Computer security expert and privacy specialist Bruce Schneier writes:

The Internet of Things is the name given to the computerization of everything in our lives. Already you can buy Internet-enabled thermostats, light bulbs, refrigerators, and cars. Soon everything will be on the Internet: the things we own, the things we interact with in public, autonomous things that interact with each other.

These “things” will have two separate parts. One part will be sensors that collect data about us and our environment. Already our smartphones know our location and, with their onboard accelerometers, track our movements. Things like our thermostats and light bulbs will know who is in the room. Internet-enabled street and highway sensors will know how many people are out and about­ — and eventually who they are. Sensors will collect environmental data from all over the world.

The other part will be actuators. They’ll affect our environment. Our smart thermostats aren’t collecting information about ambient temperature and who’s in the room for nothing; they set the temperature accordingly. Phones already know our location, and send that information back to Google Maps and Waze to determine where traffic congestion is; when they’re linked to driverless cars, they’ll automatically route us around that congestion. Amazon already wants autonomous drones to deliver packages. The Internet of Things will increasingly perform actions for us and in our name.

Increasingly, human intervention will be unnecessary. The sensors will collect data. The system’s smarts will interpret the data and figure out what to do. And the actuators will do things in our world. You can think of the sensors as the eyes and ears of the Internet, the actuators as the hands and feet of the Internet, and the stuff in the middle as the brain. This makes the future clearer. The Internet now senses, thinks, and acts.

We’re building a world-sized robot, and we don’t even realize it.
Source: https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/201...
Security researcher Mike Olsen has warned that some products sold through the Amazon marketplace are habouring a dark secret — malware.

Olsen said in a blog post that while scouring Amazon for a decent set of outdoor surveillance cameras for a friend, he came across a deal for 6 PoE cameras and recording equipment.

The seller, Urban Security Group, had generally good reviews and was offering a particular Sony setup on sale.

After purchasing the kit, Olsen started setting up the surveillance system, logging into the administrator panel to configure it.

While the page hosted the camera feed, no “normal controls or settings were available,” according to the researcher.

”Being one of those guys who assumes bad CSS, I went ahead and opened up developer tools,” Olsen said.

”Maybe a bad style was hiding the options I needed. Instead what I found tucked at the bottom of the body tag was an iframe linking to a very strange looking host name.”

Further investigation revealed the host name, Brenz.pl, is linked to malware distribution.

According to cybersecurity firm Securi, Brenz was first spotted distributing malware back in 2009 before being shut down, but reemerged in 2011. Compromised domains link to the address through malicious iFrames for the purpose of distributing malware hosted on the website.

VirusTotal recognizes the web domain as a malicious source and scans reveal that Trojans and viruses may be hosted by Brenz.pl.

If the device’s firmware links to this domain, malware can be downloaded and installed, potentially leading to unlawful surveillance and data theft.

The problem was also recently brought up in a forum post on the SC10IP firmware, which is used in commercial products and also links to Brenz.pl.

Threats do not just come from dodgy social media links, phishing campaigns or social engineering — firmware can host malware, too.

The take-home from this is that any device, especially when it contains networking or Internet capabilities, can harbour threats to personal safety and data security, and while the average person is unlikely to do a full-scale code search, checking reviews and alerts for such products online is worthwhile — even if the platform is trusted.

”Amazon stuff can contain malware,” Olsen said.
Source: http://www.zdnet.com/article/amazon-survei...

"Peter just joined the growing network of biohackers that are curious to find out how we can combine technology with biology. What to do with NFC in your hand? That's like the same question you ask when you ask: 'What to do with a ac/dc-socket?' It depends which kind of device you plug in. Endless possibilities like storing Bitcoins in your body or opening an NFC-enabled door :)

This chip is developed by Amal Graafstra. The guy that helped Peter is Tom van Oudenaarde, a piercing artist who is experienced with implanting stuff under your skinn. Always aks this kind of experts to help and never try it yourself :)"

singularityu.org/
diamandis.com/
exponentialorgs.com/
dangerousthings.com/
twitter.com/piercingutrecht

Thank you KMA and BW.

From this article here

"McCauley is a hacker at heart and has no qualms about experimenting on himself to prove a point. So, in the middle of his talk, he called piercing professional Tom van Oudenaarde onstage and announced he’d be implanting a chip in his hand.

Was he nervous? A little. But by all accounts the procedure was quick and relatively painless. In fact, so much so that Singularity University cofounder, Peter Diamandis, walked onstage an hour later and got chipped too.

The chip—a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag encased in a biocompatible glass cylinder the size of a grain of rice—was implanted in a three-minute procedure, start to finish, and left a small puncture wound and a bit of soreness.

To be clear, neither the technology nor the procedure is particularly novel. Vets have been implanting pets and livestock with RFID chips for a couple decades, and human RFID implants have been happening since at least the mid-2000s.

So, why get one? According to Diamandis, it was a spur-of-the-moment experiment to see how he’d feel having a piece of technology in his body. But he thinks that implantables, in general, could offer much more.

“In all honesty, I think biohacking, the cyborg human, is an eventuality that will materialize when the value proposition gets high enough,” Diamandis wrote in a recent blog post about his new implant.

RFID chips are passive bits of hardware powered and activated when near an RFID reader. Most people have experienced them at one time or another—cards granting access to an office or onto the subway or a bus.

Diamandis suggests near-term uses of RFID implants might be smooth interaction with the Internet of Things. We could use our hands to unlock doors, start the car, and pay for coffee. McCauley says we might keep contact information on our chip, swap said information by shaking hands—like an embedded business card.

Some of these applications are still in the future. The number of connected devices in our everyday lives are yet minimal enough that most of us wouldn’t get much use out of an embedded chip. And whether embedding it would be an improvement on keeping it somewhere outside our bodies, like on a card or in our phone, is an open question.

That said, the number of devices we might control with an implant is set to grow in the coming years. And the truly compelling “value proposition” may lie elsewhere—in health and medicine."

Full video here

Two part documentary from thoughtmaybe.com (About)

The United States of Secrets chronologically accounts the Bush administration’s embrace of illegal and widespread dragnet surveillance and eavesdropping programmes, along with President Obama’s decision to continue them and expand them (despite campaign promises to the contrary) by weaving narratives by those who sought to blow the whistle on these programmes over the decades—culminating with Edward Snowden’s unprecedented dump of insider documents in 2013. We see how and why those inside the NSA and other government agencies came to act; what actions were effective, and what role the mainstream media had and continues to have in keeping such secret projects alive and untouchable in the name of ‘national security.’
   Part 1 -- The Program    Part one details the emergence of a top secret project within the NSA called ‘The Program’ which was a series of mass-surveillance, capture, storage, and data analysis operations that expanded after the events of September 11, 2001. The Program drew on preceding decades of ‘national security’ measures charting back to the Regan administration and beyond, which were embraced by the regime of George W Bush, and expanded with the Obama administration. This first episode ties together the machinations of a dark world of secret surveillance, spoken by those who blew the whistle from the inside, and why.

Part 1 -- The Program

Part one details the emergence of a top secret project within the NSA called ‘The Program’ which was a series of mass-surveillance, capture, storage, and data analysis operations that expanded after the events of September 11, 2001. The Program drew on preceding decades of ‘national security’ measures charting back to the Regan administration and beyond, which were embraced by the regime of George W Bush, and expanded with the Obama administration. This first episode ties together the machinations of a dark world of secret surveillance, spoken by those who blew the whistle from the inside, and why.

   Part 2 -- Privacy Lost    Part two details how companies like Google and Facebook provide excellent data harvesting portals for intelligence agencies such as the NSA, by operating huge infrastructures for targeted advertising—which is is one and the same with surveillance.

Part 2 -- Privacy Lost

Part two details how companies like Google and Facebook provide excellent data harvesting portals for intelligence agencies such as the NSA, by operating huge infrastructures for targeted advertising—which is is one and the same with surveillance.

Article from The Age, April 17, 2014

 "Forget mobile phones, get a microchip implant instead."

"Forget mobile phones, get a microchip implant instead."

Thousands of technology enthusiasts use it as the ultimate app, enabling them to lock and unlock their homes, cars, computers and mobile phones with a simple wave of a hand. But there’s a catch: they must have a microchip inserted into their bodies.

It involves using a hypodermic needle to inject an RFID (radio-frequency identification) microchip, the size of a grain of rice, usually into the person’s hand or wrist. The same kind of chip is used for tracking lost pets.

The implants send a unique ID number that can be used to activate devices such as phones and locks, and can link to databases containing limitless information, including personal details such as names, addresses and health records.

RFID chips are everywhere. Basically, if you have to swipe a card, your ID is encoded in the magnetic stripe. If you touch it to a reader, as with Myki, it has an RFID chip with your number on it linked to the relevant database with your info on it. The latest credit cards have both stripe and RFID.

Some RFID tags have a tiny battery or other power source, enabling them to operate at hundreds of metres so they don’t need to be within line of sight of a reader. As far as we know, this type cannot yet be made small enough to embed in humans.

Cybernetics scientist Dr Mark Gasson of the University of Reading, in Britain, became the first human to be infected with a computer virus, after he injected himself with a microchip in 2009 to control electronic devices in his office.

The virus was replicated on the swipecards of staff accessing his building and infected the university’s database. Nonetheless, Gasson and other scientists say a new world with mass populations of computerised people is imminent and inevitable.

They say complex computing devices routinely implanted into humans for medical reasons also have the technology to enhance the abilities of healthy people.

”It has the potential to change the very essence of what it is to be human,” Gasson says. “It’s not possible to interact in society today in any meaningful way, without having a mobile phone. I think human implants will go along a similar route. It will be such a disadvantage not to have the implant that it will essentially not be optional.”

Last year the line between man and machine became even more blurred, when Stanford University announced its scientists had created the first purely biological transistor that was made entirely of genetic material.

Stanford assistant professor of bioengineering, Dr Drew Endy, described the breakthrough as the final component needed for a biological computer that can operate within living cells and reprogram living systems.

Kevin Warwick, a professor of cybernetics at Reading University, has an electronic device in his body that interfaces with his nervous system, and had a simpler version implanted into the arm of his wife. Rudimentary signals between the two proved that purely electronic communication is possible between two human nervous systems.

Warwick’s chipped arm allows him to use it via a computer link to operate a robot arm on another continent. The robot arm will mimic whatever hand and arm movements he makes with his natural arm. But the link with his wife’s nervous system is so rudimentary that he says he can only tell if she moves her arm.

Melbourne internet entrepreneur and free software activist Jonathan Oxley injected himself with a microchip in 2004, after obtaining the same kit that vets use for family pets. His Twitter account describes him as a cyborg in progress.

Oxley uses it to operate house locks and his computer, and says that after a decade inside his body the implant has caused no ill effects. “Now it’s just like any other part of me. I don’t even think about it,” he says.

The idea of electronic implants becoming widespread in humans concerns Dr Katina Michael, an associate professor at the University of Wollongong, who specialises in the socio-ethical implications of emerging technologies.

”RFID microchips are essentially a unique ID embedded in your body, and, as we know, numbers can be stolen and data can be hacked. Bringing one’s external computer problems into the human body is fraught with dangers “ she says. “They point to an uber-surveillance society that is big brother on the inside looking out. Governments or large corporations would have the ability to track people’s actions and movements, categorise them into different socio-economic, political, racial, religious or consumer groups and ultimately even control them.”

Michael worries about people being forced or coerced into having one, something she says is likely to have already happened. “It’s such a concern that at least nine US states so far have banned forced microchip implants,” she says.

In 2007 a company called VeriChip injected 200 Alzheimer’s patients, many of them incapacitated, with microchips linked to their healthcare records. The patients were supplied by a Florida nursing home that benefited from the company’s sponsorship.

A furore erupted after it was discovered that VeriChip conducted the study without obtaining the required approval from Florida’s Institutional Review Board, which oversees the protection of human subjects in research.

Mexico’s attorney general and senior members of his staff have been implanted with VeriChips to give them access to secure areas of their headquarters, and the country’s military and police are reportedly next in line for chipping.

VeriChip distributor Solusat has also announced an agreement with Mexico’s National Foundation for the Investigation of Lost and Kidnapped Children, to promote the microchipping of the country’s children.

How the chips could help is uncertain, as they do not have GPS tracking technology.

The VeriChip company has now changed its name under a barrage of negative publicity and has emerged as a developer of what it calls “biological detection systems”.

Other companies are also marketing microchip implants, and their researchers are working hard to integrate them with GPS technology. When they succeed, the products are forecast to gain a huge international market.

Opponents of the idea are fighting back. “Technology of this kind is easily abusive of personal privacy,” says Lee Tien, of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “If a kid is trackable, do you want others to be able to track your kid? It’s a double-edged sword.”
Source: http://www.theage.com.au/digital-life/digi...
Posted
AuthorJordan Brown
Transient

Article by Mark Martin of CBN:

"Convenience vs. Privacy

It raises a number of questions, however, like what about privacy? And can the information on that wristband be stolen?

"With the RFID technology, we're not tracking anybody," Foster said. "There's a two- to three-inch read range required to be able to read that information on the tag, and if you can read that information on the tag, there's nothing you can do with that information because everything is encrypted also on the back-end server."

That may be the case with the wristbands, but consumer privacy expert Dr. Katherine Albrecht is concerned about RFID technology in general and what the future holds.

"They want RFID tags in your refrigerator, in the objects that you buy, and ultimately, as Dr. Katina Michael is making so clear, they want these tags in us," Albrecht shared on her nationally syndicated radio show.

"We're using radio frequency to identify things and transmit information all the time nowadays," Albrecht said. "I think what is coming next, though, is what the marketers and developers of this technology call the 'Internet of Things.' This idea is that every physical object would have its own equivalent of an IP address encoded into the microchip."

She said their goal is to track the consumer's habits."

Full article available here.

We're moving closer to the ultimate ID... it not only moves with you, but will be in you.

"Imagine you’re walking around the British Library. Suddenly, your smartphone beeps at you. A library app is alerting you to the resources around you. You ask the app to search for a specific book. The app tells you where to go to find it. The smartphone goes to sleep. You reach the suggested reading room. The smartphone wakes up. The app tells you which shelf the book is on, posts up its publication details and reviews, and informs you about related events happening in the library."

Read more 

 Source: The Institute (IEEE News Source)  http://theinstitute.ieee.org/technology-focus/technology-topic/the-value-of-privacy

Source: The Institute (IEEE News Source)

http://theinstitute.ieee.org/technology-focus/technology-topic/the-value-of-privacy

"A PRECAUTIONARY TALE

Not all are as optimistic as Prasad about the future of the IoT. While users may have control over who in the general public sees their information, the bigger concern for consumer privacy expert Katherine Albrecht is the question of who owns the data. She is an executive with StartPage, a search engine that does not collect or share personal information, and StartMail, an encrypted e-mail service.

An article coauthored with IEEE Senior Member Katina Michael, “Connected: To Everyone and Everything,” in the Winter 2013 issue of IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, puts Albrecht’s concern bluntly: “[Consumers] may think we’re in charge of our shopper cards and our mobile apps and our smart fridges—but … let’s not fool ourselves. [The information] is not ours. It belongs to Google, and IBM, and Cisco Systems…and the global Mega-Corp that owns your local supermarket. If you don’t believe us, just try removing ‘your’ data from their databases.”

Michael is the associate dean international of the University of Wollongong Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences, in Australia, and editor in chief of IEEE Technology and Society Magazine.

To prepare for the interconnected future, businesses and governments are outlining measures to be taken while new policies are developed. The European Union, for example, outlined such measures in its report “IoT Privacy, Data Protection, Information Security,” published in January 2013. One recommendation is to develop privacy-friendly default settings on IoT products and services that would give users more control over what information is shared with others. Furthermore, it suggests that IoT networks give individuals the rights to their own data. In 2012, participants at the Open IoT Assembly—an initiative to envision a future with the IoT—developed an “IoT Bill of Rights” at a two-day conference in London that calls for transparency of IoT processes and the preservation of privacy. It also calls for people to have access to their personal data.

Despite potential risks to privacy, companies are betting their customers will see the advantages that the IoT will bring them, says Colcher. But some groups advocate that consumers have the power to slow down or even stop the advancement of the IoT. Not Colcher. “The inclusion of the IoT all around us is inevitable,” he says. “The only thing to do now is to prepare the best we can.”"

 

Read more

"In this edition of Tech News, a collaboration between The Institute and IEEE.tv, Associate Editor Monica Rozenfeld discusses IEEE and its members' work in developing smarter sensors for a connected world, and safeguarding information to keep personal data private and secure. As IEEE Senior Member Raul Colcher says, "Privacy as we know it will have to be redefined."