Wikileaks posts Bill O'Reilly Web site data
Saturday, September 20 2008 @ 05:05 AM EDT Contributed by: PrivacyNews
Just days after publishing U.S. vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's personal email messages, the Wikileaks Web site has published data about members who signed up for a section of Fox Television host Bill O'Reilly's Web site.
Hackers were able to obtain a list of Billoreilly.com premium members, including email addresses, site passwords and the city and state where they live. Some of the information was published Friday on Wikileaks.com, which has been under fire from conservative commentators, including O'Reilly, for publishing Palin's messages.
... A link to the full membership list has been published on a little-known political discussion Web site, which reported that rather than seizing control of O'Reilly's site, hackers were able to get the information from an unencrypted Web page that did not require a login. The list includes information about 205 people who signed into the O'Reilly site during the previous 72-hour period.
Source - Computerworld
Bad law or bad lawyers?
Judge Says School Can Suspend Student For Fake MySpace Page Of Principal
from the questionable-reading-of-the-legal-tea-leaves dept
Just about a month ago we wrote about a principal losing a lawsuit against some students for posting a fake MySpace page pretending to be the principal. However, in a different case, a court has ruled that a school has every right to suspend students for creating a fake MySpace page of a principal. The two cases are different in a few ways, as the first one involved the principal suing the student, rather than just suspending the student. That said, the ruling by the court in this case seems problematic, and I'd be surprised if it was upheld on appeal (assuming the student appeals). The Supreme Court's famous Tinker v. Des Moines case established the precedent that schools can't punish students for protected free speech -- especially if that speech takes place off of the school campus. The court said that other Supreme Court rulings applied over Tinker, but both of the cases it cites in support involve disruptive actions at school events. A MySpace page created at home doesn't seem to qualify. Either way, if the principal's intent was to get the pages hidden so people didn't talk about them, this resulting lawsuit seems to have created the opposite situation. [No indication in the articles that the web site was taken down. Bob]
I believe this is the proper (best) way to handle a dysfunctional organization – kill it, before it spreads.
Google to close Arizona office
Posted by Elinor Mills September 19, 2008 4:22 PM PDT
Google will be shuttering its Arizona office on November 21, the company announced on Friday.
"We've found that despite everyone's best efforts, the projects our engineers have been working on in Arizona have been, and remain, highly fragmented," Alan Eustace, senior vice president of engineering and research, wrote in a post on the Official Google Blog. "So after a lot of soul searching we have decided to incorporate work on these projects into teams elsewhere at Google."
The office opened in 2006 on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe, just south of Phoenix.
The closure is the latest of several: the company announced plans in July to close offices in Denver and Dallas.
This is new. We'll have to see if it turns into a useful resource. These seem fairly trivial...
Cybercrime in the federal courts this week
Friday, September 19 2008 @ 03:24 PM EDT Contributed by: PrivacyNews
Threat Level has started a weekly roundup of computer crime cases in the courts. In addition to the Citibank breach reported in another post, here are some other breaches they reported this week.
Two employees of an unnamed investment company in Indianapolis are accused of grabbing customer information like names, addresses, Social Security numbers and dates-of-birth from their employer's computers, and passing it to a boyfriend who then got others to fill out credit card applications using the information.. There were 129 victims in that scam, with 581 people having their info stolen.
Two Chicago temp workers at the investment management firm Computershare supposedly used their inside access to dump over $700,000 from 67 trading accounts, routing at least some of the cash-out checks to themselves.
A Miami man was indicted last week for allegedly setting up online bank accounts for Washington Mutual customers and transferring a few thousand dollars from their home equity credit accounts.
A Tennessee man was charged with reprogramming blank credit cards with stolen Discover card data. He didn't work at a bank, though the Secret Service did find an ATM in his house.
For more details, see Threat Level
Some detailed crime statistics, including the spreadsheets.
September 19, 2008
Bureau of Justice Statistics: Cybercrime Against Businesses, 2005
Cybercrime against Businesses, 2005: "Presents the nature and prevalence of computer security incidents among 7,818 businesses in 2005. This is the first report to provide data on monetary loss and system downtime resulting from cyber incidents. It examines details on types of offenders, reporting of incidents to law enforcement, reasons for not reporting incidents, types of systems affected, and the most common security vulnerabilities. The report also compares in-house security to outsourced security in terms of prevalence of cyber attacks. Appendix tables include industry-level findings."
Better research through technology?
Cognition.com - Semantic Searches
There are many companies looking to tap into the many possibilities of semantic searches. If you’re looking to see what it can do for your web searches, then take a look at this site, Cognition.com. On it, you’ll be able to learn about the many advantages of semantic searches and even try it out by yourself. It’s amazing to see how accurate it is when searching through legal records.
... If they manage to get the whole web indexed, this search system will make Google’s look like a toddler programmed it. In short, if you want to see what the future of searching could look like, then you have to give this site a try.
About 25 years ago I heard Grace Hopper explain why COBOL (which she helped create) should be abandoned for more modern languages. Why do we never listen?
Don't Count Cobol Out
Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Friday September 19, @06:25PM from the great-disturbance-in-the-force dept. Programming IT
Hugh Pickens writes
"Although Turing Award-winning computer scientist Edsger Dijkstra once said, 'the use of Cobol cripples the mind; its teaching should, therefore, be regarded as a criminal offense,' Michael Swaine has an interesting entry to Dr. Dobb's Journal asserting that Cobol is the most widely used language in the 21st century, critical to some of the hottest areas of software development today, and may be the next language you'll be learning. In 1997, the Gartner Group estimated that there were 240 billion lines of Cobol code in active apps, and billions of lines of new Cobol code are being written every year. Cobol is a key element in the realization of modern distributed business software architecture concepts — XML/metadata, Web Services, Service Oriented Architecture — and e-business."