Sunday, September 19, 2010

Obfuscation or ignorance? How can we tell the difference?

Device with personal information stolen off campus

September 18, 2010 by admin

Jocelyn Wright provides additional details on the previously mentioned breach involving a device stolen from Rice University. As the headline indicates in their student newspaper suggests, it appears that the device was stolen off-campus, although the university is not providing additional detail on that. The article also indicates that the data on the stolen device were not encrypted.

Wright describes the contents:

The device contained two files copied from a computer which contained the personal data of the 7,250 employees on Rice payroll as of January 2010. The data on the device was not encrypted. Senior Director of News and Media Relations B.J. Almond said the police requested he refrain from giving any additional details about the device or the information contained on it to prevent the thief from gaining any potentially useful information. [Although the thief already has everything in plain text... Bob] As of Sept. 15, Almond said none of the information on the device had been used maliciously. [At least, they haven't been informed of it. Bob]

Approximately 2,270 people affected were undergraduate and graduate students, but only three students’ Social Security numbers were stolen. Of the remaining faculty and staff, Almond estimated about 4,000 had their Social Security number stolen. There were also two employees whose bank account information was leaked. Almond said those two employees have already been notified of the theft.

Read more on The Rice Thresher.

[From the article:

Since each message sent out had to contain a unique code, Business Process Consultant Daniel Fu said the notifications had to be sent out as a letter and not an e-mail. [Why not write a simple program to match the “unique code” to the email address? “'cause we can't do technical stuff...” Bob]

… These letters are expected to arrive next week. Almond said the delay in relaying information was due to the letters taking longer to prepare than expected.

… Although Rice was aware of the theft at the end of August, Fu said Rice did not notify employees immediately because administrators will still figuring out what was on the device.

"Over the last two weeks, we've gone back to reconstruct the possibilities of the files that could have been on the device," Fu said. "When it became a likely possibility [that employees' personal data was on the device] we notified people

… The Information Technology department is working to encrypt all files with sensitive data, Almond said, although an estimate of the time it will take to fully implement this policy is unavailable at this time. [“Yeah, we know we should, but we're in no big hurry...” Bob]

"Rice already had systems that are secure and some computers that were already encrypted and are moving forward with other areas for implementing encryption," Almond said.

Because you haven't embarrassed yourself enough already?

Facebook Is Secretly Building A Phone

… Specifically, Facebook wants to integrate deeply into the contacts list and other core functions of the phone. It can only do that if it controls the operating system.

… So what might this phone look and feel like? We don’t know yet. When will it be announced? Don’t know. But I’d speculate that it would be a lower end phone, something very affordable, that lets people fully integrate into their Facebook world. You call your friend’s name, not some ancient seven digit code, for example. I’d imagine Facebook wanting these things to get into as many hands as possible, so I’d expect a model at a less than $50 price. Pay your bill with Facebook Credits. Etc.

This is intended for those who want to be “political know-it-alls” but consider what similar software could do to Facebook users as you build dossiers...

Poligraft: Identify Political Relationships Between People Mentioned In An Article

With so much going on in the world, “reading between the lines” is an important but a difficult task. Poligraft is a tool that helps you with that. Just paste the URL of any news article and Poligraft will not only identify important people and organizations mentioned in the article but also report political relationships between them.

If the people mentioned are politicians, Poligraft will tell you how much the related organizations contributed in that person’s campaign. The report also contains a “points of influence” section which breaks down political contributions by industries made to each person mentioned in the news article.

Similar tools: WhiteHouseApp, Legistalker and In Quotes.

This is not normal (I pray) Apparently there is no “regular” review of these videos. I wonder what cause them to look at one in the first place? Were the lawyers not asking for the videos?

Dozens of cases being dropped after dash cam review contradicted officer’s reports

September 18, 2010 by Dissent

One recurring news issue on this blog has been about taping or recording police in the performance of their duties. My own view is that having cams can help protect both the police and the public. Here’s a news story by David Begnaud where recordings helped the public — although in some cases, only after they had already been sent to jail:

Several criminal cases linked to a former Sacramento police officer have been dropped.

During a press conference Friday District Attorney Jan Scully said 79 of former Sacramento officer Brandon Mullock’s cases will be dismissed because he allegedly lied about them.

The allegations came to light after discrepancies surfaced between Mullock’s written reports and his dash cam video.

Read more on CBS13 and watch the video on that page as it gets more into the consequences for those affected.

We don't really buy software and now we apparently don't own hardware either. This might appear similar to a 'governor' installed on your teenagers car, except you can't remove it without the manufacturer's permission.

Intel Wants To Charge $50 To Unlock Your CPU's Full Capabilities

Posted by Soulskill on Saturday September 18, @11:10PM

"Turnkey CPU upgrades aren't just for mainframes anymore. According to Engadget, OEMs (including Gateway) are selling computers with the Intel Pentium G6951, which can have extra cache and hyper-threading enabled through a $50 software unlock called Intel Upgrade Service."

For my Ethical Hackers ('caue it's better not to create the evidence in the first place...)

How To Disable Google’s Personalization Of Search Results

Convergence Toward “TV” over the Internet.

Catch Your Favorite Team & Watch Live College Football Online For Free!

Some I don't recall having seen before...

Top 12 Websites To Download Free E-Books

1. Scribd 2. PlanetPDF 3. UFindBook 4. Bookyards

5. Free-Ebooks 6. FictionWise 7. FreeBookCentre

8. MemoWare 9. OnlineComputerBooks 10. E-BooksDirectory

11. FreeBookSpot 12. Ebookslab

[...and one more:


Top 10 Valuable Resources To Discover A-1 Internet Tips and Tricks

1. eHow 2. TechCrunch 3. Lifehacker 4. Howstuffworks

5. Readwriteweb 6. Mashable 7. Makeuseof 8. Wikihow

9. Digital Inspiration 10. Howtogeek 11. Pcworld

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