Back in 1997 the journailist Michael Fleet wrote in the Daily Telegraph Tuesday May 6th about a report that I had written calling for mobile phones to carry warning signs informing users about the dangers of using a mobile phone whilst driving - copy of the newspaper article is here:
At the time of my report it was made following the case of the first prosecuted case of death by reckless mansalughter caused by driving whilst the driver was using a mobile telephone in which I was the prosecution mobile telephone expert. The deceased injuries sustained from that RTA were horrific and therefore my call for warning signs on mobile phones had purpose. As digital mobile communications was still a young, growing industry in the UK in 1997 my idea didn't find much favour because of the econimic and political climate back then.
I read an article in September 2010 titled "US official wants 'distracted driving' label on cell phones, reported by Karin Zeitvogel (AFP) – Sep 21, 2010" that in essence suggests a similar approach to the one I made 13 years earlier. The article is here:
US official wants 'distracted driving' label on cell phones: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5ht1T9FoPDKuWpPlBLwMls3XI7ntQ
I wonder if as the person making the challenge this time around is a US government official (US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood) raising the topic his idea will find favour or will the suggestion fall on deaf ears and not find favour?
Mobile Face Recognition Might Replace Password/PIN
One exciting aspect about forensic examination of mobile handsets is the constant exposure to innovation and change in the variety of handsets with which we are exposed, sometimes on a daily basis. Legality and privacy are two imposing factors when in comes to dealing with content on mobile phones and the right of access. Where PIN and/or Password is not revealed by the suspect, authority is needed to continue to gain access to a device in order to reveal content.
Passwords/PIN are commonly alpha-numeric digits and there are ways and methods of dealing with those. When Android introduced symbol based password options for their handsets, this feature added a new dimension an examiner had to cope with during the examination process. Now there is a new development to deal with, created from an EU funded project, MOBIOproject. MOBIO stands for Mobile Biometry. More on this subject.........
Regular visitors to my webblog are already aware, however if you are a first time visitor you may care to know that I am not simply involved with forensics and evidence for over two decades but that I am also an active campaigner to bring to the fore and make revelation about the amazing world of mobile communications and the very poor promotion of its incredible historical roots, not just in scientific discovery but as an advanced technological communications masterpiece, also.
Here is another interesting piece of information that recently emerged, recorded in the Daily Mail online:
Related article on mobile telephone historical developments:
We had a short discussion recently about "cyber" labels and their meanings. The wave that has been engulfing society for the last decade, driven by Psychology "with everything" NNNOOOOWWWW!!!! and the use of 'label-ism' phenomenon to influence us that we need/must have/do something, is now causing much confusion.
Cybering was discussed, done and dusted, in the late 1990s early 2000, thus cybering has not just occurred as a new phenomenon. Label-ism, in the case of cybering, isn't helping its cause either when announcing cyber threats to the UK or the World (for that matter) where mistakes in the use of definitions are publicly announced. It wont help the security services to do their job - protect the Realm - if society doesn't understand what the heck is discussed. There must be a drive from top Government (David Cameron top table people) to make a substantive effort to clarify label-ism when discussing publicly threats we are led to believe are imminent.
Discussing cyber defintions with Simon "Si" Biles, the security specialist at Thinking-Security dot com, he offered these descriptions assigned to their labels identifying possible security threats that might be engineered from within cyber space:
"There seems to have been a general mixing of the terms : cyber-warfare, cyber-terrorism & cyber-crime : the news, as is oft the way with things they don't/can't/won't understand, interchanges them without consideration.
"cyber-crime is no better or worse than it has ever been, phishing, cracking etc. are much the same as allways - there are highs and lows, but nothing particularly extreme. Of course these figures are allways exagerated by the number of crimes that are committed that have a computer used in their research/planning/excecution - but this isn't cyber-crime anymore than stealing a knife is "knife crime".
"cyber-terrorism, to take the traditional use of the word "terrorism" ( or arguably "freedom fighting" depending on where you are standing ) is the "guerrilla warfare" of the computer world - denial of service, defacements etc. For example the "Anonymous" attacks on the Copyright crowd. Where this "terrorism" impacts on the general public is few and far between - a denial of service against a particularly greedy bank might impact on a few, but in real terms, this doesn't, and is unlikely to, create problems on the scale or magnitude of a traditional terrorist attack. And again, this has been going on, much of a muchness for sometime - highs and lows - usually associated with world events - but predominantly from individuals or insignificant groups.
"cyber-warfare is a bit different, and, really hasn't been seen except in Georgia - and even then, although that was suspected to be from Russia, that was never really proved - it could as well have been from a reasonable size hacker group just stretching in a country where there was little chance of prosecution or repercussion. I guess what Greg is suggesting above is probably the worst case scenario where the internet is compromised in some way that means that businesses can't communicate funds transfers - e.g. PoS - in reality though, as "the internet" is built on a wide variety of technologies ( from many and varied manufacturers ) and is designed to be resilient in the case of nuclear war ( or not ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arpanet#The_ARPANET_under_nuclear_attack ) the chances of "taking out the internet" for a given country are fairly limited in a cyber-warfare scenario. Infact you'd stand a better chance of taking out the internet in the UK with some more traditional arson against certain backbone sites ...
"It is this, final, threat that is both having it's bandwaggon jumped on and is being blown out of proportion. Like most things - it's exciting, so it gets a lot of press - you are more likely to be burgled, have your car stolen, be involved in a hit & run or have your pocket picked than you are to be a victim of cyber-crime. Even Identity Theft ( which is portrayed as cyber-crime) is considerably easier to achieve through a dust-bin sift than a computer. Cyber-terrorism ? I'd be delighted to sell "cyber-terrorism" insurance to anyone who wants it ! "
The term 'Cyber' has been discussed above in context with types of threats that could be generated using it. The discussions above do not rule out or suggest that cyber is or could be put to good use too.
If there was a public stand and famous people such as Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Louis Walsh were stood on it promoting X-Factor no doubt crowds would pack around the stand listening adoringly to these famous people. Should we really need fame in our immediate presence then to pay the same equal attention when two ordinary non-famous people publicly speak about those who oppress, create mental fear and inflict physical pain and suffering?
Walking in the Surrey town of Dorking today in the area of an open air arcade there was such a stand and two women were there promoting help for those that have or are suffering from Domestic Abuse. No crowds thronged to stop and listen to their message. These two women represent relatively the unheard in our society who speak out on Domestic Abuse and the help that is available. They are the people who give their time freely and rarely get recognised for what they do. Well done to the two women I saw and spoke with today; one who outlined cultural domestic abuse and another an off duty Surrey Police Officer giving up her time to get the message out and familiar with Abuse crimes that she encounters during her work. Victims, I learned, can be women, children and men caught up in a cycle of abuse in relationships who may feel trapped and unable to speak out or speak up for themselves. Men, I understand, don't speak up because they feel too ashamed to tell anyone.
The statistics for Domestic Abuse crime in the UK makes very sad reading indeed and why I wanted to make this small contribution to help by offering to mention the Groups and their contact points where victims can go, get help and seek advice. All enquiries are in complete and strictist confidence.
If you are a victim, don't suffer in silence. Even if you are unsure but just want to check out where you stand - these are very skilled people who can help, if you will let them.
CONTACT TELEPHONE NUMBERS
Surrey Women's Aid 24-hour help-line: 01483-776822
Caterham Police Station: 01483-630292
East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services: 01737-771350
North Surrey Outreach: 01932-260690
Your Sanctuary Surrey helpline: 01483-776822
Childline: 0800 1111
National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247