FROM Michael Riley
Healthcare: An Easy Target for Cyber Criminals Target, Sony and JP Morgan are all major companies recently hit by cyber-attacks that rippled through the economy. The latest is Anthem , the second largest health-insurer in the United States — with 80 million customers — past and present, including defense contractors and government employees. Medical records are treasure troves for identity thieves. Anthem didn't encrypt them — and didn't have to under federal law. The private sector is on its own against state-sponsored hackers like China's so-called "Deep Panda." Can Washington provide needed protection without further violating personal privacy?
Sony and the Year in Hacking The theatrical release of the film The Interview has been cancelled. That’s the Seth Rogen movie that seems to have motivated the massive Sony Studios hack. But Sony wasn’t the only big cyber crime target of 2014. Target, Home Depot, and JP Morgan also got hit. We take stock of the year in hacking.
Sony Pictures and Cyber Warfare The Los Angeles Times is reporting that two former employees filed a class action suit today against Sony Pictures over the massive computer breach that exposed details about upcoming movies, business deals, juicy Hollywood gossip—and the personal information of thousands of current and former workers. Sony is in major damage control three weeks after what FBI agents call a cyber attack of unprecedented sophistication. Executives are apologizing, but the flow of inside information continues as self-proclaimed hackers Guardians of Peace promise there’s more to come. Nobody knows if it’s really about The Interview, a Seth Rogen comedy about assassinating the leader of North Korea. The big questions are who did it and who might be next. Is every corporate communication system vulnerable to total exposure?
Hackers Hit U.S. Banks Sophisticated hackers recently broke into the computer systems of JP Morgan Chase and four other U.S. banks. Once inside, the hackers siphoned off huge amounts of customer data. The hack went on for months before the banks even realized they had been attacked. The FBI is investigating the possibility that Russian state-sponsored hackers are responsible.
Foley Forensic Investigation The family of James Foley has released the final email they received from the group who executed their son. Now, investigators are combing that and the video of Foley’s murder for clues about the identity of the man who carried it out. How does this kind of forensic examination done?
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?