Corporate watchdog Asic in privacy breach exposing users’ search history

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The Guardian – November 8, 2017

IMPACT: Australia’s corporate regulator’s “website … exposes the search records of anyone tapping into its company database”

COMPANY RESPONSE: “Asic’s failure to close down the loophole after almost a fortnight”

FOLLOW UP: “From 22 February, organisations will have to notify and give advice to any person who is likely to be at risk of serious harm by a data breach, as well as the information commissioner.”

Bug stops some iPhone users typing “I” – replacing it with a symbol

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The Guardian – November 7, 2017

IMPACT: “some iPhone users unable to type the word “I”

IMPACT: ” a lower-case “i” character is appearing in the emoji picker, while others are seeing the strange unicode character where a normal “I” is written”

ROOT CAUSE (unconfirmed): “seems to be related to Apple’s cloud-based synchronisation for predictive text – a relatively recent feature that allows users’ dictionaries to be shared using its iCloud service”

Nationwide customers ‘bank cards suddenly stopped working’ after technical glitch

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The Sun – November 5, 2017

IMPACT: “payments declined and were locked out of their accounts”

IMPACT: “people across the country say they were left “embarrassed” at checkouts while some claimed they’d been unable to “pay their bills and mortgage”

IMPACT: “some feared their account had been “compromised””

COMPANY RESPONSE: “”We’re working hard to put this right as quickly as we can.

“Everything else is working normally.

“Thank you for your patience – we’re sorry for any problems this may cause you.””

Software bug triggers Audi recall

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Computer World – November 2, 2017

IMPACT: “Audi is recalling almost 5,000 cars in Europe for a software fix”

ISSUE: “[cars] emitted too much nitrogen oxide, the polluting gas”

COMPANY RESPONSE: “update the software of the 4,997 A8 model vehicles with 4.2 litre V8 diesel engines.. it will be ensured that the new software has no disadvantages for customers in terms of fuel consumption or performance”


WhatsApp’s hour-long outage today was global in scale, likely caused by software bug

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Techcrunch – November 3, 2017

IMPACT: “a roughly hour-long global outage on Friday, which led to difficulties in accessing the app and sending messages to friends”

IMPACT: “…over 1.2 billion users, and is relied upon as the main means of messaging for many people, particularly in emerging markets like India”

COMPANY RESPONSE: “This issue has been fixed and we apologize for the inconvenience”

COMPANY RESPONSE: “a bug in the software code, as opposed to something like issues with a data center”

Google/Waymo Stopped Testing Level 3 Self-Driving Tech After Testers Literally Fell Asleep While Using It

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Cleantechnica – November 1, 2017

ISSUE: “some drivers literally started falling asleep during testing”

ISSUE: “some users sleeping, quite a few staring endlessly at their smartphones, and some even putting on makeup — all while traveling at speeds of up to 56 mph”

COMPANY REACTION: “The company decided to focus solely on technology that didn’t require human intervention a couple of days after the napping incident”

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 users are complaining of their devices freezing up and becoming unresponsive

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First Post – November 2, 2017

IMPACT: “A number of Samsung users … are … complaining of their Galaxy Note 8 devices freezing up and becoming unresponsive… affecting devices across markets, including the dual SIM versions”

IMPACT: “the phone just restarts on its own while using some apps”

The Hospital Concierge System of the Future

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Sys-Con – October 19, 2017

PREVENTION OF HUMAN ERRORS IN HEALTHCARE: “the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone.”
PROPOSED SOFTWARE SOLUTION: “Building an Alexa-powered voice application for both patients and nurses” …
“Nurses can register patient health metrics. They were only able to do this because of cloud-based technologies. The cloud enabled them to complete this complex project while ensuring compliance with HIPAA and other privacy regulations.”

The Coming Software Apocalypse

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The Atlantic – October 29, 2017

IMPACT: “during the night of April 10, 2014… the entire population of Washington State had no 911 service. People who called for help got a busy signal. “
ROOT CAUSE: “…programmers had set a threshold for how high the counter could go. They picked a number in the millions [but] the counter exceeded that number, resulting in chaos. Because the counter was used to generate a unique identifier for each call, new calls were rejected. And because the programmers hadn’t anticipated the problem, they hadn’t created alarms to call attention to it.”
ROOT CAUSE: “Intrado’s software in Englewood was responsible, and that the fix was to change a single number”
ROOT CAUSE: “The rise of cellphones and the promise of new capabilities—what if you could text 911? or send videos to the dispatcher?—drove the development of a more complex system that relied on the internet. For the first time, there could be such a thing as a national 911 outage”
ROOT CAUSE: “critical systems that were once controlled mechanically, or by people, are coming to depend on code”
ROOT CAUSE: “[Software] can be changed cheaply, software is constantly changed… is a thousand times more complex… tends to grow without bound.“
The problem,” Leveson wrote in a book, “is that we are attempting to build systems that are beyond our ability to intellectually manage.””
ROOT CAUSE: “The software did exactly what it was told to do. The reason it failed is that it was told to do the wrong thing.”

How Australia is Fighting Cyber Crime

Reading Time: 1 minute – October 11, 2017

PREVENTION: there will be penalty for states which break international norms in cyberspace and it is ready to take ‘military action’ to combat malicious cyber attacks
PREVENTION: Australia already engages in cyber policy and cybersecurity meetings with countries like China, Canada, Indonesia, India, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom, United States and Japan