Thursday, March 03, 2016

I wonder if I could convince Nils to give a guest lecture to my Ethical Hackers?
Police Drone Can Be Hacked With Tech Worth $40
While drones are being used by cops, border security forces, military and even first responders to an emergency, one researcher has shown that one government-ready drone model can be hacked from over a mile away to be taken control of by a malicious hacker, WIRED reports.
… Rodday discovered that the drone’s telemetry module was fitted with an Xbee radio chip. The Wi-Fi connection used between the telemetry module and the user’s application is WEP or ‘Wired-Equivalent Privacy” encryption, a legacy protocol that can be infiltrated in seconds by any proficient hacker. With this alone, an attacker in the Wi-Fi range to break that connection could potentially send a “deauth” command to boot the drone operator off the network and take over.

(Related) A word to my Ethical Hackers: “Be vewy, vewy careful.”
Tara Seals reports:
Announcing what it calls “the first cyber bug bounty program in the history of the federal government,” the Department of Defense is inviting hackers to test the department’s cybersecurity profile.
The Hack the Pentagon initiative is a pilot program that will use commercial sector crowdsourcing to uncover vulnerabilities and probe around for flaws on the department’s public webpages. According to a list published by the Defense Department, it currently manages 488 websites, which are devoted to everything from the 111th Attack Wing and other military units to the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program.
Read more on InfoSecurity Magazine.

Quickly remedied. Still, you have to wonder about the initial confusion.
Facebook Exec Sprung From Brazilian Jail
A Brazilian judge on Wednesday ordered the release of Facebook Regional Vice President Diego Dzodan, one day after Brazilian police placed him under arrest for WhatsApp's failure to produce messages the government believed relevant to a drug ring investigation. Judge Ruy Pinheiro concluded the exec's detainment amounted to coercion, according to press reports.
Judge Marcel Maia ordered the arrest on Tuesday, after WhatsApp failed to comply with requests by police and the court to produce messages created in the app.
… This isn't the first time WhatsApp has been in hot water in Brazil where, according to The Guardian, it's been the most popular app download for the past two years, and is used by about half of the country's 200 million people. In December, the app was shut down for 48 hours for twice failing to comply with court orders for information.
… "Much like the Apple case, they're in a situation where because they've created such a secure device, they cannot give law enforcement what they're asking for," she told TechNewsWorld.
"It's not even an issue of conflict of laws," Butler said. "It's an impossibility."
Conflicts between law enforcement and high-tech companies are going to increase in the future because of encryption, she added.

“It's all there in black and white (or bits and bytes) as plain as a large team of lawyers can make it.”
You know those Terms & Conditions you always click “I agree” to without reading? Well, they can come back to bite you if you sue. Katherine Proctor reports:
Facing claims that it violates users’ privacy by storing biometric face-recognition data, Facebook called one of its software engineers to the witness stand on Wednesday in Federal Court.
In a 2015 class action, lead plaintiff Carlo Licata accused Facebook of holding the largest privately held stash of such data in the world, in violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act of 2008.
At Wednesday’s evidentiary hearing, Facebook called on software engineer Joachim De Lombaert to testify about the source code for the site’s registration process, in which users agree to Facebook’s terms and conditions.
Read more on Courthouse News.
[From the article:
U.S. District James Donato asked whether users who registered from cellphones were required to check such a box, and De Lombaert said they were not.

Did he get immunity in exchange for ratting out Hillary? Would he need it if he did nothing wrong – or does everyone in Washington demand immunity before talking to anyone?
Justice Dept. grants immunity to staffer who set up Clinton email server
The Justice Department has granted immunity to a former State Department staffer, who worked on Hillary Clinton’s private email server, as part of a criminal investigation into the possible mishandling of classified information, according to a senior law enforcement official.
… As part of the inquiry, law enforcement officials will look at the potential damage had the classified information in the emails been exposed. The Clinton campaign has described the probe as a security review. But current and former officials in the FBI and at the Justice Department have said investigators are trying to determine whether a crime was committed.
“There was wrongdoing,” said a former senior law enforcement official. “But was it criminal wrongdoing?” [Perhaps it was good old “We don't have to follow the rules like second class citizens doing.” Bob]

This should liven up the debate. Do you think this would work in Denver? Call for a ride and some guy in Hell's Angels leathers shows up?
As Ola and Uber join the fray, are bike taxis the next big thing in India?
Uber and Ola, the two biggest ride-sharing companies in India, have simultaneously launched motorcycle taxis in the country, starting with the southern Indian city of Bengaluru.
Aimed at commuters looking for short-distance and affordable trips, this will be the cheapest service offered by both Uber and Ola. The simultaneous launch suggests a new focus on affordable forms of transport in India, in the absence of integrated public transport systems and last-mile connectivity in most cities. Two wheelers also constitute the largest number of vehicles in the country.
UberMOTO will be priced at a base fare of Rs 15, followed by rate of Rs 3 per kilometre and Rs per minute. Uber is also giving away free rides worth Rs 100 to first-time users. Ola Bike has an introductory fare of Rs 2 per kilometre and Rs 1 per minute. While UberMOTO's minimum fare is Rs 15, it is Rs 30 for Ola Bike.

(Related) ...and they will bring me pizza! (My favorite pizzeria does not deliver)
Uber's GrubHub killer is finally in the US — here's the inside story on its big bet on food
… For the first time, the company has broken a product out into its own standalone app. On Tuesday, the company launched its long-awaited UberEats app in the US, kicking it off in Los Angeles. Availability will roll out in the rest of the country throughout the month.
While it had been just a lunch service, the new app will allow instant lunch or dinner deliveries for select dishes or full-menu options from restaurants. Once you place your order, a specially trained Uber driver carrying lunch bags to keep the food warm or cold will deliver it while you track their progress on your screen.

The Future? If everyone had a peer to peer connection, would we need ISPs?
GoTenna, the startup that lets you text without cell signal, raises $7.5M and launches with REI
GoTenna … has created a lightweight device (1.8 ounces) that uses Bluetooth technology to pair with your smartphone and then generates long-range radiowaves to connect with other goTenna devices. That means you can send text messages and share your location (via pre-downloaded maps) even when you don’t have a cell connection.

Perspective. Let's hope this does not become a trend. Are they saying the fines collected won't pay for more courts?
You Won't Be Arrested For Public Drinking, Urination in Manhattan: NYPD, DA
The NYPD will no longer arrest people for minor infractions such as drinking alcohol in public, urinating or littering in Manhattan, city officials announced Tuesday.
Beginning March 7, police will have the discretion to determine if someone is a public safety risk before arresting them in a move the Manhattan District Attorney's Office — which will also no longer prosecute low-level offenses — said will remove 10,000 cases each year from the courts and help reduce its backlog.

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