http://www.csoonline.com/article/2947377/network-security/privacy-talk-at-def-con-canceled-under-questionable-circumstances.html By Steve Ragan Salted Hash CSO July 12, 2015 Earlier this month, several news outlets reported on a powerful tool in the fight between those seeking anonymity online, versus those who push for surveillance and taking it away. The tool, ProxyHam, is the subject of a recently canceled talk at DEF CON 23 and its creator has been seemingly gagged from speaking about anything related to it. Something’s off, as this doesn’t seem like a typical cancellation. Privacy is important, and if recent events are anything to go by – such as the FBI pushing to limit encryption and force companies to include backdoors into consumer oriented products and services; or the recent Hacking Team incident that exposed the questionable and dangerous world of government surveillance; striking a balance between law enforcement and basic human freedoms is an uphill struggle. Over the last several years, reports from various watchdog organizations have made it clear that anonymity on the Internet is viewed as a bad thing by some governments, and starting to erode worldwide. […]
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/04/21/national/tepcos-frugality-rapped-after-48000-pcs-found-running-windows-xp/ The Japan Times April 21, 2015 Embattled Tokyo Electric Power Co. has been slammed by an independent auditing watchdog for skimping on its computer network, which still uses the Windows XP operating system. Facing multi-billion dollar cleanup and compensation bills from the March 2011 nuclear crisis, Tepco figured it could save a few yen by delaying an upgrade. But the independent watchdog — which usually on the lookout for wasteful spending — warned the nation’s biggest electric utility about its frugality, saying it must replace the outdated computer system because of security concerns. Tepco — effectively nationalized through a government bailout after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011 — was hoping to save ¥3.6 billion ($30 million) by continuing to run about 48,000 computers on Windows XP until 2018. Microsoft stopped providing security updates and technical support for Windows XP last year, aggravating concerns about cybersecurity. […]
Keep your lawn green this summer!
The following five steps will allow you to significantly improve your lawn while saving a tremendous amount of water use throughout the year. The following five steps only take about 30 minutes across the entire year in order to properly improve your specific situation. The simple fact is you do not need to kill off your lawn in order to save significant amounts of water and contribute to the efficiency of water use within California.
By implementing these steps I personally experienced more than 30% reduction in my water use while my neighbors stood in awe of how florescent green my lawn was. When I showed my water bill and the savings to my neighbors they were in complete disbelief because they believed they had to kill off their lawn by reducing their water use to all zero but quite in fact this is not necessary. With proper maintenance, a lawn and your entire yard needs only a fraction of a the water necessary to keep it green and beautiful when you are not properly caring for it.
Step 1. Follow the sun (and the weather).
Often, many of us pay attention to the weather in order to select the right clothing for the day. However many of us ignore the fact that our lawns also need you to adjust your care according to the weather and the amount of sun your lawn will receive. So it is important to note what the weather will be like and the temperature ranges that your lawn will be experiencing along with you during the day.
Step 2. Penetrate your soul (leverage an aerator).
This simple little tool can be used to significantly change the absorption rate of water for your lawn. Imagine that you don’t aerate your lawn, without aeration the water sits on the top layer of soil and if you have a hill or sloped lawn it rolls right off only permeating the very top quarter-inch layer of topsoil. The goal for water efficient lawn is to maintain deep penetration of water into the topsoil and the only way to perform this without overwatering is through aeration. Aeration also has other benefits such as delivering nutrients further into the soil towards the roots of your grass. This is the single most effective way to reduce water usage and it only takes five minutes with this tool found at Home Depot at the following URL: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Hound-Dog-Steel-Spike-Aerator-HDP37/202605484
Step 3. Renew your body (sprinkle some seed).
Re-seeding is an essential step to keeping a quality lawn. Over time and age lawn degrades and the blades of grass simply don’t have the same luster as they once had similar to humans and aging. So it is important to re-seed on a regular basis usually in the springtime. There are many types of seed and you should try and match the type of seed that you already have if at all possible so that you can maintain the look the you desire. For me a simple fescue mix from my local Walmart or Home Depot was sufficient to maintain my own grass in the look that I desired.
Step 4. Take some vitamins (fertilize!).
The next step after aeration is to ensure that your grass has quality nutrients delivered directly to its roots, just like our bodies need vitamins so to do grasses and other shrubs we plant our yards. A simple $10-$15 fertilizer sprinkled across your lawn is sufficient to provide nutrients for almost 6 months and significantly improve the health of your lawn and provide for a florescent green and healthy color. This step takes only minutes once every six months. Ideally you can spread fertilizer with the same handheld spreader you use for the seed.
Step 5. Adjust your clocks! (water at the right time of day).
The final step in this process is to adjust your watering habits or your watering system to accommodate our newly renovated lawn. An unhealthy lawn without these maintenance techniques requires 2 to 3 times as much water, leading guidance from common Internet sources to claim watering must be 8 to 10 minutes per day in order for the desired look. However I have found that For my environmental conditions in Northern California, quite honestly a healthfully maintained lawn only needs one third of the amount of water across to the majority of the year with only exceeding this amount in the highest temperature period of the summer months. The best watering times for grass are during the morning hours between 4 and 5 AM allowing sufficient soak time prior to the sun rising and evaporating the moisture. For my use I also run my water in the afternoon at around 5 PM, ideally you do not want a moist soil all night long to avoid bacteria and moss growth during the evening.
This is a photo of my lawn and my bill usage graph with an over 30% reduction (year over year) in my water use.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/03/05/us_watchdog_anthem_audits/ By Shaun Nichols The Register 5 Mar 2015 A year or so before American health insurer Anthem admitted it had been ruthlessly ransacked by hackers, a US federal watchdog had offered to audit the giant’s computer security – but was rebuffed. And, after miscreants looted Anthem’s servers and accessed up to 88.8 million private records, the watchdog again offered to audit the insurer’s systems, and was again turned away. “We do not know why Anthem refuses to cooperate,” government officials told The Register today. The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) told us it wanted to audit Anthem’s information security protections back in 2013, but was snubbed by the insurer. According to the agency, Anthem participates in the US Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, which requires regular audits from the OIG, audits that Anthem allegedly thwarted. Other health insurers submit to Uncle Sam’s audits “without incident,” we’re told. […]
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/01/13/asia-pacific/s-korea-nuclear-hack-ups-aging-reactor-risks/ Reuters Jan 13, 2015 SEOUL – The hacking of South Korea’s nuclear operator means the country’s second-oldest reactor may be shut permanently due to safety concerns, said several nuclear watchdog commissioners, raising the risk that other aging reactors may also be closed. “The operator failed to prevent it (the hack) and they don’t know how much data has been leaked. If the old reactor is still allowed to continue to run, it will just hike risks,” said Kim Hye-jung, one of nine commissioners who will this month review an application to restart the Wolsong No. 1 reactor. The future of Wolsong No. 1, shut in 2012 after reaching its 30-year life span, is seen as critical to the fate of other reactors, including the oldest, Kori No. 1, which had its life span extended by 10 years to 2017. Nuclear power accounts for about a third of South Korea’s electricity supply. More nuclear closures would boost fuel imports, which had soared since late 2012 after some reactor closures forced Asia’s fourth-largest economy to replace nuclear power with liquefied natural gas and thermal coal. […]
http://onlineathens.com/breaking-news/2014-12-30/georgia-tech-student-indicted-uga-website-hack By JOE JOHNSON Athens Banner-Herald December 31, 2014 A Clarke County grand jury recently indicted a Georgia Tech student for allegedly hacking into the University of Georgia’s computer network to post a message prior to the annual rivalry football game between the Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets. Ryan Gregory Pickren, 21, was charged with felony computer trespass for making the posting on UGA’s online calendar on Nov. 27, two days before the intrastate gridiron match-up. The illegal calendar entry, which was added below the legitimate entry for the game, read: “Sat., November 29, 2014/ 12:00 pm/ Get Ass Kicked by GT.” Tom Jackson, UGA’s vice president for public affairs, said the calendar hack was discovered shortly after it was posted on Thanksgiving and taken down about an hour after it appeared. […]
http://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/2014/10/22/automakers-working-prevent-vehicle-cyber-terrorism/17710785/ By Michael Wayland The Detroit News October 22, 2014 Right now is the time for automakers and federal regulators to address potential “acts of terrorism” using connected vehicles, according to former administrator of the government’s vehicle safety watchdog. David Strickland, ex-head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said the industry needs to be proactive rather than reactive regarding cybersecurity issues as more cars and trucks become connected with the Internet, one another and additional third parties. “It is, right now, the industry’s time to get together and figure out countermeasures, before you do have a much more mature threat,” said Strickland, now a partner in consulting and lobbying firm Venable LLP, during the 2014 SAE Convergence conference in Detroit. Strickland’s comments come nearly four months after the industry’s largest trade groups, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers, informed NHTSA that they planned to launch a cybersecurity initiative designed for companies to voluntarily share cybersecurity best practices in an effort to help protect drivers and their personal information. […]
http://www.csoonline.com/article/2685234/data-protection/fixing-healthcare-gov-security.html By Antone Gonsalves CSO Sep 17, 2014 While the security weaknesses found in HealthCare.gov by a U.S. government watchdog need to be addressed, they are not unusual for sites as complex as the federal insurance exchange, experts say. In a report released Tuesday, the Government Accountability Office found problems in the “technical controls protecting the confidentiality, integrity and availability” of the federally facilitated marketplace (FFM), which is the area of the site to buy health insurance. Specifically, the GAO faulted the site’s operator for failing to require and enforce strong passwords, to adequately restrict access to the Internet by systems supporting the FFM, to consistently implement software patches, and to properly configure the administrative network for the FFM. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is responsible for HealthCare.gov. […]