Feeds

US warns on spooky Canadian coins

Tiny transmitters implanted in loonies

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The US Defence Department is warning contractors of the danger of Canadian coins containing tiny radio transmitters being used to follow their movements.

The claim comes in the appendix to "Technology Collection Trends in the US Defence Industry" - an annual look at high-tech spying developments.

This warns defense contractors: "On at least three separate occasions between October 2005 and January 2006 cleared defense contractors' employees travelling through Canada have discovered radio frequency transmitters embedded in Canadian coins placed on their persons."

Other recent cases include an American male translator seduced by "a female foreign national" in order to get his network password and a defense contractor caught recording classified briefings using a voice-recording pen.

It seems unlikely that Canada would be spying on US defence department staff but some reports suggest France, China or Russia could be involved.

Other observers have questioned the utility of a radio transmitter inside a coin - it is unlikely to be able to transmit very far through the coin and small change is highly likely to end up in a parking meter, payphone or vending machine rather than staying in the pocket of the person you are trying to follow.

Traditional passive radio frequency identification chips also suffer from quite limited ranges.

The booklet notes that Information Technology Systems were most often targetted by foreign spies, the second most popular technology type was lasers.

The booklet is available for download from (Pdf.) here. Make sure you are wearing your foil hat.®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.