Saturday, February 14, 2015

Should be an interesting read for my Computer Security students.
The Target and Other Financial Data Breaches: Frequently Asked Questions
“In November and December of 2013, cybercriminals breached the data security of Target, one of the largest U.S. retail chains, stealing the personal and financial information of millions of customers. On December 19, 2013, Target confirmed that some 40 million credit and debit card account numbers had been stolen. On January 10, 2014, Target announced that personal information, including the names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of up to 70 million customers, was also stolen during the data breach. A report by the Senate Committee on Commerce in March 2014 concluded that Target missed opportunities to prevent the data breach.
Target. To date, Target has reported data breach costs of $248 million. Independent sources have made back-of-the-envelope estimates ranging from $240 million to $2.2 billion in fraudulent charges alone. This does not include additional potential costs to consumers concerned about their personal information or credit histories; potential fines or penalties to Target, financial institutions, or others; or any costs to Target related to a loss of consumer confidence. The breach was among the largest in U.S. history. Consumer concern over the scale of this data breach has fueled further congressional attention on the Target breach and data security and data breaches more broadly. In the wake of Target’s revelations, between February 3 and April 2, 2014, Congress held seven hearings by six different committees related to these topics. In addition to examining the events surrounding the Target breach, hearings have focused on preventing such data breaches, improving data security standards, protecting consumers’ personal data, and notifying consumers when their data have been compromised.”

Surely someone can articulate a reason that does not disclose “state secrets.” If Jewel could prove there was no warrant, the defense would be that the warrant was secret and she should not have been able to prove there was no warrant? Do we not teach logic an more?
Nadia Prupis writes:
A federal judge ruled in favor of the National Security Agency in a key surveillance case on Tuesday, dismissing a challenge which claimed the government’s spying operations were groundless and unconstitutional.
Filed in 2008 by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the lawsuit, Jewel v. NSA, aimed to end the agency’s unwarranted surveillance of U.S. citizens, which the consumer advocacy group said violated the 4th Amendment.
US District Judge Jeffrey White on Tuesday denied a partial summary judgment motion to the EFF and granted a cross-motion to the government, dismissing the case without a trial. In his order, White said the plaintiff, Carolyn Jewel, an AT&T customer, was unable to prove she was being targeted for surveillance—and that if she could, “any possible defenses would require impermissible disclosure of state secret information.”
Read more on Common Dreams.

Why can't I trust this article? Not sure where this is coming from, but it reads like an MPAA press release. They call it a Mega Conspiracy (a sound byte for the prosecutors) but it's not actually a company. Kim Dotcom has “not fled the country,” was a resident of New Zealand for some time before the Black Helicopters (literally) descended. Does a plea deal count as a “conviction?” Interesting that the “largest criminal copyright case in U.S. history” results in a “year and a day” sentence.
Megaupload programmer sentenced to year in prison
An Estonian computer programmer pleaded guilty on Friday to helping build Megaupload and conspiring to violate vast numbers of copyright licenses.
Andrus Nomm, 36, admitted to helping run the website as a forum for pirated movies, music and other content, in the process doing more than $400 million of damage to the companies that created them.
The company behind Megaupload, Mega Conspiracy, also obtained at least $175 million through the efforts, Nomm admitted.
This conviction is a significant step forward in the largest criminal copyright case in U.S. history,” Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said in a statement. “We intend to see to it that all those responsible are held accountable for illegally enriching themselves by stealing the creative work of U.S. artists and creators.”
From 2007 until his arrest in 2012, Nomm worked as a programmer with Mega Conspiracy and personally downloaded a number of files from Megaupload and similar websites.
At its peak, Megaupload accounted for 4 percent of all Internet traffic, with more than 50 million visitors per day.
Four of the people charged alongside Nomm — including Kim Dotcom, the founder of Megaupload — have fled the country. An extradition hearing for them is scheduled for June in Auckland, New Zealand.
Two other people charged in the case remain at large.
“We continue to pursue his co-conspirators until they face justice in the American legal system,” Andrew McCabe, the FBI’s assistant director of the case, said in a statement.

What the guys just north of Colorado think.
James Chilton reports:
A House committee on Thursday approved two Senate bills related to private information and companies’ duties in notifying clients of data breaches.
The House Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee unanimously approved Senate Files 35 and 36.
SF35 would establish the actions companies must take if they learn that clients’ personal information has been breached, while SF36 expands the definitions of personal identifying information.
Read more on Casper Star-Tribune.

For the Marketing Club.
Better Business Bureau Updates Advertising Standards to Reflect Digital Realities
… While the BBB has always enforced honesty in advertising, recent changes in the way advertisers reach their audiences (e.g., social media, texting, the Web, etc.) prompted the bureau to update its Code of Advertising, a set of advertising standards for businesses to follow.
These changes place added responsibility on advertisers to ensure that their ads are accurate. According to the code, "the primary responsibility for truthful and nondeceptive advertising rests with the advertiser."
Additionally, advertisers need to be able to back up anything they share. The code states that advertisers "should be prepared to substantiate any objective claims or offers made before publication or broadcast."
… To keep up with all of the new changes, read the full BBB Code of Advertising here.

For my Data Management students.
Knowledge is Power. But Knowledge About What?

To subscribe or to get the same thing for free (as long as you have a smartphone), that is the question.
Free or cheaper versions of Microsoft Office programs abound
Just as I was warming up to choosing a Microsoft Office 365 subscription over making a one-time software purchase, Microsoft started giving away a lot of subscription benefits for free. The company now offers Word, Excel and others at no cost on most mobile devices.
It's a smart move by Microsoft, but it makes me wonder whether you really need a subscription, which starts at $70 a year.
The subscription will appeal to people who use Office apps on traditional Windows or Mac computers or Windows tablets, such as the Surface Pro 3. Those who primarily use iOS and Android mobile devices can probably stick with free apps. What's right for you comes down to whether you need a PC or can get things done with just your smartphone or tablet. Here's what to consider.
… -- For PCs, a $70 one-user annual subscription lets you use all seven Office apps on multiple PCs and tablets by signing in and out. The $140 one-time purchase limits you to one device and four of the seven apps.

Tools for the toolkit?
The 5 Best OCR Tools for Extracting Text from Images

Free laughter every week – what an industry!
Hack Education Weekly News
… Indiana is looking to shorten its standardized testing, says Politico, “after learning it could take students up to 12 hours to complete the exams.”
… “Passwords Stored in Plain Text” and other horrors from library information security.
… Woot Math, which offers apps for teaching math, has raised $1 million in funding from the Foundry Group. [Based in Boulder Bob]
… The latest Horizon Report for Higher Education. On the horizon: BYOD, maker spaces, the flipped classroom, wearable technologies, adaptive learning, and the Internet of Things.

Perhaps this is the replacement for internships?
20 Micro Jobs to Help You Make Money in Your Free Time
… However, it can be difficult to sniff out the legit companies from the scams. Below are 20 legit opportunities to easily make some extra income in your free time.

An interesting read...
Women in Tech: What Future Tech Companies Need to Know
… Few reasonable people suggest that women under-perform in tech. This list from the Huffington Post is just the tip of a large, expanding iceberg of influential women in tech, including:
Another excellent example is Sandy Lerner, co-founder of Cisco Systems.
#1 There are more female users than male
… If women are the leading adopters, users, media consumers and buyers in so much of the tech industry, it surely makes sense to ensure their interests are properly represented within tech companies themselves.

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