Detroit has become the only two-time winner on the top five list of fastest growing tech cities, saysDice.Com. According toMiTechNews, Detroit was No. 5 on the Dice list this year, with year-to-year growth of 10 percent in tech job listings. The Motor City was No. 1 on Dice’s list in 2011.
Back in 2011, Dice said Detroit had more than 800 tech jobs posted on any given day; now it’s more than 1,100. Automation Alley, ranked the greater Detroit region among the best for its strong record of students completing science, technology, engineering and math degrees.
The article says that annual salaries for Detroit-based tech pros are rising at above average rates, up 7 percent from last year to $76,515 on average.
Dice says St. Louis, Mo. was No. 1 on this year’s Dice survey at 25 percent year-over-year growth in tech job listings, followed by:
“Detroit is a great place to be, and that’s what’s driving it,” said Dice.com senior vice president Tom Silver. “I think what’s contributing to it is a growth in opportunity as well as a pretty good cost of living. Increasingly, people are moving from more traditional tech centers like the Valley and NYC where it’s really expensive, to cities like Detroit, which are a great place to live.”
Employers are also discovering a “rich pool of talent” in cities like Detroit too — that they can get for more reasonable salaries, given the lower local cost of living.
Emergency Alert Systems at northern Michigan television stations sent out a fake emergency alert warning the UP of a zombie attack after being hacked. The fake warning claimed that bodies were rising from the grave and alerted people to avoid contacting the walking dead.
“People panicked and it was crazy and we didn’t know how to stop it,” Cynthia Thompson, station manager and news director at ABC 10 and CW 5 in Marquette, MI said of the incident. The suspected hacker has been caught, according to MLive, Ms. Thompson could not release any further details on the suspect.
Similar attacks were reported at Great Falls, MT station KRTV and KNME/KNDM in Albuquerque, NM. It looks like the security breach occurred at stations that didn’t have their login names or passwords reset from factory default settings, said Ed Czarnecki, senior director for strategy and regulatory affairs for Monroe Electronics Inc., a Lyndonville, NY based manufacturer of EAS equipment. “We are very aggressively working with authorities … to ensure that all broadcasters have updated their passwords on their critical equipment,” he said.
InfoSecuritysays that the problem goes beyond just passwords. Mike Davis, a security expert with IOActive, submitted a report to US-CERT detailing flaws in the equipment used by the EAS system a month before the incident. “Changing passwords is insufficient to prevent unauthorized remote login. There are still multiple undisclosed authentication bypasses,” he told Reuters via email. “I would recommend disconnecting them from the network until a fix is available.”
According to Kaspersky’sThreatPost, the flaws that Davis unearthed allowed him to do exactly what Monday’s hacker did. “There is some really, really, terrible software on the other side of that box,” Davis said. “There are some known issues like authentication bypasses and what I would call back doors, although I don’t know if they were meant that way. While I can’t provide authenticated messages [from the EAS system itself], I can log into all of them and insert authenticated messages.”
“The problems that Davis found,” warns ThreatPost, “represent a serious weakness in the EAS system. Some of the ENDECs (encoder-decoder) are networked together in a way that enables them to relay messages to one another, so an attacker who could compromise one could conceivably cause problems on others, as well.”
Umm Networking 101, change your default passwords.
Haven’t the dead been roaming the halls of Congress for years? Brain dead anyway!?
The article says these incidents highlight the growing risk of school kids’ vulnerability to identity theft. Across the country, schools have become conduits for children’s pristine Social Security numbers, which are increasingly falling into the hands of credit-hungry identity thieves. The frequent data breaches have prompted calls for schools to stop collecting sensitive student data and have angered parents like Art Staehling, whose 14-year-old daughter was among 18,000 Nashville students who had their Social Security numbers accidentally exposed online for three months in 2009.
“They left the gate wide open,” Staehling told The Huffington Post. “It’s clumsiness. There’s no excuse for it. If schools want that information, there should be some sort of penalty paid if they don’t guard it with their lives. I haven’t found a reason why they honestly need it.”
Schools collect students’ Social Security numbers as part of a campaign to more precisely track their progress. But privacy experts told Huff Post there are less risky ways to identify students, accusing schools of needlessly exposing children to identity theft by gathering their Social Security numbers in central databases with lackluster security.
The push for collecting student data began under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Financial incentives in the 2009 stimulus package, including Race to the Top‘s $250 million in competitive grants drove schools to collect student social security number, according to Reidenberg.
Despite the warnings, the collection and use of students’ Social Security numbers in K-12 schools remains “widespread.” An audit last year by Patrick O’Carroll, the Social Security Administration‘s inspector general found students’ Social Security numbers printed on transcripts, tests and athletic education forms. According to the article, The audit concluded that schools were using the numbers “as a matter of convenience.” O’Carroll found there have been at least 40 data breaches of confidential student information at K-12 schools since 2005.
“We believe the unnecessary collection and use of Social Security numbers is a significant vulnerability for this young population,” O’Carroll wrote. “Each time a student provides his or her Social Security number, the potential for a dishonest individual to unlawfully gain access to, and misuse, the number increases.”
Consumers Unionspoints out that Michigan law restricts how Social Security numbers can be used. In Michigan, SSNs cannot be printed on ID cards, intentionally communicated to the public and/or publicly displayed or mailed within an envelope.
The OTI has completed the first phase of construction of the wireless test bed in Detroit’s Cass Corridor, where Commotion connects low-income apartment buildings, community centers, churches and businesses. FierceWireless says the prototype open-source network allows neighbors to communicate with one another and can potentially distribute Internet access to local residents, the group says. “The Detroit wireless network … will put control of the Internet into the hands of its users,” said OTI Director Sascha Meinrath. “The partners OTI works with in Detroit are not only self-provisioning connectivity for local residents, they’re proofing out technologies that support free, safe, ubiquitous communications around the globe.”
Stacey Higginbotham at GigaOMreports the new stack has technologies such as Serval, which would enable the handsets to recognize the Commotion network, Tor, a program that can hide where a user is coming from and OpenBTS, an open source base station that runs software that can interface between VoIP networks and GSM radios.
The OTI release on the news notes that more than half of Detroit residents do not have Internet service at home due to the cost of service and a lack of investment in infrastructure by Internet service corporations.
GigaOM also notes that the public release of Commotion follows a funding round for a company called Open Garden, which is pursuing a similar mesh network creation software. Meanwhile Range Networks has formed to support the OpenBTS standard and deliver a “network in a box” that runs the OpenBTS software and allows users to make voice calls anywhere in the world.
Am I the only one that sees the irony that the fed‘s are using Detroit as a proving ground for technologies designed to help take down dictatorships. According to the OTI press release, the U.S. Department of State is funding the Detroit Commotion project to test the potential of the technology in third world places like Egypt or Syria or Detroit.
Don’t worry, we are the government and we are here to help.
Do you think Open Source Wireless for Detroit will work?
The credit rating bureau says an identity fraud ring is a group of people actively collaborating to commit identity fraud. Help Net Securityreports this study is the first to investigate the interconnections of identity manipulators and fraudsters to identify rings of criminals working in collaboration.
While many of these fraud rings involve two or more career criminals, surprisingly, others are family members or groups of friends. The article says that ring members operate by either stealing victims’ identities or improperly sharing and manipulating personal identifying information such as dates-of-birth (DOB) and Social Security numbers (SSNs) on applications for credit and services.
Other findings of the study include:
States with the highest numbers of fraud rings include Alabama, the Carolinas, Delaware, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas.
While many fraud rings occur in cities, a surprisingly high number were also found in rural areas of the country.
A large number of families are working together in fraud rings, even using each other’s SSNs and DOBs. However, rings made up of friends are more common, with the majority of fraud rings made up of members with different last names.
“In this latest research, we have taken a broader approach, looking at connections among bad people rather than studying individual activity,” Dr. Stephen Coggeshall, chief technology officer of ID Analytics said in the post. “This information enables us to build new variables into our fraud models so we can help our customers to make better decisions and improve protection for consumers.”
ID:A Labs looked at about 1.7 billion identity risk events including applications for credit cards, wireless phones, payday loans, utilities, and other financial services credit products. It also examined changes in personal identifying information among accounts such as changes in name, address, DOB and SSN to identity over 10,000 fraud rings in the United States.
ID Analytics chart The dots show concentrations of identity theft crime rings.