Friday, June 30, 2017

A simple question: Could your business operate without its computers?
Back to the future for Maersk in the wake of Petya attack
Arguably one of the most sophisticated, IT savvy shipping companies in the world has had to work as if it had gone back in time to the mid-1990s for the past 48 hours.
In the two days since the Maersk Group was hit by the Petya ransomware attack, operations at many of its sites across the globe have returned to manual.
   Reports are emerging too of how operations at Maersk offices around the world have been pared right back in the wake of the crippling attack.
Maersk Australia and New Zealand managing director Gerard Morrison said today that his unit’s phone and email systems had been deliberately shut down by the company to stop the spreading of the malware virus.
Morrison said Maersk’s New Zealand staff had been keeping operations going manually, using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and hand written information to tell Port of Auckland and Port of Tauranga what to do with the cargo that needed to be unloaded off its ships.
The Port of Auckland revealed that it was receiving information about the imported cargo from Maersk manually through a Gmail account.
In India, meanwhile, Visakha Container Terminal has started handling Maersk Line vessels manually in the wake of the Petya attack.
   In the US, the supply chain fallout from the attack, dubbed by one maritime tech expert as “shipping’s Y2K moment”, has been significant.  APM Terminals’ facilty in Mobile, Alabama for instance, has been loading and unloading containers in manual mode, without the normal computerised coordination.

This is not amusing. 
Trump’s Election Integrity Commission seeks personal info on all US voters back to 2006
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jun 29, 2017
Washington Post – “The chair of President Trump’s Election Integrity Commission has penned a letter to all 50 states requesting their full voter-role data, including the name, address, date of birth, party affiliation, last four Social Security number digits and voting history back to 2006 of potentially every voter in the state.  In the letter, a copy of which was made public by the Connecticut secretary of state, the commission head Kris Kobach said that “any documents that are submitted to the full Commission will also be made available to the public.”  On Wednesday, the office of Vice President Pence released a statement saying “a letter will be sent today to the 50 states and District of Columbia on behalf of the Commission requesting publicly available data from state voter rolls and feedback on how to improve election integrity.”  States began reacting to the letter on Thursday afternoon.  “I have no intention of honoring this request,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia in a statement.  “Virginia conducts fair, honest, and democratic elections, and there is no evidence of significant voter fraud in Virginia.”  Connecticut’s Secretary of State, Denise Merrill, said she would “share publicly-available information with the Kobach Commission while ensuring that the privacy of voters is honored by withholding protected data.”  She added, however, that Kobach “has a lengthy record of illegally disenfranchising eligible voters in Kansas” and that “given Secretary Kobach’s history we find it very difficult to have confidence in the work of this Commission.”  Under federal law, each state must maintain a central file of registered voters.  States collect different amounts of information on voters.  While the files are technically public records, states usually charge fees to individuals or entities who want to access them.  Political campaigns and parties typically use these files to compile their massive voter lists…”

Even our toys are watching us!  
Dubai Police to deploy robotic patrols
Dubai: Months after Dubai unveiled the first flying taxis in the world, Dubai Police on Tuesday unveiled another believed world’s first — autonomous, self-driving miniature police cars that are expected to hit the streets by year-end.
The robotic vehicles will be equipped with biometric software to scan for wanted criminals and undesirables who are suspected or are breaking laws, police said.

Indeed, what could possibly go wrong?
Facebook gives moderators "full access" to user accounts suspected of terror links
Facebook has a fleet of low-paid contractors who are tasked with investigating possible connections with terrorism on it site.
The key takeaway: Moderators are granted "full access" to any account once it's been flagged by the social network's algorithms, which are looking for details or connections that might suggest a terror link.  Moderators can track track a person's location and read their private messages.
   The move appears to go far above and beyond the company's recently outlined efforts to use its artificial intelligence and human resources to counter terrorism on the platform.  It's in response to growing pressure from several countries to act and to battle terrorism on their platforms, in the wake of several terror attacks in the UK and Europe.
   Among the chief problems with this largely secret internal surveillance is that Facebook doesn't define "terrorism" or "terrorist content."  There is no one single definition, or hard-and-fast rule to follow, making the process of removing content arbitrary.  Facebook only says that each company facing this kind of challenge "will continue to apply its own policies and definitions of terrorist content when deciding whether to remove content."  
The only thing that is known about the rules that govern what content Facebook allows on its site is that it's a secret.
   Facebook is now employing a largely secret group of unaccountable staff working against a set of arbitrary and unknown rules against two billion people.  What could possibly go wrong?
Without any shred of transparency, there's no telling who is or isn't under the watchful eye of Facebook's own internal surveillance.

A tool for Network Security? 
JASK emerges from stealth with $12 million and an automated threat detection service
JASK is emerging from stealth today with $12 million in the bank and a machine learning technology that automates network monitoring and management for overtaxed security teams.
The thesis behind JASK’s service is the somewhat depressing (and frightening) thought that these days there aren’t enough security experts to meet the demands of running a modern business.  Simply put, people can’t respond to every breach that a company faces, because there aren’t enough professionals trained in cybersecurity.

This VA software was ignored in the rush for states (including Colorado) to develop their own versions of health management systems when Obama care was announced.  It’s still viable.  Perhaps the VA should have just outsourced its management?
VA Gives Thumbs Up to Commercial IT Software
A U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs decision to pursue a new direction in processing health records has created a highly visible endorsement of the use of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) information technology by federal agencies.  President Trump cited the VA's action as an example of the administration's commitment to vastly improve federal IT management.
The VA earlier this month awarded a contract to Cerner to develop an electronic health record (EHR) system for the department.  The Cerner program will replace the existing VA patient data system, known as "VistA," which was developed in-house and has been in use for at least 30 years.
   The VistA system, which VA personnel designed in their off hours decades ago, has been heralded as a pioneering effort in EHR management.  The program became a template for both government and private healthcare providers.
However, VA Secretary David Shulkin recently decided that it would be more appropriate for the agency to concentrate on healthcare and leave data processing to commercial specialists.

Play-time for geeks!
   Microsoft provides Windows XP Mode, a full version of XP that runs from within Windows 7. Now, most people have also long since moved on from Windows 7, too. Making this compatibility mode fix, well, a little unhelpful.
Before we begin, you’re going to need to download and install the latest version of Oracle VirtualBox, available here.

Proof enough that Marketing is a very strange science.
50 Free Marketing Tools Any Small Business Can Use

No comments: