Sunday, September 11, 2016

See?  This trick works to install malware too.
No, it wasn’t an employee with a skimmer.  There’s an update to the Fuzzy’s Taco Shop breach involving customers’ credit card information.  Andrew McMillan reports:
KTXS spoke with Detective Gabriel Thompson with the APD Fraud Division Thursday, and he revealed more details about the two-month-long data breach that started in July and ended Sept. 1.
He said the information was not taken by any employees at the Abilene location, and no physical devices were installed to get the credit card information.
Thompson said online hackers were able to spoof an email from an employee who works with Fuzzy’s Taco Shop’s information technology and computer system.  The hackers pretended to be the IT employee and sent an internal email to the manager of the Abilene Fuzzy’s.
The email instructed the manager to download a program on a computer connected to the restaurant’s point of sale systems.  That program turned out to be malware that infected the system and obtained credit card information from purchases made at the restaurant, according to Thompson.
Read more on KTXS.

IT Governance!  This happens when you don’t have control of your hardware & software.
Diane Lee reports that Horry County Schools, the third largest school district in South Carolina, was hit with ransomware in February, and paid up:
A photo [Photo???  Bob] was sent to Horry County Schools in February.  It said if you don’t pay 22 bitcoin within “7 days” “it’s impossible to recover your files.”
Horry paid the $10,000 because the cyber-criminals had breached 80% of its servers.
The district decided to publicly reveal what happened to try to warn others, including admitting how a decision on their part had left them vulnerable:
In it’s case, the hackers snuck in through an old server that was never taken offline.
“We could have very easily prevented this attack for us by saying, you know what, we’re going to keep that system available for access to historical data, but we are not going to make it accessible over the public internet,” said Hucks.
The county learned its lesson, it seems:
Horry County Schools now has a remote back-up offsite, [Business Continuity 101  Bob] and also several primary back-ups at each school to speed up recovery.
Good detection programs, and backups aren’t cheap, but Brown says it’s far less costly to put more tax dollars towards that than to pay for both the ransom and recovery after you get hit.
Sounds right to me.
One tech administrator interviewed for the story said that in the past six months alone, schools across the country have faced more than 8,500 ransomware attacks alone.  But are most districts able to prevent attacks?  Probably not:
Most of the software is getting through our anti-virus and our anti-malware and is actually not being picked up.  We don’t get alerts typically from that, we get alerts when we notice traffic leaving the computer and going places that it shouldn’t go like Germany and Tiawan and Japan,” said Brown.
Read more on WSPA.

A voice worth listening to.
   Indeed, you can’t examine the terms of service you interact with in any depth – it would take more than 24 hours a day just to figure out what rights you’ve given away that day.  But as terrible as notice-and-consent is, at least it pretends that people should have some say in the destiny of the data that evanescences off of their lives as they move through time, space, and information.
The next generation of networked devices are literally incapable of participating in that fiction.

Because politicians know what consumers want?  Because if you don’t buy computers that are in compliance, you will have to pay for an electrical over-user license?   
California nears adoption of energy-saving rules for computers
California regulators moved a step closer on Friday to the first mandatory U.S. energy efficiency standards for computers and monitors, gadgets that account for 3 percent of home electric bills and 7 percent of commercial power costs in the state.

Could make winning at any card game much easier. 
Judging a book through its cover
MIT researchers and their colleagues are designing an imaging system that can read closed books.
In the latest issue of Nature Communications, the researchers describe a prototype of the system, which they tested on a stack of papers, each with one letter printed on it.  The system was able to correctly identify the letters on the top nine sheets.
“The Metropolitan Museum in New York showed a lot of interest in this, because they want to, for example, look into some antique books that they don’t even want to touch,” says Barmak Heshmat, a research scientist at the MIT Media Lab and corresponding author on the new paper.

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