Friday, March 16, 2018

So is this the Cyberwar equivalent of moving troops to the boarder or something more sinister?
Cyberattacks Put Russian Fingers on the Switch at Power Plants, U.S. Says
The Trump administration accused Russia on Thursday of engineering a series of cyberattacks that targeted American and European nuclear power plants and water and electric systems, and could have sabotaged or shut power plants off at will.
United States officials and private security firms saw the attacks as a signal by Moscow that it could disrupt the West’s critical facilities in the event of a conflict.
… according to a Department of Homeland Security report issued on Thursday, Russian hackers made their way to machines with access to critical control systems at power plants that were not identified. The hackers never went so far as to sabotage or shut down the computer systems that guide the operations of the plants.
Still, new computer screenshots released by the Department of Homeland Security on Thursday made clear that Russian state hackers had the foothold they would have needed to manipulate or shut down power plants.

(Related) Why not name names? Because they don’t know who did it?
Hackers Tried to Cause Saudi Petrochemical Plant Blast: NYT
Cyber-attackers tried to trigger a deadly explosion at a petrochemical plant in Saudi Arabia in August and failed only because of a code glitch, The New York Times reported.
Investigators declined to identify the suspected attackers, but people interviewed by the newspaper unanimously said that it most likely aimed to cause a blast that would have guaranteed casualties. A bug in the attackers' code accidentally shut down the system instead, according to the report.
The cyber-attack -- which could signal plans for other attacks around the world – was likely the work of hackers supported by a government, according to multiple insiders interviewed by the newspaper.
All sources declined to name the company operating the plant as well as the countries suspected to have backed the hackers, The New York Times said.

Did everyone involved understand that this was a Beta test or was there an assumption that this was foolproof?
New Orleans ends its Palantir predictive policing program
Two weeks ago, The Verge reported the existence of a six-year predictive policing collaboration between the New Orleans Police Department and Palantir Technologies, a data mining giant co-founded by Peter Thiel. The nature of the partnership, which used Palantir’s network-analysis software to identify potential aggressors and victims of violence, was unknown to the public and key members of the city council prior to publication of The Verge’s findings.
Yesterday, outgoing New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s press office told the Times-Picayune that his office would not renew its pro bono contract with Palantir, which has been extended three times since 2012. The remarks were the first from Landrieu’s office concerning Palantir’s work with the NOPD. The mayor did not respond to repeated requests for comment from The Verge for the February 28th article, done in partnership with Investigative Fund, or from local media since news of the partnership broke.
There is also potential legal fallout from the revelation of New Orleans’ partnership with Palantir. Several defense attorneys interviewed by The Verge, including lawyers who represented people accused of membership in gangs that, according to documents and interviews, were identified at least in part through the use of Palantir software, said they had never heard of the partnership nor seen any discovery evidence referencing Palantir’s use by the NOPD.

(Related) If it was good policing, they would be bragging about it.
C.J. Ciaramella reports:
In 2004, Ascension Alverez-Tejeda and his girlfriend were stopped at a traffic light in Oregon when their car was rear-ended by a drunk driver. The police arrived and arrested the drunk, but while Alverez-Tejeda was outside dealing with the situation, a thief jumped in his car and tore off down the road.
Police recovered the car and, after obtaining a search warrant from a judge, found in it cocaine and methamphetamine that Alverez-Tejeda was trafficking from California to Washington.
It looked like a case of very bad luck for Alverez-Tejeda. The truth didn’t come out until the trial: The whole thing had been staged. The only ones who weren’t in on the plot were Alverez-Tejeda, his girlfriend, and the judge who signed the warrant.
Read more on Reason.
[From the article:
The cops then constructed an elaborate ruse to gain probable cause to search his car.

Is a ‘feature,’ but not without risk.
You can store the following information in your Medical ID, which is viewable by anyone who knows how to access it:
  • Your name, Apple ID picture, and date of birth.
  • Known medical conditions (for example, asthma).
  • Relevant medical notes relating to conditions (for example, any metal pins from past surgery).
  • Known allergies and reactions.
  • Any medication you are currently taking.
  • Your blood type and organ donor status.
  • Your weight and height.
  • An emergency contact of your choosing.
Keep in mind that there’s no way of limiting this information to strictly emergency personnel. Anyone with physical access to your iPhone can find your Medical ID if they’re looking for it. This does raise some potential privacy concerns, but it’s a trade you’ll have to make if you want to use the feature.

For my Ethical hacking students’ toolkit.

Why the answers are obvious! Wrong, but obvious!
Orin Kerr writes:
I recently posted a draft of a new article, Cross-Enforcement of the Fourth Amendment, forthcoming in the Harvard Law Review. Here’s the opening:
Imagine you are a state police officer in a state that has decriminalized marijuana possession. You pull over a car for speeding, and you smell marijuana coming from inside the car. Marijuana possession is legal under state law but remains a federal offense. Can you search the car for evidence of the federal crime even though you are a state officer?
Next imagine you are a federal immigration agent driving on a state highway. You spot a van that you have a hunch contains undocumented immigrants. You lack sufficient cause to stop the van to investigate an immigration offense, but you notice that the van is speeding in violation of state traffic law. Can you pull over the van for speeding even though you are a federal agent?
Read more on The Volokh Conspiracy.

An end to confusion? If your accountants understand it, the Board of Directors can relax, maybe.
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP plans to unveil a new offering to audit companies’ use of the blockchain—making sure companies are implementing and using it properly, and allowing people within a company to continuously monitor its blockchain transactions.

Perspective. This is why we are so easily slotted into categories.
Americans Are Partisan About Everything — Even Sex Scandals
Poll of the week
Views about President Trump’s relationship (or lack thereof) with adult film actress Stormy Daniels are split along partisan lines, according to a Huffington Post/YouGov survey released this week. Seventy percent of Democrats found credible Daniels’ account of an extramarital affair with Trump in 2006, while just 11 percent of Republicans said the same. And if Trump did have an affair with Daniels, 82 percent of Democrats said it would have been immoral, compared with 54 percent of Republicans.
Perhaps because Daniels is in the news, along with other alleged affairs by Trump, just 26 percent of Democrats (vs. 67 percent of Republicans) agreed that “an elected official who has committed an immoral act in their personal life can still behave ethically and fulfill their duties in their public and professional life.”

In a landmark 2016 study Johns Hopkins researchers estimated that more than 250,000 Americans die each year from treatment-related mistakes, making medical error the third-leading cause of death in the United States.
… . Due to the progressive digitization of the cockpit and pilot decision support, flying by and trusting instruments is now essential for avoiding accidents. The U.S. Department of Defense’s new F-35 aircraft is so advanced that the pilot interacts continuously through a “heads-up” digital display projected on the helmet, providing total situational awareness. Pilots who aren’t adept at working with computer interfaces and don’t trust algorithms to help fly the aircraft will not just perform poorly, they’ll crash on takeoff.
… to realize the full potential of AI and other digital technologies we will need to overhaul medical education for future physicians and nurses and rethink professional development for current caregivers.

Handy notes for website builders.

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