Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Find the Villain

Interesting tech story caught my eye this morning:

A hacker was able to shout abuse at a two-year-old child by exploiting a vulnerability in a camera advertised as an ideal "baby monitor".

ABC News revealed how a couple in Houston, Texas, heard a voice saying lewd comments coming from the camera, made by manufacturer Foscam.

Vulnerabilities in Foscam products were exposed in April, and the company issued an emergency fix.

Foscam said it was unable to provide a statement at this time.

However, a UK-based reseller told the BBC it would contact its entire customer database to remind them "the importance in setting a password to their cameras".

The spokesman added that it would be urging Foscam's head office - based in Shenzhen, China - to send out a memo to all its resellers suggesting they too contact their customers.

ABC reported that Marc Gilbert and wife Lauren were left shaken when they heard a "British or European accent" coming from the camera.

Mr Gilbert said the voice directed offensive, sexualised words at their daughter Allyson, who was asleep in bed.

The family believed the hacker was able to call the child by her name because it was spelt out on the bedroom's wall.

The two-year-old is deaf, something the couple described as "something of a blessing" in the circumstances.

This is as bad a privacy breach as I can imagine - people all over the world having access to watch your child AND BULLY HER without your consent. And the people who are terrified because the government has access to your secrets aren't going to angrily protest Foscam, or demand that the head of Foscam be impeached. They won't even boycott Foscam.

The crowd that's enraged about the NSA surveillance program don't seem concerned that the information they're mining all comes from private corporations, who could just as easily be targeting you for elimination or social turmoil. In fact, the only reason Edward Snowden is in Russia right now is because the government farmed out all this data to ANOTHER private company, which didn't have the good sense to keep it away from him.

It increasingly looks to me like Government and Corporations both know too much about us. But at least the Government isn't a bunch of amateurs about it. The government has never let my credit card information fall into the hands of thieves, the way Exxon/Mobil did once. The government just wants to keep tabs and lock my information down. Google and Facebook... God only knows. If there's money in it, they'll sell me to Al Quaeda.