We cover some fascinating new research that can steal your phone’s PIN using just the on-board sensors. Then we cover how computer security is broken from top to bottom and Dan does another deep dive, this time on everyone’s favorite database, PostgresSQL.

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Show Notes:

Researchers demonstrate how PINs and other info can be gathered through phone movement

  • Team was able to crack four digit-PINs with 70 percent accuracy on the first try, with 100 percent accuracy by try number five

  • A site accessed with malicious code can open the device to such sensor-based monitoring working in the background when browser tabs are left open.

  • The team suggests a number of ways to help combat vulnerabilities, including regularly changing PINs and quitting out of any apps not currently in use

  • Dan suggests: Simple way around this: randomize the display of numbers on the keypad. I think this should be standard for all PIN entry. I recall seeing this somewhere, years ago, but I don’t recall where. I’ve always wondered why I’ve never seen it again. If the numbers have a narrow field of vision, nobody can watch over your shoulder.

  • A better article on the issue

  • The PDF of the study

  • From the PDF: . In the latest Apple Security Updates for iOS 9.3 (released in March 2016), Safari took a similar countermeasure by “suspending the availability of this [motion and orientation] data when the web view is hidden”x

Computer security is broken from top to bottom

  • Robert Watson spoke at the very first BSDCan

  • There are three main fundamental causes of insecurity: technology complexity, culture, an the economic incentives of the computer business.

Deep Dive starts with Dan’s first blog post about PostgreSQL

  • PostgreSQL

  • PostgreSQL < 9.6 has DATADIR is the same for all versions

  • PostgreSQL 9.6+ on FreeBSD, each major version has it’s own DATADIR

  • Installing in a FreeBSD jail means you can easily upgrading another jail, then start using it


Round Up:

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