https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonathanocallaghan/2019/05/27/spacexs-starlink-could-change-the-night-sky-forever-and-astronomers-are-not-happy A companion piece by Caleb A. Scharf can be found at https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/life-unbounded/the-death-of-astronomy/ Years ago, light pollution from ground sources (sodium or mercury halogen lamps in street lights) pushed the world's best optical telescope observatory sites into remote locations. Astronomers now have to consider erasure of satellite-generated image streaks from deep-space observations of multi-billion year old galactic structures. Estimates of 1 in 3 images may require touch-up from LEOS radiation that enter and leave telescopic field of view. Constellations of Low Earth Orbit Satellites (LEOS), possibly numbering ~12-15K LEOS, if Amazon.com's 3,000 Kuiper Project constellation flies with 12,000 Starlinks, can reflect sunlight at dawn/dust and microwave radiation into ground-based telescope observations. The 10.7-12.7 GHz band is particularly important for radio astronomy, and also for satellite communications. "With Starlink, we are expecting at least 100 satellites to be visible at any one time [at any location on Earth]," says Baskill. "Soon, even those fortunate to experience a truly dark site will find it filled with a haze of metal, slowly swarming across the night sky." Probably low risk: LEO shrouds a NEO (near-Earth orbit) asteroid (NEA, actually) from detection. Difficult n-body problem to accurately simulate. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near-Earth_object documents detection statistics for asteroids and comets.
This includes credit-card numbers and bank-account information... EXCERPT: Quest Diagnostics, one of the biggest blood testing providers in the country, warned Monday that nearly 12 million of its customers may have had personal, financial and medical information breached due to an issue with one of its vendors. In a filing with securities regulators, Quest said it was notified that between Aug. 1, 2018, and March 30, 2019, that someone had unauthorized access to the systems of AMCA, a billing collections vendor. "(The) information on AMCA's affected system included financial information (e.g., credit card numbers and bank account information), medical information and other personal information (e.g., Social Security Numbers)," Quest said in the filing. While customers' broad medical information might have been compromised, Quest said AMCA did not have access to actual lab test results, and so therefore that data was not impacted... [...] https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Quest-Diagnostics-12-Million-People-Data-Breach-510754611.html https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-03/quest-says-millions-of-patient-records-exposed-in-billing-hack
EXCERPT: Several million records said to include bank account details, Social Security digits, wire transactions, and other mortgage paperwork, were found publicly accessible on the server of a major U.S. financial service company. More than 885 million records in total were reportedly exposed, according to Krebs on Security. The data was taken offline on Friday. Ben Shoval, a real-estate developer, reportedly discovered the files online and notified security reporter Brian Krebs. Krebs said that he contacted the server's owner, First American Corporation, prior to reporting the incident. A leading title insurance and settlement services provider, First American is a large company headquartered in California with more than 18,000 employees. Its total assets in 2017 were reported at over $9.5 billion. A company spokesperson told Gizmodo it learned about the issue on Friday and that the unauthorized access was caused by a design defect in one its production applications. It immediately blocked external access to the documents, they said, and began evaluating, with the help of an outside forensics firm, what effect, if any, the exposure had on the security of its customers' information... https://ip.topicbox.com/groups/ip/T7c8fecd125a07f5c/885-million-records-exposed-online-bank-transactions-social-security-numbers-and-more
Six weeks after Google dubiously claimed it ran the most reliable cloud computing service of the Big Three cloud providers, a widespread networking issue took out Google Cloud service on the East Coast of the U.S. and parts of Europe Sunday, according to the company status page and frustrated users on Twitter. https://www.geekwire.com/2019/networking-issues-take-google-cloud-parts-u-s-europe-youtube-snapchat-also-affected/
Catalin Cimpanu for Zero Day | 5 Jun 2019 New RCE vulnerability impacts nearly half of the Internet's email servers Exim vulnerability lets attackers run commands as root on remote email servers. https://www.zdnet.com/article/new-rce-vulnerability-impacts-nearly-half-of-the-internets-email-servers/ opening text: A critical remote command execution (RCE) security flaw impacts over half of the Internet's email servers, security researchers from Qualys have revealed today. The vulnerability affects Exim, a mail transfer agent (MTA), which is software that runs on email servers to relay emails from senders to recipients.
In some cases, it's trivial for remote attackers to execute commands with root privileges. https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/06/millions-of-machines-affected-by-command-execution-flaw-in-exim-mail-server/
NSA whistleblower says "new platforms and algorithms" can have direct effect on human behavior. EXCERPTS: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said Thursday that people in systems of power have exploited the human desire to connect in order to create systems of mass surveillance. Snowden appeared at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia via livestream from Moscow to give a keynote address for the Canadian university's Open Dialogue Series. Right now, he said, humanity is in a sort of "atomic moment" in the field of computer science. "We're in the midst of the greatest redistribution of power since the Industrial Revolution, and this is happening because technology has provided a new capability," Snowden said. "It's related to influence that reaches everyone in every place," he said. "It has no regard for borders. Its reach is unlimited, if you will, but its safeguards are not." Without such defenses, technology is able to affect human behavior. Institutions can "monitor and record private activities of people on a scale that's broad enough that we can say it's close to all-powerful," said Snowden. They do this through "new platforms and algorithms," through which "they're able to shift our behavior. In some cases they're able to predict our decisions—and also nudge them—to different outcomes. And they do this by exploiting the human need for belonging." "We don't sign up for this," he added, dismissing the notion that people know exactly what they are getting into with social media platforms like Facebook. "How many of you who have a Facebook account actually read the terms of service?" Snowden asked. "Everything has hundreds and hundreds of pages of legal jargon that we're not qualified to read and assess --and yet they're considered to be binding upon us." "It is through this sort of unholy connection of technology and sort of an unusual interpretation of contract law," he continued, "that these institutions have been able to transform this greatest virtue of humanity—which is this desire to interact and to connect and to cooperate and to share—to transform all of that into a weakness." "And now," he added, "these institutions, which are both commercial and governmental, have built upon that and... have structuralized that and entrenched it to where it has become now the most effective means of social control in the history of our species." "Maybe you've heard about it," Snowden said. "This is mass surveillance." [...] https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/05/31/edward-snowden-technology-institutions-have-made-most-effective-means-social-control
Latest Metasploit module is being kept private, but time is running out. https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/06/new-bluekeep-exploit-shows-the-wormable-danger-is-very-very-real/
Bucking a major trend, company speaks out against the age-old practice. Microsoft is finally catching on to a maxim that security experts have almost universally accepted for years: periodic password changes are likely to do more harm than good. In a largely overlooked post published late last month, Microsoft said it was removing periodic password changes from the security baseline settings it recommends for customers and auditors. After decades of Microsoft recommending passwords be changed regularly, Microsoft employee Aaron Margosis said the requirement is an "ancient and obsolete mitigation of very low value." The change of heart is largely the result of research that shows passwords are most prone to cracking when they're easy for end users to remember, such as when they use a name or phrase from a favorite movie or book. Over the past decade, hackers have mined real-world password breaches to assemble dictionaries of millions of words. Combined with super-fast graphics cards, the hackers can make huge numbers of guesses in off-line attacks, which occur when they steal the cryptographically scrambled hashes that represent the plaintext user passwords. https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/06/microsoft-says-mandatory-password-changing-is-ancient-and-obsolete/
Eyeing Russia, Army fields jam-resistant GPS in Europe https://www.c4isrnet.com/show-reporter/c4isrnet-conference/2019/06/06/eyeing-russia-army-fields-jam-resistant-gps-in-europe/ WASHINGTON ” With an eye on sophisticated Russian jamming and spoofing technology, the U.S. Army will field test jam-resistant position, navigation and timing gear with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Germany this September. The decision comes amid a pattern of Russia jamming or disrupting all sorts of communications vital to Western forces in recent years, from mobile phone networks during exercises to electronic warfare against U.S. operations on the ground in Syria. NATO affirmed that Russia jammed GPS signals during its Trident Juncture exercise in November in Europe's High North region. The Army will field a system called Mounted Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing, or MAPS, on some of the regiment's vehicles ” news first reported by Inside the Army. The system uses the Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module for GPS, a chip-scale atomic clock for timing an anti-jamming antenna to distribute position, navigation and timing information across a unit's mission equipment. Russia's electronic warfare capability fueled the fielding to the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, Army Col. Nicholas Kioutas, the service's project manager for positioning, navigation and timing, said on the sidelines of the C4ISRNET Conference held in Arlington, Virginia, June 6. "Right now what we can learn is how the equipment can hold up, because unless we're being specifically jammed, we won't be able to tell what happened," Kioutas said of the upcoming fielding. "We're constantly taking those systems and stress-testing them and trying to upgrade them, so it's not like that's the static system and we're done. The Army is using a flexible acquisitions vehicle called an Other Transaction Authority with three vendors to develop the second generation of MAPS. Program office is asking vendors to provide it with their best technological developments, which is a reflection of the service's less prescriptive approach to capability development. "We want industry to show us how to fight a different way," Kioutas said, adding later, "We said, 'bring us your best capabilities,' we didn't say what those should be." The Army plans to experiment with using assured PNT systems as sensors. One use would be for a group of linked systems to read the way a jamming signal strikes them to conclude where the jammer is located. "That'll be an additional capability down the road that we'll exploit," Kioutas said. The program office is also developing Dismounted Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing, or DAPS, for the Army's version of a smartphone, the integrated dismounted leader situational awareness system Nett Warrior.
More than a half-dozen companies have working prototypes of passenger drones. ... After decades playing supporting roles in sci-fi fantasies such as The Jetsons or Blade Runner, robotaxis are poised to work their way into everyday life. A host of companies has flown autonomous or semiautonomous electric aircraft that can take off vertically from almost anywhere, and the first commercial models are scheduled to hit the market next year. Here are a half-dozen that might soon fly you from your home to the office, airport, or a night on the town... https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-05/flying-robotaxis-prepare-for-takeoff
Share of top 1% wealthiest increased to nearly 32% in 2018 from 23% in 1989 EXCERPT: The rich are getting richer. It is a refrain that has certainly been uttered before, and likely will again, as Deutsche Bank Securities' chief economist points out that the gap between the haves and have-nots in the U.S. is, indeed, widening. Deutsche Bank's Torsten Sløk says that the distribution of household wealth in America has become even more disproportionate over the past decade, with the richest 10% of U.S. households representing 70% of all U.S. wealth in 2018, compared with 60% in 1989, according to a recent study by researchers at the Federal Reserve. The study finds that the share of wealth among the richest 1% increased to 32% from 23% over the same period. To make a finer point, Fed researchers say the increase in wealth among the top 10% is largely a result of that cohort obtaining a larger concentration of assets: “The share of assets held by the top 10% of the wealth distribution rose from 55% to 64% since 1989, with asset shares increasing the most for the top 1% of households. These increases were mirrored by decreases for households in the 50-90th percentiles of the wealth distribution,'' Fed researchers said. Sløk said the financial crisis has played a significant part in this growing gap, which resulted in the Federal Reserve stepping in to stem a massive ripple of losses through the global financial system as the housing market imploded. As a result, the Fed lowered interest rates, which had the knock-on effect of pushing easy money into the hands of the already-wealthy... [...] https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-richest-10-of-households-now-represent-70-of-all-us-wealth-2019-05-24
Liam Tung, ZDNet, 6 Jun 2019 GitHub shocks top developer: Access to 5 years' work inexplicably blocked Three incidents in the past week illustrate the sometimes unavoidable risks involved in relying on cloud providers. https://www.zdnet.com/article/github-shocks-top-developer-access-to-5-years-work-inexplicably-blocked/ selected text: Microsoft's code-sharing site GitHub has caused a scare for developer Jason Rohrer after the company, without explanation or warning, blocked him from all his code repositories. The developer yesterday posted a warning on Twitter about the potential risk to developers of using GitHub “for your life's work'' after he was abruptly locked out, apparently following a single complaint from another user. Despite the apology from Friedman and after having received an email from GitHub support, Rohrer is still in the dark about why his account was blocked, preventing him from accessing the 5,000 commits and the 23 repositories that he's created over the past five years. “The biggest problem here was that I wasn't even emailed when my account was blocked. GitHub emails me notifications all the time. For such an active account with such a deep history, taking it down in a silent POOF with no notification? I was greeted with a 404,'' he wrote. Cloud-hosting outfit DigitalOcean caused an uproar last week after blocking the account of small AI firm called Raisup. DigitalOcean locked the account after detecting what it thought was malicious code from Raisup's account. As Raisup CTO Nicolas Beauvais explained on Twitter, that supposedly malicious code was a actually a legit Python script it periodically uses to manage its databases. “We lost everything, our servers, and more importantly one year of database backups. We now have to explain to our clients, Fortune 500 companies why we can't restore their account,'' said Beauvais. Finally, Google this week had some explaining to do regarding Sunday's extensive four-hour outage, which impacted Google services as well as firms that rely on Google Cloud. A configuration change destined for a small group of servers in one region was wrongly applied by a machine or human to a larger number of servers across several neighboring regions. It resulted in regions having less than half their network capacity.
EXCERPT: The former leader of the U.S. government's top-secret UFO program has stories to tell, and he is sharing some of them for the first time in a new documentary. Intelligence officer Luis Elizondo served as the former director of the Pentagon's Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), an initiative launched in 2007 to study reports of UFO encounters. Elizondo departed the agency in 2011; in 2017, he spoke with reporters at The New York Times, confirming the existence of the shadowy agency and describing its mission. Now, Elizondo is pulling back the curtain on his tenure with the AATIP, which he left because of a lackluster official response to the agency's findings, and their unwillingness to address potential risks from UFOs, according to the new show *Unidentified: Inside America's UFO Investigation*, premiering May 31 on the History Channel at 10 p.m ET/9 p.m. CT. [UFO Watch: 8 Times the Government Looked for Flying Saucers] No, there isn't a big reveal that UFOs were alien spacecraft all along. But delving into long-hidden accounts of UFO investigations will hopefully encourage people—and authorities—to overcome long-standing stigmas and talk more openly about these mysterious aircraft, some of which may pose a bigger threat than we realize, Elizondo told Live Science... [...] https://www.livescience.com/65596-ufo-pentagon-history-channel.html
Margret Grebowicz, Everest Is Over, *The Atlantic*, 5-June-2019 Today's `Everest selfie' gives a new dimension to this monomania, at precisely the moment when successful climbers appear before the public like addicts, or robots programmed to live out some mysterious inner directive. Critics characterize the legions of privileged amateurs who now ascend Everest as dilettantes who dishonor the mountain, endanger others, and move this most solitary and personal experience to the realm least appropriate for it: social media. https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2019/06/mount-everest-has-lost-its-magic/591025/
EXCERPT: The Trump administration will implement a new policy Friday asking most applicants for U.S. visas to provide information on their use of social media, a U.S. Department of State official tells Hill.TV Most visa applicants, including temporary visitors, will be required to list their social media identifiers in a drop down menu along with other personal information. Applicants will have the option to say that they do not use social media if that is the case. The official noted that if a visa applicant lies about social media use that they could face “serious immigration consequences'' as a result. For now, the drop down menu only includes major social media websites, but the official said applicants soon will be able to list all sites that they use. “This is a critical step forward in establishing enhanced vetting of foreign nationals seeking entry into the United States. As we've seen around the world in recent years, social media can be a major forum for terrorist sentiment and activity. This will be a vital tool to screen out terrorists, public safety threats, and other dangerous individuals from gaining immigration benefits and setting foot on U.S. soil.'' ... https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/446336-trump-admin-to-ask-most-us-visa-applicants-for-social-media-information
Kind of related to RISKS, namely in the politically influenced redefinitioning. > Newsgroups: panix.chat.politics > Subject: one way to tackle the nuclear waste prob: redefine the labels [Gov. of Washington State press release] Inslee and Ferguson statement on Trump Administration actions to undercut nuclear cleanup at Hanford Today, the Trump Administration unilaterally changed the definition of high-level waste stored at Hanford and other nuclear waste sites across the country, opening the door for the federal government to walk away from its obligation to clean up millions of gallons of toxic, radioactive waste at Hanford. Washington currently holds 60 percent of the nation's high-level waste with 56 million gallons stored in 177 underground storage tanks at Hanford. [...] <https://www.governor.wa.gov/news-media/inslee-and-ferguson-statement-trump-administration-actions-undercut-nuclear-cleanup>
https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-affirms-robocall-blocking-default-protect-consumers https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-357852A1.txt https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-357852A1.pdf Media Contact: Will Wiquist, (202) 418-0509 email@example.com For Immediate Release FCC AFFIRMS ROBOCALL BLOCKING BY DEFAULT TO HELP PROTECT CONSUMERS Commission Also Seeks Comment on Requiring Caller ID Authentication Implementation and Use of Authentication Standards for Blocking WASHINGTON, June 6, 2019”The Federal Communications Commission today voted to make clear that voice service providers may aggressively block unwanted robocalls before they reach consumers. Specifically, the Commission approved a Declaratory Ruling to affirm that voice service providers may, as the default, block unwanted calls based on reasonable call analytics, as long as their customers are informed and have the opportunity to opt out of the blocking. This action empowers providers to protect their customers from unwanted robocalls before those calls even reach the customers' phones. While many phone companies now offer their customers call blocking tools on an opt-in basis, the Declaratory Ruling clarifies that they can provide them as the default, thus allowing them to protect more consumers from unwanted robocalls and making it more cost-effective to implement call blocking programs. The ruling also clarifies that providers may offer their customers the choice to opt-in to tools that block calls from any number that does not appear on a customer's contact list or other "white lists." This option would allow consumers to decide directly whose calls they are willing to receive. Consumer white lists could be based on the customer's own contact list, updated automatically as consumers add and remove contacts from their smartphones. The Commission also adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that proposes requiring voice service providers to implement the SHAKEN/STIR caller ID authentication framework, if major voice service providers fail to do so by the end of this year. It also seeks comment on whether the Commission should create a safe harbor for providers that block calls that are maliciously spoofed so that caller ID cannot be authenticated and that block calls that are "unsigned." With adoption of this item, the Commission continues its multi-pronged strategy to combat unwanted and illegal robocalls. The Declaratory Ruling will go into effect upon release of the item on FCC.gov. The deadline for submitting comments in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will be established upon publication in the Federal Register. Action by the Commission June 6, 2019 by Declaratory Ruling and Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 19-51). Chairman Pai, Commissioners Carr and Starks approving. Commissioners O'Rielly and Rosenworcel approving in part and dissenting in part. Chairman Pai, Commissioners O'Rielly, Carr, Rosenworcel, and Starks issuing separate statements. [Oh Really? Yes. O'Reilly. PGN] CG Docket No. 17-59; WC Docket 17-97 Media Relations: (202) 418-0500 / ASL: (844) 432-2275 / TTY: (888) 835-5322 / Twitter: @FCC / www.fcc.gov This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC, 515 F.2d 385 (D.C. Cir. 1974).
Smart home devices such as Amazon's Echo and virtual assistants such as Alexa or Apple's Siri can provide a lot of information about a person -- when they're at home, what they're interested in and potentially even what they're saying. So it's no surprise that criminal investigators are interested in their potential. In Germany, the issue is setting up a clash between the interior ministry -- the country's equivalent to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security—and the justice ministry, which keeps an eye on the constitutionality of what other departments are up to. The federal interior ministry is preparing to back a proposal from the state of Schleswig-Holstein to make evidence from smart devices and virtual assistants admissible in court, the RND news organization reported Wednesday. The idea is to make the information available to investigators of serious crimes and terrorist threats. "Our view is that digital traces have become increasingly important. We are talking about traces that come from connected devices such as smart fridges but also voice-controlled devices such as smart speakers," a spokesman for the interior ministry told the Financial Times. Unconstitutional? However, the justice ministry does not appear to be on board. Gerd Billen, the ministry's state secretary, said "law enforcement must be up-to-date, but there are limits set by the protection of the most personal spaces, and the freedom of accused people not to incriminate themselves. These limits must not be circumvented by any technology." http://fortune.com/2019/06/06/germany-alexa-court-evidence/
When Apple executive Craig Federighi described a new location-tracking feature for Apple devices at the company's Worldwide Developer Conference keynote on Monday, it sounded—to the sufficiently paranoid, at least”like -- both a physical security innovation and a potential privacy disaster. But while security experts immediately wondered whether Find My would also offer a new opportunity to track unwitting users, Apple says it built the feature on a unique encryption system carefully designed to prevent exactly that sort of tracking—even by Apple itself. In upcoming versions of iOS and macOS, the new Find My feature will broadcast Bluetooth signals from Apple devices even when they're offline, allowing nearby Apple devices to relay their location to the cloud. That should help you locate your stolen laptop even when it's sleeping in a thief's bag. And it turns out that Apple's elaborate encryption scheme is also designed not only to prevent interlopers from identifying or tracking an iDevice from its Bluetooth signal, but also to keep Apple itself from learning device locations, even as it allows you to pinpoint yours. https://www.wired.com/story/apple-find-my-cryptography-bluetooth/
At Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, the company debuted a slew of products and services, including a new Mac Pro that's part raw computing power, part cheese grater. But one new feature, mentioned in passing, could have an outsized impact on user security and privacy for years to come. Apple now has its own single-sign-on scheme—and it's a major reimagining of how such a mechanism can work. You've seen single-sign-on before, even if you don't use it. It's the technology that lets you use your Google or Facebook login to access other third-party services, instead of needing to set a unique username and password for each one. They centralize a group of accounts around a more secure login that you're more likely to actively monitor and maintain, rather than a one-off account that you set with a weak password, save a credit card into, and then never think about again. Sign In with Apple looks similar enough to those alternatives at a glance, giving the option to use your Apple ID as a unified login wherever developers integrate it. But as part of its broader, years-long privacy push, Apple has added some extra protections that distinguish its version. https://www.wired.com/story/sign-in-with-apple-sso-google-facebook/
Well, I don't think it's any secret that I am of the opinion that social media isn't exactly important. https://community.isc2.org/t5/Welcome/The-quot-Community-quot/m-p/10594 Which makes the US decision to require "five years" of social media account information when applying for a visa all the more bizarre. https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2019/06/04/us-visa-applicants-required-to-hand-over-social-media-info/ First: sorry, "five years"? What five years? Five years of postings? (Given it's an online form, that's unlikely.) Accounts I've started in the past five years? (Does that mean my Twitter account is exempt because it's older than that?) Accounts I've used in the past five years? (Does that mean that my Facebook account, which I haven't posted to in the past five years, is exempt?) Or do you want the Facebook account because I've had to use it occasionally because people who posted what they thought was a public message couldn't figure out Facebook's byzantine aggregation of rights and permissions? What's considered social media? The Facebook I don't use? The Twitter I do? The extra Twitter account that I only use for posting notices for our local chapter? The extra, extra Twitter account that I use (professionally) for noting and researching spam, malware, and other unsavoury Twitter accounts? The Whatsapp account that I created in order to test Whatsapp, and now use, infrequently, to send update notices to Gloria because that phone account has limited text messages? Should I include the Instagram that's in my name, but which Gloria uses because she likes to keep up with the kids, but she didn't want to create her own account, and I only look at when she tells me about something worthwhile? How about the Flickr account which I created more than five years ago, and last posted anything on more than five years ago, but which I send publishers to when they demand a photo to put next to something they are going to publish? Or should I create a number of new, sanitized social media accounts for applying for visas when I go the the States? (Don't tell me that all kinds of people aren't going to be doing this ...) OK, so far they aren't demanding passwords, so it's only public postings that they can look at, but, after all, this is supposed to be "social" media ... Do I get to tell whoever is processing my visa application that anything referring to "Friday" is not to be taken seriously? (Come to think of it, that wouldn't do any good anyway, since anyone in a civil service job is bound to have had their sense of humour surgically removed, and wouldn't get any of the infosec jokes anyway ...) Is the ISC2 "community" a social media site? Are the Amish forbidden from applying for visas? Is this the thin edge of the wedge for "Total Information Awareness" again? Do you really think terrorists are going to post their plans on the same social media accounts that they are going to give the government? (Yeah, yeah, but the really dumb ones can be caught in other ways, like adding a question to the form that says, "Are you planning on carrying out any terrorist attacks while in the United States?") Do you think that DHS has people or AI skilled enough to identify fake accounts given on the forms and use forensic linguistics to link those to actual accounts really used by the applicant? (Honestly? You think that's likely?) Oh, and everything I've said here is private, right?
Author writes: You know how it happens. You try to secure one Congressional campaign, and then another, and pretty soon you can't stop. You'll fly across the country just to brief a Green Party candidate in a district the Republicans carried by 60 points. You want more, more, always looking for that next fix. This is the situation I found myself in from late 2017 to 2018, when I was part of an effort that delivered a basic, hour-long campaign security training to 41 Democratic Congressional campaigns. It was exciting! I traveled the country like Johnny Yubikey, distributing little blue security tokens from a sack. The campaigns ranged from beyond-long-shot candidates running from their den, all the way up to some nationally prominent figures. I took a selfie with Bernie! I wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Post! https://idlewords.com/2019/05/what_i_learned_trying_to_secure_congressional_campaigns.htm
Trump urges customers to drop AT&T to punish CNN over its coverage of him The president has been vocal in his opposition to a AT&T-Time Warner merger, which critics contend is motivated by his ire toward CNN. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/06/03/trump-urges-customers-drop-att-punish-cnn-over-its-coverage-him/
https://quillette.com/2019/05/31/how-limbic-capitalism-preys-on-our-addicted-brains/ Limbic capitalism, a neologism, "refers to a technologically advanced but socially regressive business system in which global industries, often with the help of complicit governments and criminal organizations, encourage excessive consumption and addiction. They do so by targeting the limbic system, the part of the brain responsible for feeling and for quick reaction, as distinct from dispassionate thinking." Limbic capitalism monetizes and exploits the brain's reservoir of dopamine to build dependence. Mobile apps prey upon unsuspecting or vulnerable populations by over-stimulating dopamine dependency. I wonder if governments will eventually begin to rank and regulate mobile apps dopamine delivery on minute-by-minute basis, or per app event, and use this information to build another MSA? A mobile app "rationing" system (or tax) might materialize to forcibly curtail dopamine addiction. A cold-turkey solution might be most effective to cut addition. With antitrust drums beating louder in Congress, the call to regulate screen time might be on the horizon. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/the-technology-202/2019/06/04/the-technology-202-apple-may-not-be-able-to-escape-political-peril-in-washington-anymore https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/the-technology-202/2019/06/03/the-technology-202-silicon-valley-braces-for-potential-antitrust-battle-with-washington/ Risk: Regulatory capture by dopamine addicted politicians dilutes legislative efforts to reign in limbic capitalism.
One year out from the 2020 elections, presidential candidates face legal roadblocks to acquiring the tools and assistance necessary to defend against the cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns that plagued the 2016 presidential campaign. Federal laws prohibit corporations from offering free or discounted cybersecurity services to federal candidates. The same law also blocks political parties from offering candidates cybersecurity assistance because it is considered an "in-kind donation." The issue took on added urgency this week after lawyers for the Federal Election Commission advised the commission to block a request by a Silicon Valley company, Area 1 Security, which sought to provide services to 2020 presidential candidates at a discount. The commission is expected to decide on Area 1's request at a public meeting on Thursday. Cybersecurity and election experts say time is running out for campaigns to develop tough protections. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/06/technology/ftc-rules-cyberattacks.html What He Learned Trying To Secure Congressional Campaigns (Idle Words) https://idlewords.com/2019/05/what_i_learned_trying_to_secure_congressional_campaigns.htm
http://time.com/5597514/robert-mueller-statement/ "I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments -- that there were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election. 2. Intrusions Targeting the Administration of U.S. Elections In addition to targeting individuals involved in the Clinton Campaign, GRU officers also targeted individuals and entities involved in the administration of the elections. Victims included U.S. state and local entities, such as state boards of elections (SBOEs), secretaries of state, and county governments, as well as individuals who worked for those entities. The GRU also targeted private technology firms responsible for manufacturing and administering election-related software and hardware, such as voter registration software and electronic polling stations.
I was awakened by a phone call this morning. Obviously recorded, probably computer generated. Telling me that there were spurious charges on my Visa card. Right off there were indications that this was a fraud. First off, it didn't identify the issuing bank, and identified the card by saying the number started with 45. (*All* Visa cards start with 45 ...) Also, while the message was recorded or generated, there was no change in tone when the message got to identifying the charges. Recorded calls using something out of a database usually have a slight change in tone at that point. (I figured it was a bit of a gamble telling me that I had a charge from Amazon for $300 and one from Google Play for $1,000, since I might deal with those entities, but I suppose the risk is small.) I was supposed to stay on the line for a security agent, but I didn't feel like playing games with them. I assume someone would have been trying to get info that they could then use to actually perpetrate a fraud on my card. A bit later I went to the bank. They obviously knew about the calls and the script. (And confirmed that there were no charges or flags on our card.)
Chuck Karish opines in RISKS-31.27 that Boeing's statement, that angle-of-attack (AoA) indicator and the "AOA Disagree" alert are not necessary for the safe operation of the Boeing 737 MAX, "misrepresents the situation". Karish opines "the AOA Disagree alert is a vital indication to the pilots that MCAS is malfunctioning and that corrective action is needed." One can ask the operators themselves, the pilots. When the Boeing statement was released, I asked some senior pilots for major airlines, with whom I have been corresponding for some decades, what they thought. There are two components to the Boeing statement, which it is useful to separate: 1). AoA indication is not necessary for the safe operation of the Boeing 737 MAX. 2). The "AOA Disagree" alert on the Primary Flight Display (PFD) is not necessary for the safe operation of the Boeing 737 MAX. Concerning 1), the pilots who responded generally agree that AoA indication is not necessary, and does not help much if at all, when flying commercial transport aircraft. JT 610 and ET-302 are not the first accidents concerning which the question of AoA indication in commercial transports has arisen. In their final report on the 2009 accident to AF 447, an Air France A330 lost over the South Atlantic during a flight from Brazil to France, the BEA recommended "that EASA and the FAA evaluate the relevance of requiring the presence of an angle of attack indicator directly accessible to pilots on board aeroplanes". (See Section 4.2.2 of the Final Report at https://www.bea.aero/docspa/2009/f-cp090601.en/pdf/f-cp090601.en.pdf) AoA indication on commercial transports has been debated for far longer than this. For example, there was an article about it nearly twenty years ago in Boeing Aero magazine #12, March 2000: http://www.boeing.com/commercial/aeromagazine/aero_12/attack.html Given the decades of such engineering and operational debate about it amongst all stakeholders, it would have surprised me had Boeing said something misleading about 1). Concerning 2), a senior pilot, qualified on the Boeing 737 (all varieties) and undergoing the required recurrent training, pointed out that having an "AoA disagree" indication does not change flight crew response to the aerodynamic situation at all. The Boeing 737 MAX checklist for an "AoA disagree" indication warns that AS and altitude information might disagree or be unreliable. That's it (I am told). That information is already present on the PFDs, in rather more prominent form than the "AoA disagree" alert. And the stick shaker might also activate, as it did during the accidents to JT-610 and ET-302. The stick shaker is a very tactile warning of being in an approach-to-stall regime and that crew should pay immediate attention to AS. He concluded that an "AoA disagree" alert indeed counts as supplementary information, and not as necessary information. That directly contradicts Karish's opinion that it is "vital". Boeing's statement seems completely consistent with their, and other experts', long-standing engineering and operational judgment about AoA indications and alerting on commercial transport aircraft. One may disagree with those engineering and operational judgments. But the trope of "regulatory capture", suggested by Karish, doesn't enter into it at all.
In his response to my post in RISKS.31-27, Prof. Ladkin does not address the clause that gives that post its meaning: "Once the MCAS takes control of the airplane away from the pilots". Boeing built the MCAS because they anticipated that pilots would not be able to safely operate the 737 MAX airplane manually in certain flight conditions. While an experienced pilot might not need a working AOA indicator to fly the airplane, the MCAS does need it. Installation of the MCAS made the AOA indicators safety critical.
That assertion is incorrect. Both crews were theoretically able to control their aircraft until comparatively late in the development of each upset. Indeed, this is illustrated by the flight of PK-LQP immediately preceding JT 610, where the selfsame phenomenon manifested and the crew completed the flight safely. I add the caveat "until comparatively late" because there is some question whether, during the development of the upset situation in both flights, the aircraft entered a regime in which they could not be manually retrimmed because of aerodynamic forces inhibiting pilot movement of the trim wheel. That is not a fault in itself - such regimes are "a fact of [aerodynamic] life", according to a distinguished aerodynamicist colleague. However, there is continued discussion as to how and why the crews could have got into that regime, if indeed they did. These accidents were not deterministic. It is not as if, when MCAS cut in because of the sensor malfunction, the crew became powerless and the flights were doomed. There has been extensive discussion in pilot forums as to what went on, why it went on, and how and why the respective crews might have reacted differently. And presumably there is considerable discussion of this matter within the accident investigations themselves. > Boeing built the MCAS because they anticipated that pilots would not be > able to safely operate the 737 MAX airplane manually in certain flight > conditions. That is not so. See https://abnormaldistribution.org/index.php/2019/04/30/ieee-spectrum-on-possible-software-involvement-in-two-recent-airliner-crashes/ for the reason I was given as to why the MCAS function was added to the STS. > While an experienced pilot might not need a working AOA indicator to fly > the airplane, the MCAS does need it. The MCAS function needs a working AoA sensor. > Installation of the MCAS made the AOA > indicators safety critical. No, not cockpit indications such as AoA display or "AOA Disagree" alert. The correct operation of the AoA sensor itself is "safety-critical" in informal terms. Formally, the AoA sensor is, on the Boeing 737 MAX, a non-redundant causal component of a subsystem with a malfunction severity of "hazardous". (Whether the classification as "hazardous" was/is appropriate is another question arising from the accidents.)
In my submission to RISKS-31.27 I was a bit too critical of Boeing's May 5 press release. The MCAS doesn't depend on the "angle of attack indicator" for safety, it depends directly on the angle of attack sensor. In the context of the then-current uproar the press release was misdirection rather than mischaracterization.
Are over-the-air (OTA) updates new functionality? Link to Consumer's Reports article from April 2018 is https://www.consumerreports.org/automotive-technology/automakers-embrace-over-the-air-updates-can-we-trust-digital-car-repair/ with a brief mention of security. Link to GM Canada, at least a year old, is https://www.onstar.com/ca/en/software_terms/ is informative. One question reading the T&C is whether the vehicle pulls the updates or the more risky push from a central server. Doesn't negate the risk of buggy new software (as compared to buggy old software) nor the annoyance of unwanted features updates.
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