Thursday, February 18, 2016

This will disappoint my Computer Security students.
After computer hack, L.A. hospital pays $17,000 in bitcoin ransom to get back medical records
… While the shift Obama and many others pushed may have improved care, electronic medical records led to quite the unique hostage situation in Los Angeles this week. There, a hospital fell prey to a cyberattack — and the hospital has escaped its plight by paying hackers a $17,000 ransom.
… “On the evening of February 5th, our staff noticed issues accessing the hospital’s computer network,” he wrote. “Our IT department began an immediate investigation and determined we had been subject to a malware attack. The malware locked access to certain computer systems and prevented us from sharing communications electronically.”
What communications needed to be electronically shared? As Stefanek got around to pointing out a few paragraphs later, medical records.
… Could anonymous computer wizards potentially compromise care and get away with it?
“The quickest and most efficient way to restore our systems and administrative functions was to pay the ransom and obtain the decryption key,” Stefanek’s statement said. “In the best interest of restoring normal operations, we did this.”
… But Hollywood Presbyterian, owned by CHA Medical Center of South Korea, said not to worry.
“Patient care has not been compromised in any way,” Stefanek wrote. “Further, we have no evidence at this time that any patient or employee information was subject to unauthorized access.”

Local. I seem to remember asking these folks why they wanted to reinvent the wheel. They had no answer.
Elizabeth Harrington reports:
The Obamacare health exchange in Colorado faced “numerous weaknesses” and had “inadequate security settings,” leaving the personal information of enrollees vulnerable, according to a new audit.
The inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services publicly released its review of Connect for Health Colorado on Wednesday, revealing the exchange had inadequate security measures in place for more than a year.
Read more on Free Beacon.
[From the article:
The report, which reviewed information security controls as of November 2014, did not go into specifics of Connect for Health Colorado’s vulnerabilities because of the “sensitive nature of the information.”
… The Colorado health exchange cost taxpayers more than $184 million to create, the audit said.
The audit marks the latest bad news for Obamacare in Colorado, after the state’s biggest co-op announced it was folding last year. Colorado HealthOP collapsed in October, leaving 83,000 Coloradans without health insurance.

Also for my Computer Security students. BYOD could be B-A-D.
How to prevent shadow IT
What do complex IT policies, outdated software and lack of IT-supported services have in common? They all contribute to shadow IT, which occurs when employees circumvent procedures to use unapproved services and software. The last thing employees want to do when working on a project is check in with the IT department, so how can IT provide employees with necessary resources so shadow IT is no longer an issue? These InfoSec professionals share their suggestions for preventing shadow IT before it becomes the new normal.

I guess I'll guess. (Do I sound like a politician?)
Max Metzger reports:
Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE) new cyber-risk report has not been shy in claiming legislators are ‘pushing research underground’.
The report, which HPE releases every year, coalesces all the company’s security research into one hefty, 100-page document. Among its conclusions this year were that governments are impinging upon the tech industry’s ability to develop, as well as squashing privacy rights in the wake of mounting international security threats.
Read more on SC Magazine.

I'm glad someone took the time to put this together.
Everything you need to know about the Apple versus FBI case

(Related) Support via an “amicus tweet?”
Google CEO Sundar Pichai backs Tim Cook over Apple-FBI controversy

(Related) Another part of the Big Brother strategy.
At last week’s Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Worldwide Threats, FBI Director James Comey reiterated his call for a major expansion of the FBI’s surveillance authorities, but disingenuously downplayed it as fixing a “typo” in the law. In fact, Comey’s proposed fix, which he calls one of the FBI’s top legislative priorities, would be a major expansion of surveillance authority, and a major hit to Americans’ privacy and civil liberties. It would grant the FBI access to a range of revealing and personal details about Americans’ online communications — what are called Electronic Communications Transactional Records (ECTR), in legalese — without court approval.

Harm gets easier?
Ross Todd reports:
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh’s first major ruling in data-breach lawsuits against major health insurer Anthem Inc. didn’t do much to clarify how the litigation itself will ultimately play out.
In her decision, Koh addressed for the first time the question of whether the loss of personal information constitutes harm under New York’s General Business Law, a consumer protection law similar to California’s Unfair Competition Law. It does, she ruled, rejecting arguments from Anthem and its lawyers at Hogan Lovells and expanding reasoning she has applied in at least one earlier data-breach case.
Koh’s ruling in In Re Anthem Data Breach Litigation builds on the Adobe decision. Like in Adobe, Koh recognized that the theft of personal identification information is a harm to consumers in itself separate from any subsequent misuse of it.
Read more on The Recorder.

You either love Al Gore or you teach both side of the argument?
Coverage of "Climate Confusion Among U.S. Teachers"
"Climate Confusion Among U.S. Teachers" (PDF), a paper in the journal Science describing the first nationwide survey of climate change education in the United States, conceived and funded by NCSE and conducted in collaboration with researchers at Pennsylvania State University, received extensive coverage in the press.
[From the PDF:
Content knowledge is not the only area in need of attention. Rejection of sound scientific conclusions is often rooted in value commitments rather than ignorance (16), and science teachers are not immune from this tendency. A question measuring political ideology was a more powerful predictor of teachers' classroom approach than any measure of education or content knowledge, with those leaning toward “It's not the government's business to protect people from themselves” most willing to teach “both sides” (table S8).

Perspective. Jack of all trades, master of none?
Amazon and Google Want to Take Over Your World
… Amazon is reportedly ramping up hiring for its own private clothing line, according to Women’s Wear Daily. The e-commerce king has flirted with the idea of launching its own label in the past, but the hiring binge WWD says is underway seems to suggest that it is turning from a dream to a reality.
… On Wednesday, Google Express said it is expanding into fresh grocery deliveries, bringing produce, eggs, meat, and other perishables to parts of San Francisco and Los Angeles.
… Google is entering an already-crowded space, where it faces competition from the likes of Instacart, Fresh Direct, Peapod, and Amazon, none of which make much profit in the notoriously tight grocery game. Like Instacart and Fresh Direct, Google is partnering with existing stores, including Costco and Whole Foods, giving them quick access to supply without the headaches Amazon faces owning its own inventory at risk of food spoil. But Instacart and Fresh Direct face their own limitations in terms of scale, a problem Amazon and Google, with their big data and billions of users, hope to avoid.

For my gamers.
Amazon launches free engine for video-game makers
Amazon Web Services is launching a free video-game engine to enable studios to make sophisticated games and connect them to the cloud.

Bad enough we no longer teach cursive, now we don't need writing in any form!
Too Lazy To Type? Twitter Now Lets iOS And Android Users Capture And Share Videos In Direct Messages
Typing out sentences to express your sentiments can be a tad taxing for the lazy you? Do you wish there was a simpler way of getting your message across on Twitter instead of typing within the character limit?
You're in luck! Twitter has now been updated to bring in a new feature that will enable users to capture and share video messages in Direct Messages.

Tools for the swamped?
When was the last time you opened that newsletter? What about the rest of the subscriptions flooding your inbox? Yea, that’s what we thought. With Unroll.Me you can take back your inbox by unsubscribing from unwanted subscription emails, hassle free. Just one click and they’re gone. Try it out, you wont regret it.

5 Incredible Tech Lawsuits That Shaped the Digital World

This reminds me to demo Google translate in my classes.
Google Translate Now Includes 103 Languages
… The most recent update adds support for Amharic (the second most widely spoken Semitic language after Arabic), Corsican (used on the French island of Corsica and Napoleon's first language), Frisian (the native language of more than half of Netherlands' Friesland province), Kyrgyz (used in Kyrgyzstan), Hawaiian, Kurdish (Kurmanji), Luxembourgish, Samoan (which uses only 14 letters), Scots Gaelic, Shona, Sindhi, Pashto and Xhosa.

Perspective (and amusement) No doubt a Republican version will follow.
The Perfect Democratic Stump Speech

Let's make an App for that!
Take Any of These 5 Courses and Make Your First Android App

Interesting. A smartphone for $3.74? This is creating a stir. Perhaps I should sic my students on the story…
Freedom 251: We answer your top 10 questions
The cheapest smartphone in the world -- the Freedom 251 -- costs just Rs. 251 and is apparently made by a Noida-based company called Ringing Bells. It was launched yesterday to more questions than answers.
… We have a letter from the Indian Cellular Association (ICA) written to telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad that estimates that this phone should cost at least USD 60 (approximnately Rs. 4,100).

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