Feeds

US warns on spooky Canadian coins

Tiny transmitters implanted in loonies

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

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.®

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.