Security and nanotechnology

Three interesting articles appeared today on /. related to security which bear some thought when we think about nanotechnology.

The first involves the ChoicePoint Identity Theft problem. This involves perhaps 40,000 people in California and more than 110,000 people nationwide (in the U.S.) whose complete personal information has been lifted from an integrated identity database maintained by ChoicePoint. The scary part seems to be that they weren't checking their own customers with respect to their trustability — they were selling the information in the database to allow their customers to confirm that J.Q. Public could actually be trusted and weren't doing that themselves.

The second, involves good old Microsoft warning the the next generation of Windows spyware inserts itself into the kernel using "rootkits". This potentially effectively negates all normal virus scanning software. Its a case of the virus scanning software asking "Do you have any viruses installed here?" and the system responding, "No sir, absolutely not sir, we wouldn't even consider retaining spyware, malware, viruses or worms on this system, sir!" Microsoft has some proposed solutions — boot up a copy of windows from a CD-ROM and compare the binaries to make sure they exactly match the binaries on your hard drive. And of course that is likely to happen because as we all know everyone in the world is running with the most recent MS security patches installed…

And finally, there is the nice little comment about the T-Mobile web site that allowed one cracker (Nick Jacobsen) to log into the T-Mobile web site (details) and not only download lots of information about the secret service agents investigating him but he also managed to access Paris Hilton's account and some of the pictures she had been taking on her phone.

Oh I am predicting such a bright future for nanosecurity experts…

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