Friday, February 7, 2014

Laughed and laughed, in the future

In 2056 a nice hologram will wake you up with a sweet voice to tell you what time it is, remind you schedule for the day and inform you of the temperature outside. Of course, the water in the morning shower will come at the right temperature and your home will be so intelligent that it will always look clean and tidy. Everything will be perfect...

…unless you forget the password that allows you to get out. With such an unlikely premise in the future, but so usual today (no passwords, you're nobody), it was released a short film starring one of Spain's most popular comic actors, Paco León. In fact, the video, almost 13 minutes long, is full of comic gags, like the constant parody to customer service system's protocols. In Spanish with English subtitles, is not a bad beginning to validate that Japanese proverb that states that "the human kind has one really effective weapon: laughter."

Those who are literally laughing a lot are two Spanish researchers, Javier Vazquez and Alberto Garcia-Vidal Illera, who plan to present at Black Hat Asia a device smaller than an iPhone, with a manufacture costs of 20 dollars, with which you can hack a "smart" car. In the video that they've made they gathered some of their wits to test the patience of Forbes reporter Andy Greenberg who played as the driver: speedometer giving crazy data, steering wheel moving by itself, brakes acting randomly... a whole adventure.

Others who laugh so much are the "bad boys" who manage to get your bank details. The Bank of England has published the report of results of Operation Waking Shark II. This is a great simulation of cyber attack in which 12 banks, British regulators and government agencies participated. It was held on November 12 to check the resilience of the financial sector's defenses in the UK. From the links below you will access the full document in PDF format.

Speaking of laughter, specialist Robert Graham uncovered a story that was completely 'fabricated' by NBC's journalists. They had warned of the cyber risks in the Winter Olympics in Sochi. The news item explained how an Android smartphone was a security loophole, but apparently the test was made at an Internet cafe in Moscow, and they deliberately accessed to infected pages and downloaded rogue software. "That way, anyone can sell a headline" is what Graham means in his post on Errata Security. In any case, this story is a good hook to remember that there is a very comprehensive database of reverse engineering and malware for Android on Google's code forum, which is in Open Source format, with references to all threats detected.

Finally. Where else besides here we usually share all these links? On Twitter, right? Well, we say goodbye to the workweek with another PDF, by Carnegie Mellon University: An interesting report on the growth and dynamics of followers market on Twitter, which describes in detail the illegitimate use of these applications to generate "influence" and the number of victims of these fake engagement "operations".

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