Thursday, April 16, 2015

It's gonna keep on happening because their computers are not adequately protected. Nor are the backed up apparently.
AngelaJean Chiaramida reports:
A nasty computer virus that had some of the hallmarks of a “ransomware” attack hobbled the Salisbury Fire Department recently, destroying computer files and temporarily forcing staffers to resort to pen and paper.
The Salisbury Fire Department’s problem began about two weeks ago, when Souliotis’ desk computer started acting strangely when he went to use it that morning. He went through the normal procedure used by just about everyone when computers aren’t working right.
“We shut down the computer so we could reboot,” he said. “When we turned it back on, it just started to download a ton of stuff.”
The department called in its computer consultant, who went to work, Souliotis said, but nothing good resulted.
I lost every (computer) document I ever had,” he said. “It’s unbelievable. Who would ever think someone would do that.”
Read more on Newburyport News.

This was much cheaper than I had predicted. I wonder how much this represents per re-issued card? Was the rest covered by insurance?
Anne D’innocenzio and Marley Jay of AP report:
Target and MasterCard say they’ve agreed to settle lawsuits over the discounter’s pre-Christmas 2013 massive data breach.
Target said late Wednesday it has set aside up to $19 million for banks and credit unions issuing MasterCards that were caught in the data breach that compromised 40 million credit and debit card accounts between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, 2013.
MasterCard Inc. said the money will be available to banks and credit unions for operating costs and fraud-related losses on cards believed to have been affected. The settlement will go into effect if at least 90 percent of eligible issuers accept the offer by May 20.
Read more on ABC.

Something for all my students to watch, not just the Computer Security students.
From the National Film Board of Canada (NFB):
An eye-opening personalized look at how online data is being tracked and sold.
Starting April 14, the online interactive documentary series Do Not Track will show you just how much the web knows about you―and the results may astonish you.
Conceived and directed by acclaimed Canadian documentary filmmaker and web producer Brett Gaylor, the 7-part series Do Not Track is an eye-opening look at how online behaviour is being tracked, analyzed and sold―an issue affecting each of us, and billions of web users around the world.
Read more on NFB. The first two episodes are already available.

Would lawyers do this to each other? I'm shocked! (Would lawyers typically scan the data delivered in discovery?)
Bill Bowden reports:
A lawyer representing three Fort Smith police officers in a whistleblower case said Monday that someone tried to hack into his computer by giving him an external hard drive contaminated with malicious software.
Matthew Campbell of the Pinnacle Law Firm in North Little Rock has been representing three current and former Fort Smith police officers in the lawsuit since January 2014.
Campbell had requested emails from the Fort Smith Police Department, and Sebastian County Circuit Judge James O. Cox ordered on May 9, 2014, that they be provided to Campbell as part of discovery in the case.
Campbell said he became suspicious when Douglas Carson, the attorney representing Fort Smith and its Police Department, sent him the computer hard drive in June 2014 by Federal Express. Normally, Campbell said, the defendants had provided him with requested documents via email, the U.S. Postal Service or through a cloud-based Internet storage service.
Mueller told Campbell the hard drive contained four “Trojans,” one of which was a duplicate.

Nothing resolved yet, but at least they articulate some core principles. Perhaps some good will come from this?
Toward a Social Compact for Digital Privacy and Security
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Apr 15, 2015
Global Commission on Internet Governance -“The Global Commission on Internet Governance (GCIG) was established in January 2014 to articulate and advance a strategic vision for the future of Internet governance. In recent deliberations, the Commission discussed the potential for a damaging erosion of trust in the absence of a broad social agreement on norms for digital privacy and security. The Commission considers that, for the Internet to remain a global engine of social and economic progress that reflects the world’s cultural diversity, confidence must be restored in the Internet because trust is eroding. The Internet should be open, freely available to all, secure and safe. The Commission thus agrees that all stakeholders must collaborate together to adopt norms for responsible behaviour on the Internet. On the occasion of the April 2015 Global Conference on Cyberspace meeting in The Hague, the Commission calls on the global community to build a new social compact between citizens and their elected representatives, the judiciary, law enforcement and intelligence agencies, business, civil society and the Internet technical community, with the goal of restoring trust and enhancing confidence in the Internet.

One big measure for the student loan folks is completion rates. They seem reluctant to loan students money if they want to attend a school where higher percentages of student drop out. We try to give students every opportunity to succeed. Do we sometimes go too far?
Sophie Quinton writes:
At Georgia State University, algorithms alert advisers when a student falls behind in class. Course-planning tools tell students the classes and majors they’re likely to complete, based on the performance of other students like them. When students swipe their ID cards to attend a tutoring or financial-literacy session, the university can send attendance data to advisers and staff.
Colleges are analyzing all kinds of student data to figure out who needs extra support and when advisers and faculty should intervene. But as technology advances, and students’ offline and online lives become more intertwined, data analytics—particularly, predictive analytics—may raise more ethical questions.
Read more on The Atlantic.

Perspective. It may take 20 years for the full impact of a technology to be realized, and you never know for sure what the impact will be.
Until a few years ago, three-quarters of people in sub-Saharan Africa were cut off from the financial system. They had no relationship with a bank, making it difficult to send and receive money, or to get credit. But then a new, cheap device came along and quickly began improving the financial lives of millions of people. In a short span of time, mobile phones have radically altered personal finance in the region.
Twelve percent of all adults in sub-Saharan Africa use their phones for non-bank financial transactions, by far the highest rate of any region in the world, according to a report released Wednesday by the World Bank.
… Financial inclusion means having an account of some sort, either at a traditional institution like a bank or credit union or through a mobile money account. (Mobile money accounts are phone-based services, untethered to a financial institution, for paying bills and sending cash.) Either method allows people to pay bills more efficiently; to send and receive remittances; and to take the first step toward accessing credit to make larger purchases or start a business.

Perspective. It's not always easy to get the money.
Who Are The Scammers? Following The Money Stolen as Online Fraud

I have tried to explain why C-level salaries are so high. This is merely one reason.
A Spot in the C-Suite? Most Employees Say, 'No Thanks'
… A new survey by Saba, a talent management solutions provider, and HR research and advisory service found that only 11 percent of global employees want C-level positions. This is concerning for companies, whose current baby boomer executives are quickly approaching retirement age — and the effects of this "leadership gap" are already being felt. About one-third of human resource professionals surveyed said that their organization is struggling to find candidates for senior leadership roles, and nearly half said that leadership is the hardest skill to find in employees.

Once upon a time, billion dollar IPOs didn't sneak up on me.
Etsy Makes A Ticker Name For Itself; Valued At $1.8 Billion
Etsy, which has crafted an authentic brand out of its homespun ethos and given artisans of the maker movement a cookie-cutter path to distribution and, sometimes, sustainability or more, priced its IPO yesterday at $16 a share, adding up to a market valuation of $1.8 billion.

For my Data Management students who seem reluctant to create accounts on social media! Isn't that abnormal in today's world? (Perhaps I'm thinking of a younger crowd.)
Twitter Redesigns Homepage to Lure More Users
Twitter on Wednesday is giving its homepage a facelift to encourage visitors to try the service without logging in—possibly creating a new non-user audience that can still be served ads.

It's better than binge drinking...
Amazon Streams Orphan Black for Free
Assuming you have 10 hours to spare on Friday (April 17), you can watch every episode of Season 1 of Orphan Black thanks to Amazon. The online retailer is streaming the series for free 12:01 am to 11:59 pm (PDT) in order to promote Season 3, which is starting on BBC America this weekend.
Orphan Black is a rather strange mix of science fiction, drama, and comedy, which has built a cult following on both sides of the pond. It’s certainly worth watching for free, but you should probably read our short guide to binge-watching in order to prepare beforehand.

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