Wednesday, January 16, 2013

If so, they must have failed to implement many “Best Practices” that could have detected and prevented this. Note that they did not need an Internet connection to be infected.
"Two U.S. power companies have reported infections of malware during the past three months, with the bad software apparently brought in through tainted USB drives, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT). The publication (PDF) did not name the malware discovered. The tainted USB drive came in contact with a 'handful of machines' at the power generation facility and investigators found sophisticated malware on two engineering workstations critical to the operation of the control environment, ICS-CERT said."

It might be interesting to have a random group of law school students look back at their high school websites to see how they are handling student privacy.
Here’s something you likely won’t see here in the U.S. – partly because we don’t have a Privacy Commissioner and partly because the U.S. Department of Education remains disturbingly placid about all the breaches in the education sector – the government of Hong Kong issued the following statement:
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data has discovered that sensitive personal information of students has inadvertently been exposed online, potentially affecting as many as 8,505 students from 11 local schools, including tertiary institutions.
It’s not clear to me what enforcement action the government might take should educational institutions not improve their data protection and security, but I suspect that they will be more likely to take action there than we are here.

The next big thing in Mobile Apps?
The Future of Commerce Starts With a Tap
Over 100 million phones will ship with NFC this year. Google has built NFC into the Android operating system. Nintendo uses NFC in the new Wii U gaming console. At the recent Consumer Electronics Show, Samsung, LG, and Sony unveiled NFC-enabled smartphones, televisions, and appliances.
So what's NFC? It technically stands for Near Field Communications, and it enables mobile devices like smartphones to communicate with nearby devices and objects with a simple tap. It works like this: A chip in your phone sends out a radio wave that is picked up by another NFC device or any object with an RFID tag. The tag is small, about the size of a dime, and can be embedded in or attached with a sticker to a product or advertisement. When tapped by a device, the tag tells the device what to do, such as open a web site, transmit a file, download an app, or make a payment.

Now you too can hold several jobs (why stop at one?) and still have time to party! (Sort of an outsourcing sub-lease?)
"The security blog of Verizon has the story of an investigation into unauthorized VPN access from China which led to unexpected findings. Investigators found invoices from a Chinese contractor who had actually done the work of the employee, who spent the day watching cat videos and visiting eBay and Facebook. The man had Fedexed his RSA token to the contractor and paid only about 1/5th of his income for the contracting service. Because he provided clean code on time, he was noted in his performance reviews to be the best programmer in the building. According to the article, the man had similar scams running with other companies."

Okay, this guy has suffered enough. Now let's send everyone to my crabby backyard neighbor! [It's wrong, but it's on the Internet so it must be true!]
"A mysterious GPS-tracking glitch has brought a parade of lost-phone seekers — and police officers — to the front door of a single beleaguered homeowner in Las Vegas. Each of the unexpected visitors – Sprint customers all — has arrived absolutely convinced that the man has their phone. Not so, police confirm. The same thing happened in New Orleans in 2011 and Sprint got sued. Says the Las Vegas man: 'It's very difficult to say, 'I don't have your phone,' in any other way other than, 'I don't have your phone.''"

“Leader of opposition party killed in tragic accident. A spy drone fell on him” Why not just share our take (allow them limited tasking) just to ensure they play by the rules?
Pentagon Swears It Won’t Sell Killer Drones to Afghanistan, Just Spy Ones
Yesterday, when Afghan president Hamid Karzai boasted that the U.S. was about to give him his own fleet of drones, you may have been tempted to see the mercurial leader with his hand on the joystick of an armed Predator. Please disabuse yourself of that notion. The Pentagon confirmed on Tuesday that it’s in talks to sell the Afghans drones. But the drones will be tiny, low-flying, and unarmed.

(Related) See “tragic accident,” above...
Senator Asks CIA Nominee When Drones Can Kill Americans
… Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) sent a letter on Monday to John Brennan, the White House’s counterterrorism adviser and nominee to be head of the CIA, asking for an outline of the legal and practical rules that underpin the U.S. government’s targeted killing of American citizens suspected of working with al-Qaida. The Obama administration has repeatedly resisted disclosing any such information about its so-called “disposition matrix” targeting terrorists, especially where it concerns possible American targets. Brennan reportedly oversees that matrix from his White House perch, and would be responsible for its execution at CIA director.

Interesting ruling!
"Reuters reports that a Manhattan District Judge has ruled that AFP and the Washington Post infringed a photographer's copyright by re-using photos he posted on his Twitter account. The judge rejected AFP's claim that a Twitter post was equivalent to making the images available for anyone to use (drawing a distinction between allowing users to re-tweet within the social network and the commercial use of content). The judge also ruled against the photographer's request that he be compensated for each person that viewed the photos, ruling instead that damages would be granted once per infringing image only. This last point might have interesting implications in file-sharing cases — can it set a precedent against massive judgments against peer-to-peer file-sharers?" [I'm betting no Bob]

Hooray! Right?
How California’s Online Education Pilot Will End College As We Know It
Today, the largest university system in the world, the California State University system, announced a pilot for $150 lower-division online courses at one of its campuses — a move that spells the end of higher education as we know it.
[Note: at the end of this article, I offer a timeline for how this all comes crumbling down]

(Related) Is it already too late?
Non-Profit Innovation: How Minerva Plans To Make Its Affordable, Next-Gen University A Reality
The Minerva Project burst onto the scene last year with an ambitious goal: To create the next elite American university, online, and, in so doing, help rethink the role of higher education in the Digital Era. Not only that, but the startup wants to establish rigorous, Ivy League-caliber standards, admitting only the best and the brightest, with a faculty to match, while offering tuition that’s “substantially less than half” the price of today’s elite universities, according to founder Ben Nelson.

I have several tons of old negatives. Perhaps there is a faster way to do this?
Odds are many people out there have old developed film from the old days of 35 mm photography lying around. If you ever wished that you could take those old photos from physical film and transfer them to digital, you will want to check out the Lomography Smartphone Film Scanner. The scanner works with a smartphone and an app that allows you to make digital versions with ease.

No comments: