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   ISSUE 78

29 January 2018

Article of the Month Around the World

Facebook admits social media threat to democracy


Facebook acknowledged on Monday that the explosion of social media poses a potential threat to democracy, pledging to tackle the problem head-on and turn its powerful platform into a force for "good."

The comments from the world's biggest social network were its latest response to intense criticism for failing to stop the spread of misinformation among its two billion users - most strikingly leading up to the 2016 US election.

In a blog post, Facebook civic engagement chief Samidh Chakrabarti said he was "not blind to the damage that the internet can do to even a well-functioning democracy."

"In 2016, we at Facebook were far too slow to recognise how bad actors were abusing our platform," he said. "We're working diligently to neutralise these risks now."

The post - one in a series dubbed "hard questions" - was part of a high-profile push by Facebook to reboot its image, including with the announcement last week that it would let users "rank" the trustworthiness of news sources to help stem the flow of false news.

"We're as determined as ever to fight the negative influences and ensure that our platform is unquestionably a source for democratic good," said Katie Harbath, Facebook's head of global politics and government outreach, in an accompanying statement.

Facebook, along with Google and Twitter, faces global scrutiny for facilitating the spread of bogus news - some of it directed by Russia - ahead of the US election, the Brexit vote and other electoral battles.

The social network has concluded that Russian actors created 80,000 posts that reached around 126 million people in the United States over a two-year period.

"It's abhorrent to us that a nation-state used our platform to wage a cyberwar intended to divide society," Chakrabarti said.

"This was a new kind of threat that we couldn't easily predict, but we should have done better. Now we're making up for lost time," he said.

Chakrabarti pointed at Facebook's pledge last year to identify the backers of political advertisements - while also stressing the need to tread carefully, citing the example of rights activists who could be endangered if they are publicly identified on social media.

He also elaborated on the decision to let Facebook's users rank the "trustworthiness" of news sources, saying: "We don't want to be the arbiters of truth, nor do we imagine this is a role the world would want for us."


This article was originally published on:


























1 Statistics on the Internet growth in Sri Lanka
2.The Dragon Research Group (DRG)
3.TSUBAME (Internet threat monitoring system) from JPCERT | CC
4.Shadowserver Foundation
5. Team Cymru

  Facebook to give you more control over your data


"...In preparation for a tough new data law coming in May to the European Union � the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), considered by many as the biggest overhaul of personal data privacy rules since the internet was born � Facebook plans to make it easier for users to manage their own data, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said on Tuesday....."


Blockchain and cryptocurrency may soon underpin cloud storage


"...Through blockchain, Roberto Galoppini sees an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone: His organization, FileZilla, can offer users free online data storage while also allowing them to earn valuable cryptocurrency.

Galoppini, director of strategy for FileZilla, the popular, open-source FTP client, said his service is planning to shift direction this year by using a peer-to-peer (P2P), distributed storage platform from Atlanta-based Storj Labs Inc. that will be managed via blockchain..."

  The moving target of IoT security


'...As the explosive growth of IoT tech continues; businesses, vendors and consumers all have to confront the issue that the world is more connected than ever before, with potentially gigantic consequences.

The central problem with IoT security is that there is no central problem � IoT is a more complicated stack than traditional IT infrastructure and is much more likely to be made up of hardware and software from different sources.....'

How cybercriminals abuse the travel and hospitality industry



'...�With the right combination of other underground services (compromised accounts, credit cards, etc.) it is possible to cover almost every aspect of the holidays, including food and restaurants, shopping, entertainment, guided tours and more � way beyond flights and hotels,� Vladimir Kropotov, Researcher at Trend Micro, told Help Net Security....'

Doh!!! The 10 Most Overlooked Security Tasks


'....Security pros are under siege. Just in the last weeks we discovered major vulnerabilities in basic hardware chips, dubbed Meltdown and Spectre. Hacking from nation-states continues unabated, prompting fears that it will deter our ability to have safe elections later this year. And now, even the basics can go wrong as was displayed last week when the power went out at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas...'

Month in Brief
Facebook Incidents Reported to Sri Lanka CERT|CC in December 2017
  Statistics - Sri Lanka CERT|CC

Malicious Chrome and Firefox extensions block removal to hijack browsers

'...Malicious Chrome and Firefox extensions that block their removal in order to hijack a user's browser to drive clicks up on YouTube videos and hijack searchers are automatically infecting user devices...'

Fake cryptocurrency wallet carries ransomware, leads to spyware

"...People around the world are rushing to acquire all kinds of cryptocurrency, hoping that prices will go up and they will be rolling in money when they sell their investment stash. Criminals have, expectedly, noticed the rush and are doing their level best to cash in on it.. .."
1 Million Drones, Operators Register to Fly in US

�..The Federal Aviation Administration recently announced its unmanned aerial systems registration portal has surpassed the 1 million mark, signifying growing popularity in commercial, recreational and public sector drone use.....�
AT&T Captures Classified NSA Tech Contract

."...Following a resolved bid protest, the National Security Agency can now begin work with telecommunications giant AT&T on the second of three massive tech contracts that make up the agency�s classified Groundbreaker program...."

Notice Board
  Training and Awareness Programmes - January  2018

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