In a recent study, security researchers have discovered that criminals are also using circumvention techniques in attacks that harvest financial or personal data.
Archive for 2012/06/18
The cybercrooks attempting to defeat CAPTCHAs are no longer just traditional junk-mailers who want to get around the test to send spamPosted: 2012/06/18 in Cybercrime, Education / Awareness, New Business Models, Stats / reports, Tech Evolution
Brand protection firm MarkMonitor uncovered 94 unauthorised websites and 1,058 online marketplace listings selling UEFA EURO 2012 ticketsPosted: 2012/06/18 in Cybercrime, Education / Awareness, Privacy / Data Protection, Stats / reports
UEFA has forbidden the resale of its tickets through any channel except its own UEFA ticket resale platform.
Football fans are unknowingly exposing themselves to huge risks by visiting and buying from these websites. Tickets could be fake or can eventually be proved worthless anyway, leading to disappointment for those turned away when they arrive at the game.
Net sales revenue from eBooks have surpassed hardcover books in the first quarter of 2012.
According to the March Association of American Publishers (AAP) net sales revenue report (collecting data from 1,189 publishers), adult eBook sales were $282.3 million while adult hardcover sales counted $229.6 million during the first quarter of 2012. During the same period last year, hardcover accounted for $335 million in sales while eBooks logged $220.4 million.
Intel’s goal is to build chips that work more like the human brain. Now its engineers think they know howPosted: 2012/06/18 in Education / Awareness, New Business Models, Stats / reports, Tech Evolution
The brain is the most extraordinary of computing machines. It carries out tasks as a matter of routine that would fry the circuits of the most powerful supercomputers on the planet: walking, talking, recognising, analysing and so on.
And where supercomputers require enough juice to power a small town, the human brain does all its work using little more than the energy in a bowl of porridge.
So the race is on to develop a different kind of chip that more accurately mimics the way the brain works. So-called neuromorphic chips must be built from devices that behave like neurons—in other words they transmit and respond to information sent in spikes rather than in a continously varying voltage.
The government agency that administers France’s controversial 3 strikes anti-piracy scheme is mulling taking its message to the youngest minds in the countryPosted: 2012/06/18 in Copyright, Education / Awareness, Illegal File Sharing, New Business Models, Public Policy, Stats / reports, Three Strikes
According to a letter it sent today to rightsholders, Hadopi is proposing a stand at the Kidexpo exhibition in Paris later this year where it will spread its message directly to 150,000 children.
Half of Europe’s workforce is too tech-challenged to fill all the extra ICT jobs that will be knocking around in the next few years, the European Commission has saidPosted: 2012/06/18 in Education / Awareness, New Business Models, Public Policy, Stats / reports, Tech Evolution
The Digital Agenda study found that while 43 per cent of the population have medium or high internet skills – meaning they can make a phone call online or create a web page – nearly half of those surveyed weren’t confident their online talents were sufficient for today’s jobs… and a quarter had no skills at all.
“These problems are making it difficult to fill ICT vacancies, which will number 700,000 by 2015,” the EC said in a canned statement.
The commission is also worried about how little is being invested in ICT by both the public sector and companies. Europe’s ICT sector is now spending less than half of what the US splurges on R&D, the research found.
“Europeans are hungry for digital technologies and more digital choices, but governments and industry are not keeping up with them,” digital doyenne Neelie Kroes said.
“This attachment to 20th century policy mindsets and business models is hurting Europe’s economy. It’s a terrible shame. We are shooting ourselves in the foot by under-investing. Europe will be flattened by its global competitors if we continue to be complacent.”
Crytek has revealed plans to leave traditional retail behind, with the developer set to go all out free-to-play for future games releases.
“We are in the transitional phase of our company… from packaged goods games into an entirely free-to-play experience,” said Crytek boss Cevat Yerli in an interview with Videogamer.
“All the new games that we’re working on, as well new projects, new platforms and technologies, are designed around free-to-play and online.”
Apple is investigating a computer repair shop that stole images of a prominent Australian Olympian having sex with his wifePosted: 2012/06/18 in Education / Awareness, Legislation, Privacy / Data Protection, Stats / reports
Apple spokeswoman Fiona Martin said the company was looking into the matter after it was last week revealed the Sydney CBD store, an accredited and official Apple reseller, had copied the private pictures from the Olympian’s hard drive after he brought it in to be fixed.
They clearly depict the household-name star and his wife in numerous sexual acts.
Ms Martin also called on any customers who feared their privacy had been compromised at an Apple store to contact the company immediately, but would not offer any guarantee Apple would take steps to protect its customers, or that it would withdraw the store’s licence.
The Olympian is among several people caught in the scam, which involved staff scanning machines for intimate material under the encouragement of the store’s owner and uploading sensitive photos and videos to a shared drive.
When confronted, the store’s owner denied targeting sexual images, but said: “If people choose to put photos and personal information on their computers, that’s their decision.”
According to Section 308H of the Crimes Act 1900, it is not a criminal offence to access data that is not protected or restricted by a password.
It is understood the Government has been aware of the legal loophole for years.
Tokyo police have arrested six men for allegedly swindling more than 20 million yen from smartphone users who installed a virus-infected application distributed by the suspectsPosted: 2012/06/18 in Cybercrime, Education / Awareness, Enforcement, Stats / reports
This is Japan’s first case in which police have built a case involving distribution of a smartphone virus, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.
The application was for playing videos and could be downloaded for free through an adult site on the Internet. Once launched, however, it showed a screen demanding fictitious fees and stole users’ personal information, according to the MPD.
Since the application was placed on the site on Dec. 30, a total of 9,252 people have downloaded it nationwide, senior MPD officials said. Of this number, 211 paid about 21 million yen in fictitious fees, the MPD believes.
News Corp media mogul Rupert Murdoch applied substantial pressure on Tony Blair in order to accelerate Britain’s role in legitimizing a hugely unpopular US-led coalition for the Iraq WarPosted: 2012/06/18 in Education / Awareness, Public Policy, Stats / reports
Secrecy in military and intelligence matters, including cyber, is vital to protect sources, methods and operations. But in a broader sense, the technology of cyberconflict has grown faster than policyPosted: 2012/06/18 in Cybercrime, Education / Awareness, Enforcement, Network Security, Privacy / Data Protection, Public Policy, Stats / reports
The Pentagon now describes cyberspace as a new domain on a par with land, sea, air and outer space, but the United States today has no overarching, open doctrine to govern an offensive cyberprogram, nor is there a healthy debate about what it should entail.
It is time to start that debate. Nuclear weapons policy was openly discussed during the Cold War, when the stakes were existential. The United States crafted a declaratory policy about the use of nuclear forces, which was public; an employment policy that included sensitive matters, which was largely secret; and an acquisition policy, which was some of both. Why not start by creating a declaratory policy for cyberforces?
The software used to analyze medical images of your brain gives wildly different answers if it’s run on Mac or PCPosted: 2012/06/18 in Education / Awareness, Stats / reports
A team of German researchers took data from 30 brain scans and analyzed them using a package called FreeSurfer—one of the major medical image analysis programs, which can be used to measure the size of different parts of the brain.
They ran the software on PCs, and also on Macs running different versions of Mac OS, each time using the software to measure the size and thickness of various structures of the brain. They found that not only did PC and Mac OS installs of the software throw up different results—but the version of Mac OS also had an impact.
Across most sections there was at least a 2-5 percent variation in the answers. But in the parahippocampal and entorhinal cortex, the answers diverged by as much as 15 percent. A 15 percent variation just because of a Mac OS update. The results appear in PLoS One.
SoundExchange, a non-profit collecting society for the distribution of royalties generated by digital radio airplay, has reached an important milestone: it has paid $1 billion to artists and record companies since its founding in 2000.
Few consumers have heard of Acxiom. But analysts say that it has amassed the world’s largest commercial database on consumers – and that it wants to know much, much morePosted: 2012/06/18 in Education / Awareness, Filtering, New Business Models, Privacy / Data Protection, Stats / reports
If you are an American adult, the odds are that it knows things like your age, race, sex, weight, height, marital status, education level, politics, buying habits, household health worries, vacation dreams – and on and on.
Right now in Conway, Ark, north of Little Rock, more than 23,000 computer servers are collecting, collating and analysing consumer data for a company that, unlike Silicon Valley’s marquee names, rarely makes headlines. It’s called the Acxiom Corp, and it’s the quiet giant of a multibillion-dollar industry known as database marketing.
Its servers process more than 50 trillion data “transactions” a year. Company executives have said its database contains information about 500 million active consumers worldwide, with about 1,500 data points per person. That includes a majority of adults in the United States.
Such large-scale data mining and analytics – based on information available in public records, consumer surveys and the like – are perfectly legal. Acxiom’s customers have included big banks like Wells Fargo and HSBC, investment services like E(AST)Trade, automakers like Toyota and Ford, department stores like Macy’s – just about any major company looking for insight into its customers.
For Acxiom, based in Little Rock, the setup is lucrative. It posted profit of $77.26 million in its latest fiscal year, on sales of $1.13 billion.
But such profits carry a cost for consumers. Federal authorities say current laws may not be equipped to handle the rapid expansion of an industry whose players often collect and sell sensitive financial and health information yet are nearly invisible to the public. In essence, it’s as if the ore of our data-driven lives were being mined, refined and sold to the highest bidder, usually without our knowledge – by companies that most people rarely even know exist.
Google sees ‘alarming’ level of government censorship. Received more than 1,000 requests in the past six months, complying with more than halfPosted: 2012/06/18 in Blocking, Education / Awareness, Enforcement, Filtering, Google, Online advertising, Public Policy, Stats / reports
Google said it had received 461 court orders for the removal of 6,989 items, consenting to 68 percent of those orders. It also received 546 informal requests, complying with 46 percent of those requests. The study doesn’t reflect censorship activity from countries such as China and Iran, which block content without notifying Google.
Among the take-down requests was a Polish demand for removal of an article critical of a development agency, a Spanish request for removal of 270 blogs and links to articles critical of the public figures, and a Canadian official’s request for removal of a YouTube video of a man urinating on his passport and flushing it down a toilet. All were denied.
However, the company said it complied with the majority of requests from Thai authorities for the removal of 149 YouTube videos that allegedly insulted the monarchy, a violation of Thailand law. The Web giant said it also granted U.K. police requests for removal of five YouTube accounts that allegedly promoted terrorism. Google also said it complied with 42 percent of U.S. requests for the removal of 187 pieces of content, most of which were related to harassment.
Last Year Google Rejected 610,000 Websites And Disapproved 134 Million Ads
Facebook blocks 200 million malicious actions, such as messages linking to malware, on a daily basis
Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, PayPal and others are working together on a standard that can be used across the Internet for filtering and blocking phishing e-mails
Facebook’s algorithm has apparently started blocking comments it deems “irrelevant or inappropriate”
#OccupyWallStreet demonstrates that there are many ways to intentionally, accidentally or unconsciously but automatically disrupt the free flow of information
Big Content may not even be looking to eradicate 100% the piracy problem, much like Big Data is not looking to eradicate 100% of the botnet, spam, malware, ‘bad’ apps or illegal advertising problem. It’s about limiting damages…limiting costs due to piracy or other illegal activities online. Technical solutions for online illegallity need to be able to at least achieve that goal.
The future of original video content may still be based squarely on the Internet. But for most of us, our attention is currently turned to acquiring media made for a slightly larger screen through a preferred method: DVR, online streaming, DVDs, or live cable for some dinosaurs.
Facebook has delivered the tools of social connectivity in a way that virtual worlds have tried but never managed to doPosted: 2012/06/18 in Education / Awareness, New Business Models, Stats / reports, Tech Evolution
On a deeper level, Facebook is the realization of dreams and ambitions that weren’t dreamt in a Harvard dorm room but have been accumulating since the days of BBSes and AOL. Online community, online identity, online entertainment — Facebook has brought them to more people than any technology other than the web, and in some cases has been the thing driving adoption of the internet itself.
Facebook’s near-universal appeal — and virtual worlds’ near-universal failure — has as much to do with presentation as anything else. The very concept of a virtual world works against its acceptance. If I’m your great-aunt and I need a place to post pictures of your cousin’s bat mitzvah, I don’t necessarily mind joining a network in order to do so. But do I really want to join another world?
Yes, Facebook often feels like the downmarket version of the original internet dream. In term of the free exchange of ideas, it is more of a nightmare. And it was not Zuck who brought us a new kind ofinterconnected commerce. But being downmarket about the dream (instead of demanding and exclusive) is what brought critical mass to the new mode of social connectivity in a way that virtual worlds were never going to do.
A lack of infrastructure and piracy remain the biggest challenges stopping the Indonesia’s film industry from achieving its full potentialPosted: 2012/06/18 in Education / Awareness, Illegal File Sharing, Legislation, New Business Models, Public Policy, Stats / reports
Michael Ellis, president and managing director of the Motion Picture Association for the Asia-Pacific region, said that under-capacity movie theaters and video piracy prevented filmmakers from maximizing revenue from their productions in the country. The MPA and Oxford Economics on Wednesday released a report that said earnings in 2010 from the film and television industries in Indonesia were $845.1 million, a 3 percent increase from the previous year. This is the first report about the economic contribution of the industry to Indonesia’s gross domestic product, they said. The nation’s economy grew 6.5 percent in 2011, after expanding 6.1 percent the year before.
Shanty Harmayn, a film producer and one of the founders of the Jakarta International Film Festival, said there were 675 movie screens in Indonesia. That means for every one million people, there are only 2.8 screens, she said, citing March data from Screen Digest. By comparison, Malaysia has 639 screens, which equates to 22 screens per one million people.
Ellis said several foreign investors were interested in opening cinema chains in Indonesia, but they were stopped by a rule forbidding outright foreign ownership of Indonesian cinemas. “Of course it would be very difficult for companies, especially publicly traded companies, to invest in something when they can’t own them,” he said.
Ellis said that in the United States, 30 percent of a film’s revenue typically comes from theater screenings, while products such as DVDs, pay-per-view and television rights make up the remainder. In Indonesia, he said almost all revenue comes from screenings in cinemas because consumers are reluctant to buy original DVDs, opting for cheaper pirated copies instead.
Researchers hope that discovered correlations will lead to software tools that will help identify users’ symptoms of depression