Tuesday, April 12, 2016

If they can do it, what can opposition militaries do? 
Hacktivists Leak 43GB of Data From Syrian Government
A hacktivist group calling itself the Cyber Justice Group announced on Twitter that it has dumped 10GB of data from the Syrian government.  The hackers left a message on Pastebin and dumped the data to file sharing site Mega.  The data is compressed, and expands to a full 43GB.
The motivation for the dump is political, with the Cyber Justice Group positioning itself as anti Assad and anti ISIS.

For my Computer Security students.
3 Steps to Thriving in One of Cybersecurity's 1 Million Open Positions
Step One: Research the Reasons for the Role
Typically, a new security opening in a company means that something happened.  By the time a real job is posted or a recruiter is engaged, there has been some catalyzing event.
Step Two: Develop a comprehensible approach
The companies who have the most interesting jobs with the broadest scope will likely not know very much about the details of security.
Step 3: Start with a call and targeted questions
When you speak with the recruiter or HR executive, ask to follow-up with someone who works there.  This gives you the chance to refine your approach and test your assumptions.
This process is great for finding a new gig, but it can also help you reassess the way you are doing the job you have right now.  It’s important to better understand your peers and leaders, be sensitive to the business concerns of others in your industry, and flesh-out how you think organizations can improve.

Recruitment Challenges Continue to Plague Cyber Security
   Consider the ISACA/RSA Conference report titled State of Cybersecurity 2016. 461 cyber security managers and practitioners were asked, among many other questions: "What are the most significant skills gaps you or your organization sees among today’s cybersecurity/information security professionals?"
Knowing that there is a skills gap, one might expect 'security technical skills' to be the most popular response.  It was not.  The primary skills gap lies in the ability of candidates to understand the business (75%).  A lack of technical skills scored only 61%; equal, in fact, to another non-technical issue – poor communication.

Worth reading. 
Will New York City’s Free Wi-Fi Help Police Watch You?
Internet access is getting faster and cheaper by the year.  Four out of five households in developed countries now have home Internet connections.  But a home connection is still out of reach of many in the United States.  People in major American cities pay more for basic broadband speeds than city-dwellers abroad.  Fewer than half of Americans who make less than $20,000 a year have broadband access at home, and the number-one reason that Americans give for not having broadband at home is that it’s too expensive.
   The kiosks are being built by a consortium that includes Qualcomm, and an Alphabet-funded company called Intersection.  The system’s kiosks actually broadcast two wi-fi networks: an open network that’s just a fast, citywide version of the Internet connection at your local Starbucks, and a “private” network that encrypts all the traffic between devices and the Link kiosk.  Both networks require users to input an email address to connect, but for now, only new Apple devices can access the private network.

For my next Data management class.
Linking Business Intelligence to a Knowledge-Based Sustainable Competitive Advantage in Organizations
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on
Muganda, Nixon and Mokwena, Thato, Linking Business Intelligence to a Knowledge-Based Sustainable Competitive Advantage in Organizations (April 10, 2016).  Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2762025
“This paper looks at the use of sentiment analysis and opinion mining in business intelligence by organisations to develop and sustain a competitive advantage.  It discusses variables such as organisation structure, business intelligence, knowledge management, and opinions mining as some sources of competitive advantage.  There is literature available by other researchers that agrees that each of the above variables are sources of and do indeed provide competitive advantage.  Some of this literature is reviewed below.  

FTC Announces Significant Enhancements to IdentityTheft.gov
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on
“For the first time, identity theft victims can now go online and get a free, personalized identity theft recovery plan as a result of significant enhancements to the Federal Trade Commission’s IdentityTheft.gov website.  The new one-stop website is integrated with the FTC’s consumer complaint system, allowing consumers who are victims of identity theft to rapidly file a complaint with the FTC and then get a personalized guide to recovery that helps streamline many of the steps involved.
IdentityTheft.gov Homepage. The upgraded site, which is mobile and tablet accessible, offers an array of easy-to-use tools, that enables identity theft victims to create the documents they need to alert police, the main credit bureaus and the IRS among others.”

Links to Federal Statistics
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on
“A trusted source for federal statistical information since 1997.  FedStats supports a community of practice for over 100 agencies engaged in the production and dissemination of official federal statistics, and provides the public with a showcase of information, tools and news related to official federal statistics.”

(Related) Brief, but worth reading and following up on, 
Rethinking the Value of Customers in a Digital Economy
Customers, customer-centric marketers declare, are king.  Businesses consequently ignore customer behaviors at their own risk.  But the power and potential of network effects suggests that seeing customers as royalty may prove a poor idea and an even worse investment.
   The ‘Triple-S’ research framework asks executives to deconstruct network effects into three interrelated components: Segmentation, socialization, and skill-ification
·  Skill-ification is about creating new capabilities in users and user communities.  Sharing and editing imagery, for example, represents a capability that goes beyond sharing and editing text.  Skill-ification means enhancing human capital.

For all my students.  (and me)
5 Clever Writing Tools to Proofread Important Documents
Being good at writing isn’t the job most people sign up for, but it comes with the territory as you climb up the ladder.  Eventually, you’ll need to send important emails or submit official documents, and you need to make a good impression in those.  A spelling error or a badly written sentence can ruin all the professionalism and effort you put into it.
The good news is that you don’t need to be an excellent writer, since there are enough tools to help you out.  Extensions like Grammarly Lite help ensure your grammar is in shape, and a little searching on the web will lead you to many other such wonderful free sites.
Cool Websites and Apps presents five of the very best.
[For my International students:
Writefull (Windows, Mac): Analyze Text Against Google’s Language Database

Build a website.
Three Good Places to Learn HTML & CSS Skills
Visual editors in blog and website platforms like Blogger, WordPress, and Weebly make it easy for anyone to create a webpage in relatively little time.  The appeal of those tools is that you don't have to learn code in order to make a blog or website.  The downside to relying on visual editing tools is that if you don't understand the code it can be hard to make corrections when something does go wrong.  Not knowing HTML and CSS also limits you in terms of design formatting.
Over the years I've taught myself the basics of HTML and CSS through online tutorials.  A quick Google search will lead you to plenty of online tutorials that you can use to teach yourself or your students some useful HTML and CSS skills.  The following are the resources that I frequently recommend.
A Beginner's Guide to HTML & CSS is a nice resource developed by Shay Howe whose resume reveals that he works on the user interface for Groupon among other projects.  Shay currently offers twelve text-based lessons for beginners.  Once you've mastered the beginner lessons you can try your hand at the ten advanced lessons offered on the site.
Thimble is a free Mozilla product designed to help users learn how to write HTML and CSS.  Thimble features a split screen on which you can write code and see how it works at the same time.  On the left side of the screen you write your code and on the right side of the screen you instantly see what that code renders.  If you write the code correctly, you will know right away.  Likewise, if you don't write the code correctly, you will know right away.  Some of the sample projects you can work with include webpages, games, and avatars
w3Schools has long been my go-to place for quick directions when working in HTML.  If I get stuck while working on a project, a quick visit to w3Schools usually reveals the help I need to get past a stumbling block.  If you're completely new to writing HTML start with the introductory sections of w3Schools to learn the basics.

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