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MacRumors
Dec 2, 2006, 01:40 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

The design of the Nike+iPod Sport Kit (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/05/20060523003420.shtml) leaves it vulnerable to potential surveillance (http://uwnews.washington.edu/ni/article.asp?articleID=28494) of the wearer, according to a team led by University of Washington doctoral student T. Scott Saponas.

Their research report (http://www.cs.washington.edu/research/systems/privacy.html) describes the potential for privacy and personal security problems if the transmissions of the in-shoe sensor are intercepted. The sensor is designed to transmit a unique code, identifying the shoe and therefore its wearer, to an iPod. The wearer may not realize that the sensor is normally on (it can be switched off), and that another person or monitoring system could track their location from as far as 60 feet away.

The report describes demonstration systems that Saponas and his research partners set up. One such system monitors the signals, identifies the wearer by the unique code, and uploads the data to a server that uses Google Maps to pinpoint and track the wearer's location in real-time.

According to the report, the Nike+iPod designers could have used simple cryptographic techniques to avoid or lessen these potential problems.

Doctor Q
Dec 2, 2006, 01:50 AM
They also modified a third-generation iPod to be a surveillance device.

Their goal was to report the potential for invasion of privacy and even criminal activity. They will NOT release their surveillance software publicly and they suggest that Nike+iPod Sport Kit owners turn off the sensor when not using it.

A video (http://www.cs.washington.edu/research/systems/nikeipod/tracker-video.mov) accompanies the report.

xPismo
Dec 2, 2006, 01:51 AM
Wow. Combine this with war driving and you have a new sport. People tagging.

Tha_Sylent1
Dec 2, 2006, 01:52 AM
Great... we are tagged like cattle.:mad::rolleyes: Is this something that can be fixed with some sort of patch? I'm guessing if it could be patched it could also be worked around? As of late, "security vulnerabilies" and "Apple" have been nearly synomous with one another...:eek:

dguisinger
Dec 2, 2006, 02:00 AM
Funny.
I'm sure you could setup GSM repeaters and reprogram them to watch a person's cell phone as they walk around.

I really don't see the problem. Making a mountain out of a mole hill.

So what if you can slip it in someone's backpack.

I can buy radio direction finders and transmitters online and do the same.
Or I can buy GPS trackers, and also stick it on someone's car.
Those solutions are easier, more accurate, etc......and not terribly expensive.

I mean, they still need several Nike receivers in the perfect locations vs using regular direction finding or GPS tracking.....

flir67
Dec 2, 2006, 02:02 AM
LOL.. that was hilirous... hay this is better than geocaching, its people caching... alright whos got the first famous person tag.

just kidding :D




Wow. Combine this with war driving and you have a new sport. People tagging.

unsunder
Dec 2, 2006, 02:07 AM
I'm pretty sure my phone already does the same thing.

Doctor Q
Dec 2, 2006, 02:07 AM
I can buy radio direction finders and transmitters online and do the same.
Or I can buy GPS trackers, and also stick it on someone's car.
Those solutions are easier, more accurate, etc......and not terribly expensive.That speaks to the point these researchers are making. They used the Nike+iPod Sport Kit as their example, but their message is that all sorts of gadgets with wireless communications capabilities can have these types of problems, especially if thought isn't give to the issue during design.

CanadaRAM
Dec 2, 2006, 02:08 AM
Any Bluetooth device for example, that is left in Discoverable mode (including your cellphone) is wide open to exploit.

Just waiting for the Zune WiFi viruses to hit...

dguisinger
Dec 2, 2006, 02:10 AM
That speaks to the point these researchers are making. They used the Nike+iPod Sport Kit as their example, but their message is that all sorts of gadgets with wireless communications capabilities can have these types of problems, especially if thought isn't give to the issue during design.

Doesn't matter, if you are going to go around planting sensors and planting a transmitter in someone's backpack, there are alot easier and possibly even cheaper ways. No one in their right mind would do this other than to prove its possible.

Last i heard someone could track me when I walk down the street too

nagromme
Dec 2, 2006, 02:11 AM
So you could theoretically build and conceal tracking stations all over the place and thus monitor these short-range transmissions. Wouldn't it be simpler just to hide cameras all over?

slazareth
Dec 2, 2006, 02:12 AM
is anyone seriously worried about this?

Tha_Sylent1
Dec 2, 2006, 02:13 AM
So you could theoretically build and conceal tracking stations all over the place and thus monitor these short-range transmissions. Wouldn't it be simpler just to hide cameras all over?

That's it, I've had enough crazy talk for one night!:p

dguisinger
Dec 2, 2006, 02:13 AM
So you could theoretically build and conceal tracking stations all over the place and thus monitor these short-range transmissions. Wouldn't it be simpler just to hide cameras all over?

It would be much simpler to get a radio tracking system (like they use on wildlife) for like $500 and drop the transmitter in their bag, purse, tape it to their car, etc. You can do alot of things in theory. Practicality usually brings people to the easier means....

MacinDoc
Dec 2, 2006, 02:19 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)
The wearer may not realize that the sensor is normally on (it can be switched off), and that another person or monitoring system could track their location from as far as 60 feet away.
Are they serious? I can track someone from as far as 600 feet away, just using my eyes.

It would be impossible to spy one someone if you had to remain within 60 feet of them at all times...

dguisinger
Dec 2, 2006, 02:21 AM
Are they serious? I can track someone from as far as 600 feet away, just using my eyes.

It would be impossible to spy one someone if you had to remain within 60 feet of them at all times...

Exactly. Its basically a very close proximity detector.

What you see here is classic:
1) iPod is famous
2) I want to be famous
3) Tell the media the iPod will help stalkers kill you
4) Profit

Doctor Q
Dec 2, 2006, 02:23 AM
People have had similar worries about the RFID (radio frequency identification) tags used in passports, subways, and which stores may use to manage inventory. Many of us are walking around with data on us that can be scanned or with information being transmitted from our gadgets.

Most people don't seem to be worried about this type of problem. And even if they were made aware of the small potential risk, they might still choose convenience -- being easy to identify and track when they want it to be easy -- over privacy and safety concerns.

Meanwhile, if researchers regularly point out potential flaws, manufacturers may think a little bit harder about privacy concerns.

dguisinger
Dec 2, 2006, 02:28 AM
People have had similar worries about the RDIF (radio frequency identification) tags used in passports, subways, and which stores may use to manage inventory. Many of us are walking around with data on us that can be scanned or with information being transmitted from our gadgets.

Most people don't seem to be worried about this type of problem. And even if they were made aware of the small potential risk, they might still choose convenience -- being easy to identify and track when they want it to be easy -- over privacy and safety concerns.

Meanwhile, if researchers regularly point out potential flaws, manufacturers may think a little bit harder about privacy concerns.

Blah, there is no flaw. My 802.11b card transmits its MAC address on a broadcast when its on. My phone transmits its SIM card number. Its a hell of a lot easier to modify those than the iPod. This is just a case of get your name out there so others will hire you as a security consultant or engineer of sorts.

Don't want it to transmit all the time? Turn it off when its not in use.
Do you know how many of those suckers would have to be placed to track a jogger running thru Central Park? maybe hundreds easily if they are limited to 60ft. The cost would be huge, pay off little.

Answer is simple: Use radio direction finding or GPS tracking. Easier. Cheaper for anyone who leaves their house. More accurate. More Flexible. Used by wildlife researchers to police to spy agencies, its proven to work effectively.

If you watch the video on CNN, the person practically has to be walking by the researcher for them to detect them. Totally worthless.

Doctor Q
Dec 2, 2006, 02:36 AM
My 802.11b card transmits its MAC address on a broadcast when its on. My phone transmits its SIM card number.I think you are agreeing with their point, that our devices identify us and are not hard to track, while taking issue with their choice of example. Is that right?

dguisinger
Dec 2, 2006, 02:41 AM
I think you are agreeing with their point, that our devices identify us and are not hard to track, while taking issue with their choice of example. Is that right?

Depends; I don't fear being tracked.....I agree its possible, but much easier to track consumer electronics if you are with the FBI than joe-blow. Again, not an issue to me because I'm not doing anything stupid enough to warrant their attention.

I disagree with their tactics. Take the least dangerous device of them all, because its famous, and create publicity over something thats less effective than stalking someone at 1000ft by walking down the street behind them.

They make it sound like stalkers are going to use this; stalkers aren't going to toy with electronics for hours to make things work, they will do it the old fashioned way or by buying a radio or gps tracking system that you can find at literally hundreds of websites online for dirt cheap.

I think you are agreeing with their point, that our devices identify us and are not hard to track, while taking issue with their choice of example. Is that right?

I could also buy a dog and track down a person by sniffing their scent. Don't see the media making a big deal about that one

Doctor Q
Dec 2, 2006, 02:51 AM
I agree. Nike shoes are the least of our worries when it comes to tracking.

As you said above, someone could simply watch you go by. Since cameras can now transmit their images to facial recognition software, that process could be automated as well.

And when we're calling 911 from our cell phones or trying to find our lost dog with the implanted chip or our car with the LoJack, we're glad that all of these tracking systems are in place.

iMikeT
Dec 2, 2006, 03:02 AM
This finding just goes to prove that there are people with way too much time on their hand.:rolleyes:

Really now, the person using the Nike+iPod has to be within 60 feet from the person who's doing the tracking? At that range, the person doing the tracking is better off following the Nike+iPod user home!

Flowbee
Dec 2, 2006, 03:07 AM
FWIW, there's already a discussion about this on MacBytes...
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=256632

There's also a CNN video (http://www.cnn.com/TECH/) report on this story that's truly lame. Fearmongering at its best.

PODshady
Dec 2, 2006, 03:09 AM
It is scary how stalkerish technology has become... The other night I typed my address into Google Earth and it pulled up a satellite image of my house... google was only 2 houses off.... that is really ****ed up

Jaffa Cake
Dec 2, 2006, 03:17 AM
I think the only thing that my Nike+ kit would reveal to any snoopers is how rubbish I am at running... :o

Flowbee
Dec 2, 2006, 03:21 AM
I think the only thing that my Nike+ kit would reveal to any snoopers is how rubbish I am at running... :o

Well, exactly. Most runners don't wear their running shoes everywhere they go... just out running.

I understand the point that the researchers are trying to make, but unfortunately the media are focusing on the "danger" of the iPod.

uaaerospace
Dec 2, 2006, 03:29 AM
Might I ask why anyone, regardless of intent, would want to track someone on google maps if the person is only 60 feet away? lol....no news here..move along.

Philoman
Dec 2, 2006, 03:50 AM
These sort of security discussions and informations provided are all good for Apple. Now Apple can decide if these problems are possible issues or not and take preventive measures before things get out of hand.

It's beneficial for Apple to get these kinds of reports conducted by out side agencies such as the University of Washington doctoral student.

profoundmedia
Dec 2, 2006, 03:53 AM
I saw this on ABC news earlier tonight. They blew it way out of proportion.

tvguru
Dec 2, 2006, 03:56 AM
I haven't read the thread (famous last words), but I wanted to let people know that I just saw a teaser for the news tonight and they are going to be running a segment on it in Australia tonight.

SPUY767
Dec 2, 2006, 04:30 AM
If people want a truly stunning example of FUD, this is it. Being able to track someone remotely, when they are less than 20 metres away is only usefull as a way to scare people into buying your iPod / Nike Beacon Jamming Kit for only $19.95.

miniConvert
Dec 2, 2006, 05:24 AM
I agree with the report in that some cryptographic techniques should have been used to negate the possibility of this. It may be short range and 'almost' useless, but having a live RFID tag in one's shoe that'll respond to just anyone is a bit of a blunder. I think RFID is a great technology, it just needs to be used carefully.

As for the mobile phone arguments - yes a network can triangulate the approximate location of one of its subscribers, but any old Tom, Dick or Harry doesn't have access to this information!

Adurbe
Dec 2, 2006, 06:19 AM
no mum, I am a poor starving student!!
What new trainers?
O.. Theeeeeeese?!
They're not mine... they're for... ummm.. my doctorate!! 'Research'!! Honest!!

:D :rolleyes: :D :rolleyes:

aLoC
Dec 2, 2006, 06:30 AM
I don't get it, with such a short range transmitter you would have to follow them to receive it. But you can follow them anyway.

How are the transmissions coming off it to their radio different to light reflecting off you to their eye?

FDX
Dec 2, 2006, 06:33 AM
I think the more important thing is, can they listen to my tunes and will they have to pay a royalty to universal if it is on their record label?

Eraserhead
Dec 2, 2006, 06:45 AM
I think the more important thing is, can they listen to my tunes and will they have to pay a royalty to universal if it is on their record label?

I'd have thought so, universal probably want royalties when you think about one of their artists.

Back to the topic, if you have to be within 20m, you can see them unless they do round a corner into a building or something, then this Nike+ range would be massively reduced, Apple didn't add security as it's pointless.

EDIT: How do you play those CNN videos on a Mac?

spicyapple
Dec 2, 2006, 07:08 AM
A pair of binoculars can pretty much accomplish the same thing, no? I'm more worried someone will survey my spandexed behind with their cameras than what my Nike+iPod is giving off. :)

luv ya bunches! xoxoxo

Eraserhead
Dec 2, 2006, 07:21 AM
A pair of binoculars can pretty much accomplish the same thing, no?

I'd be surprised if you even needed binoculars at 60ft, I could probably track them without glasses at that distance (which I wear all the time).

kresh
Dec 2, 2006, 07:29 AM
I must live wrong or something. All these people are worried about being tracked? Are they all spies, or gang members, or something?

hehe, The government, or whomever, can track me all they want. It would be a most boring exercise for them.

Ha ze
Dec 2, 2006, 07:43 AM
Are they serious? I can track someone from as far as 600 feet away, just using my eyes.

It would be impossible to spy one someone if you had to remain within 60 feet of them at all times...

Agreed. If the person need to be within 60 feet of the wearer, they already know where the wearer/runner is

EMKoper
Dec 2, 2006, 08:09 AM
It is scary how stalkerish technology has become... The other night I typed my address into Google Earth and it pulled up a satellite image of my house... google was only 2 houses off.... that is really ****ed up

Huh? Given an address any printed-map of any detail can take someone directly to that address and that is just 'paper and printing-press' technology. Scary how those maps can enable you to find a location! :rolleyes:

MacSA
Dec 2, 2006, 08:21 AM
LOL the press are scrambling for any negative iPod related story these days.

racebit
Dec 2, 2006, 08:26 AM
So I am able to track any person, regardless of whether or not the nike + sensor is on them, if I am within 60 feet. I mean c'mon. If I had to stay within 60 of em the whole time, it would just be easier to drop the laptop and reciever I'm carrying around and just walkand use my eyes.

What a load of FUD

hana
Dec 2, 2006, 08:41 AM
Yeah... I tried to post about this last night in the ipod forum, but now I can't find it....

CNN made it sound like it could be done with all ipods....
(way to scare Mom & Dad & Auntie Non-Tech from buying ipods for the holidays, "I saw that CNN headline about how you can be tracked by anyone if you use an ipod, so I bought you this nice new Zune instead made by that company that makes Windows."

Interesting this is coming from the University of Washington.....

mambodancer
Dec 2, 2006, 08:49 AM
Funny.
I'm sure you could setup GSM repeaters and reprogram them to watch a person's cell phone as they walk around.

I really don't see the problem. Making a mountain out of a mole hill.

So what if you can slip it in someone's backpack.

I can buy radio direction finders and transmitters online and do the same.
Or I can buy GPS trackers, and also stick it on someone's car.
Those solutions are easier, more accurate, etc......and not terribly expensive.

I mean, they still need several Nike receivers in the perfect locations vs using regular direction finding or GPS tracking.....

My thoughts exactly...

They had to put transmitters in locations they knew people with the Nike receivers would be running.

They had to know that a person with a Nike receiver would be running by.

They had to know when and where the person would be.

They had to know who the person was.

All this before hand!

The Nike receivers do not broadcast your identity so if you dropped it and a squirrel picked it up they wouldn't even know that.

If the person wandered off track they couldn't locate them.

I just looked at the demo on video and laughed. What a contrived bit of crap. If you wanted a real challenge you would set up a test where you wouldn't know when, where, or who had the receiver before hand and then decide how worthwhile this kind of "tracking" method was. Besides, couldn't you do the same kind of thing with a wifi finder and any laptop with a wifi card? Sheesh! Leave it to the intellectually challenged media to try to sensationalize anything.

Eraserhead
Dec 2, 2006, 08:57 AM
CNN made it sound like it could be done with all ipods....


CNN are Mac users too, so it's slightly suprising (they use iChat for video conferencing AFAIK) and the web browser CNN use in weather/tech ad's is Safari (or was last summer when i last watched CNN.).

lorductape
Dec 2, 2006, 09:10 AM
well 60 feet isnt that far

technocoy
Dec 2, 2006, 09:24 AM
i think we need to flood CNN with emails.

this is a crap piece of reporting and they know it. they should be ashamed that they have stooped to this.

Tensai
Dec 2, 2006, 09:43 AM
Not really CNN's falt, the story was filed by their Seattle affiliate KING.

Seattle, University of Washington, flaw in a Nike product being portrayed as an iPod flaw... I sense a pattern...

I think a study needs to be done looking into how to track people using their Zunes.

Seasought
Dec 2, 2006, 09:45 AM
The wearer may not realize that the sensor is normally on (it can be switched off), and that another person or monitoring system could track their location from as far as 60 feet away.

I don't recall the university name, but there was a map system that would allow students to voluntarily list themselves, live at all times, as to where they were on the campus map. I realize this is totally unrelated, but I think it would be interesting to see a similar technology merge in with Google Earth, or some other blog community that is grouped by state or friends list.

I also realize that many find the idea of being tracked 24/7 frightening, but I'm certain there are those that love the idea of being able to see where friends are in real time in say, another country. It's very Big Brother (1984), but used in the private sector I think it might be pretty cool.

heyjp
Dec 2, 2006, 10:15 AM
Track my movements up to 60 feet away?

When I take my "cloak of invisibility" off, people can track my motions with their eyes up to 400 or 500 feet and further with binoculars.

If people want to follow me from 60 feet away while I jog, they need a life.

Jim

BlueRevolution
Dec 2, 2006, 10:44 AM
Well, since I don't see it here, I'm going to make an "ooh, ooh, scary" post. I agree that the Nike+iPod bit is just plain lame, but the privacy concerns of this sort of thing are very real, and not to be scoffed at.

Seen Minority Report, anybody? I'm not worried about the many stalkers that want to hunt me down and kill me. I'm afraid of this sort of personally identifiable information being used to turn me into a marketing statistic. I don't even have a Sears card because I don't like being tracked. And, before I start getting any tinfoil hat comments... well, okay, go for it.

Teddy's
Dec 2, 2006, 10:54 AM
Researchers at the University of Duh attached Apple-Nike devices on many squirrels of the campus.

Within 4 hours, all the squirrels disappeared.

Scientists of the University stated that they are plotting against us.

Mr. Soone Gaytz, Professor at the University claims - Clearly, they are going to take over humanity corrupting our own ipods, we are going to be strangled by the cord of the headphones. We are going to be under their control... mind control that is. They are going to force us to listen to the chipmunks.

Researchers of the university warn that do not be close to a squirrel in a range of 60 feet. It could have a deadly mind control device!

The most important line of this report is that:
Apple and Nike officials were unavailable for comments

Sansa Creaf, University of Duh reporting from Redmond...

bensim
Dec 2, 2006, 11:05 AM
Are you really worried about being watched?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061201/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/traveler_screening

Kobushi
Dec 2, 2006, 11:09 AM
So.... what you're saying is that when I steal someone's Nike's, if I can get a 60' lead when I'm being chased, I'm in the clear?

*off to perform an experiment*

iAlan
Dec 2, 2006, 11:16 AM
...can Big Brothr track where you are but how unfit you are as well!

Or, if you get lost you can get one of the people 60 feet or so away from you tracking you to tell you where you are.

And we have all seen those CSI-type shows where they triangulate your location by the signal of your mobile phone. Thank god more people have Nike+ kits than cell phones or we would all be in danger...

Oh wait...

Kobushi
Dec 2, 2006, 11:25 AM
Are they serious? I can track someone from as far as 600 feet away, just using my eyes.

It would be impossible to spy one someone if you had to remain within 60 feet of them at all times...

bah, I can track you all simultaneously and I don't need any silly RF devices to do it.

Right now you're sitting in front of your computer. Scary, eh?

ShermDog
Dec 2, 2006, 11:48 AM
I saw a follow-up report on this (on CNN I believe). What the original report doesn't tell you is that the person doing the tracking requires some sort of device ID or code from the iPod before implementing the tracking process. The author of the report mentioned that you can only get this by opening up the iPod. If this is correct, it doesn't seem that people can track you without having physical access to your iPod first.

On a positive note, this might be a good way to track your kids on family outings.

Salvage
Dec 2, 2006, 12:05 PM
If my feet stink am I safe????

Uragon
Dec 2, 2006, 12:06 PM
How to track Using iPod +Nike,

1st, go to the gym,then find out who's not good at running,
2nd, make sure that the person you plan to follow is reallly not good at running, or else you'll tire easily trying to maintain the 60 feet distance.:confused:

AoWolf
Dec 2, 2006, 12:18 PM
60 feet away.... why not just follow the person...

GorillaPaws
Dec 2, 2006, 12:25 PM
I've got mixed feelings on this. I realize that being able to be tracked from 60' away is clearly not exciting, but people should be made aware of this none-the-less and have the right to make an informed decision about potentially being tracked. Furthermore, is it possible to create a directional antenna or something to expand that range (I'm ignorant to the technologies involved) or will that technology ever become possible? If so, this could be the beginning of something bigger than what it is now. Perhaps pressuring nike and others to encrypt this kind of stuff now is a better idea, before it becomes a bigger issue later. Also, isn't it possible to make a bomb that will detonate when it detects a specific signal? If so, this could be very problematic for certain people. Just a thought.

edoates
Dec 2, 2006, 12:26 PM
Among the silliest concerns I've read about recently. You can be tracked by your shoes up to 60 feet away! (oh, and that is unobstructed feet). ******, from 60 feet, I think I can track you using my eyes. And the trackee can see the observer.

More manufactured paranoia.

Get a life, people.

840quadra
Dec 2, 2006, 01:03 PM
Interesting story.

I can't believe that a group spent that much time investigating nike+ kits, after they realized the range is only 60 feet Maximum!

Why not target GPS enabled phones with a much farther range ? Much more worth the time, especially considering the amount of people that have such phones, over iPod kits!

cecildk9999
Dec 2, 2006, 01:37 PM
I saw this story this morning, and thought it was one of the stupidest reports I've seen in awhile. You could either track some random person who has the device for a few feet, or blow $20 to 'plant' one in someone's backpack. Never mind the rest of the money you'd be spending just to have devices nearby to pick up the signal. This story ranks up next to 'German police battle giant parrot' in importance. :rolleyes:

Edit: 100th post! I'm a regular now!

hulugu
Dec 2, 2006, 02:15 PM
So you could theoretically build and conceal tracking stations all over the place and thus monitor these short-range transmissions. Wouldn't it be simpler just to hide cameras all over?

Or, I don't know, use about a hundred other methods that have been used throughout the last century to watch someone.

There are numerous, and much more useful devices and means to watch where someone goes. Getting jogging information from the Nike+ just doesn't seem like much of a threat, compared to cell phones, or the average stalker.

By the way, this isn't a vulnerability, the device is doing exactly what we want it to do.

Also, isn't it possible to make a bomb that will detonate when it detects a specific signal? If so, this could be very problematic for certain people. Just a thought.

Like a slamhound from Count Zero?

GorillaPaws
Dec 2, 2006, 02:29 PM
Like a slamhound from Count Zero?

not sure what that is, but i wouldn't wear these shoes if i were a politician, mafia don or worked for the RIAA.

wizard
Dec 2, 2006, 02:31 PM
What bothers me about this is that we now seem to have a huge number of professors and other self promoting (people) running around scaring people for what appears to be a number of odd reasons. This is about as real of a concern as the people making all the noise about global warming. Sure there are issues here, but it really looks like the efforts of people associated with theses scares are more about self promotion and self enrichment than anything else.

Not a nice thing to say, but when you understand that some of the people involved in the global warming debate where a few years ago involved in the coming ice age debate you have to wonder about sincerity. I mean really what is the big deal here that a public announcement was need. Was it an issue of radio frequencies being trackable, something we have all known about for years, or the fact that the transmission was coded for identification?

The point is if you have anything on you body that transmits radio energy you can be tracked. No surprise there. I'm also suspicious about their software, the unwillingness to publish said software may indicate that this is a elaborate dog and pony show.

In the end I just think it is sad that people in the higher education systems of this country have nothing better to do than to scare people. You would think with all the long term economic issues we have they could find a little time to develop technologies that will push the economy forward. Instead energy is focused on items that go down the drain in a few months time.

Dave

aarond12
Dec 2, 2006, 02:49 PM
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

Seriously, folks... There are far worse privacy problems, such as RFID tags in passports. Researchers in the UK have already "cracked" that security. RFID tags on credit cards have also been "cloned".

Who cares if someone gets your unique ID of your Nike shoe transmitter? It's a useless number. If someone gets your passport or credit card information, that's far worse.

-Aaron-

sandman42
Dec 2, 2006, 03:05 PM
Another report proves that you can often tell where a person is from even further away just by looking at them!

Seriously, if you're within 60 feet of someone don't you *already* know where they are? There's all kinds of ways to be 'seen' or 'tracked' -- how big a deal is this? If we're worried about someone setting up detectors every 50 feet don't we have bigger things to worry about? All these years they could have been setting up cameras or microphones or... ...maybe they already have!

Lee325
Dec 2, 2006, 03:09 PM
Not what I call an effective tracking device. If they were talking 1/2 mile than ok, but 60 feet away running, they could hear me gasping for breath better.. lol

cgc
Dec 2, 2006, 03:14 PM
Only one problem with their people tracker system: a person can only be tracked while they are wearing their Nike running shoes. I run and I, like many other runners, only wear my running shoes while I run. They live in the closet otherwise.

To reiterate what others have said, they are making nothing into something to gain attention.

cgc
Dec 2, 2006, 03:19 PM
Another report proves that you can often tell where a person is from even further away just by looking at them!

You must read The Onion (http://www.theonion.com/content/)...great comment.

hulugu
Dec 2, 2006, 03:28 PM
What bothers me about this is that we now seem to have a huge number of professors and other self promoting (people) running around scaring people for what appears to be a number of odd reasons. This is about as real of a concern as the people making all the noise about global warming. Sure there are issues here, but it really looks like the efforts of people associated with theses scares are more about self promotion and self enrichment than anything else.

Not a nice thing to say, but when you understand that some of the people involved in the global warming debate where a few years ago involved in the coming ice age debate you have to wonder about sincerity. I mean really what is the big deal here that a public announcement was need. Was it an issue of radio frequencies being trackable, something we have all known about for years, or the fact that the transmission was coded for identification?

The point is if you have anything on you body that transmits radio energy you can be tracked. No surprise there. I'm also suspicious about their software, the unwillingness to publish said software may indicate that this is a elaborate dog and pony show.

In the end I just think it is sad that people in the higher education systems of this country have nothing better to do than to scare people. You would think with all the long term economic issues we have they could find a little time to develop technologies that will push the economy forward. Instead energy is focused on items that go down the drain in a few months time.

Dave

Someone's been reading Crichton's State of Fear.

GorillaPaws
Dec 2, 2006, 03:41 PM
This is about as real of a concern as the people making all the noise about global warming. Sure there are issues here, but it really looks like the efforts of people associated with theses scares are more about self promotion and self enrichment than anything else.


Seriously? I think most scientists agree that global warming is a very real phenomena. Your comments sound kind of ignorant in light of that, especially since you bring up a highly politicized topic in this context. Any responses are bound to sound off topic/political/inappropriate. Perhaps you should spread your counterfactual views in the political forum where they belong.

iJUNKY
Dec 2, 2006, 03:51 PM
i think this is just another case of some techs seeing a minor flaw (if that) in an apple product and making a big deal. From the possibility of picking up a innocuous signal emitted from a device, to suddenly it's a security risk compromising our privacy.

Any tech who picks up the slightest flaw in an apple device instantly contrives to describe it as a 'security' problem due to apple's relatively good record on security.

It's a compliment really. No one bothers to go to that excessive trouble with microsoft supported products 'cause they almost certainly contain security flaws.

All these sad losers are falling over themselves to expose the FIRST significant Apple security hole.

rtdunham
Dec 2, 2006, 04:17 PM
Do you know how many of those suckers would have to be placed to track a jogger running thru Central Park? maybe hundreds easily if they are limited to 60ft.

sure, make light of it. but do i want to be able to be stalked by every vision-impaired tom, dick, and hannibal who otherwise couldn't follow me within a 60 foot radius? I don't think so.

next some evil corporation will come up with an mp3 player that not only can track you at such close distance, but also--oh, the humanity--send you a song to distract you even more. Think "Don't Look Back," 1965, by the Temptations, or the later version by Springsteen. Sure, we'll listen to our music idols--only to be stabbed in the back.

sign me
"too smart to fall prey to this vicious scheme"

ChrisA
Dec 2, 2006, 04:25 PM
So some one can find you by your shoe transmitter if they are up to 60 feet away and know where to aim the antenna. Seem t be you'd have to have a pretty good idea of there to look or the shoe transmitter detecter is not going to be of much use.

In another story, we have just determined that your car has a unique identifier attached. It is in the form of a painted metal plate with embossed and painted numbers. These numbers uniquely identified the car and likely the driver too. They can be read without specialized equipment form as for as 50 feet and with simple optical aids (binoculars) from as for as 100 years. Seems like a huge security risk if you ask me.

Performa
Dec 2, 2006, 04:59 PM
Exactly. Its basically a very close proximity detector.

What you see here is classic:
1) iPod is famous
2) I want to be famous
3) Tell the media the iPod will help stalkers kill you
4) Profit


I don't think I've ever heard of "Far Proximity"........since the definition of "Proximity" is "Close to".

So "Close Proximity" basically means "Close Close".

swingerofbirch
Dec 2, 2006, 05:02 PM
I said it yesterday, and I'll say it again today: it's time to hold Apple's feet to the fire. I will add to that today, though: it is time to hold Apple AND Nike's feet to the fire.

It doesn't matter if this really isn't a security threat. Once it hits the 24 hour cable news networks and is recycled every 10 minutes as a story, Apple's reputation has been tarnished. To stop that Apple should come out with a FREE patch as soon as possible so that Apple's reaction will be added to the news story. It's not about security; it's about publicity.

Flowbee
Dec 2, 2006, 06:04 PM
It doesn't matter if this really isn't a security threat. Once it hits the 24 hour cable news networks and is recycled every 10 minutes as a story, Apple's reputation has been tarnished. To stop that Apple should come out with a FREE patch as soon as possible so that Apple's reaction will be added to the news story. It's not about security; it's about publicity.

Well, it hit CNN yesterday and will probably ripple across the other cable networks this weekend. The question is whether anyone except rabid Apple fans or haters will remember this story past Monday. I'm guessing that's what Apple's PR people are trying to figure out this afternoon.

Do they admit that they made a mistake and release a patch?
Do they rebut the story by pointing out the absurdity of trying to track someone every 60 feet?
Do they just ignore the story and hope that people (and the media) forget about it by Monday?

It'll be interesting to see how they decide to react.

mgehman
Dec 2, 2006, 06:59 PM
Ok, what no one has brought up here is the fact that many university researchers live and die by funding. Somebody paid for this study. Most of this stuff doesn't get done for free. What these wackos count on is that someone will pay even more for the follow-up study on God knows what. Some of the money for this may even be coming out of *gasp* your tax dollars. Go ponder that while you go out for your run.

ifro2341
Dec 2, 2006, 07:13 PM
Wooo....creepy. except that the range of surviellance is only 60 ft. That's weird that Nike didn't adress that problem while the product was being developed tho.

brepublican
Dec 2, 2006, 07:17 PM
Wooo....creepy.

Yeah. Ooooo, I'm scared! Now you can see my running route.

Psh! I'm gonna go get a beer.

Flowbee
Dec 2, 2006, 08:04 PM
Wooo....creepy. except that the range of surviellance is only 60 ft. That's weird that Nike didn't adress that problem while the product was being developed tho.

What problem, exactly?

Hugh
Dec 2, 2006, 08:38 PM
I might repeating the reply because I haven't read the entire thread yet. But you need to install MS Windows Media Player for the Mac.

Hugh


I'd have thought so, universal probably want royalties when you think about one of their artists.

Back to the topic, if you have to be within 20m, you can see them unless they do round a corner into a building or something, then this Nike+ range would be massively reduced, Apple didn't add security as it's pointless.

EDIT: How do you play those CNN videos on a Mac?

Music_Producer
Dec 2, 2006, 08:42 PM
I'd rather have someone track me via a nike+ipod kit than have someone hack into my bank account and steal my card info, social security, tap my phone, etc. :rolleyes:

Stalker : Ooh.. look.. i can track my victim now.. i wonder where he is going with his nike+ipod kit????

(Voice to himself : maybe a walk around the block or at the park.. DUH)

Sheesh.. what a stupid experiment and even more stupid is the concerns of people who are making this into a bigger deal.

Grakkle
Dec 2, 2006, 08:43 PM
Are they serious? I can track someone from as far as 600 feet away, just using my eyes.

It would be impossible to spy one someone if you had to remain within 60 feet of them at all times...

That's true. I'd be more concerned if I could be tracked for several kilometres.

SandynJosh
Dec 2, 2006, 08:46 PM
Ummmm...this is not a problem, it's an undocumented feature.
:rolleyes:

twoodcc
Dec 2, 2006, 08:50 PM
well if someone wants to know where i'm going, that's fine with me......catch me if you can.....

Analog Kid
Dec 2, 2006, 09:35 PM
This looks like student project and, as such, it was well done. Kudos to them for getting their stuff so widely distributed-- my thesis never made it to CNN...

The problem is that the focus of media attention is going to be on the fact that this is an iPod system, not on the general issue of security in wireless devices. As has been said over and over in this thread-- tracking at 60ft is meaningless for stalking. It's quite useful though in enclosed spaces-- shopping malls, grocery stores, subway entrances and exits, etc. This does give business a way to track people, but without anything but a random bunch of digits, there's no real privacy impact.

Cell phones are probably the most vulnerable to surveillance-- good, powerful transmitters. They're not terribly easy to detect and decode though because of the encoding scheme used. Wifi is probably the most practical but it has a range of about a block.

Encryption helps make it harder to decode the message, but if there's power coming out of a transmitter, it can be tracked. The military knows this better than anyone which is why they designed the GPS system to be absolutely silent-- it only receives so there's no way to find a GPS user unless they want to be found and transmit their position. Don't want soldiers giving up their positions every time they check where they are...

bretm
Dec 2, 2006, 09:40 PM
Heh heh. Apple should come out with the itracker and market it to parents to track their kids at the shopping mall, in the yard, etc.

bretm
Dec 2, 2006, 09:41 PM
I might repeating the reply because I haven't read the entire thread yet. But you need to install MS Windows Media Player for the Mac.

Hugh

You're going to want to install Flip 4 Mac or whatever it's called. Plays windows media within QT shell.

Analog Kid
Dec 2, 2006, 09:42 PM
Perhaps pressuring nike and others to encrypt this kind of stuff now is a better idea, before it becomes a bigger issue later. That's a good point... Maybe the negative press on the little things will get people thinking so we're more secure from the bigger threats.
Also, isn't it possible to make a bomb that will detonate when it detects a specific signal? If so, this could be very problematic for certain people. Just a thought.
Another good point. Remember kids: if your daddy works for the CIA, don't wear his shoes.

EvryDayImShufln
Dec 2, 2006, 09:51 PM
Wow... this is the dumbest security problem I ever heard.

...I can also track people down by seeing them and following them. If they're 60 feet away, why the heck would you need a tracking device to figure out where they are?

Swift
Dec 3, 2006, 05:01 AM
How do you play those CNN videos on a Mac?

You need Flip4Mac's codecs. Then it works just fine. CNN wants $25 for a years' worth.

ATG
Dec 3, 2006, 05:49 AM
I could also buy a dog and track down a person by sniffing their scent. Don't see the media making a big deal about that one
Yes, someone should contact the manufacturers and lobby them to use cryptographic techniques to stop this... :rolleyes:

Eraserhead
Dec 3, 2006, 07:02 AM
You're going to want to install Flip 4 Mac or whatever it's called. Plays windows media within QT shell.

*Slaps hand on head*

I hadn't installed Flip4Mac yet.
Thanks :)

freebooter
Dec 3, 2006, 07:31 AM
I know for a fact that people are tracking me via the Nano + Nike surveillance system. Just today, Lance Armstrong, of all people, "congratulated" me when I finished my run. "This is Lance Armstrong," he said. "Congratulations! You just finished your longest workout yet."

:mad:

a) bugger off, you nut-less butinski! b) don't use your real name next time, you sorry excuse for a Big Brother peon!

blybug
Dec 3, 2006, 08:01 AM
Found a follow-up to this article, pretty scary stuff...

Devices That Tell On You: Being Visible to the Naked Eye (http://www.bly.cc/privacy/privacy.html)

gauriemma
Dec 3, 2006, 09:39 PM
Microsoft's old tag line: "Where Do You Want To Go Today?
Apple's new tag line: "We Know Where You Went Today."

b0ned0me
Dec 4, 2006, 05:00 AM
Bah. I can't even be bothered to read to the end of the thread about this nonsense. What's next, a press release announcing the danger of not securing your iPod headphones? Just think, if someone held on to the end of your headphone cable they could use it to follow you from several feet away EVEN IN THE DARK :eek:

Antares
Dec 4, 2006, 11:02 AM
I think this is great news! This would totally be fun to exploit. :)

Linito
Dec 4, 2006, 12:52 PM
Bah. I can't even be bothered to read to the end of the thread about this nonsense. What's next, a press release announcing the danger of not securing your iPod headphones? Just think, if someone held on to the end of your headphone cable they could use it to follow you from several feet away EVEN IN THE DARK :eek:

lol nobody's safe anymore!!!:eek: :p

Flowbee
Dec 4, 2006, 04:05 PM
I think this is great news! This would totally be fun to exploit. :)

I can't wait to hear about all of your fun ideas for tracking someone who's only 60 feet away. :confused:

Doctor Q
Dec 4, 2006, 04:34 PM
I can't wait to hear about all of your fun ideas for tracking someone who's only 60 feet away. :confused:The 60 foot range limitation doesn't make this exploit pointless, as many in this thread have implied. The technology allows tracking of people who are known to pass certain points, like the doorway of a building or along a certain jogging path. Since the tracking can be automatic, the "spy" doesn't have to be personally within 60 feet of the "victim". Instead, the victim need only pass within 60 feet of any of the surveillance sensors the spy has planted.

So it's reasonable to make the point that this technique wouldn't be worth the trouble because other methods of tracking people are at least as effective and have larger ranges, but it's less reasonable to say that Nike tracking is of no concern because people can see other people when they are 60 feet away.

hulugu
Dec 4, 2006, 04:52 PM
The 60 foot range limitation doesn't make this exploit pointless, as many in this thread have implied. The technology allows tracking of people who are known to pass certain points, like the doorway of a building or along a certain jogging path. Since the tracking can be automatic, the "spy" doesn't have to be personally within 60 feet of the "victim". Instead, the victim need only pass within 60 feet of any of the surveillance sensors the spy has planted.

So it's reasonable to make the point that this technique wouldn't be worth the trouble because other methods of tracking people are at least as effective and have larger ranges, but it's less reasonable to say that Nike tracking is of no concern because people can see other people when they are 60 feet away.

It's not really an 'exploit' per say, the device is doing exactly what it's supposed to be doing. It's not even a particularly original problem since RFID chips have been around for a few years and are much smaller, cheaper, and can do the exact same thing.

The story is sensationalism at best in my view, using the popularity of the iPod and Nike+ device as a way to scare people.

Flowbee
Dec 4, 2006, 04:55 PM
So it's reasonable to make the point that this technique wouldn't be worth the trouble because other methods of tracking people are at least as effective and have larger ranges, but it's less reasonable to say that Nike tracking is of no concern because people can see other people when they are 60 feet away.

I'm not sure what part of my post implies that I think this issue is of no concern. I am skeptical, however, that the poster I was replying to will actually find many "fun" ways to exploit it.

Doctor Q
Dec 4, 2006, 07:31 PM
I'm not sure what part of my post implies that I think this issue is of no concern. I am skeptical, however, that the poster I was replying to will actually find many "fun" ways to exploit it.I'm sorry for my mistaken interpretation.

Perhaps we should help Antares by thinking of new and inventive ways to use this tracking ability. They don't have to be evil purposes.

For example, it would come in handy when planning a surprise party. "The sensor at the gate has been tripped - everybody needs to take their hiding places!"

Or it could be used to track shoes stolen at the gym. When you come running out of the building saying "which way did the thief go?", somebody who routinely tracks everyone near that building would be able to say "they went thataway!"

Or how 'bout a customer recognition system at the shoe store? When a customer walks in wearing transmitting Nikes, the store clerk can check if they are a repeat customer, see a display of their name, and say "Hi, Mr. Smith. Welcome back!" with a big smile. That could help make another sale. If their shoe ID wasn't already in the computer when the customer made a purchase, they would note it for the next time.

hulugu
Dec 4, 2006, 10:53 PM
IOr it could be used to track shoes stolen at the gym. When you come running out of the building saying "which way did the thief go?", somebody who routinely tracks everyone near that building would be able to say "they went thataway!"

That is a very good idea.

dbbotkin
Jan 16, 2007, 03:16 PM
Using technology available to virtually everyone, it is possible to accurately identify individuals from as far away as sixty feet! The "eyeball" (with the included "optic nerve interface") provides this capability. Forget the Nike + iPod Sport Pack with its wireless link, the "eyeball" communicates directly to your brain! Using these surveilance tools you can identify anyone using only a photograph or in some cases an artist's drawing.

This technology is currently being used by the police, FBI, CIA and agencies of foreign governments to track individuals of interest to them. No one is invisible!

Not sold in any store; your distance may vary from the report above. Coming soon: the binocular attachment. Increased surveilance distance!