Monday, October 26, 2015

An update. Will the penny saved by not encrypting the data pay the millions this breach will cost?
TalkTalk shares more information about website hacking incident and current investigation
… TalkTalk has provided some clarifications on its official website about the hacking incident and has offered tips to its customers. Earlier, TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding had said that her company was under no legal obligation to encrypt customers' sensitive data. Now, TalkTalk is offering free credit reporting service to all clients with coupon code “TT231”.
… While TalkTalk said on Saturday it did not believe the information accessed would enable hackers to steal money from its customers, British newspapers on Sunday carried stories of individuals who said callers posing as TalkTalk employees had taken money from their bank accounts.
TalkTalk could face a fine up to half billion pounds. [I thought that sounded a bit high so I did a bit of Googleing Bob]

(Related) This is more likely.
TalkTalk 'knew of hacking risk A YEAR ago': Company could 'go out of business' and lose £75million after millions of customers' bank details were stolen in cyber attack
TalkTalk faces £75million in lost revenue as the backlash from the cyber attack on the company grows.
… TalkTalk is also facing an investigation by the Information Commissioner, who could impose a fine of up to £500,000 if the company is found to have breached data protection rules.

Can this be done? Can TSA make a plan? (They're actually being asked to plan to make a plan.)
On October 23, Papers, Please! wrote:
Acting on a petition submitted in July 2015 by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today ordered the Department of Homeland Security to, within 30 days from today, “submit to the court a schedule for the expeditious issuance of a final rule ”governing the TSA’s use of virtual strip search machines or body scanners (what the TSA calls “Advanced Imaging Technology”) “within a reasonable time”.
The court didn’t say what it would consider “expeditious” or a “reasonable” time for the TSA to finalize rules for its use of body scanners.
I think we’re waaaay past “expeditious” by now and are more on the order of “sometime before the next millenium, folks?” Note that this is not ordering the actual rule be produced within 30 days – just a schedule for issuing a rule that should have been issued years ago.
Read more on Papers, Please!
For its part, EPIC wrote:
The Court of Appeal for the D.C. Circuit today ordered TSA to comply with the ruling in EPIC v. DHS and conduct an “expeditious” rulemaking on the use of body scanners at airports. EPIC successfully sued TSA in 2011 to compel notice-and-comment rulemaking after the agency failed to solicit public comments as required by law. EPIC said the body scanner program was “unlawful, invasive, and ineffective.” The backscatter x-ray devices were subsequently removed from U.S. airports, though the millimeter devices remain. In 2015 the Competitive Enterprise Institute filed a petition to compel TSA to issue a final rule as required by the EPIC v. DHS mandate. TSA now has 30 days to submit a rulemaking plan to the court.

A legitimate target – not even a “Cyber” target. That's not new. It's the increased activity that's a real concern.
Russian Ships Near Data Cables Are Too Close for U.S. Comfort
Russian submarines and spy ships are aggressively operating near the vital undersea cables that carry almost all global Internet communications, raising concerns among some American military and intelligence officials that the Russians might be planning to attack those lines in times of tension or conflict.
The issue goes beyond old worries during the Cold War that the Russians would tap into the cables — a task American intelligence agencies also mastered decades ago. The alarm today is deeper: The ultimate Russian hack on the United States could involve severing the fiber-optic cables at some of their hardest-to-access locations to halt the instant communications on which the West’s governments, economies and citizens have grown dependent.

(Related) Are light bulbs a national security concern? If not that, what? Concern that China will leave us in the dark?
Philips Deal to Sell Lighting Unit to Chinese Group Hits U.S. Regulatory Snag
Royal Philips NV has run into unexpected regulatory trouble in the U.S. over the planned sale of its lighting-components and automotive-lighting unit to a Chinese investor.
The Dutch electronics group said on Monday that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., or CFIUS, has expressed “certain unforeseen concerns” on the planned disposal of a 80% stake in the Philips business, called Lumileds, without providing further detail.

Cable without the cable.
Time Warner Cable will test internet-only TV in NYC next week
If you want cable TV without the cable box, Time Warner Cable may have something for you soon. Reliable sources tell Engadget that starting Monday, Time Warner Cable will beta test a version of its TWC TV service made available for the company's internet-only customers living in New York City. Similar to Sky's Now TV in the UK it will support a number of hardware platform but the plan is to focus on streaming TV through Roku's set-top boxes, and any participants will get a Roku 3 for free.

Still trying to understand the appeal...
Paper – Dawn of the Selfie Era
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Oct 25, 2015
Dawn of the Selfie Era: The Whos, Wheres, and Hows of Selfies on Instagram. Flávio Souza, Diego de Las Casas, Vinícius Flores, SunBum Youn, Meeyoung Cha, Daniele Quercia, Virgílio Almeida, October 19, 2015.
“Online interactions are increasingly involving images, especially those containing human faces, which are naturally attention grabbing and more effective at conveying feelings than text. To understand this new convention of digital culture, we study the collective behavior of sharing selfies on Instagram and present how people appear in selfies and which patterns emerge from such interactions. Analysis of millions of photos shows that the amount of selfies has increased by 900 times from 2012 to 2014. Selfies are an effective medium to grab attention; they generate on average 1.1–3.2 times more likes and comments than other types of content on Instagram. Compared to other content, interactions involving selfies exhibit variations in homophily scores (in terms of age and gender) that suggest they are becoming more widespread. Their style also varies by cultural boundaries in that the average age and majority gender seen in selfies differ from one country to another. We provide explanations of such country-wise variations based on cultural and socioeconomic contexts.”

Eating causes cancer!
Red Meats Potentially Cause Cancer, Group Says
… The determination, published by a panel of researchers for the International Agency for Research on Cancer in a medical journal Monday, classifies processed meat products like salami and bacon carcinogenic to humans, the strongest level of risk for cancer, and a category shared with tobacco smoke and diesel engine exhaust.
Fresh meats like steaks and roasts are considered probably cancer-causing, a level of risk shared with the widely used herbicide glyphosate. [Herbicides used on almost all plants so: Meats cause cancer, plants cause cancer, fish cause mercury poisoning... Eat rocks? Bob]

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