Saturday, November 24, 2012

Yet I still fall victim to “The Wife Effect” – “Yeah, yeah. Now take out the garbage...”
The Haley Effect?”
November 22, 2012 by admin
In response to my post yesterday about Governor Haley’s repeated mis-statements, Centennial Man writes:
Perhaps we have a new meme to complement the Streisand Effect. The Haley Effect is the repeated attempt by politicians to convince voters that they know something when they clearly do not…
There’s always room for a good meme. The Haley Effect works for me.

Would you put this into the “Worst Practices” category? Machiavelli certainly would. In The Prince he says, “Hence it is to be remarked that, in seizing a state, [or becoming CEO Bob] the usurper ought to examine closely into all those injuries which it is necessary for him to inflict, and to do them all at one stroke so as not to have to repeat them daily; and thus by not unsettling men he will be able to reassure them, and win them to himself by benefits. ”
Numbers from Nationwide Insurance breach dribble out
November 22, 2012 by admin
I wish companies would heed my advice and get the bad news out at all once instead of staying in the news cycle as each new revelation hits the media.
We are starting to get numbers on the hack of Nationwide Insurance and Allied Insurance that I reported here on November 17:
and we know that California and Vermont also have affected residents, although we don’t those numbers yet.
So this looks to be a nationwide breach (no pun intended) and it may be a while before we know how many people were affected, total.

“I hack, therefore I am?” Most likely the semi-public face of a state actor or maybe a way for criminal types to advertise?
Hacking For The Sake Of It: ‘Eboz’ Downed Google, Apple, 300 Other Pakistani Sites, And Many More Just To Show It Can?
Pakistan’s internet-using population were slammed today with a systematic take-down of local versions of some of the world’s biggest names in tech, and several hours after first going down,,,,, still do not appear to be working. In all, it appears that 279 other sites in Pakistan were hacked by a group that appears to be Turkish and calls itself Eboz. Little else is known about Eboz, but it appears that Eboz has been hacking into many other sites, with Pakistan merely today’s target.
Here’s what else we have found:
A search in the Zone-h archive of defaced websites, notes hundreds of sites that have been defaced by Eboz — in all, the number totals 313, with 85 single IP and 228 “mass defacements.”. Many are Turkish but the full list covers a number of countries and top-level domains. This list doesn’t appear to contain today’s Pakistani list, meaning that Eboz is now linked to some 600 take-downs.

I do love a good catch phrase...
The Fourth Amendment and Faulty Originalism
November 24, 2012 by Dissent points us to an essay by Joseph R. Stromberg on the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). Here’s how it begins:
“All arrests are at the peril of the party making them.”
—Alexander H. Stephens, August 27, 1863
These days the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution means next to nothing. Consider, for example, the choice offered a few years ago: surveillance under routine, easy “warrants” from the drive-through FISA Court or warrantless surveillance at the whim of George W. Bush and his allegedly boundless reserve of unitary-executive authority. A January 2006 Justice Department memo (“Legal Authorities Supporting the Activities of the National Security Agency . . .”) explained the executive’s claims in mind-numbing and unconvincing detail. But the memo at least suggested how far below any practical service to Americans’ liberty the Fourth Amendment has fallen, and did so by heaping up available (and rather bad) search-and-seizure precedents, many of which arose from the terminally futile war on drugs (pages 37–38). The result is something like “your Constitution on drugs”—with the searchers and seizers on steroids.
Read the full essay on FEE.

How do I stalk thee? Let me count the ways.
I stalk thee to the depth and breadth and height the Internet can reach
… Doxing is a term that describes the process of obtaining or deducing information about a person based on a limited set of initial information. Or in layman’s terms, doxing is the act of searching around on the Internet for someone’s personal details. Another way to view doxing is to see it as taking a piece of information (e.g., email address) and identifying someone based on that.
The term “doxing” derives from “document tracing” which means to gather documents on a particular person or company to learn more about them. In the age of the Internet, doxing is more like social engineering – gathering information on someone using publicly available sources.

If that doesn't work, I'm sure there are other things they could cut off...
"Pakistan's interior minister Friday said the government will suspend cell phone services in most parts of the country over the next two days to prevent attacks against Shia Muslims during a key religious commemoration. Militants often detonate bombs using cell phones and this is the first time the government has implemented such a wide-scale suspension. Saturday and Sunday are the most important days of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, especially important to Shias. Pakistani Shias Sunday observe Ashoura, commemorating the 7th century death of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson. Different parts of the Muslim world mark Ashoura on different days —neighbouring Afghanistan, for example, observes it on Saturday. 'The suspension of cell phone services will begin at 6 am Saturday and run through the next day,' Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad. He said 90 per cent of the bombs set off by militants in Pakistan have been detonated using cell phones. Some criticized the government for suspending services, saying it was a huge inconvenience."

“Even if you can't know, we'll treat you as if you did know.”
Anonymous file-sharing is booming. Whether it’s BitTorrent through a VPN, proxy, or other anonymizing services, people are increasingly looking to hide their identities online.
One application that gained interest earlier this year is RetroShare.
… The RetroShare network allows people to create a private and encrypted file-sharing network. Users add friends by exchanging PGP certificates with people they trust. All the communication is encrypted using OpenSSL and files that are downloaded from strangers always go through a trusted friend.
… This week a Hamburg court ruled against a RetroShare user who passed on an encrypted transfer that turned out to be a copyrighted music file. The user in question was not aware of the transfer, and merely passed on the data in a way similar to how TOR works.
The court, however, ruled that the user in question, who was identified by the copyright holder, is responsible for passing on the encrypted song.
… “The defendant is liable for the infringement of troublemakers,” the court explained in its ruling.
… RetroShare derives its security from the fact that all transfers go through “trusted friends” who users themselves add. In this case, the defendant added the anti-piracy monitoring company as a friend, which allowed him to be “caught.” [This suggests that the “monitoring company” send the file to themselves. How else would they know what was inside the encrypted file? Bob]
More troubling is the precedent the ruling sets for people who run open wireless networks, as the same issues arise there. According to this ruling Internet subscribers are responsible for the transfers that take place on their networks, making them liable for the copyright infringements of others.
Update: Contrary to the U.S. and elsewhere, a previous ruling in Germany already makes wireless network operators liable for copyright infringements of others.

“We want to welcome y'all back to school and assure you that there will be no repercusions. We even got you this nifty T-shirt with a big red 'A' to ensure your 'Acceptance.'”
"A district court judge for Bexar County has granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) to ensure that Andrea Hernandez, a San Antonio high school student from John Jay High School's Science and Engineering Academy, can continue her studies pending an upcoming trial. The Northside Independent School District (NISD) in Texas recently informed the sophomore student that she would be suspended for refusing to wear a 'Smart' Student ID card embedded with a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tracking chip."

Perhaps their politicians are more thoughtful than our politicians? But clearly, this is going to happen in some form eventually.
Uzbekistan To Create National DNA Database
November 23, 2012 by Dissent
RIA Novosti reports:
Uzbekistan will create a national DNA database to help track and fight crime, a spokesperson for the country’s Legislative Chamber told RIA Novosti Friday.
The parliament is expected to formulate a law “on genetic registration,” which will establish a legal basis for the collection and storage of citizens’ biological samples, by 2013.
The plan, approved by the government last week, is sponsored by Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Justice, the spokesperson said, and will “serve as a deterrent against those convicted of crime and will have preventive value” on crime in Uzbekistan.
While the spokesman said DNA registration, which will be overseen by interior officials, will be voluntary, it will be required of those convicted of or currently serving a sentence for grave crimes.
Actually, that’s less Orwellian than what we have here in the U.S., where many states have enacted legislation authorizing collection of DNA samples from those simply arrested for crimes (not just following conviction).

This will never catch on as a legal specialty. How would you find a lawyer by word of mouth?
"Computerworld asks: What will happen if big advertisers declare AdBlock Plus a clear and present danger to online business models? Hint: it will probably involve lawyers. From the article: 'Could browser ad blocking one day become so prevalent that it jeopardises potentially billions of dollars of online ad revenue, and the primary business models of many online and new media businesses? If so, it will inevitably face legal attack.'"

This could get real messy but I 'm not sure there will be any useful precedents.
"A pretrial hearing in the case against accused LulzSec hacker Jeremy Hammond this week ended with the 27-year-old Chicago man being told he could be sentenced to life in prison for compromising the computers of Stratfor. Judge Loretta Preska told Hammond in a Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday that he could be sentenced to serve anywhere from 360 months-to-life if convicted on all charges relating to last year's hack of Strategic Forecasting, or Stratfor, a global intelligence company whose servers were infiltrated by an offshoot of the hacktivist collective Anonymous. Hammond is not likely to take the stand until next year, but so far has been imprisoned for eight months without trial. Legal proceedings in the case might soon be called into question, however, after it's been revealed that Judge Preska's husband was a victim of the Stratfor hack."

Take this course, solve the “problem,” win a prize. Interesting idea.
"UNSW professor Richard Buckland, lecturer of the famous Computing 1 course on YouTube, is now running a large scale open online Computer Science course for the world. UNSW Computing 1 — PuzzleQuest and the Art of Programming starts off with microprocessors and works it way through C with interactive activities while taking students on an adventure of hacking, cracking and problem solving. It's based around a three month long PuzzleQuest with grand and suspiciously unspecified prizes as well as fame and glory for the intrepid. The next class starts December 3rd 2012."

Hmmm. I already have several students with Top Secret Codeword clearance...
"The Los Angeles Times has a story about the two-year University of Tulsa Cyber Corps Program. About '85% of the 260 graduates since 2003 have gone to the NSA, which students call "the fraternity," or the CIA, which they call "the sorority."' 'Other graduates have taken positions with the FBI, NASA and the Department of Homeland Security.' According to the University of Tulsa website, two programs — the National Science Foundation's Federal Cyber Service: Scholarship for Service and the Department of Defense's (DOD's) Information Assurance Scholarship Program — provide scholarships to Cyber Corps students."

I have no artistic ability so it amuses me to watch those who do.
… If you are looking for a tool that helps you create patterns in an easier way, then you need to look for something made specifically with user friendliness in mind.
You need an app that offers intuitive controls and lets you work with patterns and images that you already have. All of this is offered by a web service called SymmetryMill.
Works well in Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer.

The bits I find interesting...
… Another week, another round of MOOC-related news: This week, MassBay and Bunker Hill community colleges became the first community colleges to join edX, the Harvard-MIT-UT-UC Berkeley-MOOC platform. The two colleges will offer “MITx 6.00x Introduction to Computer Science and Programming” in a “blended” format — that is, with both virtual and face-to-face components. Students will pay the same for these classes as they would regular classes — yet another indication that this whole MOOC acronym doesn’t really work any more.
The City University of New York launched “Commons in a Box” this week, its open source platform to make it easier for groups to create and maintain online communities. Commons in a Box is built on WordPress and Buddy Press and is designed to be simple to install, as well as to make online communication and collaboration easier.

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