Feeds

Souvenir coin sparked nano spy alert

"We haven't seen anything like it before, Jim..."

Reducing security risks from open source software

A commemorative Canadian 25 cent coin was responsible for a US Defence Department security alert that soured relations between the US and its closest neighbour.

Concerned US contractors reported that a sinister new technology had been found embedded in the coin, which were apparently of Canadian origin.

One filed a report describing how the coin was "filled with something man-made that looked like nano-technology".

"Under high power microscope, it appeared to be complex consisting of several layers of clear, but different material, with a wire like mesh suspended on top," continued the vigilant contractor, who also noted the absence of electrical security or radio emissions.

This didn't deter his security chiefs, however, who launched into flights of fancy. Subsequently, in January the US Defence Department issued a warning suggesting that Canada may be using radio technology, embedded in coins.

The coin that sparked a spy alert: suspiciously nano

The coin that sparked a security alert

AP's Ted Bridis pieced together the truth behind the alert using US and Canadian sunshine legislation.

Defense chiefs quietly backed away from the espionage alert, admitting they couldn't make it stand up. Canada produced 30 million of the commemorative "poppy" coins in 2004. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Microsoft: You NEED bad passwords and should re-use them a lot
Dirty QWERTY a perfect P@ssword1 for garbage websites
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
L33t haxxors compete to p0wn popular home routers
EFF-endorsed SOHOpelessly Broken challenge will air routers' dirty zero day laundry
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.