Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Highly unlikely, but worth thinking about.  At least, in my Security class. 
US Warship Collisions Raise Cyberattack Fears
While some experts believe that being able to engineer such a collision would be unlikely, given the security systems of the US Navy and the logistics of having two ships converge, others say putting the recent incidents down to human error and coincidence is an equally unsatisfactory explanation.
   Analysts are divided on the issue, with some believing US Navy crews may simply be overstretched as they try to tackle myriad threats in the region, and pointing to the difficulties of sailing through waterways crowded with merchant shipping.
But others believe something more sinister may be going on.
Itar Glick, head of Israeli-based international cybersecurity firm Votiro, said the spate of incidents suggested that US Navy ships' GPS systems could have been tampered with by hackers, causing them to miscalculate their positions.
"I think that hackers could try to do this, and if they are state sponsored they might have the right resources to facilitate this kind of attack," he told AFP.

For my Digital Forensics class.

Impacting politics and stock markets with “Fake News.”
Fake Polls Are A Real Problem
Is Kid Rock leading the U.S. Senate race in Michigan?  A story like that is essentially designed to go viral, and that’s exactly what happened when Delphi Analytica released a poll fielded from July 14 to July 18.  Republican Kid Rock earned 30 percent to Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s 26 percent.  A sitting U.S. senator was losing to a man who sang the lyric, “If I was president of the good ol’ USA, you know I’d turn our churches into strip clubs and watch the whole world pray.”
The result was so amazing that the poll was quickly spread around the political sections of the internet.  Websites like Daily Caller, Political Wire and Twitchy all wrote about it.  Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted it out.  And finally, Kid Rock himself shared an article from Gateway Pundit about the poll.
There was just one problem: Nobody knew if the poll was real.  Delphi Analytica’s website came online July 6, mere weeks before the Kid Rock poll was supposedly conducted.  The pollster had basically no fingerprint on the web.

Every “new” technology must go through the same learning curve every “older” technology has mapped out.  Why?  Take my class. 
Robot makers slow to fix vulnerabilities that could allow hackers to spy and disable safety features
Researchers who warned half a dozen robot manufacturers in January about nearly 50 vulnerabilities in their home, business and industrial robots, say only a few of the problems have been addressed.
The researchers, Cesar Cerrudo and Lucas Apa of cybersecurity firm IOActive, said the vulnerabilities would allow hackers to spy on users, disable safety features and make robots lurch and move violently, putting users and bystanders in danger.
While they say there are no signs that hackers have exploited the vulnerabilities, [Yet.  Bob] they say the fact that the robots were hacked so easily and the manufacturers’ lack of response raise questions about allowing robots in homes, offices and factories.

Sony fails again?  How hard did they test these phones?
Xperia Owners Could Fetch Up To $300 For Sony's False Waterproofing Claims
Sony made a number of smartphones and tablets that it claimed were water resistant and could survive rain and spills without damage.  There was only one problem though; Sony didn't do a great job making the devices water resistant.  When customers initiated warranty claims citing water damage, Sony didn't do much to help them, which resulted in a class action lawsuit against the electronics maker.
That class action suit is now wrapping up and owners of certain affected devices can get up to 50 percent refund on the purchase price of the smartphone.  There are 24 Sony smartphone models in the suit, all advertised with having water resistant IP ratings.

For my students to debate.  A TED video.
What moral decisions should driverless cars make?
Should your driverless car kill you if it means saving five pedestrians?  In this primer on the social dilemmas of driverless cars, Iyad Rahwan explores how the technology will challenge our morality and explains his work collecting data from real people on the ethical trade-offs we're willing (and not willing) to make.

No harm in asking for the moon and settling for Mt. Everest? 
Federal prosecutors scale back request for info on visitors to anti-Trump website
Federal prosecutors Tuesday tried to quell concern from privacy advocates by amending the government’s demand for millions of IP addresses from a Los Angeles-based tech company as part of an investigation into rioters in Washington during the Jan. 20 inauguration.
   DreamHost and other privacy rights advocates such as the nonprofit group Public Citizen argued the warrant violated the users’ constitutional rights.  A hearing is scheduled for Thursday in D.C. Superior Court before Judge Robert E. Morin, the court’s chief judge.  Attorneys for DreamHost and the government are expected to argue over the legal authority of such a warrant.
In a filing late Tuesday, prosecutors from the U.S. attorney’s office in the District amended the original warrant by saying they plan to focus only on the 200 or so individuals who have already been charged with rioting.
   “The government has no interest in records relating to the 1.3 million IP addresses that are mentioned in DreamHost’s numerous press releases and opposition briefs,” prosecutors wrote in their filing.  Prosecutors also said that they would “set aside” and seal any information obtained from DreamHost that is not originally sought after and specifically in the warrant.  Prosecutors, however, did say they could revisit such information obtained but would only do so with a court order.
   Prosecutors are seeking membership discussion lists associated with the website, as well as more than 2,000 photographs associated with the site.  Prosecutors are also asking for unpublished material such as “draft blog posts” and “hundreds” of other images.

Did Walmart need Google to make this happen? 
Walmart, Google Partner to Make Shopping Even Easier – Here’s How
Today, we’re announcing an exciting partnership with Google Starting in late September, we’ll be working with Google to offer hundreds of thousands of items for voice shopping via Google Assistant – the largest number of items currently offered by a retailer through the platform.
   This will enable us to deliver highly personalized shopping recommendations based on customers’ previous purchases, including those made in Walmart stores and on  To take advantage of this personalization, customers only need to link their Walmart account to Google Express.

Perspective.  Could this eventually replace Estonia’s paper currency and become as solid as the US Dollar? 
Estonia wants to launch its own cryptocurrency
Estonia is considering taking advantage of the cryptocurrency hype to do an initial coin offering (ICO) for its own country.
Kaspar Korjus, a representative for the Baltic country, wrote that if investors showed enough interest, Estonia would issue its own cryptocurrency to raise funds.
Estonia already has an “e-residency” program where anyone in the world can become a digital resident of the country, allowing them to open a business there.  It sees issuing a coin as the next step in advancing its economy and expanding its global presence.
   It’s unclear how an "estcoin" would differ from other cryptocurrencies that already exist, though.
“By using our APIs, companies and even other countries could accept these same tokens as payment,” Korjus wrote.  “It will also be possible to build more functions on top of the estcoins and use them for more purposes, such as smart contracts and notary services.”

An App I wish I had created. 
Kids not texting you back? There’s an app to stop all that
ReplyASAP, an app currently available only on Android devices, allows you to send messages to any phone connected through the app.  According to its website, a message appears on the recipient’s phone – no matter if they’re playing a game, sending messages or streaming entertainment – and makes noises (even if the phone is on silent) until the message is read, upon which the sender is notified.

Searching a big chunk of the web.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the blue whale of cloud computing.  You may not realize it, but most websites and web services run on this platform.  And in fact, AWS’s public cloud is bigger than Microsoft, Google, and IBM combined.
Just like any other massive cloud platform, AWS hosts a variety of publicly accessible data.  For instance, you can find huge 100 million strong datasets of Creative Commons images and videos from Flickr.  Access it with the help of the YFCC100m Browser.
Try a search with Google.  You will be surprised by the massive amount of public documents you can find on AWS.  One of the quickest ways to search AWS for PDF files is to use good old Google and one of its advanced search operators.
[Keyword] filetype:PDF

Could this improve student writing?  Worth a try! 

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