Tuesday, July 23, 2013

This has to be scary. You might expect more than a strongly worded rebuttal.
John Leyden reports:
Hacktivists loyal to Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad claim to have extracted 1.5TB of sensitive data from chat app Tango.
eHackingnews, which broke the story, reported that Tango was hit thanks to a vulnerable WordPress installation, based on screenshots of the hack supplied by the SEA.
Tango confirmed it had suffered an intrusion via updates to its official Twitter feed on Saturday.
Read more on The Register.
[From the article:
The Syrian Electronic Army [SEA] hacked the Tango app (video/text messages service) website and database. The databases content a of millions of the app users phone numbers and contacts and their emails More than 1,5 TB of the daily-backups of the servers network has been downloaded successfully.

I like it! This will work well in my Computer Security classes, and others...
Interesting visualization of world’s largest data breaches. This blog was one of the sources used to produce the visualization.

Target selection.
Defense Security Services: 2013 Targeting U.S. Technologies
“This report looks at the continuing rise in “attempts by foreign collectors to obtain illegal or unauthorized access to sensitive or classified information and technology resident in the U.S. cleared industrial base.” The report looks at collector affiliations, methods of operation and the top targeted technologies and includes review by regional trends.” [via Greta E. Marlatt]

Cybercrime costs U.S. economy up to $140 billion annually, report says
… “That’s our best guess,” [Honest. I like that Bob] said James Andrew Lewis, the director of the technology and public policy program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The center completed the study with the help from cybersecurity giant McAfee and came up with the new figures by relying on models, such as those used to estimate the economic effects of car crashes and ocean piracy, instead of surveys of companies.

I thought they only kept this data for 18 months (or have they held onto it since the case started in 1993?)
Missed this one last week… thanks to @PrivacyCamp for making me aware of it.
Dana Liebelson reports:
Thanks to disclosures made by Edward Snowden, Americans have learned that their email records are not necessarily safe from the National Security Agency—but a new ruling shows that they’re not safe from big oil companies, either.
Last month, a federal court granted Chevron access to nine years of email metadata—which includes names, time stamps, and detailed location data and login info, but not content—belonging to activists, lawyers, and journalists who criticized the company for drilling in Ecuador and leaving behind a trail of toxic sludge and leaky pipelines.
Read more on Mother Jones.
[From the article:
… Chevron alleges that it is the victim of a mass extortion conspiracy, which is why the company is asking Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, which owns Hotmail, to cough up the email data. When Lewis Kaplan, a federal judge in New York, granted the Microsoft subpoena last month, he ruled it didn't violate the First Amendment because Americans weren't among the people targeted.

Soon getting stopped for a traffic infraction will require, “Papers, Citizen!”
Jim Harper writes:
In June 2011, I noted here how a new cardless national ID system was forming up using state driver license data. It hasn’t gone very far. Passage of an immigration reform bill containing a national E-Verify requirement would slam down the gas pedal.
But a few days ago, Idaho became the third state in the union to sign up for the Department of Homeland Security’s RIDE (Records and Information from DMVs for E-Verify) program, which is administered by the ID-friendly American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators. Idaho joins Mississippi and Florida in volunteering state driver information to the DHS.
Read more on Cato.

First the RFID cards were to help with attendance (a task too difficult for teachers?) but now they had “safety and security benefits” which TV cameras (in place before the cards) will cover adequately? Do these people ever listen to their own words?
Texas School District Drops Embattled RFID Student IDs; Opts For Tons Of Cameras Instead
The Northside Independent School District (NISD) of Texas, best known for being sued by a student over its mandatory RFID card policy, is dropping the technology that originally landed it in the courtroom.
… Despite the court deciding in its favor, declaring the cards didn't violate the students' privacy or "right of religion," the district has decided to abandon the RFID tracking system. Apparently, the technology wasn't quite the attendance silver bullet administration thought it would be,
… The most disappointing aspect is that the district has decided to swap one form of surveillance for another.
Meanwhile, Gonzalez told me Northside plans to capture the safety and security benefits of RFID chips through other technological means. "We're very confident we can still maintain a safe and secure school because of the 200 cameras that are installed at John Jay High School and the 100 that are installed at Jones Middle School.

They have a point.
An Inquiry into the Dynamics of Government Secrecy
An Inquiry into the Dynamics of Government Secrecy, Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, Vol. 48, No. 2, Summer 2013.
“This Article reviews selected aspects of secrecy policy in the Obama Administration to better comprehend the dynamics of official secrecy, particularly in the national security realm. An understanding emerges: secrecy policy is founded on a set of principles so broadly conceived that they do not provide unequivocal guidance to government officials who are responsible for deciding whether or not to classify particular topics. In the absence of such guidance, individual classification decisions are apt to be shaped by extraneous factors, including bureaucratic self-interest and public controversy. The lack of clear guidance has unwholesome implications for the scope and operation of the classification system, leading it to stray from its legitimate national security foundations. But an insight into the various drivers of classification policy also suggests new remedial approaches to curtail inappropriate secrecy.”

I agree, but with several “howevers”
LinkedIn has growing value for lawyers
Nicole L. Black’s commentary on LinkedIn provides perspective on how it is billed as the “professional” social network, which is why lawyers dipping their toes into social media for the first time often start with LinkedIn. She states that the problem is that as far as social networks go, LinkedIn hasn’t always been very, well … social. However, lately her take on LinkedIn has changed a bit – she still does not think it is the most vibrant or useful social network, but that its value proposition for lawyers has changed over the past year or so.

The Last Days of Big Law
… “Stable” is not the way anyone would describe a legal career today. In the past decade, twelve major firms with more than 1,000 partners between them have collapsed entirely. The surviving lawyers live in fear of suffering a similar fate, driving them to ever-more humiliating lengths to edge out rivals for business. “They were cold-calling,” says the lawyer whose firm once turned down no-name clients.

Google Serves 25 Percent of North American Internet Traffic
… That’s a far larger slice of than previously thought, and it means that with so many consumer devices connecting to Google each day, it’s bigger than Facebook, Netflix, and Instagram combined. It also explains why Google is building data centers as fast as it possibly can. Three years ago, the company’s services accounted for about 6 percent of the internet’s traffic.
“What’s really interesting is, over just the past year, how pervasive Google has become, not just in Google data centers, but throughout the North American internet,” says Craig Labovitz, founder of Deepfield, the internet monitoring company that crunched the data. His probes show that more than 62 percent of the smartphones, laptops, video streamers, and other devices that tap into the internet from throughout North America connect to Google at least once a day.

For my Excel students (I make them create a budget to plan for retirement) Simple. But a starting point.
What Families Need to Get By
“The income level necessary for families to secure an adequate but modest living standard is an important economic yardstick. While poverty thresholds, generally set at the national level, help to evaluate what it takes for families to live free of serious economic deprivation, the Economic Policy Institute’s (EPI) Family Budget Calculator—recently updated for 2013—offers a broader measure of economic welfare and provides an additional metric for academics and policy experts looking for comprehensive measures of economic security. The basic family budgets presented in this report, as well as those presented via the Family Budget Calculator itself, measure the income families need in order to attain a secure yet modest living standard where they live by estimating community-specific costs of housing, food, child care, transportation, health care, other necessities, and taxes.”

Dilbert proposes a new name for those not-so-innocent Phishermen...

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