Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A ‘technology free” hack.  The phone companies will do it for you! 
Identity Thieves Hijack Cellphone Accounts to Go After Virtual Currency
Hackers have discovered that one of the most central elements of online security — the mobile phone number — is also one of the easiest to steal.
In a growing number of online attacks, hackers have been calling up Verizon, T-Mobile U.S., Sprint and AT&T and asking them to transfer control of a victim’s phone number to a device under the control of the hackers.
Once they get control of the phone number, they can reset the passwords on every account that uses the phone number as a security backup — as services like Google, Twitter and Facebook suggest.
   But a particularly concentrated wave of attacks has hit those with the most obviously valuable online accounts: virtual currency fanatics like Mr. Burniske.
Within minutes of getting control of Mr. Burniske’s phone, his attackers had changed the password on his virtual currency wallet and drained the contents — some $150,000 at today’s values.
Most victims of these attacks in the virtual currency community have not wanted to acknowledge it publicly for fear of provoking their adversaries.  But in interviews, dozens of prominent people in the industry acknowledged that they had been victimized in recent months. 

Another Hack that is so simple you wonder why more people don’t try it.
Francisco Memoria reports:
Last month, CCN reported on CoinDash’s ICO being hacked.  Hackers managed to change the address on its website and made over $9 million.  Now, despite not making as much money, a hacker managed to compromise Enigma before its ICO in a similar way, and has netted over 1,500 Ether (over $500,000) from the community.
Enigma, a project started by MIT graduates whose ICO was scheduled for September, didn’t lose any money itself, as the hacker only managed to get his hands on the company’s website, mailing list, and Slack group.
Read more on CryptoCoins News.

I’m sure my students need this, but it too may be too much to read.
Unfortunately, with most fine print being exceedingly wordy, it can be a challenge to wade through all the legalese and understand what it all means.  That’s where TOSDR comes in.
TOSDR (Terms of Service Didn’t Read) is a site that breaks down and rates the terms and conditions on numerous sites.  Sites are rated from Class A (very good) to Class E (very bad).  In addition, TOSDR points out the good and bad things about each site, giving you insight into how they are rated.

Perspective.  Middle of the road is boring!  But do Facebook followers translate into votes?
Highly ideological members of Congress have more Facebook followers than moderates do
by on
Pew – “The most liberal and conservative members of the 115th Congress have attracted more Facebook followers than moderates, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis.  In both legislative chambers, members’ ideology is a strong predictor of the number of people who follow them on Facebook.  The most liberal and most conservative House members had a median of 14,361 followers as of July 25, compared with 9,017 followers for those in the middle of the ideological spectrum.  The median number of followers for the Senate’s most liberal and conservative lawmakers was 78,360, while moderates had 32,626.  (These figures reflect each member’s total number of followers since the creation of their official Facebook page, not the number gained since the 115th Congress began.)  The Center’s analysis determines each lawmaker’s ideology based on a score calculated through their congressional roll call votes.  This widely employed measure, created by two political scientists in the 1980s, assigns each member a score that falls between -1 (most liberal) and +1 (most conservative)…”

Perspective.  Facebook: The Social Network for old people?
Instagram, Snapchat Adoption Still Surging in US and UK
   eMarketer has reduced its usage estimates for US monthly Facebook users ages 12 to 17 and 18 to 24.  Yet for the same age groups, we have kept unchanged or adjusted higher our usage estimates for Snapchat and Instagram, suggesting younger social network users are turning away from Facebook in favor of other platforms.
Facebook’s community of monthly users in the US will grow 2.4% this year to 172.9 million people, a figure slightly higher than previously forecast due to increased adoption by older internet users.
But the social network’s monthly user base among the marketer-coveted 12 to 17 age group will fall 3.4% vs. 2016 to 14.5 million people—the second consecutive year of expected usage declines by this group and one that will have accelerated from the 1.2% slip seen in 2016.
   “We see teens and tweens migrating to Snapchat and Instagram.  Both platforms have found success with this demographic since they are more aligned with how they communicate—that is, using visual content.

The Promise of Artificial Intelligence
by on
Center for Data Innovation: “Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to dramatically transform huge swathes of the economy and society for the better, and as the technology continues to make headlines many countries are developing plans to ensure they can take full advantage of these benefits.  Below is a high-level overview of a number of national-level policies some countries have undertaken to take advantage on the technology.  While it is not intended to be an exhaustive list of every policy initiative countries have launched around AI, it is meant to show the most significant ones.  Canada, China, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States have all taken high-profile steps towards advancing AI over the past two years.  These range from prospective research about the potential impacts of AI to large amounts of funding and ambitious strategic plans to bolster national capacity to take advantage of the technology.  While it appears the United States is the early leader in developing and adopting AI, many other countries are working diligently to surpass it as they recognize the importance that this technology will have on economic competitiveness…”

But of course, Mark is not running for office…  Will Trump start bad-mouthing Facebook? 
Trump reportedly eyeing Zuckerberg as a 2020 threat
President Trump apparently sees Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg as a threat to his reelection campaign in 2020.
Zuckerberg is a part of a list of potential 2020 Democratic challengers whom Trump is watching, Politico reported Monday.  The list includes dozens of individuals who could throw their hat in the ring for the presidential race, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
On the Republican side, Trump allies are reportedly keeping an eye on a possible primary challenge from Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

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