Thursday, November 03, 2016

No, he was not a student.  He got caught didn’t he?
Rick Salinger reports:
A 29 month prison sentence was handed down on Tuesday to a Colorado man who pleaded guilty to charges involving a massive photo hacking scheme.
Brandon Bourret, of Colorado Springs, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit computer fraud.
The FBI tracked Bourret and a colleague down after a total of 1.9 million Photobucket accounts were found to be hacked.
Read more on CBS.

Maybe AI will be better at this…
From the oi-veh dept., Noel Towell reports:
Centrelink has apologised to hundreds of users of the myGov web portal after their contact details were shared with hundreds of strangers – twice.
The latest federal government data breach is being blamed on a rookie email error, someone at the giant Department of Human Services hitting the CC button on an email instead of the BCC button.
When the department realised it had disclosed the email contact details of hundreds of its customers on October 24, it tried to recall the email containing the information, but only succeeded in sending it again.
Despite the blunder, Human Services’ service delivery boss Darren Box insists that myGov is the best way for millions of Australians to manage their dealings with the federal government.
Read more on The Canberra Times.

Human nature. 
CISOs Must Step Beyond Their Comfort Zones
A new survey published by Accenture shows that the twin security conundrums of increasing security breaches despite increased security spending, and high security confidence despite a high level of breaches, are both alive and well.  These conclusions are drawn from a survey of more than 2,000 enterprise security practitioners across 15 countries in organizations with annual revenues in excess of $1 billion.
Accenture's report on this survey, Building Confidence: Facing the Cybersecurity Conundrum published Wednesday finds that 75% of the respondents are confident in their security strategies while a similar number describe security as 'completely embedded' in the corporate culture.
Despite this confidence, the same respondents faced an average of 106 targeted attacks every year, with as many as one in three being successful.  This implies a disconnect between belief and reality, and a potential misunderstanding of today's threats and possible solutions.

Architecting failure.
Ongoing Use of Windows Vista, IE8 Pose Huge Enterprise Threat
Duo Security reports that 65% of its clients' Windows users are still running Vista, and that tens of thousands are still on XP (now 15 years old, unsupported, and with around 700 known vulnerabilities of which 200 are rated as high to critical).  On top of this, while Chrome is the most popular browser, 20% of Internet Explorer users are running a version that has reached end-of-life status and do not receive security patches.  For the XP users, as many as 88% are still using Internet Explorer 8.
Duo Security is a trusted access provider offering multi-factor authentication to its customers.  As part of this service it is required to collect telemetry from the users -- often resulting in a greater knowledge of what is connecting to its customers' networks than those customers themselves.  Duo's new report, The 2016 Duo Trusted Access Report: Microsoft Edition, is based on an analysis of that telemetry.
   To illustrate the effect he suggests looking at healthcare and ransomware.  "From our own studies, healthcare customers have 4 times as many XP boxes as the financial sector.  That illustrates why ransomware attacks have been so successful against healthcare.  The bad guys go where they know they will succeed without a lot of effort."

An interesting and quick reaction to the surveillance of one journalist.
Ingrid Peritz reports:
The Quebec government has moved quickly with a series of measures to try to restore confidence in the judicial system and protect press freedom amid a widening controversy over the surveillance of journalists by police.
The announcement came in the aftermath of damaging disclosures that high-profile Quebec journalist Patrick Lagacé had been the target of a months-long covert police operation that tracked the calls and texts on his iPhone, and allowed law enforcement to follow his movements through the phone’s GPS.  Montreal police were seeking the source of an internal leak to the media.
The scope of the controversy appeared to grow on Tuesday after a Montreal daily said three other journalists had also been the object of police attention.  Citing police sources, Le Journal de Montréal said police brass did not obtain court warrants but had scrutinized the call logs of its officers to find out who had been speaking to the reporters.
Read more on the Globe and Mail.

Perhaps a custom template for education?  “Yes, I received your paper ___ minutes ago.  No, I have not graded it yet.” 
Gupshup’s new development tools help you build a chatbot without writing code
Let’s say you run a restaurant, and you want a chatbot to take orders.  Or you run a hair salon, and you need a chatbot to help schedule appointments for blowouts and coloring.  Or, for fun, let’s say you’re me, a journalist, and you’re jealous of Chris Messina and Esther Crawford, who have their own personal bots.
The trouble for many of the people running these small businesses (as well as the person writing this article) is a lack of coding skills needed to make such chatbots.  But in about 10 minutes, while sitting at my kitchen table in front of my MacBook Air, I built a simple chatbot, TheBeeZeeChatbot for Facebook Messenger.   I built it using two new development tools from Gupshup: Flow and Template Bot Builders.
   As an example, Sheth says the template for restaurant bots is based on the most common variables, like location, price, hours, menu, and order placement.  The new tools walk the restaurant’s bot builder through the conversation flow, prompting them to customize the conversational text in accordance with their style — all without writing a single line of code.
“Our goal is to democratize bot building,” says Sheth. “Before, high-end bots required high-end coding skills.  We’re now helping small- and medium-sized enterprises create, test, and deploy bots for dozens of messaging platforms.”
Both Flow Bot Builder and Template Bot Builder are available to try at

As I get older, this seems more like the search engine I need.
Atlas Recall, a search engine for your entire digital life, gets an open beta and $20M in backing
   “The house of search is actually two houses,” said Ritter.  “One is, find me something I’ve never seen.  The other is, find me something I definitely know I’ve seen.”
Atlas Recall is intended to fill the second role better than anything out there.  It indexes and makes searchable everything you encounter on your computer and mobile — yes, every single thing.  On the web, on Facebook, in Outlook, on your computer, everything.  But before you freak out:
  • No, it doesn’t need access to those services or their APIs
  • Yes, it’s always encrypted
  • Yes, you can easily block, delete, and otherwise control what it remembers
   Microsoft, Nathan Myhrvold, and Aspect Ventures ponied up $20.7 million for Ritter and his colleagues to pursue this dream of a “searchable photographic memory for our digital lives.”  The open beta, which you can sign up for here, is — as you might expect — intended to shake out bugs, refine the interface, and learn what features users like, don’t use, never find, and so on.  It’s available for macOS and iOS now, with Windows 10 and Android on the way.

Interesting.  Strange, but interesting.
Japanese architect flat earth map accurately illustrates size of land masses and oceans
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Nov 2, 2016
UK Daily Mail: “The traditional map of the world, known as the Mercator map, may be the most often seen image of our planet but it is also considered highly inaccurate because Antarctica and Greenland are greatly distorted.  Now, a Japanese artist and architect believes he has solved this 447 year old problem with an ‘origami map’ that represents landmasses and seas as accurately as possible.  To create the perfectly proportioned map, Hajime Narukawa divided the spherical globe into 96 triangles that are flattened and transferred to a tetrahedron.  This allows the image to be ‘unfolded’ into a rectangle while still maintaining an area’s proportions…”

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