Amazon-Google Feud
December 6, 2017

Are you following Google-Amazon feud?

Google has decided to remove YouTube from all Fire TV products and the Echo Show apparently after Amazon’s decided to delist new Nest products.

Amazon claims that “Google is setting a disappointing precedent by selectively blocking customer access to an open website.”

Amazon has also refused to sell Google products such as Chromecast and Google Home. Fire TV owners will lose YouTube January 1.

Should Google pull YouTube from Amazon hardware? #GoogleAmazonFeud

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Privacy: Can WiFi data be anonymous?
October 19, 2017
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While in the past, mobility traces were only available to mobile phone carriers, the advent of smartphones and other means of data collection has made these broadly available.

Last year Transport for London (TfL) launched trial to gather “de-personalised WiFi connection data collected at 54 London Underground stations within Zones 1-4 to help improve the services it offers customers.”

But TechCrunch reports TfL has now turned down an FOI request asking for it to release the “full dataset of anonymized data for the London Underground Wifi Tracking Trial” — arguing that it can’t release the data as there is a risk of individuals being re-identified (and disclosing personal data would be a breach of UK data protection law).

“Although the MAC address data has been pseudonymised, personal data as defined under the [UK] Data Protection Act 1998 is data which relate to a living individual who can be identified from the data, or from those data and other information which is in the possession of, or is likely to come into the possession of, the data controller,” TfL writes in the FOI response in which it refuses to release the dataset.

A simply anonymized dataset does not contain name, home address, phone number or other obvious identifier. Yet, if individual’s patterns are unique enough, outside information can be used to link the data back to an individual. See below :

(A) Trace of an anonymized mobile phone user during a day.The dots represent the times and locations where the user made or received a call. Every time the user has such an interaction, the closest antenna that routes the call is recorded.

(B) The same user’s trace as recorded in a mobility database. The Voronoi lattice, represented by the grey lines, is an approximation of the antennas reception areas, the most precise location information available to us. The user’s interaction times are here recorded with a precision of one hour.

(C) The same individual’s trace when we lower the resolution of our dataset through spatial and temporal aggregation. Antennas are aggregated in clusters of size two, and their associated regions are merged. The user’s interaction is recorded with a precision of two hours. Such spatial and temporal aggregation render the 8:32 am and 9:15 am interactions indistinguishable.


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KRACK Attack: Vulnerabilities in Wi-Fi Protected Access and Wi-Fi Protected Access II
October 17, 2017
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We are all exposed to the Krack Wi-Fi security vulnerability—a flaw that puts any person using wireless internet at risk of being hacked.

The Krack security exploit was discovered by Mathy Vanhoef, a cybersecurity expert at Belgian university KU Leuven, who will present his research at the Computer and Communications Security (CCS) conference later this month.

“We discovered serious weaknesses in WPA2, a protocol that secures all modern protected WiFi networks,” Vanhoef wrote in a blogpost describing the vulnerability. “An attacker within range of a victim can exploit these weaknesses using key reinstallation attacks (KRACKs). Concretely, attackers can use this novel attack technique to read information that was previously assumed to be safely encrypted.”

“This implies all these networks are affected by (some variant of) our attack. For instance, the attack works against personal and enterprise Wi-Fi networks, against the older WPA and the latest WPA2 standard, and even against networks that only use AES.”


Multiple Cisco wireless products are affected by these vulnerabilities

In a statement, today Cisco acknowledged multiple wireless products are affected by these vulnerabilities and said it will release software updates to address these vulnerabilities. There is a workaround that addresses the vulnerability in CVE-2017-13082. There are no workarounds that address the other vulnerabilities described in this advisory.

This advisory is available at the following link:

Apple also claims to have fixed the issue in certain versions of its operating systems, including iOS used on iPhones and watch OS used on the Apple Watch, and macOS used on Apple Macs. The patches, however, are mostly available only for trial versions of the software and therefore are available only for developers.

 “Microsoft released security updates on October 19 and customers who have Windows Update enabled and applied the security updates are protected automatically,” the company said in a statement. “We updated to protect customers as soon as possible, but as a responsible industry partner, we withheld disclosure until other vendors could develop and release updates.”


Google has yet to issue any fixes for the Krack attack method, saying in a statement on Monday that it is working on ways to resolve it.

A research paper with the title of “Key Reinstallation Attacks: Forcing Nonce Reuse in WPA2” was made publicly available. This paper discusses seven vulnerabilities affecting session key negotiation in both the Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and the Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) protocols. These vulnerabilities may allow the reinstallation of a pairwise transient key, a group key, or an integrity key on either a wireless client or a wireless access point. Additional research also led to the discovery of three additional vulnerabilities (not discussed in the original paper) affecting wireless supplicant supporting either the 802.11z (Extensions to Direct-Link Setup) standard or the 802.11v (Wireless Network Management) standard. The three additional vulnerabilities could also allow the reinstallation of a pairwise key, group key, or integrity group key.

‘My God, it’s better’: Emma can write again thanks to a prototype watch, raising hope for Parkinson’s disease – Transform
October 6, 2017

Microsoft researcher Haiyan Zhang created a watch for Emma Lawton that helps the graphic designer control the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Sourced through from:

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Priceless Product Placement of FireEye Cyber Threat Map
September 30, 2017
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It appears Department of Homeland Security has put its trust on FireEye (NASDAQ: FEYE), the intelligence-led security company. VICE feature on Cybersecurity gave us a glimpse of DHS control room. Of course, I spotted the security product and an organic product promotion.

In April 2015, FireEye had announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had certified FireEye’s Multi-Vector Virtual Execution engine and Dynamic Threat Intelligence cloud platform under the SAFETY Act. “Certification is the highest level of liability protection available under the SAFETY Act. Customers of these certified FireEye technologies now have protection under the SAFETY Act from lawsuits or claims alleging failure of the technologies to prevent or mitigate an act of cyber terrorism. FireEye is the only Certification is the highest level of liability protection available under the SAFETY Act. Customers of these certified FireEye technologies now have protection under the SAFETY Act from lawsuits or claims alleging failure of the technologies to prevent or mitigate an act of cyber terrorism. FireEye is the only cybersecurity company with products, technologies or services certified under the SAFETY Act.”

The SAFETY Act — or the “Support Anti-Terrorism By Fostering Effective Technologies Act of 2002” — is a DHS liability management program aimed at encouraging the development and deployment of security products and services that will enhance the protection of the United States. DHS has designated over 700 products, technologies and services since the SAFETY Act was enacted in 2002, but FireEye’s MVX and DTI offerings were the first pure cybersecurity products, technologies or services to receive Certification. The liability protections provided by the SAFETY Act encourage more effective security deployments by automatically limiting the types of liability claims companies using certain products may face following a terrorist event.

In circumstances where the SAFETY Act is triggered under Federal law, claims that arise out of, or relate to the use of, the MVX engine or the DTI cloud would be limited or eliminated for FireEye customers. FireEye also benefits, as when the SAFETY Act is triggered, all covered third-party claims related to the MVX engine and DTI cloud platform product will presumptively be dismissed.

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Artificial Intelligence is Slowly Transforming Contact Centers
March 14, 2017
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In May 2017 at ICMI Expo Shep will share some of the 52 “Amazement Tools” featured in his book of the same name. Learn best practices, tactics, and strategies to help them deliver the most amazing customer service on the planet.

Over the years, I have watched artificial intelligence swiftly move from a thing of the future to a practical element in the improvement of contact center operations. With the contact center remaining a vital component of customer acquisition and retention, it seems obvious that continual advancements are key in boosting the success of businesses worldwide. When it comes to improving the contact center experience for improved client acquisition and retention, intelligent network interfaces are beyond compare. Understanding just how artificial intelligence beneficially alters the contact center landscape has helped me see how this feature benefits business operations.

I had the opportunity to talk to Shep Hyken, author “Amaze Every Customer Every Time” recently. Shep believes we are “going to see artificial intelligence play a big support role in the world of customer service. AI will help companies with the most menial tasks like changing address. However, when it comes to something bigger, AI (Artificial Intelligence) becomes IA (Intelligent Assistant).“

Emotional Sensitivity for Improved Quality of Service (QoS)

To best serve clients, contact center agents must accurately detect and respond to emotional changes in the caller’s voice. Improperly reading the client’s emotional status can sour the end user experience and paint the company in a bad light. Since clients share negative business experiences far more often than positive interactions, unfavorable reviews could spread like wildfire due to a single agent’s inability to pick up on these details.

An intelligent network, however, has the power to pick up on the tonal differences and speech pattern changes that indicate a heightened emotional state. The system then notifies the contact center agent about the client’s emotional status to enable a positive result to an interaction that may have otherwise taken a negative path.

The system also has the power to provide feedback about the agent’s emotional response and act as a guide for the use of a beneficial tone. Not surprisingly, contact centers with this emotional feedback system in place report a 28 percent increase in the satisfaction of their customers.

Shep, who will be a keynote speaker at the ICMI Contact Center Expo and Conference in May, envisions a scenario where “the AI is listening to the call in realtime and communicating to the call center rep what he or she needs to tell the customer. Moreover, in addition to that, especially for contact centers and support centers that might have a sales role involved, the AI will tell the rep what to sell this customer next, what they are going to need next. They are going to listen to the call and the artificial intelligence will, through word recognition, intonation, the context of the call, it will be able to do amazing things in five years.”

But he quickly corrects himself: “We are almost there now. We are like sitting on the doorstep of this.”

Word Choice Dictionaries Assist Service Architecture

Clients who dial a contact center’s number likely have a complaint or question in need of a quick resolution. When calls are improperly routed through the system, clients end up feeling frustrated well before reaching the desired department, making it difficult for contact agents to fully resolve the issue.

Thankfully, continual improvements in the word choice dictionaries used by contact center software vendors actively help to improve the client experience by routing the calls to the right department every time. An intelligent network can detect short and long tail keywords to accurately direct the client through the menu system without delay.

Like the tone of voice and speech patterns, word choice acts as a smart indicator into the state of mind of each client. If any clients utilize hostile language, speech analytic software can send the callers to specialized agents to offer an additional layer of service and support. Thus, this smart system not only improves customer relations but also offers a boost to cyber security.

Intelligent Network Learning Boosts Speech Recognition

With each day of activity, an intelligent network becomes more adept at learning about the unique needs of its associated client base. The system actively improves the quality of service by learning just how to accurately implement traffic management and speech recognition techniques for each unique business model. As client resolution times decrease in response, QoS stats increase in tandem. Since the system learns day by day, a commitment to the utilization of cloud contact center software for the long term has the potential to offer returns in the form of steadily increasing QoS improvements.

Embracing the Power of Scalable Intelligent Networks

As the interactive voice response (IVR) system learns about the company’s operations, the telecommunication infrastructure must scale in response. With IVR and intelligent networks as a long-term growth strategy, cloud-managed services are needed to facilitate the expansion of a highly scalable infrastructure. Storing software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) drivers in the cloud allows IT managed services to increase exponentially in size through the years.