Tuesday, July 05, 2016

I thought there might be too many politicians on this site.  Was I wrong? 
I can’t say I’m surprised, but it’s nice to get some confirmation.  Alastair Sharp and Allison Martell of Reuters report that the Federal Trade Commission is investigating Avid Life, parent company of Ashley Madison.
But what is the scope of their investigation.  Executives admitted to Reuters that the use of “fembots” is part of the investigation, which makes sense under the FTC’s authority to address deceptive practices.  But is FTC also investigating their data security in light of their massive breach?  I would hope so.  Avid Life executives told Reuters they still don’t know how the breach occurred.
I expect that this investigation will result in a consent order with a whopping monetary component to reimburse consumers who were duped by fembots, but we’ll see in time.

Advertise with us and we’ll guarantee many people will see your ad, even if we have to create virtual people.
HummingBad malware infects 85 million Android devices
An Android-based malware campaign masterminded from China has snared as many as 85 million Android devices and is making the gang behind it an estimated $1m every quarter.
Security software and services company Check Point claimed that it has had its eye on the Yingmob gang for five months, describing it as sophisticated, well-staffed and highly profitable. 
Its tool of choice is a piece of malware called HummingBad, and the group works alongside an official advertising analytics company, according to Check Point's From HummingBad to Worse report (PDF).
"HummingBad is a malware Check Point discovered in February 2016 that establishes a persistent rootkit on Android devices, generates fraudulent ad revenue, and installs additional fraudulent apps," Check Point explained in a blog post.

A long report that says, “We don’t know what to do.” 
House Homeland Security Report – Going Dark, Going Forward: A Primer on the Encryption Debate
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jul 4, 2016
June 29, 2016: “Terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino have sparked a public debate on the use of encryption in our society because the attackers used encrypted communications to evade detection, a phenomenon known as “going dark.”  Today, the Majority Staff of the House Homeland Security Committee released a new report entitled, Going Dark, Going Forward: A Primer on the Encryption Debate.  This first Congressional in-depth analysis of the issue summarizes the Committee’s findings, based on more than 100 meetings and briefings Committee staff and Members have held with key stakeholders over the past year.  In addition to providing insight into arguments on all sides of the encryption debate, the report lays the groundwork for a National Commission on Security and Technology Challenges proposed by Homeland Security Chairman Michel McCaul (R-TX) and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA).  The bipartisan Commission has broad support from former and current Administration officials, national security leaders, law enforcement, and the tech industry, and will help to forge a general concurrence of opinions, informed by a common understanding of the underlying facts.  Ultimately this effort will provide a better understanding of digital security issues for Congress and the American public.  The report released today will help inform and advance debate that centers around balancing personal cyber security and national security.”

Snapchat’s Teen Fans Wince as App Catches On With Their Folks
   Since its founding five years ago, Snapchat has become a digital mecca for high school and college-age students, allowing them to send photos and videos that disappear in a matter of seconds.  It has amassed 150 million daily active users, said a person familiar with the matter.
Snapchat also has been a refuge from parents.  Until lately, that is.
Now, the “olds” are arriving in force, whether they are parents spying on their kids, or professionals trying out another social-media platform.

Numbers that I didn’t catch elsewhere.
Significant Digits For Tuesday, July 5, 2016
28 months
That’s how long the House select committee’s investigation into the 2012 Benghazi attacks lasted, exceeding the amount of time high-profile Congressional committees spent digging into Watergate, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the Sept. 11 attacks and Pearl Harbor. [AJC]
20,000 pounds of cheese
Crime of the century in Wisconsin: 20,000 pounds of cheese from U.S. Foods, en route from Green Bay to New York, was stolen.   [The Associated Press]

The world changes again.  The Saudis had the most accessible oil early in the last century.  Then Russia figured out how to extract oil when wells could freeze.  Now with shale extraction, the US looks big.  Still, there is only 70 years of oil left at the current rate? 
US oil reserves surpass those of Saudi Arabia and Russia
   Rystad Energy estimates recoverable oil in the US from existing fields, discoveries and yet undiscovered areas amounts to 264bn barrels.  The figure surpasses Saudi Arabia's 212bn and Russia's 256bn in reserves.
The analysis of 60,000 fields worldwide, conducted over a three-year period by the Oslo-based group, shows total global oil reserves at 2.1tn barrels.  This is 70 times the current production rate of about 30bn barrels of crude oil a year, Rystad Energy said on Monday.
   More than half of the US's remaining oil reserves are in unconventional shale oil, Rystad Energy data show.  Texas alone holds more than 60bn barrels of shale oil.

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