Sunday, November 20, 2016

It’s a sad, sad day.  No doubt it will be raining coal in Russia.
RT reports:
Parents beware!  A data breach has been discovered somewhere it was least expected.  The Russian telecom watchdog has tracked 55 websites which disclose personal data from the online letters children write to Father Frost (the Russian version of Santa Claus) ahead of the New Year.
“We’ve discovered 55 websites that sabotage the work of Father Frost and make the personal data of kids from their letters to Father Frost public,” the watchdog, Roskomnadzor, said on its account in the VKontakte social network.
The last, first and middle names, ages, home addresses and telephone numbers of children are being disclosed, it added.
Read more on RT.

Nothing on the HUD website.  Have they been blamed for something they did not do?  Why no response?  Perhaps this happened everywhere and they are trying to figure out who to blame? 
Natalie Parsons reports:
A Fargo woman received a letter from public housing saying she was at risk of identity theft.
It was a result of a US Department of Housing and Urban Development data breach and now she’s worried for her safety.
The Fargo Housing and Redevelopment Authority says almost 600,000 names and social security numbers were posted to an unsecured website viewable to the public and it was not their doing but the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Read more on Valley News Live.
I haven’t found any notice or press release on HUD’s site about this incident or any other coverage of this.  It appears that the breach occurred during August and September, and the video from the news station suggests that HUD was unable to determine who may have accessed the exposed information during that period.  Maybe someone with better eyes than mine can read the notification displayed during the news broadcast?

As we add new technologies to the mix, their interactions with older tech creates new pathways for hackers.  I can see the FBI saying, “Siri, please hack into this phone.” 
Strange Hack Uses Siri To Bypass Any iPhone’s Lock Screen And Access Photos
Some curious minds have discovered a weird trick which can bypass an iPhone lock screen and access the photos stored on the device.
YouTube channel iDeviceHelp has published a video described a working implementation of the method on an iPhone 7 Plus running the iOS 10.2.
The iPhone lock screen bypass works by taking advantage of the Siri voice assistant and the voice over feature.  The method won’t work if Siri is not enabled while the device is locked.  Also, you need physical access to the target iPhone.

All the stuff we have to teach our Ethical Hacking students. 
Exclusive: Inside America’s Newest Digital Crime Lab
   “No case is simple anymore because juries want to see analysis and expect CSI in the courtroom,” says Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, who oversees the sprawling operation that involves cops, computer talent, and an ever-growing roster of cases touched by cyber-crime.
In an exclusive tour of the new lab, Fortune got a glimpse of Law & Order in the digital age.  The lab is Exhibit A in how America’s biggest city is embracing big data analytics and a dash of hacker culture to solve complex crimes.  It also raises hard questions about how to balance these sophisticated crime-fighting tools with civil liberties.

Perhaps we really need the self-driving car? 
Are apps really responsible for increased traffic fatalities?
It'll probably be another week or two before the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration releases its official stats on 2015 traffic fatalities.  However, early data suggests a significant uptick from 2014--potentially 7.7 percent or higher.
What's to blame for that sharp increase?  According to some analysts, it has everything to do with apps.

(Related) Will this App be responsible for run-away spending?
Alexa offers steep, exclusive deals in Amazon's first 'voice shopping weekend'
Amazon is getting a jump on the holiday shopping craze with an all-Alexa weekend.  The online retailer just announced its first “voice shopping weekend.”  Prime members can use an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, Amazon Fire HD tablet, or Amazon Fire TV to ask, “Alexa, what are your deals?”  
Alexa will then tell you about Amazon’s deals for that day. If you like what you hear, you can then tell Alexa to order the item.  
   Anyone who wants to can peruse the deals on Amazon’s website, but ordering the items at the sale price requires a Prime membership and an Alexa-enabled device.

(Related) When Jeff Bezos says he wants to sell everything, he means it!
Fiat Chrysler teams up with Amazon to sell cars online

Just trying to keep up…
Humanity and AI will be inseparable
   Professor Manuela Veloso, head of the machine learning department at Carnegie Mellon University, envisions a future in which humans and intelligent systems are inseparable, bound together in a continual exchange of information and goals that she calls “symbiotic autonomy.”  In Veloso’s future, it will be hard to distinguish human agency from automated assistance — but neither people nor software will be much use without the other.

Try explaining this to a bunch of grad students from a variety of countries without making the whole system sound crazy.
Pentagon and intelligence community chiefs have urged Obama to remove the head of the NSA
The heads of the Pentagon and the nation’s intelligence community have recommended to President Obama that the director of the National Security Agency, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, be removed.
   Action has been delayed, some administration officials said, because relieving Rogers of his duties is tied to another controversial recommendation: to create separate chains of command at the NSA and the military’s cyberwarfare unit, a recommendation by Clapper and Carter that has been stalled because of other issues.
The news comes as Rogers is being considered by President-elect Donald Trump to be his nominee for director of national intelligence to replace Clapper as the official who oversees all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies.  In a move apparently unprecedented for a military officer, Rogers, without notifying superiors, traveled to New York to meet with Trump on Thursday at Trump Tower.
   The driving force for Clapper, meanwhile, was the separation of leadership roles at the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command, and his stance that the NSA should be headed by a civilian. [It never has been as far as I know.  Bob] 
   The NSA is an intelligence agency but part of the Defense Department

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