Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

4/12/2011
02:50 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Start-Up Offers Shoulder-Hacking Shield Of Software

New Windows desktop software employs facial recognition and detection to capture 'peeping Tom' hackers

You can have an encrypted session and employ all of the best security practices, but you can't stop someone behind you from peeking at your computer screen and seeing sensitive information on display.

To address that, a Hunt Valley, Md.-based start-up called Oculis Labs today launched a shoulder-hacking protection product that blurs the computer screen when the user looks away, and captures any "peeping Toms" peering at the screen from over the user's shoulder. The PrivateEye Enterprise software for Windows automatically detects when the user turns away and then blurs the screen so no other eyes can see the contents. When the user glances back at the screen, the display reappears. Both screen transformations each occur in less than one second.

"We focused on the one thing no one is addressing [in security]," says Bill Anderson, co-founder and CEO of Oculis. "No one is protecting the last two feet from the Internet. Businesses protect against network-based attacks, but at the point where the user goes to look at the data on the screen, all that policy and granular security is lost, and the opportunity for breaches is there."

The PrivateEye Enterprise software uses facial recognition to authenticate the user, and a webcam to keep an eye on what's going on behind or around the user that is out of view -- namely, someone trying to peek at his private data. "It's looking around for potential eavesdroppers. [Studies show] that nine out of 10 people do look over other folks' shoulders at their screens. For the most part, this is harmless," Anderson says, but not always.

To date, the main way to camouflage content on a computer screen has been a physical shield, such as a plastic screen.

When a peeper gets in the frame of the machine, the webcam shoots a photo, alerts the user in the top corner screen via a window, and blurs the screen so the peeper can't see anything. The screen clears when the incident is resolved and the peeper is no longer in view of the screen.

The facial-recognition technology authenticates and unlocks the computer for the legitimate user. The software uses special algorithms to determine which way the face is pointing so it knows when to blur the screen, for instance. The software can be managed by Group Policy in Active Directory, according to Oculis, which for more than a year has offered a standalone consumer version of the software.

Oculis is also planning a mobile version of the software.

PrivateEye Enterprise costs about $30 to $35 per seat in volume discounts, and $70 for a single seat.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add Your Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. 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

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
News
A Startup With NSA Roots Wants Silently Disarming Cyberattacks on the Wire to Become the Norm
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  5/11/2021
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
Cybersecurity: What Is Truly Essential?
Joshua Goldfarb, Director of Product Management at F5,  5/12/2021
Commentary
3 Cybersecurity Myths to Bust
Etay Maor, Sr. Director Security Strategy at Cato Networks,  5/11/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Google Maps is taking "interactive" to a whole new level!
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-24288
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-17
When subscribing using AcyMailing, the 'redirect' parameter isn't properly sanitized. Turning the request from POST to GET, an attacker can craft a link containing a potentially malicious landing page and send it to the victim.
CVE-2021-24289
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-17
There is functionality in the Store Locator Plus for WordPress plugin through 5.5.14 that made it possible for authenticated users to update their user meta data to become an administrator on any site using the plugin.
CVE-2021-24290
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-17
There are several endpoints in the Store Locator Plus for WordPress plugin through 5.5.15 that could allow unauthenticated attackers the ability to inject malicious JavaScript into pages.
CVE-2021-24292
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-17
The Happy Addons for Elementor WordPress plugin before 2.24.0, Happy Addons Pro for Elementor WordPress plugin before 1.17.0 have a number of widgets that are vulnerable to stored Cross-Site Scripting(XSS) by lower-privileged users such as contributors, all via a similar method: The â€&oe...
CVE-2021-24295
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-17
It was possible to exploit an Unauthenticated Time-Based Blind SQL Injection vulnerability in the Spam protection, AntiSpam, FireWall by CleanTalk WordPress Plugin before 5.153.4. The update_log function in lib/Cleantalk/ApbctWP/Firewall/SFW.php included a vulnerable query that could be injected via...