Friday, July 27, 2012

What was the price of “adequate security?” Is this a day's revenue? Perhaps a month's profit?
Global Payments Takes Charge of $84 Million for Data Breach
July 26, 2012 by admin
Andrew R. Johnson of Dow Jones Newswires reports:
Global Payments Inc. (GPN) said Thursday a security breach that exposed potentially millions of consumers’ payment cards to fraudsters will cost it $84.4 million.
The Atlanta-based company, which processes card transactions for banks and merchants, recorded a pre-tax charge for the amount, equal to 68 cents of diluted per-share earnings, in the fiscal fourth quarter. The amount reflects expected charges from payment networks such as Visa Inc. (V) and MasterCard Inc. (MA) and expenses related to its investigation and remediation of the matter.
Read more on NASDAQ.

UK: Man claims hard drive bought at car boot sale contained personal data from West Cheshire College
July 26, 2012 by admin
Carmella de Lucia reports:
A computer hard drive allegedly loaded with more than 50,000 personal details of students and tutors from West Cheshire College was sold at a hospital car boot sale.
The discovery was made by a shocked Pioneer reader who bought the second-hand computer tower and hard drive for £5 from a sale at the Countess of Chester Hospital on May 13.
Read more on Ellesmere Port Pioneer.
There seems to be a controversy over what was on the drive. According to the individual who found it, it contained “names, dates of birth, emails, course details, exam results, work timetables and even photographs of students.” But the college disputes the extent of the breach:
However, West Cheshire College have denied there was any sensitive information on the hard drive, and said in a statement: “We conducted an investigation as to the contents of the hard disk and test dates including names and dates of births of less than 60 students were found on the disk with no further relevant information.
The person who acquired the drive made a backup copy of it and is turning it over to the ICO for investigation. If the college turns out to be misrepresenting the scope of the breach, that shouldn’t sit well with the ICO.

No doubt the thought police will need to have a talk with the judge. (and another illustration that Churchill was right about the divisions of a common language)
U.K. judge nixes Twitter bomb 'joke' conviction
In January 2010, Paul Chambers sent a single, frustrated tweet to approximately 600 followers after Robin Hood Airport in South Yorkshire, England, was closed due to heavy snow.
The tweet in question read:
Crap! Robin Hood Airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your shit together, otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!!
… According to the Guardian, the lord chief justice, Lord Judge, said:
We have concluded that, on an objective assessment, the decision of the crown court that this 'tweet' constituted or included a message of a menacing character was not open to it. On this basis, the appeal against conviction must be allowed.

Ethical Hackers: Security theater... That's all I'm saying.
"A key component of the FAA's emerging 'Next Gen' air traffic control system is fundamentally insecure and ripe for manipulation and attack, security researcher Andrei Costin said in a presentation Wednesday at Black Hat 2012. Costin outlined a series of issues related to the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) system, a replacement to the decades-old ground radar system used to guide airplanes through the sky and on the ground at airports. Among the threats to ADS-B: The system lacks a capability for message authentication. 'Any attacker can pretend to be an aircraft' by injecting a message into the system, Costin said. There's also no mechanism in ADS-B for encrypting messages. One example problem related to the lack of encryption: Costin showed a screen capture showing the location of Air Force One--or that someone had spoofed the system."

For my Data Analysis and Data Mining students. Also, some implications for the Privacy Foundation?
July 26, 2012
Pew - The Future of Big Data
Big Data: "Experts say new forms of information analysis will help people be more nimble and adaptive, but worry over humans’ capacity to understand and use these new tools well. Tech experts believe the vast quantities of data that humans and machines will be creating by the year 2020 could enhance productivity, improve organizational transparency, and expand the frontier of the “knowable future.” But they worry about “humanity’s dashboard” being in government and corporate hands and they are anxious about people’s ability to analyze it wisely." Janna Quitney Anderson, Elon University
Lee Rainie, Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project July 20, 2012

How far can they push the “decadent west” before they cross the line? I don't find the line as clear as it once was.
Hot War’ Erupting With Iran, Top Terror-Watchers Warn
… The signs of escalating tension with Iran are everywhere: the sizable American armada building off of Iran’s shores; the American accusation that Iran tried to kill the Saudi ambassador to the U.S.; the deaths of Iranian nuclear scientists, widely blamed on the Israelis; and, of course, last week’s bombing in Bulgaria, which U.S. and Israeli officials have pinned on Hezbollah, the Shi’ite militant group backed by Iran.
“This is a hot war that has gotten hotter,” Michael Leiter, Olsen’s predecessor at the NCTC, told the Aspen Security Forum. “The Iranians have considered this a shooting war for some time.”

So, what will they ask and what will they offer?
"Google, Facebook, eBay and Amazon have apparently set up the Internet Association to lobby the US government on issues relating to online business. From the article: 'The Internet Association, which will open its doors in September, will act as a unified voice for major Internet companies, said President Michael Beckerman, a former adviser to the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives' Energy and Commerce Committee.'"

One possible future. But, is the pricing right? And, is it good to be a guinea pig?
Google Attacks Cable and Telcos With New TV Service
After months of mystery, Kansas City residents learned today that the first high-speed citywide network built by Google will bring them not just super-fast internet but full-featured cable-style TV service. Google said in a live announcement Thursday morning that the neighborhoods that rally the most interest will be the first to get hooked up to Google’s fiber-optic lines, which the company says will offer 1 gigabit-per-second downloads and uploads — far faster (Google says 100 times) than the typical broadband connections now in most U.S. homes.

For my Math students
Google is always tweaking its bits and parts. In the latest little change, Google has added a very useful scientific calculator to its search engine. Google Search has always had a calculator. It is just that you had to type in the figures and Google would deduce the results for you and display it in bold above the search results. Now, Google has enhanced that same functionality and added a full-fledged scientific calculator to the search page.

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