Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Internet provides all the education and most of the tools to do this. It also provides a connection to targets around the globe. (and it's more fun than “tipping cows.”)
BBC reports:
A 15-year-old British boy has been charged over cyber-attacks on international websites and bomb hoaxes against US airlines, police have said.
The boy, from Plymouth, is accused of offences related to service attacks on websites in Europe, North America, Africa and Asia.
Charges against him also relate to bomb hoaxes placed with North American airlines via social media, police said.
He has been bailed to appear before Plymouth Youth Court.
Read more on BBC. The police statement can be found here.
Anyone know what his Twitter handle was or who this is? Is this the teen identified as @RansomTheThug back in January? If you have any information, please e-mail breaches[at]

For my Computer Security and Ethical Hacking students.
The traditional padlock gets the “smart” treatment
… Users manage their padlocks through a smartphone app, and have a variety of methods at their disposal to unlock the LockSmart: either by passcode, Touch ID, or tapping an icon on the phone app. The unlock signal is then sent by Bluetooth using 128-bit encryption to the padlock.

Something for my Computer Security students to consider.
Nadella: Microsoft to Be Stealth Operator for Cloud Security
… Microsoft has launched a new Cyber Defense Operations Center at its headquarters in Redmond, Washington, Nadella told attendees, as part of the US$1 billion a year it plans to spend on security.
Nadella boasted -- raising a few eyebrows -- that Windows 10 was the most secure operating system in the world, and that the company aimed to be able to detect and respond to security threats in real time anywhere in the world on any type of device for any type of customer within its ecosystem.

Scare tactics? Is the CIA trying to say, “use encryption, become a target?”
Take a Stroll over to the App Store to Download the Very Same App ISIS Uses
… According to the Daily Beast, ISIS is encouraging its members and followers to use Telegram after the deadly attacks in Paris as a means of subverting spies.
CIA Director John Brennan is quite concerned about the technology’s prominence among jihadists, saying Monday:
“There are a lot of technological capabilities that are available right now that make it exceptionally difficult, both technically as well as legally, [?? Bob] for intelligence and security services to have the insight they need to uncover.”
Brennan added:
“There has been a significant increase in the operational security of a number of these operatives and terrorist networks as they have gone to school on what it is that they need to do in order to keep their activities concealed from the authorities.” [Knowing you might become a target for a Maverick Missile does seem to concentrate the mind. Bob]
… While the CIA feels the threat of this kind of technology is real, there is a different tone outside the intelligence community, such as Matthew Green, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Information Security Institute, who said:
“Law enforcement is talking about easy encryption apps that you download from the app store. What we’ve learned from terrorists is that they will go to great lengths to encrypt and even hide their communications in code. They’re not completely dependent on these easy use apps that people are talking about.”

(Related) More about the technology itself.
An app called Telegram is the 'hot new thing among jihadists'
… The Berlin-based startup boasts two layers of encryption and claims to be "faster and more secure" than its competitor WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook.
Users can securely message friends and send pictures and files. They can also create group chats with up to 200 members or opt for "special secret chats" where messages, photos, and videos will self-destruct.
… ISIS is also using Telegram to broadcast big messages on the app's "channels," which are devoted to a variety of topics. It was on the official ISIS channel that the group said the Paris attacks would be the "first of the storm."

So, what can you do? (Let me guess. You could do something if you had a bigger budget.)
FCC says it can't shut down ISIS websites
The head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Tuesday shot down suggestions that the agency could take down websites used by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other terrorist groups.
… "We cannot underestimate the challenge," FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler responded. "I'm not sure our authority extends to [shut down the websites], but I do think there are specific things we can do."
Wheeler similarly told Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) that the commission does not have the authority to target the social media accounts of gang leaders in the United States that are contributing to urban violence.
"We do not have jurisdiction over Facebook and all the other edge providers. We do not intend to assert jurisdiction over them," Wheeler said.
But the chairman said he can use the FCC's bully pulpit to press tech CEOs on the issue, such as Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg.
"I will call Mark Zuckerberg this afternoon to raise the issue you've raised and the issue Mr. Barton raised. And I'm sure he is concerned as well and he'll have some thoughts," Wheeler said.
… Wheeler offered other areas where the commission could take action. He specifically mentioned the rash of vandalism to fiberoptic cables in the California Bay Area.
… Wheeler said the system, called the Network Outage Reporting System, could be mined to put together larger trends about outages. But he said that is currently impossible because the system is running on outdated technology, being held together by "bailing wire and glue."

(Related)  Gosh! I wonder if they called Mark Zuckerberg for advice too?
Hacker Groups Claims to Hit 5,500 IS Accounts
The hacker group Anonymous claimed Tuesday to have taken out 5,500 Twitter accounts linked to the Islamic State group, which claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks.
The loosely organized hacking collective made the claim in a tweet one day after launching #OpParis campaign, which stepped up an earlier effort to shut down social media accounts of the organization.
In an apparent riposte, a message posted via the messaging service Telegram calls on Islamic State affiliates to secure their Internet communications.

WWHD? (What Would Harvard Do?) Would we be better off if universities didn't care about Halloween costumes?
Yale’s Alumni Donations May Suffer Amid Free Speech Debate
… This Ivy League institution has become the center of a free speech debate after two conflicting emails were sent out to students about Halloween costumes. The first email, sent to the campus by the Intercultural Affairs Committee, which seeks to promote an inclusive and diverse campus, requested that students avoid wearing “culturally unaware or insensitive” Halloween costumes, including Native American dress, redface and blackface. In response, faculty member Erika Christakis, sent an email saying students should be free to wear whichever costumes they choose. Both were cited by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).
… According to the Yale Daily News, the student newspaper, students have skipped classes and midterm exams, or requested extensions citing emotional distress as rendering them unable to fulfill academic obligations.
Now, hundreds of alumni are frustrated with how Yale has handled the crisis. For many, they’ve threatened to withhold future donations if the administration favors protesting students.

Perspective. “It's not fair! They have a larger population than we do!”
Report: India Set To Overtake U.S. To Become World’s Second Largest Internet Market
The number of Internet users in India is tipped to surpass 400 million by the end of this year, making it the second largest online population in the world behind only China, according to a new report from the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and market research IMRB.
The report claims that the total number of Internet users in the country will reach 402 million by December, of which 351 million will go online daily. That first figure would see India surpass U.S on total web users, but leave it some way behind China which claims over 600 million.

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