If you’ve been shying away from posting your photographs to Facebook because you don’t want them stolen, security software company McAfee has come up with a solution for you. It’s a new tool called McAfee Social Protection, and helps you protect your photos using invite lists, blurring, and lock-down. Read more…
Sebastian Guerrero, an independent researcher in Barcelona says he’s discovered a way to force friendship with any Instagram user — private or public — by exploiting an Instagram server-side vulnerability. In one case, Guerrerro forced Mark Zuckerberg to follow his test account. Then Guerrerro sent him a message through a photo post, which would show up in Zuckerberg’s photo feed of people he follows. Guerrero also used a test account to follow a private user without the required approval from the private user. Read more…
In early May, Adobe had CS5 users in a tizzy when they announced that users would have to upgrade to CS6 for a fix to the 8 eight critical vulnerabilities they had just discovered between in Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash Professional. Fortunately, after a bit of an upheaval Adobe changed their tune, and now the long-awaited patches are out and ready for you to download and install. If you followed the links in our original feature and found that you were indeed affected by the vulnerabilities, we would highly suggest you get that remedied right away.
A month ago, quite a bit of controversy was stirred up when Amateur Photographer pointed out some stringent and seemingly unenforceable restrictions included in the London 2012 Ticker Holder Agreement. Initially it seemed that attendees might have been prevented from posting images to social networks (an assumption which was later refuted). But even though attendees will be allowed to post images to Facebook to their heart’s content, amateurs and non-media who wanted to get some commercial-grade pictures of the Olympic events are still out of luck. Read more…
Earlier this month the US Army published an article warning its soldiers that the ubiquitousness of geotagged photographs these days can present a serious security risk, citing a real-world example of something that happened back in 2007:
When a new fleet of helicopters arrived with an aviation unit at a base in Iraq, some Soldiers took pictures on the flightline, he said. From the photos that were uploaded to the Internet, the enemy was able to determine the exact location of the helicopters inside the compound and conduct a mortar attack, destroying four of the AH-64 Apaches.
Officer Kent Grosshans recommends disabling the geotagging feature on your phone (or camera) and double-checking your social media settings to see who you’re sharing location-based info with, regardless of whether you’re an enlisted soldier or a civilian.
A UK photographer who goes by the moniker Hamstify was documenting his town Scunthorpe late last year when he was confronted by security personel outside a Golden Wonder plant and ordered to stop photographing. He was shooting from a public location, so he decided to stand up for his rights and film the argument that transpired. On VisitScunthorpe.com, he writes,
What also aggrieves me is that someone in a uniform representing a company in an apparent position of authority can try and intimidate members of the public by making up laws that don’t exist. This seemed to be an attempt to subjugate a member of the public into accepting what was being told was to be true. Further more hurling offensive insults and puerile slander, like seen at the end of the video, surely isn’t something that someone in that position should resort to.
In general, for UK residents, photography from public places is perfectly legal. There are some exceptions (e.g. buildings critical to national security), but the general rule of thumb is that if you’re shooting from public property police and security guards don’t have the power to stop you.
A recently discovered flaw in Facebook’s abuse reporting tool allowed anyone to access private photographs of other users, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Until it was fixed today, the reporting tool allowed anyone who reported a public photograph’s owner to also peruse that user’s images, both public and private. After members of a bodybuilding forum discovered the security hole, they proceeded to target Zuckerberg’s account and publish a number of his private photographs online. This comes a week after the FTC slapped Facebook’s wrist over deceptive privacy practices.
Here’s another public service announcement for those of you who travel often (see our warning on zippered bags): the safes in hotel rooms may not be as secure as you think. YouTube user skyrangerpro recently discovered that the safe in his room could be opened with “000000″ regardless of what passcode he chose. This is presumably the “master password” the hotel uses when you’ve forgotten the one you’ve chosen, but the fact that some hotels leave this on factory default settings is cause for concern.
The next time you think about leaving some pricey camera gear in a hotel safe, makes sure all zeros isn’t a working passcode.
Flickr introduced a novel privacy feature yesterday called “geofences”, which lets you hide the location data of photos taken in certain locations from the general public. It seems like a great idea, but blogger Thomas Hawk points out that there’s a pretty big loophole in the system:
Although the geotag information is indeed pulled from the flickr photo page, ANYONE can potentially still get your geolocational data simply by downloading the original sized file and looking into the EXIF data.
This means the geofence feature doesn’t actually wipe the geotag information from the photos you upload, but simply prevents the data from being displayed in an easy-to-view format on the Flickr site. If you make the original versions of your photos available for download, the general public can still access the location data found in those. To close the loophole, simply make it so people can’t download your originals.
Flickr introduced an innovative location-based privacy feature today called “geofences“. It’s a way of assigning default privacy settings to certain locations for geotagged photographs. For example, you can assign a geofence with a certain radius around your home, and automatically set those photos’ location data to only be visible to your friends and family. Each user can have up to 10 geofences, and existing photographs are automatically updated to new geofence privacy settings.