Sunday, July 01, 2018

Attacks are “mysterious” for obvious reasons.
Kelly Egan reports:
Even weeks after its discovery, Algonquin College is still not sure how many current and former students and employees are affected by a cyber attack that breached data banks.
However, a news release on Friday suggested thousands could be impacted after one of the college’s servers was “compromised” by a hacker.
It is, after all, a huge educational community: about 21,000 full-time students, another 42,000 registered in continuing education and 4,400 full and part-time employees and an alumni roster of 180,000 students.
It’s unclear what kind of information might be at risk — personal, financial or academic.
Read more on Ottawa Citizen.
[From the article:
“We have no reason to believe that financial information was potentially compromised,” communications executive director Scott Anderson said in an email.
… The college is conducting what it calls “a comprehensive forensic review” to determine the size of the breach and the kind of information that was attacked.
… The school said it acted immediately to secure the server once it was made aware of the problem. It has also alerted Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner.
… In March, Algonquin’s chief information security officer, Craig Delmage, was part of a seminar in Perth about cybercrime in which he talked about the vulnerability of many corporate websites. He marvelled at the way hackers keep beating the system.
“Yeah, we probably have hackers at Algonquin College. But we can detect them,” the Perth Courier reported him saying. “It cannot be entirely prevented. You need to work this into your business operations.”

Because “Happy” is mandatory.
Don Lee reports:
At first, it just seemed cool.
When facial recognition cameras were installed at a century-old high school here in eastern China, students got in and out of campus, picked up lunch, borrowed books and even bought drinks from a vending machine just by peering into the cameras.
No more worrying about forgetting to carry your ID card.
But last March, the cameras appeared in some classrooms — and they did a lot more than just identify students and take attendance.
Read more on the Los Angeles Times.
[From the article:
Using the latest artificial intelligence software, the devices tracked students’ behavior and read their facial expressions, grouping each face into one of seven emotions: anger, fear, disgust, surprise, happiness, sadness and what was labeled as neutral.
Think of it as a little glimpse of the future.

If this capability exists (and it does) we could hack into it at any time.
Tracy Crane reports:
Danville police and school officials are working this summer on an agreement that would allow police to access school radio communications and video feeds during an emergency.
Dave Wesner, the city’s corporation counsel, said the agreement would allow Danville police and other emergency personnel to hear radio communications by administrators and teachers during an emergency inside a school, such as a school shooting.
Read more on The News-Gazette.
[From the article:
The agreement states that emergency personnel and law enforcement are restricted to accessing only live video feeds or "video feeds that are reasonably contemporaneous with an emergency event," and only from cameras likely to contain footage related to the emergency.

I’m not sure I believe all these arguments, but enough ring true to make this worth reading.
The Great Russian Disinformation Campaign
In a new book, Timothy Snyder explains how Russia revolutionized information warfare—and presages its consequences for democracies in Europe and the United States.

Mark Zuckerberg is a single point of failure at a company that is systemically important to the internet
Mark Zuckerberg is the founder, CEO, and chairman of the board at Facebook. He also controls a majority of the company's voting stock. His power at the company is complete. He cannot be fired or disciplined. If the directors on his board attempted to remove him, he could simply vote with his stock to replace them with friendlier ones. It is unlikely the current directors would do that because they are each paid at least $350,000 a year, except for the ones who are also Zuckerberg's company employees — they are paid many millions more.
Zuckerberg has much more power than ordinary CEOs at publicly traded companies, many of whom are held accountable by independent board chairmen and directors appointed at the behest of investors. On paper, everything ought to be going his way.
And yet Zuckerberg is at war with his own shareholders. As Business Insider's Jake Kanter reported last week, 83% of independent investors — those stockholders who are not Zuckerberg himself or his managing executives — believe he should be fired as chairman of the board.

Perspective. Interesting that people are just starting to notice this…
Forget the Everything Store—Amazon's an Everything Business
… The thing is, Amazon has always dabbled in many corners of the tech industry as it's pursued its well-worn mantra of "growth before profits." And that means the company is more than the world's largest retailer. It's also an Internet of Things company. A device maker. A payments company. The list goes on. Some bets, like its massive cloud computing service, Amazon Web Services, have proven hugely successful. Others, like the Fire phone, have .... not.
… Just six years after it launched, the company’s cloud computing infrastructure was estimated to run as much as 1 percent of the entire Internet.

(Related) A simple breakout of Amazon businesses.
Amazon Is Trying to Do (and Sell) Everything

Why not just a mobile App?
Here's How The New Postcard-Sized 1040 Differs From Your Current Tax Return

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