Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Clearly they use words differently. But is this just a reporter with a cheap thesaurus, or actual quotes?


Capitol Hill credit card fraud wave 'adjudicated' -- Secret Service task force claims break in case

A special task force that combines Secret Service investigators with local law enforcement experts has made a major break in the case of a large wave of fraudulent activity involving credit card accounts belonging to people who live and work on Capitol Hill, CHS has learned.

According to David A. Iacovetti, Special Agent in Charge of the Electronic Crimes Task Force Seattle office, investigators made a break on the case late Friday night. "We addressed it so no further fraud could be conducted," Iacovetti said. [What to bet? Bob]

Iacovetti would not confirm that this wave involved a skimming device on a point of sale system somewhere on the Hill. Because this is an open and ongoing investigation, Iacovetti said it's too soon to release details of how the accounts were defrauded but that the situation has been "adjudicated." [Am I wrong to think 'adjudicated' has always meant 'resolved within the judicial system?' Bob] "Our guys got on it quick," Iacovetti said.

Iacovetti said the investigation continues and people should remain vigilant of suspicious activity on their accounts. "We're continuing," he said. "There was a point of interest that we were working on Friday. That threat was reduced." [“Reduced” does not suggest “resolved” does it? Bob]

Iacovetti tells CHS that agents will work to "reverse engineer" the circumstances and could be able to trace back all fraudulent activity for victims.

Cyber War Corporate risk analysis does not typically consider attacks by a foreign military – ignoring history again...


November 01, 2010

Google Confronts China's "Three Warfares"

Google Confronts China’s “Three Warfares”, by Timothy L. Thomas. Parameters, Summer 2010, Vol. 40, No. 2, U.S. Army War College.

  • "In early January 2010, Google announced that a computer attack originating from China had penetrated its corporate infrastructure (in mid-December) and stolen information from its computers, most likely source code. The hackers also accessed the Gmail accounts of some human-rights activists and infiltrated the networks of 33 companies. In April 2010, journalist John Markoff wrote: A person with direct knowledge of the investigation now says that the losses included one of Google’s crown jewels, a password system that controls access by millions of users worldwide to almost all of the company’s Web services, including e-mail and business applications. The program, code named Gaia for the Greek goddess of the earth, was attacked in a lightning raid taking less than two days last December, the person said." .. China’s recent incursions into US military computer networks and Google’s cyber systems are of concern when viewed in isolation. They reflect a more serious problem when viewed as part of a short-term goal of conducting “preemptive reconnaissance” that accommodates a longer-term goal of affecting US military planning or the US economy. Many factors indicate that this may be China’s goal."

[From the article:

An example of a civilian source that emphasizes economic and digital issues is the Chinese book Internet Wars. It also focused on the Internet confrontation in general. The book has 18 chapters. Several chapters draw the reader’s attention immediately. They are: “The Inevitable Internet War;” “Battles for Internet Control;” “Offensive and Defensive Internet Wars;” “The Internet Will Determine Victory in Future Wars;” “Dangerous Virtual Reality;” and “Financial Wars in the Internet World.”31 The latter should be of particular interest to US analysts.

[Also see the PowerPoint at:


[Also see the book:

Unrestricted Warfare


(Related) ...and is the reverse also true?


Kindle Allowing Chinese Unfettered Access

Posted by Soulskill on Tuesday November 02, @12:02AM

"Apparently, some Chinese Kindle owners have discovered that they are able to access banned sites such as Twitter and Facebook without a problem. The article speculates that Amazon may be operating a local equivalent to Amazon Whispernet with a Chinese 3G provider. Professor Lawrence Yeung Kwan, of the University of Hong Kong's electrical and electronic engineering department, told the paper that mainland internet patrols might have overlooked the gadget (perhaps because they consider it solely a tool to purchase books). How long before Kindle traffic is locked down?"

(Related) I hope not! (daylight savings time ends Sunday Nov. 7th in the US)


iPhone Alarm Bug Leads To Mass European Sleep-in

Posted by CmdrTaco on Monday November 01, @10:

"A flaw in the alarm clock in iPhone 4s gave Europeans a bit of a lie-in this morning. While the Apple handsets automatically adjusted to daylight savings time, a bug in the alarm system meant many were woken up an hour later than they should have been, after clocks rolled back over the weekend. Annoyingly, Australia was hit by a similar problem last month, but Apple failed to fix the problem or even warn users. American Apple fans, consider yourselves warned. The iOS4 bug can apparently be avoided by using one-off alarms, rather than pre-set regular wake-up calls."

This looks more like typical political ass-covering. They seem to be using these request to flag areas where they may have screwed up in order to have a timely 'rebuttal' ready when the evidence is released.


November 01, 2010

FOIA, Transparency and Additional Reviews Based on Origin of Requests

DHS Singles Out EFF’s FOIA Requests for Unprecedented Extra Layer of Review: "The Identity Project notes on its blog today that the Department of Homeland Security singled out EFF, along with other activist groups and media representatives such as the ACLU, EPIC, Human Rights Watch, AP, etc, for an extra layer of review on its FOIA requests. Records posted online by the DHS in response to one of the Identity Project’s FOIA requests show that the agency passed certain requests through extra levels of screening. According to a policy memo from DHS’s Chief FOIA Officer and Chief Privacy Officer, Mary Ellen Callahan, DHS components were required to report “significant FOIA activities” in weekly reports to the Privacy Office, which the Privacy Office then integrated into its weekly report to the White House Liason. Included among these designated "significant FOIA activities" were requests from any members of "an activist group, watchdog organization, special interest group, etc." and “requested documents [that] will garner media attention or [are] receiving media attention."

“The world according to ___________” Could be useful to know haw they other guys think(?) but I doubt it will be used that way... I wonder if they have a Forrest Gump option?


Blekko Launches a Search Engine With Bias

Posted by CmdrTaco on Monday November 01, @10:45AM

"Previous specialized search engines including Cuil, Hakia, Powerset, Clusty, and RedZ — each had a special trick, but they've all faded from memory, some after crashing in flames, some after making their founders rich. Now Rafe Needleman reports at Cnet that along comes Blekko, whose claim to fame is that you can tilt your search results in the direction you like by using a category of bias, like 'liberal' or 'conservative.' Categorization lists are applied by appending a 'slashtag.' The query, 'climate change /conservative' will give you politically slanted results, for example. 'Climate change /science' will restrict your results to hits from scientific Web sites. Blekko won't have a real, Web-wide impact unless its concept — that bias is good and more aggressive search filtering is needed — gets some traction, writes Needleman. But 'Blekko is a solid alternative to Google and Bing for anyone, and more importantly it's got great potential for researchers, librarians, journalists, or anyone who's willing to put some work into how their search engine functions in order to get better results.'"

Speaking of bias... Or perhaps lobbying?


Google Sues US Gov't For Only Considering Microsoft

Posted by Soulskill on Monday November 01, @04:20PM

"Late last week, Google sued the US government for putting out a Request For Quotation for the messaging needs of the Department of the Interior that specified only Microsoft solutions would be considered. Google apparently had spent plenty of time talking to DOI officials to understand their needs and make sure they had a solution ready to go — and were promised that there wasn't a deal already in place with Microsoft. And then the RFQ came out. Google protested, but the protest was dismissed, with the claim that Google was 'not an interested party.'"

Big Brother Barbie? “Train them young?” Have children (or parents) demanded surveillance enabled toys?


Call to boycott Barbie with built-in camera

November 1, 2010 by Dissent

Daniella Miletic reports:

MATTEL’S trademark vinyl doll is getting older but she has embraced technology – Barbie’s new built-in camera abilities are worrying some privacy advocates and psychologists.

The Barbie Video Girl doll has been criticised for enabling children to film themselves and others using a hidden camera in Barbie’s necklace.

The doll, which retails for about $110, also has a small colour LCD screen in her back and the capacity to record 30 minutes of video, which can be transferred to a computer.

Read more in The Age.



State Electronic Harassment or "Cyberstalking" Laws

November 2, 2010 11:54

State Electronic Harassment or "Cyberstalking" Laws

Source: National Conference of State Legislatures

Law enforcement agencies estimate that electronic communications are a factor in from 20 percent to 40 percent of all stalking cases. Forty-seven states now have laws that explicitly include electronic forms of communication within stalking or harassment laws. State laws that do not include specific references to electronic communication may still apply to those who threaten or harass others online, but specific language may make the laws easier to enforce.

I'm sure the RIAA will agree, as long as they have the majority of seats on the panel...


UK: Minister proposes privacy mediation service and good-privacy kitemark

November 1, 2010 by Dissent

A UK Government minister has proposed the creation of a mediation service for people who think their right to privacy has been violated on the internet. The mediation could result in the removal of material, Ed Vaizey said..

Vaizey is Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, and told a House of Commons debate that there should be a mediation service for content to match the Nominet-run service run to resolve domain name disputes.

“Nominet, the charity that is responsible for internet domain names, runs an extremely effective mediation service, so that people who are disputing the ownership of an internet domain name may be involved in a low-cost process to discuss how to resolve that dispute,” he said.

Read more on Out-Law.com.

“Gee Prof. Bob, I'm just studying!”


Oxford, Rice, Open University release eBooks on iTunes U

The Open University has released 100 free, interactive eBooks and promises an additional 200 titles by the end of the year. The school said its eBooks aren't just digital versions of existing books, but rather books that are designed specifically for the electronic format.

As an example, Martin Bean, vice chancellor of The Open University, said that if you are learning about Schubert, you can hear the music while you follow the score and read the text.

In June, The Open University became the first school to reach 20 million downloads of its material on iTunes U. It now has over 27 million downloads worldwide.

Oxford University joined the eBook release party as it pushed out Shakespeare's entire First Folio. Oxford's Shakespeare contribution is available free from iTunes U.

Oxford said it is also making six plays by contemporaries of Shakespeare available, including "The Duchess of Malfi" by John Webster.

Rice University released 18 of its most popular free textbooks available as part of its open education initiative, Connexions.

The books are available for download on iTunes U in the open ePub format. iTunes U, providing free educational material such as lab demonstrations and lectures, launched in 2007.

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