The web server distributing the software updates for a ventilator (a medical device) itself needs some help with software updates. According to Google, the web server was infected with 48 viruses and 2 scripting exploits. 20 pages resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The risks should be obvious. This is an update for a medical device, and yet one must download it in a manner as if software sepsis is no big deal. Health care professionals might as well stop their washing hands while they're at it. Click Here to Download Your AVEA Ventilator Software Update. Trust Me. http://blog.secure-medicine.org/2012/06/click-here-to-download-your-avea.html
(Ballou and Ellement) Brian R. Ballou and John R. Ellement, *The Boston Globe*, 6 Jun 2012 ... judge calls for people to keep eyes on road Saying he was sending a message of deterrence to Massachusetts drivers, District Court Judge Stephen Abany today imposed maximum sentences on Haverhill teen Aaron Deveau for causing a fatal crash by texting while driving. The judge sentenced Deveau, who was 17 at the time of the crash, to concurrent sentences of 2 years on a charge of motor vehicle homicide and 2 years for a charge of negligent operation of a motor vehicle causing serious injury while texting. Noting Deveau's youth and lack of criminal record, Abany ordered the teen to serve one year in the Essex County House of Corrections, suspending the rest of the sentences. Deveau, who has been free on bail since his arrest in 2011, was taken into custody by court officers. Abany said from the bench that a criminal sentence is based on four principles - punishment, public safety, rehabilitation, and deterrence. Of those four issues, deterrence was his primary concern. ... http://www.boston.com/metrodesk/2012/06/06/haverhill-teen-convicted-motor-vehicle-homicide-fatal-crash-tied-texting/ORSyThaV1G2Y3a3TAkANmI/story.html
(Kay Lazar) Kay Lazar, *The Boston Globe*, 8 Jun 2012 Forty-two percent of Massachusetts high school students who drive admit they text while behind the wheel, according to a state survey to be released Friday. The report, from the state's Department of Public Health, also finds that texting while driving is most common among high school seniors, with 61 percent of drivers admitting to the behavior, more than three times the percentage for sophomore drivers. ... http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2012/06/08/42_of_massachusetts_high_school_drivers_text_behind_the_wheel_survey_finds/?page=full
Dan Goodin, *ars technica*, 7 Jun 2012 http://arstechnica.com/security/2012/06/flame-crypto-breakthrough/ The Flame espionage malware that infected computers in Iran achieved mathematic breakthroughs that could only have been accomplished by world-class cryptographers, two of the world's foremost cryptography experts said. "We have confirmed that Flame uses a yet unknown MD5 chosen-prefix collision attack," Marc Stevens and B.M.M. de Weger wrote in an e-mail posted to a cryptography discussion group earlier this week. "The collision attack itself is very interesting from a scientific viewpoint, and there are already some practical implications." "Collision" attacks, in which two different sources of plaintext generate identical cryptographic hashes, have long been theorized. But it wasn't until late 2008 that a team of researchers made one truly practical. By using a bank of 200 PlayStation 3 consoles to find collisions in the MD5 algorithm---and exploiting weaknesses in the way secure sockets layer certificates were issued---they constructed a rogue certificate authority that was trusted by all major browsers and operating systems. Stevens, from the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica in Amsterdam, and de Weger, of the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven were two of the driving forces behind the research that made it possible. Flame is the first known example of an MD5 collision attack being used maliciously in a real-world environment. It wielded the esoteric technique to digitally sign malicious code with a fraudulent certificate that appeared to originate with Microsoft. By deploying fake servers on networks that hosted machines already infected by Flame---and using the certificates to sign Flame modules---the malware was able to hijack the Windows Update mechanism Microsoft uses to distribute patches to hundreds of millions of customers. [...]
(Billy Baker) Billy Baker, *The Boston Globe*, 7 Jun 2012 [PGN-ed] http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2012/06/07/stiff_sentence_in_fatal_texting_while_driving_case_may_not_deter_some_teenagers/ After a judge imposed the maximum sentence Wednesday on a local teenager who became the first person in the state convicted of causing a fatal crash while texting, it is still not clear the message is sinking in. ... Aaron Deveau - who was 17 in February 2011, when he drifted over the center lane on River Street and slammed head-on into a car driven by Donald Bowley Jr., 56 - was convicted of motor vehicle homicide and negligent operation of a motor vehicle causing serious injury while texting. He was sentenced to a year in prison. Bowley died 18 days after the crash. His girlfriend, Luz Roman, was injured. ... During the trial, prosecutors used phone records to argue that Deveau was texting just before the accident, an assertion he denied on the witness stand.
http://www.newstalk1010.com/News/localnews/blogentry.aspx?BlogEntryID=10387697 VIDEO: "Heads Up" Distraction Safety Campaign Targets Pedestrians Posted By: Michelle Rosa firstname.lastname@example.org 29 May 2012 opening text: Look Up! Toronto police are asking you to take a minute and stop texting and pay more attention when walking around the city.
(Nestor E. Arellano) Nestor E. Arellano, *IT Business*, 4 Jun 2012 Lawful access 'one of the greatest threats to privacy,' says watchdog Ontario's privacy commissioner focused her annual report on the federal government's desire to keep a closer eye on its citizen's onlined activities. http://www.itbusiness.ca/it/client/en/home/News.asp?id=67788 Initiatives to provide law enforcement agents greater powers to access and track personal individual information may have suffered a set back early this year, but Ontario's information and privacy commissioner said today that vigilance is needed to protect individual rights. Bill C-30, "represents one of the most invasive threats to our privacy and freedom that I have encountered in 25 years of my career,"" said Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Ontario's Information and Privacy commissioner. ...
Nestor E. Arellano, *IT Business*, 7 Jun 2012 Authorities say "security violations" prompted them to order the deactivation of self-serve terminals that provide birth certificates, driver's licences and other documents. http://www.itbusiness.ca/it/client/en/Home/News.asp?id=67843
*Megan Geuss) Megan Geuss, *ars technica*, 7 Jun 2012 The FTC charged a debt collector and a car dealership with illegal indiscretion. Back in 2010, the FTC conducted a probe revealing that a lot of sensitive customer data could be found on P2P networks, uploaded by companies that had pledged to safeguard that data. That led the FTC to investigate more specific impropriety, and today the Federal Trade Commission charged a debt collection agency in Provo, Utah, and a car dealership in Statesboro, Georgia, with illegally exposing the personal information of thousands of customers. The FTC's 2010 probe originally led to an uncovering of "health-related information, financial records, and driver's license and social security numbers" on peer-to-peer networks that had been shared by a legitimate organization's computer network. As is the nature of P2P, that leaked data was available to any users of the P2P network, and exposed many unwitting citizens to fraud and harm. Two years later, the FTC is doling out charges against two companies that were caught with computers that had connected to P2P networks and leaked sensitive data belonging to the companies' customers. In the settlement offer extended by the FTC, both companies would be required to disclose their privacy practices more clearly, and would undergo a security audit by the FTC every other year for the next 20 years to ensure compliance. The first company, EPN, Inc. (otherwise known as Checknet) is a debt collection agency in Provo, Utah, whose clients are healthcare providers, commercial credit organizations, and retailers. The FTC alleges that the company allowed its chief operating officer "to install P2P file-sharing software on the EPN computer system, causing sensitive information including Social Security numbers, health insurance numbers and medical diagnosis codes of 3,800 hospital patients to be made available to any computer connected to the P2P network." ... http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/06/ssns-on-p2p-the-feds-found-businesses-that-leaked-private-information/
[From Dave Farber's IP distribution. PGN] https://www.zdnet.com/blog/security/md5-password-scrambler-no-longer-safe/12317 This blog post doesn't tell us anything useful. The issue with the LinkedIn hack is that the password database was obtained and shared publicly. Although it is indeed possible with brute force to find a colliding cleartext for a given MD5 hash, you have to first have the hash value. In most such attacks, the attacker doesn't know the hashed value of the cleartext, or the cleartext. Thus, they are simply running a "dictionary attack" - generating passwords, hashing them and trying to match them. They do that until a hash that they generate matches, and the account is unlocked. Try doing that for a single password, online, and most sites will lock you out after about 3 tries. That alone makes most dictionary attacks impractical. When people have said that "MD5 is broken" they mean that MD5 is subject to "collision attacks" in which two different cleartext values can hash to the same value. So MD5 is broken for certain applications where you need unique hash values per unique string (note that SHA-1 is also vulnerable to these attacks), but it is still useful in some situations, and indeed, probably still mostly just fine for storing passwords, provided that certain other security measures are taken: (i) Online password retries must be limited (ii) Passwords should be stored "salted" - i.e.. where the cleartext is concatenated with a random value. In such a case, the attacker will have to run an individual dictionary attack for each user's password. (iii) Password databases should be stored securely ii only causes the attacker to spend more time in cracking passwords; iii and i are the really important measures for keeping passwords safe. The problem with the LinkedIn hack is that they let an attacker get access to their password database in the first place—that is a serious security error.
LinkedIn and eHarmony reportedly did not "salt" their password hashes "LinkedIn and eHarmony encrypted, or "hashed," the passwords of registered users, but neither salted the hashes with random data that would have made them much more difficult to decrypt. Without salting, it's very easy to crack". http://j.mp/LfSauj (Security News Daily via NNSquad) For LinkedIn and eHarmony to have reportedly not been "salting" their password cryptographic systems amounts to gross negligence. UNIX/Linux systems have been routinely using salted functions for decades. This isn't rocket science. There is *no* excuse.
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/12/06/06/linkedin_app_under_scrutiny_for_transferring_ios_calendar_entries.html LinkedOut - A LinkedIn Privacy Issue http://blog.skycure.com/2012/06/linkedout-linkedin-privacy-issue.html#!/2012/06/linkedout-linkedin-privacy-issue.html LinkedIn's Leaky Mobile App Has Access to Your Meeting Notes http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/05/linkedins-leaky-mobile-app-has-access-to-your-meeting-notes/ More about our mobile calendar feature http://blog.linkedin.com/2012/06/06/mobile-calendar-feature/
In Ontario, Canada, various routine provincial government services are provided by a government agency called ServiceOntario—for example, that's where I went when I lost my wallet last year and needed a new driver's license and provincial health insurance card. For some simple services that don't require any human interaction, ServiceOntario provides self-serve ATM-style kiosks in places like shopping malls. Any fees, of course, are paid using credit or debit cards. Today the government announced that it "suspected that attempts were made to gain access to key credit/debit card data that would allow for the replication of debit/credit cards" and that, "out of an abundance of caution", all 72 of these kiosks were being temporarily shut down. Police here have recently issued warnings about other attempts to steal such bank card data. See: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/article4238222.ece http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2012/06/07/ontario-serviceontario-kiosks-closed-due-to.html Mark Brader, Toronto, email@example.com | "Fast, cheap, good: choose any two."
(Lucian Constantin) http://www.infoworld.com/d/security/researchers-find-ways-bypass-googles-android-malware-scanner-194882 InfoWorld Home / Security / News June 05, 2012 Researchers find ways to bypass Google's Android malware scanner Mobile security researchers devised methods that could allow Android malware to detect when it's being analyzed by Google's Bouncer system By Lucian Constantin | IDG News Service key paragraph: Antivirus programs have long used built-in emulators to safely observe how suspicious files behave when executed and most antivirus experts analyze malware samples in virtual machines. As a result, a lot of malware programs are now designed to suppress their malicious behavior if they detect the use of emulated environments.
Cyrus Farivar, *ars technica*, 8 Jun2012 A Ukrainian group has a worldwide network of resellers to reset IMEI numbers. For over a year now, a French law has provided a means for law enforcement to block stolen phones and prevent them from being used. French mobile phone users are encouraged to record their IMEI number online with authorities as a precautionary measure. Once a phone is reported stolen to the police, operators are required to transmit the unique IMEI number on each phone to a European bank in Dublin, Ireland. Then, this bank is supposed to block usage of that phone, rendering it unusable. The French newspaper Le Monde (Google Translate) reports that mobile theft in France has dropped 20 percent between April 2011 and April 2012, suggesting that this measure has been somewhat effective. However, the Paris police department has now announced that it has discovered the use of software called Z3X, which has apparently been found in 50 mobile phone shops in eastern Paris. Z3X is a Ukrainian-made tool that offers what appears to be a specific way to reset IMEI numbers on various specific phones, including models of Samsung, LG, NEC and other phones. The group has listed resellers scattered across the United States, Europe, Russia, Ukraine and Libya. ... http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/06/police-mobile-software-hack-defeating-anti-theft-measure/
(Josh Fruhlinger) Josh Fruhlinger, *InfoWorld*, 8 Jun 2012 While you were upgrading your servers with the latest intrusion detection, did someone just walk in and steal them? http://www.infoworld.com/d/security/stupid-security-mistakes-things-you-missed-while-doing-the-hard-stuff-195145
Back in April, Lauren Weinstein told us about a report in Science News with the headline "Most Wikipedia Entries About Companies Contain Factual Errors, Study Finds" http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/26.79.html#subj6.1 Note, the Science News report is a summary of a study published in the "Public Relations Journal". In the fall of 2011 the UK newspaper The Independent caught executives at a UK public relations firm named Bell Pottinger, claiming great success at sanitizing wikipedia articles about their clients. How did they do this? They employed individuals who masqueraded as genuine wikipedia volunteers to remove the embarrassing material through subtle and gradual editing The example of their success the executives offered was their sanitization of the wikipedia's article about their client a Somilia based funds remittance company named Dahadshiil. The article (correctly) reported that an employee of Dahabshiil, based in Pakistan, ended up in Guantanamo. I started that article and I stand by its accuracy and fairness. More recently Jane Wilson, a spokesman for the public relations industry wrote an appeal to her colleagues, in the Huffington Post, encouraging them to eschew what she called "dark arts" techniques and openly and transparently engage with wikipedia volunteers to address accuracy and fairness concerns, through the mechanisms the wikipedia has set in place for doing so. I am afraid the Science News article appears to me to be another instance of what Wilson called "dark arts"—smearing the wikipedia to distract the public from the black eye The Independent's report delivered. The stock of Bell Pottinger's parent is reported to have dropped about 25 percent due to the bad press. http://www.webcitation.org/68DtG4EXK—The Independent —"Caught on camera: top lobbyists boasting how they influence the PM". http://www.webcitation.org/68DrAXd1p --Suba News --"Dahabshiil—you couldn't find it within the first 10 pages."" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dahabshiil—the wikipedia article http://www.webcitation.org/68DsGmGvr —Huffington Post -- "PR: If You Want to Understand Wikipedia, Become a Wikipedian"
[Source: David Axe, *WiReD* News, 5 Jun 2012] Future U.S. Air Force drone operators could talk to a drone and receive a verbal response, similar to the Siri-style two-way voice exchange. Moreover, next-generation controls could include smarter, easier-to-interpret computer displays and tactile feedback, similar to vibrating controls such as the Xbox controller, that shake the drone operator's virtual cockpit if the robot detects incoming enemy fire. The current interface consists of computer screens, keyboards, and joysticks for steering robots, while input is limited to keystrokes and mouse and joystick movements transmitted via satellite. The Air Force Research Laboratory's (AFRL's) Mike Patzek says man-machine interfaces could replace this desktop-type environment in the next decade or so. The progress of the Air Force's research and its funding will determine how the interfaces evolve, but there is no dispute that flying robots will have a key role in U.S. air power in the years to come. "The fundamental issue is that the [robotic] systems are going to be more capable and have more automation," says AFRL's Mark Draper. "The trick is, how do you keep the human who is located in a different location understanding what that system is doing, monitoring and intervening when he or she needs to?" http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/06/voice-control-drones/
A few weeks ago, I was at the theatre with my iPhone switched to "airplane mode". Shifting in my seat, I must have put pressure on the phone, because Siri suddenly complained loudly that I didn't have an Internet connection.
`... Along With Consumer Irritation, `Re: the answering machine message that starts with the Service Interruption Tone: For some years some members of my family have had a device which plays just the first note of that tone when they pick up the phone (I think it also works when their answering machine picks up). So when calling them, one hears: <ring> ... <ring> ... <beep> Hello? The beep is very short. Apparently they get essentially no telemarketing calls, so maybe just that one beep is enough by itself. Isaac Morland CSCF Web Guru DC 2554C, x36650 WWW Software Specialist
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