Apparently, the "associated press" has caved in to the brits, who like lower case on acronyms and many proper nouns. "The Internet" is a proper noun and deserves its initial capital in American usage. There is only *one* Internet. That is precisely the foundational notion of its conceptual existence. For years, I have been surreptitiously coercing the random occurrence of "the internet" to be "the Internet". If we were to follow the Associated Press insisting on referring to "the internet", from now on I suppose I will now have to refer the "associated press" and "ap", along with britain and england and the uk in lower case only, and change all acronyms to lower case as well as the brits often to do (e.g., nsa, cia, darpa). which is ok unless you are referring to an acronym that is actually an english word—which becomes horribly ambiguous in some contexts. Think of the recursive acronym GNU (GNU is Not Unix) vs gnu or even the compromise Gnu. Also, sometimes we see acronyms with initial caps (such as Darpa). However, if the disassociated press would choose that as a "compromise" standard, we would have to resort to "the Us" and "the Uk", which would really be yUky. But any use of lower-case letters that screws up the primary purpose of an acromym—where each upper-case letter can be expanded. (Thus, we use "DoD" for the Department of Defense, because the "of" is not capitalized.) I think it is evident that this decision by the ap is truly execrable, absurd, and ridiculous. Furthermore, this type of anal absurdity might be what leads the ap to write N.S.A. and N.A.S.A. instead of NSA and NASA, although no one in their right minds would write nsa and nasa without leading to NASAl blockage. An acronym is not equivalent to "ACRONYM" unless it really it is used to avoid spelling out A Curiously Ridiculous Offensive Noun You Mean. Writing A.C.R.O.N.Y.M in that case would be even more utterly ridiculous. Thus, the distinction between an acronym and a word needs to be made by using upper-case letters consistently. Similarly, "the web" should be written as "the Web", because it is short for "the World-Wide Web", and should be distinguished from other kinds of webs. One more absurdity: The brits call people from Argentina Argentynes, and the network tennis announcers seem to pick up on that—as if Argentina were pronounced ArgenTYNA. You may have noticed that RISKS is an international venue, and therefore I make no attempt to change british english to American English here for submissions from the uk. But I think the associated press is no longer worthy of dictating absurd and inconsistent conventions, and will be reduced to the lower case forever after in this venue, because the other associated presses (not "the associated press") seem to be caving in as well. Finally, for those of you who have not read my website (or Website if you are a purist), I have considered "comparing ACLs and RNGs". You have three choices with an acronym—you can pronounce them (a) as if they are words (ackle), or (b) sequences of letters (R-N-G), or (c) expansions based on what is referred to by each letter (access-control lists and random-number generators). In the case of my example, ACLs and RNGs are of course typically treated as case (a) and (b), respectively—as in "ackles and are-en-jes". (This gives us a lovely new kind of mixed metaphor.)
"Internet" vs. "internet" https://plus.google.com/+LaurenWeinstein/posts/1K81jmqFdBC Please do me a personal favor. Don't fall into the trap of using the term "internet" instead of "Internet" when discussing our global communications wonder. The clowns behind the AP Style Guide recently decreed it to be a lower-case word, and most mainstream journalistic outlets are sheepishly following suite. It's possible to argue about Web vis-a-vis web, but Internet is not negotiable. Please continue to use Internet in any of your own writing, and if you care to make this preference known to media here, there, and everywhere, that would be dandy as well. Thanks.
Ben Wofford, Politico, 5 Aug 2016 http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/08/2016-elections-russia-hack-how-to-hack-an-election-in-seven-minutes-214144#ixzz4GSGyipND When Princeton Professor Andrew Appel decided to hack into a voting machine, he didn't try to mimic the Russian attackers who hacked into the DNC's database last month. He didn't write malicious code, or linger near a polling place where the machines can go unguarded for days. Instead, he bought one online. With a few cursory clicks of a mouse, Appel parted with $82 and became the owner of an ungainly metallic giant called the Sequoia AVC Advantage, one of the oldest and vulnerable, electronic voting machines in the United States (among other places it's deployed in Louisiana, New Jersey, Virginia, and Pennsylvania). No sooner did a team of bewildered deliverymen roll the 250-pound device into a conference room near Appel's cramped, third-floor office than the professor set to work. He summoned a graduate student named Alex Halderman, who could pick the machine's lock in seven seconds. Clutching a screwdriver, he deftly wedged out the four ROM chips -- they weren't soldered into the circuit board, as sense might dictate -- making it simple to replace them with one of his own: A version of modified firmware that could throw off the machine's results, subtly altering the tally of votes, never to betray a hint to the voter. The attack was concluded in minutes. To mark the achievement, his student snapped a photo <https://www.cs.princeton.edu/~appel/avc/> of Appel's oblong features, messy black locks and a salt-and-pepper beard—grinning for the camera, fists still on the circuit board, as if to look directly into the eyes of the American taxpayer: Don't look at me—you're the one who paid for this thing. Appel's mischief might be called an occupational asset: He is part of a diligent corps of so-called cyber-academics --professors who have spent the last decade serving their country by relentlessly hacking it. Electronic voting machines—particularly a design called Direct Recording Electronic, or DREs—took off in 2002, in the wake of Bush v. Gore. For the ensuing 15 years, Appel and his colleagues have deployed every manner of stunt to convince the public that the system is pervasively unsecure and vulnerable. Beginning in the late nineties, Appel and his colleague, Ed Felten, a pioneer in computer engineering now serving in the White House Office of Science and Technology Police, marshaled their Princeton students together at the Center for Information Technology Policy (where Felten is still director). There, they relentlessly hacked one voting machine after another, transforming the center into a kind of Hall of Fame for tech mediocrity: reprogramming one popular machine to play Pac-Man; infecting popular models with self-duplicating malware; discovering keys to voting machine locks that could be ordered on eBay. Eventually, the work of the professors and Ph.D. students grew into a singular conviction: It was only a matter of time, they feared, before a national election—an irresistible target -- would invite an attempt at a coordinated cyberattack. The revelation this month that a cyberattack on the Democratic National Committee is the handiwork of Russian state security personnel has set off alarm bells across the country: Some officials have suggested that 2016 could see more serious efforts to interfere directly with the American election. The DNC hack, in a way, has compelled the public to ask the precise question the Princeton group hoped they'd have asked earlier, back when they were turning voting machines into arcade games: If motivated programmers could pull a stunt like this, couldn't they tinker with the results in November through the machines we use to vote? This week, the notion has been transformed from an implausible plotline in a Phillip K. Dick novel into a deadly serious threat, outlined in detail by a raft of government security officials. “This isn't a crazy hypothetical anymore,'' says Dan Wallach, one of the Felten-Appel alums and now a computer science professor at Rice. “Once you bring nation states' cyber activity into the game?'' He snorts with pity. “These machines, they barely work in a friendly environment.'' The powers that be seem duly convinced. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson recently conceded <https://www.politicopro.com/cybersecurity/whiteboard/2016/08/jeh-johnson-election-system-needs-cybersecurity-upgrades-075507> the “longer-term investments we need to make in the cybersecurity of our election process.'' A statement by 31 security luminaries at the Aspen Institute issued a public statement <http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/members-of-the-aspen-institute-homeland-security-group-issue-statement-on-dnc-hack-300306004.html>: “Our electoral process could be a target for reckless foreign governments and terrorist groups.'' Declared Wired <https://www.wired.com/2016/08/americas-voting-machines-arent-ready-election/>: “America's Electronic Voting Machines Are Scarily Easy Targets.'' For the Princeton group, it's precisely the alarm they've been trying to sound for most of the new millennium. [Long but super article, the rest PGN-truncated for RISKS. Read it and weep. We've been beating this drum since the very first issue of RISKS, 31 years ago this week. PGN]
Mark Rockwell, *Federal Computer Week*, 5 Aug 2016 via ACM TechNews, 8 Aug 2016 Following repeated hacks of Democratic National Committee systems by attackers who could be associated with the Russian government, the Obama administration is considering boosting cyber protections for U.S. election systems by classifying them as critical infrastructure, which would put them under the protection of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). "We have to carefully consider whether our election system is critical infrastructure, like the financial system or the power grid," says DHS secretary Jeh Johnson. Presidential assistant Lisa Monaco says the reaction to those who hack election systems in the U.S. might resemble what happened in response to the cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, which crossed a threshold into being destructive and coercive. She notes the U.S. government attributed the Sony attack to North Korea and hit the country with sanctions. In addition, the government also prosecuted Chinese military personnel who hacked into U.S. companies' systems to steal data, and recently indicted Iranian hackers for a series of cyberattacks. Monaco says a deliberate intrusion to coerce or influence the U.S. political process is a "serious, serious issue," which could require a new type of response. http://orange.hosting.lsoft.com/trk/click?ref=znwrbbrs9_6-10d12x2f8c9x073912& [More editorial rant to the journalists who use "Cyber" as a noun. It is a combining form, so the title could have been "Cyberprotections". PGN]
via NNSquad https://www.engadget.com/2016/08/07/ftc-vows-crackdown-on-sponsored-posts/ The FTC's settlement with Warner Bros. over poor disclosure in sponsored internet [Internet! - I don't care what AP says - Lauren] posts was just the beginning. The Commission tells Bloomberg that the government is planning a crackdown on paid posts that will require both stars and advertisers to be much more explicit when telling viewers that it's a paid piece. A disclosure through a social hashtag or a below-the-fold YouTube description won't be enough—the FTC wants celebrities to reveal their endorsements up front, and to mention them in videos. There's "no effective disclosure" if people don't see it, the agency says. I hope everyone involved with the development of the Net will make an effort to explain and *demonstrate* to the distinguished authors of the "AP Style Guide" that the term is "Internet" not "internet"—we can argue about "Web" vs. "web", but "Internet" is not up for negotiation!
via NNSquad http://www.eweek.com/security/risk-from-linux-kernel-hidden-in-windows-10-exposed-at-black-hat.html Embedded within some versions of the latest Windows 10 update is a capability to run Linux. Unfortunately, that capability has flaws, which Alex Ionescu, chief architect at Crowdstrike, detailed in a session at the Black Hat USA security conference here and referred to as the Linux kernel hidden in Windows 10. In an interview with eWEEK, Ionescu provided additional detail on the issues he found and has already reported to Microsoft. The embedded Linux inside of Windows was first announced by Microsoft in March at the Build conference and bring some Ubuntu Linux capabilities to Microsoft's users. Ionescu said he reported issues to Microsoft during the beta period and some have already been fixed. The larger issue, though, is that there is now a new potential attack surface that organizations need to know about and risks that need to be mitigated, he said.
via NNSquad http://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2016-08-07/young-man-shot-to-death-at-san-francisco-tourist-attraction A college student has been shot to death while playing "Pokemon Go" at a tourist attraction in San Francisco. Authorities say 20-year-old Calvin Riley was shot Saturday night by an unknown assailant at Aquatic Park near Ghiradelli Square. The U.S. Park police and local homicide detectives are investigating what led to the shooting. A family friend told KGO-TV Riley and a friend were playing the popular mobile game when someone came up and shot the young man in the back and ran away. John Kirby said no confrontation or words were exchanged before the shooting.
via NNSquad http://www.dailydot.com/debug/rio-olympics-fake-apps-wifi/ While athletes head to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to compete for medals in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, hackers in the area have their eyes on a different prize: the personal information of unsuspecting travelers. According to a new report from mobile security firm Skycure, visitors to the former capital of Brazil are being targeted by malicious actors who have set up fake Wi-Fi hotspots designed to steal information from connected devices. These phony wireless networks were spotted by Skycure around the city, but they were most prominent in locations where travelers were most likely to look for a place to connect, like shopping malls, well-known coffee shops, and hotels.
http://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/25/us-military-uses-8-inch-floppy-disks-to-coordinate-nuclear-force-operations.html The U.S. Defense Department is still using—after several decades -- 8-inch floppy disks in a computer system that coordinates the
Zack Whittaker, ZDNet, 6 Aug 2016 The tokens that are used to make purchases can be easily stolen and used in other hardware to make fraudulent transactions. http://www.zdnet.com/article/flaw-in-samsung-pay-lets-hackers-wirelessly-skim-credit-cards/
"Better to address these vulnerabilities before they are exploited than to invite a crisis of democracy even more alarming than a reality-TV star seeking the presidency." And what, pray, suggests that that exploitation is not happened right now? In the UK they already had to retrospectively change the law because GCHQ wasn't exactly colouring inside the lines. Given the fact that nobody ever gets as much as a demotion for abuse of these apparati, I'd venture that that ship has sailed.
Item in newspaper about the authorities possibly intercepting wi-fi communications in people's houses to check for violations of BBC TV licensing: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/05/bbc-to-deploy-detection-vans-to-snoop-on-internet-users/ BBC to deploy detection vans to snoop on Internet users, 6 Aug 2016 > The BBC is to spy on [I]nternet users in their homes by deploying a new > generation of Wi-Fi detection vans to identify those illicitly watching > its programmes online. > BBC vans will fan out across the country capturing information from > private Wi-Fi networks in homes to sniff out those who have not paid the > licence fee. > The corporation has been given legal dispensation to use the new > technology, which is typically only available to crime-fighting agencies, > to enforce the new requirement that people watching BBC programmes via the > iPlayer must have a TV licence. > "Detection vans can identify viewing on a non-TV device in the same way > that they can detect viewing on a television set" Sir Amyas Morse, > National Audit Office
> And if you don't you'll zap your home disk. So I would use 'sdz' in such > examples. Well, if I did that to my two desktops, I wouldn't lose anything (important). Just Windows Vista. One system has two mirrored disks, the other is multiboot with anything of value on sdb and sdc. I do agree with sdz, but don't agree with sweeping assumptions ... I generally avoid having my home data on sda ...
Please report problems with the web pages to the maintainer