Thursday, September 5, 2013

How Big a Risk are Geotagged Photos?

A friend showed me a video from a Missouri news station (from a newscast almost 3 years ago, mind you). In the video, the reporters discuss a "new threat" with "new technology."  While the video engages in the usual FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) to oversell the risk, there is a nugget of truth that bears repeating.

Smartphones, tablets, and many standalone digital cameras have a GPS built-in, and can "geo-tag" photos with the location at which they were taken. This can make it easy to group photos by location (as in, group all my photos from the Grand Canyon, or from Disney World, or from Jamaica ... assuming I had vacationed at any of these places). But it makes it equally easy for someone else to do the same.

Whois David?

My photo

I have spent the better part of two decades in information technology and security, with roots in application developer support, system administration, and network security. My specialty is cyber threat intelligence - software vulnerabilities and patching, malware, social networking risks, etc. In particular, I strive to write about complex cyber topics in a way that can be understood by those outside the infosec industry.

Why do I do this? A common comment I get from friends and family is that complex security topics give them headaches. They want to know in simple terms how to stay safe in a connected world. Folks like me and my peers have chosen to make a profession out of hacking and defending. I've been doing this for the better part of two decades, and so have a high degree of knowledge in the field. Others have chosen different paths - paths where I would be lost. This is my effort to share my knowledge with those that are experts in something else.

When not in front of a digital screen, I spend my time raising five rambunctious teens and pre-teens - including two sets of twins. Our family enjoys archery, raising show and meat rabbits, and simply enjoying life in the Texas hill country.

For a decade I served as either Commander or a division leader for the Awana Club in Dripping Springs, Texas; while I have retired from that role I continue to have a passion for children's ministry. At the moment I teach 1st through 3rd grade Sunday School. Follow FBC Dripping Springs Kids to see what is going on in our children's ministries.