Pete recommends – weekly highlights on cyber security issues March 31, 2018

Subject: Bank of America pays $42 million fine in New York ‘masking’ probe
Source: Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) will pay a $42 million fine and admitted wrongdoing to settle claims by New York’s attorney general that it fraudulently routed clients’ stock trades to outside firms, including one run by swindler Bernard Madoff. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the settlement on Friday, and called the fine the largest collected by the state to resolve an electronic trading probe.  The bank also admitted to having told traders in its “dark pool,” a private venue where they expected protection from high-speed traders, that up to 30 percent of orders came from retail traders, when the percentage was closer to 5 percent.

Subject: How to find fake products online shopping on Amazon, eBay, Walmart
Source: Business Insider

  • A new report has found that five major online retailers — including Amazon, Walmart, and eBay — were selling fake products that can be harmful to your health.
  • Of the 47 products investigators bought, which ranged from Nike Air Jordan shoes to Urban Decay makeup, 20 were counterfeit.
  • Looking for a few red flags will help you protect yourself from purchasing a fake product.

Next time you’re about to purchase an item from your favorite online retailer, you might want to do a double take. A recent report from the Government Accountability Office revealed that products purchased from third-party sellers on five major e-commerce sites could be counterfeit — and harmful to your health.

[Editorial comment: wouldn’t it be great if the online shopping sites provided authenticated info about authorized sellers of name brand products? /pmw1]

Subject: Affiliate ad scammers say Facebook helped them trick users
Source: Columbia Journalism Review

And so, the same tools that allowed Cambridge Analytica and Russian trolls to target voters with customized propaganda by using psycho-graphic profiles based on Facebook data also give marketers the ability to push their ads to a vast network of gullible users for pennies per click. And even Facebook is a small part of the larger problem of an advertising industry based on what experts like sociologist Zeynep Tufekci have calledsurveillance capitalism.”

Subject: What You Need to Know About Your New Medicare Card
Source: Consumer Reports

To better protect the 60 million people enrolled in Medicare from identity theft, the government will be sending out new, more secure Medicare cards starting next month. Instead of identifying members by their Social Security number, the new cards will use a computer-generated series of 11 letters and numbers. The cards will also no longer include a person’s gender or signature. The use of Social Security numbers on Medicare cards has long been problematic. Whether through theft or fraud, if your number falls into the wrong hands, it can be used to access your bank accounts, steal your Social Security checks, or fraudulently get medical care or prescription drugs in your name. Ironically, the change has sparked a wave of scams targeting people using Medicare.

Subject: Even Without Cambridge Analytica, the Trump Campaign Already Had Everyone’s Data
Source: Catham House

Facebook staff were embedded in the Trump campaign, bringing the platform’s reams of data, which were freely given by its users. Revelations that Cambridge Analytica may have enabled the Trump campaign to access the data of more than 50 million people during the US presidential election have caused concern. But a narrow focus on Cambridge Analytica alone masks the risks to democracy arising from internet platforms’ standard terms, business models and what they know about each and every user.

Subject: Russian Accused of Hacking LinkedIn Extradited to US After 15-Month Detention in Prague
Source: Gizmodo

A Russian national accused of hacking LinkedIn, Dropbox, and Formspring, and possibly compromising the personal information of more than 100 million users, has been extradited to the United States, The New York Times reported on Friday. The arrest occurred just days before President Barack Obama formally accused the Russian government of hacking into the server of Democratic National Committee—the pilfered emails from which were later handed to WikiLeaks.

Subject: Schools Are Using AI to Check Students’ Social Media for Warning Signs of Violence
Source: Gizmodo

Margulis admits there are false positives, where someone is flagged when they don’t pose a risk, but critically, there can also be false negatives–students deemed unremarkable by the AI who go on to do violence. Experts are worried that unleashing this technology in schools will only replicate the imbalances we see when these tools are used in public policing. “This is an expansion of the schools’ ability to police what students are doing inside of school or on campus to their outside-of-school conduct,” says Kade Crockford, who directs the Technology for Liberty Program at the ACLU of Massachusetts. “In many cases across the country, schools have been using social media surveillance tools in ways that have harmed, specifically, students of color. So we certainly have concerns about technologies like this being used to expand what we call the school-to-prison pipeline.

Subject: 11 Tell-Tale Signs Your Accounts and Devices Have Been Hacked
Source: Gizmodo Field Guide

No one likes getting hacked, and it’s generally true that the quicker you can spot something has gone awry, the better your chances of minimizing the damage. These are the main warning signs to look out for, what they might mean, and some quick pointers about what you should do next.

Posted in: Big Data, Cybercrime, Cybersecurity, E-Commerce, Government Resources, Privacy, Social Media