Federal Agencies Mostly Use Facial Recognition Tech for Digital Access

source: infosecurity-magazine.com |  image: unsplash.com



The most popular uses for facial recognition technology (FRT) by federal agencies are cybersecurity and digital access, according to a new report by the United States Government Accountability Office.

The GAO surveyed 24 agencies about their FRT activities in the fiscal year 2020 and found 75% (18) use an FRT system for one or more purposes.

Sixteen agencies reported deploying the technology for digital access or cybersecurity purposes, with two of these agencies (General Services Administration and Social Security Administration) saying that they were testing FRT to verify the identities of people who were accessing government websites.

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Groundbreaking Research Identifies Likely Cause of Alzheimer’s Disease – Potential for New Treatment

source: scitechdaily.com  | image: pexels.com


A likely cause of Ground-breaking new Curtin University-led research has discovered a likely cause of Alzheimer’s disease, in a significant finding that offers potential new prevention and treatment opportunities for Australia’s second-leading cause of death.

The study, published in the prestigious PLOS Biology journal and tested on mouse modelsidentified that a probable cause of Alzheimer’s disease was the leakage from blood into the brain of fat-carrying particles transporting toxic proteins. 

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DOJ: Former NSA Operatives Worked as Cyber-Mercenaries, Helping Hack U.S. Systems

source: gizmodo.com

Members of the U.S. intelligence community and military have reached a deferred prosecution agreement over their role in an overseas cyber-mercenary business.


Former U.S. intelligence operatives are facing federal charges after allegedly having worked as cyber-mercenaries for the United Arab Emirates. The men, all of whom are ex-employees of the National Security Agency, are accused of helping the UAE government to break into computer systems all over the world, including some in the U.S., newly unsealed court documents claim.

Marc Baier, 49, Ryan Adams, 34, and Daniel Gericke, 40, are all charged with having broken federal laws related to computer fraud and export regulations, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.

Between 2016 and 2019, the trio worked as senior managers at Dark Matter, an Emirati cybersecurity company. Working out of a converted mansion in Abu Dhabi, the team was part of an operation dubbed “Project Raven,” the likes of which was staffed almost wholly by former U.S. intelligence officials. Their services helped the Middle Eastern monarchy to carry out hacking operations against its perceived enemies, including activists, political rivals and journalists, Reuters previously reported.

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The World’s Most Creative People Have This One Thing In Common

Researchers used artificial intelligence to study the careers of 4,500 directors, 70,000 scientists, and 2,000 artists. The most successful among them share an important trait.


source: fastcompany.com

Image by Alexandr Ivanov from Pixabay 

When it comes to creative careers, success can be hard to achieve and even harder to define. But what if there were a magic formula that could increase your odds of a creative breakthrough?

A new study suggests that this magic formula may well exist. The secret to creativity lies in hitting “hot streaks,” or bursts of repeated successes, like Jackson Pollock’s “drip paintings” begun in the late 1940s, or Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy in the early 2000s. Published in Nature, the study explores exactly what people do before and during a hot streak. Using artificial intelligence to comb through rich datasets related to artists, film directors, and scientists, the researchers identified a pattern that is present across all three fields. The study author believes it could apply to designers, too.

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I Can’t Forget the Lessons of Vietnam. Neither Should You.

source: nytimes.com (contributed by Bob Wallace)

image:  pixabay.com


Aug. 19, 2021

By Viet Thanh Nguyen

Mr. Nguyen is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Sympathizer” and its sequel, “The Committed.” He is a professor of English, American studies and comparative literature at the University of Southern California.

I was 4 years old when Saigon fell, so I do not remember any of it. I count myself lucky, since many Vietnamese who survived the end of that war were greatly traumatized by it. The collapse of the American-backed Southern regime began in my Central Highlands hometown, Ban Me Thuot, in March 1975. In less than two months, all of South Vietnam capitulated to the North Vietnamese. Soldiers fled in chaotic retreat among civilians. My mother, brother and I were among them. We left behind my adopted sister. After walking nearly 200 kilometers to escape the advancing North Vietnamese army, the three of us made it to the seaside city of Nha Trang, where we managed to find a boat to take us to Saigon where my father was.

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21st Century Dunkirk: The story of how air traffic controllers used social media DMs to help rescue friends trapped in Afghanistan

source: warisboring.com  |  image: pixabay.com

sourced by Bob Wallace

This is a fascinating article published by Bright Mountain Media.  Unfortunately, we are unable to post any part of the article here.  Instead, however, we encourage you to navigate directly to warisboring.com where you can read the article in its entirety.

The full article can be seen here


What you can do about

the T-Mobile data breach 

source: fastcompany.com | image: t-mobile.com


The breach reportedly involves social security numbers, driver’s license IDs, and more.

Update: On Wednesday, T-Mobile confirmed many of the details of the attack, including the theft of names, dates of birth, social security numbers, and driver’s license information. The company’s initial estimates show that the attack affects roughly 7.8 million postpaid customers and 40 million “former or prospective” customers who had applied for credit with T-Mobile.

For most of those people, T-Mobile notes that the attack didn’t compromise phone numbers, account numbers, PINs, passwords, or financial information. However, the company has identified roughly 850,000 prepaid T-Mobile customers whose phone numbers and PINs were exposed. The company has already reset PINs in those cases.

As for the next steps, T-Mobile says customers should call 611 and change their account PINs as a proactive measure. T-Mobile will also offer two years of free identity theft protection, and will compile more information on what customers can do on a web page later today.

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“China is one of [Director Burns’] priorities, and CIA is in the process of determining how best to position ourselves to reflect the significance of this priority.”

CIA Weighs Creating Special China Unit in Bid to Out-Spy Beijing

source: bloomberg.com | image: pixabay.com

The Central Intelligence Agency is weighing proposals to create an independent “Mission Center for China” in an escalation of its efforts to gain greater insight into the U.S.’s top strategic rival, according to people familiar with the deliberations.

The proposal, part of a broader review of the agency’s China capabilities by CIA Director William Burns, would elevate the focus on China within the agency, where China has long been part of a broader “Mission Center for East Asia and Pacific.”

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Identity Matching:

What You Need to Know About It

source: cyberdefensemagazine.com

image: pexels.com

When asked how they can improve a bank’s security from financial crime, many bankers are at a loss for words. Granted, the question is a broad one and difficult to answer right away—financial crime has always been multifaceted, and its nature has only evolved further over time. Still, if banking institutions truly want to steer clear of connections to money launderers or terrorist financiers, they must identify which aspect of their operations is worth strengthening.

Industry experts for anti-money laundering (AML) have recently reached a consensus: there’s a lot of potential in using the customer screening stage to prevent suspicious transactions. The most sensible paradigm to adopt is one that’s called identity matching, which involves assessing customer risk based on the full context of their account enrollment data. This, along with upgrading the bank’s customer due diligence (CDD) technologies, will prove much more effective than the default rules-based name matching approach.

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source: cnet.com


The Department of Homeland Security enlists Amazon, Microsoft, Google and others to help combat cyberthreats.

US taps tech giants to help fight ransomware, cyberattacks



The US government is turning to tech giants including Amazon, Microsoft and Google to help bolster cybersecurity, after a string of high-profile attacks involving critical infrastructure. 

The initiative, called the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative, was unveiled Thursday by Jen Easterly, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which falls under the Department of Homeland Security. The effort, reported earlier by The Wall Street Journal, will initially focus on combating ransomware and developing a framework to deal with cyberattacks that affect providers of cloud services. It also aims to improve information sharing between the government and the private sector, with the goal of reducing the risk of attacks and ensuring a coordinated response. 

“The JCDC presents an exciting and important opportunity for this agency and our partners — the creation of a unique planning capability to be proactive vice reactive in our collective approach to dealing with the most serious cyber threats to our nation,” said Easterly. “The industry partners that have agreed to work side-by-side with CISA and our interagency teammates share the same commitment to defending our country’s national critical functions from cyber intrusions, and the imagination to spark new solutions.” 

The team-up follows several high-profile ransomware and cyberattack episodes in the US. So far this year, ransomware attacks have shut down a gas pipeline and a major meat producer, spurring fears of shortages and concerns that other critical infrastructure is at risk. A number of federal agencies also fell victim to the SolarWinds hack that was uncovered last year, including high-level officials at the DHS

Earlier this year, the Biden administration unveiled several efforts to shore up cybersecurity practices across federal agencies, including a $20 billion plan to secure the country’s infrastructure against cyberattacks. 

Other companies participating with multiple government agencies in the JCDC include AT&T, CrowdStrike, FireEye, Lumen, Palo Alto Networks and Verizon.

“In order to bolster our nation’s cyber defenses, it’s essential that the public and private sectors work together to defend against evolving threats and shore up modern IT capabilities that will protect our federal, state and local governments,” said Phil Venables, chief information security officer at Google Cloud, in an emailed statement. “We look forward to working with CISA under the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative and offering our security resources to build a stronger and more resilient cyber defense posture.”

Amazon and Microsoft didn’t respond to requests for comment.