Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The new Willie Sutton; “Now SWIFT is where the money’s at.”
Swift Reports Summer Cyber Attacks on Three Banks
   In the first, hackers had fraudulently sent payment instructions from the bank’s Swift terminal to an unauthorized beneficiary and then altered payment records to cover their tracks.  The next day, a second bank noticed the fraudulent messages being sent to the same rogue beneficiary.  In the third instance, the same pattern of hacking was attempted but was thwarted with anti-virus software that was part of a Swift security patch.
The attacks follow a wave of cyberattacks on Swift bank customers in the past several months.  Those attacks spanned the globe, including banks in Vietnam, Ecuador and one in Bangladesh where the thieves made off with $81 million from the country’s central bank.

Told ya so!
Ransomware Attack Hits Cape Cod Police Department
Ransomware is now the single most prolific malware threat.  Surveys suggest that around 50% of organizations have had a ransomware incident over the last year.  Every week there seems to be a new product, or new routine within an existing product, specifically designed to mitigate against ransomware.  But the basic advice remains: maintain good back-up/disaster recovery; and don't pay the ransom unless you literally have no other option.  Nevertheless, according to Osterman research, 40% of companies affected by ransomware actually pay the ransom.

We choose to be unsafe, even when we know better. 
Messaging Apps Vary Widely When It Comes to Privacy
   Messaging services that are considered the most private exclusively use end-to-end encryption.  That is, messages stay encrypted as they move from sender to recipient.  Even if they pass through or are stored on a server, they are encrypted in a way that the service provider can’t read them.  Facebook Inc. ’s WhatsApp, Apple Inc.’s iMessage and the Signal app by Open Whisper Systems always use end-to-end encryption.
Some apps, like Facebook Messenger and Google Allo, offer end-to-end encryption in special private messaging modes that users must turn on—something most people don’t do.

Well, there goes the neighborhood.  Why would any new technology need new laws?  Is bank robbery with a gun different than robbery by hacking the SWIFT system? 
Lawmakers announce blockchain technology caucus
   “The blockchain has boundless potential," Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) said in a statement detailing the new Congressional Blockchain Caucus.  "From cryptocurrencies to supply chains to banking to property titling, blockchain-based solutions have the ability to decentralize cybersecurity and revolutionize many industries.”

Lawmakers play catch-up as smartphone banking surges
Lawmakers are taking a closer look at how to regulate and support the emerging financial technology that is turning smartphones into mobile banks.
The House last week passed a resolution supporting a national policy on “FinTech.”  Those online banking and payment platforms fall under the jurisdiction of several federal regulators, leading congressional supporters and industry leaders to call for clearer federal standards and guidance.

Big data created in the office?  Does this sound a bit creepy to you?
Microsoft goes AI crazy: Now Office 365 can track what you really get up to in meetings
   At its annual Ignite conference this week in Atlanta, GA, Microsoft is showing off new AI features across its core products for the enterprise.  According to CEO Satya Nadella, this AI-everywhere strategy amounts to Microsoft "democratizing AI" for everyone to solve the world's most pressing challenges.
   New smart features coming to Office 365 include Tap in Word and Outlook, which aims to help workers reuse content already to be found in corporate documents for new documents and emails.
   Office 365 is also gaining the MyAnalytics personal analytics service, formerly known as Delve Analytics, which Microsoft gained when it acquired VoloMetrix last year.
MyAnalytics provides a visualized breakdown of personal performance at work, offering a snapshot of 'meeting hours', 'email hours', 'focus hours' and 'after hours'.  Users can also query the percentage of email read by recipients and what time email was read to help workers optimize the timing of email.

These might help my Software Architecture students.
Translating Research for Action: Ideas and Examples for Informing Digital Policy
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Sep 26, 2016
“The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society is pleased to release this series of papers, which aims to build a bridge between academic research and policymaking in the networked world by helping to identify opportunities in key areas related to digital technology and innovation.  The series builds on the Center’s commitment to exploring new ways to communicate, educate, and inform in the public interest and are informed by conversations and collaborations with diverse stakeholders in each area.  “Networked Policy Making Avenues” takes a process perspective and outlines different channels and methods available for academics to inform policymaking.  The additional papers presented in the form of short, synthesizing research briefings have a substantive orientation and serve as examples in action.  Focusing on critical topics such as how privacy intersects with issues related to students, open data, and cybersecurity, these briefings experiment with formats that may be more useful and accessible to decision makers than traditional research papers.  Each can be viewed as resource that stands on its own, and we hope each will provide a navigation aid vis-a-vis some of today’s controversially debated topics in digital policymaking.”  September 26, 2016.

It's hard to get students to use all the tools available. 
Library 2.0: The effectiveness of social media as a marketing tool for libraries in educational institutions
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Sep 26, 2016
Library 2.0: The effectiveness of social media as a marketing tool for libraries in educational institutions.  Journal of Librarianship and Information Science.  Published online before print September 22, 2016, doi: 10.1177/0961000616668959
   Our findings confirm that libraries in the sector are indeed struggling to foster interest in their social media activities and go some way to understanding why this is so, leading to a number of conclusions and recommendations for practitioners.”

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