Bebop_Tweaker writes: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/12/business/worldbu siness/12security.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
Starting this month in a port neighborhood and then spreading across Shenzhen, a city of 12.4 million people, residency cards fitted with powerful computer chips programmed by the same company will be issued to most citizens.
Data on the chip will include not just the citizen's name and address but also work history, educational background, religion, ethnicity, police record, medical insurance status and landlord's phone number. Even personal reproductive history will be included, for enforcement of China's controversial "one child" policy. Plans are being studied to add credit histories, subway travel payments and small purchases charged to the card
SkiifGeek writes: "The German law that makes it illegal to create, own, distribute, or use 'hacking tools' has now come into effect. Groups such as Phenoelit have stopped all German-based activity, while the CCC has taken a more humorous approach to the problem. Recent activity has seen the sample exploit code that accompanied the Month of PHP Bugs taken offline.
Although the law has yet to be used in a real case, it seems that a number of concerned groups are not taking the risk, and the German Information Security industry faces an uncertain future."
Sniper223 writes: "Susan Landau, a cryptographer for Sun Microsystems and the co-author of Privacy on the Line: The Politics of Wiretapping and Encryption, argues in the Washington Post today that the spying outposts made possible by the so-called Protect America Act actually create holes that can be used by hackers to attack critical infrastructure.
To avoid wiretapping every communication, NSA will need to build massive automatic surveillance capabilities into telephone switches. Here things get tricky: Once such infrastructure is in place, others could use it to intercept communications.
Grant the NSA what it wants, and within 10 years the United States will be vulnerable to attacks from hackers across the globe, as well as the militaries of China, Russia and other nations.
Such threats are not theoretical. For almost a year beginning in April 2004, more than 100 phones belonging to members of the Greek government, including the prime minister and ministers of defense, foreign affairs, justice and public order, were spied on with wiretapping software that was misused. Exactly who placed the software and who did the listening remain unknown. But they were able to use software that was supposed to be used only with legal permission."
evanwired writes: "Enigma is the most famous of the Nazi encryption machines, but not the only one — and not the only one successfully cracked. The tale of the T52, or the "Geheimschreiber" (the secret-writer), is equally fascinating, though not nearly so well known. This week at Chaos Communication Camp, a presenter showed what may be the first reconstruction of the decryption technique used by Swedish cryptographer Arne Buerling to break the Siemens-built device. The feat was achieved in two weeks using nothing but pen and paper and produced a reverse-engineered model of the machine itself. It is now regarded by cryptologists as one of the high points of classic code-breaking. Anyone interested in the T52's operations can find a simulator online here. From Wired.com's Threat Level blog."
The Bad Astronomer writes: "Well, it may be death to my server to submit two articles at once, but I was shocked to see nothing on/. about the Perseid meteor shower, which peaks Sunday night. I have some simple advice on how to watch it, for those of you who can actually venture away from the computer and get outside. No tech, no gadgets, just you and the sky, and little bits of rock and ice impacting our atmosphere at 60 kps."