The Risks Digest

The RISKS Digest

Forum on Risks to the Public in Computers and Related Systems

ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy, Peter G. Neumann, moderator

Volume 30 Issue 26

Sunday 30 April 2017


Auditors: panel exposed voter records to potential hacking
Baltimore Sun
Russia's alleged election interference - suspects & investigators
Russian-controlled telecom hijacks financial services' Internet traffic
Ars Technica
Denmark: Russia has been hacking us for two years
The Copenhagen Post
Cyber Attack in Israel reportedly used NSA tool
Edwin Slonim
How to Detect Fake News in Real-Time
Tectonic plate movement and driverless cars
David Horsfall
Flawed electronic prescription system too entrenched to disable?
Times Colonist
The wrong way to remove clutter in EHRs
Robert L Wears
Senate staffers have picture of security chip on their IDs.
Ars Technica via Tom Russ
HSBC introduces voice passwords, all the same
Gabe Goldberg
Two-factor authentication
Dmitri Maziuk
Antivirus provider Webroot is causing trouble for customers
Ars Technica
Man gets fined for discovering a flaw
Turkey blocks Wikipedia under law designed to protect national security
The Guardian
EPA website removes climate science site from public view after two decades
The Washington Post
Amazon Wants to Put a Camera and Microphone in Your Bedroom
Techcrunch and Gizmodo
Ankle Bracelet glitches
Hacker holds Netflix to ransom over new season of Orange Is The New Black
The Guardian
"Bash Bunny: Big hacks come in tiny packages"
Homographic URLs
The Guardian via PGN
How A False Story About A Husband And Wife Being Twins Ended Up On Major News Websites
Princeton researchers discover why AI become racist and sexist
Ars Technica
"Don't get bit by zombie cloud data"
Fahmida Y. Rashid
"DDoS attacks abusing exposed LDAP servers on the rise"
Fahimda Y. Rashid
Bose headphones have been spying on customers, lawsuit claims
The Washington Post
For 18 years, she thought someone was stealing her identity. Until she found her.
The Guardian via Gabe Goldberg
Re: Autonomous Electric Vehicle impact on Economy
Kelly Bert Manning
Charles Jackson
Re: Prison inmates built working PCs out of e-waste
Richard Bos
Info on RISKS (comp.risks)

Auditors: panel exposed voter records to potential hacking (Baltimore Sun)

"Peter G. Neumann" <>
Sun, 30 Apr 2017 11:13:37 PDT
The Associated Press,  29 Apr 2017

A legislative audit has found that Maryland's Board of Elections needlessly
exposed the full Social Security numbers of almost 600,000 voters to
potential hacking, risking theft of voters' identities.  A report released
Friday also criticized the board's handling of ballot security, disaster
preparedness, contracting and balancing its books.

The Baltimore Sun reports ( that state lawmakers
called for a hearing in response to the report, which prompted strong
reaction from critics of the board and administrator Linda Lamone.

Doug Mayer, a spokesman for Gov. Larry Hogan, said the report underscores
some of the governor's concerns about a lack of executive oversight at the
board, where the day-to-day management is outside the administration's

Lamone said most of the findings in the report have already been addressed.

  [Lamone also is quoted: "The information the state provides to ERIC
  doesn't include full Social Security numbers and is encrypted before it is
  sent.  You can't get into ERIC data. There's no way."
    She very clearly does not read RISKS.  PGN]

Russia's alleged election interference - suspects & investigators (BBW)

"Alister Wm Macintyre \(Wow\)" <>
Wed, 19 Apr 2017 09:29:26 -0500
Nice graphic on players in the probe into alleged Russia interference in US

For the complete illustration on 2 opposite pages, see pages 28-29 of the
April 10-23 Bloomberg Business Wek magazine.

Russian-controlled telecom hijacks financial services' Internet traffic (Ars Technica)

Lauren Weinstein <>
Sat, 29 Apr 2017 13:24:38 -0700
via NNSquad

  On Wednesday, large chunks of network traffic belonging to MasterCard,
  Visa, and more than two dozen other financial services companies were
  briefly routed through a Russian government-controlled telecom under
  unexplained circumstances that renew lingering questions about the trust
  and reliability of some of the most sensitive Internet communications.
  Anomalies in the border gateway protocol--which routes large-scale amounts
  of traffic among Internet backbones, ISPs, and other large networks--are
  common and usually the result of human error. While it's possible
  Wednesday's five- to seven-minute hijack of 36 large network blocks may
  also have been inadvertent, the high concentration of technology and
  financial services companies affected made the incident "curious" to
  engineers at network monitoring service BGPmon.  What's more, the way some
  of the affected networks were redirected indicated their underlying
  prefixes had been manually inserted into BGP tables, most likely by
  someone at Rostelecom, the Russian government-controlled telecom that
  improperly announced ownership of the blocks.

Denmark: Russia has been hacking us for two years

"Donald B. Wagner" <>
Wed, 26 Apr 2017 09:05:08 +0200
*The Copenhagen Post*

The defence minister, Claus Hjort Frederiksen, has revealed that Russian
hackers have been targeting Danish Defence for the past two years, but with
limited success.

Frederiksen confirmed what was written in a new report just published by the
Centre for Cyber Security (CFCS): that a Russian hacker group has gained
entry to employee emails in 2015 and 2016.

The Google translation of the Centre's press briefing is surprisingly good:

And the translation of the original report:

  [The URLs are as they appear in my old RISKS mail reader, which I still
  use because it has features that my macros need, and modern mailers do not
  serve the purpose.  I'm not going to mess with the coded this time,
  although I usually do—and then test them to make sure they work.  PGN]

Cyber Attack in Israel reportedly used NSA tool

Edwin Slonim <>
Thu, 27 Apr 2017 17:32:39 +0300
The Israeli press is reporting that "120 targets including academic
institutions, ministries, companies and private individuals were attacked"
in a "attack was unique in its sophistication, Franco said, with the malware
arriving in infected Microsoft Word files attached to authentic emails from
an authentic academic institution. Anti-virus software failed to notice the

Anonymous sources indicated that a tool reportedly developed by the NSA was
used in the attack, and that it seems likely to have been sourced in Iran.

This just goes to demonstrate what security researchers have long stated -
that there is no possibility to have cyber tools that will remain only in
the hands of "the good guys", and the only safe option is to make
everything secure against government, as well as against "bad guys". behind

Edwin Shalom Slonim, Haifa 3107202 Israel
ph: +972-4-826-6583 cell: +972-52-282-1906 USA: +1(718)715-0581

How to Detect Fake News in Real-Time (Medium)

Lauren Weinstein <>
Thu, 27 Apr 2017 20:12:13 -0700
via NNSquad

  "This made me wonder what Facebook and other platforms could have done to
   detect these waves of misinformation in real-time. Could they have run
   countermeasures? If detected in time could they have slowed the spread or
   marked it as unreliable news?"

The author is the now ex-Googler who led the original team that built Google

Tectonic plate movement and driverless cars

Dave Horsfall <>
Sat, 29 Apr 2017 07:26:31 +1000 (EST)
Apparently driverless cars use GPS down to centimetre precision (probably
using carrier phase detection), but given that tectonic plates moved at
several cm/year I guess Google's cars may start crashing in a few years.

(Incidentally, my spell checker suggested "drivelers" for "driverless".)

Dave Horsfall DTM (VK2KFU)

Flawed electronic prescription system too entrenched to disable?

Kelly Bert Manning <>
Tue, 25 Apr 2017 16:41:34 -0400 (EDT)

A prescription management system that many Physicians and Nurses feel is
dangerous has been found to be too embedded in VIHA's new iHealth system to

The Root issue seems to be a failure to address the human factors
interface. Both on data entry, and in trying to use even the largest
rolling, self standing, workstation display to replicate the way that
practitioners used to be able to flip through 3 ring binders until something
caught their eye. Data entry takes much longer with a keyboard and mouse
than with a pen and paper, slowing staff down.

We also see the issue of mistaken identity come up. A Saanich man contacted
the Provincial Privacy Commissioner because VIHA staff keep confusing him
with someone with the same name. He says he has repeatedly had to tell
practitioners that they were acting on the basis of someone else's file and
making incorrect decisions. Staff were unable to find test results for him.

An interesting substory is that iHealth reinvented the Electronic
Prescription Wheel. BC has had a mandatory, no exceptions, Province Wide
PharmaNet Registry since the mid 1990s. It was brought in as a knee jerk
reaction to Prescriptions being the fastest growing part of the Provincial
Health Care Budget.  For some reason iHealth decided they would develop a
parallel system, rather than using the existing prescription registry.

Failed promises of efficiency and better health are an old story.

The Province wide mandatory PharmaNet system promised that it would prevent
drug interactions. That supposed benefit was illustrated by the tale of a
senior who had been prescribed diuretics by several different doctors,
filled at different pharmacies. A number of pharmacies already had such
systems, but a quarter of a century later we find pharmacists turning off
interaction alarms because of alarm overload. People are still being harmed
by drug interaction.

The BC College of Pharmacists was ordered to stop selling Prescribing
Profile information collected from PharmaNet. They ignored the Minister's
polite request to cease and desist, so she made it an order.

The College has published the Chart Numbers and names of a number of
Pharmacists Disciplined for breach of privacy via PharmaNet.

The Sep-Oct version of the Bulletin also dealt with PharmaNet Privacy abuse,
but does not seem to be available online.

A breach of PharmaNet recently resulted in identity theft for over 20,000

The wrong way to remove clutter in EHRs

"Robert L Wears, MD, MS, PhD" <>
Tue, 25 Apr 2017 17:28:11 -0400
Clinical users have long complained that electronic health record (EHR)
systems feature screens that are so cluttered with trivia that the truly
important is difficult to pick out.  Now one major vendor has addressed that
problem, but in the wrong way.

They recognized that patients' medication lists contain both drugs they are
on for the long haul (e.g., for diabetes, seizures, heart disease, etc.) but
also drugs that are short term (e.g., antibiotics for an infection).  What a

So, they added a variable that the user must set if the drug is intended for
long term use.  If that long term flag is not set, then the drug disappears
from the list after a period of time has elapsed.

Hmm, what could go wrong?  Only a couple of diabetics whose insulin was
omitted, or patients with clotting disorders whose blood thinners
disappeared, epileptics whose anticonvulsants went into the void, etc, etc.

Senate staffers have picture of security chip on their IDs.

Tom Russ <>
Wed, 26 Apr 2017 18:46:44 -0700
... while many executive branch employees now have PIV [Personal Identity
Verification] cards [for 2-factor authentication] with chips embedded in
them, Senate employees get ID cards with a picture of a chip on them.

[You can't make this up.]

Tom Russ, Google Los Angeles (Venice), 340 Main St., Venice CA 90291

HSBC introduces voice passwords, all the same

Gabe Goldberg <>
Fri, 21 Apr 2017 18:06:23 -0400
HSBC says: No longer will you need to remember your PIN or Telephone Access
Code each time you call in to telephone banking. With Voice ID, you can gain
immediate access to your accounts by entering your account, card or Social
Security number and simply saying "My voice is my password."

A friend commented: I recently read how some telephone scammers try to get
you to answer certain questions so that they can record your voice for later
use. Sounds like this kind of system is the target.

To which I replied: And all crooks need do is call HSBC customer and ask how
they log on! They'll answer...

"My voice is my password"

I love it, have everyone say exactly the same brainless thing, simplify
tricking and spoofing. Brilliant.

Two-factor authentication

Dmitri Maziuk <>
Mon, 24 Apr 2017 17:47:12 -0500
is a good thing, right? My credit union used it for some time, it's called
VerifyU and has options to send "security code" to one of registered phone
numbers (SMS or robo-call) or e-mail addresses. And we were happy knowing
someone in our credit union's IT dept. has a clue.

Well, we're in a beach side resort in Costa Rica (terrible, I know). We try
to see how much money's there, VerifyU page comes up with no e-mail
option. Neither my wife's T-Mobile nor my AT&T phones get any signal here so
no security code for us. "Having trouble logging in?"—call an 800 or a
local number. Did I mention our phones don't work?

Remember back when the 2nd "factor" was a "security question" like what was
your mother's maiden name? That was much too insecure, it allowed customers
to actually log in. So we can't have that.

(I can actually call the 1-800 number via skype as I have WiFi but if skype
for mobile has a "dial a number" option I'm unable to find it.  Good thing I
have a laptop, too, where that option is still available.)

Antivirus provider Webroot is causing trouble for customers

"Peter G. Neumann" <>
Tue, 25 Apr 2017 11:03:39 PDT
A signature update just nuked hundreds of benign files needed to run
Microsoft Windows, as well as apps that run on top of the operating
system. Considered Windows malware and Facebook a phishing scheme. OMG

Man gets fined for discovering a flaw (Motherboard)

"Peter G. Neumann" <>
Tue, 25 Apr 2017 15:37:46 PDT
An electronics engineer says he found a flaw in traffic lights.
The Oregon engineering board fined him for it.

Turkey blocks Wikipedia under law designed to protect national security

Lauren Weinstein <>
Sat, 29 Apr 2017 07:51:20 -0700
via NNSquad

  Turkey has blocked Wikipedia, the country's telecommunications watchdog
  said on Saturday, citing a law that allows it to ban access to websites
  deemed obscene or a threat to national security.  The move is likely to
  further worry rights groups and Turkey's western allies, who say Ankara
  has curtailed freedom of speech and other basic rights in the crackdown
  that followed last year's failed coup.  "After technical analysis and
  legal consideration ... an administrative measure has been taken for this
  website," the BTK watchdog said in a statement on its website.

EPA website removes climate science site from public view after two decades (The Washington Post)

Lauren Weinstein <>
Sat, 29 Apr 2017 10:29:30 -0700
via NNSquad

  One of the websites that appeared to be gone had been cited to challenge
  statements made by the EPA's new administrator, Scott Pruitt. Another
  provided detailed information on the previous administration's Clean Power
  Plan, including fact sheets about greenhouse gas emissions on the state
  and local levels and how different demographic groups were affected by
  such emissions.

    [I presume all of the removed items have been mirrored regularly
    by environmental organizations???  PGN]

Amazon Wants to Put a Camera and Microphone in Your Bedroom

Lauren Weinstein <>
Wed, 26 Apr 2017 09:30:24 -0700
via NNSquad

  The newly announced Echo Look is a virtual assistant with a
  microphone and a camera that's designed to go somewhere in
  your bedroom, bathroom, or wherever the hell you get dressed.


"Peter G. Neumann" <>
Wed, 26 Apr 2017 18:51:15 PDT
This is an interesting case study (came to light this week) of a vigilante
worm that is attacking/disabling insecure IoT devices that are susceptible
to hijacking by DDoS botnets.

This is effectively destroying poorly manufactured products, produced by an
IoT industry that doesn't care how their devices are affecting the privacy
of their consumer or Internet victims that have to deal with their hijacked
products as DDoS drones.

Could all those victim consumers whose products are being destroyed produce
a tech support surge that finally pushes the IoT manufacturers to improve
their default device security.  We shall see.

  [See also a long item on Janit0r in gizmodo:

Ankle Bracelet glitches (BBW)

"Alister Wm Macintyre \(Wow\)" <>
Wed, 19 Apr 2017 10:30:42 -0500
In many areas we are depending on technology, where the hype far outstrips
the technology capabilities.

Many new technologies have glitches, and sometimes it takes a while to
resolve the problems.

Many companies are overwhelmed with cybersecurity alerts.  They need better
systems to manage info from the alert systems.

Many US judicial and police authorities are overwhelmed with ankle bracelet
alerts.  The technology is not good enough for what they using it for.

Do you ever experience a loss of signal with your consumer electronics?

When that happens with an ankle monitor, either the offender is arrested for
disappearing, or gets phone call in middle of night to walk out into middle
of street outside home, so law enforcement can get a better signal.

We have seen stories in RISKS about bad GPS signals, and bogus ID pointing
at the unlucky person whose home is same as a default used when ID cannot be
nailed down.  That also happens with ankle monitors, giving false info about
offender whereabouts, leading to arrest of that person for violating rules
where they supposed to be.

When the ankle bracelet system gives off false information, the offender is
automatically considered to be at fault.

A July 2015 article in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly recounted a criminal
defense attorney's tale of his client's device showing that he had walked
across a lake.

Hacker holds Netflix to ransom over new season of Orange Is The New Black

"Dave Farber" <>
Sun, 30 Apr 2017 07:48:22 -0400

"Bash Bunny: Big hacks come in tiny packages" (InfoWorld)

Gene Wirchenko <>
Tue, 25 Apr 2017 10:03:29 -0700

Roger A. Grimes, Columnist, InfoWorld, 25 Apr 2017

With new hardware hacking devices, it's absurdly easy to attack
organizations through the USB port of any computer on a network

selected text:

Today's increasingly miniaturized world is giving rise to all sorts of
hardware devices that can hack almost any computer, device, or network.
Plug in an item the size of a USB stick and all your hard-won protections
could be defeated. If you haven't been paying attention to this field of
attack, what you learn might shock you.

In the interest of defending against this new threat, let's take a close
look at one of the most versatile and popular hardware hacking devices: Bash
Bunny by Hak5. I'm offering considerable detail here to show how easy it is
to launch malicious attacks that bypass network defenses—and to help
white hats who may wish to use the device for simulated red team attacks.

Bash Bunny is a Debian Linux computer with a USB interface designed
specifically to execute payloads when plugged into a target computer. It can
be used against Windows, MacOS, Linux, Unix, and Android computing
devices. It features a multicolor RGB LED that indicates various statuses
and a three-position selector switch: Two of the positions are used to
launch payloads, while the third makes Bash Bunny appear to be a regular USB
storage device for copying and modifying files.

Homographic URLs

"Peter G. Neumann" <>
Wed, 19 Apr 2017 15:47:38 PDT
  [This has long been a topic in RISKS: URLs with characters that
  aren't quite what you expect, as in a Cyrillic o in .com.  PGN]

Here's a challenge for you: you click on a link in your email, and find
yourself at the website <>. Your browser shows the green padlock
icon, confirming it's a secure connection; and it says *Secure* next to it,
for added reassurance. And yet, you've been phished. Do you know how?

For a long time, domain names could only be written in Latin characters
without diacritics, but since 1998 it's actually been possible to write them
in other alphabets too. That's useful if you want to register a domain name
in Chinese or Arabic script, or even just correctly spelled French or German
-- anything that can be represented with the Unicode standard can be
registered, even emoji—but it's also opened up a whole new avenue of
misdirection for malicious actors to take advantage of, by finding
characters in other alphabets which look similar to Latin ones.

The Chrome team has since decided to include the fix in Chrome 58, which
should be available around April 25.  Mozilla, however, declined to fix it,
arguing that it's Apple's problem to solve: “it is sadly the responsibility
of domain owners to check for whole-script homographs and register them.''

How A False Story About A Husband And Wife Being Twins Ended Up On Major News Websites (Buzzfeed)

Lauren Weinstein <>
Wed, 19 Apr 2017 22:21:14 -0700
via NNSquad

  A husband and wife go to a fertility clinic. As part of the treatment
  process, the clinic takes DNA samples from both of them and discovers that
  they are, in fact, fraternal twins.  It's a story seemingly guaranteed to
  go viral, and it soon made its way onto websites around the world. The
  Daily Mail covered it, as did Lad Bible, Elite Daily, The Independent's
  Indy100, Huffington Post Germany, and even websites as far away as India,
  New Zealand, Nigeria, and Israel.  They all pointed back to the same
  source: an April 12 story in the Mississippi Herald. Some referred to the
  Herald as a newspaper, but there's no print publication by that name, and
  the domain was only registered in November. The
  reality is the story is a complete fabrication, and the Herald is part of
  a network of fake local news sites that recently began pumping out
  hoaxes. But the site's utterly dubious origin didn't stop large,
  legitimate news sites from spreading its hoax to a global audience.

A Google Search on this topic shows a top result indicating the story is
fake, and two out of the three featured boxes say it's fake. The remaining
feature box reports it as legit, as do all the other links on the first page
below the top link.

Princeton researchers discover why AI become racist and sexist (Ars Technica)

Lauren Weinstein <>
Thu, 20 Apr 2017 11:20:40 -0700
via NNSquad

  Ever since Microsoft's chatbot Tay started spouting racist commentary
  after 24 hours of interacting with humans on Twitter, it has been obvious
  that our AI creations can fall prey to human prejudice. Now a group of
  researchers has figured out one reason why that happens.  Their findings
  shed light on more than our future robot overlords, however.  They've also
  worked out an algorithm that can actually predict human prejudices based
  on an intensive analysis of how people use English online.

"Don't get bit by zombie cloud data" (Fahmida Y. Rashid)

Gene Wirchenko <>
Thu, 20 Apr 2017 10:48:58 -0700
Fahmida Y. Rashid, InfoWorld, 20 Apr 2017
Data you thought you had deleted from the cloud can come back to
haunt you. Get to know your provider's data deletion policy

selected text:

The Internet never forgets, which means data that should have been deleted
doesn't always stay deleted. Call it "zombie data," and unless your
organization has a complete understanding of how your cloud providers handle
file deletion requests, it can come back to haunt you.

Deleting data in the cloud differs vastly from deleting data on a PC or
smartphone. The cloud's redundancy and availability model ensures there are
multiple copies of any given file at any given time, and each must be
removed for the file to be truly deleted from the cloud.  When a user
deletes a file from a cloud account, the expectation is that all these
copies are gone, but that really isn't the case.

In some cases, providers adopt a 30-day retention policy (Gmail has a 60-day
policy), where the file may no longer appear in the user's account but stay
on servers until the period is up. Then the file and all its copies are
automatically purged. Others offer users a permanent-delete option, similar
to emptying the Recycle Bin on Windows.

Service providers make mistakes. In February, forensics firm Elcomsoft found
copies of Safari browser history still on iCloud, even after users had
deleted the records. The company's analysts found that when the user deleted
their browsing history, iCloud moved the data to a format invisible to the
user instead of actually removing the data from the servers. Earlier, in
January, Dropbox users were surprised to find files that had been deleted
years ago reappearing in their accounts. A bug had prevented files from
being permanently deleted from Dropbox servers, and when engineers tried to
fix the bug, they inadvertently restored the files.

"DDoS attacks abusing exposed LDAP servers on the rise" (Fahmida Y. Rashid)

Gene Wirchenko <>
Thu, 20 Apr 2017 11:00:29 -0700
Fahmida Y. Rashid, InfoWorld, 13 Apr 2017
DDoS attacks abusing exposed LDAP servers on the rise
A pair of advisories from Ixia and Akamai illustrate how DDoS
attackers can abuse legitimate protocols to launch ever larger
reflection attacks

Each DDoS attack seem to be larger than the last, and recent advisories from
Akamai and Ixia indicate that attackers are stepping up their game. As
attackers expand their arsenal of reflection methods to target CLDAP
(Connection-less Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) and BIND, expect to
see even larger attacks this year.

Reflection attacks abuse legitimate protocols, such as NTP, DNS, and SNMP,
to produce significantly large amounts of attack bandwidth.  Attackers send
a request to a third-party server using a spoofed IP address, and the server
sends back a response (which is typically much larger in size). Since the IP
address is spoofed, the response doesn't go to the original requester, but
to the unsuspecting victim.  Instead of building large botnets of millions
of compromised hosts to launch a large attack, attackers can use a smaller
number of systems to target exposed third-party servers.  [... Examples

Bose headphones have been spying on customers, lawsuit claims

Lauren Weinstein <>
Thu, 20 Apr 2017 07:44:06 -0700
via NNSquad

  Combined with the registration information, that gave Bose access to
  personally identifiable information that Zak and other never agreed to
  share, the complaint says. Listening data can be very personal,
  particularly if users are listening to podcasts or other audio files that
  could shade in information about their political preferences, health
  conditions or other interests, the complaint argues.  The filing also
  alleges that Bose wasn't just collecting the information.  It was also
  sharing it with a data mining company called, according to
  research conducted by Edelson, the Chicago-based law firm representing

    [Gene Wirchenko noted a similar BBC item:
    "Bose sued for logging listening habits"

For 18 years, she thought someone was stealing her identity. Until she found her.

Gabe Goldberg <>
Fri, 21 Apr 2017 18:28:17 -0400
Finally, the DMV told me that I wasn't the victim of identity theft; there
was simply another Lisa S Davis with the same birthday in New York City. Our
records were crossed. When cops run a license, they don't check the person's
address, signature, or social security numbers. They check the name and the
birthday, and both the other Lisa S Davis's and mine were the same. We were,
in the eyes of the law, one person, caught in a perfect storm of DMV and
NYPD idiocy.

Funny, I've entertainingly crossed paths/wires with another Gabe Goldberg
(also a writer!) and know of several others. Maybe made-up names are the
answer, with numbers and special characters. Maybe the artist formerly and
once again known as Prince was on to something.

Re: Autonomous Electric Vehicle impact on Economy (RISKS-30.24)

Kelly Bert Manning <>
Fri, 21 Apr 2017 18:34:53 -0400 (EDT)
"Will we have a bill board inside our cars, with info about the retail
establishments along our coming route?"

Don't we already have that? High end new vehicles either have built in
displays in visors or seat backs, heads up displays or mobile hubs that
wireless devices can connect to.

Passengers on long trips have always wanted something to distract them, but
with autonomous vehicles drivers will also be tempted to pay more attention
to the infotainment system than to the road ahead.

Connecting to "free" wifi along a recurring travel path often involves
paging through ads to set up your connection. Many commercial web servers
try to get your location data and tailor ads and search engine suggestions
based on your location and movement history.

I normally get my video from TELUS, not Rogers, but when I am at the local
Renal Agency clinic or hospital I often see Rogers overlaying advertising
for additional fee products onto the video channels.

Re: Autonomous vehicle... (Shapir, RISKS-30.25)

Charles Jackson <>
Wed, 19 Apr 2017 13:52:28 -0400
> The car comes to a stop sign it's passed a hundred
>   times before - but this time, it blows right through it.

This appears to me to be an unlikely scenario.  I expect that self-driving
cars will (1) come with a database of stop sign locations and (2) learn
where the stop signs are on frequently traveled routes.

A self-driving car should be prepared to cope with the problem created when
an out-of-control car removes a stop sign or a tree branch covers it up. for a
discussion of various ways that traffic signs fail.

I think a more reasonable hack would be to put up lots of false stop signs
or stop lights.  An always red stoplight would be (1) inexpensive and (2)
tie up traffic.  Moreover, a self-driving car *should* be programmed to pay
attention to a stop light that it has not seen before and that is not in its

  [There will always be unmapped areas, as well as temporary changes that
  reroute traffic.  The latter happens frequently.  PGN]

Re: Prison inmates built working PCs out of e-waste (RISKS-30.24)

Richard Bos
Sat, 22 Apr 2017 21:51:31 GMT
Interestingly, while there are calls for more searches and more physical
restrictions, nobody seems to have wondered how these prisoners could
get hold of the guard's password. It would seem to me that that was the
more important side of the problem. A computer cable is easily
disconnected, but carelessness about passwords is insidious.

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