Sunday, April 30, 2017

Educating lawyers about security is like teaching my cat to mow the lawn. 
Katie Mulvaney reports:
An unknown person or group held a Providence law firm captive for months by encrypting its files and then demanding $25,000 in ransom paid in anonymous cyber currency to restore access, according to a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court.
Moses Afonso Ryan Ltd. is suing its insurer, Sentinel Insurance Co., for breach of contract and bad faith after it denied its claim for lost billings over the three-month period the documents were frozen last year by the so-called “ransomware” attack.
Read more on Providence Journal.
And remember how you were warned that paying ransom wasn’t necessarily any guarantee you’d get a real decryption key or your data unlocked?  According to the complaint, after MAR made initial payment to the attackers, the attackers demanded additional payment.  By the time this was over, MAR had spent more than 3 months and more than $25,000 to regain access to their files.
And yes, it all started when an attorney received an email from an unknown source that had an attachment – and the attorney opened it.  It was in May, 2015.

Another easy target?  “Content” passes through a lot of hands.  You only need to hack the weakest link. 
Hacker Leaks Stolen ‘Orange Is the New Black’ Season 5 Episodes to Piracy Network
An anonymous hacker has carried through on a threat to release “Orange Is the New Black” season five episodes online — after Netflix allegedly failed to respond to the cybercriminal’s shakedown demands.
Variety was unable to verify the authenticity of the “OITNB” episodes the hacker claimed to have shared on popular file-sharing site the Pirate Bay.
The first 10 episodes of season 5 were apparently shared shortly before 6 a.m. ET Saturday, with the 10 files comprising a total of 11.46 gigabytes. The hacker, who uses the handle “thedarkoverlord,” published the premiere episode from the upcoming season of “Orange Is the New Black” on Friday to the Pirate Bay.
   According to “thedarkoverlord,” the hacker or hackers also have obtained unreleased shows from ABC, Fox, National Geographic and IFC.  The content appears to have been stolen in an attack on post-production studio Larson Studios in late 2016, according to piracy-news site TorrentFreak.

Another tool for stalkers?  Or your insurance company, local police department and others.  Also, a good illustration of Big Data! 
Your car will eventually live-stream video of your driving to the cloud
   A single autonomous car could generate as much as 100GB of data every second, said Barclays analyst Brian Johnson, in a note published Wednesday.
If extrapolated out to the entire U.S. fleet of vehicles -- 260 million in number -- autonomous cars and trucks could potentially produce about 5,800 exabytes, Johnson stated.
In other words, on a daily basis, there would be enough raw data to fill 1.4 million Amazon AWS "Snowmobile" mobile data center tractor-trailer trucks with 100 petabytes of storage each, for a convey reaching 11,000 miles long.
   Security will also be a key area of concern for autonomous car makers.  A modern car has 50 to 150 electronic control units (ECUs) - or tiny computers -- with as much as 100 million lines of code.  And for every 1,000 lines there are as many as 15 bugs that are potential doors for would-be hackers, analysts say.

I’m not sure who first said, “Generals prepare to fight the last war,” but there is some truth there.  Is something like that happening here?  With all the money the government pays for computing you think someone would sell them a ‘guaranteed update’ package. 
Windows 95, 98 And XP Still Power Much Of The Pentagon’s Critical Infrastructure
   Microsoft ended support for Windows XP in 2014, but the Pentagon currently pays Microsoft to continue providing support for the outdated OS.
   As of last spring, the Department of Defense still uses Compass.  This system is a command and control system that is used for deliberate and crisis action planning, strategic mobility analysis, and mobilization and deployment movement execution.  It runs on a Windows 2008 Server and is programmed in Java.  It also uses a 2009 Oracle 11g database.  The United States nuclear force still runs on IBM Series/1 computers and uses floppy disks designed in the 1970's to coordinate some of its functions.  These operational functions include intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear bombers, and tanker support aircraft.  

From fashion advisor to personal shopper?  Interesting article.  Where does this go next?  Can Amazon deduce my income from the clothes I wear?  My hobbies?  My politics? 
How Echo Look could feed Amazon’s big data fueled fashion ambitions
   The Echo Look app is where users can view the style selfies (and videos) they’ve asked Alexa to record for them (she indefinitely stores a copy for Amazon too).  But the flagship feature of the app is a fashion feedback service, called Style Check, which Amazon says will utilize machine learning to rate fashion choices and help users choose between outfit pairs.  And ultimately, presumably, give their entire wardrobe a score.  Albeit, the feature is using (human) stylists too, at least for now, to help train what Amazon surely hopes will be entirely robotic style recommendations down the line.
   “In clothing… RRP, in general, the starting point of margin is towards 80 per cent.  So manufacturing is only about 20 per cent of that cost.  But all of the retailers are making around, at best, three per cent profit.  You look at somebody like Asos in the last four or five years, they’ve more than doubled sales but their absolute profit number is the same.  They’ve added sales for no profit.  So Amazon can look at this and say: hold on, you’ve got 80 per cent profit and you waste it all — this is our opportunity.  Talk to a manufacturer and they’ll say that inventory management and everything to do with data is where the retailers are just lazy.  They’ve been lazy for too long.  And that’s where Amazon is really good.  So, in my mind, I look at it and say Amazon could double manufacturing cost, take their standard five per cent or less margin and still be half the price of everybody on the retail market.”

(Related).  Dilbert shows us what is happening now that AI is learning what we like.

When techies (absolutely, positively do not) run for office…
Mark Zuckerberg's surprise visit to Ohio family boosts rumor of political run
An Ohio family said they learned just 20 minutes before dinner on Friday evening that a planned mystery guest would be the Facebook founder and billionaire Mark Zuckerberg.
   The Vindicator reported that Zuckerberg dined with the Moore family in Newton Falls, about 55 miles south-east of Cleveland.  The newspaper said Zuckerberg had asked his staff to find Democrats who voted for Donald Trump.  [See?  Nothing political at all!  Bob] 
Zuckerberg’s trek to Ohio is part of the Facebook founder’s plan to visit and meet people in all 50 states, part of a string of moves which has lead to widespread speculation about whether Zuckerberg intends to run for office himself.

…and I’m not sure I care about most of them.
104 Facts You Didn't Know About Mobile Marketing (Infographic)

I often find something amusing in lists like this. 
101 Free Tech Tools for Teachers
Maybe you could turn some of these in to newspaper clippings…

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