Not in front of the telly: Warning over ‘listening’ TV

From: BBC

Samsung is warning customers to avoid discussing personal information in front of their smart television set.

The warning applies to TV viewers who control their Samsung Smart TV using its voice activation feature.

Such TV sets ‘listen’ to every conversation held in front of them and may share any details they hear with Samsung or third parties, it said.

Privacy campaigners said the technology smacked of the telescreens, in George Orwell’s 1984, which spied on citizens.

Data sharing

The warning came to light via a story in online news magazine the Daily Beast which published an excerpt of a section of Samsung’s privacy policy for its net-connected Smart TV sets.


Obama Taps VMware IT Executive as Federal CIO

From: GovInfoSecurity

Tony Scott’s Past Jobs Included CIO at Microsoft, Walt Disney


President Obama has tapped veteran CIO Tony Scott as the new federal chief information officer, the top government IT official whose responsibilities include overseeing federal agencies’ compliance with FISMA, the federal law that governs federal government IT security.

Scott, formerly CIO at Microsoft and The Walt Disney Company, had been serving since 2013 as CIO at VMware, a provider of cloud and virtualization software and services. He also previously served as chief technology officer of information systems and services at General Motors.


Singapore to take ownership of communications system due to cybersecurity concerns

From: FutureGov

Move to secure data as government plans to use more technology.

By Medha Basu

Singapore government will work with the private sector to build the systems for its Smart Nation initiative, but will own the systems itself due to security concerns.

The Infocomm Development Authority is in a tender process for different components of a government-wide data sharing platform, with the latest being a telecommunications network to link sensors across the island.

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People identified through credit-card use alone

From: nature

Analysis suggests that making data anonymous is not enough to protect consumers.

Boer Deng

Figuring out what data can be used to identify someone has long befuddled those tasked with keeping information private. Sometimes, the data sets they use to obscure underlying identities fail to do so. A computer-science graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, once uncovered the medical history of then-Massachusetts governor William Weld from de-identified insurance records, for example1.

So it is not particularly shocking that Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye, a computer-security researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, and his colleagues managed to identify one individual from a sea of anonymized’ credit-card data.


What to Do About China’s New Cybersecurity Regulations?

From: Council on Foreign Relations

by Adam Segal


U.S. companies like Intel and Broadcom announced they would not adhere to the standard and would stop selling their wireless chips in the Chinese market. In March 2004, the Bush administration sent China a letter about WAPI, signed by Secretary of State Colin Powell, Commerce Secretary Don Evans, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick. Arguing that regulations compelling technology transfer were incompatible with China’s trade commitments, the letter implicitly threatened to pursue the case at the World Trade Organization. The Chinese government backed down, agreeing to revise the standard after input from foreign companies.


Critical Infrastructure Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks, Experts Warn

From: NBC Bay Area

“Project Aurora” proved that infrastructure can be physically destroyed through cyber attacks

By Tony Kovaleski, Liz Wagner and Mark Villarreal

Recent security breaches at Sony Pictures, Target and Home Depot have put a spotlight on the vulnerabilities of the nation’s cyber systems.

But an NBC Bay Area investigation reveals concerns from some of the country’s leading cyber security experts that threats have moved beyond movies, credit cards and bank accounts, to the ability to hack into computer systems that control vital infrastructure.

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