Saturday, July 06, 2019

Ransomware can be defeated!
Warwick Ashford reports:
St John Ambulance has reported that it was hit by a ransomware attack this week, but was able to isolate the attack and resolve it within half an hour.
Fortunately, the ransomware did not affect operational systems, but blocked access to the charity’s booking system for training courses and encrypted customer data.
Read more on ComputerWeekly.
[From the article:
The charity has been praised for its swift, effective and transparent response to the ransomware attack, which is currently the most common cyber criminal activity affecting individuals and businesses in the UK, according to the police.
… “The best way to prevent ransomware attacks is for companies to ensure they are not vulnerable by following best practices on cyber security basics to ensure good cyber hygiene,” said Jones.
Having good, functional data backups, treating your data as an asset, having appropriate policies around your data, and having incident response available to you are all simple ways of mitigating the harm from ransomware, which is the most prevalent form of attack we see.”

This could get interesting. (But, I can’t find it on LiveMint)
Prathma Sharma reports:
The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre and the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) in a petition challenging the validity of the 2019 Aadhaar Ordinance.
The petition challenged the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 and the Aadhaar (Pricing of Aadhaar Authentication Services) Regulations, 2019, alleging that these violate fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution.
The notice was issued by a division bench of Justices SA Bobde and BR Gavai.
The petition said “Aadhaar database lacks integrity as it has no value other than, at most the underlying documents on the basis of which the Aadhaar numbers are issued… none of the data uploaded at the time of enrollment is verified by anyone/ much less a government official.
Read more on LiveMint

Still not there. Would we understand the explanation if we got it?
Much has been made about the importance of understanding the inner workings of machines when it comes to the ethics of using artificial intelligence (AI) on the battlefield. Delegates at the Group of Government Expert meetings on lethal autonomous weapons continue to raise the issue. Concernsexpressed by legal and scientific scholars abound. One commentator sums it up: “for human decision makers to be able to retain agency over the morally relevant decisions made with AI they would need a clear insight into the AI black box, to understand the data, its provenance and the logic of its algorithms.”
The underlying premise of such arguments is that if humans are making decisions on the ground, then other humans farther up the food chain in battlefield decision-making — commanders, political leadership, analysts, and so forth — will be able to find out why they made those decisions and respond accordingly. If algorithms are making these decisions, the thinking goes, we’ll have no such insight, and we’ll lose meaningful human control. But psychology research shows that we humans are not nearly as explainable as we give ourselves credit for, so we might be overstating the meaningfulness of the human control we thought we had in the first place.
Enter “explainable artificial intelligence,sometimes called XAI. With algorithms that can explain their decision-making processes — in a way that humans often can’t — technology could increase, rather than decrease, the likelihood that those decision-makers who are not on the ground will get an accurate answer as to why a given decision was made.

Perspective. No big deal if you are too young to remember Sputnik.
Amazon Seeks Permission to Launch 3,236 Internet Satellites

Cute, with a smattering of truth.
Hicks column: Tales of horror and suspense from Charleston’s internet outage
The survivors will tell these stories for generations.
Earlier this week, Charleston endured a horrifying glimpse of how fragile modern civilization really is ... for nearly 12 whole hours.
It started around noon Tuesday, when children across the Lowcountry reported acute — and epidemic — boredom. Soon, millennials were denied food, coffee and other basic necessities when some businesses demanded payment in cash.
Netflix binges ended midstream, people couldn’t order cat food from Amazon Prime, and overweight white men were denied their God-given right to share doctored photos of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
There was no joy in Summerville; the mighty internet had gone out.
… This is what the Dark Ages must’ve been like, but somehow Charlestonians endured.

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