http://www.computerworlduk.com/news/infrastructure/3433595/boeing-787s-create-half-terabyte-of-data-per-flight-says-virgin-atlantic/ “The latest planes we are getting, the Boeing 787s, are incredibly connected. Literally every piece of that plane has an internet connection, from the engines, to the flaps, to the landing gear. [...] We can get upwards of half a terabyte of data from a single flight from all of the different devices which are internet connected,'' [Virgin Atlantic IT director David] Bulman said. What could *possibly* go wrong? Dag-Erling Smørgrav - firstname.lastname@example.org
"Shaw e-mail customers are scrambling after an interruption of Shaw's e-mail services Thursday led to millions of e-mails being deleted. About 70 per cent of Shaw's e-mail customers were affected when the company was troubleshooting an unrelated e-mail delay problem and an attempted solution caused incoming e-mails to be deleted, a spokesman told The Sunday Province." http://j.mp/13OyeK8 (*The Province* via NNSquad) "Oops."
Some radio synchronised clocks in USA unexpectedly switched to Daylight Saving Time (DST) yesterday hours ahead of schedule. According to the Time and Frequency Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which operates radio station WWVB in Boulder, Colorado, the last two significant bits in the time code give a warning that DST changes tomorrow and the current state of DST (standard time or daylight saving time). Some clocks changed to DST when the warning bit appeared. http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/older-radio-controlled-clocks-may-adjust-early.cfm Joe Loughry, Doctoral Student in the Department of Computer Science St Cross College, Oxford
[Note: This item comes from friend Steve Schear. DLH] Tor Exit Nodes Located and Mapped, 27 Feb 2013 <http://hackertarget.com/tor-exit-node-visualization/> Tor Exit Nodes are the gateways where encrypted Tor traffic hits the Internet. This means an exit node can be abused to monitor Tor traffic (after it leaves the onion network). It is in the design of the Tor network that locating the source of that traffic through the network should be difficult to determine. However if the exit traffic is unencrypted and contains identifying information then an exit node can be abused. The torproject therefore is dependent on a diverse and wide range of exit nodes. This update to an older page is where I attempt to display the exit nodes diversity in a Google map with Geolocation. The map was built using Google Maps API v3, with Marker Clusterer. The majority of exit nodes are likely not monitored and are `safe', they are managed by good Internet citizens who believe in the aims of the Tor project. However even a handful of bad nodes could be a threat as exit nodes are periodically changed as you use the Tor network. Understand the Technology, Understand the Risks. Use of the Tor Project by activists and Human Rights Defenders can be a valuable tool in avoiding surveillance; however you should always have a good understanding of the risks and keep your traffic encrypted end to end, as any of these exit nodes could be watching your traffic flows. At the most basic level unless you are using encrypted protocols (HTTPS / SSH / TLS), the Tor traffic could be monitored. Here are two simple examples: [snip] Dewayne-Net RSS Feed: <http://www.warpspeed.com/wordpress>
9th Circuit Appeals Court: 4th Amendment Applies At The Border; Also: Password Protected Files Shouldn't Arouse Suspicion http://j.mp/X55bAB (Techdirt via NNSquad) "In a somewhat surprising 9th Circuit ruling (en banc, or in front of the entire set of judges), the court ruled that the 4th Amendment does apply at the border, that agents do need to recognize there's an expectation of privacy, and cannot do a search without reason. Furthermore, they noted that merely encrypting a file with a password is not enough to trigger suspicion. This is a huge ruling in favor of privacy rights."
[The risk being about how the rules can keep changing.] , InfoWorld, 5 Mar 2013 One user reports a 1,000 percent increase in interaction after paying to promote a post http://www.infoworld.com/d/applications/facebook-does-damage-control-after-claims-of-rigged-news-feed-213849
Proprietor admits its for the free publicity of being first, too. http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57573387-93
Bill Snyder, *InfoWorld*, 07 Mar 2013 With Verizon's aid, police arrest a man for storing illegal porn in the cloud, which raises questions about how much privacy cloud users can expect http://www.infoworld.com/d/the-industry-standard/when-your-data-not-your-data-when-its-in-the-cloud-213988
Galen Gruman, InfoWorld, 8 Mar 2013 A 'silent Big Brother' information state is emerging—and people are starting to realize the danger and act http://www.infoworld.com/d/consumerization-of-it/maybe-just-maybe-users-can-win-the-privacy-war-213222
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-03-08/skypes-been-hijacked-in-china-and-microsoft-is-o-dot-k-dot-with-it Jeffrey Knockel is an unlikely candidate to expose the inner workings of Skype's role in China's online surveillance apparatus. The 27-year-old computer-science graduate student at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque doesn't speak Chinese, let alone follow Chinese politics. “I don't really keep up with news in China that much,'' he says. But he loves solving puzzles. So when a professor pulled Knockel aside after class two years ago and suggested a long-shot project—to figure out how the Chinese version of Microsoft's (MSFT) Skype secretly monitors users—he hunkered down in his bedroom with his Dell (DELL) laptop and did it. Since then, Knockel, a bearded, yoga-practicing son of a retired U.S. Air Force officer, has repeatedly beaten the ever-changing encryption that cloaks Skype's Chinese service. This has allowed him to compile for the first time the thousands of terms—such as Amnesty International and Tiananmen—that prompt Skype in China to intercept typed messages and send copies to its computer servers in the country. Some messages are blocked altogether. The lists—which are the subject of a presentation Knockel will make on Friday, March 8, at Boston University, as well as a paper he's writing with researchers from the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab—shed light on the monitoring of Internet communications in China. Skype's videophone-and-texting service there, with nearly 96 million users, is known as TOM-Skype, a joint venture formed in 2005 with majority owner Tom Online, a Chinese wireless Internet company. ...
"Harvard University central administrators secretly searched the e-mail accounts of 16 resident deans last fall, looking for a leak to the media about the school's sprawling cheating case, according to several Harvard officials interviewed by the Globe. The resident deans sit on Harvard's Administrative Board, the committee charged with handling the cheating case. They were not warned that administrators planned to access their accounts, and only one was told of the search shortly afterward." http://j.mp/12Fvu2B (Boston.com)
"Harvard Offers Explanation for Search of E-Mail Accounts" "Harvard University on Monday offered its first public comments on its searching of staff members' e-mail accounts, saying that the administration had not notified most of those employees because it wanted to protect the one who inadvertently leaked confidential material to the news media." (The New York Times) OK, let's get a couple of things straight here. First, if Harvard wants to assert that the Terms of Service of their e-mail system permits administrators to monitor the contents of e-mail, that's within their rights. This is not at all an uncommon arrangement for corporate e-mail systems, though whether or not the Harvard community would agree that it's appropriate in their case is a different question. But for Harvard to try to suggest that their intrusion was less significant because only Subject lines were inspected is mealymouthed nonsense of the sort we expect from governments trying to excuse their own e-mail intrusions. Subject lines contain a great deal of information, and for some messages represent the entire effective contents! Trying to claim Subject lines are not content just doesn't fly. Also, there was of course no guarantee that the Subject lines would indicate who had forwarded the messages of interest in this case, since (not exactly headline news!) it's possible to forward messages (and copy/past text) under completely different Subject lines. So no matter how you slice it, Harvard's overall explanation doesn't seem to really pass the smell test very well at all. Very disappointing from a great educational institution. [1. It appears to me someone at Harvard overreacted initially, especially if multiple student answers happened to be identical because they were all copied from the same website, which seemed to be in scope of the exam in the first place. 2. Subject lines are certainly content-bearing, but might be treated differently—if for example the text were encrypted, but the subject line were not. What was the expressed policy, and how was it enforced? 3. Smell test? The whole thing smells no matter how you slice it. PGN]
I have to confess surprise that this paper has made a number of news sites, for several reasons--the first being that I'm still not used to the idea that the mainstream is interested in this sort of research. But it's worth noting a few things. First, the researchers worked very hard to produce the power failures in question. Most installations that use SSDs connect them to a reliable power supply, either because they are part of a huge datacenter, or because they are built into a laptop that has a battery. So the average user is VERY unlikely to see the kinds of failures reported in the paper. Second, the failures weren't universal. Some SSDs apparently incorporate enough internal power (probably via capacitors) to shut down cleanly when power is lost. If I recall the talk correctly, the most reliable behavior was at both ends of the cost spectrum. Third, the test conditions were extreme. The researchers cut power suddenly using a special circuit, while in the middle of writing large amounts of data to the drive. Most real power failures are slower, since the line-power drop is smoothed by the DC power supply. And since few people do continuous large writes, statistics are on your side. Fourth, we should remember hard drives aren't too happy under the same test conditions. So it may not be wise to junk all your SSDs just yet. And finally, several years of research at the University of Wisconsin have revealed some pretty disturbing information about the reliability of software file systems under various failure conditions. So it's not clear that power faults are the first thing we should worry about anyway (though I'm not ready to take a position one way or the other). FWIW, I don't use an SSD but it's purely a cost/capacity decision. Geoff Kuenning email@example.com http://www.cs.hmc.edu/~geoff/ I have always wished for my computer to be as easy to use as my telephone; my wish has come true because I can no longer figure out how to use my telephone. —Bjarne Stroustrup
Re: Gene Wirchenko's note (Risks-27.18) about needing an e-mail address to "not register" to read an article on line, an excellent service to deal with this is 10 Minute Mail (10minutemail.com). This is extremely useful for those sites that send you a link to follow in order to access the site. If that's not necessary, make one up. I'm sure no one's checking.
RISKS-27.18 describes various woes with Yahoo! e-mail; no idea if there's any connection, but today's 'Daily Telegraph' (Mar 9th, 2013) includes this item: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet-security/9918214/BT-investigates-spike-in-Yahoo-email-spamming.html In my case: (a) I used to work for BT (nothing to do with their internet service) but have no connection now except as a customer and future pensioner; and (b) when I started sending personal e-mails in the late 1990s I used a company system, but soon needed my own address so set up web-based firstname.lastname@example.org in May 2000. The company banned personal web mail access (due to virus concerns) in 2002 so for my modest e-mail traffic I bought a laptop and used Yahoo! e-mail with pay-as-you-go dial-up, via POP and SMTP with Netscape's e-mail program (don't laugh) to allow off-line mail reading and preparation, which is what I've done ever since, but with broadband since 2010. I specifically chose BT as my ISP knowing that Yahoo! provides their e-mail service (as btinternet.com addresses) so that I could continue using my Yahoo! address, which has been pretty trouble-free, at least so far... Considering how e-mail is very much essential to modern life, it's a shame how flaky the provision is, compared to other utilities, such as plain old telephone service. And how long before it's *ONLY* available in the 'cloud'..?
... And OK - I know you shouldn't click on links in e-mails - but folks do. If we can all agree this, can we please stop blaming the users - and take the functionality out of the e-mail client software?
It is strange that, in the three e-mails to RISKS about this incident, no reference was given to a news source independently corroborating it. It is also strange that five days after the supposed incident, I cannot find a single report about it on-line. I can't that an incident of the magnitude described by Mr. Brady would have gone completely unreported. I would like to hear more from Mr. Brady about where he obtained the details he posted about the incident, and I would like to see some independent corroboration. Absent such confirmation, it seems likely to me that Mr. Brady and others who claim to have been affected by this "crash" are actually victims of a more mundane sort: their accounts were broken into by hackers to send spam / scam / phishing e-mails; such hackers often delete all old e-mails and contacts to make it harder for the victims to regain access to their accounts and warn their contacts that to ignore the bogus e-mails sent from them by the hackers. This theory would seem to be bolstered by the fact that Mr. Brady himself sent another e-mail to RISKS, four days after his first e-mail alleging a major crash, essentially admitting to having clicked on a link in a phishing e-mail and thereby compromising his own Yahoo account. It is understanding that inaccurate items would occasionally slip through and end up in RISKS; it is nevertheless important for us to remain vigilant against them and to correct them promptly when they do occur.
I have no intention of getting into a war of attrition over this issue. The facts - as far as I am concerned are these: * I DID NOT click on any of these trojan virus links - indeed when I get such an e-mail I always send the original sender info. on what it is. * On Saturday - I and many others - suddenly had my Yahoo Classic e-mail account de-activated. When I activated by entering a capcha and clicking on Submit I found to my horror that ALL 13 year's worth of folders and e-mails and contacts had been deleted. * After searching the Yahoo Help pages I eventually found a pro-forma for requesting a complete restore. I submitted this. Nothing happened for many hours. I submitted it again. I received a response that all had been restored as per the last snapshot. In fact NOTHING had been restored. * Meanwhile I was monitoring Y-Mail on Yahoo Groups, Yahoo Answers, Twitter, Facebook, and other e-mail forums. There was considerable and increasing frustration as evidenced by numerous posts that nothing was being done by Yahoo to restore accounts - some Plus accounts. * I submitted my restore request again (third time). Again some hours later I received an e-mail stating that all had been restored. Nothing had been. * After searching the Yahoo Help pages I eventually found a Customer Service no. - unfortunately it was 1-800 for the USA - chargeable at international rates from the UK. Then after making inquiries on various forums I was given an 0870 no. (premium rate) and a 0800 no. for the UK. My phone has a Giffgaff SIM, luckily 0800 nos. are free. I called that and was on hold for 90 minutes. Eventually someone responded whom I could barely understand. Anyway after 30 minutes of nonsensical conversation the upshot was that I should submit yet another restore request via the Help site. * This was now 48 hours after the initial deletions (for me). The restore window was well-past. Yahoo only keeps backups for 48 hours at maximum. * Eventually on Tuesday I logged in and most folders, e-mails and contacts had been restored as they were on the previous Friday. All my e-mails for Saturday through to Monday had gone for good - apparently a result of the restore. * Additionally I compiled a list of just a few cases to send to Yahoo CS for them to see just how concerned their members were. This was bounced back as undeliverable. [Very Long item of e-mail sent to email@example.com omitted here.]
On 03/07/2013 12:11 PM, Chris J Brady wrote: > I have no intention of getting into a war of attrition over this issue. If you are going to make serious accusations of malfeasance against a major corporation and its employees in a respected, public forum, you ought to be prepared to support or retract them. I've reviewed all the information you sent. None of it supports any of your claims about the cause or scope of the problem. There are numerous reasons why any single, active Yahoo account might be wiped and deactivated without the consent of its owner. There are numerous possible explanations other than the one you gave for why there might be a sudden sharp uptick in the perceived number of such deactivated accounts. I understand that you are angry about what happened to your account; I would be, too. I am sorry about what you and others have experienced. I agree with you that Yahoo deserves criticism for their poor handling of the situation, regardless of whether it's their fault. It may turn out that it *was* their fault after all. Nevertheless, there is as yet no evidence of that, and these unfortunate events and Yahoo's poor response to them do not justify the statement as fact of serious, unsubstantiated allegations.
I reported earlier about the ordeal of a few people who were arrested by the police in Japan because the computer trojan/virus they somehow downloaded sent threatening notes to various services. The police thought these people were the real perpetrators. But the real party behind the bot/virus and the blackmails sent a revealing e-mail to a lawyer, and demanded the wrongly arrested people be freed. The e-mail contains information that was only available to the person sending the original black mails. As a result of this e-mail, and as the result of a local Police who found the trace of suspected unknown virus-like activity on one of the computers of the arrested men, the charges were dropped for all the falsely arrested people, and freed. [ Trojan sent blackmails from PCs. Japanese Police arrested PC owners 27.10] Sorry for the long posting, but I am not sure if this news coverage is available in English in any detail and it is worth reporting what happens in this corner of the world. Now, the new twist at the end of last year. Japanese police set up a Facebook page towards the end of the last year for courting the information related to the wrong-doing so that they may be able to clue in the original identity of the perpetrator. This was the first time the Japanese police turned to SNS for this type of investigation. Ironically, it was all too clear that the Japanese police did not have the technical expertise to handle this type of the crime. The arrests were made just because the IP addresses recorded in the logs matched these people's computers despite some claimed no knowledge and even suggested that someone may hijacked Wi-Fi, but the police would not listen to it, etc. I doubt how useful the Facebook page was. Some even speculated that this Facebook was a ploy to irritate the perpetrator to commit more acts which may leak information to the real identity. (If so, it may have worked in either positive or negative way. See the new event described later.) Also, after the falsely arrested people were released, police leaked words that their investigation was blocked due to the use of TOR network through which the virus or bot was uploaded originally. I was afraid that TOR was given a bad name just because of this incidence. To my relief, some commentators on TV did stress that TOR has a place in the society for whistle-blowers and dissidents in dictatorial countries. (I can not access the facebook page any more. It seems to have been closed due to the development described below. ) Still more twists this year. Just prior to the new year's day and a few days later, a couple of e-mails were sent to the Police and major TV and print press stating that a certain key piece that is pertinent to the crime is buried in a place (the first one suggested a mountain in the western suburb of Tokyo and the second mail suggested a cat in very small island just off the beach south west of Tokyo). Then the police arrested a 30 years old man with a previous record of arrest due to a blackmail posted to a popular BBS after a copyright issue got nasty regarding a cartoon-like cat figure (ASCII art) escalated several years ago. But the reason for the arrest is not quite digital if you expect some advanced ICT evidence. A memory media was found inside a collar that was attached to a stray cat in the smallish island as claimed by the e-mail. And the man arrested on Feb 5th is said to have been captured earlier by one of the newly installed surveillance cameras on the island padding the particular cat, etc. (But as far as the incriminating evidence that the collar was put by the man on this stray cat goes, it may not be on the video. Despite press scrutiny, the police kept mum about this key point.) Another couple of evidences which the police seem to suggest: (I am culling these from various media articles. Unlike USA, the discovery process for police/prosecutor evidence to figure out how strong a case is for meriting a public prosecution is not done in Japan despite the lawyers demanding such procedure to take place. So frankly I don't know what the police in store until the court business proceeds very far.) (a) - the newly arrested man uses Hewlett Packard PC at a place where he is hired as temp hand, and the virus/bot written in C# carried an identification record which suggests it was compiled on an HP PC. [OK, I did not know that the virus/bot used C#. But obviously police asked many anti-virus makers about the origin and the nature of the trojan/virus, and the words were out to the general public that the virus/bot was written in C#.] (b) - There is an evidence in the log that his PC connected one of the TOR connection gateways at least a few times in the past. (But it is not clear what happened through the connection, etc.) The lawyer for the man has already spelled out that - the man claims no knowledge of C#, and he wonders why anyone thought he wrote the trojan/virus (written in C#). - the man denied putting the media inside the collar that was on this particular cat. Also, he was caught on a camera of a TV station a day or two before the arrest (it seems that the police leaked the on-going investigation leading to the man) and he seemed to be utterly careless. (I would have thought a man leaving behind such a deed would be more careful like trying to see if someone is trailing him now and then. But I digress.) Any readers reading RISKS worth his/her salt would see that it is so easy to rebut claims (a) and (b). I have a feeling that the new e-mails around the new year's and the the memory media placed on the cat that led to the arrest is a big joke played by the real perpetrator who knows the regular activity pattern of the newly arrested man. It would be so simple to plant the memory media in advance if the man is known to go such a place to pad on the popular cats in the island, etc. After all the mastermind behind the blackmails explained in his/her e-mail that the intention was to reveal the ineptitude of the Japanese police handling the cybercrime in general. It my fear turns correct, then the Japanese police will have no authority to regulate the cybercrime in the public eyes for some time to come. *That* will be a sad outcome of the series of events. We have to wait and see.
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