Questions tagged [security]

Questions about security; as it applies to any vulnerable and valuable asset, such as a person, dwelling, community, nation, or organization.

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48 votes
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Were Facebook employees unable to enter their own building to fix router problems, during a recent (six hour) outage?

It's been somewhat mysteriously reported that FB employees couldn't fix some router (BGP) misconfiguration in a timely manner because "the people trying to figure out what this problem was ...
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16 votes
0 answers
474 views

Are conversation-starting memes on social-media harvested by criminals?

There have been a raft of warnings circulating on Facebook for years (but seem to have had a recent uptick) warning that memes that are shared on social media that encourage people to post trivia ...
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76 votes
2 answers
11k views

Does Sci-Hub use malware and phishing to obtain researchers' login credentials?

There is a new BBC article, Police warn students to avoid science website about Sci-Hub, a pirate site to circumvent paywalls on science journals. But Max Bruce, the City of London police's cyber ...
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29 votes
3 answers
8k views

Did US prohibit the export of the mere description of a cryptographic algorithm?

A Wikipedia page says that in the US regulations were introduced as part of munitions controls which required licenses to export cryptographic methods (and even their description) What concrete ...
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10 votes
0 answers
461 views

Did two brothers steal credit card information worth millions and walked away scot-free because banks were embarrassed?

In this DEFCON talk at around 24:52 minute mark, the speaker (a Cambridge professor) tells a story of two brothers stealing millions of dollars using a weakness in credit card terminal technology, and ...
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-3 votes
1 answer
520 views

Is illegal immigration down since construction began on Trump's wall?

In this article the quote: The result? Since border wall construction began in Tucson, Arizona, illegal crossings are down 24 percent. In San Diego, California, they’re down 27 percent. And in Yuma, ...
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11 votes
1 answer
2k views

Does aluminum foil safeguard your credit card from RFID attacks?

Evidence against Does Aluminum Foil Stop Identity Theft? Some sources say that if you actually have an RFID-enabled credit card, aluminum foil does the same job, if not better, than an expensive RFID-...
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4 votes
1 answer
684 views

Does having passwords cost $200 (£150) per employee, not including the lost productivity?

A BBC News article attributes a claim to Jason Tooley, chief revenue officer at Veridium: Not only would getting rid of passwords improve security, it would also mean IT departments would not have to ...
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11 votes
1 answer
921 views

Did Facebook allow Netflix, Spotify, and the Royal Bank of Canada to read users' private messages?

From As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants Facebook allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without ...
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18 votes
2 answers
1k views

Do the "Presidential Alerts" give the government full access to all phone functionality?

John McAfee, libertarian politician and former computer programmer, tweeted this: The "Presidential alerts": they are capable of accessing the E911 chip in your phones - giving them full access ...
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-4 votes
1 answer
331 views

Why aren't we using AI to inform our militaries? [closed]

I came across this article that said AI was almost if not as good as humans in team player games like DOTA. Now DOTA has landscapes, multiple players, different abilities etc. So that immediately set ...
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9 votes
0 answers
274 views

Were the BOSS Linux update servers hacked in 2015?

The Hackology Blog claims that update servers for BOSS Linux were hacked in 2015, eventually allowing access to Indian military and government servers. This website claims that: Hackers infected the ...
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5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Can governments destroy the value of Bitcoin, if they wanted to?

Note that this is a question about Bitcoin that is separate from my other question, which had asked whether Bitcoin is a pyramid scheme. Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan, claims that the governments ...
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14 votes
1 answer
2k views

Have ATMs across the US "spat out money" in the second half of January 2018?

In a response to the DDoS attacks on several Dutch banks and other institutions, "cybersecurity specialist" Rian van Rijbroek claimed on 29 January 2018 on the Dutch news programme Nieuwsuur ...
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47 votes
3 answers
16k views

Do four random common words make a stronger password than passwords like "Tr0ub4dor&3"?

In xkcd comic #936, Randall Munroe claims that passwords like "Tr0ub4dor&3" (uncommon base word, caps, common letter substitutions with a number and punctuation suffix) has ~28 bits of entropy, ...
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2 votes
1 answer
735 views

Is there any evidence that laptops in airplanes might be used for terrorist attack?

For some airports in the Middle East passengers are not allowed to bring electronic devices bigger than smartphones into the cabins. According to some news pages (e.g. this article) this ban should be ...
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8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Has Telegram decrypted user messages and provided them to a gov agency?

Background: Telegram is a secured messaging app, similar to many others (WhatsApp, Signal, ...). It emphasizes its security features and has become (like a few others) a way for people to exchange ...
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4 votes
1 answer
890 views

Was Steve Bannon's appointment to the National Security Council done by mistake?

On the podcast Pod Save America, an Obama aide claimed that the appointment of Steve Bannon to the National Security Council was a mistake. They said Trump was upset because he found out Bannon was on ...
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72 votes
2 answers
16k views

Does Melania Trump's security cost double the National Endowment for the Arts' budget?

This viral post was found at The Resistance with 16,000 shares in less 12 hours. It's from @chapmanchapman who seems to be commenting on Trump cutting the National Endowment for the Arts. The est. ...
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99 votes
3 answers
23k views

Are Americans more likely to be killed by vending machines than terrorist refugees?

The Financial Times did some analysis of Donald Trump's controversial immigration restrictions (which were claimed to be about protecting Americans from terrorism). They focus on analysing risk from ...
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7 votes
1 answer
2k views

Did Sean Spicer tweet a password twice in two days?

This article came up in my news feed and I immediately called shenanigans on it: White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer Just Tweeted Something That Looks an Awful Lot Like a Password Recently, ...
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9 votes
3 answers
1k views

Was John Podesta's email password "password"?

Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, said in a recent interview with Sean Hannity that John Podesta’s password was 'password'. The Daily Mail reports: In an interview, Assange revealed the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
347 views

Do many people write down their safe combination?

I'm having a hard time believing that "a lot of safe owners" actually write down their combination and keep it in the same room. Surprisingly, many people write the combination down near the safe, ...
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12 votes
2 answers
1k views

Did Seth Rich give Wikileaks the DNC leak emails?

This image has a few claims, are they true? Image text: Hi, I'm Seth Rich. I was the DNC staffer who gave Wikileaks the DNC emails proving that they had rigged the primaries against Bernie Sanders ...
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5 votes
0 answers
674 views

Is the NSA installing surveillance codes in iPhones by calling Sprint customers?

I've got a iPhone 6s on the EE network. Today I got a SMS from +44 865 6696 which had the content "Message not found". If I put the number into a t9 predictive text emulator, it spells &...
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5 votes
1 answer
292 views

Do informed, alert communities increase national safety?

The US Department of Homeland Security has created the If You See Something, Say Something national campaign with the claim that "It Takes a Community to Protect a Community" and "Informed, alert ...
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3 votes
1 answer
289 views

Are phone calls unencrypted and forced by law to be unencrypted in India?

I am getting the unlock or un-secure lock image on my Nokia phone when ever I call. http://blog.taddong.com/2011/02/does-your-phone-warn-you-when-it-is-not.html Most GSM operators do encrypt their ...
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6 votes
0 answers
240 views

Did Apple help the Chinese government unlock thousands of iPhones? [closed]

The BBC and Ars Technica, amongst other sources, have reported regarding the FBI's latest filing in the FBI vs. Apple case regarding government-mandated unlocking of the phone owned by the San ...
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18 votes
4 answers
1k views

Did the FBI not require assistance from Apple to unlock the San Bernadino terrorist's phone?

Edward Snowden's official Twitter account posted the following tweet: The first 4 points are not in contention, but the 5th point states that the FBI does not require Apple's assistance to unlock the ...
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14 votes
1 answer
709 views

Can aircraft be hacked and "commandeered remotely"?

This sensationalist article by John McAfee on Business Insider makes a number of unsupported claims about cybersecurity. In the article, he claims that (emphasis mine): For the purpose of our ...
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2 votes
1 answer
254 views

How common are air marshals?

I've heard/read a couple of times that there are air marshals on every international flight. But this doesn't seem to make much sense. Maybe they're only on flights that go to important cities like ...
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2 votes
0 answers
304 views

Can google misuse important information from my documents? [closed]

As mentioned in google policies google reads your all document to improve their search and suggestion. But If I keep some important document on google drive, like : new business ideas, innovation ...
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5 votes
0 answers
318 views

Is the cause for the Berkeley Boom "unknown"? [closed]

Articles about the unsolved mystery of the "Berkeley Boom" claim that the loud noises that can be heard throughout Berkeley, California, and in neighbouring cities, might be caused by fireworks, cops, ...
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3 votes
0 answers
340 views

Does deepnet have only 7100 onion sites? [closed]

I have read this article on forbes claiming that deepnet has only 7100 onion sites and took only 3 hours to scan completely. Which to me sounds like total nonsense since if average .onion address is ...
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24 votes
1 answer
2k views

Are 95% of Ashley Madison dating site's accounts male?

The hackers who procured and recently published Ashley Madison's internal databases, the so-called "Impact Team," have claimed that the accounts in the databases were predominantly, in fact "90-95%" ...
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4 votes
0 answers
473 views

Does the Google Chrome browser spy on users? [closed]

There are a number of places that claim that Google Chrome spies on its users: Is Google Chrome spying on its users? Google Chrome browser is spying all of us Does Google Chrome spy on users? I'm ...
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7 votes
1 answer
486 views

Can you use a computer's CPU's electrical noise to extract an encryption key?

This 2015 Wired article claims it is possible to use a remote device to determine a key used during decryption by sampling the radio emissions from the processor at 100kHz They also claim that by: ...
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3 votes
1 answer
543 views

Can credit cards be cloned remotely with an RFID reader?

This news story from "13 Investigates" shows Walt Augustinowicz (an RFID expert, and seller of RFID proof pouches) who has a portable reader than picks up credit card details while they are still in ...
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6 votes
1 answer
566 views

Do airliners use single physical network for both avionics and passenger wifi access?

BBC reports (emphasis mine): Planes including the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus 350 and A380 have a single network that is used by both pilots to fly the plane and by passengers for ...
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4 votes
0 answers
478 views

Are the top ten flashlight apps maliciously stealing data and sending it to China, India, and Russia? [closed]

There's an interesting report from a company called SnoopWall that is detailed in this YouTube video from a Special Report with Bret Baier with Fox News. In the report "Cybersecurity Expert" ...
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8 votes
0 answers
298 views

Did Russian hackers obtain billions of passwords?

Many news outlets seem to be reporting this story (NY Times article) about Russian hackers allegedly acquiring billions of usernames and passwords. A Russian crime ring has amassed the largest known ...
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2 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can emails in draft box avoid detection?

At around the 28 mins and 13 secs of Season 3, Episode 9, of the TV series Strike Back, Major Oliver Sinclair (portrayed by Rhashan Stone) claims the following, the truth of which I'd like to know. ...
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50 votes
2 answers
27k views

Does the "Nonstop Elevator Hack" work?

I stumbled across this claim pretty often in the last few years. Now the problem is that I wasn't able to reproduce it but maybe it was just because I rarely visit tall buildings with multiple floors ...
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  • 1,699
5 votes
1 answer
407 views

Sharing tool claims files can be "unshared"

A company called Intralinks sells a sharing software that it claims allows you to "unshare": “Favorite” files so you can access them offline UNshare™ gives you the power to instantly revoke ...
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  • 1,444
5 votes
1 answer
489 views

Can NSA's portable surveillance radars emit 1kW of RF energy?

I came across this talk by Jacob Appelbaum, where he revealed some tools used by NSA for the mass surveillance via TAO. At the end of the talk he also added that the NSA could actually beam a 1 kW RF ...
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  • 153
8 votes
1 answer
288 views

Do US agents intercept and install spyware on new computers ordered by persons of interest?

In a Fox news article entitled "German magazine claims NSA hacking unit uses powerful methods to obtain data", a magazine article in Der Spiegel is cited as claiming, among other things: ...if the ...
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  • 5,301
8 votes
1 answer
438 views

Do BT routers secretly connect to a NSA/GHCQ network?

Today I was pointed at this document which claims, among other things, that the secret agencies perform man-in-the-middle attacks by using a second network connection established by the home router. ...
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  • 423
14 votes
2 answers
3k views

Can cardiac rhythms be used to uniquely identify a person?

Nymi, claims: "Like a fingerprint, your heartbeat is unique", and "Your Nymi lets you use your unique cardiac rhythm to authenticate your identity" Is it true that heartbeats are unique, like ...
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  • 243
28 votes
2 answers
23k views

Can mobile phones be tracked when they're switched off?

Seeing as mobile phones aren't sending signals when switched off, is it possible to track a mobile phone when it's switched off? NSA growth fueled by need to target terrorists By September 2004, a ...
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10 votes
1 answer
954 views

Do 1.4 million Americans have Top Secret clearance?

One of the claims related to the PRISM scandal is that, regardless what NSA and other agencies assert, leaks are inevitable because of sheer number of people with access to secrets. According to this ...
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