Schneier on Security
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May 4, 2012
Tampon-Shaped USB Drive
This vendor is selling a tampon-shaped USB drive. Although it's less secure now that there are blog posts about it.
Posted on May 4, 2012 at 1:31 PM
• 25 Comments
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The comment about "put where no one will ever look" has to be from somebody who hasn't flown in the USA over the past few years.
Does not work anyways. The genuine article is wrapped in clear plastic to preserve sterility.
When the TSA starts removing women's tampons on the suspicion of it being a USB drive, then you know we are all slaves under the false delusion of freedom.
Security through ob...stetrics?
Thinking back on all the times I've smuggled meticulously hand-written terrorism plots on tampons, I feel quite stupid now.
Hmm there are so many things to say...
I wonder if the warranty is voided if you do "tuck it out of sight" and as a consiquence becomes clapped out...
Also I'd dread to work in the companies "returns dept".
I recall traveling to Czechoslovakia in the 1970s with a Czech friend who had become an American citizen. She was taking in some Playboy magazines for a friend, and had had them confiscated by customs in the past. She packed one suitcase with the magazines at the bottom and tampons and pads on the top. The male customs agents searched the other bags, but that bag was opened, looked at in alarm, and closed back up without a search. Clearly, female cooties can still be effective after middle school.
I always liked the idea of the dirty underwear "safe".
I once met a woman in Vancouver who swore by hanging used tampons from her rear view mirror as a car break in deterrent.
TSA --- Tampon Security Administration
wow, iphone, ipad and now iTampon?
I've also had the experience of security hurriedly returning the bag upon discovering (unused, sealed) pads in my backpack. This was for the Washington DC fireworks on the Mall in 2002 or 2003, when paranoia was still super high, and he still couldn't bear to look...
so.... Where would the ladies keep this if the implied area was otherwise occupied by a real tampon? I would imagine the usb drive has less-than-stellar absorbency properties.
I did not see any type of secure top/lid, or any mention that it uses non-toxic material.
I would be worried about the top/lid coming off inside, or the potential health risks.
Not only that, for the price of the 8GB version, you can easily get a 32GB class10 micro-SD card, coat it in waterproof non-toxic materials, and keep it under your tongue, up your nose, on your scalp beneath your hair, inside a hair-braid, in a hair band, inside earrings, etc.
Do they come in a dark-brownish color?
Other than the Windmill Security Theatre there's nothing new here.
In 1972 French military boarded the protest yacht "Vega" and severely beat the male crew members. Ann-Marie Horn, a female crew member, smuggled exposed film of the boarding out in this way (Reference: Greenpeace)
I'm sure that the security police around the world now know to look for this form of smuggling.
Good place for your monthly backups.
I had friends who did a semester abroad in Moscow back in the 1980s. At that time, tampons were incredible barter-goods. Such accommodations were rather primitive and of limited availability at the time in the USSR, so they were in demand, they were compact to transport, and subject to lighter inspection as mentioned in this article. She also had people offer to buy her Levis on the spot, in the street.
Things are different now in Russia, as opposed to the USSR, but this article adds a different dimension to the mix.
Good one. I actually groaned.
@Manupupule - We already are. It's just that people have gotten used to the slow encroachment that one day doesn't seem much different from the next. But look at what is acceptable now that wouldn't have even been considered 20 years ago. Government starts subsidizing something, drives up the price then has to regulate more in to help those whom they've priced out. And on, and on...
When they start checking women's tampons, the claim will be, "Well, this keeps us safe, but when they start making you take a dump to see what you ate, THEN we'll be slaves..."
@Bob_T, well if USA customs suspects that you are a drug mule, then they take you to a room for at least 48 hour, with a special "dry" toilet, and monitor you constantly.
With the current loss of human rights for *ALL* air passengers, once we get some clown to attempt a body cavity bomb on a flight, I can foresee the need for force *ALL* innocent future air passengers to take a big laxative dose and use these special and monitored toilets.
At that point I plan to completely stop flying.
well, this thing has actually been around since at least 2010 (http://www.secmeme.com/2010/09/security-by-i-dont-want-any-part-of.html).
actually, i went looking for pictures of unusual flash drives once and was amazed by what i found. there's a lot of creativity out there.
Good ones guys, I groaned and laughed.
Maybe someone could hide a microsdhc in, nevermind. turning imagination off after thinking of all the places someone could hide one of things in a house..
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