The next level of surveillance

Via Bruce Schneier:

Here, we develop an approach to translate chemistries recovered from personal objects such as phones into a lifestyle sketch of the owner, using mass spectrometry and informatics approaches. Our results show that phones’ chemistries reflect a personalized lifestyle profile. The collective repertoire of molecules found on these objects provides a sketch of the lifestyle of an individual by highlighting the type of hygiene/beauty products the person uses, diet, medical status, and even the location where this person may have been.

Wow!

Perhaps the next level beyond this will be similar type of analysis of the air around you. Imagine going through airport security and the scanning machine blows air over you and determines your health, how recently you fired a gun, what pets you have, your DNA as well as that of your spouse, children, and mistress.

He has a time machine

On August 5th, 2015 Scott Adams, the Dilbert cartoonist, wrote How Trump Becomes President. That’s right, 15 months before yesterday’s election.

Less than a week before the election he said:

I predict Trump wins in a landslide.

This was even when almost all polls were telling us Hillary was going to win. The polls continued this claim to the morning of the election. The polls, built and conducted by hundreds, if not thousands, of extremely experienced political observers, mathematicians, and pollsters got it wrong. They couldn’t see the future a few hours ahead of time as well as some guy who makes his living drawing cartoons about engineers and pointy haired bosses did 15 months prior to the event.

Trump, who had never held a political office or been in the military had to defeat, what was it, 16 republican candidates for the nomination? Then he had to defeat whoever the democrats threw at him in the general election. That first point, alone, is unheard of in this country.

For Scott Adams to successfully make this prediction one has to believe he has either, hereto unknown to mankind, god-like political insight or that he has a time machine he isn’t telling us about.

Occam’s razor says he has a time machine.

Quote of the day—Brian Krebs

I have been asked by several reporters over the past few days whether I think government has a role to play in fixing the IoT mess. Personally, I do not believe there has ever been a technology challenge that was best served by additional government regulation.

Brian Krebs
October 25, 2016
Senator Prods Federal Agencies on IoT Mess
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Interesting times

Think about this for a minute. After the chill up your spine subsides make appropriate contingence plans:

The wireless provider released a statement saying that a malware attack via Twitter on Tuesday night “generated some unplanned 911 calls but 911 services and calls were not affected.”

“We are obligated by FCC regulations, as is every other wireless carrier, to notify authorities in your city if 911 services might at all be impacted, which is what we did when this problem was first detected. But this actually affected 911 nationwide and on any Apple device running iOS 10 or earlier (regardless of wireless carrier).

The malware has been disabled, but we’re advising our customers who clicked on the link to reboot their phone and update their software to 10.1. We’re also working with Apple to determine if any additional steps are needed.”

Apparently some number of malware infected iPhones repeated called 911, nationwide, in a denial of service attack on our emergency services.

Why would someone want to reduce or eliminate your ability to contact emergency services?

  1. They get a kick out of breaking things.
  2. They want to increase their odds of success in some sort of criminal/terrorist attack.

I can’t think of another reason.

Who needs a fire extinguisher or a gun? Just call 911 and you’ll be fine, right?

Smokeless powder basics

Widener’s has a web page and video Guide to Smokeless Powder (via email from Anne Taylor at Widener’s where I buy some of my reloading supplies). The basics are explained at a superficial but useful level:

Smokeless powder may be the most important component for any shooter who is reloading ammo and it’s probably the most complicated as well. With different characteristics and a ton of variables, gunpowder needs to be fully understood before you attempt to reload ammunition.

This guide will take you through the basics of reloading powder, show how all smokeless powder is not the same and demonstrate how the different characteristics of powder can make your reloads more effective depending upon your intended purpose.

I liked the video in particular (but check out the web page as well) because I have had people insist smokeless powder in open air will go up in a flash from a spark. My experience attempting to use it for recreational purposes in such a fashion was quite disappointing. This video is consistent with my experience. It’s tough to even ignite smokeless powder and, in open air, it burns slowly.

Quote of the day—Stephen Green

I’m not sure whether to say “faster, please” or worry about what Skynet might do with an army of mind-controlled cockroaches.

Stephen Green
September 21, 2016
21ST CENTURY HEADLINES: Mind-Controlled Nanobots Used to Release Chemicals in Living Cockroaches.
[I would worry more about the nanobots releasing chemicals into the brains of people thinking “wrong thoughts”.—Joe]


Those who need to know already know what the following means. If it’s not crystal clear to you then don’t worry about it. It’s not for you. It’s more fun and games for the NSA:
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What caliber for the most dangerous animal in the world?

So… what animal is the most dangerous to humans? That is, what animal kills more humans than any other each year?

Almost for certain you have had direct contact with one, or one of their “cousins”, multiple times in your life. Think about it for a bit. As this is a gun blog, what caliber of gun do you think would be most effective in defending yourself from this beast?

If I were the betting type I would bet you chose wrong. Almost for certain this animal would sneak in past your defenses and bite you on the neck without you being able to get off a single shot in its direction. Guns are essentially worthless against it.

What is this deadly beast? Alien? Predator? An escapee from Jurassic Park?

Nope.

Omar Akbari, a molecular biologist and assistant professor of entomology at the University of California, Riverside says:

Aedes aegypti is literally probably the most dangerous animal in the world.

And from the same article:

The same type of mosquito caused dengue to proliferate from Southeast Asia through tropical regions world-wide during the last quarter of the 20th century. The dengue virus infects an estimated 390 million people a year, killing thousands of them.

Aedes aegypti also is a carrier of chikungunya, a crippling disease that causes lasting joint pain, and yellow fever. In southern Africa, officials are struggling to contain a large outbreak of yellow fever, which can lead to fatal liver disease.

And another type of mosquito transmits malaria which kills nearly a half million people each year.

But scientist are working on genetic tools that could possibly direct selected species to extinction:

Imperial College London researchers are refining a system under development for the past several years to drive a self-destructive genetic trait into the Anopheles gambiae mosquito, the major carrier of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. The trait could eventually shrink the malaria carrier’s population. Malaria kills an estimated 438,000 people a year.

With Crispr/Cas9, scientists can use an enzyme to snip DNA and insert changes, then build something called a “gene drive” that makes those changes more likely to be inherited by future generations, altering them. Normally, genes have only a 50% chance of being inherited.

Prof. Adelman and Virginia Tech biochemistry professor Zhijian Tu see a way to do this with genes involved in mosquito reproduction. In a paper published in Science last year, the researchers identified a gene that makes Aedes aegypti mosquitoes male.

“This was the master switch that controls sex,” says Prof. Tu. He and Prof. Adelman were co-authors of the research.

The researchers now are working on a system to program mosquitoes to develop as males. Since only females bite, that change could reduce the ability to spread viruses. The researchers aim to then use Crispr/Cas9 to build a gene drive that would spread the change through successive generations.

“If you’re successful, then you end up with all males, and the local population crashes,” says Prof. Tu. Prof. Adelman cautions that a system to target Aedes aegypti would have to be designed to leave the African forest-dwelling mosquito Aedes aegypti formosus intact. That type of mosquito doesn’t threaten human, he says.

Prof. Akbari at UC Riverside is using Crispr/Cas9 to design a gene-drive system that would inactivate a fertility gene in female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and then pass on the inactivated gene. That would sterilize future generations of females.

The tradeoff is millions of human lives saved versus the preservation of the most deadly animals on the planet. Which will we chose?

Every move you make

Via Bruce Schneier we have this:

American and Chinese academics built a keystroke recognition system called WiKey consisting, at its simplest, of a standard router (sender) and laptop (receiver). WiKey can recognize typed keys in the middle of the system based on how the Wi-Fi signal lands on the receiver.

“In real-world experiments, WiKey can recognize keystrokes in a continuously typed sentence with an accuracy of 93.5 percent,” the researchers wrote.

However, they go on to say:

This is not something you should expect to see deployed in the real world tomorrow by spy agencies or hackers. Other distortions throw the entire thing off. If someone else is walking through—or simply in—the room, the current set up falters.

That’s somewhat reassuring but what they don’t say is that it tells us that our keystrokes, some our smallest movements, can be determined via radio waves. It doesn’t have to be Wi-Fi signals from access points already in the environment. It could be any type of custom built radio transmitters and receivers specifically brought to your location. By illuminating your environment with numerous transmitters/receivers one can imagine doing the equivalent of a CAT scan of your home/office, in real time, with centimeter resolution.

If that’s not enough to concern you Bruce shares another way WiFi can be used to spy on on people:

In this paper, we propose a novel approach for human identification, which leverages WIFI signals to enable non-intrusive human identification in domestic environments. It is based on the observation that each person has specific influence patterns to the surrounding WIFI signal while moving indoors, regarding their body shape characteristics and motion patterns. The influence can be captured by the Channel State Information (CSI) time series of WIFI. Specifically, a combination of Principal Component Analysis (PCA), Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT) and Dynamic Time Warping (DTW) techniques is used for CSI waveform-based human identification. We implemented the system in a 6m*5m smart home environment and recruited 9 users for data collection and evaluation. Experimental results indicate that the identification accuracy is about 88.9% to 94.5% when the candidate user set changes from 6 to 2, showing that the proposed human identification method is effective in domestic environments.

I think my utopian, underground, home is going to also be a Faraday Cage with some sort of HARM missile capability.

16th Century Revolver

An eight-shooter from over 400 years ago. But those who wrote the constitution could never have imagined a multi-shot firearm.

Am I seeing a barrel-mounted, spring operated indexing pawl which engages tiny notches in the front of cylinder between the priming pan covers? On the other hand, maybe that lever on the right side behind the cylinder is part of the index locking mechanism.

Now what we need is a gas-operated, automatic firing, flintlock chain gun artillery piece.

Quote of the day—Chris Rock

I don’t want to live in a world where hacking comes in second to ISIS.

Chris Rock
August 6, 2016 at Defcon 24
How to Overthrow a Government
[This is the white Australian Chris Rock, not the black U.S. Chris Rock.

This was his response to someone who said the biggest threats the world currently faces are, in order, ISIS, Hacking, … some other stuff. His point was that he thinks hacking should be number one in the list of threats to the world. Why should hacking come in behind a bunch of incompetent amateurs? So, he showed how hacking was used to create changes in the government of Kuwait a few years ago. At least that was strongly implied. It wasn’t clear to me whether this actually happened or was just a plausible explanation of what might have happened.

Here are some pictures from his presentation:
WP_20160806_10_06_08_ProWP_20160806_10_08_16_ProWP_20160806_10_17_45_ProWP_20160806_10_25_49_Pro

Interesting stuff.—Joe]

Data gets in the way of legislation

Interesting data:

A recent study by Temple University researchers found that wearing body cameras was actually associated with a 3.64% increase in fatal shootings of civilians by police officers.  Perhaps even more surprising is that no increase in fatalities was noticed in police interactions with Whites/Asians but police were found to be 3.68% more likely to kill Blacks/Hispanics while wearing body cameras.  The study suggests that police officers are actually more likely to pull the trigger if they have video evidence to support their use of force.

As Tyler Durden says in his post, “Don’t you just hate it when data gets in the way of legislation?”

Fingerprints should not imply uniqueness

News you can use:

For over 100 years, fingerprint evidence has been used as a valuable tool for the criminal justice system. Relying on the generalized premise of “uniqueness”, the forensic community has regarded fingerprint evidence as nearly infallible having the capacity to “individualize” the source of a fingerprint impression to a single individual. While the uniqueness of a complete record of friction ridge skin detail is generally undisputed, the extension of that premise to partial and degraded impressions has become a central issue of debate. Nevertheless, forensic science laboratories routinely use the terms “individualization” and “identification” in technical reports and expert witness testimony to express an association of a partial impression to a specific known source. Over the last several years, there has been growing criticism among the scientific and legal communities regarding the use of such terms to express source associations which rely on expert interpretation. The crux of the criticism is that these terms imply absolute certainty and infallibility to the fact-finder which has not been demonstrated by available scientific data. As a result, several authoritative scientific organizations have recommended forensic science laboratories not to report or testify, directly or by implication, to a source attribution to the exclusion of all others in the world or to assert 100% infallibility and state conclusions in absolute terms when dealing with population issues. Consequently, the traditional paradigm of reporting latent fingerprint conclusions with an implication of absolute certainty to a single source has been challenged. The underlying basis for the challenge pertains to the logic applied during the interpretation of the evidence and the framework by which that evidence is articulated. By recognizing the subtle, yet non-trivial differences in the logic, the fingerprint community may consider an alternative framework to report fingerprint evidence to ensure the certainties are not over or understated.

Dillon Precision

I’ve had Dillon Precision presses for ~20 years. No idea how many rounds I’ve loaded, but I remember buying primers by the case several times. Not quite this level, but enough to give the anti-gunnies conniptions. The Square Deal B is my go-to press for pistol cartridges. I’ve not used it in a while, though, between work, kids, writing, and everything else.

Anyway, when I went to assemble some 38 Special ammo today it wasn’t feeding primers reliably. Long story short, I call Dillon Precision’s tech support (they have a toll free number), get charged nothing, get my answer, and they are sending some replacement little plastic gizzies (technical term, that) which go on the end of the primer feed tube, mailed out tomorrow at no charge. He also told me how to clean the primer feed tube by pushing an alcohol-dipped Q-tip through it with the primer follower. That got quite a spectacular bit of corrosion / crud out of it, and it definitely feeds better, now. Not quite perfectly, but a great improvement.

Dillon presses are not the cheapest on the market, but I have never been disappointed by the presses or the technical support. As a former tech-support guy myself, I have high standards, and they meet them every time. If you plan on doing reloading, you can do much worse than Dillon.

I want a set of these

Prosounds via Indiegogo is funding the initial manufacturing and marketing of these:

H2P_diagram

This is hearing protection (30 db) and enhancement (they claim “6X” which I suspect means about 8 db) that fits in your ear. The difficulty of getting a good check weld on your rifle will just go away but you can still hear and have good sound protection. You can wear whatever hat you want with them and you can carry them in a small pocket wherever you go.

Their media release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Greg Duncan
Blue Heron Communications
(800) 654-3766
Greg@blueheroncomm.com

ProSounds Launches H2P Hearing Protection and Enhancement Earpieces via Indiegogo
Supporters offered opportunity for steep discounts

DRAPER, Utah (June 22, 2016) – ProSounds® Powered by Axil continues its mission to bring the most advanced hearing protection and enhancement devices to the civilian, industrial, shooting and military/police sectors with the launch of the H2P Earpieces on Indiegogo. Consumers can receive the H2P earpieces at a discounted price.

Supporters who back the ProSounds Indiegogo campaign will enjoy discounted rates that increase along with the amount of product purchased. Consumers and businesses that take advantage of the larger packages will receive the greatest savings. The Indiegogo campaign begins June 22 and will run through July 22.

“The H2P earpieces will change how people protect their hearing,” said ProSounds President and Founder Weston Harris. “They deliver high-quality, high-tech hearing protection and enhancement without the inconvenience of bulky head muffs or uncomfortable behind-the-ear devices. Lightweight and low-profile, the H2P will benefit anyone who experiences loud sounds throughout their everyday life.”

Designed to provide 100 percent digital protection and enhancement in one simple device, the new ProSounds H2P earpieces represent the newest advancement in hearing protection. Engineered with Lynx™ Digital Sound Clarity for optimal performance, the H2P earpieces deliver amplification of up to six times higher than normal hearing while simultaneously blocking any potential damaging noises in excess of 85 decibels.

The H2P earpieces are small and discreet and feature adjustable volume control, which allow users to easily select their preferred hearing level for each ear. Three styles of tips with the universal SecurFit™ design allow for all-day comfort whether at the range, workplace or in the field. Perfect for hunting, shooting range sessions, sporting events, concerts and industrial workplaces, the H2P provides the best digital compression hearing protection technology available.

The H2P earpieces are a great option for anyone who needs quality hearing protection and enhancement. With damage to hearing beginning at 85 decibels, 140 million Americans put their hearing at risk while at work, shooting ranges, hunting trips, sporting events and more. Designed with a comfortable fit and featuring high-quality digital compression, anyone who experiences loud noises can benefit from the H2P earpieces.

Axil, parent company of ProSounds, is the industry leader of hearing enhancement and protection technology, and has been helping people around the world improve and protect their hearing for over 57 years. To learn more about the ProSounds H2P Indiegogo campaign, please visit Indiegogo.

Biometrical identity verification via your brake pedal

Via Bruce Schneier we find there is still another means of biometric identity verification:

“With very limited amounts of driving data we can enable very powerful and accurate inferences about the driver’s identity,” says Miro Enev, a former University of Washington researcher who worked on the study before taking a job as a machine-learning engineer at Belkin. And the researchers argue that ability to pinpoint could have unexpected privacy implications: Everything from letting insurance companies punish drivers who loan their cars to their teenage kids, to confirming the identity of a driver who violated traffic laws or caused a collision.

In the end, the researchers found that they didn’t even need the longest portion of the driving test to reliably identify each of the 15 drivers. Using the full collection of the car’s sensors—including how the driver braked, accelerated and angled the steering wheel—the researchers found that their algorithm could distinguish each of the drivers, with 100 percent accuracy, based on only 15 minutes of the driving data. Even with data from the brake pedal alone, they found that they could guess at the correct driver with 87 percent accuracy.

Keep in mind this is result on identify verification. They are not determining identity with this information. Still, this very interesting. Not all the implications are obvious at first glance. But it might be claimed that regular collection of this data violates my Jews In the Attic Test.

Cell phone signals extends rats lives

When I worked at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory I talked to a researcher who told me he did a study on satellite phones and cancer in rats. They wanted to make sure the specific signals used by these phones were safe because their have been concerns that the relatively high powered transmitters next to a persons head might cause cancer. We didn’t really have a plausible hypothesis for this since it was non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, but doing the tests on rats was due diligence in making sure the concerns were unwarranted.

He told me that the rats exposed to cell phone signals had fewer cancers than the control group! People didn’t really believe the results and even he was skeptical. He redid the study. Same result. I just sort of filed it away in my mind and would occasionally tell the story to people when something related came up in a conversation. I wasn’t really sure I believe the result either. I just know the researcher was convinced he did the testing correctly had much greater than chance data to support the conclusion.

I don’t remember his name and the only thing that might be associated with that study I could find in a quick search on the Internet was this. But today I ran across this:

Another result of the study is even more head-scratching: the groups of rats exposed to cell signals lived longer than those not exposed. That doesn’t mean that cell phone radiation will extend your lifespan. But, Carroll writes, it could mean the exposed group simply developed cancer as an inevitable part of aging, while the non-exposed group died before tumors could develop.

Wow! This is a much more recent and independent study. Yet it hints at the same result as the PNNL researcher found over a decade ago.

If true, what could the mechanism possibly be?

What were they thinking?

The Clinton email scandal continues to deteriorate. Most people following the issue will be aware of the review by the inspector general which was released yesterday. In part it said:

Two staff in S/ES-IRM reported to the OIG that, in late 2010, they each discussed their concerns about Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal email account in separate meetings with the then-Director of S/ES-IRM. In one meeting, one staff member raised concerns that information sent and received on Secretary Clinton’s account could contain Federal records that needed to be preserved in order to satisfy Federal recordkeeping requirements. According to the staff member, the Director stated that the Secretary’s personal system had been reviewed and approved by Department legal staff and that the matter was not to be discussed any further. As previously noted, OIG found no evidence that staff in the Office of the Legal Adviser reviewed or approved Secretary Clinton’s personal system. According to the other S/ES-IRM staff member who raised concerns abut the server, the Director stated that the mission of S/ES-IRM is to support the Secretary and instructed the staff never to speak of the Secretary’s personal email system again.

Emphasis added.

Ms.Clinton has also publically stated it was reviewed and approved. There are lots of other damning items in the review. And we haven’t even seen the results of the FBI investigation yet. Interesting time are ahead for “Crooked Clinton”.

But unless you “have your finger on the pulse” of some other sources you wouldn’t know that some really mindboggling stupid computer security practices were in place at the Clinton residence:

According to historic Internet address maps stored by San Mateo, Calif. based Farsight Security, among the handful of Internet addresses historically assigned to the domain “clintonemail.com” was the numeric address 24.187.234.188. The subdomain attached to that Internet address was….wait for it…. “printer.clintonemail.com“.

Ronald Guilmette, a private security researcher in California who prompted me to look up this information, said printing things to an Internet-based printer set up this way might have made the printer data vulnerable to eavesdropping.

“Whoever set up their home network like that was a security idiot, and it’s a dumb thing to do,” Guilmette said. “Not just because any idiot on the Internet can just waste all your toner. Some of these printers have simple vulnerabilities that leave them easy to be hacked into.”

More importantly, any emails or other documents that the Clintons decided to print would be sent out over the Internet — however briefly — before going back to the printer. And that data may have been sniffable by other customers of the same ISP, Guilmette said.

“People are getting all upset saying hackers could have broken into her server, but what I’m saying is that people could have gotten confidential documents easily without breaking into anything,” Guilmette said. “So Mrs. Clinton is sitting there, tap-tap-tapping on her computer and decides to print something out. A clever Chinese hacker could have figured out, ‘Hey, I should get my own Internet address on the same block as the Clinton’s server and just sniff the local network traffic for printer files.’”

I repeat, “Whoever set up their home network like that was a security idiot…”. It’s stupid to route your printer traffic via an outside network unless you are only printing the most vanilla of materials and need for people in the outside world to use your printer. Clinton had material on her email server that was highly classified. If she used the printer in this way it’s difficult to imagine that her printer traffic was not intercepted by unauthorized people. This is, in part, because whoever created the amazingly insecure system, essentially, advertised it to the public with the public subdomain records.

People need to go to jail over this.

Our country is in the best of hands.

Windows phone just got killed

As if there was any doubt this should settle the issue:

Microsoft is bowing out of building its own phones for consumers. After dramatically scaling back its Lumia devices last year, Microsoft hammered the final nail in the coffin today with an additional $950 million write off and 1,850 more job losses. Microsoft’s Lumia devices still account for more than 95 percent of all Windows phones sold, but a lack of new devices means sales and Windows Phone market share have declined sharply over the past year. Windows Phone is dead, and phone makers aren’t interested in reviving it.

I need to start porting my apps (Field Ballistics and As the Crow Flies) to the iPhone or Android so when my current phone dies I’ll still be able to use them with my new phone.

Use the known cure, not security theater

Via Bruce Schneier we have this extremely timely and fascinating article, The Evolving Challenges for Explosive Detection in the Aviation Sector and Beyond:

Another misnomer propagated largely in the press is that these type of explosives threats are not detectable with currently deployed technologies. This is false. The latest generation ETDs, when used in combination with the latest X-ray technologies, are generally excellent at detecting TNT, plasticized explosives such as C-4, PETN (Detasheet), and Semtex. This powerful combination of technologies should catch these explosives threats, even if it were concealed in the electronics of a laptop, because ETD swabs can detect minute amounts of residue.

Even an amateur chemist doesn’t have to think about this topic much to come up with explosives that are undetectable with the latest generation of explosive trace detection (ETD) equipment. As near as I can tell things I pointed out nearly nine years ago are still vulnerabilities.

The OIG also reported last summer that tests of the screening system showed that 95 percent of attempts to smuggle weapons through U.S. checkpoints were successful.

This has actually gotten worse since they started prohibiting weapons on board over 40 years ago. They should just give up on this and let passengers defend the cabin.

The reality of our current war on terrorism is that the costs are inversely correlated. Terrorists can use inexpensive but highly effective means to attack high-value and highly protected targets, forcing governments to take stricter and more costly measures to provide protection. Their model scales while ours becomes more difficult to sustain. Until we are successful in changing the paradigm in which cheap terrorism is effective terrorism, we need to be prepared to continue to invest in technologies and processes that make it more difficult for them to succeed.

Emphasis added. I agree with this. We must change the paradigm. We currently have nothing but security theater.

We are spending trillions of dollars and have nothing of substance to show for it. Those resources could, and should, have been spend in some serious elimination of terrorists rather than attempting to make it incrementally difficult for them at exponential costs to us. We have the resources and technology to make it exponentially expensive for them at incremental cost for us. We have a ruthless enemy who is willing to murder untold numbers of innocent people. We dealt with cultures like this in WWII and fundamentally changed their mindset to make the culture more tolerant to people who were different from them. These intolerant, evil, enemies are now tolerant, functional, members of a world society. It’s time to treat our current enemy with the known cure for evil.