Skip to content Skip to navigation

Friday Cyber News, July 1 2016

Cyber technology-related news and links from around the web, for the week of 6/25 - 7/1:

1. China is close to approving a law that data collected about Chinese citizens must be stored in China, and that government surveillance must be accepted by companies providing cyber offerings in China. China is also moving to majority control of Bitcoin, thanks to utility subsidies that draw miners, and a populace eager for investment opportunities not limited by the government. In the US, a Florida judge will rule today whether selling Bitcoin is selling money. [The Hill; NYTimes; American Banker]

2. A talk from the recent SASE conference questions why programmers assume that software can solve difficult problems like equitable housing and food distribution, and where the steady increase of technology-enabled surveillance is leading us: safety with a camera on every corner, or Stasi dossiers on every citizen? [Idle Words]

3. A former NSA employee who defected to industry talks with an Intercept reporter about the NSA's "sysadmin hunting" tactics and how it reroutes network traffic. If you're less impressed with the abilities of this ex-NSA hacker, you may agree that those careless enough to get hacked should be punished. Are we helpless when confronted by crafty, genius hackers, or are we liable for the simple mistakes that open our networks up to cyber crime? [Intercept; Atlantic]

4. Uber is going to start tracking drivers' braking, speeding, texting while driving, and fast turns. Safety has been in the news after the first death attributed to a car in self-driving mode: a Tesla owner was cut off by a big rig that the car's algorithm failed to detect, causing a fatal crash. The NHTSA will be investigating Tesla's algorithm. [WSJ; SFist; Detroit News; h/t Herb]

5. A Stanford student developed a chatbot to help you fight parking fines, legally: the "AI lawyer" steps through a dialogue to determine the circumstances of your ticket, and has overturned 160,000 tickets in London and New York. [Guardian] 

6. Legislation pending in Congress would require the Department of Homeland Security to collect information about the social media accounts of foreign visitors, in an effort to combat terrorism. Or just to conduct privacy-violating searches of the messages of visitors who don't qualify for the visa waiver program, as it's not clear why a terrorist would willingly disclose the password to an account where he or she knows incriminating statements have been made. [NY Times]

7. A data breach at Mass General exposed dental records from 4,300 patients, while 9 million US patient healthcare records were listed for sale on the dark web this week. With more than 100M records exposed in 2015, healthcare information is becoming as freely available as payment card information. [Boston Globe; Fedscoop]

8. Researchers at the University of Toronto identified messages being censored on China's popular WeChat messaging system, including those warning that human jobs will be replaced by robots and AI. [NY Times]

9. Air-gapped computers can still leak encryption keys and other information after being infected with malware that affects the speed of their cooling fans. [Wired]

10. Fingerprint-spoofing pads provide artificial, reusable or disposable fingerprints that work on iPhone fingerprint scanners and other devices that enroll fingerprints for authentication. "You can only change your fingerprint-based password nine times" problem solved? [CS Monitor] 

Thanks for reading,

Allison
Stanford Cyber Initiative

(To suggest an item for this list, please email aberke@stanford.edu. This email contains links that may not work if HTML is not supported in your mailbox. You can view news from past weeks, subscribe, and unsubscribe at https://tinyletter.com/CyberNewsBytes)