Friday, April 18, 2014

So after all that “negotiation” Russia got almost everything they wanted. That will teach them!
Ukraine crisis: Geneva talks produce agreement on defusing conflict
The US, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union have reached agreement on a series of immediate steps aimed at pulling eastern Ukraine back from the brink of war.
The deal, clinched after a dramatic extended meeting in Geneva, calls for the disarming of all illegal groups.
… In return, the protesters in eastern Ukraine would be offered amnesty for all but capital crimes and the government in Kiev would immediately start a process of public consultation aimed at devolving constitutional powers to the provinces.

(Clearly unrelated) “Hey Vladimir, look what I found in the storage shed!”
Is Ukraine about to go nuclear again?
… Two of Ukraine's leading political parties, "Fatherland" and "Strike," have jointly introduced a bill in Parliament that calls for the rejection of the country's 1994 accession to the 1968 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

We were hearing about this back in January. Why take so long to go public?
Michaels confirms breach of as many as 2.6M debit, credit cards
Michaels Stores said that about 2.6 million cards, or about 7% of all debit and credit cards used at its namesake stores, may have been affected in a security breach.
The nation’s largest arts and crafts chain said Thursday its subsidiary Aaron Brothers was also attacked, with about 400,000 cards potentially affected.
Irving, Texas-based Michaels said that it has contained [Interesting choice of words... Bob] the incident, which began last year.
… Michaels’ report comes as many shoppers worry about the safety of their personal data following a massive pre-Christmas security breach at Target that affected 40 million debit and credit cards.
The details come nearly three months after Michaels disclosed that it may have been a victim of a data breach and that it was working with law enforcement authorities, banks and payment processors.
… The breach at Michaels stores occurred between May 8, 2013, and Jan. 27. The company confirmed that between June 26, 2013, and Feb. 27, 54 Aaron Brothers stores were affected by this malware.

Think of this as a. “Boy, are we bad managers or what?” notice. So who gets the blame for this one? Even the Business Associate should want an agreement.
Berea College in Kentucky is notifying current and former patients of the Berea College Health Service of a self-discovered HIPAA violation that has not been associated with any harm to patients. In a notice posted on their website today, they explain:
Berea College Health Service (BCHS), a department of Berea College and medical care provider for the Berea College campus community, recently recognized during a review that it did not have a written agreement to protect patients’ medical privacy with a contractor who handled insurance billing for BCHS from January 2012 through October 2013. The provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) required BCHS to have such an agreement in place when the contractor began providing services in January 2012.
Although this contractor had access to medical records, including names, addresses, dates of births, insurance numbers, social security numbers, and diagnosis and treatment information, BCHS has no reason to believe that any patient information has been misused or disclosed inappropriately. We did not have a written agreement in place because BCHS failed to request it. The contractor has advised us that patient health information was used and disclosed only for BCHS billing and for no other purpose, and we have been assured that the contractor has returned to BCHS or destroyed any patient information that she might have accessed. Nevertheless, we are obligated to notify you of this issue.
Read the full notice here (pdf).

Well, duh!
Privacy Is a Business Opportunity
… While a digital economy requires businesses to rethink priorities and practices, this doesn’t have to be a burden. Instead, privacy protection should be a practice as fundamental to the business as customer service. Privacy is an essential element of being a good business partner. It may take time for this idea to sink in at the highest executive levels of some companies, but the conversation is advancing rapidly after a number of recent high-profile data breaches.

It Took Just Four Days to Hack the Samsung Galaxy S5's Fingerprint Scanner
It took German "researchers" at SRLabs just four days to created a fake fingerprint using wood glue that can bypass the scanner on the brand new Samsung Galaxy S5 which was released last Friday. The iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner was hacked by Chaos Computer Club in only 48 hours using a very similar method.

You need to consider threats as part of the Security Development Lifecycle.
Microsoft Updates Threat Modeling Tool
Microsoft has updated its free Threat Modeling tool with new features designed to offer organizations more flexibility and help them implement a secure development lifecycle.

Worth reading.
What Is Net Neutrality & Why Should I Care?
… A common criticism of those who advocate for Net Neutrality is that they’re asking for something that simply isn’t reasonable, fair or attainable. Let’s be clear. Asking for Net Neutrality isn’t asking for free-of-charge access to the Internet. Nor is it asking for higher, better quality of access for less money. In actuality, it is asking that all Internet traffic be treated equally. This would likely manifest itself in the form of legislation which would prevent telecommunications companies from splitting the Internet into a fast lane, and a slow lane.
It sounds innocuous. So, why would people be against it?

U.S. Views of Technology and the Future
The American public anticipates that the coming half-century will be a period of profound scientific change, as inventions that were once confined to the realm of science fiction come into common usage.
… Many Americans pair their long-term optimism with high expectations for the inventions of the next half century. Fully eight in ten (81%) expect that within the next 50 years people needing new organs will have them custom grown in a lab, and half (51%) expect that computers will be able to create art that is indistinguishable from that produced by humans.

Trivia for my Statistics students. (Due to Global Warming?)
"The number of twin births more than doubled from 1980 through 2009, rising from 68,339 to more than 137,000 births in each year from 2006 to 2009. In 1980, 1 in every 53 babies born in the United States was a twin, compared with 1 in every 30 births in 2009... If the rate of twin births had not changed from the 1980 level, approximately 865,000 fewer twins would have been born in the United States over the three decades."

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