While some may find them cute and cuddly, and some, absolutely disgusting; this rat that I am speaking of is neither.
The rat that I want to educate about is really an acronym for Remote Access Trojan.
Just about everything electronic today has a built in camera. Not to mention a microphone.
Some smart TV’s actually have them built in to allow you to voice command the TV.
Your car may very well have something like this built in.
I have long held that our government could if they wanted, under some obscure interpretation of the Patriot Act, access your camera and or microphone to peek into your home. I have also thought that this could be done with the microphone and camera on most laptops and of course desktops that have them.
Not only is there news of the Feds hacking your cell phones and either listening in or downloading your contact list and other information through something called String Ray but there are theories that your local police may be doing this as well without a warrant! (1)
It is not enough that we may have our government spying on us without warrant but, we have Trojans that copy your keystrokes and send them to some server in Russia, or some other obscure third world country looking for passwords and banking information now we have RATS.
Today we know that perverted individuals out there have in fact used the cameras in laptops handed out by the school to indeed spy on kids in their bedrooms. While this made the news, little attention was really paid to this, as conspiracy nuts are everywhere.
(2) The Case in question
We now know that the Chinese among others have created Trojans that allow them remote access to your camera and or microphone in your laptop! Simply click on the wrong thing and the writer of the software has access to your machine.
One couple received a picture of themselves lying in bed watching a movie on Netflix. This came to them from someone using a made up name, via their Facebook page.
(3) Naked Security Story
You really have to be smart when you are cruising the internet and checking e-mail as the crooks and other creeps are smarter. I have often said that these folks are probably kids sitting around in their mother’s basement in their underwear, writing Trojans, seeing who can outdo the other via groups like Anonymous.
I would like to see devices like phones have an actual on off switch or removable customer replaceable battery. If you want to make certain that the thing is off, remove the power. Apple has made this task about impossible for the everyday user and that is problematic. Placing the device in airplane mode might be your closest bet to protecting your privacy but I would bet that there is a work around for that.
I would also like to see on off switches on cameras and microphones that absolutely can be switched off until required.
The simple truth is we have no idea what these phones are doing in the background and with viruses and Trojans, we have no idea when some remote access Trojan will activate or be activated by some creep in some basement somewhere.
Someone write an app that tells you what the phone is dong or has done.
When you sit back and think that I am a crazy conspiracy nut, I would remind you of the porn scanners that are still in use at some airports today.
Who in their right mind would think that it is ok to use ionizing radiation to undress the public by the tens of thousands for the purpose of what, looking for weapons? We are so politically correct that we can’t profile but we can strip search the public, grope grandma and feel up children! Political Correctness is a way to control the masses and not something that we should be doing as a people. We have free speech, and other than yelling fire in a theater or threatening to kill someone, I would not surrender the first amendment for anything!
Did you read about the whistle blower who worked for the TSA and admitted that it was a big joke to watch people stripped of their clothing and then make remarks and jokes about what they saw? (4) (5)
If I could have any job in the world, currently it would be to be in some position of authority at the TSA! I would love to clean that bunch of people up and while I am at it, assist them with security as currently they are loath to do much right, of course it is the government so …. What do you expect?! They need folks who think outside the box and currently they have a bunch of automatons.
The news media commonly carried stories about the TSA scanner as equivalent to being at altitude for a couple of hours. The lying bastards however did not tell the truth. While pilots do suffer more cases of skin cancers than non-pilots as cosmic radiation is more intense at altitude, it is not the same as ionizing radiation.
To further exacerbate the privacy issue you are undoubtedly aware that cameras are everywhere. You must assume that wherever you are, or whatever you are doing, there may be a camera watching you. Every red light contains cameras that I maintain can and do look at people in cars collecting bio metric data, looking for who is doing what when. These are not the low end cameras that you can buy on-line, these are high end cameras that have good quality optics.
How about some of these cameras:
These are just a scant few. These things are tiny and easily concealed. Assume that you have no privacy. If you scratch it in public, chances are someone saw you.
Orwell was ahead of his time, and you my friends need to be aware of this, and act accordingly.
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