Latest articles in ‘Hardware’

  1. How to block laptops and cellphones microphones from spying you?

    Published: Mon 18 July 2016 in Cookbook.
    Various ways to prevent your mobile devices microphones to be used as roving bugs.

    In State of surveillance, Edward Snowden explains the real danger behind cellphones spying, notably the fact that such form of spying provides access to information you precautiously never stored in any electronical device.

    It also demonstrate how to take appart and remove the camera and the microphone from a cellphone. Is going this far really necessary? Are there any revesible or more convenient ways?

    While IMHO using some black electrical duct-tape should be enough to blind a camera in most situations, things gets more complicated with the microphone but we still have several possibilities.

    Physical destruction / removal

    The most well-known and most effective solution is to physically destruct (drill) or remove (desolder) the microphone: no microphone anymore, no malicious way to use it. An external microphone can then be plugged whenever required (earphones for instance in the case of cellphones).

    Be aware however that certain devices (in particular cellphones and …

  2. Prevention measures against laptop seizure by the customs.

    Published: Mon 11 May 2015 in Cookbook.
    Steps to mitigate the risk of data theft and backdoor installation upon device seizure.

    The ANSSI, French government service in charge of IT security, has published a document (in French) providing brief advice to people having to travel abroad.

    The ANSSI advices concerning preparation before travel are as follow:

    1. Review the applicable company policy,
    2. Review destination country applicable laws,
    3. Prefer to use devices dedicated to travel (computers, smartphones, external storage etc.) and not containing any data not strictly needed for the mission,
    4. Backup all of your data before leaving and keep the backup in a safe place,
    5. Avoid taking any sensitive data at all, prefer to use a VPN (or a specially set up secured mailbox where all data will be deleted after retrieval) to retrieve the data securely (this is one of the most on-topic pieces of advice, since this one prevents any sensitive data from being present on the computer when crossing the border),
    6. Use a screen filter to avoid shoulder surfing …

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