Monday, August 31, 2015

The OPM data has real value for identification of “persons of interest.”
Brian Bennett and W. J. Hennigan report:
Foreign spy services, especially in China and Russia, are aggressively aggregating and cross-indexing hacked U.S. computer databases — including security clearance applications, airline records and medical insurance forms — to identify U.S. intelligence officers and agents, U.S. officials said.
At least one clandestine network of American engineers and scientists who provide technical assistance to U.S. undercover operatives and agents overseas has been compromised as a result, according to two U.S. officials.
Read more on the Los Angeles Times.

(Related) Match people in sensitive jobs (using data from OPM) with those doing questionable things and you have a blackmail candidate.
Jeremy Kirk reports:
Russian-speaking hackers have breached 97 websites, mostly dating-related, and stolen login credentials, putting hundreds of thousands of users at risk.
Many of the websites are niche dating ones similar to Ashley Madison, according to a list compiled by Hold Security, a Wisconsin-based company that specializes in analyzing data breaches. A few are job-related sites.
The information includes a list of websites and their software vulnerabilities, along with some notes written in Russian, said Holden, a native Russian speaker. All of the websites were breached since July 4 through about a week ago, he said.
IDG News Service has seen the full list but is not identifying the websites.
Read more on CSO.

(Related) This is why connecting people with access to classified data and dating or porn sites can be useful.
The Indian Express reports:
The Military Intelligence (MI) investigations over leakage of sensitive military information over Facebook by some serving Army officers has zeroed in on three officers of the rank of Colonel, Major and Lieutenant. These officers have been found to be giving out locations of Army units in exchange for sexually explicit conversation with a woman.
In a letter issued on August 11 and addressed to all Command Headquarters of the Army along with Strategic Forces Command and Integrated Defence Staff, the MI Directorate has said that involvement of more personnel indulging in such activities cannot be ruled out and has said that these acts are detrimental to security as well as in clear violation of exiting orders and instructions which have been issued as form of advisories from time to time.
Read more on Indian Express.

This seems quite complicated. Can we point to direct connections between hackers and corporations?
U.S. developing sanctions against China over cyberthefts
The Obama administration is developing a package of unprecedented economic sanctions against Chinese companies and individuals who have benefited from their government’s cybertheft of valuable U.S. trade secrets.
The U.S. government has not yet decided whether to issue these sanctions, but a final call is expected soon — perhaps even within the next two weeks, according to several administration officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
Issuing sanctions would represent a significant expansion in the administration’s public response to the rising wave of cyber-economic espionage initiated by Chinese hackers, who officials say have stolen everything from nuclear power plant designs to search engine source code to confidential negotiating positions of energy companies.
… The sanctions would mark the first use of an order signed by President Obama in April establishing the authority to freeze financial and property assets of, and bar commercial transactions with, individuals and entities overseas who engage in destructive attacks or commercial espionage in cyberspace.

The 6 Most Dangerous Security Threats of 2015
Cyber-attacks continue to grow in 2015. According to anti-virus testing site AV-TEST, more than 390,000 new malicious programs are now registered every single day, and the total amount of malware attacks in circulation now stands around the 425,000,000 mark.

Facebook checks every video but they only notify a few publishers and still require the publishers to tell them to remove the video. I wonder if they charge the “selected publishers?”
Facebook announces new tools to tackle video theft
The company said new video matching technology would alert selected content creators if their videos were reposted to Facebook without permission.
… In June, research by advertising agency Ogilvy found that 73% of the most popular videos on Facebook had been ripped from other websites.
Announcing its new approach, Facebook said: "Our matching tool will evaluate millions of video uploads quickly and accurately, and when matches are surfaced, publishers will be able to report them to us for removal."

Perhaps a resource for making our students smarter?
New Yorker – How Methods Videos Are Making Science Smarter
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Aug 30, 2015
Jamie Holmes: “..[The] Journal of Visualized Experiments… [f]ounded in 2006, JOVE now has a database of more than four thousand videos, with about eighty more added each month. They are usually between ten and fifteen minutes long, and they range in subject from biology and chemistry to neuroscience and medicine. “For a scientist trying to explain a methodology in writing, it’s very difficult to describe all the necessary details of a multi-stage technical process,” JOVE’s co-founder, Moshe Pritsker, told me. “Confusion over the smallest details can result in months of lost effort.” Replicability—researchers’ capacity to reproduce their colleagues’ experimental findings in order to build on them—is a bedrock principle of scientific progress. But copying an experiment often requires visiting the original lab and seeing it performed. Simon’s fruit-fly protocol, for instance, demands that various minutiae be precisely tuned—lighting, temperature, humidity, and even whether you’ve cut new vials from their plastic bags far enough in advance to let out the stale air. “Video makes replication more efficient,” Pritsker said.”
[Categories: Biology, Neuroscience, Immunology & Infection, Medicine, Bioengineering, Engineering, Chemistry, Environment, Behavior, Developmental Biology

Keeping up.
From mic drops to manspreading: an Oxford Dictionaries update
NBD, but are you ready to fangirl over our dictionary update? Abso-bloody-lutely. We’ve got some awesomesauce new words – no, rly – that will inform and entertain whether you’re hangry or it’s already wine o’clock. Mic drop.

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