Celine Dions Burglar Takes a Bath
Posted on 9/30/2011 @ 1:32 AM
The burglar apparently sauntered up her driveway and jiggled the door
of an unlocked car in the driveway. The door was open and of course the
keys were in the ignition along with the garage door opener.
This was all the burglar needed to open the door, head inside and
make himself a tasty snack (pastries, I love pastry, I’m Italian you
know.). Meanwhile as he’s munching away he drew himself a nice warm
bubble bath. I’ll bet Celine Dion has nice bubbles and a nicer bath.
Must be as big as my whole first floor.
Celine actually had a home alarm, but apparently it doesn’t have a siren, I don’t know. Or maybe the burglar was hard of hearing.
A monitored home security system
can be as little as $99.00 installed then a dollar a day for monitoring.
Celine Dion probably makes $99.00 in a matter of seconds when she’s
headlining and performing at the Coliseum at Caesars Palace in Las
For the short money that a home alarm costs, she should have one that has a siren. Ya think?
Online Auto Sales Often Involve Scary Scams
Posted on 9/28/2011 @ 5:06 AM
Online auction and classifieds websites are unwittingly participating
in car sale scams. Ads gain credibility by appearing on eBay,
Craigslist, and other online automobile sales websites, but some are
either completely phony or have been copied and pasted from other
TheFBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received nearly 14,000
complaints from 2008 through 2010, from consumers who have been
victimized, orat least targeted, bythese auto sale scams.
Ofthevictims who lost money,thetotal dollaramount is staggering:
nearly $44.5 million.
The FBI explains how the scam works:
“Consumers findavehicle they like—oftenatabelow-market
price—onalegitimate website.Thebuyer contactstheseller, usually
throughan e-mailaddress inthead, to indicatetheir
interest.Theseller responds viae-mail, often witha hard-luck
storyabout whythey want to sellthevehicleandat suchagood price.
Inthee-mail,thesellerasksthebuyer to movethetransaction
tothewebsite ofanother online company….for security
82 Year Old Man Shoots Burglars, Faces Charges
Posted on 9/28/2011 @ 4:53 AM
Guns, guns, guns. Americans love their guns. Guns definitely are a
layer of security. They can save your life and they can also be used
against you and they can also get you in lots and lots of trouble.
An elderly man is now facing two counts of armed assault with intent
to murder, two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and
discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building for shooting 2
people outside of his home. He believed they were trying to get in, and
his belief was affirmed when one of them tossed a boulder through one of
His attorney stated “This is the victim here, an 82-year-old man with no criminal record. He defended life and property.”
The Assistant District Attorney was quoted saying “We don’t live in a
place where you can just fire from a window. It is fortunate no one
It definitely isn’t a good idea to shoot someone outside of your home
even on your property. However in some states the laws side with
Back to College Campus Security
Posted on 9/28/2011 @ 4:43 AM
Whether getting out of high school and entering college, or if you’re
a veteran starting another year of college, there are 2 absolutes
remain true: 1. You will more than likely get into a situation where
your security will be at risk and 2. You aren’t fully prepared to react or respond to the situation.
Why? First, life can be hard and a hard life makes people a little
nutty and they do bad things to other people. Second, your mom and dad
really didn’t get a formal education on personal security so they sent
you off into the world with the limited information they had. Most
people regardless of age aren’t prepared. Throw lots of alcohol into the
mix and it gets even dicey-er.
September is National Campus Safety Awareness Month. TheJeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act(20
USC § 1092(f)) is the landmark federal law, originally known as the
Campus Security Act, that requires colleges and universities across the
United States to disclose
International Credit Card Hackers Hammered
Posted on 9/24/2011 @ 2:26 AM
Retailers can temporarily rejoice (for about a minute) now that six
cyber villains have been caught in two different international credit
card fraud rings.
The Register reports,
“After investigations that began in 2009, the police executed three
search warrants in metropolitan Sydney, retrieving EFTPOS terminals,
computers, cash, mobile phones, skimming devices, and several Canadian
credit cards. Other seizures in the two-year investigation have included
18,000 blank and counterfeit credit cards, stolen EFTPOS terminals, and
skimming devices. The men arrested are Malaysian and Sri Lankan
nationals, and are accused of coordinating the fraud operation in
Australia, North America and Europe.”
Meanwhile, “a Brooklyn man has pleaded guilty
to aggravated identity theft for his role in an operation that
defrauded credit card issuers of almost $800,000 in bogus charges. FBI
and Secret Service agents recovered data for 2,341 stolen accounts on
his computer and on the magnetic stripes of
In Hurricane Season Get the Facts
Posted on 9/24/2011 @ 1:59 AM
Hurricane Irene killed over 40 people, did millions to billions of dollars in damage and left millions without power for over a week.
I live on the east coast, right on the coast, and battened down in
anticipation of getting whacked. Well that day never came because the
storm missed us.
The local and national news channels continued to spout out information that devastation was on the way even though NOAA
kept telling me the storm was downgraded to a tropical storm. I’ve had
75 mile an hour winds here and that’s not devastation. But it definitely
means you need to remove anything from your porches and yard that can
be flung through a glass window.
Anyway, in the days after the event many people locally complained to
me that the media exaggerates things and in the future they will not
pay any attention to the boy who cried wolf.
I repeat: Hurricane Irene killed over 40 people, did millions to
billions in damage and left millions without power for over a week.
While the media definitely
Psychic and Fortune Tellers Are Scammers
Posted on 9/24/2011 @ 1:33 AM
A quick break here from security and security solutions to include you in on a little secret.
People all over the world, in addition to people I know and love
spend money (sometimes mine) on “readings” thinking they are getting
inside information on something such as an unforeseen life event or
drummed up answers to questions about the past.
Mostly, the motivations behind a “normal” person going to a fortune
teller or psychic are purely for fun. I have been to a few in the past,
often pulled in while walking a boardwalk at a touristy event or when
someone brings a psychic to a party to bring the party up a notch.
Generally the psychic provides a degree of information that when
told, gets the listeners attention because the “inside info” couldn’t
possibly be known otherwise.
But that inside information is often generic, or standard. Meaning
chances are “there is a family member you are having a very difficult
time with” and “you love them and have tried to patch things up but
Username and Passwords Are Facilitating Fraud
Posted on 9/15/2011 @ 2:02 AM
In 2005, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council stated:
“The agencies consider single-factor authentication, as the only
control mechanism, to be inadequate for high-risk transactions involving
access to customer information or the movement of funds to other
parties. Account fraud and identity theft are frequently the result of
single-factor (e.g., ID/password) authentication exploitation. Where
risk assessments indicate that the use of single-factor authentication
is inadequate, financial institutions should implement multifactor
authentication, layered security, or other controls reasonably
calculated to mitigate those risks.”
Here we are in 2011, six years later, and well over half a billion
records have been breached. And while it is true that not all of the
compromised records were held by financial institutions, or were
accounts considered “high-risk transactions,” many of those breached
accounts have resulted in financial fraud or account takeover.
10 Things To Put In A Fire-Resistant Safe
Posted on 9/15/2011 @ 1:47 AM
Your house isn’t going to catch on fire, right? Well, you hope not,
so maybe you even fool yourself into believing it can’t happen. But I’ll
bet you have fire insurance, and maybe a collapsible escape ladder, and
a fire extinguisher or two. I have all this, and I also back up all my
digital data in the cloud, including pictures and documents.
And I have a fire-resistant safe.
All this preparation is so that if there ever is a fire, I can reduce or eliminate any risks to lives and valuables.
Most documentation is replaceable, but certain things are not.
Sometimes, when documentation is replaceable, getting duplicates can be a
Mementos: Photos, love letters, children’s drawings,
and so on. You probably have a box full of things that you like to
browse through every ten years or so. Or photo albums on a shelf. If
these items were incinerated, you’d be very unhappy.
Insurance papers: Home, auto, life, health, and business insurance papers should be protected.
Hackers Target Small Business
Posted on 9/15/2011 @ 1:33 AM
Big companies and big government get big press when their data is
breached. And when a big company is hit, those whose accounts have been
compromised are often notified. With smaller businesses, however,
victims are often left in the dark, regardless of the various state laws
One reason for this is that smaller businesses tend not to keep
customer names and contact information on file, and credit card
companies discourage them from recording credit card data.
This is serious cause for concern.The Wall Street Journalreportsthat the majority of breaches impact small businesses:
“With limited budgets and few or no technical experts on staff, small
businesses generally have weak security. Cyber criminals have taken
notice. In 2010, the U.S. Secret Service and Verizon Communications
Inc.’s forensic analysis unit, which investigates attacks, responded to a
combined 761 data breaches, up from 141 in 2009. Of those, 482, or 63%,
were at companies with 100 employees or
A Safe Alternative to Theft and Fire
Posted on 9/14/2011 @ 12:14 AM
People steal. Therefore, safes exist. There has always been a need
for a place to hide, store, and lock away valuables in order to protect
them from thieves.
Hundreds or even thousands of years ago, safes were constructed from
materials such as wood, granite, cement, brick, and even clay. Today,
safes are made with some type of metal, combined with other materials.
Safes have basically always incorporated a lock of some kind, and, to
make things more difficult for criminals, have often been built to be
either intentionally heavy or permanently installed.
Throughout the 19th century, as cities were developed and
more and more houses were built, fires became an issue in overcrowded
areas. Fire codes as we know them today didn’t exist. This created a
need to protect valuables from more than thieves. New technologies were
added to protect safes from fire damage. It wasn’t unusual for a safe to
be lined with brick, asbestos, or plaster to slow down a fire.
What Apple’s iCloud Means for All of Us
Posted on 9/14/2011 @ 12:00 AM
If you use Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo, you know your email is accessible
from any computer or smartphone. That’s because your messages are
stored “in the cloud.”
What is iCloud? Apple puts it like this: “iCloud stores your music,
photos, apps, calendars, documents, and more. And wirelessly pushes them
to all your devices — automatically. It’s the easiest way to manage
your content. Because now you don’t have to.”
If you take a picture on your iPhone, it appears on your Mac. If you
write a document on your iPad, it appears on your iPhone. If you buy a
song on iTunes, it becomes available on all your devices.
The cloud isn’t new, but when Apple pushes out a product, they often find a new and improved way to utilize existing technology.
iCloud was designed with three things in mind: convenience,
portability, and consolidation. It allows you to keep your devices in
sync, to access your data from anywhere, and do it all within a single,
central hub. That last design feature gives Apple a
FBI launches FBI Child ID App
Posted on 9/13/2011 @ 11:47 PM
The last thing anyone ever wants to think about is your child getting taken away from you by a stranger or even someone you know. And while the statistics aren’t nearly are bad as one would think, parents think about child abduction all the time.
Regardless of statistical probabilities, there is a chance your child
can go missing. In response the FBI has created the FBI Child ID
Straight from iTunes:
“The free FBI Child ID
app provides a convenient place to electronically store photos and
vital information about your child so that it’s literally right at hand
if your child goes missing. You can show the pictures and provide
physical identifiers such as height and weight to security or police
officers on the spot. Using a special tab on the app, you can also
quickly and easily e-mail the information to authorities with a few
clicks. The app also includes tips on keeping children safe as well as
specific guidance on what to do in those first few crucial hours after a
What is Gold Farming and How Can MMOs Fight Back?
Posted on 9/13/2011 @ 1:07 AM
If someone asked me to go “gold farming,” I’d probably assume we were
going to grab a couple pans and head north to a stream in New
Hampshire, and with any luck, strike it rich.
But gold farming doesn’t refer to literal gold. Rather, gold farmers
accumulate virtual currency by playing massive multiplayer online games.
That virtual currency, or “gold,” is then sold to other players,
despite the fact that most game operators explicitly ban the exchange of
in-game currency for cash. Gold farming is so lucrative, people in
China and other developing nations can support themselves as full-time
gold farming ring operators.
The Washington Post recently reported,
“Low-educated laborers in Asia spend hours each day advancing through
levels of an online game, picking up gold, swords and gems that enhance a
player’s status. Then gaming studios, which employ the players, sell
those virtual goods to online retailers. Finally, the retailers sell
those items to more than 120 million players
How the Cloud Will Change Technology
Posted on 9/13/2011 @ 12:38 AM
You may have noticed that over the last decade, computers have grown
faster and more powerful, with more RAM, bigger hard drives, and
improved processors. This is made possible by the development of better,
cheaper technology, coupled with a corresponding need on the part of
consumers and corporations. It has also come in response to software
developers, who have continued to introduce more complex and demanding
Then, “the cloud”
came along, and software such as office programs, contact managers,
editing programs, and data storage went virtual, no longer requiring
local computer space and speed.
As a result, old, slower PCs have a new life, and new devices like
mobile phones, netbooks, e-readers, and tablets rely on the cloud to
function as fully portable productivity tools and entertainment centers.
One of the cloud’s most significant impacts so far has been in music.
Since the digitization of songs, we have seen dramatic changes in
devices and hardware for music
Burglary from another Perspective
Posted on 9/13/2011 @ 12:27 AM
I don’t see any signage saying “Home Security System”, and your front door is mostly glass and you sometimes leave the doors unlocked for bike rides.
I see you go to bed around 10 to 10:30. Most of your lights are off
by nine. You rarely pull the shades down. You often leave a light on
downstairs either in the front hall or over the kitchen stove. But when
you leave the house for a night out all your lights are on until late
You have a newspaper delivered a 6:30 am and you’ve probably never
met your paperboy because he only leaves you an envelope and picks it up
without you two ever coming in contact.
You have that little dog and let it out around 7:30 am. Sometimes
your kids walk the dog at 8 and I’m pretty sure you leave the door open
for them when they come back.
During the day you have cleaners come at least once a month, It’s usually the last Monday of the month, they have their own key.
When your kids get home from school I sometimes see them flip up the mat at the front door
Protecting Your Green
Posted on 9/13/2011 @ 12:14 AM
By green, I mean what you might call your cashola, mula, peso, mark, deniro, bread…or just money.
I have a few, possibly contradictory philosophies about protecting one’s money. But hear me out.
First and foremost, never, ever fight a burglar, mugger, robber or
home invader over money. If some whacko wants your dough, give it to
him. I recommend keeping “chump change” on your person, or even at home,
which you can easily hand over in the event of a violent demand. Toss
it in one direction and run screaming in the other.
Keeping money under a mattress is generally not a good idea.
Criminals flip over mattresses and slice them with knives. Often,
criminals target a victim who they know has a mattress stuffed with
cash, because the target told the wrong person about the mattress’s
contents, and that person turned rat for a cut of the loot. Mattresses
are also flammable.
A safe deposit box is a good idea, but not entirely practical. It
usually costs money to have one. A safe deposit box
Are Your Kids’ Friends Trouble?
Posted on 9/12/2011 @ 1:27 AM
From childhood on, throughout life we develop relationships starting
with your neighbors, classmates and eventually through work and of
course through friends of friends. In high school I met this kid through
my girlfriend’s girlfriend. He was a talented kid with lots of
potential. I’m not using his real name, so let’s call him John.
John was great to hang with. He was fun and girls loved him. We got to know each other and were great friends, so I thought.
Then, items in my house began going missing. A coin collection,
silver ounce bars, jewelry, watches, and a few sentimental items all
vanished. I felt like I was losing my mind, assuming I was misplacing
everything. None of it was very valuable, but it had value to a 16 year
One day when I came home from school, I found my father was freaking
out that a ten-pound piggybank full of coins was missing from the
kitchen counter. As soon as he saw me, he asked where John was. It was
the first time he’d ever indicated that he had a bad
68 Year Old Grandmother Shoots Home Invaders
Posted on 9/12/2011 @ 1:07 AM
In Nashville where smoked ribs, country music and 68 year old
grandmothers sleep with shotguns, a take no prisoners Nana picked off
two home invaders breaking in as she slept. She was quoted saying “Never in my whole life have I ever harmed anything or anybody, but I’ve never been put in that position.”
Well now she has and two men are full of lead as a result.
Her husband is wheelchair bound so when she heard them kicking the
door she grabbed her gun. Apparently she has had a shotgun next to her
bed her whole life and has had people laugh about it. Today nobody is
She also has a home security alarm system,
which is definitely a layer of protection. I wonder if she had any
signage outside alerting the home invaders. So as soon as the door came
crashing in the alarm went off and so did the shotgun.
One guy was shot in the face, another in the chest and lost part of his finger.
She has no regrets she said. She did say she is glad she didn’t kill them as she would have felt bad
Chinese Prisoners Forced To Scam Gaming Sites
Posted on 9/12/2011 @ 12:45 AM
When you think “prison camp,” you probably don’t picture a place
resembling summer camp, with arts and crafts, hiking, swimming, and
playing games. But in the Jixi prisoner labor camp in the coalmines of
northeast China, they break rocks all day and play games at night.
Online games often reward players who accumulate a certain quantity
of in-game points with cash payouts. Guards at this particular prison
camp forced prisoners to do 12-hour shifts playing games, on top of
their manual labor.
One former Jixi prisoner told The Guardian,
“If I couldn’t complete my work quota, they would punish me physically.
They would make me stand with my hands raised in the air and after I
returned to my dormitory they would beat me with plastic pipes. We kept
playing until we could barely see things.”
These prisoners were “gold farming,” monotonously repeating basic
tasks within online games like World of Warcraft, in order to build up
virtual currency. Gamers around the world are willing to pay