Friday, July 24, 2015

What information would you provide in order to enter a lottery? Name, address, email or phone. Probably not credit card or bank data. 23 billion won is about $20 million so roughly a buck a record.
South Korea has had some major breaches involving consumer information that I’ve reported on over the past years.
Here’s a report from Yonhap News that mentions a breach I seem to have missed, though:
In February, Homeplus Co., the South Korean unit of British retail giant Tesco PLC, was also indicted on charges of illegally selling the personal data of 24 million customers to insurance firms for a total of 23 billion won.
Most of the information was collected under the guise of conducting a lottery for free gifts.
Homeplus chief Do Sung-hwan, five other former and current company executives and employees as well as two officials from the insurance companies have also been indicted over their involvement in the case.
This may actually fall more under privacy breach than data breach, but I thought I would mention it here.

These are not my hackers. Perhaps they mean teenagers caught hacking into the school computer to change grades. Real hackers can afford better lawyers.
Ed Pilkington reports:
The underground world of computer hackers has been so thoroughly infiltrated in the US by the FBI and secret service that it is now riddled with paranoia and mistrust, with an estimated one in four hackers secretly informing on their peers, a Guardian investigation has established.
Cyber policing units have had such success in forcing online criminals to co-operate with their investigations through the threat of long prison sentences that they have managed to create an army of informants deep inside the hacking community.
Lulz Security shares qualities with the hacktivist group Anonymous that has launched attacks against companies including Visa and MasterCard as a protest against their decision to block donations to WikiLeaks. While Lulz Security is so recent a phenomenon that the FBI has yet to get a handle on it, Anonymous is already under pressure from the agency. There were raids on 40 addresses in the US and five in the UK in January, and a grand jury has been hearing evidence against the group in California at the start of a possible federal prosecution.
Read more on The Guardian.

As you might suppose, there are significant differences. We're not getting the word out people! Worth reading the paper.
White Paper – Comparing Expert and Non-Expert Security Practices
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jul 23, 2015
Google Online Security Blog: “Today, you can find more online security tips in a few seconds than you could use in a lifetime. While this collection of best practices is rich, it’s not always useful; it can be difficult to know which ones to prioritize, and why. Questions like ‘Why do people make some security choices (and not others)?’ and ‘How effectively does the security community communicate its best practices?’ are at the heart of a new paper called, “no one can hack my mind”: Comparing Expert and Non-Expert Security Practices that we’ll present this week at the Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security. This paper outlines the results of two surveys—one with 231 security experts, and another with 294 web-users who aren’t security experts—in which we asked both groups what they do to stay safe online. We wanted to compare and contrast responses from the two groups, and better understand differences and why they may exist.”

Mining Big Data for the “old people” gene? I assume they will find correlations in the geography, probable diet, mobility (healthy people migrate, the unhealthy do not) and who knows what else.
Google bio tech firm will mine data for longevity gene
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jul 23, 2015
Via Calico: ” AncestryDNA, an industry leader in consumer genetics, and Calico, a company focused on longevity research and therapeutics, today announced an effort to investigate human heredity of lifespan. Together, they will evaluate anonymized data from millions of public family trees and a growing database of over one million genetic samples. Financial terms have not been disclose AncestryDNA and Calico will work together to analyze and investigate the role of genetics and its influences in families experiencing unusual longevity using Ancestry’s proprietary databases, tools and algorithms. Calico will then focus its efforts to develop and commercialize any potential therapeutics that emerge from the analysis. “On the heels of our AncestryHealth launch and our one million genotyped customers milestone for AncestryDNA, we’re excited to announce this collaboration with Calico to research and develop life changing solutions,” said Ken Chahine, Executive Vice President and Head of DNA and Health. “We have laid the groundwork for this effort through the combination of an unmatched family history database, one of the fastest growing genetic databases, and a strong and talented team of computer scientists and professional genealogists.” AncestryDNA can provide access to a unique combination of resources that will enable Calico to develop potentially groundbreaking therapeutic solutions. The extensive research period will identify common patterns in longevity and human heredity through pedigree data.”

Perspective. The Intelligence game is changing. Nothing new there. Consider too that as information leaks, disinformation can be pushed along the same channels.
The following post is a preview of a new paper from New America’s Cybersecurity Initiative, where the author is a fellow.
The nature of secrets is changing. The “half-life of secrets” is declining sharply for many intelligence activities as secrets that in the past may have been kept successfully for 25 years or more, are now exposed well before.

(Related) Flush out them thar secrets!
Ten standards for oversight and transparency of national intelligence services: custodiet ipsos custodes
On July 23rd 2015, legal scholars from the Institute for Information Law of the University of Amsterdam — Sarah Eskens, Ot van Daalen and Nico van Eijk — published a report (.pdf, in English) entitled “Ten standards for oversight and transparency of national intelligence services”. The proposed standards are substantiated by, among others, analysis of CJEU jurisprudence.

For my entrepreneurial students with “Big Data” aspirations. (1000 gigabytes to the terabyte, 1 million gigabytes to the petabyte, so at $0.01 per gigabyte 100 petabytes of storage would cost: $0.01 times 100 million = $1,000,000 per month)
Google Cloud Storage Nearline Now Available to All, Offers 100PB Free Storage
Google's Cloud Storage Nearline is now available to the general public. The company has announced that the service, which offers low-cost premium archiving and backing up of data, has moved out of beta. In order to entice users, Google is offering storage of 100PB of space for free.
Released as a beta in March, Cloud Storage Nearline is aimed at data-heavy businesses that need fast retrieval of data. The service competes with Dropbox, Amazon's Glacier, Box, and OneDrive among others. Unlike its competitors that take hours for handling such voluminous data, Google says that Nearline could do it in seconds and minutes.
Discussing Nearline's other features, Google promises 99 percent uptime, on demand I/O operations, and lifecycle management - consisting of features such as automated archival and scheduled deletions. And, of course, there is the 100PB free of storage for up to six months. Afterwards, users will have to pay $0.01 per GB every month.
… To help users jump the boat, Nearline's Cloud Storage Transfer feature allows one to import large amount of data from HTTP/HTTPS services such as Amazon S3. Speaking of Amazon, Google is also offering a total cost of ownership calculator to let users know how much they will be saving by switching from Amazon Web Services.

Something to motivate my students. (Remember to cut your old professor in for 1%)
Amazon Has Surpassed Walmart in Market Cap After Stock Rally
Amazon (AMZN) just surpassed Walmart in market capitalization. Wall Street loved Amazon's surprise profit so much that they bought up the stock after hours, sending it to an a gain of 18%. The stock rally puts Amazon's value at $262 billion, more than the $233 billion of Walmart. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos became $7 billion dollars richer in less than an hour of extended trading. While Amazon has surpassed Walmart in terms of the value of the company in the eyes of investors, its annual sales still fall far short of those of Walmart. Amazon revenue in the past 12 months is $95.8 billion, which is a 5th of Walmart's $485 billion. But the 21 year old Amazon is growing and that is what what investors are buying and paying up for. One big contributor to Amazon's profit was web services, the cloud computing division whose numbers were broken out for the first time. Amazon stock is up 25% in the past 3 months.

YouTube just launched a redesigned app and shared even more growth stats
YouTube just released a big update to its mobile app that adds video editing tools and makes it easier to keep track of channels you subscribe to.
YouTube was the star of Google's blockbuster earnings last week too. The company cited YouTube revenue growth as a factor behind the strong quarter and revealed that the average YouTube viewing session on mobile now lasts a stunning 40 minutes.

We're going to make a series of short videos on a variety of IT topics. This could be interesting.
Frequently Overlooked Useful YouTube Features - A PDF Handout
One of the webinars that I did yesterday for Simple K12 was about useful YouTube features for teachers and students. If you couldn't attend the webinar you can still get the handout that I shared during the webinar. 8 Overlooked Useful YouTube Tools is embedded below as a PDF. You can also click here to grab it from

Towards a Star Trek tricorder.
A Search Engine, but Not on the Internet
An Israeli company wants to build molecular spectroscopy into a smartphone so people can count calories, identify pills, and find out more about objects than can be seen by the human eye.
… The SCIO, the handheld spectrometer that Consumer Physics has produced, first showed up in a Kickstarter video last year, where its creators promised a machine that could tell you “which watermelon is sweeter, when is that avocado going to ripen, how many calories, carbs or proteins are in that shake, how your plants are doing” and more. “Imagine if there was a way to know the chemical makeup of everything you come in contact with,” the narrator says. “The applications are endless.”
The public apparently agreed. The company reached its $200,000 goal within 24 hours. By the end of the month, the campaign raised more than $2.75 million.

Teaching tools
Collect Names on Image-based Riddle Quizzes
Riddle is a nice quiz creation service that launched back in May of this year. Since its launch the developers have steadily added new features. The latest update introduced the option to collect the names and email addresses of people who complete one of your Riddle quizzes.
Riddle quizzes and surveys can be image-based or simply text-based. You can add links to your Riddle quizzes and surveys. Those links could be to sources of information, to videos, or to an online audio recording like those you can find on SoundCloud. In the video embedded below I provide a demonstration of how to use Riddle to create a quiz.

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