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Showing posts from 2013

Touch ID - Distributed Fingerprint Lookup

All the press regarding the new Touch ID fingerprint biometric on Apple's new iPhone has brought some insight into how to misuse this service.  Most of the critics have focused on circumventing the device to gain access or Apple deciding to share the data with the Government.

One interesting perspective that I haven't seen covered yet is if the system could be used as a distributed matching system for existing fingerprint image systems.  In an over simplified view of the process, a law enforcement agency can take an acquired fingerprint and search for patterns in the database of collected prints and spit out possible matches.

Although Apple states that an API won't be available for apps, it is conceivable that such an interface might exist, and provide the ability to take an acquired print (either from the iPhone hardware or from software) and check it for validity against the stored print.

There are some limits to this, as there is likely only going to be one print store…

Local Classified Penny Auction Scam

While there are a lot of new posts regarding the new ways to exploit people using novel techniques and 0day exploits, there continues to be a rash of tried and true methods of coercion.  I want to just walk through a simple example and reflect on how effective these methods continue to be.

Many people turn toward online classified sites to buy and sell items online.  This example starts with kijiji.ca which even I've used on occasion to find used electronics and other items.  Doing a search on the site for a "Samsung Galaxy Note 2" returns a posting from today with someone selling one for an unreasonably priced unit.



$125 for a $500 phone?, but what if it's for real?  No harm in just asking some simple questions.  Email sent with some obvious questions regarding the condition and location.

About an hour passes before I get a response from what appears to be a legit seller.


Notice no answer to the questions I asked, but a friendly pointer at where the unit came from …