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12/22/2009
03:17 PM
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The 9 Coolest Hacks Of 2009

Digital faces, missile defenses, iPod Touches, and even texting teens all were the subject of extreme hacks

Hackers are always probing for ways to crack new technology, even elements so personal you would never imagine they could be hacked -- like, well, your face. Extreme hacks that hit close to home and we can see in the mirror remind us of just how much technology has infiltrated the everyday, and how fragile it ultimately can be at the hands of the bad guys.

This year saw some creative and unusual hacks that gamed biometric facial identities, weaponized iPod Touches, dug up actual missile defense data on a second-hand hard drive, replaced application updates with malware in midstream, and even found a way to silence a teenager's frenzy of text messaging. And don't get us started on a phony Bill Gates "LinkedIN" e-vite that landed in multiple corporate emailboxes unscathed.

These are among the hacks we have selected as nine of the coolest hacks covered here at Dark Reading in 2009 -- sometimes off-the-wall and in-your-face (pun intended) vulnerabilities that were exposed and exploited by creative and imaginative researchers who are all about staying one step ahead of the bad guys, and maybe having a little fun along the way.

So kick back, relax (if you can), and take a look back at the more offbeat yet profound hacks of the year.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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