Computer Security, A Bug in Google Docs(?), and Norm Coleman Is a Ghoulish Skeletal Idiot

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…. Not to pick on Norm’s physical appearance or anything, but those of use who find his continued existence in Minnesota politics both enigmatic and unconscionable (for us, for allowing it) are starting to see him like that. Anyway, somebody who is too busy to blog sent me this interesting item: Wikileaks comes back at Coleman on donor database exposure. The long and the short of it: Norm Coleman’s campaign donor database, including such interesting items as name and credit card number, became internet-visible a couple of months back. Since that time, this error was exposed, and Norm Coleman decided to blame the Franken campaing and/or other forces of supposed evil for causing the mistake, or exploiting the causing of the release, or whatever. Additionally, the Coleman campaign has pretty clearly violated the law (which is not surprising given Coleman’s alleged long history of being a self absorbed misogynous racist renegade bastard, allegedly) by not reporting the release as required. By law.

The bug in google docs ….
I’m not sure if I can reproduce this or not, but … If you use the Google Docs spelling tool (which I’ve used only this one time) and leave a bunch of words misspelled (because they really aren’t misspelled, perhaps) then turn off the tool, then copy and paste the text into, say, a web-form box somewhere, then the spaces that existed before the word (as the text flows) may disappear.

We had a computer security seminar yesterday at which our unit-local IT boss discussed security issues with various unit heads, staff, and so on. He’s a great guy and really know his stuff, even if he does think Windows is OK. (Or maybe it’s just the chip making him think that, I dunno.) Anyway, the idea that nefarious operatives with radios could listen in on your wife, or even your wireless keyboard, was brought up and discussed. That may seem a little extreme to worry about (but it is not, actually) however it turns out that it is WORSE THAN WE THOUGHT!!!

That PC keyboard you’re using may be giving away your passwords. Researchers say they’ve discovered new ways to read what you’re typing by aiming special wireless or laser equipment at the keyboard or by simply plugging into a nearby electrical socket.

And no, we are not talking about wireless keyboards here. Details here.

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0 thoughts on “Computer Security, A Bug in Google Docs(?), and Norm Coleman Is a Ghoulish Skeletal Idiot

  1. heard of this before, basically a laser mic to the nearby window and you can get enough sound off it to discern the different sounds individual keys make. Moral of the story? Always have the radio playing while you type? I dunno. I’ve always wanted to build a little laser mic to just play with.

    As for the listening to interference on the power lines, that’s a hell of a trick. Lots of other noise on there all the time anyway. I’m curious as to what their research atmosphere was like- fairly isolated computer for testing, or a standard office full of lights, phones, speakers, etc? Pretty cool stuff, especially if they’re able to filter off all that other stuff, perhaps isolate a range of EMI unique to keyboards.

  2. Of course, at Quiche Moraine this morning we also have more detailed information on Norm’s attempt to turn himself into the victim instead of the wrongdoer.

  3. basically a laser mic to the nearby window and you can get enough sound off it to discern the different sounds individual keys make.

    That only kinda works. This is a new trick.

    Anyway, you can’t do this with my keyboard. I’ve got a special keyboard.

  4. The question is, how do you filter out the keystrokes from the keyboard you’re interested in from the keystrokes on the other 50 identical keyboards in range in the typical cube farm?

  5. Hey – Stop picking on Norm! At least he isn’t anti-America!

    And that commie you linked to above wasn’t necessarily too busy to blog, they just don’t let him blog on political stuff at work. Censorship!

  6. This isn’t really a new trick. This is one reason that some high security installations have copper sheets in the walls. They help prevent attacks like this or similar attacks using stray electromagnetic radiation.

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