Friday, August 26, 2005

Biometrics Not For Everywhere
"Biometric identification systems are getting popular – so popular that many companies now want to use such systems for access control in all areas of their premises and operations.

That's not a smart move, according to Tricubes Bhd, a provider of identity authentication solutions.

'Organisations shouldn’t use biometrics for access control in high-traffic areas,' said Ida Mariani Idris, manager for secure access and authentication solutions at Tricubes.

A fingerprint reader, for example, may malfunction if a user's finger tip is too oily, has abrasions or is too cold.

Such hiccups, she said, could hold up other users and compromise a business' operational efficiency and productivity. "

Additionally, employees could go ape-shit insane and bring a shotgun to work one day.

Mississippi School District Automates Time And Attendance With Biometrics
"Employees start their shift by checking in at an InfoTronics hand reader. This biometric device eliminates 'buddy punching' and accurately verifies employees’ identities while protecting their privacy. The system automatically polls 12 data collection devices throughout the day, and up-to-the-minute data is available at the district office, showing accumulated hours, overtime and regular rates, and data for those employees performing multiple roles (bus driver and cafeteria duties, for example) that in the past were difficult to track manually."

Sickening. Under the guise of protecting us, they yet again rape us in exchange for a few measly bucks a day. Instead of 'buddy-punching', we should be 'boss-punching'.

Something Rotten in Denmark
"Danish authorities have used a new law which was supposed to be an anti-terrorism measure to convict Greenpeace for actions committed by its individual members.

'This is the first time they have applied this law and it is a huge threat to what we can do,' said Dan Hindsgaul, spokesperson for Nordic Greenpeace."

Thursday, August 18, 2005
Babies Caught Up in 'No-Fly' Confusion
"Infants have been stopped from boarding planes at airports throughout the U.S. because their names are the same as or similar to those of possible terrorists on the government's 'no-fly list.'

It sounds like a joke, but it's not funny to parents who miss flights while scrambling to have babies' passports and other documents faxed.

Ingrid Sanden's 1-year-old daughter was stopped in Phoenix before boarding a flight home to Washington at Thanksgiving.

'I completely understand the war on terrorism, and I completely understand people wanting to be safe when they fly,' Sanden said. 'But focusing the target a little bit is probably a better use of resources.'"


Biometric Flaws Mar Start of British ID Card Plan
'Telecoms systems are judged on an availability of 99.999 per cent, but even that level of accuracy of biometrics, across the whole population, would mean 6,000 people in the country being mistaken, and no biometric technology is anywhere close to that reliable yet,' Fisher told Computing.
'Unless there is a strategy to overcome that lack of accuracy, the system will be flawed as soon as it starts,' he added.


Border Crossing Checking Efforts Stalled
"Under the program, the government has created repositories of digitally recorded biometric data -- including fingerprints and facial characteristics -- that can be used to identify more than 45 million foreigners, the report said. It also has data on some 70 million Americans to search for domestic terrorists."

IBM Works Toward Replacable Biometrics
"Biometric systems have one particularly critical vulnerability: how do you replace your finger if a hacker figures out how to duplicate it? An IBM research team working on that problem says it's recently cracked a major problem in the area of 'cancelable biometrics.'

'Biometrics is more private to you than a number that somebody assigned to you. I cannot cancel my face,' said IBM researcher Nalini Ratha, a scientist with the Exploratory Computer Vision Group at IBM's Watson Research Center. 'If it is compromised, it is compromised forever.'"

Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Looks like they're planning on rigging all public transportation with
biometric security devices... at least you can still drive your own car if you want some privacy. Or can you? Maybe you should just walk instead. But look out for the handhelds... They won't be happy until we're all in their database...
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Biometrics Catching On At Theme Parks
"Disneyworld recently caused a stir among privacy advocates when it started scanning the fingers of all visitors who enter the park. Similar technology is also being used right here in San Diego.

Your right hand is now the only ID you need to get into SeaWorld with an annual pass. A high-tech gadget known as the Handy Scan instantly verifies you're the rightful owner of your ticket.

'It's just a measurement of the hand, a 3-D image of the top of your hand,' said SeaWorld Operations Director Melissa Holscher. 'It's similar to signing a signature pad when you use a credit card in one of your stores.'"

Similar yet a bit more creepy. Airports, theme parks, schools - - what's next,
grocery stores?

Soft-drink Giant Deploys Biometrics
"Johannesburg-based Fingerprint Identification Technology (Fingerprint-it) has announced that it has installed a biometric control and tracking system for the continent's largest soft-drink company at its main canning plant in Wadeville, SA.

Fingerprint-it chief executive officer Bryan Kimmel says the soft-drink vendor is now using fingerprint biometric readers and Fingerprint-it software to track all activity of independent truckers entering the canning site. Sagem supplied the hardware solution for the system."

First, it's truckers in South Africa. Then, it's you and your job.

What The Hack?
"There are hundreds of tents on the hot and soggy campground, but this is not your ordinary summer outing, considering that it includes workshops with titles like 'Politics of Psychedelic Research' or 'Fun and Mayhem with RFID.'

This is the three-day What The Hack convention, a self-styled computer-security conference dealing with such issues as digital passports, biometrics and cryptography."


How To Hack Biometrics
"...each point is vulnerable to an attack or several types of attack. The most obvious is social engineering, you bat your eyelids, strike a provocative pose, and the underpaid security guard lets you in anyway. Barring that, or the janitor leaving the side door propped open allowing you to pass around the multi-million dollar security setup while you are working at a site, they are pretty secure. The AT&T Redwood City datacenter failed the 'janitor test' three nights in a row when I was last there..."

Cut Off Yr Ears
"'If you compare it with faces, the advantage of these is that they're both non-invasive biometrics - you don't have to make contact. But the disadvantage with faces is that they smile, they get old, you get wrinkles,' he said.

'Your ear just carries on growing and it preserves its structure as you get older.

'That makes it quite advantageous in terms of biometrics.'"

How many more times must we say it? Ears are the mark of the beast!

The State Of Surveillance
"Lost in the recent London bombings, along with innocent lives, was any illusion that today's surveillance technology can save us from evildoers. Britain has 4 million video cameras monitoring streets, parks, and government buildings, more than any other country. London alone has 500,000 cameras watching for signs of illicit activity. Studying camera footage helped link the July 7 bombings with four men -- but only after the fact. The disaster drove home some painful reminders: Fanatics bent on suicide aren't fazed by cameras. And even if they are known terrorists, most video surveillance software won't pick them out anyway."