Friday, October 14, 2016

You might believe that all of this is old technology is failing at several airlines simultaneously because all the technology is about the same age.  You might believe that this technology is relatively easy to hack and these failures suggest someone is practicing their Cyber War techniques. 
New Computer Glitch Delays Thousands of United Airlines Passengers
It is the third computer glitch to hit United’s owner United Continental Holdings in recent months.
Thousands of passengers were delayed worldwide after a computer glitch temporarily halted departures at United Airlines, the latest in a series of outages to affect rival companies in the industry.

Wholesale hacking.
BBC reports:
Almost 6,000 web shops are unknowingly harbouring malicious code that is stealing the credit card details of customers, suggests research.
The code has been injected into the sites by cyberthieves, said Dutch developer Willem De Groot.
He found the 5,925 compromised sites by scanning for the specific signature of the data-stealing code in website software.
Some of the stolen data was sent to servers based in Russia, he said.
Read more on BBC.

It’s just a big repository of evidence.  You just have to know how to retrieve it!
Google: More than 44K government requests for data
   Google said that it received 44,943 requests from government entities worldwide in the first six months of the year, up from 40,677 in the previous six month period.  The requests affected 76,713 accounts — a decrease from the previous six months.
The company said it had provided the authorities with some data in 64 percent of cases.  That was the same rate as in the prior six months.

An interesting article for lawyers defending hackers.  (The PDF is online)
False Flags and Mis-Direction in Hacker Attribution
On October 7, 2016 the U.S. government officially called out Russia and accused it of involvement in cyber attacks against American political organizations.  Two days prior, at the Virus Bulletin (VB) Conference, Kaspersky Lab researchers presented a paper on the problems of attribution: Wave Your False Flags! Deception Tactics Muddying Attribution in Targeted Attacks.
Cyber attack attribution has long been a thorny problem.  It is difficult to develop norms of international cyber behavior if attackers can hide behind plausible deniability.  Microsoft recently proposed an independent international committee of experts to ascribe responsibility.  The Kaspersky paper, however, questions whether absolute attribution is even possible.

Look at what Dissent built!
Looking for some monthly stats on healthcare data breaches in the U.S.?
See Protenus’s Breach Barometer for September, produced in conjunction with

Explaining the risks of poor Governance to my students.
Worst-ever Smartphone Recall Could Cause a $17B Hole in Samsung’s Pockets
  It is worth noting that the whole debacle is causing Samsung an immediate and significant financial blow.  On Tuesday, even before the company had announced the Galaxy Note 7 as a goner, its shares printed an 8% nosedive, the biggest intraday drop since fiscal 2008.  According to analysts at Credit Suisse Group (NYSE:CS), Samsung could lose a massive $17 billion from the fiasco.  In addition, Nomura predicts that the firm’s mobile division could see its profits plunge by as much as 85% in Q4.  There are also concerns that Samsung’s image as a trusted electronics brand could be negatively effected as a result of the handset’s production end.

For my IT Architects.
Why Digitization Won’t Put Operations Managers Out of Work
On Oct. 3, ING Group joined a growing number of big European banks when it announced a big investment in digital technology (800 million euros) and a big reduction in force (11% or 5,800 jobs).  “Unfortunately digital transformation means less jobs,” CFO Patrick Flynn told Bloomberg Television not very ruefully.
But perhaps not fewer management jobs.  “Even as organizations balance lower investment in traditional operations against greater investment in digital, the need for operations management will hardly disappear,” write McKinsey consultants Albert Bollard, Alex Singla, Rohit Sood, and Jasper van Ouwerkerk in a new article in McKinsey Quarterly.  “In fact, we believe the need will be more profound than ever.”

What do they see that I don’t and should I try to grab a piece of it?
Softbank's New $100B Tech Fund Shows Exactly How It's Expanding Beyond Telco
The revelation today that the Japanese telco Softbank is planning a $100 billion tech fund with the Saudi Arabian government is a big announcement in and of itself.  It will be one of the biggest tech investment funds in existence.  Then add the fact that just three days ago, Softbank invested $130 million in the biotech startup Zymergen, and that it’s been just over a month since it completed its $31 billion acquisition of chip-maker ARM Holdings.
Together, the moves add up to one simple fact and a couple more less simple questions.  The fact is that even though Softbank is often referred to as a telco company, it no longer fits that profile.  Far from it.  The questions are: “If it is not a telco, what is it then?” and “What on Earth is it going to spend $100 billion on?”

Interesting.  The FBI wasted several hundred million dollars trying to develop a case management tool.
New York City cops are now part of the Windows Phone 1%
New York's Police Department has joined the modern era.  Alongside guns and badges, new officers now pick up phones when they join the New York City Police Academy.  While the obvious choice might seem like an iPhone or an Android phone, the NYPD has actually picked Microsoft's Windows Phones for its fight against crime.  Windows Phone market share might have slipped below 1 percent, but CNET News reports that the NYPD has worked with Microsoft to create apps and secure the devices.
Cops are using either a Lumia 830 or Lumia 640 XL, equipped with special 911 apps, case management apps, and the ability to receive assignments, fill out forms or reports on the go, and access training videos.

Something for my students?
Hootsuite Academy Schools Entrepreneurs in Social Media
Need to brush up on your social media skills? Enrolling in the new Hootsuite Academy is one way entrepreneurs can build the expertise they need to help drive business results using Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks.
Signing up is simple and free.

(Related) Why my students should understand social media.  
McDonald’s Turns to Social Media to Draw Millennials
How many people does it take for a 61-year-old burger maker to tweet?  At least a dozen.
Inside a high-tech room at McDonald’s Corp. ’s suburban Chicago headquarters, employees tap away at computers responding to tweets and crunching data on what’s trending on social media, long a standard practice at most consumer companies.
Companies. such as online retailer Inc., coffee giant Starbucks Corp. and discount airline JetBlue Airways Corp., have been using social media for years to manage customer complaints and generate ideas.
But as recently as two years ago, McDonald’s had no way to consistently track and respond to what is being said about it online, a lost opportunity for a brand that gets mentioned on social media every one to two seconds.
   Now, McDonald’s has a digital media hub in Singapore and London as well as the one in Oak Brook.  It recently hired 200 people from companies such as Inc. and PayPal Holdings Inc. to bolster its digital efforts and win back the millennials it lost to rivals serving fresher food.  Just one in five millennials has ever tried the company’s flagship Big Mac, according to an internal memo reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Might be useful in my next Statistics class.  Do look at the EVA tool!
Data Driven Journalism – Fragile Cities: Plotting lesser known urban stories
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Oct 13, 2016
Data Drive Journalism: “London, Paris, Madrid, New York…there are a numerous “global cities” that mesmerize us with their power and opportunity.  But what about the lesser known cities?  That can’t boast such potential?  What do we know about them?  To scope out which cities are forging ahead, and identify those that are falling behind, the IgarapĂ© Institute has launched one of the world’s most comprehensive city mapping platforms – Fragile Cities  Leveraging the power of Explorable Visual Analytics (EVA) – a web application for visualizing and exploring large and complex datasets – the platform provides an easy mechanism for users to congest datapoints, drilldown data, and look at different conceptual zoom layers to get the big picture insights as well as the minute details.  EVA is also optimized for time-series visualizations – you can explore trends across different time scales to discover patterns and seasonalities…”

Sort of a geo-selfie?  (Is it me or is this data not as easy to find as the article suggests?)
National Geodetic Survey damage assessment imagery available online
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Oct 13, 2016
“From October 7-10, 2016, the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) collected damage assessment imagery for more than 1,200 square miles in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.  The aerial imagery was collected in specific areas identified by FEMA and the National Weather Service.  Select the round icon with directional arrows using your mouse (or your finger) and slide back and forth to view a “before and after” comparison.  “Before” images are provided by Mapbox, Digital Globe, and OpenStreetMap; “After” images were captured by NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.”

Like shooting fish in a barrel?
Labeling fact-check articles in Google News
Over the last several years, fact checking has come into its own.  Led by organizations like the International Fact-Checking Network, rigorous fact checks are now conducted by more than 100 active sites, according to the Duke University Reporter’s Lab.  They collectively produce many thousands of fact-checks a year, examining claims around urban legends, politics, health, and the media itself.
In the seven years since we started labeling types of articles in Google News (e.g., In-Depth, Opinion, Wikipedia), we’ve heard that many readers enjoy having easy access to a diverse range of content types.  Earlier this year, we added a “Local Source” Tag to highlight local coverage of major stories.  Today, we’re adding another new tag, “Fact check,” to help readers find fact checking in large news stories.  You’ll see the tagged articles in the expanded story box on and in the Google News & Weather iOS and Android apps, starting with the U.S. and the U.K.

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