WARRANTY EXPLOITATION: CONFESSIONS OF A SOCIAL ENGINEER»

“Part theater and part science, social engineering is the method by which hackers, for lack of a better term, exploit vulnerabilities in human psychology; for Jonah, it was a key to getting anything he wanted, from televisions and laptops to smartphones and expensive wines. One of his largest takes netted him around $60,000 worth of product, he says. He showed me a Rolex Daytona watch—part of a gallery of stolen goods he’d photographed in his bedroom—which retails on Amazon for around $26,000. Whether through face-to-face interaction, by phone, or by email, the human gatekeepers of any network can be exploited—if you know how to play the game. They’re the weakest link in any company’s security.

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HACK BACK: A DIY GUIDE»

Last year, when the Italian security company Hacking Team was itself hacked, 400GB of leaked data revealed that Hacking Team had sold offensive spying software to over thirty countries including Egypt, Mexico, South Korea, Germany, Poland, Spain and the United States. Software that could be used by those countries to hack and spy on journalists, activists, political opposition, and other threats to their power. Phineas Fisher, the hacker responsible for stealing that data, shows in an informative step by step guide how he infiltrated Hacking Team’s network. (Via)

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VINTAGE SURVEILLANCE EQUIPMENT FROM THE 50’S, 60’S & 70’S

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Hound Dog Bug Detector And Phone Sweep Unit, 1950’s/1960’s

The Hound Dog Bug Detector And Phone Sweep was state of the art portable countermeasures for the 1960’s. If you owned a set, almost every detective agency in town wanted to see it and “barrow them.” They were made by R. B. Clifton and cost what would be about $2000.00 for the set by today’s standards. The Hound Dog was a portable RF bug detector which is shown on the left. The Phone Sweep was a tone sweeper that would let you remotely sweep a phone to turn on any hidden microphones which the unit could then detect. This was state-of-the-art countermeasures for the 1960’s. There were many countermeasures services that offered remote tone sweeping of telephone lines in these days. There were some agencies that even offered monthly remote tone phone sweeping services for a monthly fee.

Via Spy & Private-Eye Museum.

SHOOTERS DELIGHT: TEN CAMERA GUNS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

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THE MAMIYA “FAST ACTION CAMERA”

According to some reports, over 740 police officers were injured in the violent riots that broke out on May Day, 1952 in Tokyo, Japan. Many police officers were injured while simply trying to take photographs of the protesters and as a result, authorities demanded a camera that would be easy to aim without raising it to the eye. The Mamiya “Fast Action Camera” was their answer. Thirty units were delivered to Osaka police headquarters in 1954 but in the trails surrounding the riots concern was raised that the Fast Action Cameras could be confused with real weapons, frightening future subjects with unpredictable results (ie. hurling stones at the photographers), and thusly, the whole idea was scrapped and the pistol cameras were never put into any real on-the-street use.

One of these turned up on E-Bay a few years ago – the asking price? $25,000. (Via)