Ransomware, a method of electronically attacking corporations and individuals by holding their data hostage, has gained massive popularity amongst hackers in the last several years. Ransomware is the first form of malware to present the threats of both the destruction of important data and the economic harm the loss of that data can create. Ransomware attacks will continue to increase in scope and severity in years to come, necessitating continuous vigilance.
In essence, ransomware acts by taking data that is of value to an entity but not deleting it. The ransomware acts as a figurative glass wall, allowing the owner of the data to physically possess that data but not access it. This is accomplished by implanting a virus on the owner’s hard drive, usually by means of an infected link in an email or other innocuous-looking document. Once the link is clicked, the ransomware works by encrypting the entire storage system. The hackers then threaten to destroy the data unless a ransom is paid.
2017 saw some of the worst ransomware attacks to date, escalating exponentially in size and gravity over previous years. According to a study by the Kaspersky Lab, over 479 million attacks occurred from online sources during the first quarter of 2017, up by over 250 percent from years past. These attacks ranged across countries and industries, and plagued corporations of all sizes.
To read the full text of this article by Duane Morris attorneys Anjali Kulkarni and Joseph M. Burton, please visit The Bar Association of San Francisco website.
Long ago in internet time, email was hip and was the next big thing. No longer did we have to shove paper into fax machines to send relatively quick communications, nor did we have to wait for the paper to spit out from such noisy machines when receiving fast-breaking information. Instead, in paperless fashion, we could send and receive emails right from our own computers, and then laptops, tablets, and phones.
But technology continues to evolve. And as internet time went by, email no longer was cool, and by some was considered to be a dinosaur. Why? Because along came texts and the vast assortment of social media means of communication, like instant messaging, Snapchat, WhatsApp messages, Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, and the list goes on and on. And there were concerns about email hacks and lack of security. Continue reading Email Is Not Dead; Gmail Rolls Out New Features
What is “real” and what is “fake” in terms of online content we review? This has become a major, if not dominant, concern with respect to the reliability of what we see on the internet. Are suggested “facts” really true? Do we really know the actual source of material posted on the internet?
And now our worry in this area should be heightened by the development of face-swapping videos. For example, FakeApp can be utilized to create altered videos by inserting faces of people into these videos, as reported in detail by Business Insider. This face-swapping technique has been used by many people just for fun. As an example, Nicholas Cage’s image was inserted to have him becoming Lois Lane in a Superman movie (perhaps Nicholas Cage was not amused). Continue reading Stealing Your Online Face – Online Truth Suffers Another Blow
By Daniel B. Heidtke
The Nevada Public Records Act (NPRA), NRS § § 239.001 et seq., requires that “public books and public records” must be open at all times during office hours to inspection by any person. But, what is a “public record” and what makes a record, “public”? On March 29, 2018, the Nevada Supreme Court addressed that issue and more by adding to its growing list of case law on the NPRA in Comstock Residents Association, et al. v. Lyons County Board of Commissioners, Case No. 70738, 134 Nev. Adv. Op. 19 (2018) (“Lyons County Board”). In Lyons County Board, the Court built upon its prior opinion in Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Dept. v. Blackjack Bonding, Inc., 131 Nev. 80 (2015) and further explained that an otherwise “public record” does not become “private” simply because it is maintained in or upon private property. Thus, the Lyons County commissioners’ private cellphones and email accounts constituted public records subject to disclosure so long as the records maintained on otherwise private devices and accounts concerned “the provision of public service.” Continue reading Private Texts, Public Records: Nevada Public Records Act and Personal Cellphones Used for Public Service
Amazon truly has developed into a beast of the Northwest. Indeed, Amazon is a major presence in Seattle, occupying tremendous amounts of office space, employing many people, and generally boosting the economy in that region.
Amazon announced some months back that it will establish a second headquarters within the United States. Not surprisingly, many cities came courting, trying to woo Amazon into their backyards. There has been quite a bit of buzz about where Amazon ultimately will locate its second headquarters. And now, according to a recent article by the Business Insider, Amazon may be on the brink of reaching a decision. But where? Drumroll please! Continue reading The Potential Location of Amazon’s Second Headquarters
When it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT), what might come to mind are “things” like the automatic regulation of settings in the home and routine ordering of household products when supplies are low. But IoT applications are more diverse than that and can be of greater societal importance, for example, when seeking to increase food production for our heavily populated planet.
In a recent article in TheAtlantic.com, a company is profiled called Sid Wainer & Son. Wainer has sold specialty foods using heirloom tomatoes, green eggplants and fig-infused balsamic vinegar in the New England area for more than a century. But more recently, the Wainer farm has gone high-tech. Continue reading The Internet of Things Aids of Food Production
We tend to think of censorship happening in other countries, and not so much in the United States. Just like the government can’t violate the First Amendment, we like to think that private companies would be equally generous in allowing freedom of expression, unless something is truly troublesome in nature. Well …
As it turns out, Facebook recently censored a post that displayed a very small 30,000-year-old statuette carved in the image of a naked woman and referred to as the “Venus of Willendorf,” according to USAToday.com.
Continue reading Censoring a Facebook Post Showing a Naked Statuette?
Apple opened its glittery, circular, spaceship campus in Cupertino a few months ago. This campus is the of dream of Steve Jobs, which he pitched to the Cupertino City Council in 2011. It reportedly is estimated by the Santa Clara County Assessor to have cost $5 billion.
The gigantic, circular building comes with 45-foot-high curved panels of glass, among other modern, glass features.
And while the building is ultra-high-tech, there have been reports that a few employees unwittingly walked into glass doors and walls, while reportedly sustaining cuts. Continue reading Amazing New Apple Campus Comes With Potential Glass Issue
When we hear about artificial intelligence, we frequently are bombarded with notions of ultra-smart robots taking over the world, while either destroying humans, or at least leaving humans in the development dust. The good news, at the time of this writing, is that humans currently do not face that AI existential threat. However, the bad news is that artificial intelligence nevertheless creates present and future safety concerns. Continue reading Artificial Intelligence: Are We Safe?