Saturday, April 30, 2016

Governments are big organizations.  Hackers are looking for one security weakness.  Too often, they find one.
Hacked reports:
Hactivist collective Anonymous has begun to leak documents from the Kenyan government as a part of a sophisticated operation called #OpAfrica, a campaign aimed to expose the government corruption across Africa.
An initial sample of 95 documents revealed via an Anonymous Twitter account and can be accessed via a TOR browser.  Hacked reviewed the documents that were uploaded on the Dark Web and contains PDF and DOCX files.
Read more on Hacked.

2016 may be a record year.
Joseph Cox reports:
A hacker is advertising a cache of email addresses, poorly secured passwords, phone numbers, and other information from users of photo sharing and video streaming app ’17’, which is particularly popular in Asia.
The data is being sold on The Real Deal, a dark web market that specialises in stolen information and computer exploits.
The data was allegedly obtained via an app server, and not the company’s website, the hacker advertising the data told Motherboard in an encrypted chat.
Read more on Motherboard.

You don’t see collections of comments like this often enough. 
Cybercriminals stole millions of dollars from Bangladesh’s central bank and they managed to cover their tracks by using custom malware that targeted the SWIFT interbank messaging system.
   Industry professionals contacted by SecurityWeek commented on the incident, including its implications for the financial industry, the possibility that other proprietary platforms could be targeted in a similar fashion, and the steps organizations should take to prevent these types of breaches.

A different face than the FBI shows?  But not so different behind the curtain.
GCHQ Has Disclosed Over 20 Vulnerabilities This Year, Including Ones in iOS
Earlier this week, it emerged that a section of Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the UK's signal intelligence agency, had disclosed a serious vulnerability in Firefox to Mozilla.  Now, GCHQ has said it helped fix nearly two dozen individual vulnerabilities in the past few months, including in highly popular pieces of software like iOS.
   In a speech last year, the Director of GCHQ Robert Hannigan said: “GCHQ has disclosed vulnerabilities in every major mobile and desktop platform, including the big names that underpin British business.”
However, governments sometimes withhold details of vulnerabilities from affected companies because the security holes can be used for hacking operations instead.  Motherboard's question of whether the recent selection of vulnerabilities were only disclosed after they had already been exploited by the offensive arm of GCHQ went unanswered.

An amusing read.  Surveillance by financial institutions. 
You Can't Escape Data Surveillance In America
In America, surveillance has always played an outsized role in the relationship between creditors and debtors.  In the 19th century, credit bureaus pioneered mass-surveillance techniques.  Today the American debtor faces remote kill switches in their devices, GPS tracking on their leased cars, and surreptitious webcam recordings from their rent-to-own laptops.  And where our buying and borrowing habits were once tracked by shopkeepers, our computers score our creditworthiness without us knowing.

Health data is going to be Big (Data).  Will we see Google (or Watson) doing the same thing in the US?  Globally? 
New Scientist – Google AI has access to huge haul of NHS patient data
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on
Via New Scientist, Hal Hodson: ”  It’s no secret that Google has broad ambitions in healthcare.  But a document obtained by New Scientist reveals that the tech giant’s collaboration with the UK’s National Health Service goes far beyond what has been publicly announced.  The document – a data-sharing agreement between Google-owned artificial intelligence company DeepMind and the Royal Free NHS Trust – gives the clearest picture yet of what the company is doing and what sensitive data it now has access to.  The agreement gives DeepMind access to a wide range of healthcare data on the 1.6 million patients who pass through three London hospitals run by the Royal Free NHS Trust – Barnet, Chase Farm and the Royal Free – each year.  This will include information about people who are HIV-positive, for instance, as well as details of drug overdoses and abortions.  The agreement also includes access to patient data from the last five years…”

Another tool for our Apps class?
Microsoft releases public preview of PowerApps business-app building service
Microsoft is making PowerApps available as a public preview today, April 29.
PowerApps, which was codenamed Project Kratos, is designed to allow business users and business analysts to create custom native, mobile, and Web apps that can be shared simply across their organizations.  Examples of just a few of the many types of apps users can create using PowerApps include simple cost estimators, budget trackers, and site-inspection reports.
PowerApps connects to existing cloud services and data sources.  It's designed to allow users to build apps without writing code or having to figure out integration issues.  The custom apps created with PowerApps can be published internally across the Web, tablets and mobile devices, without requiring app creators to go through app stores for distribution.
PowerApps also will integrate with Microsoft Flow, Microsoft's recently-unveiled alternative to IFTTT.  Users will be able to trigger flows from within PowerApps.

What did Donald Trump ever do to them?
Microsoft won’t make cash donations to GOP convention
Microsoft on Friday announced that it would be making cash donations to the Democratic convention but not the Republican one.
The announcement comes as advocates have increased their pressure on technology giants and other large corporations to refrain from sponsoring the Republican convention because of the rhetoric and proposed policies of GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump

Because Google Glasses are not intimate enough?
Google has a crazy idea for injecting a computer into your eyeball
A patent filed in 2014 and published Thursday describes a device that could correct vision without putting contacts in or wearing glasses everyday.
But to insert the device, a person must undergo what sounds like a rather intrusive procedure.
Here’s how it would work: After surgically removing a person’s lens from the lens capsule of his or her eye (ouch!), a fluid would be injected into the capsule.  This fluid would act sort of like a glue, allowing whoever is conducting the procedure to attach an “intra-ocular device” to the lens capsule.
That fluid would solidify to create a “coupling” between the lens capsule and the device, creating an electronic contact lens.  The electronic contact lens would correct the wearer’s vision.

Sony Filed A Patent For Video-Recording Contact Lens

Hacking Microsoft.
How to Download Official Windows ISO Files Free from Microsoft
If you’re seeking Windows installation files, the good news is, they’re available for free from Microsoft.  You can easily create Windows 10 installation media and you can legally download Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 ISO files from Microsoft, too.  The only requirement is that you own a product key for the respective Windows edition.
Here we’ll show you a little hack that allows you to download any edition of Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10 from Microsoft’s Tech Bench.

Saturday is “educate me” day.
Hack Education Weekly News
   “A bill designed to strengthen the privacy and security of student educational data continued down its apparently smooth path to passage Wednesday, winning unanimous Senate Education Committee approval,” Chalkbeat reports.  Lest you think this is a story about federal legislation and that DC gridlock is over, to be clear, this is a measure in the state of Colorado.
..   “Demand for computer science forces Washington colleges to ramp up,” The Seattle Times reports.
   The University College London is hiring a “Professor of Future Crimes.” “The successful candidate will be passionate about the problem of future crime.” Paging Philip K. Dick.
   Via The Washington Post: “Schools are helping police spy on kids’ social media activity.”

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