The US government has the most sophisticated technological array of tools at its disposal for law enforcement and enacting policy that the world has ever seen. The gadgets and doo-dads at their disposal simply boggle the mind. Which is why you should be terrified that they can be jammed and surveilled with stuff you find at Toys R Us …
The portable radios used by many federal law enforcement agents have major security flaws that allowed researchers to intercept hundreds of hours of sensitive traffic sent without encryption over the past two years, according to a new study being released today.
The children's toy that can be used for jamming. While studying the technology, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania overheard conversations that included descriptions of undercover agents and confidential informants, plans for forthcoming arrests and information on the technology used in surveillance operations.
"We monitored sensitive transmissions about operations by agents in every Federal law enforcement agency in the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security," wrote the researchers, who were led by computer science professor Matt Blaze and plan to reveal their findings Wednesday in a paper at the Usenix Security Symposium in San Francisco.
Their research also shows that the radios can be effectively jammed using a pink electronic child's toy and that the standard used by the radios "provides a convenient means for an attacker" to continuously track the location of a radio's user.
Your tax dollars at work!
[Source: The Wall Street Journal]