Our surveillance society marches on:
Commercial burglaries have risen in Corona in the past few years. At the same time, security-camera technology has improved, allowing business owners to use Web sites to view their shops or offices from home or while on a trip.
Now the Corona Chamber of Commerce and the Police Department are encouraging businesses with such systems to provide police dispatchers a password so they can see what’s going on during an emergency.
How soon before there’s a law requiring these webcams to be built with a police backdoor?
Posted on October 20, 2005 at 3:25 PM •
When someone goes golfing in Japan, he’s given a locker in which to store his valuables. Generally, and at the golf course in question, these are electronic combination locks. The user selects a code himself and locks his valuables. Of course, there’s a back door—a literal one—to the lockers, in case someone forgets his unlock code. Furthermore, the back door allows the administrator of these lockers to read all the codes to all the lockers.
Here’s the scam: A group of thieves worked in conjunction with the locker administrator to open the lockers, copy the golfers’ debit cards, and replace them in their wallets and in their lockers before they were done golfing. In many cases, the golfers used the same code to lock their locker as their bank card PIN, so the thieves got those as well. Then the thieves stole a lot of money from multiple ATMs.
Several factors make this scam even worse. One, unlike the U.S., ATM cards in Japan have no limit. You can literally withdraw everything out of the account. Two, the victims don’t know anything until they find out they have no money when they use their card somewhere. Three, the victims, since they play golf at these expensive courses, are
usually very rich. And four, unlike the United States, Japanese banks do not guarantee loss due to theft.
Posted on March 1, 2005 at 9:20 AM •
Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.