Every Monday, Lifehacker brings in an expert for an hour to answer questions via chat. Next Monday, November 12, 2012 at 3pm, Lifehacker will be kicking off “Spy Week,” dedicated to all things James Bond and mystery. ICORP Investigations Vice President, Steven Santarpia, will be joining Lifehacker to answer your questions pertaining to private investigations. Licensed Private Investigator Steven Santarpia has been a private detective for over 10 years and has worked many different types of investigations including infidelity/cheating spouse, industrial espionage, skip tracing and insurance claims.
More information to come including the link to join the chat session on Monday. To view past chats, visit Lifehacker.com.
For more information regarding ICORP Investigations, please visit their website.
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Publicly available code allows hackers to disable Wi-Fi in a range of products.
by Dan Goodin – Oct 26 2012, 1:50pm EDT
The iPhone 4 and a slew of older devices from Apple, Samsung, HTC, and other manufacturers are vulnerable to attacks that can make it impossible to send or receive data over Wi-Fi networks, a security researcher said.
Proof-of-concept code published online makes it trivial for a moderately skilled hacker to disable older iPhones, HTC Droid Incredible 2s, Motorola Droid X2s, and at least two-dozen other devices, including Edge model cars manufactured by Ford. The Denial-of-Service vulnerability stems from an input-validation error in the firmware of two wireless chips sold by Broadcom: the BCM4325 and theBCM4329. The US Computer Emergency Readiness Team has also issued an advisory warning of the vulnerability.
“The only requirement to exploit the vulnerability is to have a wireless card that supports [the] raw inject of 802.11 frames,” Andrés Blanco one of the researchers from Core Security who discovered the vulnerability, told Ars. “The Backtrack Linux distribution has almost everything you need to execute the POC provided in the advisory.”
The Core Security advisory said that Broadcom has released a firmware update that patches the “out-of-bounds read error condition” in the chips’ firmware. Device manufacturers are making it available to end users on a case-by-case basis since many of the affected products are older and already out of service.
Blanco said the exploit makes it impossible for an affected device to send or receive data over Wi-Fi for as long as the DoS attack lasts. Once the malicious packets subside, the device will work normally. Other device functions are unaffected by the Wi-Fi service interruption. He said it’s possible the bug could be exploited to do more serious things.
“We are not sure that we could retrieve private user data but we are going to look into this,” he said.
This afternoon the NYPD debuted their “all-seeing” Domain Awareness System, which syncs the city’s 3,000 closed circuit camera feeds in Lower Manhattan, Midtown, and near bridges and tunnels with arrest records, 911 calls, license plate recognition technology, and even radiation detectors. Mayor Bloomberg dismissed concerns that this represented the most glaring example of Big Brother-style policing. “What you’re seeing is what the private sector has used for a long time,” Bloomberg said. “If you walk around with a cell phone, the cell phone company knows where you are…We’re not your mom and pop’s police department anymore.”
The system was developed with Microsoft and paid for by the city for $30 to $40 million, and has already been in use for six months. The feeds compiled by the system are kept for thirty days, then erased.
In a live demonstration of DAS, the NYPD’s director of policy and planning for counterterrorism, Jennifer Tisch, showed reporters how the system responded to a recent report of a suspicious package. A description of the package (a closed “Jack Daniels” box) was shown next to its location. Video feeds within 500 feet of the package’s location that showed the location several minutes before the package was reported to police, so that the system’s operator could determine who or what placed the package there.
In another example, a radioactive isotope—Technetium-99—was detected and the officer at the helm is shown a description of the isotope. “I want to stress that this isotope has both medical and industrial uses,” Tisch said, before adding that it would be the officer’s judgement call as to whether the isotope meant that it was a terrorist threat or someone who had recently undergone “some sort of medical procedure,” as the mayor put it. “It takes some judgement to use technology,” Bloomberg added, presumably including on-the-spot radiography in his assertion.
Reports of suspicious cars can be followed up with license-plate scanners, which will track and beam back the location of the vehicle to the system so that the police can follow it in real-time—video feeds will also show delayed images to help the officers determine if the car is in a caravan. Arrest and driving records are shown alongside the camera image. “This system is the ultimate in domain awareness,” Tisch said.
Regarding the department’s recent request for information from Twitter for a threat made by one of its users, Kelly said that social media monitoring “is not done at this location,” and that “[The NYPD] only monitors social media for specific investigations. That’s the world we live in.”
The City will receive 30% on the profits Microsoft will make selling it to other cities, although Mayor Bloomberg declined to say if that money would go back into the NYPD. “Maybe we’ll even make a few bucks.”
Wondering how cheating could affect your divorce case? Here’s what you need to know, from Katherine Eisold Miller, a collaborative lawyer and family mediator. Have questions? Ask in the comments.
Marriages can end when one member of the couple discovers that the other has had an adulterous relationship. How important is the impact of the extra-marital relationship on the divorce itself? Legally, the answer varies from state to state. In some states, there is very little impact at all while, in others, it can have a substantial influence on the outcome.
Historically, there was a much higher correspondence between adultery and divorce then there is today. Adultery by a woman was often viewed more seriously and punished more harshly than if committed by a man. This remains the case in some countries today, including Iran and Saudi Arabia, where an adulterous wife could face a violent death. In the United States, adultery remains a crime in some states but is rarely prosecuted.
These days, adultery rarely has much of an impact on the distribution of assets — except in cases where one spouse has used marital assets to support the extra-marital relationship. For example, if a husband borrows against a marital asset in order to support his mistress, that fact would likely be taken into account in distributing the assets of the marriage.
Adultery is also unlikely to affect a custody determination so long as the wayward spouse has not carried on the relationship in front of the children or exposed them to inappropriate people or situations during the course of the affair.
In some states where fault is still a factor in divorce proceedings (even where no-fault divorce exists, in some states there is still fault-based divorce that — when proven — can impact support or property division) an adulterous relationship can seriously reduce (or even eliminate) the obligation of one spouse to pay alimony to the unfaithful spouse regardless of need. In addition, alimony already in place is often terminated when a spouse or ex-spouse lives with another person.
If the straying spouse happens to pick up a sexually transmitted disease, and later infects his or her spouse with that illness, that can give rise to a personal injury action between spouses called an interspousal tort.
Far and away the biggest, most likely and most problematic influence adultery will have on a divorce is in the negotiation of settlement. Statistically, divorce cases are overwhelmingly likely to settle — over 90 percent or more in most jurisdictions. A cheating spouse often feels guilty or sheepish in the aftermath of discovery or confession and the cuckolded spouse typically feels angry and retributive. The emotional stance of each party coming into the negotiation can drastically affect the terms of the settlement.
When making important decisions about your finances, your children and your lifestyle it is important to be in as calm a state of mind as possible. People who make the best choices in their divorce negotiations are able to separate their actions from their reactions — in other words, they are able to think about what is best for themselves and their families separately from the emotions they feel about the adultery. Choosing divorce lawyers and other professionals who can work together to support a family through all aspects of this painful situation is probably the best way to get through it successfully. More information about how this can work is available at CollaborativePractice.com and WestchesterFamilyLaw.com.
Sexual taboos are falling in Western cultures. Largely due to the Internet, today’s youth take a much more sex-positive view to what comes naturally. They have shed the fear and misconception ofmasturbation. They enjoy a hook-up culture where sex is easier to come by. Taboos have withered from homophobic moralistic Victorian ideals of heterosexual, missionary ‘sex’ to the acceptance not only of homosexuality but for the viewing of gay male pornography by straight men.
Despite all of this social-sexual progress, however, our culture has yet to erode the sexual taboo of engaging in—or even admitting to desperately wanting—sex with someone other than one’s monogamous partner. Monogamy is so esteemed it remains virtually compulsory in our relationships.
Despite its cultural esteem, there are faults with the practice of monogamy today; problems covered by a culture unwilling to ask critical questions about it. Monogamy’s hegemonic dominance is maintained through multiple, robust cultural myths in the forms of both a carrot and a stick.
Young men entering into romantic/sexual relationships are misled into thinking that monogamy is capable of providing them with a lifetime of sexual fulfillment and that if they truly loved their partners they would not desire others. This, we are told, is because monogamy is healthy, proper,moral, and natural. Anyone deviating from or challenging this script is stigmatized.
We must hold monogamy, not only cheating, to a critical light. We must expose the myths supporting monogamy, especially for young men who have grown up with easier access to sex, a panoply of pornography, and a greater number of sexual partners before finding love.
Let us examine the stages of a monogamous relationship:
(1) Young men enter into romantic relationships believing in the myths of monogamy. Many men have come from families broken by cheating, and they don’t want to be ‘that guy.’ They believe that if they love their partners, they will be sexually satisfied with them in perpetuity.
(2) Despite this belief, sexual habituation sets in quickly. Attempts to spice-up one’s sex life normally occur about the time a couple enters into the emotional storming stage of a relationship: three months. But despite these attempts, the intensity and frequency of sex declines within a few months.
(3) The relentless urge to have sex with someone else grows stronger as the emotional strength of the relationship develops. Young men who fail to love their girlfriends or boyfriends aren’t compelled to stay with their partners. Instead, they are culturally free to leave their partners. But men don’t leave their partners because of waning sexual desires alone; they love their partners and do not wish to leave them. They simply want sex with someone else to fulfill their somatic desires while keeping their emotional relationships intact.
(4) Men begin to resent their partners. When every cell in their body is craving sex with someone else, monogamy begins to feel like sexual incarceration. Men want to escape, and, to some extent, their inability to do so is taken out on their partner, who is viewed as keeping them sexually incarcerated.
(5) Men must decide. Do they break up with their partners so they can have sex elsewhere? Tell their partners that they desire a sexually-open relationship? Discuss their sexual desires with their partners but not ask for an open relationship? Or do they choose to cheat, even if not fully admitting this choice to themselves?
(6) The decision is normally made to cheat, and this normally occurs (the first time) when drunk. Men don’t choose the first option because they are in love with their partners and don’t wish to lose their emotional relationship. They don’t choose to explain their desires to their partners because they fear that if they do, their partners will not only deny them the ability to have extra-dyadic sex, but they will either subject them to extra surveillance and scrutiny, or break up with them altogether.
Thus, the final option, cheating, becomes the only rational choice to have their emotional and sexual desires met. With the fuel of alcohol, cheating ‘just happens.’ But because most of the time men are not caught, and because they view the crime as having already been committed, they begin to cheat more often. This cheating option has the added value of permitting themselves to have extra sex, without giving their partners permission to do the same. Thus, cheating men don’t have to confront their own sexual jealousy.
After interviewing 120 young men and drawing on research from hundreds of other academics across the biological and social sciences, the central thesis to my research is that cheating is a rational response to the irrational expectation of monogamy. Cheating serves as a way for men to meet their desires, with as little disruption to their emotional lives as possible. This is why 78% of the men I interview report having cheated on their current partner in some physical way.
I don’t condone cheating, but I do condemn the expectation of monogamy for setting up this double jeopardy. I understand why men cheat and permitted them to tell their own stories without moral condemnation in my book.
This position is unpopular in a culture which so highly values fidelity. Thus, I rather feel like a boy pointing out the fact that the Emperor has no clothes. But I suggest that my thesis must resonate with most who read it at some level. This is because the evidence about monogamy suggests that while we value it, it is not working. Not only have 78% of those in my study cheated, but evidence is all around us that, as an institution, monogamy has failed. Previous research on married men and women in the United Kingdom, for example, shows that more than 70% of men and women have at one time cheated on their partner.
In light of my thesis, some choose a moralist stand, arguing that men should not act on their desires no matter how strong. Others seem to want men doomed to a life of loneliness, suggesting that they should never enter into relationships if that is their belief, or those are their sexual desires.
Both of these positions, however, are a return to matters as usual. They value a cultural script (monogamy for life) that is clearly not working. It is also these scripts that keep men lying about their desires and hiding their cheating. Few highlight the obvious answer to the dilemma of monogamy and cheating—sexually open relationships. Here, in an egalitarian manner, a couple reserves emotional fidelity, while structuring in rules for extra-dyadic, recreational sex.
Thus, the way out of the monogamy gap is for us to begin equally valuing sexually open relationships, alongside monogamous ones. Feeling victimized by one’s cheating is a socially constructed emotion that ultimately leads to the decrement of otherwise healthy relationships. Open sexual relationships can, oddly enough, provide increased protection from sexually transmitted diseases/infections (because when people cheat they rarely use protection); and open relationships can wither jealousy scripts that lead to emotional distress in a relationship.
Finally, when there is no stigma to having an open sexual relationship, men and women will begin to be more honest about what they want sexually, and how they desire to achieve it. Only once sexually open relationships become a viable cultural choice—free of stigma or hierarchy—will men and women begin to talk honestly about what form of relationship would serve them best. Only then will they be permitted to change the rules of sex with others in their relationship, as they see fit.
By Michael Gregg
Celebrities are a perfect target for hackers — they’re highly visible, spend lots of time on their smartphones and they know next to nothing about security. It’s no wonder they’re often victimized by hackers — from lone hackerazzis like the alleged Christopher Chaney to hacker groups like the Anonymous offshoot ‘Hollywood Leaks.’
But how do these hackers actually hack a cell phone?
Many people seem to think it requires a great deal of computer skill to hack a phone; that you have to be some type of hacker mastermind. But the reality is, it’s not that hard.
Here are a few ways:
# 1 — Physical Access to the Phone — Obviously, if a person can get physical access to a cell phone, even for a few seconds, it’s game over. The person can clone it, place a remote spying tool on the phone or download the pictures and information directly to their own account.
TIPS — Make sure your phone has a strong password lock to prevent unauthorized access. Sign up for a mobile phone recovery service — like Where’s My Droid, Find My iPhone, McAfee’s WaveSecure, etc. — that offers GPS tracking, remote freeze and remote wiping in case the phone is ever lost or stolen.
#2 — Hacking Email, Twitter and Apps — Most celebrities are hacked through email, Twitter and other accounts that they use on their phones. This is what happened to Scarlett Johanson, Kreayshawn, Mila Kunis and Christina Aguillera, among others — and it may also be the reason for the more recent hacks on Heather Morris and Christina Hendricks.
Hackers get in by guessing a weak password or bypassing the password altogether by answering a series of cognitive security questions such as mother’s maiden name or what high school they attended. This technique is what is alleged to have been used by Chris Chaney and Hollywood Leaks.
To beat a password, hackers can use special password cracking programs that attempt to “dictionary attack” or “brute force” the account, or they can simply do their homework on the celebrity and use that to guess the passphrase or security questions. Once the hacker gets in to one account, especially email, he can use it to get into other accounts (for example, request the Twitter password reminder be sent to Gmail or other web-based email account).
TIPS — Use a unique password for each online account. Make sure it’s at least 10 characters long and doesn’t make up a real word — use letters, numbers and symbols. Give fake answers to the security questions to make it hard for others to guess. To be extra safe, consider using “two-factor authentication” and PGP encryption with the email account as well.
#3 — Social Engineer the Phone Company — In 2005, hackers stole nude pictures of Paris Hilton by getting access to her T-Mobile Sidekick II, a precursor to today’s smartphones. How did they do it? Theyimpersonated a T-Mobile support tech over the phone and tricked T-Mobile employees into giving them access to the carrier’s intranet site that contained a list of user accounts, which allowed them to reset the password to her account and steal photos and contacts. Today, there’s still a risk hackers could reset accounts or permissions by conning the phone company, but it’s more likely they’ll simply target a person’s accounts directly online.
TIPS — Check your online phone accounts periodically to make sure there haven’t been any unauthorized changes.
#4 — Wi-Fi Spies — Movie stars do a lot of traveling, and while they’re roaming about they’re often connecting their phones to open Wi-Fi networks — whether it’s at the airport, hotel or Starbucks. This puts them at greater risk of being hacked. Using public Wi-Fi puts all of your online accounts, Internet searches, emails and usernames/passwords out in the open where they can be read, copied and hacked by any person with moderate computer skills. In fact, there are special tools available online that do this.
TIPS — Don’t use public Wi-Fi. Stick with 3G or 4G service, as it’s harder to hack. If you must use a public wireless network, only use websites or apps from your phone that offer encryption (‘https’ in the address bar) and don’t save your passwords in a cache. Even better, setup a virtual private network (VPN) that will encrypt your online activity no matter where you are.
#5 — Spyware — Stars who spend a lot of time using open Wi-Fi and chatting with friends or followers on social networks and clicking on shared links are also at risk of spyware. Spyware is malicious software that can infect your phone in order to record the things you type — like usernames and passwords — and it can also be used to steal items from your phone, like photos, contacts and banking data. “FakeToken” is one example of spyware that is currently being found on some Android phones. There’s a good chance some celebrity phones have been infected by spyware.
TIPS — Don’t use public Wi-Fi. Don’t click on suspicious links, whether they’re in email, text messages or tweets.
The bottom line is that most celebrities fall victim to hacks because they use weak passwords and share too much information — and images — through easily hacked accounts. A few basic precautions would fix the problem for many of them; hopefully they’ll learn their lesson.
Bari Zell Weinberger, Esq.
Let’s start with the bad news: You’re on the road to divorce. But the good news is that romance, love and, yes, even marriage doesn’t need to end with divorce. In fact, a survey of 2,000 newly divorced people found that nearly 50 percent of divorced men were eager to get remarried, and 20 percent of divorced women were hoping to repeat their trip down the aisle. That’s inspiring news for everyone hoping to be hit by Cupid’s arrow once again.
But is dating during your divorce a good idea?
While it may indeed be true that “all’s fair in love,” a little common sense doesn’t hurt either. And while I’d never want to throw cold water on a budding romance, I have some words of wisdom that I’d like to share.
I have an immense amount of experience helping individuals and couples make it through the divorce process. And I have even helped many through the more peaceful and amicable process of divorce mediation, which can save everyone a great deal of time, stress and money. In light of these experiences, here’s my compassionate and informed advice if you’re thinking about jumping back into the dating scene, and perhaps even if you hear wedding bells ringing in your near future:
• If you’ve started your divorce process, honestly evaluate how your separation or divorce is going. Is it contested or uncontested? Is it demanding a lot of your time and resources? Is it emotionally overwhelming? You want to lay the groundwork for a new, strong relationship while you’re in a “good place” emotionally, psychologically and perhaps even financially, too. You also want to be able to devote your time and attention to your divorce, because the decisions you make during this time will affect you for years to come. Further, consider how your spouse may react when he or she finds out you’re dating. Is that going to add fuel to a highly contested divorce? More than likely, the answer is “yes.”
• If you haven’t started your divorce process, then it’s important that you know what the road ahead looks like — so you can prepare yourself and focus on the outcome you want. You also need to be aware that the process can be time consuming and, at times, exhaustive and difficult. After all, even the most amicable divorce is still a divorce, and it’s human nature to feel angry, sad and disappointed — and sometimes, all three at the same time.
• Be aware that there is a possibility that your dating behavior during divorce could affect custody and parenting issues. Your children haven’t achieved finality and closure of the divorce, and putting a new person in their life right now isn’t recommended by child psychologists.
Also, custody and parenting may be negatively impacted if your new boyfriend or girlfriend has a questionable past. This can further complicate the divorce process and significantly increase your legal fees if the focus becomes this new person, instead of you and your own divorce.
I also suggest that you be careful about having your boyfriend or girlfriend spend the night when you have overnights with the children. Innocently, the kids may comment to the other parent about how your boyfriend or girlfriend “tucked them into bed” or “gave them breakfast.” This could lead to an emotional response by your spouse and prevent settlement discussions from focusing on the real issues. Generally, if you use discretion and common sense and make an effort not to expose your children to your new boyfriend or girlfriend, it shouldn’t be an issue.
Happily ever after the second time ’round? Maybe — or maybe not
It’s interesting to note that second marriages have a higher divorce rate than first marriages. While the reason for this higher divorce rate is unknown, it could be that some of these second marriages got off to a rocky start, because the ex-spouses didn’t deal with the emotional impact of their divorce, and aren’t really ready for another relationship — at least, not yet.
My best advice? When it comes to dating during or soon after divorce, rely on both the wisdom of your heart and the intelligence of your head — and not one instead of the other.