Monday, November 21, 2016

Nice of the FBI to issue a warning, but someone at the banks should have noticed these stories and followed up with their security department.  If I was on the Board, I’d certainly expect that (and would ask about it).
Hackers Program Bank ATMs to Spew Cash
   In Taiwan and Thailand earlier this year, the criminals programmed bank ATMs to spew cash.  Gang members stood in front of the machines at the appointed hour and collected millions of dollars.
Earlier this month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation warned U.S. banks of the potential for similar attacks.  The FBI said in a bulletin that it is “monitoring emerging reports indicating that well-resourced and organized malicious cyber actors have intentions to target the U.S. financial sector.”
   Investigators now believe that the criminals broke into computers at First Commercial’s London office on May 31.  Once inside the network, the criminals sent a malicious software update to the company’s 41 PC1500 ATMs, built by Wincor Nixdorf AG of Germany.  After testing their system on July 9, they instructed the ATMs to empty their cash-carrying cassettes the next day.
   During the six months ended in February 2016, the Buhtrap group launched 13 successful attacks against Russian banks, stealing more than $25 million through the nation’s bank-clearinghouse system, he said.
The computer code to carry out the attacks was released earlier this year by a disgruntled Buhtrap member, and is now being used by others, Mr. Volkov said.

(Related) Perhaps there is a market for Threat Intelligence as a service?
Do You Need a Threat Intelligence Team?

A bit of an update.  I didn’t follow this far enough to see the scope of this request.
The IRS wants to ID every U.S. Coinbase user from 2013 to 2015
The government suspects some Bitcoin holders have been evading taxes
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has asked a court in California to order Coinbase, a Bitcoin exchange, to hand over the identities of active U.S. users of its service from the beginning of 2013 to the end of 2015.
In a filing Thursday to the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, the IRS said it's investigating whether virtual currency users failed to report income on transactions conducted in the Bitcoin virtual currency. 
   In addition to customer details, the agency is also after transaction records, account statements and records of payments made and processed for the users.
San Francisco-based Coinbase said it would oppose the demand, in part because the government hasn't alleged the company has done anything wrong.

A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you’re talking real money!
Alibaba Cloud plans to launch 4 new data centres worldwide, eyes larger global market share
Alibaba Cloud, the cloud unit of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Holdings Ltd, has announced that it is planning to open four new data centres across the globe by the end of the year.  The announcement could be interpreted as company's desire to grab global market share from key players such as Amazon and Microsoft.
The new data centres would be located in Japan, Germany, the Middle East and Australia.  These additions would bring the number of the data facilities of the company to a total of 14, including the two in the US.  The new units will extend the company's reach to almost every major continent.
According to a Reuters report, the move marks the latest step in the company's $1 billion infrastructure investment drive.

Something new for my students to ignore?
New Omnity Search – knowledge discovery tool for registered users
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Nov 20, 2016
“In a rising sea of ever growing and increasingly fragmented knowledge, Omnity enables searchers to efficiently find related documents, even if those documents do not directly cite or link to one another.  This accelerates the discovery of otherwise hidden, high-value patterns of interconnection within and between fields of knowledge as diverse as science, medicine, engineering, law and finance.  Omnity is based on fundamental advances in associative semantic search technology, through which we create landscapes of meaning-based relationships arising from the semantic signatures of entire documents.  In this manner, the knowledge contained within whole documents can be deeply inter-connected, solely through shared ideas.”

Is this how we want to remember 2016?
Politico Magazine – The making of the president, 2016 – a photo journal with stats and quotes
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Nov 20, 2016

(Related) Or this?
Pew – A Divided and Pessimistic Electorate
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Nov 20, 2016
Pew Report – Voters skeptical of progress in many areas – even jobs – since 2008.  “Beyond their disagreements over specific policy issues, voters who supported President-elect Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton also differed over the seriousness of a wide array of problems facing the nation, from immigration and crime to inequality and racism.”

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