Sunday, September 04, 2016

It’s relatively small, but it’s still Cyber War.
Waqas writes:
The cyber war between Azerbaijan and Armenian hackers is as complicated and serious as one can imagine. While militaries of both countries are fighting for a piece of land, their hackers are targeting each other on the Internet.
The latest cyber attack comes from Azerbaijani hackers going by the handle of Anti-Armenia Team who claim to have hacked Armenian government servers including the Armenian national security ministry and leaked a trove of confidential data including passport copies of locals and foreign citizens who visited Armenia.
Read more on HackRead.  The claimed hack has been questioned by one of The Register’s sources, who says it looks more like an inside job than a hack.  Either way, though, there seems to be no dispute that the data dumped are legit.

Hacks limited to ‘counting coup?’
Eric DuVall reports:
The entertainment magazine Variety was hacked by the same group that has targeted the personal accounts of high-profile tech company CEOs, sending emails to Variety’s followers with the hashtag #OurMine.
Variety acknowledged the hack Saturday and instructed users to disregard and delete the emails as it worked to regain control of its email subscriber database.
Read more on UPI.
[From the article:
None of Variety's site content appeared to have been tampered with.

There may be enough money in this technology to interest my students. 
How Spy Tech Firms Let Governments See Everything on a Smartphone
Want to invisibly spy on 10 iPhone owners without their knowledge?  Gather their every keystroke, sound, message and location?  That will cost you $650,000, plus a $500,000 setup fee with an Israeli outfit called the NSO Group.  You can spy on more people if you would like — just check out the company’s price list.
The NSO Group is one of a number of companies that sell surveillance tools that can capture all the activity on a smartphone, like a user’s location and personal contacts.  These tools can even turn the phone into a secret recording device.
   The NSO Group’s capabilities are in higher demand now that companies like Apple, Facebook and Google are using stronger encryption to protect data in their systems, in the process making it harder for government agencies to track suspects.
The NSO Group’s spyware finds ways around encryption by baiting targets to click unwittingly on texts containing malicious links or by exploiting previously undiscovered software flaws.

Perhaps I’ll order some odds and ends for the Ethical Hacking class.
Sam Biddle reports:
A confidential, 120-PAGE catalogue of spy equipment, originating from British defense firm Cobham and circulated to U.S. law enforcement, touts gear that can intercept wireless calls and text messages, locate people via their mobile phones, and jam cellular communications in a particular area.
The catalogue was obtained by The Intercept as part of a large trove of documents originating within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, where spokesperson Molly Best confirmed Cobham wares have been purchased but did not provide further information.  The document provides a rare look at the wide range of electronic surveillance tactics used by police and militaries in the U.S. and abroad, offering equipment ranging from black boxes that can monitor an entire town’s cellular signals to microphones hidden in lighters and cameras hidden in trashcans.  Markings date it to 2014.
Read more on The Intercept.

A techie detective story.
The Hunt for Lurk
In early June, 2016, the Russian police arrested the alleged members of the criminal group known as Lurk.  The police suspected Lurk of stealing nearly three billion rubles, using malicious software to systematically withdraw large sums of money from the accounts of commercial organizations, including banks.  For Kaspersky Lab, these arrests marked the culmination of a six-year investigation by the company’s Computer Incidents Investigation team.

Oh great.  These idiots again.
Twitter has a white supremacist problem, claims new study
White nationalists and self-proclaimed Nazi sympathizers in the U.S. are actively using Twitter — and are far more popular than Islamic extremists on the platform, claims a new study from George Washington University.
The report found that eighteen major American white nationalist movements on Twitter have accumulated an additional 22,000 followers since 2012, an increase of more than 600 percent in four years.  While Twitter has been busy clamping down on ISIS-related activity on its platform as a result of governmental pressure, groups like the American Nazi Party have been using the site with “relative impunity,” states the report.

It’s not fair?  Either they hired really good Austrian tax lawyers or someone really hates sausage stands.  
Tax Of Amazon, Starbucks vs Small Sausage Stand: Reality Bites In Austria
Starbucks and Google earn hundreds of millions in advertising money in Austria, yet the multinational enterprises pay smaller taxes than small businesses from the country.
Austrian chancellor Christian Kern pointed out that the nation's staple coffee houses or sausage stands end up paying more taxes than the corporate giants.  Kern noted that Amazon only shelled out 1,400 euro ($1,562) in corporate taxes in 2014.

I don’t think it’s an “Oh, the horror!” moment, yet.  But logistics, logistics, logistics!
Shoes, Merchandise Headed For Walmart, Target And JC Penney Stranded At Sea
Retailers are in crisis as cargo carrying sneakers, TVs and more products are stranded on the high seas.
Hanjin Shipping, the world’s seventh-largest shipping companies based in South Korea — which operates out of ports in Long Beach, Calif. and Los Angeles — filed for bankruptcy protection in a Seoul court on Thursday, sparking fears from port operators that have responded by denying services to Hanjin vessels.
   The fallout has been swift. So far, three of Hanjin’s vessels have been idle near L.A. and Long Beach ports, and another remains outside the Port of Prince Rupert in British Columbia, Canada, while another has been seized in Singapore, according to Bloomberg.  A source tells the organization that ports have refused Hanjin ships “because they are worried port and other fees won’t be paid.”

For my fellow math teachers and tutors.  Share with everyone!
Top >10 Mathematics Websites
Top 10 Mathematics Websites 2016-2017 (PowerPoint) or Top 10 Mathematics Websites 2016-2017 (pdf).  Note that hyperlinks seem to work considerably faster on the pdf version.

Gee, we have a 3D printer, so we should probably get a couple of these too.
The new botscan-3D-Scanner
[Watch this video:

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