Sunday, January 31, 2016

Maybe customers are harmed by a breach?
Christina Davis reports:
Neiman Marcus Group LLC has lost a bid to toss a class action alleging that the retail clothing chain’s negligence caused a massive data security breach and then hid the problem right before the holiday shopping season in 2013.
The Neiman Marcus class action lawsuit was filed by Hilary Remijas on behalf of consumers affected by the alleged breach.
The Neiman Marcus data breach class action lawsuit had landed back in district court after a somewhat surprising – but welcome – Seventh Circuit ruling reinstated the lawsuit in July, 2015. The court subsequently denied Neiman Marcus’s request for an en banc review of the ruling. Now back in district court, the retailer argued that the claims should still be dismissed because the injuries did not demonstrate negligence. As Davis reports:
The plaintiffs contended, in turn, that the Seventh Circuit had found that whether or not Neiman Marcus consumers had been reimbursed by their financial institutions for charges resulting from the data breach was factual and could not be dismissed. Additionally, the plaintiffs pointed out that at a minimum, the proposed class had claims based on the amount of time spent dealing with potentially fraudulent charges.
Judge Zagel agreed with the plaintiffs and refused to dismiss the Neiman Marcus class action lawsuit. Judge Zagel stated that dismissal of the lawsuit was “not appropriate at this time.”
So this hasn’t been a great month for Neiman Marcus, who just disclosed this week that they experienced another breach on December 26, 2015 that impacted over 700 California residents (and an unknown total number of consumers).
Neiman Marcus reported that the websites of their Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Horchow, Last Call, and CUSP stores were hit with automated attacks trying various login combinations. The firm suspects that the attackers may have been using login credentials acquired in other hacks of other entities. In some cases, the attackers were able to access customer accounts (but not full credit card numbers or PIN numbers) and make purchases. Neiman Marcus has credited/restored all accounts. Neiman Marcus reports that its defenses were able to successfully repel about 99% of the attacks.

It's not just ads for video games and pizza.
How Facebook tracks and profits from voters in a $10bn US election
… Facebook, which told investors on Wednesday it was “excited about the targeting”, does not let candidates track individual users. But it does now allow presidential campaigns to upload their massive email lists and voter files – which contain political habits, real names, home addresses and phone numbers – to the company’s advertising network. The company will then match real-life voters with their Facebook accounts, which follow individuals as they move across congressional districts and are filled with insightful data.
… In Iowa, the Cruz campaign is using Facebook to target voters on a range of broad issues like immigration controls to niche specific causes such as abolishing state laws against the sale of fireworks. The Guardian understands the campaign has built a specific model for this relatively small group of voters, who may be responsive to Cruz ads against big government, and in some cases is going out to find them individually.
Political scientists, current campaign advisors and former digital gurus to Barack Obama and Mitt Romney agree: a Facebook ad is perhaps the best money to spend in what could be a nearly $10bn election, and 2016 is fast becoming the year Facebook learned to profit from how you vote.

(Related) It's not just Facebook.
Caidan Cowger writes:
Across social media, pictures of “Voting Violation” mailers issued by the Cruz campaign have been circulating.
The mailers include the party affiliation of the resident, along with their regularity grade of caucusing.
Labeled in all capital letters, one side of the card read, “ELECTION ALERT,” “VOTER VIOLATION,” “PUBLIC RECORD,” and “FURTHER ACTION NEEDED.”
On the other side, in red letters at the top, the mailer said, “VOTING VIOLATION.” The text then reads:
“You are receiving this election notice because of low expected voter turnout in your area. Your individual voting history as well as your neighbors’ are public record. Their scores are published below, and many of them will see your score as well. CAUCUS ON MONDAY TO IMPROVE YOUR SCORE and please encourage your neighbors to caucus as well. A follow-up notice may be issued following Monday’s caucuses.”
Below, the letter listed the neighbors of the resident, along with their voting record, attempting to shame them in their own neighborhood.
Many have questioned the authenticity of these shaming letters; however, the Cruz campaign has confirmed that these mailers were real.
Read more on Cowgernation. I've been saying… This will certainly change if Hillary fails in the early voting. Right now, everyone is worried that they might get on the enemies list of the next President.
State, the Associated Press reports, won’t release 22 of Clinton’s messages to the public because they contain too much most-secret information.
OK: Clinton’s only promised that none of her e-mails were labeled “classified” — so she’s technically not a blatant liar.
… But State’s not done: Last week, it declared that the winter storm would cause a delay — conveniently until after Monday’s Iowa caucuses.
And this week, State added another delay: It got a late start in getting clearances from various intelligence agencies, so it now won’t finish until Feb. 29 — after the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries.
By holding the “top secret” e-mails on her home-brew server, Clinton should be looking at 22 criminal counts. But her campaign is claiming she’s just a victim — of bureaucratic overclassification.
Funny: Hillary’s staffers should have no way of knowing if that’s so — unless she let them view the e-mails, which would be another crime.
At a minimum, there’s this: In just 11 months, the Clinton camp’s defense has gone from claiming “no classified” material was ever on her private server to insisting nothing “marked” classified was there to telling America that, well, it’s all “overclassified.”
Not that Team Hillary is alone in lame-denial-land. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Friday that the FBI’s investigation “does not seem to be . . . trending” in the direction of an indictment.
How the heck would he know? No one in the White House should be privy to what’s going on in this Justice Department probe.
Unless, of course, information is being illegally leaked . . .
To sum up: Hillary Clinton’s defense of her conduct is now reduced to technicalities; the State Department looks to be slow-walking the release of her e-mails with an eye on the campaign calendar — and the White House seems to know a bit too much about an unfolding investigation.
It’s almost like a coordinated coverup

Perspective. Why not the government?
Tenders invited for 4G mobile network
The Mexican government took a major step yesterday towards connecting most of the country with its invitation to bid on a wholesale mobile network.
… Providing such coverage for 85% of the population is expected to require an investment of US $3.5 billion.
… Companies that have expressed interest in participating in the wholesale market include Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Cisco Systems, Huawei, Nokia, China Telecom, Motorola Solutions and Alestra.
… The firm with the best proposal will be granted a 20-year public-private partnership to build an LTE network. Mobile operators and mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) will then be able to rent capacity on that network.

Hope springs eternal.
CIA Posts New Documents Titled Take a Peek Into Our “X-Files”
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jan 30, 2016
“The CIA declassified hundreds of documents in 1978 detailing the Agency’s investigations into Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs). The documents date primarily from the late 1940s and 1950s. To help navigate the vast amount of data contained in our FOIA UFO collection, we’ve decided to highlight a few documents both skeptics and believers will find interesting. Below you will find five documents we think X-Files character Agent Fox Mulder would love to use to try and persuade others of the existence of extraterrestrial activity. We also pulled five documents we think his skeptical partner, Agent Dana Scully, could use to prove there is a scientific explanation for UFO sightings. The truth is out there; click on the links to find it.”

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