways we haven’t seen before, and it’s winning.

It no …

Update: McAfee and the Ghost License Issue

After writing my last post on the way McAfee took me for a ride – charging me for five years of license renewals after I uninstalled its software – I heard pretty quickly from Francie Coulter, McAfee’s Director of WW Consumer Public Relations. On the plus side, there was no bluster. She apologized and offered a full refund. On the minus …

‘Security’ That Makes A Grab For Your Wallet

Here’s a little story about an inattentive customer and the price of inattention. I play the sucker. The company that takes me for a ride is a surprise casting choice: McAfee, a reputable security vendor. McAfee’s anti-virus software is an industry standard, even if reviewers have been saying since last year that Microsoft’s free …

IronClad: A Tiny, Secure Computer in Your Pocket

One common puzzle for the security-minded is how to work with confidential data on the road. Sometimes you can’t bring your laptop, or don’t want to. But working on somebody else’s machine exposes you to malware and leaves behind all kinds of electronic trails. Even if you keep your files on a portable drive, Windows will scatter …

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