Posted November 4, 2015
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“The suspected Chinese hack of health insurer Anthem may have had more to do with that nation’s leaders being interested in learning how to provide healthcare for its population than stealing data. The February attack, along with a smaller hack of Premera in March, may have been part of a Chinese attempt to figure out how to deliver healthcare to its aging population, according to the Financial Times (FT). The Chinese government has declared it will deliver quality healthcare to all 1.4 billion of its citizens by 2020 so it needs help creating an infrastructure capable of handling this task, the story said, citing an unnamed U.S. government official.”
“[Researchers are] notifying businesses and individuals that a major international cyber-crime operation previously believed to be shut down by law enforcement is once again actively operating and targeting French users. Invincea is releasing this advisory because the French campaign may portend the resurgence of a broader campaign that will likely target users in the US and other countries, as Dridex has done previously. Dridex is a widespread banking Trojan that rose to prominence after the Zeus takedown. The Dridex botnet is estimated to have caused more than $30 million in bank fraud losses in the UK and more than $10 million in the US, according to authorities.”
Legal and Regulations
On October 27, 2015, the U.S. Senate passed S.754 – Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (CISA) by a vote of 74 to 21. CISA is intended to facilitate and encourage the sharing of Internet traffic information between and among companies and the federal government to prevent cyberattacks, by giving companies legal immunity from antitrust and privacy lawsuits. CISA comes in the wake of numerous recent, high-profile cyberattacks.
“Mattel is releasing a talking version of Barbie this Christmas that can engage in two-way “conversation.” Hello Barbie is equipped with a microphone and Wi-Fi connection that’s engaged when you hold down a button on the doll’s belt (it does not “passively record” conversations – i.e., the microphone isn’t always on). When a child talks to Hello Barbie, the conversation is recorded and sent (encrypted) to a server where it’s interpreted by speech-recognition software, and the doll “talks back” to the child with pre-programmed responses.”
“MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab is developing a device that uses wireless signals to identify human figures through walls. Called RF-Capture, the technology “can trace a person’s hand as he writes in the air and even distinguish between 15 different people through a wall with nearly 90 percent accuracy,” MIT said in an announcement today. MIT said the technology could have at least a few real-world applications. It could work in virtual reality video games, “allowing you to interact with a game from different rooms or even trigger distinct actions based on which hand you move.” RF-Capture could also assist in motion capture for movie production without requiring actors to wear body sensors.”
“Because of recent updates to the encryption on Google and Apple software, newly updated Androids and iPhones no longer can be unlocked, even if law enforcement officers have a warrant. Apple, for example, says it no longer can unlock passcodes on devices with iOS 8 or iOS 9. That prevents law enforcement from accessing data stored exclusively on the phone or tablet, such as photos that weren’t synced to the cloud, call records and contact lists. Police chiefs and prosecutors have criticized Google’s and Apple’s decision to heighten phone encryption, saying it gives criminals the ability to hide evidence. Law enforcement officials say phones often are important resources in cases.”
“CIA Director John Brennan says the hack of his personal email account underscores that everyone is vulnerable to the compromise of personal information on the Internet. Brennan spoke about the matter for the first time at a George Washington University conference co-sponsored by the CIA. He said he was outraged by the publication of sensitive data, including his contact list and his wife’s Social Security number. The hacker has said he is a high school student protesting U.S. policy. He has said he fooled Verizon into providing him access to Brennan’s account.”
– CBS News