Daily Archives: July 21, 2017

Government’s $15 Minimum Wage Advocates Aren’t Paying Their Interns 

Almost all of the lawmakers who co-sponsored a bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour also hired unpaid interns to supplement their staffs, a survey shows.A report from the Employment Policies Institute reveals that 174 of the bill’s 184 co-sponsors, or 95 percent, hire interns who are paid nothing.“It’s hypocritical to rally for a $15 minimum wage when these lawmakers don’t pay their own entry-level employees a cent,” said Michael Saltsman, managing director of the Employment Policies Institute.

Last month, the Congressional Progressive Caucus introduced the legislation to more than double the minimum wage, to counter what the lawmakers see as wage inequality amid a higher standard of living.

The Institute said it called the offices of House and Senate members and also checked congressional websites June 6 to 8 to determine intern compensation.

Source: Government’s $15 Minimum Wage Advocates Aren’t Paying Their Interns – Foundation for Economic Education – Working for a free and prosperous world

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Biometric data stolen from corporate lunch rooms system

A US payment kiosk vendor has been stung by malware scum.Avanti Markets helps employers monetise the lunch-room and get rid of counter-service, going beyond a simple vending machine to cover the whole sandwiches-fruit-drinks-junk-food with one payment system.Last week, as first spotted by Brian Krebs, the company posted this breach notice.The outfit explains it’s telling people their personal information, payment card data, and maybe biometric data, is at risk.The biometrics in question seem to be fingerprints, since that’s what the company pitches as a payment convenience and security feature.The breach – a malware infection on “some Avanti Markets” – meant the attackers got access to customer information on infected machines.

Source: Biometric data stolen from corporate lunch rooms system • The Register

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Who is the GovRAT Author and Mirai Botmaster ‘Bestbuy’? 

Security firm Tripwire published a writeup on that failed Mirai attack, noting that the domain names tied to servers used to coordinate the activities of the botnet were registered variously to a “Peter Parker” and “Spider man,” and to a street address in Israel (27 Hofit St). We’ll come back to Spider Man in a moment.According to multiple security firms, the Mirai botnet responsible for the Deutsche Telekom outage was controlled via servers at the Internet address 62.113.238.138. Farsight Security, a company that maps which domain names are tied to which Internet addresses over time, reports that this address has hosted just nine domains.The only one of those domains that is not related to Mirai is dyndn-web[dot]com, which according to a 2015 report from BlueCoat (now Symantec) was a domain tied to the use and sale of a keystroke logging remote access trojan (RAT) called “GovRAT.” The trojan is documented to have been used in numerous cyber espionage campaigns against governments, financial institutions, defense contractors and more than 100 corporations.Another report on GovRAT — this one from security firm InfoArmor — shows that the GovRAT malware was sold on Dark Web cybercrime forums by a hacker or hackers who went by the nicknames BestBuy and “Popopret” (some experts believe these were just two different identities managed by the same cybercriminal).The hacker “bestbuy” selling his GovRAT trojan on the dark web forum “Hell.” Image: InfoArmor.GovRAT has been for sale on various other malware and exploit-related sites since at least 2014. On oday[dot]today, for example, GovRAT was sold by a user who picked the nickname Spdr, and who used the email address spdr01@gmail.com.Recall that the domains used to control the Mirai botnet that hit Deutsche Telekom all had some form of Spider Man in the domain registration records. Also, recall that the controller used to manage the GovRAT trojan and that Mirai botnet were both at one time hosted on the same server with just a handful of other (Mirai-related) domains.According to a separate report (PDF) from InfoArmor, GovRAT also was sold alongside a service that allows anyone to digitally sign their malware using code-signing certificates stolen from legitimate companies. InfoArmor said the digital signature it found related to the service was issued to an open source developer Singh Aditya, using the email address parkajackets@gmail.com.Interestingly, both of these email addresses — parkajackets@gmail.com and spdr01@gmail.com — were connected to similarly-named user accounts at vDOS, for years the largest DDoS-for-hire service (that is, until KrebsOnSecurity last fall outed its proprietors as two 18-year-old Israeli men).Last summer vDOS got massively hacked, and a copy of its user and payments databases was shared with this author and with U.S. federal law enforcement agencies. The leaked database shows that both of those email addresses are tied to accounts on vDOS named “bestbuy” (bestbuy and bestbuy2).

Source: Who is the GovRAT Author and Mirai Botmaster ‘Bestbuy’? — Krebs on Security

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Career of the Future: Robot Psychologist

Artificial-intelligence engineers have a problem: They often don’t know what their creations are thinking.As artificial intelligence grows in complexity and prevalence, it also grows more powerful. AI already has factored into decisions about who goes to jail and who receives a loan. There are suggestions AI should determine who gets the best chance to live when a self-driving car faces an unavoidable crash.Defining AI is slippery and growing more so, as startups slather the buzzword over whatever they are doing. It is generally accepted as any attempt to ape human intelligence and abilities.One subset that has taken off is neural networks, systems that “learn” as humans do through training, turning experience into networks of simulated neurons. The result isn’t code, but an unreadable, tangled mass of millions—in some cases billions—of artificial neurons, which explains why those who create modern AIs can be befuddled as to how they solve tasks.

Source: Career of the Future: Robot Psychologist – WSJ

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Toyota opts for Linux based Infotainment System over Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

Not many must have heard about the existence of something called Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), a project hosted by Linux foundation to build a Linux based platform and framework for automotive applications. The project got kick-started back in 2012 and the founding members included marque automotive players such as Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, and Toyota, along with tech giants such as Fujitsu, HARMAN, NVIDIA, Renesas, Samsung and Texas Instruments (TI). Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) platform will debut in 2018 Toyota Camry.Toyota’s AGL Adoption In 2018 Toyota CamryAutomotive Grade Linux or AGL is a Linux based open source car infotainment platform that has been in the works for the last several years. As a Linux Foundation backed project, AGL now boasts broad based support from auto majors across the world. Along with the founding members like JLR and Toyota, car manufacturing giants like Daimler AG, Ford, Honda, Mitsubishi Motors, Subaru etc. are also paying members of the AGL project today.The 2018 Toyota Camry will be the first car to utilize AGL. According to Dan Cauchy of AGL, “Toyota is an early adopter of Linux and open-source and has been an active member and contributor to AGL for several years. They have been a driving force behind the development of the AGL infotainment platform, and we are excited to see the traction that it’s gaining across the industry.”

Source: Toyota opts for Linux based Infotainment System over Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

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