Tuesday, February 02, 2016

For my Computer Security and Ethical Hacking students.
Help Net Security writes:
AnonSec hackers claim that they have breached a number of US NASA’s systems, and they have published a data trove containing video recordings made by the agency’s aircrafts and drones, the drone’s flight logs, and the names, email addresses and telephone numbers of some 2,400 agency employees.
They apparently attempted to interest The Guardian and WikiLeaks into analyzing the stolen info and publishing the results, but after having received no answer, they decided to do it themselves by torrenting the dump.
The leak was accompanied by an extensive document describing the things they had to do to compromise NASA’s systems (attacks and exploits) and the extent of the compromise.
Read more on Help Net Security.
And if their attempt to get your attention still isn’t working, consider this statement in their documentation:
We had semi-partial control of a NASA drone during one flight
As of this morning, the paste/document is still available online, where it’s been since January 26. I don’t know if NASA has responded to the claims, but I can find no statement by them. The sheer amount of documentation will require time to just read through, much less understand and verify.
Of note, the hackers note their purpose was to try to uncover information on chemtrailing and cloudseeding:
One of the main purposes of the Operation was to bring awareness to the reality of Chemtrails/CloudSeeding/Geoengineering/WeatherModification, whatever you want to call it, they all represent the same thing. NASA even has several missions dedicated to studying Aerosols and their affects on the environment and weather, so we targeted their systems.
So… will Congress hold a hearing on NASA’s security? [Will it get them more votes? Bob]

Would anyone dare?
April Glaser reports:
…if you’re attending the game, or just happen to be in the general vicinity of the myriad events leading up to the Super Bowl, you will be watched. Closely. The festivities started Saturday and run through February 7, when the Carolina Panthers meet the Denver Broncos at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. Here’s a sampling of the technology Big Brother can use to surveil you during the Super Bowl in the Bay Area.
Read more on Wired.
My friend Cathy Gellis, who has already experienced the impact of this surveillance, sums it up nicely on Twitter:
If the price of the Super Bowl is the public’s civil liberties, it costs more than we can afford. https://t.co/7UclDElcEW
Cathy Gellis (@CathyGellis) January 31, 2016
If the price of the Super Bowl is the public’s civil liberties, it costs more than we can afford.
For more on some of the technological aspects of surveillance, see this blog post by Joe Cadillic.

Not uncommon when government tries to create a system from scratch because “what we do is unique.”
DHS's Einstein Security System Has Limited Capabilities: Audit
An intrusion detection and prevention platform for which the United States government plans on spending $5.7 billion by 2018 has limited capabilities and does not fully meet its intended objectives, according to an audit conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Just so you know.
What Is Error 451, and How Can It Make a Difference?
… there’s a new error message that you probably haven’t seen yet: 451 Unavailable for Legal Reasons.
“Unavailable for Legal Reasons” is a bit of a euphemism—the idea behind this error is to indicate government censorship. The group behind the 451 Unavailable movement hopes that Internet service providers (ISPs) will show this error when they’ve been forced by the government to block a specific website or page. At the moment, it’s difficult or impossible to tell when this is happening, as ISPs often serve a 403 Forbidden error, which doesn’t tell you anything about why you’re not seeing the site.

Perspective. Will Facebook eventually charge businesses to use WhatsApp?
One In Seven People On Earth Now Use WhatsApp, But It’s Still Not Making Money
It's official – nearly one in seven people across the globe use WhatsApp. That translates to 1 billion users in total and a long-lasting popularity. The problem? It's still not making money.
… Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also posted the news on Facebook, suggesting the direction that WhatsApp is headed to.
"[W]e're going to work to connect more people around the world and make it easier to communicate with businesses," he says.

(Related) Makes me wonder if 1 billion is some kind of plateau?
Gmail now has more than 1 billion active users
Gmail, Google’s email service, now has more than 1 billion active users, Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said during today’s Alphabet (GOOG) earnings call.
That’s up from 900 million active users back in May 2015.
… Other Alphabet services with more than 1 billion active users include Google Search, YouTube, Google Maps, Android, and Chrome.

Alphabet Is Now More Valuable Than Apple
Alphabet is now the most valuable company in the world, with Google’s new umbrella organization leapfrogging Apple in after-hours trading. The stock price rose to such an extent that Alphabet’s market cap shot up to $570 billion. Apple’s market cap currently stands at around $540 billion.
Investors piled into buying Alphabet stock after the company announced its latest earnings. While it wasn’t all good news, Alphabet made a profit of $4.9 billion for the quarter, taking the sting out of the losses posted under the “Other Bets” column.
There is, of course, no guarantee Alphabet will retain this position, and there’s a chance Apple will have taken back the number one spot by the time you read this. However, this is the first time since 2010 that Google (now Alphabet) has been worth more than Apple, so we should let them celebrate this victory, however short-lived it may end up being.

What “animal rights?”
Epic ‘Monkey Selfie’ case finally thrown out by SF judge
U.S. District Judge William Orrick ruled that the monkey’s rights cannot be infringed on in the case of the photo because a monkey cannot legally control the rights to a photo, according to The Recorder, a legal newspaper.
The dismissal last Friday comes a few weeks after the same San Francisco-based federal court ruled that a monkey couldn’t hold a copyright to a photo because, well, it’s a monkey.

Rest easy, I guess. The drone was not nuclear powered. Do we have counter-drones to intercept and fly along side Iran's drones? My guess is we'll really get upset if they overfly the Superbowl.
Iran flies unarmed military drone over US aircraft carrier
Iran flew a surveillance drone over a U.S. aircraft carrier and published video of the encounter Friday, the latest in a series of edgy naval incidents between the two countries in the Persian Gulf after the recent nuclear deal.
While the U.S. Navy stressed it knew the drone was unarmed and the flyover didn’t interrupt U.S. operations in the war against the Islamic State group, the incident underlined the continued tension over control of waterways crucial to global oil supplies.
… He said the Navy launched a helicopter that determined the drone wasn’t armed and “posed no danger to the ship” as the carrier wasn’t conducting flight operations at the time. His comments implied that had there been active takeoffs and landings of U.S. aircraft, the situation might have changed.
Stephens called the drone’s flight “abnormal and unprofessional.”

This is not terribly surprising. People like Senators and First Ladies have lackies (like minions, but not as cute) to do all the “fiddly bits” for them.
Clinton didn’t know how to access email by computer, says State official
Hillary Clinton did not know how to use a computer to read and send emails when she entered office as the nation's top diplomat in 2009.
She only knew how to read her messages via BlackBerry, according to an official at the time.
Clinton’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, told State Department official Lewis Lukens that there could be a “problem,” because Clinton “does not know how to use a computer to do email — only [Blackberry],” he wrote in a 2009 email released on Monday."
“But I said [it] would not take much training to get her up to speed," he claimed.
It’s unclear whether Clinton was ever trained to use a computer to access emails.
However, the admission might bolster the argument that emails were not her main means of communication, despite the heavy focus on her use of a private email account and server for official State business. Clinton has previously claimed that she never had a computer in her office while serving as secretary of State.

Perspective. We sometimes measure “Big Data” in multiples of the Library of Congress, so how big is the base unit?
The Library of Congress by the Numbers in 2015
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Feb 1, 2016
The Library of Congress today released statistics for fiscal year 2015. Its collection now comprises more than 162 million physical items in a wide variety of formats. The daily business of being the world’s largest library, the home of the U.S. Copyright Office and a supportive agency to the U.S. Congress resulted in the Library adding 1.7 million physical items to its permanent collections, registering more than 443,000 copyright claims and responding to more than 1 million reference requests from Congress, the public and other federal agencies in fiscal year 2015. Some notable items newly cataloged into the Library’s collection include the papers of former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and composer Marvin Hamlisch; rare Civil War stereograph images; recordings from the pioneering folk music label Stinson Records, featuring Woody Guthrie, Peter Seeger and Lead Belly; the Archive of the Association of American Geographers; and the backfile of issues on microfilm of the French satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo,” which began publishing in 1970. The U.S. Copyright Office registered works in fiscal year 2015 from authors in all 50 states. The Grammy Award-nominated songs “Uptown Funk” (Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson) and “Alright” (Kendrick Lamar and Pharell Williams) and such box-office toppers as “Inside Out,” “Furious 7” and “Jurassic World” were among the nearly half-million novels, poems, films, software, video games, music, photographs and other works submitted. Reference librarians and Congressional Research Service staff responded to more than 1 million reference requests from patrons both on-site and via phone and email—an average of 4,600 requests every business day. Students, authors and scholars sought information this year about Abraham Lincoln’s religious beliefs, Theodore Roosevelt’s role in reforming college football practices, whether the “Book of Secrets” discussed in the 2007 film “National Treasure” exists and the always popular topic of family genealogy…”

Perspective. “When we say 'Album' we don't actually mean the physical album – but we don't have a term for blended media.” [I claim dibs on the term “Blended Media!”]
The RIAA Finally Bows to Streaming, Making 17 Artists’ Albums Go Gold and Platinum
Call it the Anti effect, or just call it getting hip to the times. The Recording Industry Association of America just announced one of the biggest rule-changes in its history: As of Monday, the RIAA will now count streaming sales as part of its singles and albums certification process, making 17 albums automatically certified gold (500,000) or platinum (1 million) with the news. The rule change means both on-demand video and audio streams will be calculated in the RIAA's certifications, with 1,500 streams counting as the equivalent of ten track sales or one album sale. And now 150 streams will equal one download, rather than the previous 100. In accordance with the new rules, Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly has been recognized as having sold 1 million units, after setting a single-day Spotify record when it was released last March.

For my students.
10 Ways Social Media Can Boost Your Career
Social media can be an invaluable tool when looking for a new job, or even when trying to boost your skills for your current role. Try these ideas and see how you go.

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