“You’re only as strong as your weakest link.” For the Australian government, this phrase is extremely relevant today. The Australian Cyber Security Center confirmed yesterday that a 2015 attack on servers at Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology was initiated by a foreign intelligence service. You may be thinking, “What could hackers want with weather data?” The answer is nothing. By hacking into the weakest part of the Australian government’s network, the hackers were able to work their way throughout the system by breaching the poorly protected meteorology division.
Various reports have stated that China is behind the attacks but the Australian government states that it will not be naming a source. The Australian Cyber Security Center (ACSC) noted that the security controls in place “were insufficient to protect the network from more common threats associated with cybercrime.” They also estimate that every password on the Meteorology Bureau’s network was already compromised by the time that the investigation into the matter began.
Technology has allowed governments around the world to better store data and control their resources; unfortunately, as an entity’s cyber footprint increases, so does the type and number of potential risks that threaten them. It is vital that modern-day governments around the world put in place the countermeasures to protect their systems and data.
Mylan is a global pharmaceutical company looking to provide the entire world with new medicine, and set new healthcare standards across the globe.
The ACM RMU Chapter is looking to form two to four teams to compete in the Mylan Hackathon, with each team being composed of five members. The event will be held in Pittsburgh on February 26-27, 2016. The group is looking for both CIS students and engineering students to compose their teams. The Hackathon will involve brainstorming and coming up with a technology solution to meet one of these technology-in-healthcare challenges:
- How could access to information overcome obstacles to HIV treatment in emerging markets?
- How can information collected by Microsoft Band 2.0 be used to paint meaningful “health pictures?”
- Via a Microsoft Kinect, how can we expand on its capabilities to enrich its use in telemedicine?
- How will your voice change healthcare in the future (e.g. use of something similar to Amazon Echo)?
- How can we better understand the state of “access” in the world?
More on the challenges can be found here:
If students are interested to participate, they should contact the ACM RMU Chapter President, Mohammed AlJaser at firstname.lastname@example.org
Listed below are the rules and description for the event itself:
Before the event:
- Form your team, choose your challenge and talk about potential solutions. Assign roles and responsibilities within your team based on each member’s talents and interests. Consider what other teams might build and whether your solution will stand out.
During the event:
- There is limited time to build your solution, so wasted moments may affect your outcome. Be honest and critical early on, that way, you’ll have time to course correct, if necessary.
- Talk to the the Mylan coaches and ask for advice
- When the buzzer sounds, you’ll have 5 minutes to present your solution. The cutoff time will be strictly enforced.
- Teams will draw numbers out of hat to determine presentation order. Determine presentation roles – e.g., who will speak, who will run the laptop – in advance.
- Designate one laptop as the presentation machine. Test loading material on it before you present. Make sure you can connect the laptop to our projector; we support VGA and HDMI.
- Bring clickers or laser pointers with you, to help speed up the presentation process
For more information, check out their website here.
Activist groups, regardless of which ones you are examining, have a message that they want to get across to the public. Sometimes it is with regard to religion, or a political figure. No matter the message, the ultimate goal is to convey this message in a way that gets the public’s attention. However, there are so many activist groups out there these days that you have to get creative in order to stand out. A few months ago, an activist group did just that.
It has been a few months since the activist group “Lizard Squad” took down both the PlayStation Network as well as the X Box Live Network. Why target gamers for a message? Stereotypically speaking, they do not worry to much about these kinds of things. However when the number of gamers affected by taking down their networks is 56 million, I think it is safe to say that you have gained the attention of a huge population of people. It is creative, effective, and depending on your perspective, devastating. What was the message that was so important then?
In reality, this group of hackers are what is known as ‘White Hat’ hackers. They infiltrate various networks for good intentions. The Lizard Squad wanted to bring down the gaming networks to show how weak their security really was. By doing this, it can become public knowledge that Microsoft and Sony, powerhouses in the technology world, still have a lot to learn in the area of security. Eventually, there is going to be a cyber attack that is much more devastating than that of The Lizard Squad. One with real consequences. Hopefully major organizations become aware that there is a problem that needs to be addressed.
For more information on the attack that took place this past Christmas, you can check out the links below: