Tuesday, March 07, 2017

My Computer Security students already think like the hackers they will do battle with. 
To Improve Cybersecurity, Think Like a Hacker
   spending on cybersecurity is poised to accelerate.  Gartner Inc., the information technology (IT) research and advisory firm, has estimated that global spending on information security would reach $81 billion in 2016 and may grow to $101 billion by 2018, with the highest growth in security testing.3  Unfortunately, investment in security measures is only part of the answer; traditional methodologies can only do so much.  To be effective, executives in charge of cybersecurity need to adjust their mindsets and become as open and adaptive as possible.

How this happened might make an interesting case for my Computer Security students.
Alexander J. Martin reports:
Software company Solarwinds, which sells IT management tools, has infuriated customers after a faulty alert exposed customers’ entire client lists to their competitors.
An unspecified issue affecting the Texas-based business’ RemoteManagement tool, which it gained after acquiring Dundee-based LogicNow, led to a mass leaking of business data last Friday morning.
Read more on The Register.

What a wicked web we weave when…  Well, pretty much all the time!
Facebook reported the BBC — and itself — to police after the news organization flagged up 'sexualized' images of children being shared on the social network
   The BBC said it asked for an interview with Facebook's UK director of social policy, Simon Milner, to discuss its findings.  Milner agreed to be interviewed only on the condition its journalists provided examples of the photos that had been reported and not removed by moderators, according to the BBC.
The BBC said it cooperated with the request but Facebook then cancelled the interview and reported the news organization to the UK's National Crime Agency.
Therein follows a complex legal and ethical debate.  Under the Protection of Children Act, it is illegal in the UK to download or distribute images of child exploitation — something the BBC should have been well aware of.  However, Facebook had requested the images in order for an interview to take place — and these were photos which its own moderation system had apparently deemed legal.  Section 4 of the act also states one defence of distributing or being in possession of such indecent photographs is having a "legitimate reason" to do so.

Maybe there really is nothing there.
Amazon gives up fight for Alexa’s First Amendment rights after defendant hands over data
Amazon has abandoned its legal battle to protect its Alexa assistant with First Amendment rights — for now at least.  The company filed a motion against a police search warrant in an Arkansas murder case earlier this month, but has now dropped the case after the defendant agreed to hand over the data contained on his Echo speaker to police.
In documents filed last Monday, defendant James Andrew Bates said that he was willing to allow law enforcement officials to review information contained on his Amazon Echo speaker, before the company handed the data over on Friday.  Bates has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Victor Collins, who was found dead in Bates’ hot tub in November 2015.

Keeping up with the Donald?
As President Donald Trump made waves over the weekend with his latest tweets, another high-profile public official emerged as a lively—if less provocative—new voice on the social network.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, the prosecutor who has battled insider-trading and Albany’s top lawmakers, launched a personal Twitter account on Friday.  It was a rare step for a top federal law-enforcement official, and one that prompted a flurry of chatter in legal and political circles about his motives.
   But while Mr. Bharara’s embrace of the social platform stoked speculation that the move might signal his political ambitions or the announcement of a big new case, his office said the motivation was far simpler.
A spokesman for Mr. Bharara, Nicholas Biase, said the personal account is a result of the office’s compliance with a new social-media policy issued by the Justice Department that prohibits the use of account handles that identify only the individual’s name.
Mr. Bharara’s official account had used the handle @PreetBharara, and has now been switched to the handle @USAttyBharara, which meets the department’s protocol that handles signify affiliation with the agency, Mr. Biase said.
Mr. Bharara then took @PreetBharara for his personal use.

A lot of video from the Wall Street Journal today…
How Artificial Intelligence Will Change Everything
   Andrew Ng, chief scientist at Chinese internet giant Baidu Inc. and co-founder of education startup Coursera, and Neil Jacobstein, chair of the artificial intelligence and robotics department at Silicon Valley think tank Singularity University, sat down with The Wall Street Journal’s Scott Austin to discuss AI’s opportunities and challenges.
Here are edited excerpts.

I’m trying to make my Data Management students useful in this market.
Why CIOs Aren’t Prepared for Big Data
As companies scale their use of big data, the move brings a lot of questions.  Does it require new architecture?  Does it require new platforms?  The Wall Street Journal’s Jay Greene discussed the topic with Richard Sherlund, managing director and chairman, software investment banking, at Barclays.  The discussion covered everything from going beyond big data that looks to the past to newer applications that will be able to learn and make predictions.
Edited excerpts follow.
MR. GREENE: What’s fueling this platform are Internet of Things devices, right?
MR. SHERLUND: The new Airbus has 70,000 sensors.  None of that data comes down to earth.  That stays on the airplane.  That has to be processed locally.  There are security reasons that you don’t want that data going back and forth.

Not surprising, but disappointing.  What is the priority list like for a government bureaucracy?  1. Don’t get fired.  2. Grow my budget. 3. Grow my bureaucracy.  99. Improve productivity.  Perhaps “Rigorous Vetting” translates to “rigorous paper shuffling?”
U.S. immigration data is on paper and a mess, says report
The U.S. government spends $8o billion a year on information technology, but despite this money, its immigration data is in awful shape.  Some data is on paper, or of poor quality and out of synch with government systems used to track wages and employment.
Those are some of the takeaways from a new report that conducted what amounts to a headcount of nonimmigrant visa workers in the U.S. In the course of this investigation, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) critiqued the information-gathering systems used by the government.

Perspective.  Soon, we will have no need for salesmen.
Salesforce's Einstein AI is Finally Here
Salesforce Einstein is now generally available to all Salesforce Free at Salesforce.com customers.  Einstein is an artificial intelligence-based (AI) assistant designed to leverage customer relationship management (CRM) data to help companies discover, predict, recommend, and automate enhanced business processes.  
Announced in September of last year, Einstein takes advantage of Salesforce's deep learning, machine learning (ML), predictive analytics, natural language processing, and image processing to serve as a robotic account manager.  For example, you can use Salesforce Sales Cloud and Einstein to determine if the person to whom you're pitching a product actually has buying power.

Have I mentioned (too often) that I like lists?  Always(?) try a free version first.  If it does everything you want, why pay more? 
The Best Free Software of 2017

For my researching students.  Select specific categories for targeting your video search. 
FaganFinder is Back
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Mar 6, 2017
March 4, 2017 – “I decided it was about time for a Fagan Finder update.  The Video search page has been fully updates and is now much more comprehensive, going from 26 search options to 115.  It includes all sorts of videos from documentaries to animated GIFs, and even related information such as TV/movie reviews, scripts, and showtimes.  The Groups search page has been updated as well, and includes online groups (forums, IRC), meetups, and more.  Both pages have also been redesigned to be easier to use, load faster, and work better no matter what technology you use.  Do you have feedback on these updates, want to see other pages updated, or want to see whole new pages?  Let me know…” [Via Tara Penelope Calishain]

For my International students.  
Google’s smarter, A.I.-powered translation system expands to more languages
Last fall, Google introduced a new system for machine-assisted language translations, Google Neural Machine Translation system (GNMT), which takes advantage of deep neural networks to translate entire sentences – not just phrases – for greatly improved translations.  The company put the system to work in Google Translate for eight language pairs in November, and is today expanding support to three more: Russian, Hindi and Vietnamese.

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