#423 July 27th, 2015 – Microsoft Takes on Revenge Porn

This week’s headline story: Microsoft Takes Aim at “Revenge Porn”

rpInstances of “revenge porn” are on the rise, and the impact can devastate a victim’s life. Revenge porn refers to when someone, often a spurned ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, posts intimate photos of another person online without that person’s consent. Internet companies including Google and Reddit have tried to combat revenge porn by providing avenues for users to report it. Now Microsoft is stepping up. The company says that, when it is notified by a victim, it will remove links to photos and videos from search results in Bing and remove access to the content itself when shared on OneDrive or Xbox Live. Microsoft has set up a new reporting Web page for revenge porn victims. Jacqueline Beauchere, Microsoft’s chief online safety officer, called revenge porn a “despicable practice” with effects that “can be truly devastating.” “It can damage nearly every aspect of a victim’s life: relationships, career, social activities. In the most severe and tragic cases, it has even led to suicide,” she said in a blog post. Beauchere added that the reporting mechanism is “but one small step” to address the problem.”

in Information Security News…

  • Fiat Chrysler recalls 1.4 million cars over remote hack vulnerability [ars technica]
    Jeep Software Flaw Gives Hackers Total Control [NewsFactor]
    Hackers Remotely Kill a Jeep on the Highway—With Me in It [Wired – with video]
    Fiat Chrysler has announced that it is recalling approximately 1.4 million vehicles for emergency software security patches. A vulnerability was revealed in a report by Wired magazine, that allowed security researchers to take remote control of a Jeep Cherokee’s onboard computer and entertainment system, remotely controlling the throttle and braking system of the vehicle while it was moving at 70mph on a St. Louis-area interstate highway. Check out the video in the show notes.
  • Dating Site Ashley Madison Hacked, Could Expose 37M Cheaters [NewsFactor]
    Avid Life Media, the company that owns the notorious cheating Web site Ashley Madison, announced today that it had been hacked, potentially exposing the financial and personal details of its 37.5 million customers to the world. The site, which has billed itself as “the most famous name in infidelity and married dating,” is now being threatened by the hackers who broke into its system. The hackers, who call themselves The Impact Team, are threatening to release information, including naked pictures, credit card data, and sexual fantasies if the company does not shut down both its Ashley Madison and Established Men sites immediately and permanently.
  • UCLA Health System Says Patient Data Breach Hit Up to 4.5 Million [Newsfactor]
    The UCLA Health System said that it has been the victim of a criminal cyberattack affecting as many as 4.5 million patients. The attackers accessed a computer network that contains personal and medical information. The university said there was no evidence yet that any such data was taken, but it can’t rule out that possibility while the investigation continues.
  • Mobile Ad Fraud Cost Marketers Nearly $1B Annually, Study Finds [NewsFactor]
    A new type of ad fraud called “mobile device hijacking” could cost advertisers nearly $1 billion annually, according to a study from the ad fraud detection firm Forensiq. The fraudulent ads are served in the background after mobile device users download seemingly innocuous apps and games and grant permissions that enable those apps to hijack their devices to deliver fraudulent ads. In addition to costing millions to legitimate mobile advertisers whose ads are being delivered “invisibly” and never seen or clicked by human users, mobile device hijacking also creates trouble for individual users. By running unseen in the background on mobile devices, these apps consume large amounts of battery power and data bandwidth.

and in Tech Industry news…

  • Google Voice transcriptions will soon actually make sense [Engadget]
    Soon Google voice transcriptions may start to make a lot more sense. Google’s managed to reduce its transcription error rates by nearly 50 percent by leveraging a new technology it calls a “long short-term memory deep recurrent neural network.”

and finally…

  • AT&T gets DirecTV merger approval, must deploy fiber to 12.5M customers [ars technica]
    AT&T’s $48.5 billion purchase of DirecTV has been approved by the Federal Communications Commission. The merger makes AT&T the largest pay-TV company in the nation with about 26 million subscribers, jumping ahead of Comcast. The FCC imposed some conditions on the acquisition in the public interest. They include requiring AT&T to expand its deployment of high-speed, fiber optic broadband Internet access service to 12.5 million customer locations as well as to E-rate eligible schools and libraries.

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