Wednesday, August 13, 2014

If not CyberWar, at least CyberBlackOps?
China Launching 'Severe' Cyber Attacks on Taiwan: Minister
Taiwan's science and technology minister said Wednesday that China is launching frequent cyber attacks on the island despite warming ties between the two former rivals.
"The Chinese cyberwar units have been engaging with Taiwan units almost every day, with some severe attacks every few months," Simon Chang said during an interview with the UFO radio network.
"Many of the attacks were aimed at stealing relevant information for use in negotiations with Taiwan," he said.
… In June 2010 Taiwan and China signed the landmark Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, a pact widely characterized as the boldest step yet towards reconciliation.
Yet Beijing has still refused to renounce its use of force against the island, which it regards as part of its territory even though Taiwan has ruled itself for more than six decades since their split in 1949 at the end of a civil war.

Never rely on any one device or procedure to provide adequate security.
Wang Wei writes:
The ultra secure NSA-Proof Blackphone titled as, “world’s first Smartphone which places privacy and control directly in the hands of its users,” has been rooted within 5 minutes at the BlackHat security conference in Las Vegas this weekend.
Read more on The Hacker News.

Probably not wise to rely on your bank's security.
Tenn. Firm Sues Bank Over $327K Cyberheist
In May, 2012, Kingsport, Tenn.-based Tennessee Electric Company Inc. (now TEC Industrial) was the target of a corporate account takeover that saw cyber thieves use a network of more than four dozen money mules to siphon $327,804 out of the company’s accounts at TriSummit Bank.
TriSummit was able to claw back roughly $135,000 of those unauthorized transfers, leaving Tennessee Electric with a loss of $192,656. Earlier this month, the company sued TriSummit in state court, alleging negligence, breach of contract, gross negligence and fraudulent concealment.
Both companies declined to comment for this story. But as TriSummit’s complaint (PDF) notes (albeit by misspelling my name), I called Tennessee Electric on May 10, 2012 to alert the company about a possible cyberheist targeting its accounts. I’d contacted the company after speaking with a money mule who’d acknowledged receiving thousands of dollars pulled from the firm’s accounts at TriSummit.
… Consumers who bank online are protected by Regulation E, which dramatically limits the liability for consumers who lose money from unauthorized account activity online (provided the victim notifies their financial institution of the fraudulent activity within 60 days of receiving a disputed account statement).
Businesses, however, do not enjoy such protections. States across the country have adopted the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), which holds that a payment order received by the [bank] is “effective as the order of the customer, whether or not authorized, if the security procedure is a commercially reasonable method of providing security against unauthorized payment orders, and the bank proves that it accepted the payment order in good faith and in compliance with the security procedure and any written agreement or instruction of the customer restricting acceptance of payment orders issued in the name of the customer.”

Everyone seems to be noticing the Internet of Things.
Businesses Warming to IoT Sensors: PwC
Twenty percent of the businesses polled by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for its 6th Annual Digital IQ study said that they were investing in sensors this year, a 3 percent gain from last year.
… Gartner forecasts that by 2020, data from 26 billion devices will pour into the Internet of Things. And those devices will have a big effect on IT departments.

(Related) Good definition, interesting infographic.
The Internet of Things for Cars: What Will it Mean for Insurance?
Forbes has a graceful definition of the Internet of Things: “Simply put this is the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other). This includes everything from cell phones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else you can think of. This also applies to components of machines, for example a jet engine of an airplane or the drill of an oil rig. As I mentioned, if it has an on and off switch then chances are it can be a part of the IoT.”

Useful guidelines for anyone.
U.S. Digital Services Playbook
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Aug 12, 2014
“The American people expect to interact with government through digital channels such as websites, email, and mobile applications. By building better digital services that meet the needs of the people that use our services, we can make the delivery of our policy and programs more effective. Today, too many of our digital services projects do not work well, are delivered late, or are over budget. To increase the success rate of these projects, the U.S. Government needs a new approach. We created a playbook of 13 key “plays” drawn from successful best practices from the private sector and government that, if followed together, will help government build effective digital services.”

It has been a while since I commented on satellite resolution. I still think military satellites are an order of magnitude better.
Elyse Wanshel reports:
Google will soon have an unprecedented ability to spy on you from space. Theoretically, at least. How?
Two months ago, after much lobbying by the biggest satellite company in North America, DigitalGlobe, the US government relaxed restrictions to allow for commercially available satellite imagery up to 25 cm resolution—twice as detailed as the previous limit of 50 cm.
Now, the first commercial satellite set to capture these high-res images, DigitalGlobe’s Worldview-3, will launch this Wednesday. Six months after that, private businesses willing to fork over the money will be able to get their hands on hyper-detailed photos and videos of the globe.
Read more on Motherboard.

A security/surveillance App for my students?
Learn More About Your Date Before It’s Too Late
When you’re dating online, do you really know anything about your date before you meet them? You need to know your date before it’s too late.
Do you know what tools you can use to vet your date in advance? Well, here’s a couple you can try – and the one for Facebook is especially useful.
Why Does This Exist?
The creators of these apps were incensed by rape culture and the silence that surrounds it. After reading studies such as Lisak and Miller’s “Repeat Rape and Multiple Offending Among Undetected Rapists”, 2002, they noted that many rapists are repeat offenders, probably because they don’t even realise that their acts fit the profile. The creators also realised that through social media and a bit of coding we actually have the tools at hand to do something about it.
The creators began by building a predator alert tool for OkCupid, then expanded to creating tools for other social networks.

(Related) Perhaps my Ethical Hackers could come up with a free version?
How to Spy on Your Kid’s iPhone or Android Text Messages
Child safety website TeenSafe has launched a new version of their app, which not only lets you view your child’s Facebook and Instagram activity, but also lets you read the text messages they send and receive on their Android or iPhone.
Better still, you can even read text messages that have been DELETED on the phone!

An App for my wife, the “power shopper.”
– is a new service from that instantly compares Amazon product prices to prices around the web and ensures that you are getting the best deal. All you have to do is copy the URL of the product page you are viewing on Amazon and paste it into the PriceJump website search box. PriceJump will do all the hard work of scouring thousands of sites for you.

A bunch of Apps for my students to consider.
The Best Apps for your Android

Perhaps my students will develop a true solution? Because I don't agree with their premise. There is no technology that “solves” or even disrupts education just like there is no single solution for “business.” There is alot of very useful tech – just ask the students.
Why Tech Still Hasn't Solved Education's Problems
… Paul Franz taught in Hawaii before, in 2011, researching ed tech as a doctoral candidate at Stanford. He’s now a language arts teacher in California. On his Twitter feed Sunday, he gave some reasons why the ed tech buzz seems to have simply disappeared. They mirror my own sentiment, that education is a uniquely difficult challenge, both technically and socially, and that its difficulty confounds attempts to “disrupt” it.

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