Thursday, March 01, 2018

Something is really off here. If this network is protected more carefully than others, why was the breach not stopped in December? Did they feed the hackers some type of disinformation?
Germany admits hackers infiltrated federal ministries, Russian group suspected
Citing anonymous sources, German news agency dpa had earlier reported that the Russian hacking group APT28 had placed malware in a government network and infiltrated both the Foreign Ministry and the Defense Ministry.
The sources said the malware could have remained in the government's networks for as long as a year before the government discovered the breach in December.
Security services reportedly allowed the malware to remain in the system until Wednesday to try and gather information about the attack and who was responsible.
… The hackers reportedly infiltrated the government's "Informationsverbund Berlin-Bonn" (IVBB) network, a specially designed communications platform which is separate from other public networks to ensure a supposed added layer of security. It's used exclusively by the chancellery, the German parliament, federal ministries, the Federal Audit Office and several security institutions in Berlin and Bonn; the former German capital where some ministries still have offices.
The government said it receives roughly 20 attempted hacking attacks per day, while German intelligence services also carry out penetration tests once per week.
… Some opposition lawmakers have criticized the security services for failing to inform them about the attack.
"If the government has known about this since December, the fact that lawmakers responsible for oversight of [digital affairs] had to learn of it through the press is really scandalous," the Left Party's cyber expert, Anke Domscheit-Berg, told public broadcaster ZDF.
… The group's 2015 attack on the Bundestag was so far-reaching that the German government was forced to replace its entire IT infrastructure.

Apparently Equifax is still discovering new ways to find out what happened on its systems. Shouldn’t they know from sources they already used to manage their security? Oh wait, that’s right, they didn’t manage their security.
Reuters reports:
Equifax Inc (EFX.N), a provider of consumer credit scores, on Thursday said it found another 2.4 million U.S. consumers hit by a data breach last year, bringing the total to 147.9 million.
The company said the latest batch of consumers affected had their names and driver’s license information stolen, but noted less information was taken because it did not include home addresses, driver’s license states, dates of issuances, or expiration dates.
Read more on Reuters.

Giving my Computer Security students ‘regular intelligence’ to prepare them for ‘artificial intelligence.’
Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence: Forecasting, Prevention, and Mitigation
This report surveys the landscape of potential security threats from malicious uses of AI, and proposes ways to better forecast, prevent, and mitigate these threats. After analyzing the ways in which AI may influence the threat landscape in the digital, physical, and political domains, we make four high-level recommendations for AI researchers and other stakeholders. We also suggest several promising areas for further research that could expand the portfolio of defenses, or make attacks less effective or harder to execute. Finally, we discuss, but do not conclusively resolve, the long-term equilibrium of attackers and defenders.” arXiv:1802.07228 [cs.AI] (or arXiv:1802.07228v1 [cs.AI] for this version)

NYT – The Sublime and Scary Future of Cameras With A.I. Brains
The New York Times: “There’s a new generation of cameras that understand what they see. They’re eyes connected to brains, machines that no longer just see what you put in front of them, but can act on it — creating intriguing and sometimes eerie possibilities. At first, these cameras will promise to let us take better pictures, to capture moments that might not have been possible with every dumb camera that came before. That’s the pitch Google is making with Clips, a new camera that went on sale on Tuesday. It uses so-called machine learning to automatically take snapshots of people, pets and other things it finds interesting… Now, A.I. will create a revolution in how cameras work, too. Smart cameras will let you analyze pictures with prosecutorial precision, raising the specter of a new kind of surveillance — not just by the government but by everyone around you, even your loved ones at home…”

(Related) Why must what probably is a good idea, sound so creepy?
Microsoft and UPMC unveil virtual AI assistant that listens in and takes notes on doctor’s visits
Every day, doctors and nurses across the country do a complicated dance around patient care. They turn back and forth as a mother describes her child’s symptoms, trying to listen and simultaneously log information in the electronic health record. They huddle with a team to coordinate a cancer patient’s care using whiteboards, post-it notes and clipboards.
Microsoft wants to use technology to make things easier and more efficient in those situations. The company announced a slew of new cloud- and artificial-intelligence-fueled technologies Wednesday as part of its Healthcare NExT program, all aimed at helping healthcare providers wage a technology revolution in the industry.
The company announced four new projects: A healthcare-focused Azure cloud blueprint; Microsoft Genomics, a platform that powers genetic analysis and personalized medicine; A new template for Microsoft Teams specialized for healthcare providers; and Empower MD: an artificial intelligence platform that can assist doctors by listening in and learning from their conversations with patients. [Will AI eventually be recognized as a ‘third party’ in this conversation, effectively eliminating any claim to privacy? Bob]

Wireless LAN startup Mist Systems closes on $46M funding round
Networking startup Mist Systems Inc., which has built a self-learning wireless local area network for enterprises that’s powered by artificial intelligence technologies, is gearing up for expansion after landing a $46 million late-stage funding round.
… Mist is quickly making a name for itself thanks to its Wireless LAN offering, which is essentially just a local area network for enterprises that doesn’t rely on wired Ethernet connections. The company said its Wireless LAN is superior to other networks, claiming it’s the world’s first “self-learning network” powered by its proprietary AI technology.
The self-learning capabilities means that many of the laborious tasks associated with managing the network can be automated. In addition, Mist said, its Wireless LAN helps to make Wi-Fi services more predictable, reliable and measurable by providing greater visibility into the network’s inner workings.

Some Privacy resources.
Jadzia Butler writes:
On the heels of the Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) third annual “PrivacyCon,” the Future of Privacy Forum hosted its eighth annual “Privacy Papers for Policymakers” event on Capitol Hill—a gathering in which academics present their original scholarly works on privacy-related topics to D.C. policy wonks who may have a hand in shaping laws and regulations at the local, federal, and international level. The goal of the event is, in part, to foster academic-industry collaboration in addressing the world’s current and emerging privacy issues.
Read more on Covington & Burling Inside Privacy.

How will you tell all the ‘official’ stuff from all the ‘Russian’ stuff?
Democratic National Committee war plan: Target 50 million voters
… The DNC dubs its effort the "IWillVote" program and says it sets the party's most ambitious goal ever for a midterm election.
It will consist of new branding and content, tools and technologies, a voter hotline, online ads, and on-the-ground organizing — all with the aim of getting people to commit early to voting and then following through with them to ensure they register and ultimately turn out.

My students were very reluctant to ask Facebook (et al) to identify potential school shooters, but isn’t that what the EU is suggesting they could do?
Facebook, Google Get One Hour From EU to Scrub Terror Content
The European Union on Thursday upped its ante against tech companies, including Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc., announcing sweeping guidelines for speedily scrubbing terror and other illegal content from their European websites, following pressure by some national governments to make internet firms legally liable for the information that appears on their platforms.
The European Commission, the bloc’s executive, said tech firms should remove terror content within one hour of it being flagged...

(Related) Is it really better if we don’t know these people (people Yahoo fears or hates?) are out there? Would it be better to group them in a ‘comedy channel’ or a ‘collection of examples for mental health workers to practice on?’
YouTube is taking down conspiracy theorist channels and popular gun videos
In the wake of the February 14 Parkland, FL school shooting, YouTube has banned a considerable number of the most egregious conspiracy peddlers and alt-righters from its ranks. The company also issued “warning strikes” and partial suspensions to a number of other channels, at least one of which was gun-focused. The move comes after months of scandals regarding the site’s inability to properly moderate the content published on its platform.

We discussed the chicken shortage in our Data Management class (my classes are fun) so this will be a great follow-up.
First Chicken, Now Gravy. KFC Has Another Shortage
KFC outlets in the U.K. are reporting a shortage of the fried chicken joint’s famous gravy just weeks after some locations ran out of chicken and were forced to close down.
… A spokesperson for KFC owner Yum Brands told Reuters that while 97% of KFC locations have reopened, the restaurants are going through a gravy shortage due to “ongoing distribution challenges” at DHL.

Judging by the recruiters at our last Job Fair, my students are selling fast, so they need to keep their resumes current!
… The LinkedIn Resume Assistant provides you with example resume snippets from other people in your field. This lets you see how they describe and explain their work experience and job skills.
If you struggle with the correct resume wording or how to best highlight your skills, it can be useful to see how other professionals do it.


Free is good!
Google wants to teach more people AI and machine learning with a free online course
Machine learning and AI are some of the biggest topics in the tech world right now, and Google is looking to make those fields more accessible to more people with its new Learn with Google AI website.
… Google envisions the Learn with Google AI site serving as a repository for machine learning and AI, and it’s meant to be a hub for anyone looking to “learn about core ML concepts, develop and hone your ML skills, and apply ML to real-world problems.” The site will apparently cater to all levels of AI enthusiasts, from researchers looking for advanced tutorials to beginners.

Have I mentioned that my goal in life is to be like Wally?

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