Saturday, August 05, 2006

German hackers clone RFID e-passports


Oh snap. First the Dutch get their RFID e-passport system cracked, then VeriChip gets its "counterfeit proof" RFID implant copied by a pair of hackers in front of a live audience, and now some hackers in Germany have undermined some of the security behind the electronic passports that the United States and other countries are planning to implement this month.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Time to play in a tree

It's worth a DNA swab:

But the afternoon adventure turned into a frightening ordeal for Sam Cannon, Amy Higgins and Katy Smith after they climbed into the 20ft tree - then found themselves hauled into a police station and locked in cells for up to two hours.

Their shoes were removed and mugshots, DNA samples and mouth swabs were taken.

Officers told the children they had been seen damaging the tree which is in a wooded area of public land near their homes.

The lesson is: do not do anything. Otherwise you will be tagged and marked. I'm happy that our U.K. brethern see this threat.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Don't keep trade secrets on your laptop

Another good reason to encrypt your data:

The case made its way to a Nevada court, which found Romm guilty. An appeal of the case went to the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, which was charged with deciding an important issue: can border patrol agents search laptops without a warrant and without probable cause? The court's ruling was handed down on Monday, and said that yes, agents can search laptops for any reason.

Geek drool

Nvidia unwraps 64x SLI monster GPU rig

What do you get for the graphics buff who has everything? How about Nvidia's Quadro Plex 1000, a racked collection of GPUs in their own box, together capable of rendering 80bn pixels every second and powering monitors with a combined resolution of up to 148 megapixels.

It doesn't come cheap, mind - prices start at $17,500. Nvidia has three models on offer. Two contain two Quadro FX 5500 GPUs, while the mid-range version, the Model II, has two Quadro 4500 X2 GPUs - ie. four graphics cores.

Whew! Democracy is safe.


The most serious issue is the ability to choose between "EPROM" and "FLASH" boot configurations. Both of these memory sources are present. All of the switches in question (JP2, JP3, JP8, SW2 and SW4) are physically present on the board. It is clear that this system can ship with live boot profiles in two locations, and switching back and forth could change literally everything regarding how the machine works and counts votes. This could be done before or after the so-called "Logic And Accuracy Tests".

A third possible profile could be field-added in minutes and selected in the "external flash" memory location, the interface for which is present on the motherboard.


Why Should Feds Track College Students?

They shouldn't.

Whether you call it a "national unit records database" (the first name) or a "consumer-friendly information database" (the second), it is in fact a mandatory federal registry of all American students throughout their collegiate careers - every course, every step, every misstep. Once established, it could easily be linked to existing K-12 and workforce databases to create unprecedented cradle-to-grave tracking of American citizens. All under the watchful eye of the federal government.

One more nail in the coffin.