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Intel Demos McAfee Social Protection

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the protect-ya-neck dept.

Intel 183

MojoKid writes "During the Day Two keynote address at Intel Developer's Forum, Renee James, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Intel's Software & Services Group, talked about software development, security and services in an 'age of transparent computing.' During the security-centric portion of the keynote, James brought out a rep from Intel's McAfee division to show off a beta release of their McAfee Social Protection app. If you're unfamiliar, McAfee Social Protection is a soon to be released app and browser plug-in for Facebook that gives users the ability to securely share their photos. As it stands today, if you upload a photo to Facebook, anyone viewing that photo can simply download it or take a screen capture and alter or share it wherever they want, however they want. With McAfee Social Protection installed though, users viewing your images will not be able to copy or capture them. In quick testing, various attempts with utilities like Hypersnap, Snagit or a simple print screen operation to circumvent the technology only resulted in a black screen appearing in the grab. Poking around at browser image caches resulted in finding stored images that were watermarked with the McAfee Security logo."

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Analog hole (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318705)

* takes out camera phone and copies that supposedly uncopyable image

Re:Analog hole (5, Interesting)

Martin Blank (154261) | about 2 years ago | (#41318811)

Even better: running it in a virtual machine and taking a screenshot of the VM console.

Re:Analog hole (5, Interesting)

TranquilVoid (2444228) | about 2 years ago | (#41319265)

Precisely, it's a borderline useless idea that requires too much integration with a single company for it to catch on. I gather this works by requiring the app to even view the photos, so this makes it incredibly restrictive. I personally have a zero-app policy on Facebook, but I suppose a lot of people are almost tricked into installing apps - "Click here to see friend X's exciting breakfast pic!".

Next, a Facebook app by itself is insufficient. Pure HTML/JavaScript is sandboxed, so it requires you also install a McAffee toolbar so it can hook into the OS. They are unlikely to have a Linux version and, if they do, there are plenty of ways around it. You could hack the kernel if you really had to.

Of course they're not trying to secure an online banking system, just tap into any internet privacy fears that have trickled into the minds of the technically uninclined.

Re:Analog hole (5, Insightful)

jrumney (197329) | about 2 years ago | (#41319403)

Precisely, it's a borderline useless idea that requires too much integration with a single company for it to catch on.

But its on Facebook, so they've already got the perfect target audience for borderline useless ideas that require too much integration with a single company to catch on.

Re:Analog hole (1)

jhoegl (638955) | about 2 years ago | (#41320057)

Zing!

Re:Analog hole (4, Funny)

semi-extrinsic (1997002) | about 2 years ago | (#41320389)

Shouldn't that be "Zyng!"?

Re:Analog hole (1)

klingers48 (968406) | about 2 years ago | (#41319779)

You're forgetting that while taking out a camera and snapping a pic of the screen seems like a simple idea, there's two points worth considering that will still make this a reasonably effective tool:
  • - A not-insignificant number of people simply don't have the attention span or lateral thinking ability to even conceptualise taking out a camera
  • - There is a larger goal-to-effort ratio here that many people flipping through random Facebook posts just won't overcome.

    Foolproof? Not on your life. Reasonably effective? Fairly safe to say it will be.

Re:Analog hole (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41320295)

Lateral thinking? I think you misunderstimate the level of computer literacy of Facebook users. I would say that most FB users don't even know about "print screen", and a fairly large percentage of them don't know you can right-click on an image or that there is a "download" link on most (all?) of them.

For all those millions of users, the way they take a screen shot is to pull out their digital camera (i.e. phone) and take a picture of the screen. I've even seen movies of peoples' computer screens.

dom

Re:Analog hole (1)

unix_core (943019) | about 2 years ago | (#41320281)

No problem, just download McAfee's new Android/IOS app that prevents you from doing that! Problem solved!

...uhhh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318707)

But you can take a photo of it with your high-res 8mp iPhone camera.

Pointless (3, Interesting)

Robadob (1800074) | about 2 years ago | (#41318713)

So it prevents the person with McAfee Social Protection installed from saving images from Facebook? I don't get the purpose of this, unless they expect it to become government mandated to be installed on all computers.

Re:Pointless (5, Insightful)

Robadob (1800074) | about 2 years ago | (#41318761)

The article was a bit misleading, but from watching the video its just a facebook app which blocks print screens/copy paste of images you upload through it. Doubt it will take long for tools which bypass this, and chances are the photos will stay within mcaffee social share rather than the general facebook albums, which will prevent a large number of people from using it.

Re:Pointless (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41319175)

I already have a way around this. Pull out a camera and take a picture of the screen. NEXT

Re:Pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41319705)

It won't take long at all for tools to be made. In fact, I just watched a video that included one of their protected images in it, plain as day. The analog hole strikes again! (Also, what moron is going to give up when print screen fails? Just use a cell phone camera! People aren't robots, they can think creatively and generally route around obstacles.)

Re:Pointless (2)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#41318781)

Exactly.

Why would anyone install this software, all it does is limit the installer, not anyone else.

So everyone who gets saddled with this software on their computer, saves the images with an Android phone, or Linux, or Mac computer.
Problem solved. And a hack for removing the watermark ought to be possible about 37 minutes after the images find their way onto the net.

I can see why your mom might buy you a computer infected with this technology, but I can't see why any any adult would buy one for themselves.

Re:Pointless (2)

Robadob (1800074) | about 2 years ago | (#41318805)

Oh damn, i wonder if McAfee is going to manage to bundle it with all newly bought pc's, same as them and norton try to do with their a/v products.

Re:Pointless (4, Funny)

gman003 (1693318) | about 2 years ago | (#41318901)

Presumably the """only""" way to view the images at all will be with this plug-in installed, for definitions of "only" so loose I had to put sarcasm quotes around my sarcasm quotes.

And knowing Facebook's userbase, they'll probably just use the analog hole - take a photo of their screen. Hell, some of them do it already, being too stupid to operate PrtScrn or even the snipping tool.

Re:Pointless (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#41319681)

Some of the developers probably already did this. "Hey Jim, looks like the watermark algo is getting a little heavyhanded again. See attached pic."

Re:Pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318997)

>> I can see why your mom might buy you a computer infected with this technology

I can see you've met me Mum then.

Re:Pointless (2)

jrumney (197329) | about 2 years ago | (#41319391)

That's OK, because everyone who is going to install this software has already sent out Facebook status updates asking their friends to unsubscribe them from their feed so they can have privacy on Facebook. So noone without the software installed is going to see the photos anyway.

Re:Pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41319555)

I don't think you've got how this works. The app uploads *two* versions of the image. The obstructed one with the logo goes into the tag on the page, a Javascript/Flash component downloads the unobstructed one separately and floats it over the top for display. That said... proxy servers, anyone?

VM? (5, Insightful)

dskoll (99328) | about 2 years ago | (#41318721)

What if you run everything in a virtual machine and take a screenshot of the VM window?

Sounds like snake-oil to me.

Re:VM? (4, Funny)

cultiv8 (1660093) | about 2 years ago | (#41319103)

Then you DIE! (Or are in violation of EULA).

Re:VM? (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | about 2 years ago | (#41319189)

If you are determined to defeat these types of systems, there will always be ways to do so. The point is to make the undesired behavior inconvenient enough to deter casual transgressors.

Consider the locks on most doors and windows. It is trivial to defeat them, yet the combination of the minor inconvenience and reminder that you are locked out for a reason keeps a sufficient percentage of potential intruders at bay.

Re:VM? (2)

starfishsystems (834319) | about 2 years ago | (#41319191)

VM consoles are typically tty, so that wouldn't do much good. But you're right in a more general sense. Any system (it certainly doesn't have to be a VM) which supports remote windowing (X Windows, rdesktop, Citrix for example) provides all the bitmap you need, and its security is exactly as strong as the window server.

Re:VM? (1)

hjf (703092) | about 2 years ago | (#41319281)

Silly unix user, GP was talking about something like VMware Workstation.

Re:VM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41319199)

What if you run everything in a virtual machine and take a screenshot of the VM window?

If they're at all decent, they detect that you're running in a VM and prevent the image from rendering.
But it still wouldn't prevent things like camera phones from snapping pics of the screen.

Sounds like snake-oil to me.

Indeed. I work in this space and have never understood the appeal of consumer image DRM like this. Though, the plug-in requirement will certainly reduce the number of people who are accessing your images.

Re:VM? (4, Insightful)

psithurism (1642461) | about 2 years ago | (#41319679)

I work in this space and have never understood the appeal...

We who know what is going on rarely grasp the appeal for things like this. I thought two seconds about most of my semi-computer able friends and realized this could easily take off:

Friend1: OMG, Friend2 your photos are insecure!
Friend2: WTF?
Friend1: Yeah, you didn't digitally protect them! Your just asking for internet baddies to steal all your images, stalkers to download them, and spammers to use you for their advertisements! Securing your photos is more important than anti-virus!
Friend2: OMG! OMG! I'm going to get digital protection right now!

I sure hope this dies before friends 1 and 2 start trying to convince me to secure my photos. I already know what they'll say: "As someone who knows computers you should know better! Your setting a bad example for Friend2." and "Why didn't you warn me how vulnerable my photos were?!" respectively.

Re:VM? (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 2 years ago | (#41319925)

lol, combine

Friend2: OMG! OMG! I'm going to get digital protection right now!

with: http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3113117&cid=41318721 [slashdot.org]

What if you run everything in a virtual machine and take a screenshot of the VM window?

(Am I missing something here? I suppose it already alter the image data and require someone to get a plugin to get the correct image or something such or how can it work on others systems to? I could understand if it messed up your own images..)

and you could for instance "digitally protect" the images by doing whatever to them and then have the software which can alter them back... But yeah. As said, maybe that's what it does. In that case who cares? Fail by design.

Also who want my Facebook pictures anyway? And should we really post pictures to Facebook in the first place? Or even use that steaming pile of shit?

Re:VM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41320019)

Right, but I see this lasting all the way until people realize you can just take a picture of the screen....
That's why image protection (in this context) is a joke.

Re:VM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41319233)

I can take a picture of my computer screen with my camera phone.

Re:VM? (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41319529)

Sounds like snake-oil to me.

Client-side security always is. There has never been a client-side security device, model, or system that hasn't been broken when given professional resources. The only systems out there that haven't been broken like this are ones either too small to attract attention or resources, or carry legal punishments so severe nobody subject to said laws will try to circumvent them -- ie "violate the DMCA and get 30 years in the electric chair and an 8 quintillion dollar fine".

30 years in the electric chair? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41319903)

I hope it isn't running for 30 years. A day will do the job.

Easily Circumventable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318751)

It must be some type of DRM system. It can't really work without your friends needing to install some piece of software just to view the images.

In any event, it's still easily circumventable by taking a picture of your screen.

Re:Easily Circumventable (1)

Khashishi (775369) | about 2 years ago | (#41319633)

However, some version of McAfee is usually pre-installed on a lot of crapware computers.

I don't understand... (1)

jesseck (942036) | about 2 years ago | (#41318753)

In order for this to work, do you have to have the plugin loaded? There is an image transferred to the computer- it can be copied. Hell, it has to be copied in order to be viewed.

Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318759)

If it's displayed on my screen, I can capture it.
End of story.

So.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318775)

It costs 20-50% of your resources at any moment to prevent you from making friends?

Re:So.. (5, Funny)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 2 years ago | (#41318825)

McAfee has been spending 100% of their efforts on not making any friends for years.

Intel: Dumber every year (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318791)

Hi, we're Intel McAfee. Our NEW built-into-the-hardware tech DISABLES photo downloading!

With this new tech, nobody except yourself can download your pics! If your friends also bought Intel, then you cannot download their pics either!

So, wanted to check out hot pics of your classmates? Yup, can't download them? What's that? We defeated the point of facebook and many purposes of the internet? Noooo, please don't buy AMD instead! Noooo, don't buy ARM please !!!

Intel Inside: can't download pictures !

Defeated by Android (0)

jamiedolan (1743242) | about 2 years ago | (#41318793)

Re:Defeated by Android - Explained (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318885)

For slow people like me, I think the parent means you could always take a picture of the monitor. However if so, he really meant "Defeated by a Camera" and said "Android" in a failed attempt to increase his e-penis.

Re:Defeated by Android - Explained (1)

jamiedolan (1743242) | about 2 years ago | (#41319155)

Not sure I get your joke exactly. I thought most of the folks around here were android fans. Oh well, yes my point was "Defeated by a Camera". I could have just as easily taken the photo with my Canon and used Canon in the comment also.

Re:Defeated by Android - Explained (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41320413)

It wasn't a joke. When I first saw your post I didn't understand it as it was a picture of /. and the software only works on Facebook. I thought you where saying an Android can take a screen capture of /., so it could take one of Facebook. It took me a moment to get the Android camera reference. Though I could have left off the e-penis personal attack. Sorry about that.

Computers work by COPYING data (2)

orionpi (318587) | about 2 years ago | (#41318797)

The latest example of managers who don't get that computers work by copying data.

in other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318799)

1996 sent a memo. it claims patent infringement and wants credit for the idea of blocking right click with javascript in the browser. "security through annoyance".

i'd rather have mcafee make me a sandwich or something and leave security and privacy to the experts.

Re:in other news (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | about 2 years ago | (#41318853)

This demo is kind of sad because they have a division that really does understand security. It's made up primarily of people and products that were acquired (IntruShield through IntruVert and Sidewinder/Firewall Enterprise through Secure Computing), but they're still McAfee at least in name.

Re:in other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41319021)

This demo is kind of sad because they have a division that really does understand security. It's made up primarily of people and products that were acquired (IntruShield through IntruVert and Sidewinder/Firewall Enterprise through Secure Computing)

We're still here! And we're still working on enterprise products. Some nifty integration coming.

As far as AV goes: it's getting better, and the merger with Intel should help: it has the potential to close the incompleteness theorem hole inherent in any software-only AV endpoint product by adding a hardware layer to it.

Re:in other news (4, Insightful)

aaronb1138 (2035478) | about 2 years ago | (#41320275)

Sorry, McAfee AV will still be crap.

It's biggest problem isn't the fact that their virus definitions miss the most virii, worms, and malware of any that I have used. It's the fact that their software tends to kludge up a system and break compatibility all to frequently. Then there are the times when it does find a virus, and instead of removing it, just pegs the CPU at 100% and does nothing to stop the problem. I would find this last situation reasonable with some virus truly hardcore at ripping out AV, but I was able to remove the last one by just deleting the cached .exe from the system and rebooting. Sucked that it took 10 minutes to get that far because the McAfee processes made the system slow as a 386.

Intel made a bad buy. Even Microsoft had the foresight to just start fresh and develop AV on their own instead of buying a pile of steaming poo to polish. I've felt bad for most of the companies McAfee has bought out in the past. Too often the response to support requests is, "Buy the new McAfee edition of the product you already own." even when McAfee hasn't held the company long enough to have gotten farther than the rebranding process.

Re:in other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41320251)

i'd rather have mcafee make me a sandwich or something and leave security and privacy to the experts.

This should be Quote of the Day.

Seriously? (4, Funny)

upuv (1201447) | about 2 years ago | (#41318801)

Is it April already?

Dump the Framebuffer? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318809)

FRAPS (a game recording tool) can take screenshots of the raw framebuffer contents.

They really haven't thought this through, but I spose it would stop causal copying.

Re:Dump the Framebuffer? (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 2 years ago | (#41319079)

Precisely. Just as with most DRM, it is not unbeatable. It simply imposes a barrier that is too high for most to overcome.

And, in the process, it imposes a smaller barrier on what it considers "authorized" use. In this case, viewing the images at all requires installing a plugin, which a) takes time, b) may not be compatible with your browser/os/hardware/favorite shade of blue, c) you may not be allowed to install, and d) may confuse the less tech-savvy users, particularly the ones who actually paid attention to our "IF A SITE TELLS YOU THE ONLY WAY TO VIEW SOMETHING IS TO INSTALL SOME WEIRD PLUGIN, IT'S PROBABLY A VIRUS SO DON'T DO IT, DUMBASS!" rants.

Jokes on them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318815)

I can just take a photo from the screen with my phone.

Then drive downtown to the nearest internet cafe, upload the pic to my email and download from there to my main PC.

Re:Jokes on them (4, Insightful)

Raistlin77 (754120) | about 2 years ago | (#41319067)

Just to be clear...

You're going to take a picture of the picture on your PC monitor with your phone, then you're going to drive to an internet cafe to put the picture in an email (presumably) to yourself, then drive back home again to save it?

If this is what it would take for you to defeat this, then I'd say the joke's on you.

Re:Jokes on them (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 2 years ago | (#41320183)

Are AT&T's data rates really that high??

That is all well and good.. until... (1)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#41318821)

...someone uses Noscript or turns off javascript manually.

Then all bets are off. Right click to save. Bam. Where is your god now?

--
BMO

Re:That is all well and good.. until... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318857)

How will the image load without Javascript? No one uses normal HTML anymore. Even links are javascript crap for no reason (except to break tabbed browsing), at least from my user's perspective.

I get you could enable Javascript from the main website and disallow it from McAfee. That'll work into McAfee integrates with the main site.

Re:That is all well and good.. until... (1)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#41318897)

How will the image load without Javascript?

Facebook displays photos without javascript just fine.

Try it.

--
BMO

Re:That is all well and good.. until... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318985)

How will the image load without Javascript? No one uses normal HTML anymore. Even links are javascript crap for no reason (except to break tabbed browsing), at least from my user's perspective.

Not-so-CSB.

So I'm wondering why an increasing number of websites I browse show have half a screen's worth of white space above every fucking image/screenshot in every fucking article they have.

So I view source: "(img src="http://s0.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/plugins/lazy-load/images/1x1.trans.gif?m=webbugtrackingnumber) data-lazy-src="http://somefuckedupblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/theactualimage.jpeg" alt="" title="theactualimage" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-whatever" width="640" height="480")
(noscript)(img src="http://somefuckedupblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/theactualimage.jpeg" alt="" title="theactualimage" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-whatever" width="640" height="480")(/noscript)

Apparently "Lazy Load" is a WordPress plug-in for developers too fucking lazy to write their own shitty HTML, and too fucking lazy to realize that loading a 1x1 .gif in a space that takes up the entire vertical height of the image, only to load that very same image a few elements later, is beyond asinine.

The designer knows goddamn well it's a 640x480 image, he/she has already explicitly told the web browser that it's a 640x480 image. The browser doesn't need to be told twice in order to start rendering the page, regardless of whether it's begun to receive theactualimage.jpg from the webserver.

Yet somehow, somewhere, a web designer will tell you that this crufty way of using Javashit to bullshit your way around a web browser's behavior is more elegant than just loading the fucking image once.

It's days like this when I want to throw up my hands and say "fuck the web."

defeated; next! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318829)

Me and my free (thank you AT&T) crappy camera cellphone can defeat that in the time it takes me to click 'snap'

Downside: requires app/plug-in (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about 2 years ago | (#41318865)

The downside is that viewing those images at all requires the plug-in and the FB app. The only way for it to work reliably is to store the image on McAfee's servers and only serve up the unblurred image if the browser is running the plug-in and isn't interfering with it's operation and they have the FB app allowed on their account. If they do otherwise, then someone can get at the image without the protection present and save it. So it's going to be a fight between friends who're having problems with the plug-in or who blocked the app as malware who you want to see your pictures vs. protecting the pictures.

And of course it won't do anything to protect you from images you uploaded before you started using it, let alone images of you uploaded by other people who aren't using the app (like your friend who snapped a pic of you embarrassing yourself at that party last night and posted it from his cel-phone).

Re:Downside: requires app/plug-in (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318933)

http://www.pcworld.com/article/261582/lock_down_facebook_photo_albums_handson_with_mcafee_social_protection_app.html

* The photos are hosted on a McAfee server
* The photos are supposed to only be visible using their proprietary browser plugin
* "McAfee points out that...this will not stop a truly determined photo vandal from nabbing your pictures"

Re:Downside: requires app/plug-in (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318961)

Oh and:

* it only works on Windows 7
* you must have the Aero theme turned on
* you can't delete any photos from the app

Re:Downside: requires app/plug-in (5, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about 2 years ago | (#41319301)

* The photos are hosted on a McAfee server

Oh, won't that be enteraining when the central DB eventually gets hacked and all the photos are released.

Already Broken (5, Informative)

sexconker (1179573) | about 2 years ago | (#41318877)

Start
Magnifier
100% Zoom
Views > Full screen
Print Screen
Start
Paint
Paste

That's easier than my method (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318927)

Remove camera-phone from pocket.
Aim at screen.
Shoot.
Upload to inter-tubes.

For the really old-school, there's always film.

Re:Already Broken (3, Informative)

ChumpusRex2003 (726306) | about 2 years ago | (#41318931)

I haven't tried IE or firefox, but magnifier doesn't work on Chrome windows. The magnified view just shows an empty page.

I'm guessing that whatever chrome is doing - openGL, or whatever it is using to composite the pages, bypasses whatever layer magnifier hooks into.

Similarly, the mcafee tool probably works by using graphics hardware overlays, and rendering the image directly into the graphics buffer, and then using hardware compositing. This works quite well to defeat low-end screen capture software. The better software, such as FRAPS, is capable of capturing the overlays, and then re-compositing the final image in software.

Re:Already Broken (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41319605)

Of course it can be broken. What can't? But protection against malicious attack is not the point. The point is to prevent your brain-dead "friends" from absent-mindedly passing around pictures that you'd rather not have passed around. It' also possible to defeat a barbed-wire fence, but the point of the fence isn't absolute security, it is to make it abundantly clear what your intent is.

Re:Already Broken (1)

14erCleaner (745600) | about 2 years ago | (#41320249)

Or: Turn on camera. Take picture of screen.

McAfee Face Condom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318893)

The new Trojan!

Watermark and Object Protection (1)

hawkeey (1920310) | about 2 years ago | (#41318921)

It appears to watermark images and use some kind of applet (like Java or Flash?) to block simple screenshots. You need the addon to view the photos I believe. Of course an actual screenshot with a camera would defeat it, but there is obvious quality loss there.

It seems to me that noscript or turning JavaScript off might prevent you from seeing the image all together.

Re:Watermark and Object Protection (2)

RLiegh (247921) | about 2 years ago | (#41318983)

But that still leaves running it in a virtual machine and taking a snapshot that way.

Re:Watermark and Object Protection (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41319111)

Of course an actual screenshot with a camera would defeat it

True, but I'd prefer to plug the PC into the back of a capture card of another PC, less quality loss of a camera.

Re:Watermark and Object Protection (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | about 2 years ago | (#41319765)

Or if you want to do it wholesale at top-quality, a $21 Chinese HDMI splitter (which, conveniently enough, will probably decrypt the HDCP protection, then not bother going to the trouble of re-encrypting it instead of just outputting DVI-with-HDMI-pinout), then feed it to a $85 FPGA dev board from eBay that's been programmed to capture a frame of pure pixel-addressed RGB data to sram before writing it out to microSD.

Re:Watermark and Object Protection (1)

jrumney (197329) | about 2 years ago | (#41319429)

It'd be interesting to get a look at a sample cached image (but there's no way I'm installing any McAfee software on my own PC to satisfy this curiosity). Is the watermark just an alpha layer that gets ignored by the McAfee viewer for example.

Lack of clue (5, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#41318995)

How does a project like this even ship without at least one person involved saying "Hey, wait..."?

Re:Lack of clue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41319331)

Use a camera to take a pic of the screen?

Re:Lack of clue (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41319437)

Selling security doesn't require that the product being sold actually work.

Re:Lack of clue (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41319703)

True. If it did McAfee would have gone out of business ages ago. Also possibly Symantec.

Re:Lack of clue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41319821)

Doubtless someone did. If management and marketing actually listened to their engineers, half the crap on the market would never see the light of day.

McAfee? Really? (1)

guygo (894298) | about 2 years ago | (#41319043)

I cannot understand why people are listening to a company who sends out untested updates that disconnect tens of thousands of home customers and then has to backtrack and cost other companies and people a lot of money to fix McAfee's broken software. These are the same people who crashed millions of their business customers' computers with another untested update. You really want to get in bed with such a poorly managed company?

Stopped reading at "for Facebook" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41319045)

So pointless...

How about real social protection? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#41319049)

When I saw the name McAfee Social Protection I thought it was going to be an app that helped prevent me from exposing my social data more widely than I wanted to -- something that monitors Facebook (and other) security settings and warns me if something changes in how public any of my data is. Something like that would be truly useful because I don't want to have to keep up with the changing privacy policies and security settings of every site I put my data on.

I have a simpler and more effective way to keep private pictures private -- I literally keep them private and I don't post them on social networking or photo sharing sites.

Anything that can be viewed on the screen can be copied through the analog hole [wikipedia.org] of just taking a photo of the screen so if it's viewable there's no way to keep it private. (though I'm sure some day all cameras will have built-in copy protection similar to what is used to prevent currency from being copied [wikipedia.org] and all recording devices will use similar schemes to prevent copyrighted audio from being copied, thereby closing the analog hole)

That should eat up 1-2 cores on the cpu (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#41319051)

That should eat up 1-2 cores on the cpu good thing that intel cpus have 4+ of them.

If I can see it a Camera can too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41319059)

This is pointless software, just don't upload pictures you don't want everyone to see. Duh

Also everyone has a cellphone camera, they could simple hold it up and take a picture of your picture.

Sure you loose some quality, but does it really matter if that embarrassing photo of you is in pristine quality, it's still embarrassing.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41319081)

People still use McAfee? Those poor SOBs.

I can't believe nobody's said it yet.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 years ago | (#41319087)

Will it keep you from getting a social disease?

<rimshot badjoke="true"/>

Rebadged corporate crapware (2)

benjfowler (239527) | about 2 years ago | (#41319167)

It looks like a tremendous pain in the butt to use, although some naiive people who don't understand computers might think it'll protect themselves from themselves.

FWIW, I"ve worked in a bank before, and they had some awful McAfee crud running on the client workstations where if you attempted to do a screen grab, it would overwrite the data on the clipboard with black pixels -- a pain in the arse when you're trying to do consulting or tech support. McAfee had some similarly annoying crudware installed on all the bank's machines, which only granted write access to USB keys unless they'd been encrypted and 'blessed' by the company's IT department.

Obnoxious garbage, designed to inconvenience users. I think there's a bit of Catholic hair-shirt thinking going on here: make the tools and processes as painful as possible, to make clients think they're doing something productive and virtuous, and justify the license fees they're paying the security software racket^H^H^H^H^H^Hindustry.

I'd hazard a guess that some sad, fat middle manager deep in the bowels of McAfee dreamt this up, hoping that turning security software from a product (with loads of free alternatives) into a hard-to-clone for-pay service would generate more revenue.

heh (1)

epicproblem (1256194) | about 2 years ago | (#41319259)

/me takes picture of screen with iPhone

Intel acquired McAfee 2 years ago for $7.68B (2)

Gordo_1 (256312) | about 2 years ago | (#41319355)

and this idiocy is what they've got out of it so far? Where's all the "security-built-right-into-the-hardware" goodness they've been using to justify the acquisition?

Re:Intel acquired McAfee 2 years ago for $7.68B (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41319587)

This?

http://www.mcafee.com/us/products/deep-defender.aspx

Don't post it in the first place? (2)

ezakimak (160186) | about 2 years ago | (#41319361)

If you don't want people to have a copy your photo, then don't share it in the first place. It's that simple. Once you publish, it's out, simple as that.

Why don't people understand these simple concepts?

No different than "Hey, Robert told me a secret--it's supposed to be just for me, so don't tell anyone else!..."

Re:Don't post it in the first place? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41319981)

>If you don't want people to have a copy your photo, then don't share it in the first place. It's that simple. Once you publish, it's out, simple as that.

You, sir, have nailed it.

McAfee is like the lottery.. (1)

tokencode (1952944) | about 2 years ago | (#41319419)

The lottery is a tax on people who do not understand math, McAfee is tax on people who do not understand computers.

Re:McAfee is like the lottery.. (1)

aaronb1138 (2035478) | about 2 years ago | (#41320289)

False. The lottery has winners.

Illogical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41319767)

I really like when people try to take something that fundamentally, logically can't work, and try to make it work. They end up with a half-assed solution that sort-of works on the surface, while giving people a false sense of security.

First of all:
1. If you don't want your photo to be "out there", don't publish it. There is technically no difference between copying it from the server to your laptop, copying it from your memory to the disk buffer, copying it from the disk buffer to your screen, or copying it from a file into an email. (Of course there are differences like RGB transformations and UUEncoding, but the point is, they are ALL copying). Even though to an end-user, "download", "copy", and "display" are different things, to a computer they are not. You can't stop one without stopping the others. It's not possible. This is why DRM is cracked over and over and over again. It's not that encryption can't be done well, it can. It's that you can't both encrypt something and prevent users from decrypting it, while simultaneously letting them "watch" or "listen" to it - because those things require (drum role...) *decrypting* it!!
2. The reality is, if you publish a photo, it's out. Not withstanding legal mechanisms, you don't get to "control" things once you release them out into the big bad world, that's just not how reality works. Anyone why is trying to sell you something that can change that is selling snake oil.

Anyway, I am very sure that the suggested solution of using a VM would work very nicely, just as it works nicely to let you share an iTunes library with your 400 closest friends. Beyond that, video drivers would probably work well. (Including the UltraVNC ones...)

Other Examples:
1. I remember some flaky PDF reader I had to use for a class that tried to do this kind of thing with their protected text-books a while back. If you took a screen-shot using the obvious methods, the part of the window where the text normally displayed had a pattern with their logo. I used a mirror video driver and a test script to flip the pages and take screen-shots, then used Gimp's batch mode to trim them all to the right size and made a nice new PDF.
2. Acrobat reader lets you print some encrypted PDFs, but not to a PDF printer. They didn't plan for Microsoft's PDF competitor, though, and it was easy enough to print to that, and then convert the result back to PDF.
3. Lotus Notes lets you "prevent forwarding", but you can easily take a screen-shot and then paste the previous mail back into Notes.
4. I had a TV tuner card, with wonderful software that tried to prevent you from using remote desktop type tools. They hard-coded the names of the programs it was looking for. Obviously, if you could run this program in some kind of sandbox and limit its access to see what's running, or use different tools, you could get around this limitation. You could also hex-edit the program to change the executable names, except that they checked for that. It was straight-forward, though, to edit the actual name of the EXE for the service that it was checking for, and boom... I could watch my Japanese TV from the USA via Remote Desktop...

None of the work-arounds above took any programming (well, unless you could a script for a testing tool) or genius, so obviously anyone who will invest time into actual programming will have an even easier time defeating this crap.

Snake oil, right up until Hollywood hears about it (2)

zeraien (704094) | about 2 years ago | (#41319819)

Someday all computers, tablets, cameras and phones will come with a hardware chip that will detect whatever watermark they embed into the image/video and prevent you from doing anything with the image other than seeing it. Even your camera will detect it and just not record anything. It's already around to some extent in the form of Macrovision, HDCP and other similar technologies that are used to prevent you from snapping screenshots or recording stuff off of your screen. After all, Intel does make lots of those chip things...

I'm a pessimist, so I'll give it 5 years.

Or someone will come up with a way to encode the image so that it can only be viewed through human eyes, but creating some fancy brain-pattern thing, any alteration of the image, and the pattern is destroyed, leaving only gibberish behind... that would be cool. But also scary.

durr (1)

Jaktar (975138) | about 2 years ago | (#41320003)

Even if you were able to secure it against VM's,Printscreens, cache, or any other computer aided means, there's still not going to be able to stop someone taking out their camera of choice (either cell phone or dedicated) and taking a picture of the screen.

Sure, it's not a perfect screengrab, but it will work every time.

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