Friday, April 28, 2017

The upside is, we already know how to deal with these older attacks.  For example, Keep reminding employees not to click on those bad links. 
Hackers Get Back to the Basics
   Last year, one in every 131 emails sent were malicious, according a new report from Symantec, the computer-security company.  That’s a marked increase from the two previous years, when the rate was one in 230, on average.
   Macros embedded in Word or Excel documents, for example, saw a surprising comeback in 2016.  Macros are mini-programs that automate tedious tasks inside a document, like formatting a table in a certain way, or filling out a long form with personal information.  But since they’re designed to execute a series of commands—and aren’t confined to the document they live in—they can be maliciously repurposed.
   This resurgence of phishing and social engineering might be a result of improvements in defenses.  “It gets harder and harder to fool the computer, but there’s still a good chance of fooling the end user,” said Kevin Haley, the director of Symantec’s Security Response team and a contributor to the report.  

Another opinion.
Cyberespionage, ransomware big gainers in new Verizon breach report
Verizon released its tenth annual breach report this morning, and cyberespionage and ransomware were the big gainers in 2016.
Cyberspionage accounted for 21 percent of cases analyzed, up from 13 percent last year, and was the most common type of attack in the manufacturing, public sector, and education.
In fact, in the manufacturing sector, cyberespionage accounted for 94 percent of all breaches. External actors were responsible for 93 percent of breaches, and, 91 percent of the time, the target was trade secrets.

There is a belief that Security gets in the way of innovation.  I think it also points out poor innovators.
   According to a recent study by IBM Security and the Ponemon Institute, 80% of organizations do not routinely test their IoT apps for security vulnerabilities.  That makes it a lot easier for criminals to use IoT devices to spy, steal, and even cause physical harm.

Makes you wonder if the intelligence agencies have a way to filter out fake news.  (See the articles below)
Government requests for Facebook user account data up 9% in second half of 2016, but content restrictions declined
Facebook today released its latest report on global government requests for the second half of 2016, noting there has been a 9 percent increase in requests for user account data compared with the earlier part of that year, but a 28 percent decrease in content restrictions for violating local law.  However, that latter decrease doesn’t necessarily indicate that content restriction-related requests are dropping as a trend, but rather that earlier reporting had been impacted by unusually inflated figures.  This was due to a sizable number of requests related to a single image from the terror attack in Paris in 2015.

Is there a solution?  If a politician’s “spin” is reported accurately, should that avoid a “fake news” tag?  (Did Huey Long really call his opponent a “flagrant heterosexual?”)
Facebook 'observed propaganda efforts' by governments
Facebook has admitted that it observed attempts to spread propaganda on its site, apparently orchestrated by governments or organised parties.
The firm has seen "false news, disinformation, or networks of fake accounts aimed at manipulating public opinion", it revealed in a new report.
"Several" such cases during the US presidential election last year required action, it added.
Some of the activity has been of a "wide-scale coordinated" nature.

(Related).  How could this be done at all?
The most important part of Facebook's disinformation strategy is what it leaves out
   while the report lays out a number of new measures, the most striking thing is what it leaves out: a strategy for combating the creation of false and malicious material at its source, and a sense of Facebook's responsibility when genuine users share those links.  As described in the report, almost all the important elements of disinformation campaigns are outside of Facebook’s control.  When the campaigns do venture onto Facebook, the associated posts tend to behave the same way any piece of news or content would.  And while similar campaigns continue across Europe, today’s report suggest there’s no easy fix for the problem — or at least not from Facebook.

Has anyone considers that he might want to buy Ford?
Zuckerberg tours Ford assembly plant
   Zuckerberg and his wife announced plans earlier this year to visit all 50 states.
He has denied speculation that he is considering a White House bid for 2020.  Last summer, Zuckerberg specifically created a new class of Facebook shares that would allow him to serve in elected office for two years without resigning from Facebook.

A response to my students who are amazed that I do not own a smartphone.
How to Break Your Smartphone Addiction
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Apr 27, 2017
“When people talk about addiction, the first thing that comes to mind are illegal drugs, alcohol and tobacco.  But in the mobile era, behavioral addiction is much more prevalent and pervasive — and the culprit is the ubiquitous smartphone.  Adam Alter, a marketing and psychology professor at New York University, says it’s an addiction by design — and one that’s insidiously hard to break.  In his new book, Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked, he explains how humans are hardwired for addiction and offers suggestions on how to break the habit.  He discussed his findings on the Knowledge@Wharton show, which airs on SiriusXM channel 111.”

‘cause everyone wants a faster computer!

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