Monday, June 29, 2015

The FBI names no names, but others say they are talking about OPM. (TLP is Traffic Light Protocol. How cute)
Public Intelligence reports:
The following bulletin was released to private industry partners June 5, 2015. According to an article from Reuters, one of the remote access tools (RAT) described in the bulletin, called Sakula, is directly linked to the hack of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that was disclosed earlier this month. Other publications have directly linked the bulletin to the OPM hack, though have not made the bulletin available publicly.
FBI Cyber Division
  • 7 pages
  • June 5, 2015
Download FBI Alert A-000061-MW from Public Intelligence.

Reminds me of a friend that teachers were very concerned about. Everything he drew was in Purple and Black. They brought in a psychiatrist to ask him about it. Turned out the teacher had her students line up alphabetically to select their crayons and little Johnny Zebrowski had to use the colors no one else wanted.
Farai Chideya reports:
On Facebook, it’s the season where parents are posting pictures of K-12 graduations, including moppets in tiny mortarboards. But unlike a generation ago, today’s smallest graduates are amassing a big data trail. Just as medical and government files have been digitized — some to be anonymized and sold; all susceptible to breaches — student data has entered the realm of the valuable and the vulnerable. Parents are paying attention. A recent study by the company The Learning Curve found that while 71 percent of parents believe technology has improved their child’s education, 79 percent were concerned about the privacy and security of their child’s data, and 75 percent worried about advertiser access to that data.
Read more on The Intercept.
[From the article:
“What if potential employers can buy the data about you growing up and in school?” asks mathematician Cathy O’Neil, who’s finishing a book on big data and blogs at In some of the educational tracking systems, which literally log a child’s progress on software keystroke by keystroke, “We’re giving a persistence score as young as age 7 — that is, how easily do you give up or do you keep trying? Once you track this and attach this to [a child’s] name, the persistence score will be there somewhere.” O’Neil worries that just as credit scores are now being used in hiring decisions, predictive analytics based on educational metrics may be applied in unintended ways.
Such worries came to the fore last week when educational services giant Pearson announced that it was selling the company PowerSchool, which tracks student performance, to a private equity firm for $350 million.

“eWitness for the Prosecution?”
Mariella Moon reports:
When you wear Fitbit or any other fitness tracker and smartwatch, you not only monitor your physical activities, you also collect data about yourself — data that can apparently be used against you in investigations. In Lancaster, Pennsylvania cops responded to a 911 call by a woman who claimed she was raped by a home invader. The woman told the police she woke up around midnight with the stranger on top of her, and that she lost her tracker while struggling against her assailant. Unfortunately authorities found her Fitbit, and the device recorded her as active, awake and walking around all night. Combined with the evidence that was missing (tracks outside in the snow from boots she said the attacker was wearing, or any sign of them inside), an investigation led to her facing misdemeanor charges.
Read more on engadget.

Asking to be forgotten is news! (Digest Item #4)
BBC Disregards Right to be Forgotten
The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) has published a list of articles Google has been forced to remove from search results because of the “right to be forgotten” ruling enacted by the European Court of Justice in 2014.
The articles still won’t appear in search results, but they can be viewed openly on this BBC Blogs post, which will be updated every month. The right to be forgotten means anyone can ask Google to remove specific articles when people search for their name.

Is there a “Drone season?” If not, why not? (Digest Item #2)
Don’t Shoot Your Neighbors’ Drones
As we discovered last year, many Americans’ first instinct would be to shoot a drone out of the sky if it impinged on their airspace. However, if a recent legal case, as revealed by Ars Technica, is anything to go on, doing so may not be the best course of action.
Eric Joe was flying his drone above his parents’ orchard in Modesto, California, when neighbor Brett McBay blasted it out of the sky using his shotgun. McBay is alleged to have accused Joe of flying the drone over his property and “testing surveillance”. Joe took McBay to court to force him to pay for the damages to the drone.
The judge believed Joe’s version of events, which suggest the drone wasn’t actually flying over McBay’s property. Which means McBay allegedly shot down someone else’s property without any jurisdiction over the airspace it was occupying.
There’s an important lesson to be learned here. Because as much as the average American wants to right to privacy, shooting first and asking questions later is a ridiculous stance when talking about drones. Yes, the government is probably spying on you, but they’re unlikely to do so by flying a drone outside your window.

What could go wrong? Reading the definitions, re-posting a “selfie” could become a crime.
Anna M. Tinsley reports that after the courts threw out Texas’s first attempt at a revenge porn law:
Texas lawmakers worked on a replacement measure this year, the Relationship Privacy Act, to crack down on a growing number of revenge porn cases.
“This will help those who have been victimized by the horrific practice of posting a nude or sexually explicit photo on the Internet without their permission get justice against the cowardly perpetrators,” said state Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston, who wrote the measure.
Critics say the new law, which takes effect Sept. 1, isn’t the right law to have in Texas.
“We think it is too broad,” said Terri Burke, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas.
Read more on Star-Telegram.
Meanwhile, Arizona’s revenge porn law is tied up in the courts in a legal challenge by the ACLU there, as AP reports.

Perspective. Much more likely to cause problem that the Y2K hype.
With 61 Seconds in a Minute, Markets Brace for Trouble
… Since 1967, when clocks went atomic, human timekeeping has been independent of the earth’s rotation. The problem is, the planet is slowing down and clocks are not. So every few years, to get everything back in sync, scientists add a second. They’ve done it 25 times since 1972. The last time was 2012, but that was on a weekend. June 30 will be the first leap second during trading hours since markets went electronic.
It’s scheduled for 8 p.m. in New York, just when markets in Asia are opening, and exchanges around the world are taking no chances. U.S. stock markets are ending some after-hours trading early and others from Sydney to Tokyo are recalibrating their clocks ahead of time.
In one second
1.4 million Order messages sent to U.S. equity-trading venues
$4.6 million Amount of stocks traded every second all day around the world
$3.7 billion Amount of stocks changing hands at the bell in Korea, Japan and Australia

Lower cost but we're not likely to see lower prices.
Breakthrough study could lead to cheaper, faster internet
In a breakthrough that could lead to superfast, cheaper internet, researchers have increased the maximum power, and the distance, at which optical signals can be sent through optical fibres.
Electrical engineers have broken key barriers that limit the distance information can travel in fibre optic cables and still be accurately deciphered by a receiver. This advance has the potential to increase the data transmission rates for the fibre optic cables that serve as the backbone of the internet, cable, wireless and landline networks, researchers said.
… The new findings effectively eliminate the need for electronic regenerators placed periodically along the fibre link. These regenerators are effectively supercomputers and must be applied to each channel in the transmission.

It's a start...
Free Ebook Foundation to promote access preservation of knowledge literature culture
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jun 28, 2015
“Two projects that have been building towards a sustainable ecosystem for free ebooks have joined together in a new non-profit corporation. The Free Ebook Foundation envisions a world where ebooks will be funded, distributed and maintained for the benefit of all, by coordinating the efforts and resources of many. and GITenberg, the two projects to be supported by the Free Ebook Foundation, have shared the goals of making free ebooks more available while focusing on different problems. launched in 2012 with a focus on sustainable funding models for freely-licensed ebooks. For the last two years, it has worked to improve the access and distribution of these books by building a database of over 1200 Creative Commons licensed ebooks. has been incubated by Gluejar, Inc., a privately held company founded by Eric Hellman GITenberg began in 2013 when Seth Woodworth wanted to improve some ebooks from Project Gutenberg. He decided to load the ebooks onto GitHub, a version control and collaborative software development platform. There are now 43,000 public domain ebooks in GITenberg, open to use and improvement by anyone. Earlier this year, GITenberg received a prototype grant from the Knight Foundation, and has been operating with fiscal sponsorship of the Miami Foundation.”

I imagine Colorado would have ranked much higher if they counted my Blog!
America’s Knowledge Economy: A State-by-State Review
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jun 28, 2015
Council of State Governments – America’s Knowledge Economy: A State-by-State Review: “The United States’ long-term economic growth will be determined by its ability to encourage the research and development that fosters innovation. In this presentation, The Council of State Governments and Elsevier, a world-leading provider of information solutions, discuss their newly released report, America’s Knowledge Economy: A State-by-State Review, which analyzes the research strengths of the United States and demonstrates ways states can capitalize on their comparative advantages in research to foster innovation and economic growth.”
Main Takeaways:
• US produces a large amount of highly impactful research.
• Although the level of output and funding varies, quality research is distributed across the entire country.
• Through a variety of metrics, each state can identify its relative comparative research strengths.
• Research requires substantial focused investment, but the payoffs–driving innovation and future economic growth at the state level–are worth it.”

Find LinkedIn Profiles with Google Search
… LinkedIn has a useful search function to help you find potential candidates but do you know that Google search can also help to find people on LinkedIn. Google indexes every public profile of LinkedIn and if you perform people search on LinkedIn via Google, you get a few additional features:
  • While LinkedIn will only show 10 results per search query in one page, Google can return up to 100 results in one search results page.
  • You can perform date-limited searches in Google and this is helpful when you are only looking for profiles that have been created or updated in a particular date range.
  • You can automatically easily save your LinkedIn search results in a spreadsheet using the Google search Scraper for further analysis.

Free with registration.
EIU – Long-term macroeconomic forecasts
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jun 28, 2015
Long-term macroeconomic forecasts. Key trends to 2050. A special report from The Economist Intelligence Unit. June 2015.
“China is expected to overtake the United States in 2026 in nominal GDP in US dollar terms and maintain its position as the largest economy to 2050. India is expected to move up the rankings to third place, with real growth averaging close to 5% up to 2050. Indonesia and Mexico are expected to leap into the top ten world economies from 16th and 15th place in 2014 to fourth and ninth place respectively by 2050. We do not expect the representation of Western economies within the top-ten listing to become insignificant. The United States, Germany, the United Kingdom and France will all move down the rankings, but only Italy will lose its place within the top ten.”

For my Risk Management students.
The Board’s Responsibility for Crisis Governance
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jun 28, 2015
Trautman, Lawrence J., The Board’s Responsibility for Crisis Governance (June 26, 2015). Available for download at SSRN:
A clear strategy and implementation plan for reasonably foreseeable industry disasters — before they take place, helps to prevent mistakes made under conditions of severe stress. Low probability but survival-threatening disasters such as the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Massey Energy West Virginia coal mining disaster, or natural disasters such as hurricanes, fires, or the March 11, 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami, constitute any board’s worse nightmare. I have attempted to draw upon lessons from each of these disasters and explore how they may be applied more generally across all industries when crisis strikes. While effective risk management is perhaps the topic highest on every board’s agenda, it is imperative that thought be given to crisis management and what a board might expect to confront when a corporate disaster strikes. This paper proceeds as follows. First, a few thoughts about contemporary threats are offered. Second, is an examination of the board of director’s responsibility in crisis. Third, is a discussion of the necessity of commitment at the top of every enterprise if progress is to be made toward crisis preparation, mitigation, and response. Fourth, an examination of several major corporate disasters is presented: the Japanese earthquake and tsunami of 2011; Deepwater Horizon drilling rig debacle; Massey Energy coal mining disaster; and General Motors ignition switch crisis. Fifth, a framework for analysis is presented, followed by some thoughts about what to do when crisis hits. Sixth, I present a few thoughts about what to do in those situations where management is implicated, use of special committees of the board, and emergence of the role for special counsel. Workplace and data security issues are then discussed with emphasis on Toyota’s 2010 social media recall strategy, and the Target and Sony data breaches. Next, the following enterprise nightmare scenarios are presented: supply chain disruptions; Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations; internet failure, or data loss from virus or hacker attack; nationalization of assets; natural disasters; adverse political developments; pandemics such as the 2014-15 ebola scare; prolonged power disruption; strikes and labor actions; and war. Succession planning is the next topic having corporate crisis implications. And last, I conclude. Despite the best efforts of management to focus on industrial safety, nuclear energy and the extractive industries such as oil and gas or coal mining appear to be inherently dangerous over long periods of time such that fatal accidents are an unfortunate fact of life. We know from experience that human error or natural disasters will continue to place certain companies engaged in these endeavors in crisis. Therefore, every board should consider what actions they will take when the foreseeable crisis takes place.”

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