Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Update.  Looks like the FBI is confirming what everyone suspected from the beginning.  Still no arrests? 
FBI Suspects Insiders in $81 Million Bangladesh Central Bank Theft: Report
Quoting sources familiar with the matter, the Journal said FBI agents investigating the case "have found evidence pointing to at least one bank employee acting as an accomplice."
But it added that "a handful of others" may have also aided the hackers in breaking into the computers of Bangladesh Bank.
   The involvement of the New York Fed has brought the FBI into the case, but the Fed is not being viewed as blameworthy.
Separately, the global financial transfers network SWIFT on Monday rejected reported accusations by Bangladesh police and bank officials that it was to blame for low security protections.
"SWIFT was not responsible for any of the issues cited by the officials, or party to the related decisions," it said in a statement.

If they only subscribe to other services, do they need to inform anyone?
Catalin Cimpanu writes:
This past Thursday, the FBI proposed that its biometric database be exempt from several provisions of the Privacy Act, US legislation that mandates that any federal agency must inform individuals about the records they collect and keep about them.
The FBI’s Next Generation Identification System (NGIS) is a database of biometrics information such as fingerprints, eye scans, facial scans, and even DNA samples.
The database is often used to identify crime suspects, and while in past times the database was rarely used, with the emergence of modern biometrics authentication systems, the database’s importance has grown tenfold because it also allows the FBI access to locked devices.
Read more on Softpedia.
[From the Softpedia article: 
Back in 2015, after a long battle in court, the Electronic Frontier Foundation discovered that the database already contained details for over 52 million people.  The US has a population of around 320 million.
In March 2016, The San Diego Union-Tribune discovered that the FBI was actively going after biometrics data contained in private databases managed by services such as and 23andme.

Drones.  When you hear that word, think of the Hitchcock movie “The Birds.”
Delivery Drones: Coming to the Sky Near You?
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on
CRS Reports & Analysis Legal Sidebar – Delivery Drones: Coming to the Sky Near You? – 05/06/2016: “Can you prevent a drone from flying over your house to deliver a package to your neighbor?  Until now, that question has been of purely theoretical interest.  However, the Senate recently passed a bill that could significantly change the operational landscape for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones) and make these kinds of hypothetical delivery drones a reality..”

Think this will spread to more states? 
From the Tenth Amendment Center:
The Vermont legislature has passed a sweeping bill that would establish robust privacy protections in the state.  If ultimately signed into law, it would not only limit warrantless surveillance and help ensure electronic privacy in Vermont, but would also hinder several federal surveillance programs that rely on cooperation and data from state and local law enforcement.
As passed, the legislation would ban the warrantless use of stingray devices to track the location of phones and sweep up electronic communications, restrict the use of drones for surveillance by police, and generally prohibit law enforcement officers from obtaining electronic data from service providers without a warrant or a judicially issued subpoena.
Read more on Tenth Amendment Center and hope the Governor signs this into law.

One of the few things Congress can respond to quickly…  
GOP sinks teeth into Facebook bias allegations
Allegations of political bias at Facebook exploded into national view on Tuesday as a Senate chairman pressed the company on whether conservative content is suppressed on the site.
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) sent a letter asking Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to address the “serious allegations” that conservative content has been excluded from the site’s “Trending Topics” section.
   Facebook vehemently denies the charge, with an executive stating flatly on Tuesday that the company has “found no evidence that the anonymous allegations are true.”
“Facebook does not allow or advise our reviewers to systematically discriminate against sources of any ideological origin and we’ve designed our tools to make that technically not feasible,” said Tom Stocky, vice president for search at the social network, in a post.  “At the same time, our reviewers’ actions are logged and reviewed, and violating our guidelines is a fireable offense.”

(Related) This may be why the Republicans believe the rumors.  Still, this amount is trivial compared to a bias in favor of Hillary. 
Clinton is largest beneficiary of Facebook donations
Facebook employees as individuals have donated more than $114,000 to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton this election cycle, by far the most of any presidential candidate.

(Related) You know politics has sunk to a new low when they can be used to market Apps that help you leave the country.
Dating app may help anti-Trump Americans move to Canada
If Donald Trump is elected president, a new dating app known as Maple Match promises to help Americans fall in love with their neighbors to the north and move to Canada. 
“Make dating great again,” reads the slogan from Maple Match, which promises to “make it easy for Americans to find the ideal Canadian partner to save them from the unfathomable horror of a Trump presidency.”
The matchmaking service has yet to launch, but nearly 5,000 people have already signed up, according to The Guardian.

Access to a new tool.  As I read it, you have to have the mobile app on your phone first. 
WhatsApp Finally Launches Desktop Apps For Windows And Mac
Though it’s the biggest messaging application in the world with more than 1 billion active users, WhatsApp has for years lived primarily on mobile phones.  That could change significantly from Wednesday, when WhatsApp launched its first desktop apps for Windows 8 and Mac OS 10.9 and up.
The apps sync with a WhatsApp user’s account on their mobile device, once they’ve downloaded them and scanned a QR code from inside Settings > WhatsApp Web on the mobile app.

Because: Europe?
Facebook Moments: Facial recognition app launched that isn’t allowed to recognise people’s faces
Facebook has launched its facial-recognition photos app in Europe and Canada – without facial recognition.
The company first launched its “Moments” app in the US last year.  It is meant as an easy way of sharing photos, using recognition technology to pick out photos that include the same people and grouping them together.
But since people were automatically opted into that feature, and so had their faces and identities analysed by people who were using the app, privacy watchdogs in the EU and Canada stopped it coming from the UK.

Perspective.  Slack is big enough to take on the big boys. 
'Sign-in With Slack' Takes on Facebook, Google, and Microsoft
   On Tuesday, Slack, the company behind the hot corporate chat service of the same name, said users can now sign into non-Slack services using their existing Slack identities.  This is something you can already do with Facebook Connect, Twitter, Google Apps Identity and Microsoft’s Azure Active Directory services.
According to an online post, people can now use Sign in with Slack to log into Quip, a document creation application.  Users can then give their existing Slack team members access to Quip documents and lists.  And it’s easy to convert Slack chats to Quip documents, if needed.
Five other companies Figma, Kifi, OfficeVibe, Slackline, and Smooz have also integrated their apps with Slack, the company said.
   That means fewer passwords to remember, which most will agree is a good thing.

Amusing, but I probably won’t be sharing this one with my Computer Security students.
This Popular Porn Site Debuted a Bug Bounty Program on the Same Platform as the Pentagon
Maximum bounty for hackers: $25,000.
Pornhub, one of the world’s most popular pornography sites, unveiled a bug bounty program on Tuesday.
The company, owned by Canadian private firm MindGeek, will pay white hat hackers for finding computer bugs on its site and reporting those vulnerabilities to its owners.  The site is running the program through the startup HackerOne, a bug bounty software startup that spun out of Facebook and that operates similar programs for companies such as General Motors, Uber, Twitter, Yahoo, Dropbox—and even the United States Department of Defense.

I want the App for that!  
The 2016 Rich List of the World's Top-Earning Hedge Fund Managers
At a conference a year ago, David Siegel, co-­chairman of quantitative hedge fund firm Two Sigma and an artificial-intelligence expert, predicted that computer-driven managers will one day rule the markets.  "The challenge facing the investment world is that the human mind has not become any better than it was 100 years ago, and it's very hard for someone using traditional methods to juggle all the information of the global economy in their head," he said.  "Eventually, the time will come that no human investment manager will be able to beat the computer."
Apparently, Siegel's future has already become a reality.  This year about half of the 25 highest-earning hedge fund managers topping Alpha's 15th annual Rich List used computer-­generated investing strategies to produce all or some of their investment gains.  They include Siegel and John Overdeck, his Two Sigma co-chairman and co-founder, who qualify for the Rich List for the first time.  They tie for seventh place after earning $500 million each last year.
In fact, six of the top eight on this year's ranking are considered to be full-fledged quants: managers who rely heavily on sophisticated computer programs as part of their process.  This is a far cry from 2002, when just two computer-driven managers qualified for the initial ranking, including Renaissance Technologies founder James Simons, the only person to appear all 15 years.
This year Simons shares the top spot with Citadel's Kenneth Griffin, who has invested huge sums over the years in what he touts as a state-of-the-art computer system.  They each earned $1.7 billion in 2015 after posting roughly midteens gains in their main hedge funds.
Bridgewater Associates'  Raymond Dalio, who also strongly relies on computers for making investment decisions, is tied for No. 3 with Appaloosa Management's David Tepper, the most successful hedge fund manager of all time among those who don't depend on computers.

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