Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Hackers can swipe your swipe?
Data Breach At Oracle’s MICROS Point-of-Sale Division
A Russian organized cybercrime group known for hacking into banks and retailers appears to have breached hundreds of computer systems at software giant Oracle Corp., KrebsOnSecurity has learned.  More alarmingly, the attackers have compromised a customer support portal for companies using Oracle’s MICROS point-of-sale credit card payment systems.
   MICROS is among the top three point-of-sale vendors globally. Oracle’s MICROS division sells point-of-sale systems used at more than 330,000 cash registers worldwide.

What’s a coffee addict to do?  (Never irritate your best customers!) 
Starbucks card glitches leave some customers steaming
Susan Gray, a teaching assistant in Royal Oak, Mich., was attempting to reload her Starbucks card on her phone’s Starbucks mobile app a few days ago when a message popped up saying, “We’re unable to process payment with the information given.”
Figuring there was something temporarily wrong, Gray tried to reload it again for $25 — unsuccessfully.  Despite four attempts, the $25 never showed up on her Starbucks account.  But she did get a call from her bank — which had flagged the transactions as possible fraud.
Gray is among an unknown number of Starbucks customers who are steaming over a days-old, still-unresolved tech glitch that’s left them unable to reload their Starbucks card, and in some cases, charged them for amounts that haven’t shown up on their Starbucks accounts.
   The card is also tied to the company’s hugely successful mobile app, which customers can use to pay, or even to bypass lines by ordering and paying straight from their mobile phones.  In the most recent quarter, 25 percent of all transactions were conducted with the mobile app,

For my Computer Security students. 
EFF – How to: Avoid Phishing Attacks
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Aug 8, 2016
EFF Surveillance Self Defense – “When an attacker sends an email or link that looks innocent, but is actually malicious, it’s called phishing.  Phishing attacks are a common way that users get infected with malware—programs that hide on your computer and can be used to remotely control it, steal information, or spy on you.  In a phishing email, the attacker may encourage you to click on or open a link or an attachment that may contain malware.  Phishing can also occur via Internet chat.  It’s important to double-check links that are sent to you via email or chat.  Web addresses in emails can be deceptive.  Web addresses in mail may appear to say one thing, but if you mouse over them to see where they really point, they might show another destination address…”

Just suspects?  What exactly is “questionable activity?” 
You knew this was coming, didn’t you?  Wendy Lee reports:
The Department of Homeland Security is hiring in Silicon Valley — for drones.
Last week, technology entrepreneurs filled a Menlo Park conference room, where officials spelled out their needs — drones small and light enough to launch easily and fly over vast stretches of desert.  The machines would look for questionable activity, scan faces of suspects and compare them against a database for prior criminal history.
Drones already operate along the border.  Eight large Predator drones, each with a 66-foot wingspan, help agents with monitoring.  Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, told a Syracuse newspaper in April that he wanted to expand the use of drones at the border, in addition to the wall he wants to build.
Currently border drones do not use facial recognition technology, which remains controversial.
Read more on AllGov.

For my Data Management students.  Even  your best customers can get you in trouble.
AT&T fined $7.7M over illegal phone charges
The Federal Communications Commission fined AT&T more than $7 million on Monday for allowing scam artists with alleged links to the drug trade to illegally place charges on customers’ bills.
   Federal authorities became aware of the scheme when the Drug Enforcement Agency learned that two companies suspected to be involved in money laundering and drug crimes were charging AT&T landline customers for directory assistance service that was never delivered.  Customers were charged roughly $9 each month, according to the commission.
Such scams, known as “cramming,” prey on the increasingly complicated nature of phone bills.

Well, doggle my boone.  Another government technology project wasting my tax dollars? 
The $47 Billion Network That’s Already Obsolete
The prize for the most wasteful post-9/11 initiative arguably should go to FirstNet—a whole new agency set up to provide a telecommunications system exclusively for firefighters, police, and other first responders.
   FirstNet is in such disarray that 15 years after the problem it is supposed to solve was identified, it is years from completion—and it may never get completed at all.  According to the GAO, estimates of its cost range from $12 billion to $47 billion, even as advances in digital technology seem to have eliminated the need to spend any of it.

How valuable are a billion new users?
Express Wifi Is Facebook's Second Attempt To Bring Internet Access To Rural India
After the public debacle Facebook got into with the net-neutral Indian public with its 'Free Basics' program, Facebook hasn't given up.  Taking pointers from the raging debate about net neutrality that Free Basics set off in India, Mark Zuckerberg has decided to toe the line.
In its latest efforts to get more people from rural India on Facebook, the company has introduced Express Wi-Fi that will let smartphone users purchase data from local internet service providers.
Simply put, Facebook will now provide only the software that will help ISPs and entrepreneurs sell data in rural areas, that will be accessible using Wi-Fi hotspots.

If at first you don’t e-commerce, buy, buy again!
Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon on what he saw in Jet.com
Wal-Mart's acquisition of Jet.com was in some ways a return to basics for the world's largest retailer.
"If Wal-Mart were starting today and we were building an e-commerce business some of the things that Jet designed into their approach would have been things we would have thought of and we would have wanted to do, and they've just done it from scratch," Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon told CNBC's "Squawk Box."

This could be good or bad, but it will definitely be worth looking into!
White House software code-sharing policy goes live
   The new Federal Source Code Policy also sets up a pilot program “that requires agencies, when commissioning new custom software, to release at least 20 percent of new custom-developed code as open source software (OSS) for three years,” Tony Scott, U.S. CIO and Anne E. Rung, chief acquisition officer, wrote in a memorandum to heads of departments and agencies on Monday.
   Making source code available as OSS could also help federal software projects, because private users would implement the code and publish improvements, allowing for collaborative benefits such as software peer review and security testing, sharing of technical know-how and reuse of code, according to the memorandum.
   The open source component of the new policy has its critics, who fear that the code could fall in the wrong hands and be misused.  In a post on Monday that tries to dispel myths around the use of open source, 18F wrote that there are several agencies that do classified work and release code that isn’t sensitive.  The National Security Agency has, for example, released code and documentation for its System Integrity Management Platform under an open source Apache license.  

For my Data Management students. 
New Gartner Magic Quadrant shakes up the file sharing world
The winners from this report would seem to be Box, Dropbox, Egnyte and Citrix Sharefile—all of which are (arguably) some of the earliest leaders in the space.

Thar’s gold in them thar job seekers. 
Job site Monster is being acquired by a Dutch recruiter for $429 million
Remember Monster.com? It was one of the first companies to harness the power of the internet to help connect jobseekers and potential employers.
It paved the way for the likes of LinkedIn and Glassdoor — as well as a new wave of snazzy job search apps, such as the so-called "tinder for jobs" Jobr (which it also acquired last month).
Now, Monster Worldwide has been snapped up by Dutch recruiter Randstad Holdings for $429m (£330.25m) in cash.

Just in case my students want to Photoshop something…
5 Awesome Adobe Apps That Are Completely Free
The company has recently been releasing several apps and programs for free.  And it has also turned some paid apps into free downloads, including the entire Creative Suite 2 (CS2) or Photoshop CS2 alone, and some of the best Android apps from 2015.

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