[Source: EDRi, European Digital Rights (a confederation of digital-rights nongovernmental European organizations)] Today the Dutch government sent their position paper on encryption to the parliament: “currently not appropriate to restrict development, availability, and use of encryption.'' This may be relevant to many of you as some member states take a different position on `the problem of encryption', the Dutch take a fairly clear position and the Dutch hold the chair in the Council these six months. You may even ask yourself whether it is coincidence the letter was sent only today. :) The government says: "The government's role is to ensure the safety of the Netherlands and the offenses to detect. The Cabinet stressed the need for legitimate access to data and communications. In addition, governments, businesses and citizens benefit from maximum security of the digital systems. The government recognizes the importance of strong encryption for Internet security, to support the protection of the privacy of citizens, for confidential communication of the government and companies, and for the Dutch economy." "Therefore, the government believes that it is currently not appropriate to adopt restrictive legal measures against the development, availability and use of encryption within the Netherlands. In the international context, the Netherlands will pronounce these conclusion and the considerations." G. A. Van der Steur H.G.J. Camp, Minister of Security and Justice, Minister for the Economy Business, The original, in Dutch: http://www.tweedekamer.nl/kamerstukken/brieven_regering/detail?id 16Z00009&did 16D00015 See also (in English): Dutch govt says no to backdoors, slides $450K into OpenSSL without breaking eye contact: People need encryption to be safe and secure, says ministry http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/01/04/dutch_government_says_no_to_backdoors/
In 2012 the family of a crime victim in the state of Washington learned that the criminal was going to be released earlier than he should have been. They notified the state department of corrections (DOC), and it turned out to be due to a software bug. Specifically, if a prisoner in Washington receives time off their sentence for good behavior, the amount of time off is supposed to depend on the sentence as it would have been without the addition of "enhancements" based on aggravating factors (such as using a firearm in the crime). But since 2002, the actual computation has been based on the total sentence, including any enhancements. The DOC ordered a fix as soon as possible, but 3 years have now passed and it still hasn't happened. Now that this has come to public attention, though, the fix is expected soon. It is now estimated that since 2002 there have been 3,200 prisoners released early, by an average of 55 days. See: http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/inslee-error-releases-inmates-early-since-2002/
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2497323,00.asp While said kid knew his dad's password to get onto the iPad itself, the dad was surprised to learn that his son had also memorized his Apple ID password. And, in doing so, he was able to bypass any restrictions his father had placed on the device and buy whatever he wanted in the game. The damage? The son made 65 transactions between December 13 and December 18--that's a lot of dinosaurs--to the tune of L4,000, or just around $5,900. Shugaa is apparently upset that Apple didn't do anything to verify that the many, many purchases made over that small time period were actually him. I'm sorry, I consider these games to essentially be scams, and the companies that take their cuts from the associated in-app revenues are at the very least complicit in situations like this one. Busy parents cannot be expected to monitor this stuff on top of everything else they have to do. The entire in-app purchase ecosystem—especially for games—has turned into an unethical mess.
OnTheWire via NNSquad https://www.onthewire.io/payment-card-protocols-wide-open-to-fraud/ "This mechanism is protected by a cryptographic signature (MAC). The symmetric signature key, however, is sometimes stored in Hardware Security Modules (HSMs), of which some are vulnerable to a simple timing attack, which discloses valid signatures. A signature extracted from one such HSM can be used to attack other, more secure models since the signature key is the same across many terminals, violating a base principle of security design," the researchers from Security Research Labs wrote in an explanation of the research, which was presented at the 32C3 conference in Berlin earlier this week.
The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is 5+ years behind in applying cyber-security repairs, according to US Government Accountability Office (GAO), most recently because Republican Congress has dramatically cut IRS funding beyond their core function, as punishment for scandal involving IRS alleged mistreatment of conservative non-profits exploiting loopholes created by US Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United. The regulations for non-profits needed to be totally re-written, because of that, but Congress has not supplied sufficient funding for that to be done. This has become a cause celebre for Republicans in election campaigns. * The last couple years, have had 1 million more tax payers, per year, victimized by id theft which files fraudulent tax returns to get fraudulent tax refunds sent to the crooks, then when the legitimate tax payer files correct return, the IRS treats the victim as the crook. Everyone expects this volume to rise in the years ahead. * Now we find that an IRS employee, whose job it was to assist taxpayer victims of id fraud, had been conducting at least a $ million of that id fraud. http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2015/12/irs-employee-whose-job-was-assisting-victims-of-identity-theft-charged-in-1-million-identity-theft-t.html * Nakeisha Hall obtained individuals' names, birth dates and Social Security numbers through unauthorized access to IRS computers. Hall used the personal identity information (PII) to prepare fraudulent income tax returns and submitted them electronically to the IRS. Hall requested that the IRS pay the refunds onto debit cards and directed that the cards be mailed to drop addresses that she controlled. Hall solicited and received drop addresses from Goodman, Coleman and other co-conspirators, who also collected the refund cards from the mail. * Hall activated the cards by using stolen identity information. She, Goodman, Coleman and other co-conspirators took the money off the debit cards at ATMs or used the cards for purchases. If the fraudulent returns generated U.S. Treasury checks rather than the requested debit cards, Hall and her co-conspirators used fraudulent endorsements in order to cash the checks. Hall compensated Goodman, Coleman and other co-conspirators by giving them a portion of the refund money, or by giving them refund cards for their own use. The IRS is an agency in the US Dept of the Treasury, with an Inspector General's office just for investigations of the IRS, with an endless parade of reports on various different alleged wrong doing. https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/
Feb 2016 www.ConsumerReports.org has an article on who's tracking us in public, how they doing it, and what are they doing with the info. As shoppers enter store, bank, mall, wherever, facial recognition identifies who you are  - new customer, old customer, suspected crook (suspected shop lifter, celebrity stalker, etc.), etc. Customer Service greets you by name, knows what kind of business you have done there before. Facial Recognition is unregulated. Companies may do anything they please with your picture. There is no ethical code of conduct. They assume that by you walking into their establishment, you give your permission for them to do anything with your picture, without even giving you an opt-out opportunity . Churches use it to identify what regular attendee has stopped coming, so they call to see if they are Ok. Companies can use this to target you with ads, some based on age & gender. They do not have to encrypt the data or protect it from breaches. Hackers can sell the data to kidnappers and stalkers.  Google had a public relations disaster when the software identified two black people as gorillas.  Facebook is being sued for using photo of someone without that person's consent.
Sarah Knapton, *The Telegraph* It was reported that Tim Peake attempted to make a telephone call to his parents from the International Space Station, but dialed a wrong number... :o) British astronaut Tim Peake blamed a spreadsheet error for wrongly phoning grandmother Betty Barker from the International Space Station. Major Peake said Microsoft Excel had rounded up a number in his list, forcing him to accidentally dial a different West Sussex address when he tried to call his own family. Mrs Barker hung up after hearing a strange man's voice say: “Hello, Is this planet Earth?'' on Christmas Eve. "There was a bit of a gap before he spoke - I thought it was one of those silent calls we are always getting." http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/space/12073622/Tim-Peake-blames-spreadsheet-error-for-wrongly-phoning-grandmother-from-space.html
Should Hover Board use be covered under our comprehensive vehicle insurance, or with a separate rider? When it burns, are the fumes toxic? Video of L.A. "hoverboard" fire https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bAZfe7b9uw http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/this-is-the-one-hoverboard-explosion-you-must-see_5686d650e4b014efe0da932d We already know hoverboards can catch fire. But this new video of an incident in Los Angeles brings it home. It was the first known hoverboard explosion in the city, the L.A. Fire Department told the Los Angeles Times, and it was a doozy.
Juniper found the unauthorized code, via an internal audit. This implies some kind of intruder, into Juniper, put it there. So Cisco is conducting a similar audit, of their systems. Are other outfits going to take similar steps? http://www.bankinfosecurity.com/blogs/cisco-reviews-code-after-juniper-backdoor-found-p-2016
FYI—Terrific analysis of the VW Dieselgate software: Presentation slides (30MBytes): https://events.ccc.de/congress/2015/Fahrplan/system/event_attachments/attachments/000/002/812/original/32C3_-_Dieselgate_FINAL_slides.pdf Presentation video 65-minutes (550MBytes): http://126.96.36.199/congress/2015/h264-hd/32c3-7331-en-de-The_exhaust_emissions_scandal_Dieselgate_hd.mp4 Bottom line: The computer software has two different modes, one of which is far more efficient in its use of the additive Adblue (urea); the less efficient model is selected only when running the standardized test.
Names, phone numbers and demographic information was included in 191 million voter records mysteriously published over the last week. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/31/us/politics/voting-records-released-privacy-concerns.html
Two men were accused of forging documents and creating cards for automated teller machines to withdraw $400,000 from 15 accounts of elderly and dead clients. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/29/nyregion/2-bankers-charged-with-creating-atm-cards-to-steal-from-accounts.html
> Mailers who grouse about their wonderful mail getting blocked this way > invariably turn out to be sending "greymail", it's not exactly spam, but > the recipients care whether they get it. It is not that easy. I have received E-mails that are plausible as being something I asked for and forgot about. This would also be a way to sneak spam, but it might be that I forgot about signing up. If I can not remember asking for it, I toss it. I can see where the people who flag as spam are coming from. I had an interesting experience several years ago. I used to have the E-mail address <email@example.com>. I moved out of that ISP's area. Twenty months later, I came back to the area. I signed up with the same ISP. My E-mail address was then <firstname.lastname@example.org>. For whatever reason, the ISP had dropped the "qmail.". However, E-mail addresses with "qmail." got routed to the address without it. Shortly after, I started getting E-mails from on-line mags that I had previously subscribed to. Apparently, they did not notice over a year's worth of bounce messages and continued sending. There are also risks here. What it had been someone else who had gotten that E-mail address? 1) The person gets mailbombed. 2) There might be enough identifiable information to cause trouble in some cases.
> What one would want is separate performance figures for false > positives and false negatives. Those are mostly not identical, and > might actually be very different. > > One would hope that the false positive (accusing somebody of lying, > when actually truthful) rate is significantly lower than the false > negative (not detecting a liar) rate in this case. Diagnostic testing, and its fraternal twin information retrieval, have a defined set of terms for all this, including the headline word "accuracy". I offer this cheat sheet on the topic: http://geer.tinho.net/nas.epi.html
Wall Street Journal via Levine > teaching them to drive like people, by cutting corners, edging into > intersections and crossing double-yellow lines. There are lead times for people writing articles for magazines, such that what they write may have been a few months prior to when article published. Not everyone can read every article on changes attempted.
The WSJ article was published in September, reporting on a conference in July. The *Analog* article was in the December issue. There's nothing secret about the stuff the WSJ was reporting on, so the author of the other article just missed it. Tsk, tsk.
Since 2011, Applied Computer Security Associates, sponsor of the ACSAC and NSPW conferences, has offered scholarships for women in security-related undergraduate and masters' degree programs through the Scholarships for Women Studying Information Security (SWSIS, www.swsis.org). Thanks to a $250,000 4-year contribution by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) in early 2014, ACSA expanded our program to award 11 scholarships for the 2014-15 academic year, and 16 for the 2015-16 academic year. The Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W), an arm of the Computing Research Alliance, led selection of scholarship winners. Information about the 27 SWSIS Scholars (scholarship winners) is available at www.swsis.org. ACSA, CRA-W, and HPE are pleased to announce that applications for 2016-17 scholarships are accepted Dec 28 2015 - Feb 29 2016. To apply, an applicant must provide: * An essay describing her interest and background in the information security field. * A current transcript. * A resume or CV. * At least two letters of reference (typically from faculty members). * Her university name and class status. The scholarship is renewable for a second year subject to availability of funds, given proof of satisfactory academic progress. Preference is for US citizens or permanent residents; funds are available for use at any US campus of a US university. More information at www.swsis.org or email@example.com Jeremy Epstein, Director, Scholarship Programs Applied Computer Security Associates, Inc. Rebecca Wright, CRA-W Director for SWSIS Computing Research Association Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research
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