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Friday Cyber News, August 7 2015

Cyber technology-related news and links from around the web, for the week of 8/1 - 8/7:

 
1. This week, the Defcon and Black Hat conferences are happening in Las Vegas: hackers have shown they can take control of your Bluetooth-enabled skateboard (and other Bluetooth devices); a presentation advocates pen-testing a city, noting that traffic lights, surveillance cameras, and building control systems can have security vulnerabilities (does the Burj Khalifa really run on Windows XP?); and our colleague Jennifer Granick delivered the keynote at Black Hat, noting that the dream of a free and open Internet is dying. [Wired; Daily Dot; ZDNet]
 
2. Russian hackers are phishing the Pentagon, targeting the Joint Chiefs of Staff email accounts and others in the DoD. [Daily Beast]
 
3. The Terracotta VPN network takes over unsecured Windows machines for use as VPN nodes and, for $3 a month, allows hacking groups including Deep Panda to use them. Traffic from the hijacked VPNs appears as legitimate commercial traffic, making attacks harder to block. [RSA blog]
 
4. Focusing on the Border Gateway Protocol is the next step in tightening up all the security holes that online traffic can fall through. The protocol helps traffic find the best path through a series of routers. [CSM Passcode]
 
5. In Europe, you can ask Google to stop indexing pages that reference you--the "right to be forgotten" online--and the majority of requests they've received have not been from celebrities. As the practice gains momentum, what will happen to Wikipedia, or news about yourself that you don't like, if it spreads beyond Europe? Do you expect a search algorithm to provide you the truth? [NYTimes, h/t George; Quartz]
 
6. Digital media are changing the way teens start and build friendships, a recent Pew study finds. Boys are more likely to use online gaming to keep in touch with friends, while girls are more likely to use text messages. [Pew Internet]
 
7. A project to bring high-speed broadband access to rural communities spent $3 billion in government funding, and has little to show for it. [Politico]
 
8. Spam now comprises 49.7% of all emails sent--and that's an all-time low, likely falling due to better spam filtering by Gmail and others. [Quartz]
 

9. The comprehensive and newly updated Internet Law casebook provides all the background you need to discuss legal aspects of consumer privacy, internet access, cryptography, and virtual property. For example, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that obtaining cell tower data requires a warrant--how does this apply retroactively to cell phone surveillance? [Semaphore Press; Amlaw]

10. How secure is an iPhone, really? And if it's not as secure as we'd like, is it Apple's fault? [Lawfare; TechCrunch]
 
 

 

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