Archive for Security

Princeton group breaks encryptions with canned air

Posted in Security by Darrin Olson on February 24th, 2008

Princeton researchers Seth Schoen and Jacob Appelbaum find encryption hack by freezing memoryA group at Princeton University has found an exploit in common computer hardware that allows them to break codes and retrieve the encrypted data stored on the computers hard disks. The process at its most extreme involves direct access to the computer using a can of compressed air held upside down to freeze the DRAM chip(s) to access the encryption key stored in memory.

When stored data is encrypted, the software usually will use a key to encode and decode the data. That key is most often created and stored into a computer’s memory after a user logs into the computer with a password. According to the researchers, a common misconception is that once the computer is turned off, the DRAM memory disappears and so does the encryption key. In their studies, partially funded by the Dept. of Homeland Security, they found that data is actually retained in the computers memory for many seconds or sometimes even minutes after the computer is turned off. They also found that by freezing the memory chips with liquid nitrogen found in a common can of air for removing dust, they could get the data to remain in memory easily for as long as ten minutes, and often longer.

PC Guardian expands computer security offerings

Posted in Security by Nino Marchetti on February 4th, 2008

pc-guardian.jpgPC Guardian, a company which designs security products for computers, announced today an expansion of Master Coded Combo lock offerings for securing your computers and monitors when you get up from your cube to head to work. These security systems are available now in over thirty different configurations.

PC Guardian added five new models to its workstation configurations. All make use of the company’s Ezolution security solution. One is a two piece design for securing a laptop and monitor with the included ability to unlock the laptop independently from the monitor. The other is a one piece solution with two locks, permanently securing a monitor and a desktop computer.

Sequiam Biometrics Biovault 2.0 safe

Posted in Biometrics,Security by Conner Flynn on December 27th, 2007

Sequiam Biometrics Biovault 2.0 safe

Here’s another device you can give the finger too. For security reasons of course. Much like the Master Lock smartTOUCH garage door opener we covered earlier. The Sequiam Biometrics BioVault 2.0 is a safe that needs your finger to open it and get to the valuables inside. It recognizes your fingerprint and opens at your command. You can program it to open for others too, if you grant them access. The safe can accommodate up to 50 users.

You can store your gold inside, jewelry, even your precious and expensive gadgets, but it’s really designed to store guns safely and is endorsed by the NRA. It makes sense to store guns in a safe like this as it would apparently open quickly, but keep them safely locked away from kids. The price is $399.95.

ezSECU external hard drive case has touchscreen

Posted in Hard Drives,Security by Conner Flynn on November 26th, 2007

ezSECU external hard drive case features touchscreen

We all want to protect our data, but you really shouldn’t use a fingerprint reader. Someone can just knock you out or worse, take the finger. Instead, just enter a secret PIN number with the ezSECU ez850 external drive enclosure from IOTEK. It will ask you for the special PIN number each time you access it.

It’s compact and easy to take with you since it only supports 2.5 inch SATA hard drives. I’m assuming that it uses a rechargeable battery to power the screen. It’s size is 79.5 x 129.7 x 23mm and it’s compatible with Windows 2000/XP/Vista and Mac OS 9.2 and beyond. Nice looking, isn’t it? It could save your fingers.

Portable hard drives get paranoid

Posted in Hard Drives,Security by Conner Flynn on November 19th, 2007

“Cutie Bio”

There’s been alot of news lately about hard drive security and data protection. A new portable hard drive enclosure from Sarotech, adds another layer of security. It’s called the “Cutie Bio” and I think it has watched one too many spy movies. They’ve integrated a fingerprint scanner into an external USB 2.0 device. Just like James Bond, you can access your data with a simple swipe of your finger. Then once it’s no longer connected to the PC, the information becomes encrypted gibberish.

It’s not a bad deal, at $58.55. The only drawback here is that it works solely on Windows machines, leaving Mac owners out in the cold. They do have one that is Mac compatible and Linux-friendly, which uses the more expensive 1.8-inch drives, but availability is yet to be announced.

Maxtor & Sentry Group create fire resistant drives

Posted in External Hard Drives,Hard Drives,Security by Conner Flynn on November 16th, 2007

Fire resistant hard drives

Information is a precious and delicate thing. Which is why we humans have a hard candy shell wrapped around our brain. If our gooey info-centers were just exposed on top of our heads, we would be in big trouble. And it’s not like you can back up grey matter.

Luckily hard drives can be backed up, though truthfully not very many people actually do it. Let’s say you back up all of that precious data onto an external hard drive. Good job! You are now on the road to information safety. But wait…What if your house burns down? Or you get flooded? Nothing you can do about those acts of God right? Wrong. Thanks to Maxtor teaming up with Sentry Group, you can now have a drive that is both fire resistant and waterproof. These drives can withstand 1550F degrees for about a half hour as well as spend up to a day submerged in water.

The Stealth Surfer keeps surfing private

Posted in Networking,Security by Conner Flynn on November 9th, 2007

The Stealth Surfer keeps surfing private

Sometimes you may want to keep your surfing on the down-low. There are any number of legitimate reasons for this. Maybe you think that it’s best if your co-workers don’t find out about your trips to the Barbie Doll website. Totally understandable.

Stealth Surfer is here to help. It plugs directly into your USB drive, armed with Tor Network Security, which has an IP masker. It also includes Firefox and Thunderbird, as well as Roboform. Plus a four-year subscription to Hushmail.

Review: ID Vault from GuardID

Posted in Review,Security,USB by Darrin Olson on November 4th, 2007

ID Vault remembers and protects your online logins and financial informationIf you’re like many people that spend any amount of time online, you’ve probably had concerns or problems with probably the most common issues people have with surfing the net lately; security. For many, more and more interactions and transactions are taking place online, and everywhere you go you have to enter a user ID and a password. You can’t complain since security for the most part is a good thing, but it’s hard to remember the login credentials for every site you go to, and with all of the online identity theft scams going on these days many people are leery of entering their financial information online at all.

GuardID has a product called the ID Vault which we recently had the opportunity to review that goes a long way to help thwart online scams and gives you a single point to store login information. As a software engineer that has been developing hosted applications for years I’ve always trusted my own ability to identify phishing scams and unsecured sites, and I had never used a product like this before as I’ve always been hesitant to put all my information into one point of access. Although I still feel I do a good job of watching out for scams on my own I do have to admit that after spending some time with ID Vault product I’ve changed my tune and am pretty impressed with the secure environment this product creates.

Next-Gen credit card to keep you safer?

Posted in News,Security by Conner Flynn on October 29th, 2007

Innovative Card Technologies and eMue Technologies card system.You like to buy your gadgets and electronics using your credit card, right? It’s convenient and quick. You don’t even think about it. But it’s not always safe. The chip in cards and the PIN have been a security and safety problem for some time now. How do they intend to cure these problems and make you safer?

If Innovative Card Technologies and eMue Technologies have their way, you will be using their new card system, which will be shown at the Cartes & Identification in Paris this November.

Yelpie portable safe works better than your shoe

Posted in Security by Darrin Olson on October 23rd, 2007

Yelpie portable safe has motion alarm and can go with you to the beachThis portable safe from Yelpie is a pretty smart idea to help keep your valuables safe while your outdoors and especially at activities like the beach. The small safe is portable enough to take with you but big enough to hold most of your smaller valuable items that you wouldn’t take into the drink such as keys, wallet or sunglasses.

I’ve always trusted the fact that if I put my valuables such as car keys and wallet in my shoe, it somehow defied the ability of even the most cunning of thieves. For extra protection I would push the items way down into the toe where no one would ever think to look, but I’ve been told this isn’t completely fool proof. While the Yelpie safe makes it pretty obvious that it indeed has values inside, it’s configured with some security measures to help ensure the valuables stay put.

InGrid offers broadband-based home alarm system

Posted in InGrid,Security by Nino Marchetti on October 2nd, 2007

InGrid Digital Home Protection SystemLong gone are the days of analog alarm bells. One system which looks interesting for all digital protection is the InGrid Digital Home Protection System, priced at around $300 for a standard home size kit.

The InGrid Digital Home Protection System is designed to be nearly impossible to defeat, says its maker. It “has system redundancy with multiple control points and no master control panel, which is known to be defeatable by intruders in seconds.” It has an always-on broadband connectivity feature for sending notification to a monitoring service of any changes, can let users customize its features via a Web interface, can notify you via text messages to your cell phone if there are problems and includes a two-way, key chain remote to arm disarm the system.

STOP-Lock requires you be a gorilla to steal laptop

Posted in Security by Nino Marchetti on September 25th, 2007

Secure-It STOP-LockLosing your laptop to a thief can be both an information hassle and a blow to your wallet. A company by the name of Secure-It thinks its new STOP-Lock product, priced at around $40, will make thieves think twice before heisting your notebook.

The STOP-Lock consists of a visible, small metal plate with attaches to your notebook cover. It is stamped with barcode information which is chemically left behind on the cover if the thief somehow comes up with the 800 pounds of pressure necessary to remove the plate. This information can be used to trace the computer back to its owner. A special lock and cable complete the security lock down so your notebook doesn’t wander off while you are waiting in a Starbucks line for a latte.

Phone-Shaped Stun Gun in Disguise

Posted in Security by Reuben Drake on September 15th, 2007

The Immobilizer stun gun is shaped like a cell phoneThis gadget may look like a modern-day cell phone but it’s actually not a phone at all. In fact, if you hear something ringing you’ll want to make a point NOT to try to answer this one.

This mobile-phone impostor is actually a 900,000 volt stun gun, which is one of the highest voltage stun guns available according to the company. The Immobilizer Cell Phone Stun Gun measures only 4 inches tall and provides protection from would-be bad guys who will really never know what hit them.

The Immobilizer has a couple working buttons on the face where you would usually find the Send Call and End Call buttons. One is for a built-in 12 LED flashlight and the other is a whopping jot of stun. Due to this you’ll want to be sure of which button you want when …

Fujitsu Launches Palm Reading Security Mouse

Posted in Biometrics,Fujitsu,Mouse,Security by Reuben Drake on September 11th, 2007

Fujitsu PalmSecure PC Login kit uses vein biometric authentication to secure a PCFujitsu today unveiled a new product in PC security that uses “palm vein biometric authentication” to secure access to computers called the PalmSecure PC Login Kit. The kit comes in two versions, one as a standard which incorporates the palm vein scanner and the other that doubles as a standard computer mouse with the vein reader built in.

The palm vein device from Fujitsu uses a newer type of authentication which uses near-infrared rays to identify the unique patterns of veins in a persons hand. The system promises to provide secure authentication since no two persons vein patterns are exactly alike, and is touchless providing a more hygenic biometric authentication than touching a fingerprint scanner. Also, since the technology looks for deoxidized hemoglobin in the veins to reflect the pattern a hand with no blood pumping …

New NEC laptops issue you a Face Pass

Posted in NEC,Notebooks,Security by Chetz on September 4th, 2007

NEC laptop has face pass recognition securityImproved security for your computer is all the rage these days and NEC is out to impress you (and attain your patronage) by going the facial recognition route. The company has just announced plans to bring out two new laptop lines for the Japanese market that integrate NEC’s “Face Pass” technology to keep strangers out of your files.

The LaVie C and LaVie L series use the laptop’s 2.0 megapixel camera and its NeoFace software to recognize your mug when you try and log on to the machine. NeoFace can ascertain the physical differences between your face and someone else’s by measuring the distance from your eyes to specific features on your face.