October 03, 2016

Body-based transmission system keeps passwords secure

The system works by making use of the low-frequency signals generated by a smartphone's fingerprint sensor that locate the finger's position in space and read the grooves in a user's fingerprint using capacitive coupling. Registering between 2 and 10 MHz, these signals aren't strong enough to travel through the air, but do travel through the human body well. Usually read by the sensors as input, the UW team's technique turns these signals into output containing the authentication data, which is then transmitted through the body and picked up by a receiver, such as the electronic door handle. "Fingerprint sensors have so far been used as an input device," says senior author Shyam Gollakota. "What is cool is that we've shown for the first time that fingerprint sensors can be re-purposed to send out information that is confined to the body."

Evaluating customer engagement cloud solutions: Key questions to ask

It’s important to note that it’s not enough to move monolithic applications to public cloud infrastructures. To truly deliver on the promise of the cloud, applications must be developed from scratch (or re-written) to take full advantage of advanced infrastructure and platform-as-a-service capabilities—similar to writing a brand new operating system with unique characteristics. Thus, be careful not to get stuck with the old stuff in the new world. You’ll be left with more of the same. Whether you’re experiencing exponential growth like a hot new startup or are a more traditional business going digital, make sure you select a cloud customer engagement and business communications solution designed for the future.

Rise of the SPI: Atlassian spin or a better variation of the API?

SPI originated when Atlassian was a young company and had only a single product, JIRA. As a young company wanting to scale, the company released its source code for others to hack on and build their own features. Over time, some of these developments were included back up the chain and made part of the core product. Initially, this was achieved through the use of Java applets. Developers coded against a Java API that would modify the core application code without forking the source code. Over time, this approach was adopted into Atlassian’s other products, and, almost randomly, a partner ecosystem grew around it. From this ecosystem, the company then built the Atlasssian marketplace, which allowed third-party software vendors to build and market products.

The Biggest Risks of Big Data

Any project can fail for any number of reasons - bad management, under-budgeting or a lack of relevant skills. However Big Data projects, due to their nature, bring their own specific risks. Due to the advanced technology often needed, and the relative newness of the skillsets required to truly “think Big” (or as I prefer to say, “think Smart”) with data, care must be taken at every step to ensure you don’t stumble into pitfalls which could lead to wasted time and money, or even legal hot water! Business people are used to taking risks – assessing those risks and safeguarding against them comes naturally, or we don’t stay in business for long! So there’s no need to be scared of Big Data. But of course we always need to be aware of dangers that could potentially arise if we fail to cover all of the bases.

Consortium Forms Framework for Industrial Cybersecurity

"The Security Framework looks at IIoT security from three different perspectives," Hamed Soroush, the IIC's security working group chair, told EE Times in an interview. "Chip makers, equipment developers, and end users all have an important role in security for the IIoT, but often work without knowing one another's perspectives. The Framework will help them talk to each other." It also provides guidance to management on risk management when considering security, he added. Part of the motivation for creating the Framework is the difference between industrial IoT and consumer IoT security needs, Soroush noted, which calls for a discussion focused on industrial IoT system needs. Security in the industrial IoT should be more robust than for consumer IoT, for instance, to reduce the risks to critical infrastructure such as power generation.

How Microsoft Cortana will run your entire office by 2020

Cortana will take over for Tell Me someday. You’ll talk to the bot and tell her you want to create a presentation for the shareholder meeting or a brochure for your startup. Like MyAnalytics, she’ll know you have been working in Excel the past few days and offer to create some of the slides with your financial data. You’ll dictate the bullet points. She’ll know to use a color scheme that matches your company logo.  She’ll even know how to correct your wording, a capability that is already in Microsoft Word called the Editor. Cortana will know if you are talking in passive voice and correct your wording on the fly. She’ll fact check what you say, and offer to use stronger verbs.

Killer Keyboard Shortcuts To Help You Master Windows

Despite notable advancements in speech-recognition technology and voice input, and the popularity of tablets, the humble PC continues to be the workhorse device of choice for many workers around the world. And whether you're an office-bound professional slouched behind a desktop PC, or a globetrotting executives armed with the latest ultrabook, the "physical" hardware keyboard continues to play a crucial role in productivity. The last thing you want in the heat of the moment is to fumble around for a mouse or have to take multiple steps to complete a task that could be done with a quick keyboard shortcut. Of course, learning and remembering such shortcuts can be hard work, and you'll need to take some time to find the appropriate shortcuts for you.

What makes IoT ransomware a different and more dangerous threat?

“While traditional ransomware affects your computer and locks your files, IoT ransomware has the opportunity to control systems in the real world, beyond just the computer,” says Neil Cawse, CEO at Geotab, a manufacturer of IoT and telematics for vehicles. “In fact, due to the many practical applications of IoT technology, its ransomware can shut down vehicles, turn off power, or even stop production lines. This potential to cause far more damage means that the potential for hackers can charge much more, ultimately making it an appealing market for them to explore.” Some argue that in most cases, IoT hacks can be reversed with a simple device reset. However, the incentive to pay for IoT ransomware will not stem from irreversibility but rather from the timeliness of the attack and the criticality and potential losses of losing access to critical devices for any amount of time.

Largest DDoS attack ever delivered by botnet of hijacked IoT devices

Some of the attacking machines are running clients known to run on cameras, he says. “It’s possible they are faking it or it’s possible it’s a camera that was doing these attacks,” he says. “There are indicators that there are IoT devices here, at scale” The attack didn’t use reflection or amplification, so all the traffic consisted of legitimate http requests to overwhelm Krebs’s site, Ellis says. “It’s not junk traffic.” A lot of things about the attack are still unknown such as who’s behind it and what method the botmasters used to infect the individual bots. Ellis says some other providers Akamai had contacted report similar but smaller attacks likely from the same botnet. Many of them were aimed toward gaming sites, and Krebs has written about such attacks, so there may be a connection there, he says.

Conduct an honest IT performance evaluation in problem areas

A good first step for IT performance measurement is to at least somewhat follow either a DevOps methodology or ITIL; both have their merits and each team or business needs to decide what fits them best. Some measures to improve IT will line up with DevOps and others won't, but are best practices that solve these issues. When reviewing a failure, consider whether the fault occurred in the project, due to a change, or in the IT operation. Each need to be treated a bit differently, but will also have overlaps with how it is assessed and remediated during the IT performance evaluation.

Quote for the day:

"Opportunities don't happen. You create them." -- Chris Grosser