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Submission + - Guardian of the Vote (theatlantic.com)

Geoffrey.landis writes: The Atlantic profiles a computer scientist: Barbara Simons, who has been on the forefront of the pushback against electronic voting as a technology susceptible to fraud and hacking. When she first started writing articles about the dangers of electronic voting with no paper trail, the idea that software could be manipulated to rig elections was considered a fringe preoccupation, but Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election have reversed Simons’s fortunes. According to the Department of Homeland Security, those efforts included attempts to meddle with the electoral process in 21 states; while a series of highly publicized hacks—at Sony, Equifax, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management—has driven home the reality that very few computerized systems are truly secure. Simons is a former President of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM); and the group she helps run, Verified Voting, has been active in educating the public about the dangers of unverified voting since 2003.

Submission + - China Says Foreign Firms Won't Be Forced To Turn Over Technology (vice.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A top Communist Party official said Friday that China won’t force foreign companies to turn over technology secrets to gain market access, signaling attention to a key sticking point with U.S. President Donald Trump as he prepared to leave Beijing. The statement by Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang, the Communist Party’s No. 4 official, was made in an article published in the People’s Daily newspaper under his byline. While other Chinese officials have made similar pledges in the past about foreign technology, Wang’s statement stands out for the seniority of the person making it and its timing. In his article, Wang also pledged to improve the foreign investment environment and treat all companies equally. China will also increase access to its services and manufacturing sectors, wrote Wang, who was last month promoted to the country’s top-decision making body, the Politburo Standing Committee.

Submission + - Magazine for Museums Publishes Its 2040 Issue -- 23 Years Early

An anonymous reader writes: The Alliance of American Museums has just published an ambitious Nov/Dec 2040 issue of Museum, the Alliance's magazine. The columns, reviews, articles, awards, and even the ads describe activities from a 2040 perspective, based on a multi-faceted consensus scenario.

Submission + - Man Who Sent GIF Of Laughing Mouse to Employer After DDoS Attack Is Now Arrested (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The FBI has arrested and charged a man for launching DDoS attacks against a wide range of targets, including his former employer, a Minnesota-based PoS repair shop. The man, who bought access to a VPN but didn't use it all the time, was caught after registering email accounts and sending taunting emails to victims, including his former employer.

The taunting emails also included a GIF image of a laughing mouse, which eventually tied the man to the DDoS attacks as well. The guy also uploaded the image on Facebook in a post that asked people to join in DDoS attacks on banks as part of Anonymous' Operation Icarus.

The suspect also created the fake email accounts using the name of another former colleague, trying to pin suspicions on him. The FBI was not only able to track the man's real IP address, but they also tied him to attacks without a doubt because he used a DDoS-for-hire service that was hacked and its database was shared with the FBI.

Submission + - Bitcoin drops over $1000 in value over 48 hours (reuters.com)

sqorbit writes: Bitcoin dropped below $7000 after hitting an all time high. After a possible fork was suspend bitcoin reached a peak at $7888 before dropping down below $7000. Some investors appear to be selling in order to buy "Bitcoin Cash" which was a split August 1st. Bitcoin cash reached $850.

Submission + - T-Mobile's Scammy New Online Payment System (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: Traditionally, one of the aspects of T-Mobile that subscribers have really liked is how quickly and easily they could pay their bills online. A few seconds was usually all that was needed, and it could always be done in a security-positive manner.

No more. T-Mobile has now taken their online payment system over to the dark side, using several well-known methods to try trick subscribers into taking actions that they probably don’t really want to take in most instances.

Submission + - Britain's prosecutors admit destroying e-mails in Assange's case (theguardian.com) 1

mi writes: The Crown Prosecution Service is facing embarrassment after admitting it destroyed key emails relating to the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is holed up in Ecuador’s London embassy fighting extradition.

Email exchanges between the CPS and its Swedish counterparts over the high-profile case were deleted after the lawyer at the UK end retired in 2014.

Adding to the intrigue, it emerged the CPS lawyer involved had, unaccountably, advised the Swedes in 2010 or 2011 not to visit London to interview Assange. An interview at that time could have prevented the long-running embassy standoff.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How Many Books Do You Read a Month?

joshtops writes: Hi fellow readers. I wanted to ask you how many books do you read in a month on average? Also wanted to understand if that number has changed over the last five years.

Submission + - iPhone X does becomes unresponsive when it gets cold (zdnet.com)

sqorbit writes: Apple is working on a fix for the newly release iPhone X. It appears that the touch screen can become unresponsive when the iPhone is subjected to cold weather. Users are reporting that locking and unlocking the phone resolves the issue. Apple stated that it is aware of the issue and it will be addressed in a future update.

Submission + - Kaspersky was used by the CIA, not just the KGB and Mossad (theregister.co.uk)

Baron_Yam writes: Wikileaks' Vault 8 shows the CIA was using fake Kaspersky certs to ply their trade. At this point I'm starting to feel sorry for Kaspersky Labs.

From the Register in the UK: "The CIA wrote code to impersonate Kaspersky Labs in order to more easily siphon off sensitive data from hack targets, according to leaked intel released by Wikileaks on Thursday."

Submission + - Equifax says breach cost it $87 million and counting 1

chicksdaddy writes: The Security Ledger reports (https://securityledger.wpengine.com/2017/11/equifax-says-breach-cost-87m/) that Equifax has finally put a number on the cost of a breach that affected some 140 million individuals: $87.5 million.

The disclosure, made as part of the company’s quarterly filing (http://secfilings.com/searchresultswide.aspx?link=1&filingid=12372543) with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, is the first public disclosure of the direct costs of the incident, which saw the company’s stock price plunge by more than 30% and wiped out billions of dollars in value to shareholders.

Around $55.5m of the $87.5m in breach related costs stems from product costs — mostly credit monitoring services that it is being offering to affected individuals. Professional fees added up to another $17.1m for Equifax and consumer support costs totaled $14.9m, the company said.

Equifax also said it has spent $27.3 million of pretax expenses stemming from the cost of investigating and remediating the hack to Equifax’s internal network as well as legal and other professional expenses.

The costs are likely to continue. Equifax is estimating costs of $56 million to $110 million in “contingent liability” in the form of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to all U.S. consumers as a good will gesture. The costs provided by Equifax are an estimate of the expenses necessary to provide this service to those who have signed up or will sign up by the January 31, 2018 deadline. So far, however, the company has only incurred $4.7 million through the end of September.

Among the risk factors the company cited going forward were the "impact of the cybersecurity incident and the resulting government investigations, litigation and other impacts on our business and results of operations."

Submission + - Code.org, University Research Group Squabble Over AP CSP Exam Scores

theodp writes: Ever since tech-bankrolled Code.org released high-level participation and score measures for the new AP Computer Science Principles exam, educators and nonprofits have been squabbling over what the exam scores mean or don't mean. Presenting numbers painting their own organizations in a favorable light were UTeach at the University of Texas at Austin ("UTeach Project-Based Instruction Pays Off for Students in AP Computer Science Principles", 83% of students in UTeach CSP passed) and Code.org ("73% of Code.org students passed the AP exam!"). Now, follow-up posts by Code.org's CEO have drawn the ire of UTeach Executive Director Michael Marder, who writes in Code.org Needs Us as Much as We Need Them: "Hadi Partovi, the founder of Code.org, argued in two Facebook posts and a blog entry that it was 'dangerous' for districts, schools, and teachers to consider AP exam scores when selecting a program to follow. He suggested that the difference in exam results might mainly be due to Code.org’s emphasis on working with underrepresented groups. These points deserve an answer. Exam scores are not the sole measure of quality instructional materials and teacher support, but they should not be ignored. It does make sense for districts, schools, and teachers to pay attention to test scores when preparing students to pass a test. One of the primary reasons schools and students signed up for a CS Principles course was because AP courses offer tests that can lead to college credit. If schools and teachers follow Code.org advice 'not to factor in nationally reported exam results,' their alternative is to decide based largely on marketing and publicity. That requires money, and a lot of it. And when it comes to money, there is one provider with more than any other, raising $10 million to $20 million a year from philanthropy: Code.org." To that last point, Code.org — which the NSF praised for its 'amazing marketing prowess' and 'success in attracting major funding' — coincidentally just announced it will be kicking off the 2017 national Hour of Code from Silicon Valley on Dec. 4 with special guests Peggy Johnson of Microsoft (a $10+ million Code.org Diamond Supporter), Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook (also a $10+ million Code.org Diamond Supporter), and Susan Wojcicki of YouTube (Google is a 3+ million Code.org Platinum Supporter). Melinda Gates, whose own children were ironically denied the chance to program Apple computers that their Mother had, will be providing a special message (Bill Gates is a $1+ million Code.org Gold Supporter, as is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation).

Submission + - ESPN to lay off 100 employees after Thanksgiving (foxbusiness.com)

wooferhound writes: The layoffs will impact ESPN across several job descriptions, including on-air talent, producers, executives and others, Sports Illustrated’s Richard The layoffs will impact ESPN across several job descriptions, including on-air talent, producers, executives and others, Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch reported, citing sources familiar with the situation. SportsCenter, the network’s flagship news program, is expected to see a large portion of the cuts.
The purported layoffs come months after ESPN cut ties with roughly 100 employees, including some of its most prominent on-air personalities. At the time, ESPN President John Skipper said the cuts were part of an “increased focus on versatility and value,” adding that ESPN would pour more resources into its digital and mobile programming. ESPN previously laid off about 300 employees in Oct. 2015.

Submission + - Why You Should NEVER Buy an Amazon Echo

Presto Vivace writes: Why You Should NEVER Buy an Amazon Echo or Even Get Near One

The Echo was able to pick a voice out of a crowd engaged in conversation. That means it is capable of singling out individual voice. That means it has been identifying individual voices, tagging the as “Unidentified voice 1, Unidentified voice 2” and so on. It has already associated the voices of its owners, and if they have set up profiles for other family members, for them as well, so it knows who goes with those voices. ... Those voices may be unidentified now, but as more and more voice data is being collected or provided voluntarily, people will be able to be connected to their voice. And more and more recording is being done in public places. ... So now think of that party I was at. At some time in the not too distant future, analysts will be able to make queries like, “Tell me who was within 15 feet of Person X at least eight times in the last six months.” That will produce a reliable list of their family, friends, lovers, and other close associates.

In the Soviet Union the most hated people were informers. In America they are considered luxury goods.

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