Archive for the Technology Category

Airport Body Scans To Be Installed At Schiphol Airport

Posted in Crime, news, Technology, terrorism with tags , , , , , , , , , on 12/31/2009 by securityscene

After the recent attempted terrorist attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 (operated by Delta Airlines) from Amsterdam to Detroit, the Dutch government has given the go ahead for full body scanners to be installed at the airport.

Within three weeks of the attack by Nigerian born Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab, the full body scanners will be in place and used on all flights to the United States.

The new devices take a full scan of the body, picking up many items that traditional airport security measures would miss, effectively it allows for a full strip search to be carried out without anyone else being present.

Dutch officials have said that after reviewing the security measures undertaken at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam they found that all checks had been carried out on Abdulmutallab correctly, a passenger list which included his name had also been passed on to US authorities before the flight.

A passenger would enter the scanner, a scan would be taken, this picture would then be sent to a computer in another location for analysis and alert security at the scanner if something suspicious is found. This allows the process to remain quite anonymous as no identifying information would be sent .

It is predicted that the attack of Christmas Day will further increase security measures in airports through the world, Manchester International Airport has already tested this technology with great success and Nigeria has said that in-light of its citizens attempt to blow up the aircraft it plans to buy some of the units.

Airport Body Scan

ACCOLC – Access Overload Control

Posted in Technology, terrorism with tags , , , , , , , , , on 11/15/2009 by securityscene

ACCOLC (Access Overload Control) is a British procedure for restricting mobile phone usage in the event of a major emergency. It is similar to the GTPS (Government Telephone Preference Scheme) used for landline phones.

This allows the mobile phone networks to restrict access to a specified area to pre-registered mobile phone numbers only. ACCOLC will usually be requested by the Police Incident Commander but the request can also come from the Cabinet Office.

The system is designed to restrict civilian access to the mobile network during an emergency when it is important that lines are kept free for priority emergency service personnel.

Mobile phones work on a cell by cell basis, these towers are spread all over the country and your phone will pick up the nearest available cell or mast and use that to make the call. Once the ACCOLC has been invoked the network will find the cells in the area of the emergency and begin to run the system on those masts.

Those phones that have been registered with the networks will be allowed access to those cells while people who haven’t will receive a fast beep (called a Fast Busy Signal), if the user receives a recorded message saying lines are busy or a normal engaged tone then this will indicate that ACCOLC is not being used.

While this can be a frustration or a nuisance to normal mobile phone users it is often a necessary and important process for regaining control during an emergency situation.

It’s worth noting that not all callers are barred from making calls in an area where ACCOLC is in operation, if the call is made to an emergency service number (112, 999) it will go through as normal.

The Access Overload Control was activated when officers of the City Of London Police spoke to managers at O2 plc, this was during the early stages of the 7 July bombings in London at Aldgate tube station. This limited the calls in the area to those police staff that had their sim card details registered for this priority access.

It is also reported that the BBC and other Broadcasters had reporters who had numbers registered with the service as part of their public-service remit in keeping the people of the UK informed about what was going on.

During the 7 July bombings the police decided not to shut down the entire network, however many people thought it was, as they were unable to make calls in the first hours of the terrorist attacks, as stated above those people would have heard a recorded message or a normal engaged tone.

Anti-Terrorism Dragons Den

Posted in Crime, news, Technology, terrorism with tags , , , , , on 08/15/2009 by securityscene

The British Government is introducing it’s own version of the hit BBC TV show, Dragons Den. Inventors will be asked to pitch their inventions and ideas, but you won’t be seeing any one trying to get funding for the usual Dragons Den type items.

Ministers want inventors and scientist to come up with inventions that can be used in the attempt to beat al-Qaeda and other terrorist organisations.

Millions of pounds could be available to fund the right inventions, allowing scientist to become real life “Q” from the James Bond movies.

Ideas have already gone into production, including a maritime stinger style gun to stop terrorist speedboats. Police will be able to use the device to fire a rocket-propelled net in the path of the boat which will disable the terrorists propellor bringing it to a stop. (see video at bottom)

Scientists have also developed a hefty barrier which will be used to protect public buildings from suicide bombers in trucks and cars. The steel and concrete wall is able to stop a 7.5-tonne truck driving at 40mph or a car at 90mph.

This is all part of a three-year Home Office run scheme, part of the Science and Technology Counter-Terrorism Strategy that was published on Friday.

Security Minister, Lord West, said “The UK currently faces a real and serious threat from terrorism and we need to utilise our position as a world leader in science and technology to counter this.

“We need to match products and ideas to problems, which is why we are actively inviting people to join us and share expertise.

“The UK is a leading innovator in the design and provision of defence and security solutions. British technology can have greater practical applications across the world and is just one more tool in our fight against those who would wish to do us harm.”

View video demonstration of Maritime Stinger device

US Air Force’s New Muscle Car Deterrent

Posted in Fun, news, Technology with tags , , , , , , , , on 08/14/2009 by securityscene

The US Air Force has been busy modifying some amazing looking muscle cars in a bid to attract more young recruits to it’s ranks. You might not expect these Iraqi and Afghan fighting fly boys and girls to be under the bonnet of a car, technically they weren’t, MTV’s Pimp My Ride garage Galpin Auto Sports did most of the supping up.

These cars are now things of beauty, no matter if you are a fan of cars or aircraft you can’t help but gaze in wonder at these beastly machines.

The USAF chose to modify the Ford Mustang, Dodge Challengers and X-1 Mustang with stunning results.

The Challenger Vapor gets a biometric fingerprint entry system and vertically opening doors.

Painted for a glossy finish with anti-radar stealth paint!

The cockpit features a yoke for driver and passenger, and special night and thermal vision.

Mustang X-1 with vertical doors

Single seater, ultra cool interior, can change to zero seater at the push of the ejector seat button!

Screens show the road ahead in night and thermal vision, steering is controlled with the joy stick

Ejector seat and optional helmet!! Not advisable to use the ejector seat as the parachute is unlikely to deploy in time!

We are sure these cars would give KITT a run for it’s money!

But we don’t think that we are likely to see them roll off the production line any time soon, or thundering around Iraq for that matter!

Ila-Dusk Personal Security Alarm – Review

Posted in Technology with tags , , , , on 07/30/2009 by securityscene

Ila Dusk - Rape AlarmWe’ve just been lucky enough to receive the brand new Ila-Dusk Personal Safety Alarm, or rape alarm.

These alarms have been around for a long time, but seem to have fallen from grace over the past few years. If you were to ask a selection of women if they carry a rape alarm I think you’d be hard pushed to find many or any that do.

Most of the alarms on the market are horrible black square things, not something that an ‘it girl’ or follower of fashion would want to be seen with on a night on the town, that is until Ila-Dusk released their new range of attractive, sleek, unique, revolutionary, shiny personal designs.

It’s not just the funky designs that make these different from others on the market, they’ve decided to scrap the old ear piercing siren sounds for a equally piercing female scream!

One of the aims is to be something that people will hear and react to, I can see this doing the job. We’ve recently read a few reviews which are less favorable, they said in their tests people didn’t come to see what was happening, however that’s only a small part of the process. I can’t see any would be attacker sticking around once you set this rather annoying personal alarm off.

It’s designed to shock and disorientate your attacker, allowing for the chance to flee.

If you have a daughter, wife or friend you’d like to give some extra protection to, this is a great little gift, stylish, cute and while more expensive than most out there (£19.50), you shouldn’t have any fears of them wanting to leave it behind when they go out.

130 decibel alarm – nearly the same as a jet plane and louder than a jackhammer or chainsaw.

Can attach to a key ring or bag for easy access.

Activated by pulling sharply on the chain.

5 attractive designs and colours.

Size : H7.7xW3.7 x D2.2cm

Available only from Marks & Spencer in the UK.

For more details and to buy you can visit the Marks & Spencer shop

Ila-Dusk Personal Security Alarms

Taser X3 – New Triple Shot Taser Gun

Posted in Crime, news, Technology with tags , , , , , on 07/28/2009 by securityscene

The Taser has been common place with Law Enforcement and security conscious individuals for some time now. Used as a non or maybe less lethal alternative to a traditional gun.

A Taser works by firing two small dart-like electrodes at a target, with a wire staying connected from the darts to the Taser unit and they are propelled by a small compressed nitrogen canister. The darts are able to penetrate clothing and skin, a barb on the electrodes help to prevent removal once they are in place. A pulse of electricity can then be sent down the wire to the subject and repeated if needed in order to keep them incapacitated. 

Police and Military personnel have been using them for years, as a method of controlling and subduing aggressors and criminals without resorting to shooting with a conventional gun. However, the Taser’s biggest drawback is the fact that once fired it needs to be reloaded with a new electrode cartridge before it can be redeployed so for multiple assailants it can become redundant.

However Taser have just introduced a new product to the market, the TASER X3. This is a revolutionary, new, multi-shot Taser – 3 sets of electrodes per cartridge, allowing the user to engage multiple targets, display warning arcs while loaded. The X3 provides the user with a full color status screen, and much more sophisticated processing power.

The X3 could have a big impact on the number of traditional law enforcement shootings as a single officer can control and subdue a larger group of people without having to draw their more lethal weapon.

The Taser X3 is an impressive looking piece of kit and you’ll see it’s effectiveness in the video below.

Taser X3 - Multi shot Taser

Pepper Spraying ATM Machines

Posted in Crime, news, Technology with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 07/24/2009 by securityscene

A South African bank has decided to step up its ATM security. For many years banks have incorporated lots of different security measures to protect their cash machines, cameras, sophisticated software and tamper proof casings; however none has gone as far as South African, ABSA Bank.

The machines have been fitted with a pepper spraying mechanism which will automatically go off if the machine detects that it is being tampered with in an attempt to defraud, steal or destroy. The pepper spray is designed to stun the culprit while police response teams arrive on the scene.

South African banks are looking at extreme measures to fight back against the escalating war against armed robbers who target banks and cash delivery vans. Cash machine being blown up in South Africa is common place, with 54 cases in 2006, 397 in 2007 and nearly 500 last year!

Patrick Wadula, a spokesman for the bank said, “During a routine maintenance check of the ABSA ATM in Fish Hoek, the pepper spray device was accidentally activated.

“At the time there were no customers using the ATM. However, the spray spread into the shopping centre where the ATM’s are situated.”

The bank is currently piloting the more secure ATM’s at 11 sites over South Africa, identified as High-Risk by branch managers. The scheme is being run in conjunction with the police.

If the tests are a success they will be looking to roll the machines out around the country.

Air France AF447 Passengers Cleared Of Having Islamic Terrorist Links

Posted in Crime, Technology, terrorism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 06/12/2009 by securityscene

Despite their bodies still not being recovered from the sea, the French Security Service has announced that the men believed to be possible Muslim terrorists, in fact just “shared the same name”.

Earlier in the week the DGSC, French equivalent to MI6 said that finding these names on the passenger list was “highly significant”.

A spokesman for the French Government said “We launched an urgent enquiry into the men’s background as soon as they were pinpointed as having possible terrorist links. This deep and wide-ranging investigation has allowed us to clear them.”

This throws up further questions over how the authorities at Rio de Janeiro let these men board the aircraft without setting off any checks or alerts. Since the 9/11 attacks, airport security now has watch lists of potential terrorists and this should flag up people with the same name for added checks.

The two men believed to be in their 20’s and of North African and Middle Eastern origin, boarded flight AF447 unhindered that day.

French Defense Minister Hervé Morin has still not ruled out terrorism as the cause of the disaster. However he pointed out that “there has still been no claim of responsibility.”

Since the French entered Afghanistan to fight the country has seen an upturn in the number of threats from Muslim terrorist groups.

We still await the recovery of the black boxes for further answers and will cover the story as it unfolds.

Emergency Alerts Via Mobile Phones

Posted in Technology with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 06/11/2009 by securityscene

For a number of years the United States has had a system in place for times of national and regional emergency and disaster, allowing for information and warnings to be spread out to the wider populous.

First introduced in 1963 the Emergency Broadcast System (EBS) and from 1997 onwards the Emergency Alert System (EAS) has utilized all of the TV and radio frequencies in the US to broadcast warning messages to people in their homes, cars, anywhere they have access to a TV or radio.

The mobile phone company, Motorola, has recently applied for a patent on a new addition or improvement to the way the country will receive their warnings, a system that has the potential for World wide use.

“Unfortunately, a large portion of the intended recipients will not have their TV and radio systems turned on when a disaster occurs,” says Motorola engineer Jerome Vogedes in the patent filed on 21st May.

Motorola believe that the answer is a new generation of mobile/cellphones that are able to rapidly create a peer-to-peer (P2P) network when an emergency alert is broadcast. A phone at the edge of a disaster area, where a cellphone service is still available, receives the alert. It then contacts the nearest phone using Wi-Fi or other transfer methods to establish a P2P network and pass on the message to all active phones.

With the constant terrorist threat to the US and over the World, targeting of the infrastructure of the EAS could be a possibility, Motorola believe that the P2P warning message will get to the people with “minimal use of infrastructure”.

End In Sight For Airport Liquid Ban

Posted in Technology, terrorism with tags , , , , on 05/28/2009 by securityscene

An end to the ban on airport passengers taking liquids in their hand luggage could come to an end within the next 10 months, if tests of a new scanning machine continue to be successful.

Manchester Airport in the UK has been testing the new scanners for the last 3 months. They create a very high resolution 3D X-ray image of passengers luggage which can be turned in any direction to get the best possible view of anything suspicious, the £1 million machines can also tell the difference between explosive fluids and your duty-free booze.

The airport X-ray machines are able to measure the density of substances, they can quickly differentiate between what is harmless and what could blow up a plane.

Successful tests were carried out at Manchester Airport using the machines to screen hold baggage which at the moment is done by CT scanners, similar to those used in hospitals, they are able to handle just 350 bags per hour where as the new RTT machines developed by Rapiscan Systems would scan up to 1,800 in the same time.

The ban on carrying liquids past the security check points at airports in the UK came about when an alleged terror plot was foiled in 2006, terrorists were planning to bring down as many as 10 planes travelling from the UK to the US using explosive liquids.

New RTT baggage scanner