Wednesday, December 10, 2014

“Well, it's only been five years! These things take time.”
Unencrypted Data Lets Thieves ‘Charge Anywhere’
Charge Anywhere LLC, a mobile payments provider, today disclosed that malicious software planted on its networks may have jeopardized credit card data from transactions the company handled between November 2009 and September 2014...
In a statement released today, the South Plainfield, N.J. electronic payment provider said it launched investigation after receiving complaints about fraudulent charges on cards that had been legitimately used at certain merchants. The information stolen includes the customer name, card number, expiration date and verification code.
… “The investigation revealed that an unauthorized person initially gained access to the network and installed sophisticated malware that was then used to create the ability to capture segments of outbound network traffic,” the company explained. “Much [As in “many bits” or 90% of the traffic? What constitutes “Much” in a case like this? Bob] of the outbound traffic was encrypted. However, the format and method of connection for certain outbound messages enabled the unauthorized person to capture and ultimately then gain access to plain text payment card transaction authorization requests.”
… The incident is the latest reminder of what happens to businesses that handle credit card data and other sensitive information and yet fail to fully encrypt the data as it traverses their network. The company has provided a searchable list of merchants who may have been affected by the breach.

Gee, what happened to, “It's programmed in Korean!”
FBI Has Yet To Find North Korea Link In Sony Hack
Since the massive security breach at Sony Pictures has occurred, speculation has been that North Korea was behind it. Sony, with the help of cybersecurity firm Mandiant and the FBI, has been investigating the perpetrators behind the breach. However, a senior FBI official stated has stated that government agency has not confirmed that North Korea is behind the attack,

If you violate copyright, you can not be seen to succeed.
Pirate Bay Has Been Raided and Taken Down: Here’s What We Know
The popular file-sharing service Pirate Bay was taken down today following a raid in Sweden by police who seized servers and computers.
The Pirate Bay portal went down Tuesday morning after Swedish police raided a server room in Stockholm over alleged copyright violations. In addition to its file-sharing section, Pirate Bay’s forum was also down.
… Pirate Bay may not be the only target. According to TorrentFreak, other sites related to file sharing such as EZTV, Zoink, and Torrage went down today as well, though it’s not yet known if they were also raided.
Founded in 2003, Pirate Bay has been in the legal crosshairs for years, but has managed to stay afloat despite efforts by governments, anti-piracy groups and the music and film industries to close it down. Today’s raid comes after a number of recent events have occurred around the service, putting it in the spotlight once again.
… Despite the previous convictions, Pirate Bay has managed to forge ahead without its founders, catering to millions of daily users. Although today’s raid is not the first—Pirate Bay was also raided in 2006—in 2012 its operators bragged that they had moved their operations to the cloud to make the service virtually impervious to police raids. By hosting their operation from multiple cloud hosting providers located in a number of countries, a single police raid would not be able to disrupt their operation. Or so they thought.
It’s unclear how long authorities can keep Pirate Bay down this time before it pops up again.

Not sure why BSA conducted this poll. They usually devote their efforts to suing companies that use unlicensed software. Perhaps they see Big Data analytics as a way to find more victims?
Industry survey: Big Data important to most companies
A new survey of more than 1,500 senior executives in the U.S. and Europe makes clear how much businesses across the spectrum make use of data.
The poll released by BSA | The Software Alliance found that 67 percent of executives said that data analytics were important to their companies, and that data analysis is important to 60 percent of small companies.
For Washington and other global capitals, the results should make is clear how important it is to implement policies that don’t undermine companies using that data, said trade group head Victoria Espinel.
… At the top of the list of pro-innovation policies, she said, are laws that don’t force companies to keep data servers in one place or try to balkanize the Internet by imposing limitations. Those policies, which some countries have contemplated in response to concerns about U.S. surveillance in the wake of Edward Snowden’s leaks, could have a disastrous effect on companies, Espinel warned.
Instead, countries should make trade deals that allow data to flow back and forth across borders free, she said.
For more information, visit

There's an App for that! By why? I see an advantage if the cops can tap the driver's phone and automagically access driving records, but they can get that information now. Is this a case of “We can, therefore we must?”
Official: Iowans will use app to show license
Need to show your driver’s license? In Iowa, there will soon be an app for that.
A smartphone app that’s under development will allow users to show the digital license to law enforcement officers during traffic stops and at security checkpoints at Iowa airports, according to Paul Trombino, director of the state Department of Transportation. The free app will be available sometime in 2015.
“We are really moving forward on this,” he said to Gov. Terry Branstad during a state agency budget hearing Monday. “The way things are going, we may be the first in the nation.” [and I'll be one of the first to laugh at their failure. Bob]
Trombino said users will use a pin number for verification, The Des Moines Register reported ( ).
“Having this really allows people to protect their identity,” [Huh? Bob] he said, and suggested that the technology could be used for other state licenses.

A very encouraging App. Perhaps we can develop an App that will keep politicians from passing stupid laws! (No, I don't think so either...)
Facebook users may soon be notified before posting drunk pictures
… Yann LeCun, the man behind Facebook's Artificial Intelligence Research lab, said he envisions a day when artificial intelligence will give intoxicated users an option to turn back the posts before it is too late, reported the Washington Times.
He also said that the future artificial intelligence would be like an assistant that can say "Uh, this is being posted publicly. Are you sure you want your boss and your mother to see this?"
The technology would work by recognizing the difference between how users look like when they are sober and drunk.

For the student gaming club.
SimCity 2000 Is Free On Origin
SimCity 2000 is currently available for free on Origin. EA is giving away the classic city-building simulator as part of its On The House promotion. This is designed to get you using Origin in the hopes you’ll actually buy some games in the future. If you dislike such blatant marketing, you can instead buy SimCity 2000 on for $2.99 and preserve your integrity.

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