Imagine the scene in the not too distant future. An Uber self-driving electric car has just dropped you off home. Your front door has recognised your face, and your fingerprint has authenticated that it’s definitely you. You get into your house, not a key in sight, kick off your shoes, and happily discover that the 3D printing feature in your fridge has already printed the food you plan to consume for dinner. All the appliances you need are on. And everything you don’t need is off, nice and efficiently saving power. You decide to treat yourself to a quick 30-minute Netflix holographic update, only to get a nudge from your wearable tech that you’ve still got a 10 minute exercise deficit to meet your daily activity quota. It’s a problem because you happen to have signed up to the extreme health management option which shuts down your ApplePay access — without which Netflix won’t work — if you fail to meet your objectives. You quickly get busy on your smart-grid connected treadmill (which conveniently sells off the energy produced by your system back into the grid) and focus on the prospect of an autonomously prepared calorie efficient meal. When all of a sudden… your utility door flings open and your iRobot Roomba begins singing Daisy, Daisy.
Speaking on the sidelines of the SINET cybersecurity conference being held in London on Tuesday, UK Business Secretary Vince Cable expressed concern over the average age and quality of some of the IT systems of British banks. As Cable commented to FT Alphaville: “I’m always horrified when I discover just how ancient the technological infrastructure of the banking system is, a lot of it comes from the 60s and banks are still operating this. One of the reasons why it hasn’t been possible to get proper competition — for example when breaking up RBS –is because the banking infrastructure is just so ancient that they can’t spin it off. And it’s a massively costly business. The financial sector, although in some ways it’s one of the most advanced parts of the economy, it’s often decades not just years behind.” The comments followed the announcement of a £4m competition for UK cyber businesses to develop ideas to tackle cyber security threats, and initiatives aimed at raising corporate and public awareness of cyber-security risk. It is hoped, in particular, that other mission-critical businesses such as utilities will come together in a collaborative process to spearhead fresh approaches to the problem of cyber crime and resilience.
This how the Bitcoin regulator comes, not with a bang but with an AMA. In accordance with the New York State Administrative Procedures Act (SAPA), the proposed DFS rules for virtual currency firms will be published in the New York State Register’s July 23, 2014 edition, which begins a 45-day public comment period. After that public comment period, the rules are subject to additional review and revision based on that public feedback before DFS finalizes them. Additionally, DFS is today immediately publishing a copy of the regulations on the website Reddit. Earlier this year, Superintendent Lawsky hosted an “Ask Me Anything” forum on Reddit about DFS’ work on virtual currency regulation, which generated more than 1,200 public comments. Links to the proposed rules are also being tweeted out from the DFS Twitter handle (@NYDFS) and Superintendent Lawsky’s Twitter handle (@BenLawsky).
Markets: The global retreat in equity markets continued on Friday, with bourses weakening across Asia-Pacific. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was the worst performer in the region, dropping 1.8 per cent. The Shanghai Composite sunk 1.1 per cent and South Korea’s Kospi Composite fell 1.2 per cent. The broad weakness followed a 0.9 per cent drop in the S&P 500, which finished 2013 at a record high. (FT Global Market Overview)
Twitter fails to answer key IPO questions || SEC calls for plan to beat exchange failures || Surveyors urge Bank of England to damp house market || Gold drops to five-week low || Malaysia’s biggest fund buys stocks || UK police thwart Santander cyber attack || Pimco and Blackrock purchase Verizon debt || Hilton Worldwide will look to raise $1.25bn in IPO || Markets
The world’s pool of Aaa-rated government debt has fallen 60 per cent since the start of the financial crisis || European regulators to charge banks over derivatives || Cyprus readies capital controls || Fund manager bonuses cap set to be eased || Warren Buffett will become one of Goldman’s largest shareholders || Credit Suisse is to buy Morgan Stanley’s wealth management arm in Europe, the Middle East and Africa || US crackdown on Citi laundering laws || Commodities trading rule call rejected || Improving home prices help drive US economy || Markets wrap || FTAV’s latest
Secret HQ set up in London to fight cyber crime: “Britain’s security services are to open a new unit in London to work with business to protect UK companies from the growing threat of cyber attacks by China, Russia and Iran. The new initiative – formally called the Cyber Security Information Sharing partnership – will be established at an undisclosed location in London, where around a dozen officers from the Government Communications Headquarters and MI5 will work with business representatives to monitor potential threats.” (Financial Times) The world’s pool of Aaa-rated government debt has fallen 60 per cent since the start of the financial crisis. The loss of top ratings by the US, UK, and France have helped shrink the stock of debt deemed Aaa by Fitch, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s from almost $11tn at the start of 2007 to $4tn in 2013 (Financial Times).
Cyprus holds crisis talks in Moscow || Osborne orders £2.5bn in Budget cuts || Visa may have to buy Visa Europe || South Korea banks and broadcasters hit by possible cyberattack || Anadarko finds ‘potentially giant’ oilfield || MF Global has reached an agreement with JPMorgan || US probes Mircosoft and partners over bribery claims || JP Morgan downgraded in confidential regulator scorecard || Liberty media in $2.6bn cable bet || Sweeping ECB powers to regulate all EU banks agreed || FCC plans to offload €2bn of assets || Freddie Mac sues over Libor losses || Markets roundup || FTAV’s latest
Meanwhile at Harvard Business School || An argument about excess reserves || Xi Jinping, China’s new president || Also, there’s a new pope || Tim Cook has to testify in ebook case || Blackberry gets order for 1m Z10s || Obama has words for China on cyber espionage || CFTC probes gold pricing || JPM-MF Global accord approved
ROUND-UP FT markets round-up:“Stocks are struggling for traction as the bull run that has taken many equity barometers to multiyear or, in some cases, record highs endures one of its periodic pauses. The FTSE All-World index is down 0.2 per cent, retreating from its latest four-year peak as the FTSE Eurofirst 300 gained 0.1 per cent and after the Asia-Pacific region shed 0.3 per cent. Wall Street’s S&P 500 is slipping 4 points from its best close in five years of 1,556, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average is trading near its previous record close of 14,447.” (Financial Times)
Fed doubtful on open-ended QE3 policy || January public finances in surplus after tax receipts || US moves to fight corporate cybercrime || China and economy to direct Abe US talks || Google to debut Chrome for touchscreens || 800,000 Pentagon staff face unpaid leave || Russia’s missing billions revealed || Markets: Growth-focused asset prices are stumbling on Thursday morning
Kloppers to be replaced by inside geologist || €3.5bn buyout plan for France’s Elior || Italy’s centre-left woos Monti || Bulgaria’s government resigns || Dell shareholders maintain criticism of buyout after earnings fall || Isle of Man tax haven horizon || China FDI falls again || JGB dog that didn’t bark || Markets
Asian markets rise || Kloppers to be replaced by inside geologist || €3.5bn buyout plan for France’s Elior || Italy’s centre-left woos Monti || Dell shareholders maintain criticism of buyout after earnings fall || Isle of Man tax haven horizon || China FDI falls again || JGB dog that didn’t bark
The attack diagram is shown in Figure 2. The diagram shows the various high-level attack paths an adversary might use to achieve the nightmare consequences. The adversary is assumed to be an external attacker (non-insider) for all the attacks considered in this assessment (as per the red team constraints and ROE)…
Greece is heading for a clash with international lenders as the leftwing party Syriza called for the ripping up of a “barbarous” austerity programme underpinning its bailout and questions mounted about the country’s future inside the euro, says the FT. Syriza’s attempts to form a coalition government are likely to be rejected by the two biggest mainstream parties, which will probably lead to a new election in June. Meanwhile Jörg Asmussen, an ECB executive board member, for the first time raised the possibility of a Greek exit from the euro in an interview with Handelsblatt. Walt Disney’s quarterly earnings beat Wall Street expectations as profit rose 21% despite a loss from the science fiction film bomb John Carter, reports Reuters. The strong performance of The Avengers underscores growth in the company’s superheroes franchises, says the FT.
Chinese hackers had undetected access to sensitive Nortel data for almost a decade from 2000, the WSJ reports. The extent to which Nortel, the once-mighty telecoms giant, was compromised shows the lack of corporate defences against hacking. Nortel didn’t disclose its hacking problem to buyers of its assets. Spy software was so deeply embedded in Nortel computers that investigators failed to spot its existence for years. The SEC last year began pushing companies to classify serious cyber attacks on their infrastructure as “material risks” that may require financial disclosure.
Massive cyber-espionage by China and Russia poses “significant and growing threats” to American economic power and national security, US officials have charged in their most direct warning on the issue, the FT writes. In an unusually blunt public document, US intelligence officials said the two geopolitical rivals had launched an onslaught of internet-enabled spying on US companies to win bargaining power and trade secrets. The claims were made in a report to Congress prepared by leading US intelligence agencies. While US officials and private researchers have frequently talked in private about the threat of cyber-espionage, the report is unusual in that it directly names the Chinese and Russian governments as being behind many efforts to steal technology.
A widespread cyber-espionage operation has penetrated 72 government and other organisations, most of them in the US, copying everything from military secrets to industrial designs. Analysts said circumstantial evidence pointed to China as the most likely suspect, reports the FT. The campaign was disclosed late on Tuesday by McAfee, the US security firm, which had won access to a server used as a point of control in the attack and reviewed records going back to 2006 showing connections from the server to computers inside the United Nations, more than a dozen defence contractors and other targets. McAfee then contacted many of the victims to determine what had been lost. The victims include the UN, International Olympic Committee and governments of the US, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam and Canada. McAfee said the targets included six US government agencies and 13 defence contractor. Reuters adds that South Asian governments are especially vulnerable to further attacks.
Comment, analysis and other offerings from Thursday’s FT, John Gapper: The price of Wall Street’s black boxJPMorgan Chase this week became the second Wall Street bank after Goldman Sachs to face a large fine and a stiff warning over its sales of mortgage-backed bonds in the last days of the housing bubble in spring 2007, writes the FT columnist. Others are to come, perhaps including Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup. It is no coincidence that the Wall Street banks have lobbied with such energy against efforts to force trading of more derivatives on to exchanges and through clearing houses. They do not want the black box of fixed income and derivatives trading, which has provided so much of their profits for so long, to be exposed to plain view.John Reid: Our salt risks draining into cyberspaceThe news was dominated on Wednesday by reports of the arrest of a suspected British teenage computer hacker, in connection with a range of security breaches including attacks on the website of the CIA and the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency, writes Reid, a former British cabinet minister. We can expect many more such events as our security agencies struggle to address the challenges of cyberspace. In a matter of days we have seen a huge data theft from the International Monetary Fund, reports that the Pentagon is reclassifying cyberattacks as “acts of war”, and Liang Guanglie, China’s defence minister, saying his country and the US must work together to deal with the cyber “problem.”
The International Monetary Fund has launched an investigation after its computer network was hacked by an unknown outside agent, the FT says. The FBI is leading the probe into the breach of security, news of which was reported in The New York Times after a warning to IMF staff last week. The IMF has private information that could be valuable to investors in the financial markets, possibly including details of rescue plans for crisis-stricken west European economies. Bloomberg reports that the attack might have been state-sponsored, and follows other attacks on the G20 and Lockheed Martin. FT columnist Gillian Tett warned last week that hackers could use data acquired to front-run the markets.
One of the most pervasive and costly types of virus is now affecting Mac computers, signalling the end of an age of innocence for Apple customers, who until now have been spared many common cybersecurity problems, the FT reports. Known as rogue antivirus or scareware, the scam programs warn PC and now Mac owners that they have been infected, then demand credit card payments to clean the machines. The operators of the programs are typically criminals who may resell the card details or try to install more malicious software.
Internet-based threats to businesses’ intellectual property represent a threat to US national security and the country needs to do more to bolster its defences, a top Pentagon official has said. The comments by William Lynn, deputy defence secretary, highlight that what had been previously seen as a trade issue – particularly affecting ties with China – is now one of the US’s main national security concerns, the FT reports. In an acknowledgement that efforts to reduce the US fiscal deficit are likely to hit the Pentagon’s budget, despite resistance from the military, he also said there could be overall spending cuts once US troops in Afghanistan handed over to local forces. Mr Lynn was speaking in the wake of diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks that detail an extensive series of alleged cyberattacks and internet intrusions by China.
Several scholars, rights activists and journalists working on China and Taiwan issues have reported that their Yahooe-mail accounts have been hacked into, the FT reports, in the latest internet incident involving China since Google’s decision to stop censoring its Chinese site. According to a cybersecurity report issued by Symantec earlier this week, China has become the world’s largest source of targeted attacks – malicious mails sent in small numbers aimed at gaining access to sensitive data.
Google’s threat to pull out of China rather than continue self-censorship there failed on Wednesday to win support from industry executives after the US group this week complained of cyber-attacks on its core IT systems. Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, described the affair as “the Google problem” while Mark Hurd, CEO of Hewlett-Packard, praised China as an “amazing market…” Both executives played down wider threats to internet security from what Google said was a “highly sophisticated and targeted attack” aimed at more than 20 companies. Bloomberg reports on Thursday that Yahoo!, owner of the No. 2 US search engine, also suffered a Chinese attack.
Newspapers, especially American newspapers, like to think that they check facts, giving their readers information that can be considered fair and accurate. The real world, of course, is more complicated. The “truth” can be an ephemeral thing, subject to revision. That’s especially so when “facts” collide with “confidence,” or when the real story doesn’t quite mesh with legal necessities.
What might have been no more than a teenage prank knocked Twitter, the fast-growing internet communications service, offline for more than two hours on Thursdady. The micro-blogging firm, whose service allows text and web posting of messages of 140 characters or less, said it was hit by a denial-of-service attack, in which thousands of personal computers attempt simultaneous connections, slowing the target site’s response to a virtual standstill.