not even a good cyberpunk novel

There will always be a closely-watched england

Plods say it’s OK for them give out your DNA | The Register

The Liberal Democrats said a series of Freedom of Information requests have revealed that the NPIA has approved 25 applications for research projects using DNA profiles from the DNA database.

It said that five came from private companies, with three from LGC and two from Orchid Cellmark, and that no one whose DNA is being used in these projects had given their consent. “Innocent people are on the database, and their DNA will have been included in the research,” the party said in a statement.

It also said that the police, many of whose officers have added themselves to the database voluntarily, rejected a request for their DNA samples to be used in a research project.

Heck, even being guilty of some particular crime shouldn’t automatically make your DNA subject to whatever commercial exploitation some government agency thinks would be fun.

These documents showing that we did what we say we didn’t do are classified, and must be suppressed

In a complaint filed with Sweden’s chancellor of Justice, the FRA calls the post a “crime against freedom of speech.” The agency also vehemently denies it monitored cables.

It seems that at least a few people inside Sweden’s government aren’t happy with the the FRA’s new powers either, and lately, they’ve taken to turning over classified documents to Alexandersson purporting to show abuses.

Alexandersson has posted other confidential documents that cast the FRA in an unfavorable light. One contained a list of 103 Swedish citizens registered and monitored by the FRA, purportedly for the sole reason that they happened to be in Russia.

The ongoing malware shakeout

Neosploit faced stiff competition from the proliferation of competing kits, many of which sold for a fraction of the price, according to Thomas Holt, a professor of criminal justice at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte who researches the malware black market.

What’s more, the RSA researchers note that Neosploit may be a victim of its own success.

“It is likely that Neosploit was finding it difficult to sustain its new customer acquisition rate, and that its existing customers were not generating enough revenue to sustain the prior rate of development,” they wrote. “These problems appear to have been too much of a burden, and we now believe that the Neosploit development team has been forced to abandon its product.”

Had to happen eventually; even black hats can’t make an honest living these days.

Blank robbers swipe 3,000 ‘fraud-proof’ UK passports | The Register

Nobody has so far shown that data on the chip in a biometric passport can be successfully altered, but it has several times been shown that it can be copied fairly easily, and there are a number of ways in which this could be exploited. A copied chip that didn’t match the passport data, for example, could be palmed and used to pass automated border controls of the sort that are currently being planned by IPS.

And it’s still early in the relationship between forgers and biometric passports. One could perhaps envisage a future where businesses that regularly had to check passports (say, tourist hotels) could be ‘farmed’ by forgers for passport data, producing data banks of passports that hadn’t been stolen, but that could be cloned on demand – just pick somebody the right age and appearance. Put that together with a stock of blank biometric passports and you’ve got a nice little business there.

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