Archive for December, 2011

Police search for missing 2-year-old girl in Detroit

Police on Tuesday scoured the area in Detroit where Bianca Jones was last reported seen, searching for any signs of the missing 2-year-old girl.

Bianca was reportedly traveling with her father in a 2004 silver Mercury Grand Marquis on Friday when they were carjacked, said Sgt. Eren Stephens, a spokeswoman with Detroit police.

“The suspect took off in the car with her in it,” she said, citing what the father told authorities.

The vehicle was subsequently recovered, but the girl remains missing.

However, Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee Jr. said in a statement over the weekend that the “authenticity and credibility of the original version of events is under intense scrutiny by our investigative team,” seeming to suggest that police do not believe what the father told them happened.

Bianca is described as African-American, 2 feet, 5 inches tall, 25 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a pink dress, pink tights, pink shoes and a purple coat, according to an Amber Alert issued last week by the Michigan State Police.

Her father, D’Andre Lane, spoke to HLN’s Nancy Grace on Tuesday night, begging whoever took his daughter to bring her back.

“I don’t care about anything else that’s going on right now but my daughter’s safe return home to her family,” he said. “I just want my daughter back home.”

Lane appeared alongside his attorney, Terry L. Johnson, who said his client gave police permission to enter his home and has fully cooperated in the investigation.

Stephens declined to say whether police have searched Lane’s house.

“My daughter is a beautiful little girl. She has a bright personality. She’s the type of person that lights up a room when she walks in it. She’s very intelligent,” Lane told HLN’s Grace. “She’s just a wonderful little girl to be around.”

About 150 volunteers turned out on Monday to help look for Bianca, said Stephens, who also declined to comment on whether they or police had found anything useful.

She urged anyone with information on the possible whereabouts of the little girl to contact Detroit police.

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In this business we often see checklists–catalogs of clues that a spouse might be cheating.

A quick Google search for “signs of infidelity” returns no fewer than 200,000 hits for “how to spot a cheating spouse,” how to tell if he’s stepping out, ways to tell if he’s got a new lover. These lists are almost always the same: new perfume, new interest in physical appearance, secretive phone calls, mysterious expenditures, etc.

If you’ve ever had reason to perform that particular Google search, you know the feeling: it’s that little kernel of doubt that sneaks into a marriage and destroys confidence, trust, and peace. Maybe it presents itself in small doses, meting out insecurity in infinitesimal portions. Maybe it walks into the room and screams.

Either way, those lurking unknowns and suspicions fuel a growing unease that can rapidly escalate to anxiety, stress, even a sort of mental paralysis. And the cheater experiences a form of anxiety as well—the stress that accompanies the need to lie to maintain a façade of normalcy.

Anxiety – The cuckold/cuckquean’s perspective
Anxiety is a byproduct of fear, and fear of the unknown is, perhaps, the most distressing variety. Anxiety closes down the thinking brain and activates the body-protecting lizard brain, the reacting brain. As Gregory Hartley puts it in his book, How to Spot a Liar, philanderers are, “…brokers of anxiety.” When a person thinks his spouse is cheating on him, he receives a jolt to his idea of self and his frame of reference.

We organize our idea of self by assembling input from others and various situations. Our frame of reference, our view of the outside world, is prejudiced by experience. When one suspects infidelity, both self and frame of reference are questioned. Confusion and emotion take charge…anxiety rents space in the brain.

Anxiety – The cheater’s perspective
When people have affairs, they lie to maintain their cover. Big and small non-truths leak out in a sludge of constant mendacity. From hiding credit card receipts to sneaking off to the back porch for late-night small talk via cell phone, every aspect of a deceptive person’s life is caught up in half-truths, fabrication, and deceit. And when someone tells a lie, he places himself under stress. He lives in constant fear of discovery.

Stress and the Sympathetic Nervous System
When the mammalian body perceives a threat, the sympathetic nervous system takes over and kick-starts the body’s “fight-or-flight” response. Blood is routed away from the face and skin to the muscles. Blood is diverted away from the digestive tract. The bladder no longer has the ability to contract and expel waste. The liver floods the blood stream with glucose, preparing for physical activity. Heart rate and respiration increase and nostrils flare, offering the lizard brain a heavy dose of oxygenated blood. Metabolism is heightened, sweating intensifies. Pupils dilate to collect as much data about the threat as possible. Gregory Hartley calls this, “your mind at war.”

The outward signs are always visible, if sometimes only in very minute forms. The stressed person’s hands may shake. His complexion may appear pallid. His mouth and lips dry out, a result of dramatically reduced blood flow. Mucosa shrink, leading to pale thin lips and drooping lower eyelids. The brow clinches and draws downward. Shoulders draw tight in preparation for defense. Elbows are in, close to the ribcage in a defensive posture.

Inside, the stressed person feels jittery, hypersensitive. Thanks to a lack of blood in the digestive system, the person feels a sensation of butterflies in the stomach; he may even feel nausea. With the heart racing blood away from the skin, the anxious person feels a high core temperature and cool skin, that clammy feeling. His focus becomes narrow and sense of hearing is directed at the source of the threat. He hears his own heartbeat. His mind recedes to a primitive state, and emotions work their way involuntarily to the fore. The person under stress often becomes defensive, argumentative, and emotional.

These systems turn on at the cost of rational thought, leading to what Seth Godin calls “lizard brain.” Irrationality is the rule at this point.

How to stop the cycle: The Simple (well…maybe not so simple) Fix for Stress

The cheater
Simple answer – Do not cheat. Alternative answer – stop telling lies.

In one case last year, we were hired by a woman’s attorney to document a philandering husband’s activities. We placed him under heavy surveillance–three cars and four investigators. We documented the man’s every move, dates, picnics, overnight visits, etc. Confronted with his lies, the man took an unusual tack, opting to eliminate his ongoing stress and simply carry on the affair in the open. He even brought his new girlfriend to a meeting at the attorney’s office. He thereby removed the burden of a lie, and his stress level seemed to drop. From a purely practical perspective, this wasn’t a bad call.

Ending the affair is always the best solution. But coming clean about an affair can at least remove the deceit variable from the equation and, along with it, some of the accompanying stress. And it might even allow the dallier to regain access to rational thought, which just might lead to more productive discourse.

The Cuckold/Cuckquean
Simple answer – remove the unknown.
Again, anxiety is a byproduct of fear, often fear of the unknown. Do not guess. Do not assume. Know. Anxiety leads to “lizard brain,” and in that state, irrationality is the rule.

Shakespeare didn’t need to understand the sympathetic nervous system to recognize it at work on the human rational mind. He sketched this lizard-brain descent from suspicion to anxiety to madness (to brilliant effect) in his 1603 play “Othello” in which a man desperately in love with his wife allows his unwarranted suspicions to prompt a series of escalating irrational acts, ending in tragedy—the old one-two punch of murder-suicide, always, unfortunately, performed in that order.

Though potentially painful, it is always best to eliminate the unknown. Once a person has the facts…once he eliminates the unknown, he can remove anxiety, and (potentially) act rationally.

For the cheating spouse: Gregory Hartley says, “You will simplify your life enormously if you eliminate complete fabrication from your repertoire.” Simply put, stop lying and placing yourself under needless stress.

For the spouse who fears a partner is having an affair: get the facts. Consider hiring a competent and qualified investigator to learn the facts on your behalf. Find out what’s really happening, then act rationally from a place of knowledge and power.

Here at ONQPI Investigations, we believe that our role is to help our clients contain the unknown. By gathering documented and verifiable information, we hope to help people move from a state of fear and helplessness to higher cognitive function…and rational action.

App sends user GPS data to ad firm

A smartphone application that gathers information on the location of its users was downloaded by more than 1.5 million people, and the data was sent to an advertising company in the United States, according to experts.

The application in question is a goldfish catching game that does not require any information about the user’s location to play.

As the GPS data makes it possible to identify a user’s location with a margin of error of several meters, it would be possible to presume the user’s home or office address if such information was accumulated, they said.

An image showing what type of information is collected appears on the screen before installation, but only a small number of users correctly understand the explanations, the experts said.

There have been no guidelines available on information gathering for smartphones despite the rapid spread of the devices. This seems to have aggravated the situation.

According to an analysis by KDDI R&D Labs in Fujimino, Saitama Prefecture, at the request of The Yomiuri Shimbun, the free application released on the Internet last month was designed to send Global Positioning System information from smartphones to a U.S. advertising firm at a rate of about once per minute.

When the application is installed, an image appears on the screen with a message reading “the range of access authority and positional information.” Approval of the reading of positional information is requested but there is no mention of its purpose and whether the information will be transmitted remotely.

The software development company that produced the application released it on 238 application markets since November last year, and 1.5 million people have installed it, according to the firm.

The collected information was found to have been used to display ads highly connected with the locations of application users.

“When we created the application, we built in the programs sent from a U.S. advertising company, with which we had made a contract for ad placement, without confirming their contents,” the president of the app development company said. “We had no idea that private information was being transmitted, because the game’s content has no connection with positional information.”

The U.S. advertising firm insists that information about users’ locations is collected to provide more convenient advertisements and that no problems will arise because information is treated anonymously.

As with the case of the application development company in question, programs for delivering ad content are provided by advertising companies to application developers. Many of the programs are believed to include modules capable of reading and gathering personal information, the experts said.

KDDI R&D Labs surveyed 980 applications both at home and abroad in August. They found 27 percent of them were equipped with functions capable of reading positional information; 11 percent were found to be capable of reading the contents of a telephone directory; and 58 percent of them were found to be capable of acquiring IDs associated with terminal devices and telephone numbers.

Keisuke Takemori, a senior researcher at the KDDI labs, said: “Virus infection of smartphones has emerged as a problem, but we are also in a situation where even legitimate application software could cause information leaks. Users are not told how the collected information will be used.”

In May last year, the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry compiled guidelines on personal information gathering through information technology devices, calling for clarification of purposes and identification of who will collect such information.

The ministry pointed out the software in this case could “deviate from these principles,” but has yet to put forth effective measures to deal with it partly because it involves a foreign advertising company.

The ministry formed a study group on smartphone cloud security in October. The group’s main job is to work out measures against computer viruses. It has yet to launch a full-scale study of information gathering of legitimate application software.

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An Android app developer has published what he says is conclusive proof that millions of smartphones are secretly monitoring the key presses, geographic locations, and received messages of its users.

In a YouTube video posted on Monday, Trevor Eckhart showed how software from a Silicon Valley company known as Carrier IQ recorded in real time the keys he pressed into a stock EVO handset, which he had reset to factory settings just prior to the demonstration. Using a packet sniffer Android debug options while his device was in airplane mode, he demonstrated how each numeric tap and every received text message is logged by the software.

Ironically, he says, the Carrier IQ software recorded the “hello world” dispatch even before it was displayed on his handset.

Eckhart then connected the device to a Wi-Fi network and pointed his browser at Google. Even though he denied the search giant’s request that he share his physical location, the Carrier IQ software recorded it. The secret app then recorded the precise input of his search query – again, “hello world” – even though he typed it into a page that uses the SSL, or secure sockets layer, protocol to encrypt data sent between the device and the servers.

“We can see that Carrier IQ is querying these strings over my wireless network [with] no 3G connectivity and it is reading HTTPS,” the 25-year-old Eckhart says.

The video was posted four days after Carrier IQ withdrew legal threats against Eckhart for calling its software a “rootkit.” The Connecticut-based programmer said the characterization is accurate because the software is designed to obscure its presence by bypassing typical operating-system functions.

In an interview last week, Carrier IQ VP of Marketing Andrew Coward rejected claims the software posed a privacy threat because it never captured key presses.

“Our technology is not real time,” he said at the time. “It’s not constantly reporting back. It’s gathering information up and is usually transmitted in small doses.”

Coward went on to say that Carrier IQ was a diagnostic tool designed to give network carriers and device manufacturers detailed information about the causes of dropped calls and other performance issues.

Eckhart said he chose the HTC phone purely for demonstration purposes. Blackberrys, other Android-powered handsets, and smartphones from Nokia contain the same snooping software, he claims.

The 17-minute video concluded with questions, including: “Why does SMSNotify get called and show to be dispatching text messages to [Carrier IQ]?” and “Why is my browser data being read, especially HTTPS on my Wi-Fi?”

The Register has put the same questions to Carrier IQ, and will update this post if the company responds. ®

More than 19 hours after this post was first published, Carrier IQ representatives have yet to respond to a request for comment. Meanwhile, computer scientists have uncovered an unrelated Android glitch that could also invade smartphone users’ privacy, and iOS Devices may be running Carrier IQ also.

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Hackers prey on smartphone use at work during holidays

The convergence of two trends has created a ripe opportunity for hackers looking to crack into corporate networks this holiday season.

More people than ever are using their personally owned smartphones as an essential work tool. And now an unprecedented number of them are using their smartphones to hunt for bargains and buy gifts.

This development has created a new tier of risk for corporate networks, says John Pironti, an adviser with ISACA, a global IT professionals association. “Cybercriminals are actively trying to leverage mobile devices as part of their attacks,” he says. “The holiday season provides them a perfect time to test out new attacks.”

Roughly 50% of mobile device users are likely to use their smartphonea or touchscreen tablet computera to shop this year, up from 22% in 2010, according to a recent survey of 1,215 mobile device users conducted by Webroot .

An ISACA survey found that smartphone users planned to spend an average of 32 hours shopping online this holiday season – 18 of which will be on devices also used for work.

Employees have begun using their smartphones to download coupons and price-comparison apps and to make online purchases. That puts consumers and their companies at elevated risks, say technologists and security experts.

“In our bring-your-own-device to work culture, people are using smartphones for both personal and business use — and attacks on these devices are on the rise,” says Harry Sverdlove, chief technology officer at network security firm Bit9.

Smartphone attacks are in their infancy compared with PC hacks. They mostly come in the form of malicious apps for games, music and ringtones that phone users get enticed to download, says Armando Orozco, mobile threats analyst at Webroot.

“When installed, these apps gain control of your device to transmit your personal information, control search results and send text messages to premium numbers,” Orozco says.

There is little stopping hackers from expanding the capabilities of malicious apps. Hackers “know users will actively be shopping and looking for deals in places they normally may not access,” Pironti says.

Android phones, so far, are the biggest target because of Google’s open approach to letting third-party apps run on its operating system. Bit9 recently released a report showing the Top 12 smartphone handset models most vulnerable to being hacked. All 12 were Android models, led by the Samsung Galaxy Mini, HTC Desire and Sony Ericsson Xperia X10.

Apple’s iPhone isn’t immune. Websites such as offer free programs to iPhone owners who wish to circumvent Apple’s tight restrictions on which apps they can load on their phones. Hackers could use similar techniques to slip malicious apps onto Apple products, says Matthew Prince, CEO of website security firm CloudFlare.

“The real concern going forward is that once connected to a corporate network, there is a risk the phones could steal information previously secured behind a firewall,” Prince says.

A bad guy in control of an employee’s smartphone could steal any sensitive messages and attachments stored on the phone. Or he could create and send viral e-mails throughout the corporate network, via messages that appear to come from the phone’s owner.

“A limited number of highly skilled attackers are able to leverage these attacks today,” Pironti says. “Given the sheer number of devices in use, this is likely to become a highly leveraged attack vector by a broad spectrum of adversaries.”

Prince notes that a hacker could also use a smartphone’s Wi-Fi capabilities to spy on sensitive internal communications between employees using the company’s Wi-Fi network. The attacker could then transmit stolen intelligence unnoticed via the smartphone line.

“That information can be transmitted out because the phone has access to the mobile carrier’s network,” says Prince. “Modern firewalls that look for information leakage could effectively be bypassed.”

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According to, the Hispanic community is “the fastest growing community when it comes to infidelity.”

In a press release sent by the self-described “largest dating site for married people”, the company states that since launching the Spanish-language version of their website in 2009, 1.1 million Latinos have signed up, accounting for 31 percent of their total new membership.

The company further suggests that according to their data, “Hispanic members have affairs at the youngest age: Average age of 27 for women and 34 for men (compared to 33 for women and 40 for men in the general U.S. population).”

Considering the stereotype of Latinos as family-oriented and with conservative social values, this may come as a bit of a surprise.

In a 2010 review of General Social Survey data, one intrepid blogger took a look at the “relationship between ancestry and philandering in the U.S.” The writer’s analysis indicates that 19.6 percent of married Mexican men and 12.4 percent of married Mexican women have cheated on their spouses, whereas the rates for Americans (i.e. those who claim this as their only ethnicity) were 28.2 percent for married men and 15.5 percent for married women, indexing over 40 percent and 25 percent, respectively, versus the Mexican respondents.

Persons of the Iberian peninsula (Spain and Portugal) rated low for women, 10.9 percent, but quite high for men, at 38.5 percent.

While Hispanics are different from Mexicans or Iberians, and while perhaps presenting a bit of a statistical case for the machista reputation of Latino men, the findings possibly reinforce the stereotype that Hispanics are more socially conservative that the U.S. mainstream when it comes to this issue.

A separate finding reported by in their press release corroborates this, somewhat, indicating that Hispanics who are cheating on their spouses “are choosing to have fewer partners: U.S. members average three affair partners per year; Hispanic members average only one affair partner per year.”

However, in 2009, the National Institutes of Health published a report which showed that Latino youths are less apt to protect against sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy due to their focus “on the emotional and social repercussions of potentially revealing infidelity by advocating condom use than the physical repercussions of unsafe sex.”

The findings suggest that this group, Latino youths, are promiscuous and prone to concealing their infidelity, behavior which could persist and lead to the kinds of findings noted by

So, the jury is still out. The people at may be onto something, maybe they know what’s really going on behind the curtains of Latino marriages. To be sure, they recently announced they are accelerating the launch of their website for Mexico, hoping to launch by end of November.

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