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Friday Cyber News, March 25 2016

Cyber technology-related news and links from around the web, for the week of 3/19 - 3/25:

1. The FBI put its court case against Apple on hold to test a classified approach to breaking into the San Bernardino iPhone provided by an anonymous third-party. Rumors abound; the third-party may be Israeli firm Cellebrite, and the method may involve cloning the phone's memory and repeatedly re-writing the part of it that stores records of incorrect attempts. Underscoring the point that breaking Apple's security isn't impossible, Johns Hopkins researchers identified a bug--now fixed--in iMessage encryption. [The Guardian; Washington Post]

2. Uber for X doesn't work as well when the "X" isn't taxis--partially because taxi prices were artificially inflated before Uber moved in, many on-demand businesses are closing down or struggling to remain profitable in lower-margin industries. [NYTimes]

3. Seven Iranian hackers were indicted this week for attacks on US banking websites and a NY dam. Although the hackers are not accused of having worked directly for the Iranian government, one purportedly received credit for his hacking work to offset Iran's mandatory military service requirements. Israel, which also has mandatory military service that can be accomplished through cyber defense work, has taken an entirely friendlier approach, with training scenarios based on Harry Potter. [Daily Beast; Bloomberg]

4. Angolans receive free access to Wikipedia and Facebook--but not the rest of the internet--through a zero-rating scheme that has drawn criticism in India and elsewhere. They're also using it to share pirated movies and music, an unexpected workaround that leaves Wikipedia editors as the watchdogs for links to copyrighted material. [Vice]

5. France fined Google for not removing search results (that were part of "Right to be Forgotten" cases) from queries made from outside of France. Google argues that France's law does not apply to its provision of services to foreign searchers. [EnGadget]

6. A miniature quantum random number generator--the size of a Starburst--being developed at Los Alamos National Lab could improve cybersecurity by generating better encryption keys. [TechCrunch]

7. Stanford sociologist Michael Rosenfeld explores the world of online dating, also the subject of this week's Raw Data podcast episode: more data has revealed our implicit romantic preferences, but is dating online bridging differences or exacerbating income inequality? [Washington Post; Cyber Initiative blog]

8. FTC commissioner Julie Brill was the target of a phishing scam, and explains how people can fall for them, as well as steps to take to secure potentially compromised accounts. [Washington Post]

9. Verizon Enterprise Solutions, which helps companies manage and respond to data breaches, was itself breached, and information on 1.5 million customers was offered for sale. [Krebs]

10. Microsoft built an AI that would interact and learn from Twitter users, but they underestimated the internet's twisted sense of humor and had to pull it after it became a Holocaust denier in less then a day. [Telegraph]


Stanford Cyber Initiative

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