Posts tagged "wallet"

XRY Software Allows Law Enforcement To Crack Your Smartphone PIN In Minutes [Video]

We’ve told you guys countless times that using almost any type of password to secure your device is, in most cases, a very good idea (see Google Wallet debacle of 2012). well, when it comes to using some methods — a PIN, specifically — to keep your device safe from prying eyes, it might not be as secure as you think. Mirco Systemation is a Swedish company who is providing the military and law enforcement with software that can crack your measly PIN code in just a few minutes. the software, dubbed XRY, uses what the kids call the “brute force method” so, more lengthy passcodes could take a little longer to crack. but hey, that may give you enough time to call your lawyer should you ever find yourself in a precarious situation.

The software doesn’t just stop as unlocking your device, once connected to a Windows machine, this guy will suck out all your emails, SMS messages, call-logs and even data from third-party apps. They even demonstrated their data siphoning software on video which, according to them, adheres to strict export control laws which limit exactly which governments they can sell their software to. currently they offer services to around 60 countries.

The moral of the story? if you plan on continuing your pimp game (or not), Android’s trusty “pattern lock” has a pretty good track record of thwarting law enforcement’s attempts at gaining access to your phone. Keep that pimp hand strong, playa.

[Forbes | via TheVerge]

XRY Software Allows Law Enforcement To Crack Your Smartphone PIN In Minutes [Video]


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    Posted by admin - April 22, 2012 at 10:00 pm

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    What it really costs when you lose your smartphone

    Award-winning broadcast journalist and author Jeanette Pavini writes the Buyer Beware column for MarketWatch and wants to hear your stories, questions, problems and complaints. Write to her at BuyerBewareMKTW@gmail.com .

    SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — say you just lost your wallet with $40 cash in it. You’d feel bad, right? There’s the inconvenience of canceling cards, getting a new driver’s license, etc. but what if you lost your wallet with $900 in cash in it, plus your address book and your bank passwords? That’s what it’s like when you lose your smartphone.

    Now that really hurts.

    How much does it cost to lose a smartphone? one of our readers found out the hard way. Her iPhone was stolen while she was on public transit. she didn’t have phone insurance, her renter’s insurance didn’t cover the loss and she was told if she canceled her phone contract, she would be liable for a hefty early termination fee. In the end, she paid a small fortune and learned a big lesson.

    Some 60 million smartphones and cell phones are lost, stolen or damaged each year, according to Asurion, a provider of cell-phone insurance.

    your total cost will depend on your carrier, what kind of device you have and whether you’re willing to settle for a reconditioned, used device or want a new smartphone.

    If you lose your top-of-the-line iPhone, say, and want to replace it with the same device — and you aren’t eligible for an upgrade anytime soon — you could pay as much as $849 for the device alone.

    Here’s a breakdown, based on the major carriers:

    Sprint: If you have insurance through Sprint, you pay the deductible of $100 for smartphones and will receive a replacement phone – probably a used, refurbished phone, not a new one — without having to extend your contract. If you don’t have insurance, you can buy a used device or a new one, and you will not have to purchase a new contract. I found a certified pre-owned Blackberry Curve 3G for $79.99 on the Sprint website.

    Insurance offered through Sprint includes a free application with a device locator, data backup and lock-and-wipe capabilities. Sprint’s policy is to not re-activate a phone that has been reported lost or stolen unless they are able to verify proper ownership.

    Verizon: With insurance through Verizon, you can pay your deductible of up to $199 and get another smartphone — again, it won’t be a new phone — without having to sign a new contract. If you don’t have insurance and you want to stay under your current contract, you will have to buy a new or refurbished smartphone. Verizon sells refurbished phones for $300 to $500. The company offers a free back-up-assistant app that gives customers access to the contact information stored on their phone. If you have the company’s insurance, you’ll be able to locate your phone on a map, send a phone alarm, remotely lock your phone to secure your data or remotely wipe your contacts out. If you put your phone on the company’s “lost or stolen” list, Verizon won’t activate the phone if someone brings it into a store.

    AT&T declined to answer specific questions and referred us to their website. AT&T, on its website, advises customers to report a lost or stolen phone and suspend their service, buy a new device and then reactivate service. once suspended, your wireless service cannot be used to make or receive calls, forward calls, retrieve voicemail, or access data services. Suspending your wireless service does not release your wireless phone number, and you will be charged the monthly recurring fee while service is in a voluntary suspended status.

    Keep these tips in mind if your smartphone goes missing:

    1. many new smartphones, including the iPhone, come with a “find my phone” application that allows you to locate the device, regardless of your carrier or insurance. See whether your device has this option and activate it.

    2. your smartphone insurance likely does not cover a brand-new replacement device. You’ll get a reconditioned phone and it may not be identical to the one you lost.

    3. Keep track of when you are due for an upgrade on your carrier contract. you might be able to use an old phone until you qualify for the new replacement smartphone at a discounted rate.

    4. whenever you buy a new smartphone, hold on to your old device. If the new one is lost or stolen, that old iPhone or Blackberry could come in handy.

    5. No matter which carrier you use, treat your phone as stolen, even if you think it’s only misplaced. It’s not just a phone; it likely also contains important personal information, and phone and email contacts.

    6. If someone makes unauthorized long-distance calls, don’t believe it just because the carrier says it. you may not be liable for these charges, in fact — probably are not, even if your carrier says you are until the phone is reported lost or stolen. For example in California, the Public Utilities Commission has a law stating that a “telephone bill may only contain charges for products or services, the purchase of which the subscriber has authorized.” California consumers are not liable for unauthorized charges made from their stolen cell phones.

    7. Beware buying smartphones from third-party sellers or from private parties via classifieds like Craigslist. These phones might be stolen or damaged and you’ll have no recourse against the seller.

    Jeanette Pavini is a regular contributor to various publications and better.TV. she also hosts the weekly TV series, “The Real Deal” on NBC Bay Area and is the national spokesperson for Coupons.com. Write to her at BuyerBewareMKTW@gmail.com .

    Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist, documentarian and author Jeanette Pavini covers consumer and investigative news for numerous publications, radio and television. Jeanette is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    What it really costs when you lose your smartphone


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      Posted by admin - April 9, 2012 at 2:00 pm

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      Infographic: Your smartphone is worth more than your wallet

      The cost of a new phone isn’t the only thing to worry about when it ends up in the hands of a stranger. Here’s a look at the sensitive information that can cause much worse headaches, and how to prevent your phone from spilling it.

      We’ve all been there: You’ve left your phone sitting in a taxi cab after a night out in the city. Or left it sitting out in the open for some to surreptitiously take during a nap on the train. Or had it snatched out of your hand on a subway.

      Any one of the scenarios are some the perils of owning a smartphone today. in fact, the “art” of pick pocketing wallets is a dying craft. the new wallet is your smartphone, and unfortunately, today for the amount of information that can expose an owner’s private lives, many take their phones for granted.

      Background Check, a resource for information on background checks, has compiled the need-to-know information into an infographic resource to reveal just how vulnerable we really are when we lose our smartphones. It’s no longer just about the inconvenience of changing our phone numbers and purchasing a new phone. our identities are also in jeopardy.

      The infographic begins with the Symantec “Smartphone Honey Stick Project,” where 50 smartphones were “lost” throughout the United States and Canada. the phones were tracked to determine their locations, but more importantly Symantec monitored just how curious the finders would be with someone else’s phone.

      Check someone else’s emails and accessing apps that we forget to sign out of are a cinch. it doesn’t help that based on Symantec’s study, ¾ of smartphone owners have neglected protect their phones with a password. Not surprisingly, only 50 percent of individuals returned the phone, but 89 percent of the individuals checked an app or file that wasn’t required to find the owner of the phone. More specifically, 43 percent checked out the online banking app on the phone, 57 percent viewed a file titled “saved passwords,” 60 percent viewed the personal email, and 72 percent browsed the photos.

      So what type of information can be revealed with the loss of our phone? a lot more than you may have expected. aside from texts, contacts, email and photos, there are our social networking profiles, browsing history, check-ins and bank accounts – enough information to create a clear profile on who the owner is, and what their habits are.

      The infographic proceeds to offer recommendations for applications that could help to locate your phone or delete its info, which is something that you may want to look into. Some of these apps include Gadget Track, an iOS app that takes remote photographs and emails it to you, and plan B, an Android app that will send the phone’s location.

      We recommend you take some measures now to back up your data (which you should have done during World Backup Day) and use the methods presented in the infographic as a guide to protect your phone remotely in the event that you lose it. as the adage goes, “it’s better to be safe than sorry.”

      From: Background Check Resource

      Infographic: Your smartphone is worth more than your wallet


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        Posted by admin - April 7, 2012 at 7:00 am

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        Introducing The Juicebox: A Simple, Sexy Smartphone Charging Station

        For most smartphone users obsessed with having round-the-clock access to text messages, apps, and email, running out of battery juice has become almost as painful as a lost wallet. but a new solution from one New York-based startup hopes to solve your smartphone energy woes–while potentially creating new sources of revenue and engagement for merchants and advertisers.

        The Juicebox is a simple, elegant mobile phone charging station that lets users juice up their iPhones, Androids, or BlackBerries in public venues. The wall-mounted device is starting to pop up at restaurants and bars around New York City–most recently at Central Bar and Agave in the East and West Village, respectively. for a flat fee, typically of $1 or $2 depending on the venue, users gain access to one of seven color-coded lockers that glow pink when charging and green when charged. All it takes is a quick swipe of a credit card for a panel door to snap open, satisfyingly; when the door is closed, it remains securely locked until you again swipe your card, which essentially serves as a key, enabling users to leave their devices safely charging inside for however long they please.

        Juicebox from juicebox on Vimeo.

        “It seemed so stupid that such a thing didn’t exist,” says cofounder and CEO Adam Johnson, who sees potential for the Juicebox in venues ranging from gyms and sports arenas to casinos and movie theaters. “The obvious question was how you blend it in with a venue’s aesthetics–how you make it sexy and not just some piece of shit box that’s plastered with ads and has ports hanging out of the bottom. Venue hosts want a piece of furniture–not an appliance.”

        Other solutions do exist, Johnson acknowledges, but most are poorly designed or overly utilitarian. Some locker systems require actual keys or keypad codes to open; others are even coin operated. GoCharge, for example, offers tiered pricing, and devices that have wires limply dangling below like tentacles.

        The Juicebox’s beauty derives from its simplicity and design. The startup learned from prototype tests that it was too complicated to offer metered pricing. “It was confusing,” Johnson says. “People would immediately think of it like a long distance phone call. they think they’re going to get drunk and leave it in there and have a $50 bill [in the morning]. we established a flat fee–that was our first eureka moment.” The team also noticed users were compulsively taking their phones out to check text messages, so they added a way for the system to recognize and remember a phone’s unique device ID, enabling users to re-deposit their gadgets without paying a new transaction fee.

        According to COO Jack Phelps, some of the Juiceboxes are now topping $30 on Friday and Saturday evenings, despite having no promotion. Though company cofounders declined to give the specific cost of each unit, they conservatively estimate the device offers an ROI for the startup within just months of installation. “After that, you’re literally printing money,” Johnson says. for venue hosts, the device will cost nothing to install: Fee-sharing is customized for each location.

        But even more so than new revenue streams, venue hosts are excited about new incentives for driving foot traffic. Anecdotally, the startup has learned from customers that they’re returning to venues featuring the Juicebox in order to charge their phones. “That’s very intriguing to venues,” Johnson says. “We hear, ‘I came back because I knew I could charge my phone,’ or ‘I stayed here longer and bought another drink because I was charging my phone.'” to this end, the startup imagines it could work with services such as Foursquare to offer free charges for check-ins.

        Next up, Juicebox plans to roll out several more units to venues in New York as it looks to raise its first round of funding. The startup is also exploring potential advertising opportunities–say, at high-end venues, Grey Goose could offer to juice up your phone for free–though cofounders are wary of impeding on the device’s aesthetic.

        And the company has an app in the works for locating Juicebox-carrying venues. “Of course, we want the app to use up battery [on your phone],” Johnson says, laughing.

        He’s only (slightly) joking.

        Introducing The Juicebox: A Simple, Sexy Smartphone Charging Station


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          Posted by admin - January 24, 2012 at 10:00 pm

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