Wednesday, August 07, 2013

The government wants me to pay for your computer security? Expect me to be less than amused if you screw it up. Computer security students: make sure your employers are aware of this!
White House to offer companies cybersecurity incentives
… Chaired by the Department of Homeland Security, the program incentives offered to companies include cybersecurity insurance, priority consideration for grants, and streamlined regulations. To get these incentives, the critical infrastructure companies must agree to adopt certain tech practices within the government's upcoming Cybersecurity Framework.

For my Computer Security students, plan ahead.
Coming Soon: The Cybercrime of Things
Recent work by security researchers indicates that one of the problems with having a "smart" home is that some day, it might be smart enough to attack you. The essence of the forthcoming "internet of things" is that everything we own, from our refrigerators and egg cartons to our cars and thermostats, will some day be outfitted with internet-connected sensors and control systems, allowing all our possessions, and ultimately all of our civic infrastructure, to communicate with each other and be controlled remotely.
… Here, then, is a handy guide to the basic vulnerabilities we'll be adding to our lives once we have connected all of our worldly goods to the internet of things:
Direct attacks that force objects to exceed their design parameters or operate in ways that are unpleasant or dangerous
Misdirection leading to user error and damage
A world of new possibilities for spying

Now you can get that free colonoscopy anywhere! (What is our “cost per terrorist detected?”)
NYT- TSA Expands Duties Beyond Airport Security
Ron Nixon: “With little fanfare, the agency best known for airport screenings has vastly expanded its reach to sporting events, music festivals, rodeos, highway weigh stations and train terminals. Not everyone is happy. T.S.A. and local law enforcement officials say the teams are a critical component of the nation’s counterterrorism efforts, but some members of Congress, auditors at the Department of Homeland Security and civil liberties groups are sounding alarms. The teams are also raising hackles among passengers who call them unnecessary and intrusive… T.S.A. officials respond that the random searches are “special needs” or “administrative searches” that are exempt from probable cause because they further the government’s need to prevent terrorist attacks.”

“We notice that you had the desert last night and did not increase your workout today. We are raising your health insurance premium 2%.”
Nancy Collamer reports:
As useful as health apps and fitness apps may be, a stunning new report from the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a consumer education and advocacy nonprofit, says they may also pose “considerable privacy risks” for users.
The group came to this conclusion after studying 43 of the most popular wellness apps (half for iPhones, half for Androids; 23 free and 20 paid). Many of the apps, the study noted, collect a hefty amount of personal information, including the user’s name, email address, age, gender, height, weight, lifestyle habits (diet, exercise, etc.) and prescription records.
Read more on Forbes.

I tried to explain to my Computer Forensics class that they could apply what they learned to more than just criminal investigations... (This case also confirms my “politicians is nutz” mantra...)
$3.1 Million e-Discovery Vendor Fee Was Reasonable in a $30 Million Case
Three Million, One Hundred Thousand Dollars was found to be a reasonable sum to pay an e-discovery vendor for processing and hosting 2.7 million documents for review in a professional malpractice case. Tampa Bay Water v. HDR Engineering, Inc., Case No. 8:08-CV-2446-T-27TBM. (M.D. Fl. November 2, 2012) (also found at 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157631 and 2012 WL 5387830).
… This $3.1 Million award represents a little more than ten percent of the total value of this case, $30 Million. I derive this case value based on the fact that the case actually did settle with HDR for that amount before trial. Then, in a very unusual move, even for Florida, the settlement was later repudiated by the politicians running the water utility, a quasi-governmental authority.

Google gooder!
Google – In-depth articles in search results
Posted by Pandu Nayak, Member of Google Technical Staff: “Users often turn to Google to answer a quick question, but research suggests that up to 10% of users’ daily information needs involve learning about a broad topic. That’s why today we’re introducing new search results to help users find in-depth articles. These results are ranked algorithmically based on many signals that look for high-quality, in-depth content. You can help our algorithms understand your pages better by following these recommendations:
Following these best practices along with our webmaster guidelines helps our systems to better understand your website’s content, and improves the chances of it appearing in this new set of search results. The in-depth articles feature is rolling out now on in English. For more information, check out our help center article, and feel free to post in the comments in our forums.”

YouTube – world’s second largest search engine
Francis Rey Balolong:”All the milestones YouTube achieved in less than a decade has made it the world’s second largest search engine, and a key platform for online video marketing and advertising. The online video sharing service, developed by a trio of former PayPal employees in February 2005, now allows users to upload, watch, and share videos to each other and to other websites, such as Facebook… It processes more than 3 billion searches each month.”

Is this going to help my students or just become a major legal kerfuffle?
Boundless textbooks get paid study guides, iOS apps
Free-textbook service Boundless is delving into paid services this week, all designed to more fiercely compete with textbooks from major publishers.
On Tuesday the Boston-based company rolled out what it considers the second phase of its service: textbooks that can very nearly mirror the titles you'd get from major publishers, but at $20 a piece.
These titles are effectively the same thing the company's offered since last year, but they're specifically reordered to match up with mainstream textbooks. Users can search for the title of the major publisher's book they've been assigned to buy, and get a version from Boundless instead.
… The backdrop to all this is a lawsuit between Boundless and three major academic book publishers, who sued last March. Those companies, which include Pearson, Cengage, and MacMillan, claim that Boundless is violating copyright law by offering works that are "overwhelmingly similar" to their own textbooks. Boundless, on the other hand, has argued it's created the content.
… The new tools came out Tuesday, and the company is still offering its library of 21 "open textbooks" for free -- just without the study guide features.

No comments: