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."
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