Saturday, March 04, 2017
Another ‘proof of concept’ hack?
On a Tuesday night last October in Olympia, Wash., 911 operator Jennifer Rodgers stared at the list of incoming calls on her screen.
Normally, one or two calls at a time would trickle in at this hour. At 9:28 p.m., they began stacking up by the dozens like lines on an Excel spreadsheet.
An alarm alerting operators to unanswered 911 calls filled the room. It almost never sounds more than once. Tonight, it was going off constantly.
Ms. Rodgers had no idea what was happening. People in Olympia, a city of about 50,000 an hour’s drive south of Seattle, and the surrounding county were dialing 911 and hanging up before their calls were answered. Then they were dialing 911 again.
After about 15 minutes, a girl stayed on the phone long enough for Ms. Rodgers, a 911 operator for 15 years, to say through her headset: “Don’t hang up! Don’t hang up!”
“We didn’t mean to call 911!” the operator recalls the girl saying. “I’m not touching the phone! I’m not doing anything! I don’t know how to make it stop!”
For at least 12 hours on Oct. 25 and Oct. 26, 911 centers in at least a dozen U.S. states from California to Texas to Florida were overwhelmed by what investigators now believe was the largest-ever cyberattack on the country’s emergency-response system.
… Federal and state officials have worried that America’s aging 911 system is vulnerable to hackers. The October cyberattack confirmed those fears and sent investigators scrambling to answer two questions: Who launched it? And why?
How my Computer Security students should start their Budget process.
What’s Your Data Worth?
In 2016, Microsoft Corp. acquired the online professional network LinkedIn Corp. for $26.2 billion. Why did Microsoft consider LinkedIn to be so valuable? And how much of the price paid was for LinkedIn’s user data — as opposed to its other assets? Globally, LinkedIn had 433 million registered users and approximately 100 million active users per month prior to the acquisition. Simple arithmetic tells us that Microsoft paid about $260 per monthly active user.
Did Microsoft pay a reasonable price for the LinkedIn user data? Microsoft must have thought so — and LinkedIn agreed.
Speculation or wishful thinking?
Trump Inherits a Secret Cyberwar Against North Korean Missiles
I guess it is in their power to bypass the warrant.
FCC grants emergency waiver to combat Jewish center bomb threats
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced Friday it had issued an emergency waiver to allow law enforcement to temporarily access caller-ID information for those making anonymous threats against Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) across the country.
How my students can cause disruption and become extremely wealthy!
How Insurers Can Protect Against Digital Disruption
The U.S. insurance industry is among the largest in the world, with net premiums written totaling $1.2 trillion in 2015, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
… A Gartner report showed that “only 12% of insurance business and IT leaders consider their organizations to be digitally progressive, while most believe that their organizations are digital beginners or intermediate, at best.”
… In 2015, more than $800 million in risk capital was invested in insuretech startups, according to Tradestreaming.
Pascal Bouvier, venture partner at Santander InnoVentures, told Tradestreaming that the profit and growth opportunities in insurance technology are “immense” because “the industry has barely been touched as of yet by [digital] disruption.”
Another ‘take’ on Internet access. Probably would not work here.
Wifi Dabba wants to help stores in India provide low-cost internet access
… as incumbent network providers battle among themselves and outside third-parties struggle to break in, the cost of the internet remains unreachable for many people. Wifi Dabba is a startup with a mission to bring low-cost internet access to India, starting in retail stores.
… By installing Wi-Fi access points at small merchant locations such as tea stalls and bakeries, customers can purchase internet time the same way as baked goods and beverages. “In India, there is a tea stall or a bakery every 100 yards in every city. [In the US, that would be Starbucks. Bob] There are an estimated 50 million such micro-businesses in the country.
Is this the right thing to do or the ‘far left’ thing to do?
Massachusetts might tax self-driving cars to prevent the rise of 'zombie cars'
Introduced in late January, the twin bills would tax self-driving cars per mile and allow large municipalities to ban them altogether, the Northeast-focused news website Metro reported.
… The proposal is meant to curtail the rise of "zombie cars," or driverless vehicles that drive in circles waiting for a customer instead of parking, Lewis told The Boston Globe.
… The bill also requires self-driving cars to be marked as autonomous vehicles, be zero-emission vehicles if they weigh less than 8,500 pounds, store data required by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, and have a panic button.
As far as I can see, they view Snap as just another channel. Disappearing has nothing to do with it, it’s how long teenagers watch Snap (hours per day).
NBCUniversal invests $500 million in Snap's IPO
Comcast Corp's NBCUniversal has invested $500 million in Snapchat owner Snap Inc, according to a memo on Friday, its latest move aimed at driving digital growth as more viewers go online for their favorite content.
Like other traditional U.S. media companies, NBCU is pushing more into digital media, and over the past 18 months it has invested $400 million in online publisher Buzzfeed and $200 million in Vox Media, operator of The Verge and Recode news.
… NBCUniversal has already launched entertainment programs such as The Voice, SNL and E! News' The Rundown on Snapchat, and said in its memo that it expects to launch more shows on the disappearing-message app in the coming weeks.
We’ve already paid for it, why not see if we can use it?
NASA grants free access to its technologies in latest software release
NASA has released its 2017-2018 software catalogue free of charge to the public, without any royalty or copyright fees.
… This third edition of the publication has contributions from all the agency’s centres on data processing/storage, business systems, operations, propulsion and aeronautics. … Each catalogue entry is accompanied with a plain language description of what it does.