Feeds

Souvenir coin sparked nano spy alert

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

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
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
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
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

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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.