Friday, September 05, 2014

“We're your government and we are hip to all that computer security jive!” (I feel a Forrest Gump quote coming on...)
Obamacare Website Hacked as U.S. Says Data Wasn’t Taken
The website that had an error-plagued debut last year was hacked in July, although no personal data appear to have been taken, according to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The attack, discovered Aug. 25 and disclosed yesterday, marks the first known intrusion into the federally run website.
… “Our review indicates that the server did not contain consumer personal information,” Aaron Albright, an agency spokesman, said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. “We have taken measures to further strengthen security.” [Translation: “We didn't implement all the security we should have... Bob]
… The July attack exploited a test server used to support the website and was never intended to be connected to the Internet, Albright said. The server was protected with only a default password.
“Shame on the U.S. government for allowing this to happen,” Jon Clay, a security manager with the network security company Trend Micro Inc., said in a phone interview. “We paid how many millions to put this thing up and a default password was used on a server?”

(Related) I doubt that China is the only country where criminal activity is growing.
China's Cybercrime Marketplace Boomed in 2013: Trend Micro
By all indications in the report, China's cyber crime market was bustling in 2013. Between March 2012 and December 2013, Trend Micro monitored nearly 500 chat groups communicating via the QQ instant messaging service.
By the end of 2013, the firm had obtained 1.4 million publicly available messages from the groups it was monitoring. According to the report, the number of messages in the groups doubled in the last 10 months of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012 - a sign of serious growth in cybercrime activity.
"Based on the ID of the senders, we also believe that the number of participants has also doubled in the same period," blogged Lion Gu, a senior threat researcher at Trend Micro.
"In sum, the Chinese underground market players are keeping pace with the developments in the security landscape," the report states. "They no longer just peddle malicious wares to attack PC users but also to attack the rapidly growing mobile device market. This should serve as another reminder to all [computers] or any Internet-connected device to always be security-aware to live a threat-free digital life."
The report can be read here.

Perspective. My Disaster Recovery class will have to consider a scenario where the Broncos are playing in the SuperDuperBowl and terrorist are starting to flood Denver cellphone towers at the same time. What might they be planning to do next?
City of Seattle asks people to stop streaming videos, posting photos because of football
… Jeff Reading, a communications director for Mayor Ed Murray, told that the city wants people to limit their “non-essential mobile conversation” so that cell networks can stay unclogged in case of emergencies.
… The fact that one too many Snapchat videos may delay emergency response tonight in Seattle is quite frankly a little ridiculous — and extremely concerning.
This also brings up an interesting dilemma — is it reasonable for City to ask its citizens to restrict social media use solely based on the fact that private networks can’t handle the amount of bandwidth being used during an event like tonight’s game?
… This isn’t the first time that city officials have asked people to ease off on their personal technology use. During the Seahawks Super Bowl parade in February, the Seattle Emergency Operations Center sent an alert that asked people to wean off cell phone use to keep 911 lines open. Then at the Torchlight Parade in July, Seattle Police asked citizens to text friends and family instead of calling.

Inevitable I suppose.
Rebecca Rose writes:
A gallery in Florida is planning to stage an exhibit featuring nude images stolen from women including Scarlett Johansson and Jennifer Lawrence.
Oh, you thought that horrible charity drive was the worst, most misguided decision to come out of the celeb photo leak? Nope, not by a long shot. An artist who goes by the name XVALA, which stands for “Someone who is clearly mad at himself for not getting cast on Work of Art” is planning to put the images on display at a gallery in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Read more on Jezebel.
Apart from incredibly poor taste, how is this not copyright infringement and/or appropriation of name or likeness? Are lawyers lining up to go after XVALA and the art gallery? I hope so.

Breaking Down the Freelance Economy
The American workforce is now 34% freelancer, according to a new study commissioned by the Freelancers Union and the recently-merged Elance-oDesk. Well, sort of: 14.3 million of the 53 million freelancers counted in the survey are “moonlighters” (people with full-time jobs doing independent work in their spare time). Another 5.5 million are temp workers.

“We've already tested the video equipment in Afghanistan, so let's be politically correct rather than run a comprehensive test.” It is a test, right?
Army now says it won’t put cameras on surveillance aircraft in Maryland
Military surveillance aircraft slated to be set aloft over suburban Baltimore this year were originally designed to carry video cameras capable of distinguishing between humans and wheeled vehicles from a distance of at least five kilometers, according to documents the Army has newly released to a privacy group.

Matt Cooper reports:
A judge improperly tried to rip the cloak of anonymity from a blogger who lambasted a software maker online, the Texas Supreme Court ruled.
The dispute stems from an online attack that a blogger calling himself “the Trooper” launched against Reynolds & Reynolds Co., a developer of automotive-dealership software.
Read more on Courthouse News.

My students might find this useful. (Windows, Mac, Linux)
– is your own personal wiki, where you can store everything from quick notes, to detailed checklists for work, to the outline for that next bestseller novel. With Scribbleton, you can easily create clickable links between words, phrases, and pages, allowing you to quickly locate cross-reference information. Your Scribbleton wiki files live on your local machine. Nothing is sent to any outside servers.

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