Tuesday, October 19, 2010

An exception to the rule?


Swedish professor rejoices over laptop thief's memory stick miracle

A professor at UmeƄ University in northern Sweden was stunned after a thief who stole his laptop copied and returned the contents of the computer to him - on a USB memory stick.

The easy part if determining who sits in the oval office. More difficult: Who is the VP and what does he do for a living...


October 18, 2010

National Protect Your Identity Week - Learn How to Deter, Detect and Defend Against ID Theft

News release: "This is National Protect Your Identity Week, and the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, has information to help consumers, businesses, and law enforcement officials safeguard personal information and take action if an identity thief strikes.

  • www.ftc.gov/idtheft is a one-stop national resource to learn about the crime of identity theft. Consumers can learn how to avoid identity theft – and what to do if their identity is stolen. Businesses can learn to help their customers deal with identity theft and prevent problems in the first place. Law enforcement officials will find resources that help victims of identity theft.

  • www.YouTube.com/FTCVideos has short educational videos that help consumers learn more about identity theft, phishing, reducing spam, and protecting their computers against unwanted intrusions.

  • www.onguardonline.gov/games lets consumers test their cyber smarts with interactive games on everything from phishing and computer security to social networking and e-mail scams.

  • www.ftc.gov/freereports offers details about a consumer’s right to get a free copy of his or her credit report from each of the three national credit reporting companies, upon request, once every 12 months. Reviewing one’s credit report regularly is an effective way to deter and detect identity theft."

Charting the evolution of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood


October 18, 2010

State of the Internet 2010: A Report on the Ever-Changing Threat Landscape

State of the Internet 2010: A Report on the Ever-Changing Threat Landscape, CA Technologies Internet Security Business Unit

Internet Security Intelligence Report, October 2010

  • "Today approximately 1.8 billion people use the Internet to do everything from conduct business, communicate with friends and family, keep up with current events or simply entertain themselves playing games or watching videos. Each individual and each Internet connected device presents a certain footprint that is exposed and often manipulated for criminal or political gain. Malware, or malicious software, is often the catalyst for this manipulation, while targets span the gamut from corporate and national secrets to personal information that can be used to directly steal money or perpetuate another crime. Technology and the Internet provide the = means and opportunity, while global socioeconomic trends provide the motive to perpetuate these crimes. Supporting this criminal activity and adding to the challenges of protection and law enforcement is the growth of a criminal ecosystem. This network of criminals and services introduces multiple layers of anonymity while providing modular functionality for perpetuating cybercrime. In this paper we have defined this ecosystem as “Crimeware-as-a-Service,” and we share examples of how this ecosystem is exploiting the latest technology trends of cloud computing and social media. The ability to perpetuate these crimes across the Internet without swift and severe repercussions further fuels this Crimeware, challenging security professionals and governments alike to find new ways to protect valuable information."

'cause that's where the money is” Willie Sutton


Data loss doubles in financial services sector

October 18, 2010 by admin

So as I was saying, breaches aren’t down in 2010.

Almost twice as many financial services companies suffered information theft, loss or attack in the past 12 months than in the previous year, according to a new conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit and security company Kroll.

The report found that 42% of financial services companies surveyed have suffered data loss in the past year, compared to 24% in the previous survey. This was a greater a proportion than in any other sector.

Across all sectors the incidence of information theft, loss or attack rose from 18% in 2009 to 27.3% in 2010.

Source: Information Age.

Related: Global Fraud Report 2010/2011 – Kroll. From the introduction to their report:

Four important themes emerge:

  • Theft of information and electronic data overtakes physical theft for the first time as the most frequently reported fraud.

  • Fear of fraud is dissuading 48% of companies from operating in other countries. China and Africa are the geographies most affected, with corruption identified as the greatest concern.

  • Companies appear unprepared for heightened Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement and the impact of the UK Bribery Act. For example, only one third of respondents with a presence in the United States or United Kingdom felt the laws applied to them.

  • Fraud is largely an inside job across all geographies and industries. Some 44% of respondents attributed fraud to employees and a further 11% identified agents or intermediaries as the key perpetrators.

This year we analyze for the first time fraud losses as a percentage of income. There is cause for concern: fraudsters’ take from business increased 20% in the last 12 months. Almost 90% of respondents report being victims of fraud – similar to last year’s survey results.



October 18, 2010

Pew Survey: Survey: 96% of Young Adults Own Cell Phones

Americans and their gadgets, by Aaron Smith, Senior Research Specialist, October 14, 2010

  • "In recent years the digital world has expanded far beyond the desktop1, and consumers can now choose from an array of devices capable of satisfying their need for “anytime, anywhere” access to news, information, friends and entertainment. This report examines the latest research from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project regarding seven key appliances of the information age: Cell phones; Desktop and laptop computers; Mp3 players; Game consoles; Tablet computers and e-book readers."

This should eliminate any problems with “over booking.” Just deny as many passengers as required as “security risks”


Airlines to cancel reservations and deny passage to travelers who won’t provide “Secure Flight” info

October 18, 2010 by Dissent

From the Identity Project, concerning news:

Airlines are moving rapidly toward global industry standards, effective November 1, 2010, that could lead to cancellation of reservations — including already ticketed reservations — without notice to travelers and in violation of the contractual conditions in effect when tickets were sold, and denial of transportation to would-be passengers in violation of airlines’ operating licenses and international aviation treaties that require them to operate as “common carriers”.

We’ve previously noted the impossibility of knowing how the TSA will enforce its Secure Flight passenger surveillance and control scheme, since the enforcement of “Secure Flight” demands for information will, presumably, be carried by airlines acting on secret TSA Security Directives. And in one of their most recent non-responses, the TSA reiterates their claim that all such Security Directives are by definition exempt from disclosure, regardless of whether their disclosure would have any actual effect on safety or security.

Read more on Papers, Please!

For your Computer Security Manager...


How To Tame the Social Network At Work

Posted by CmdrTaco on Monday October 18, @11:01AM

"InfoWorld's Dan Tynan provides an in-depth report on how IT can tame social networking at work without shutting the organization off to the kinds of business opportunities today's social networks present. 'They're a productivity sink and a bandwidth suck. They're a vector for malware and a gift for corporate spies. They're a data spill just waiting to happen. And like it or not, they're already inside your enterprise,' Tynan writes. 'Most companies are in denial about how much their employees are using social nets, as well as what they can do to stop it.' Worse, many are still balking at the fact that having a presence on social networks is rapidly becoming a requirement for doing business. Strict commonsense policies, next-generation firewalls, data leak prevention software — all can decrease your company's exposure to the risks inherent in social networking while still enabling your company to solve problems, burnish its public image, recruit top talent, and generate ideas through social networks."

Something to stimulate my students? (They won't let me use the cattle prod) While it loads (it's huge) watch the video on the “Internet of things”


Google's Slideshow of Interesting Things

Posted by Soulskill on Tuesday October 19, @05:08AM

"Google's Creative Labs came out with a slideshow of interesting things on the web. In the slideshow you will find 'a lot of interesting HTML5 apps, iPhone apps, visualization tools, 3D projections, art projects, creative YouTube videos, crowdsourcing services and many other interesting things.' It's basically a collection of fascinating little projects people have made and then distributed to the internet at large. Guaranteed to ruin your productivity for today. You can view it with Google Docs."

The online Math system we use comes with ear buds so students can listen to the videos wothout disturbing everyone in the classroom. They ignore the videos but still find a use for the ear buds. I think they will like this article...


The Best Free Music Sites on the Web

(Related) I suppose it could be worse...


Top 10 YouTube Dance Lessons To Learn Cool Dance Moves

Now that's an interesting thought!


What If We Ran Universities Like Wikipedia?

Posted by Soulskill on Monday October 18, @06:56PM

"Do university bureaucracies still make sense in the era of networks? At the recent Educause conference, David J. Staley laid out the findings of a focus group he conducted asking educators what a college would look like if it operated like Wikipedia. The 'Wiki-ized University' wouldn't have formal admissions, says Staley; people could enter and exit as they wished and the university would consist of voluntary and self-organizing associations of teachers and students 'not unlike the original idea for the university, in the Middle Ages.' In addition, the curriculum of the 'Wiki-ized University' would be intellectually fluid, and instead of tenure, professors' longevity 'would be determined by the community.' [Yes, my students can “vote me off the island.” Bob] Staley predicts that a new form of academic organization is emerging that will be driven by volunteerism. 'We do see some idea today of how "volunteer teaching" might look: think of the faculty at a place like the University of Phoenix. Most teaching faculty have day jobs — and in fact are hired because they have day jobs — and teach at the university for a nominal stipend,' writes Staley. 'If something like the Phoenix model is what develops in a wiki-ized university setting, this would suggest that a new type of "professorate" will emerge, consisting of those who teach or publish or conduct research for their own personal or professional satisfaction or for some other nonmonetized benefit.'"

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