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Forgotten audio formats: The flexi disc

The cheap, lightweight "Soundsheet" once graced magazine covers in its millions.

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New report: NASA spends 72 cents of every SLS dollar on...

Report suggests NASA should become a customer, just like the US Air Force.

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TurboTax coaches you every step of the way and double checks your return as you go to handle even the toughest tax situations, so you can be confident you’re getting every dollar you deserve.
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How zombie cameras took down Netflix… and an entire country’s internet

Here's how the Internet of Things botnet went from being Minecraft server nuisances to a billion dollar threat that disabled a country's internet infrastructure

FCC lets “billion-dollar” ISPs hide fees and data caps, Democrat says

Even small ISPs owned by conglomerates exempt from billing rules after FCC vote.

Ford’s billion-dollar self-driving car AI deal

“There's a war for talent out there,” according to CEO Mark Fields.

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Samsung chief avoids arrest in South Korean corruption scandal

Enlarge / Lee Jae-Yong, vice chairman of Samsung, leaves after attending a court hearing at the Seoul Central District Court.Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images reader comments 13 Share this story On Thursday, South Korean judges denied a request by prosecutors to arrest Lee Jae-yong, the vice chairman of Samsung Group and acting head of the company, over accusations of bribery, embezzlement, and perjury. Lee was accused of giving multimillion-dollar bribes to Choi Soon-sil, a friend of the South Korean President, in exchange for the approval of a 2015 merger between two Samsung Group affiliates, Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T. The judge said in a statement that the arrest of Lee was not necessary, saying "it is difficult to acknowledge the necessity and substantiality of an arrest at the current stage." Lee isn't out of the woods though, and could still face another arrest warrant as the prosecutors gather more evidence. In a statement to Reuters, a Samsung spokesperson said "We appreciate the fact that the merits of this case can now be determined without the need for detention." The accusations against Lee are part of an ongoing corruption scandal that has reached the highest levels of the South Korean government.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye has already been impeached, and she is expected to become South Korea's first elected leader to be forced from office early.

Two other Samsung executives are also under investigation. Lee's accusations are the latest in a long line of scandals surrounding Samsung. Lee Kun-hee, Lee Jae-yong's father and the semi-retired chairman of Samsung Group, was convicted of bribery in 1996 and of tax evasion and breach of trust in 2009.
In 2008 he left the company after a slush-fund scandal, only to return two years later.

Despite the convictions, Lee Jae-yong has never been arrested or served jail time. Samsung makes up 23 percent of South Korea's GDP, which apparently leaves courts hesitant to prosecute Samsung executives for fear of hurting the economy. In a statement to reporters, the main opposition Democratic party accused the court of being too lenient to Samsung, saying “The president was impeached and Choi Soon-sil was arrested ... but Samsung is still fine."

‘Beeeellion-dollar’ mastercrooks in hotel, restaurant blitzkrieg

Carbanak: It's not just a caramel-flavoured choc-trocity.
It's also malware The Carbanak cyber criminal gang is abusing Google’s infrastructure as a conduit for botnet control. The gang became notorious when it was blamed for the theft of one billion dollars from more than 100 banks across 30 countries back in 2015.

Fast-forward two years and Carbanak is now infecting users via a script that will send and receive commands to and from Google Apps and Google Forms services. Hackers behind the campaign are procuring legitimate digital certificates via Russian shell corporations in order to mount the ongoing assault, the sophistication of which is above and beyond this commonly encountered in cybercrime campaigns and up closer to the tradecraft employed of nation-state spies. Forcepoint Security Labs reckons it is likely that it is using Google services because they are allowed by default at many organisations, making it easier for hackers to exfiltrate data and send instructions. The latest run of attacks features booby-trapped RTF documents containing an encoded Visual Basic Script (VBScript) typical of previous Carbanak malware, as explained in greater depth in a blog post by Forcepoint here. Trustwave adds that Carbanak’s latest campaign is aimed at the hospitality industry. One (unnamed) restaurant chain with over 1,500 locations, as well as an (also unnamed) luxury hotel chain have already been affected. Firms in e-commerce and retail are also potentially at risk from the latest attacks, it adds.

Trustwave published a 45-page report on he group’s latest antics and summary blog post on Wednesday. The latest run of attacks follow reports back in August that the Carbanak gang was targeting payment terminal makers, assaults that are increasingly starting to look like phase one of an ambitious series of cyber-heists. ® Sponsored: Next gen cybersecurity.
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Threat Attribution: Misunderstood & Abused

Despite its many pitfalls, threat attribution remains an important part of any incident response plan. Here's why. Threat attribution is the process of identifying actors behind an attack, their sponsors, and their motivations.
It typically involves forensic analysis to find evidence, also known as indicators of compromise (IOCs), and derive intelligence from them. Obviously, a lack of evidence or too little of it will make attribution much more difficult, even speculative.

But the opposite is just as true, and one should not assume that an abundance of IOCs will translate into an easy path to attribution. Let’s take a simple fictional example to illustrate: François is the chief information security officer (CISO) at a large US electric company that has just suffered a breach.

François’ IT department has found a malicious rootkit on a server which, after careful examination, shows that it was compiled on a system that supported pinyin characters. In addition, the intrusion detection system (IDS) logs show that the attacker may have been using an IP address located in China to exfiltrate data.

The egress communications show connections to a server in Hong Kong that took place over a weekend with several archives containing blueprints for a new billion-dollar project getting leaked. The logical conclusion might be that François’ company was compromised by Chinese hackers stealing industrial secrets.

After all, strong evidence points in that direction and the motives make perfect sense, given many documented precedents. This is one of the issues with attribution in that evidence can be crafted in such a way that it points to a likely attacker, in order to hide the real perpetrator’s identity.

To continue with our example, the attacker was in fact another US company and direct competitor.

The rootkit was bought on an underground forum and the server used to exfiltrate data was vulnerable to a SQL injection, and had been taken over by the actual threat actor as a relay point. Another common problem leading to erroneous attribution is when the wrong IOCs have been collected or when they come with little context. How can leaders make a sound decision with flawed or limited information? Failing to properly attribute a threat to the right adversary can have moderate to more serious consequences.

Chasing down the wrong perpetrator can result in wasted resources, not to mention being blinded to the more pressing danger. But threat attribution is also a geopolitical tool where flawed IOCs can come in handy to make assumptions and have an acceptable motive to apply economic sanctions.

Alternatively, it can also be convenient to refute strong IOCs and a clear threat actor under the pretext that attribution is a useless exercise. Despite its numerous pitfalls, threat attribution remains an important part of any incident response plan.

The famous “know your enemy” quote from the ancient Chinese general Sun Tzu, is often cited when it comes to computer security to illustrate that defending against the unknown can be challenging.
IOCs can help us bridge that gap by telling us if attackers are simply opportunistic or are the ones you did not expect. More Insights

‘Dubai Effect’ Takes AspectCTRM Over Middle East Sales Target Line

Press Release The city of Dubai is the backdrop against which commodity trade and risk management (CTRM) vendor Aspect won four landmark new contracts in 2016 for its market information portal and trade and risk management cloud solution - deals which on their own exceeded the company’s multi-million dollar sales target for the entire Middle East. In part the wins highlight how enlightened UAE government policy is continuing to boost Dubai as an entrepreneurial hot house in which new sectors such as trading can flourish.

They also highlight how the global shift to the cloud-based CTRM delivery model pioneered by Aspect is continuing to accelerate, with legacy vendors increasingly failing to win license renewals, and losing out to the cloud on new contracts. Aspect’s wins in Dubai featured two trading houses moving away from existing legacy software suppliers and two newer trading operations adopting CTRM for the first time.

All four Aspect solutions are fully operational, the latest of them proposed, awarded, and delivered in just eight weeks to meet a go-live deadline before the start of Ramadan. “These contracts further prove that AspectCTRM is the best fit with the needs of today’s trading houses, but they also highlight how Dubai is growing in importance as a center of oil trading activity,” said Aspect CEO Steve Hughes. “We are responding by building a dedicated local team of pre and post-sales experts to ensure that we can react even more quickly as Dubai continues its remarkable growth story.” Aspect’s four new customer wins in Dubai – Ferrocadia, Gulf Petrochem, Qaiwan Group, and MENA Energy – head a pipeline of further deals expected to close in the coming quarters. Of the recent four, MENA Energy, is a fully integrated business with its own refining, storage, shipping and financing operations.

After a competitive evaluation MENA Energy decided that AspectDSC and CTRM provided the superior combination of functionality and cost, better able to support its goal of growth through working smarter and more productively. About AspectAspect is a leading global provider of multi-commodity trade, risk and operations management applications delivered Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) in the cloud. With almost 500 customers in 90 countries, it’s one of the fastest growing providers with rapid deployment, affordable subscriptions, and immediate ROI for all size companies.
Solutions include AspectCTRM®, a full-featured commodity trading and risk management enterprise suite for front, middle and back office.
It’s available in three editions: Lite, Standard and Enterprise, expanding in functionality according to the needs and budgets of clients.

Aspect is the only ETRM/CTRM solutions provider with market data and analytics tools delivered with its trade and risk functions on the same platform.

This provides users with a seamless packaged solution beginning with pre-trade pricing analysis and market assessments via AspectDSC.

Aspect’s solutions are available on desktop, tablets and mobile devices and through its Aspect Partner Program (APP). Media ContactBrigette GebhardAspect+1 347-328-0396bgebhard@aspectenterprise.com