Thursday, January 19, 2017

What is cheaper?  Scientific research or hacking?  Note that an Admin actually looked at traffic! 
New "Quimitchin" Mac Malware Emerges Targeting Scientific Research
   It was discovered when an IT admin noticed unusual traffic coming from a particular Mac.  Investigation led Malwarebytes to the espionage malware it now describes as Quimitchin (named after Aztec spies who would infiltrate other tribes -- the spies and the code are both ancient).
   Its primary purpose seems to be screen captures and webcam access, making it a classic espionage tool.  "It seems that this malware is trying to exfiltrate data from anything it can access.  Since this has been seen infecting Macs at biomedical facilities, we believe it's being used for espionage to steal scientific data -- but we don't know at this point who might be behind the malware," he said.
Somewhat surprisingly the code uses antique system calls.  "These are some truly ancient functions, as far as the tech world is concerned, dating back to pre-OS X days," he wrote in the blog post.  "In addition, the binary also includes the open source libjpeg code, which was last updated in 1998."
   Quimitchin consequently presents a conundrum.  It is simple in design, yet seems to have been undetected for several years.  "The only reason I can think of that this malware hasn't been spotted before now," suggests Reed, "is that it is being used in very tightly targeted attacks, limiting its exposure.

Interesting.  I wonder if we can get the raw data to do some more detailed research?
Cyber Skills Gap Quantified in Terms of Supply and Demand, which describes itself as the world's number one jobs site, has now provided facts and figures from its own experiences.  It does this by comparing security vacancies (industry demand) against click-interest (supply) from job seekers.  The difference between the two figures demonstrates the size of the skills gap in terms of both security specifics and global region.  Since Indeed is able to compare the difference today with the difference from two years ago, it is also able to quantify whether the skills gap is widening or narrowing.

Some of these files address topics I thought were urban legends.  Silly me. 
Welcome to the new CIA Freedom of Information Act Electronic Reading Room
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jan 18, 2017
The CIA’s declassified database is now online.  Thanks to a MuckRock lawsuit and Mike Best’s diligence, you can now read over 13 million pages of Agency records – Back in December, we wrote about how the CIA would be placing its previously-inaccessible CREST database online.  The move was a response to our lawsuit, handled pro bono by with Kel McClanahan of National Security Counselors, as well as Mike Best’s diligence in trying to manually print and scan the archive.  Today, we’re happy to announce that all 25 years worth of declassified documents are now available – no trip to the National Archives required.”

Stuff I can use in class.
Free for All: NYPL Enhances Public Domain Collections For Sharing and Reuse
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jan 18, 2017
New York Public Library – “Today we are proud to announce that out-of-copyright materials in NYPL Digital Collections are now available as high-resolution downloads.  No permission required, no hoops to jump through: just go forth and reuse!  The release of more than 180,000 digitized items represents both a simplification and an enhancement of digital access to a trove of unique and rare materials: a removal of administration fees and processes from public domain content, and also improvements to interfaces — popular and technical — to the digital assets themselves.  Online users of the NYPL Digital Collections website will find more prominent download links and filters highlighting restriction-free content; while more technically inclined users will also benefit from updates to the Digital Collections API enabling bulk use and analysis, as well as data exports and utilities posted to NYPL’s GitHub account.  These changes are intended to facilitate sharing, research and reuse by scholars, artists, educators, technologists, publishers, and Internet users of all kinds.  All subsequently digitized public domain collections will be made available in the same way, joining a growing repository of open materials.  

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