morningbuzz

MyHeritage Security, Historical Iraq, New Jersey Research, More: Wednesday Buzz, June 6, 2018

Motherboard: Hacked: 92 Million Account Details for DNA Testing Service MyHeritage. “When you sign up to a website handling sensitive information, perhaps a medical service or social network, one of the basic things you’re probably hoping for is that the site can keep control of its users’ data. Unfortunately for customers of MyHeritage, a genealogy and DNA testing service, a researcher uncovered 92 million account details related to the company sitting on a server, according to an announcement from MyHeritage.”

NEW RESOURCES

The Keyword: Babylon and its treasures: preserving an ancient city. “Today, World Monuments Fund has joined forces with Google Arts & Culture to bring you Preserving Iraq’s Heritage, an online exhibit showcasing the unique stories of Iraq’s endangered heritage sites and the extraordinary efforts to preserve them. WMF has collected information about the sites, using never-before-seen 3D models, drone footage, interviews, and other media, and now, with today’s exhibit launch, anyone, anywhere, can experience these remarkable places, including sites previously known to only a few.”

ROI: State unveils Research with NJ database, to help STEM industries, N.J. universities collaborate better. “New Jersey unveiled Research with NJ, a database aimed at boosting collaborations and relationships in STEM fields at five universities, Tuesday at the annual Biotechnology Innovation Organization conference. It will include information from New Jersey Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Rowan University, Rutgers University and Stevens Institute of Technology. The site has 3,500 faculty profiles, 180,000 published works and more than 23,000 media citations. It is the result of a five-year, 5,000-profile contract that cost the state $1.5 million to implement.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

New York Times: Facebook Gave Data Access to Chinese Firm Flagged by U.S. Intelligence. “Facebook has data-sharing partnerships with at least four Chinese electronics companies, including a manufacturing giant that has a close relationship with China’s government, the social media company said on Tuesday. The agreements, which date to at least 2010, gave private access to some user data to Huawei, a telecommunications equipment company that has been flagged by American intelligence officials as a national security threat, as well as to Lenovo, Oppo and TCL.”

Engadget: Instagram will reportedly allow users to upload hour-long videos. “The only way you can share videos longer than a minute on Instagram is if you’re live streaming, but that could change in the future. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Facebook-owned social network is already preparing to launch the ability to upload videos up to an hour in length. In addition, Instagram reportedly held discussions with content creators and publishers over the past weeks about the possibility of producing long-form videos for the platform.”

USEFUL STUFF

Bleacher Report: Burner Accounts 101: Experts Tell How to Keep Your Fake Twitter Account Hidden. “Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo isn’t the first public figure to allegedly get caught slipping on social media, and he won’t be the last—though the output from the five burner Twitter accounts described in a report by The Ringer was much more damning than most online snafus. There are numerous stories about athletes’ attempted seductions via DM (beware the screenshot). And there was the time Warriors coach Steve Kerr tweeted a criticism of the NBA seemingly intended for a direct message.” As the article notes, burner accounts aren’t a terrific idea. But if you HAVE to create one…

Make Tech Easier: The Biggest Changes Apple Announced at the 2018 WWDC. “It was hard not to notice that at the keynote for Apple’s 2018 WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference), there was no new hardware released – not one single Mac, mobile device, or even accessory. It was all about the software and the apps. But the software and apps are being improved around the block. There doesn’t seem to be much untouched. iOS, macOS, Siri, watchOS, and tvOS are all getting improvements, and there are many new additions as well.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

VOA Khmer: Cambodia Forms Task Force to Monitor ‘Fake News’ on Social Media. “Cambodia has created a task force to monitor the spread of ‘fake news’ on social media platforms and through private text messaging. In a ministerial order signed on May 28, three ministries agreed to work with telecoms firms ‘to prevent the spread of information that can cause social chaos and threaten national security’.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

BBC News: The Twitter crime mystery that gripped Spain. “‘Police! I have just resolved a crime via Twitter! You need to deal with it immediately,’ wrote a Spanish social media user going by the name of Mr Brightside on Saturday afternoon. He then proceeded to unpick what appeared to be a murder case, in great detail over 100 tweets. With limited followers, he had not been expecting much reaction. He says he is still overwhelmed by what happened next.”

The Register: Loose .zips sink chips: How poisoned archives can hack your computer . “Booby-trapped archive files can exploit vulnerabilities in a swath of software to overwrite documents and data elsewhere on a computer’s file system – and potentially execute malicious code. Specifically, the flaws, dubbed ‘Zip Slip’ by its discoverers at security outfit Snyk, is a path traversal flaw that can potentially be exploited to perform arbitrary code execution attacks. It affects certain tools that handle .zip, .tar, .war, .cpio, and .7z formats.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

TechCrunch:
Forget DeepFakes, Deep Video Portraits are way better (and worse)
. “The strange, creepy world of ‘deepfakes,’ videos (often explicit) with the faces of the subjects replaced by those of celebrities, set off alarm bells just about everywhere early this year. And in case you thought that sort of thing had gone away because people found it unethical or unconvincing, the practice is back with the highly convincing “Deep Video Portraits,” which refines and improves the technique.”

Digit IN: Google creates AI-powered terrarium that mimics weather conditions in closed ecosystem. “Google has been bullish when it comes to incorporating Artificial Intelligence (AI) in various experiments. This time its has created an AI-powered terrarium that tells the live weather of any part on the earth by mimicking the conditions of that place. Listed on GitHub, the experiment is called Project Oasis and is a voice controlled terrarium that recreates outside weather inside a box. You can talk to it through Google Assistant to ask about the weather or ask it to create certain conditions.” Good morning, Internet…

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