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   ISSUE 45

8 April 2015

Article of the Month  Around the World

Social Media to Curb Suicide Rates


Suicide is a leading cause of death worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, in the year 2020 approximately 1.53 million people will die from suicide. Suicide is not a mere individual phenomenon, but it is influenced by social and environmental factors. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for young people ages 15-24 and every year hundreds of thousands of young people engage in self-harm incidents. Many young people display red-flag behaviors in the digital world before these incidents occur. The faceless nature of online communication often emboldens children to reveal details about their state of mind: leaving tell-tale indicators or �bread crumbs� of their well-being. If parents, educators, and mentors are aware of the risk factors and warning signs, connected technology can help them take an active role in promoting healthy behavior and intervening in dangerous situations

Since the first documented Internet suicide pact in Japan 12 years ago, researchers have been trying to figure out what role the Web plays in suicidal behavior. On one hand, you have people genuinely concerned and taking action when someone makes an alarming or depressed comment on one of the social networks. On the other hand, you have cyber bullying that is creating a higher level of suicides in teenagers than before the Web. There are pro-suicide chat rooms and private Facebook groups and not-so-private Twitter lists. But there also are huge opportunities to use social media to identify people who are at risk. Heart-breaking accounts of cyber bullying and suicide seem all too common, but a new study offers hope that social media can become an early warning system to help prevent such tragedies. University researchers claim that social media can become an early warning system to help prevent tragedies like suicide. In this new study, researchers at Brigham Young University examined several tweets from 50 different states over a three month period. After navigating through millions of tweets their algorithms picked tweets that had direct discussion of suicide and also those tweets that included keywords and phrases linked with known risk factors such as bullying and depression. "With social media, kids sometimes say things that they aren't saying out loud to an adult or friend in person," Christopher Giraud-Carrier, a BYU computer scientist and one of the study's seven authors, said in a press statement. After sifting through millions of tweets they found 37,717 genuinely disturbing tweets from 28,088 unique users for whom some location information was available. They found that the ratio of suicidal tweets for each state strongly correlated with the actual suicide rate. Prior to this, researchers found that nearly 15 percent of the tweets contained at least state level location, this can help in involving state health care departments. Next, the researchers plan to develop an app for school students that will incorporate as well as analyze data that students post. The app's algorithm will notify the counselors the moment a student posts something disturbing that is a cry for help.




Also in South Korea, Social media data such as weblog contents are used to gauge the public mood. Despite the diversity of content at an individual level, the aggregate of millions of social media data is used to get a pragmatic representation of public mood. Also it is used to measure national happiness by tracking the usage of key words among users of social media services. Moreover, it has been shown that online social media data can be used to predict changes in the stock market, influenza infection rates, and box office receipts. Therefore, social media data could be a promising source for investigating the association between suicide and public mood and for the refinement of suicide prediction models. The digital world provides a natural medium for acting out and/or expressing emotions, and warning signs often reveal themselves online. For example, plans for reckless and dangerous behavior could be posted on Twitter and Facebook, and feelings of hopelessness might be confessed on a blog. In January 2011, a woman in England posted a suicide note on her Facebook wall. She had 1,048 friends, but while her friends discussed the legitimacy of the post�no one came to her aid. She was found dead the next morning. If any of her friends had reported the message to police, it might have saved her life. Parents, educators, and mentors who are connected both offline and online with young people should carefully watch for warning signs. When witnessed, these warning signs should be taken very seriously to help young people get the support they need.

Mohenesh Chamith Buthgumwa

This article was originally published on Social Mediaroid,














































  Destructive malware has links to attacks on South Korea

�..Backdoor.Destover, the destructive malware that was the subject of an FBI Flash Warning this week, shares several links to earlier attacks directed at targets in South Korea. Some samples of Destover report to a command-and-control (C&C) server that was also used by a version of Trojan.Volgmer crafted to attack South Korean targets. The shared C&C indicates that the same group may be behind both attacks. ....�

  Cisco to buy SDN startup Embrane

'....Cisco plans to beef up its SDN [software-defined networking] technology by acquiring Embrane, a startup with an architecture for virtualised network appliances....'

SaaS: Pros, cons and leading vendors



'...Software as a Service (SaaS) is an increasingly popular delivery model for a wide range of business applications. We outline the benefits and drawbacks of SaaS, present a listing of vendors and consider which kinds of companies will benefit most from outsourcing software provision to the cloud....'



'...The State Department says it needs to reconstruct its classified computer systems after suffering a hack the agency has said only affected its unclassified networks.....'

The 2015 Social Engineering Survival Guide

'...Despite being an integral aspect of many, if not most, major attacks, social engineering tactics always seem to go underappreciated by enterprise security teams. However, it�s often easier to trick someone into opening an email and exploiting a vulnerability that way, or convincing an unsuspecting assistant to provide a few useful bits of information, than it is to directly attack a web application or network connection.....�

Month in Brief
Facebook Incidents Reported to Sri Lanka CERT|CC in February 2015
 Statistics - Sri Lanka CERT|CC


'....Private sector government contractors may soon be subjected to new rules for managing sensitive federal information.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology recently published draft requirements for federal and nonfederal groups with access to �controlled unclassified information� -- a subset of confidential information that, while not classified, must still be protected. The Commerce Department agency is accepting public comments on the draft until May 12, 2015..'


Mobile security: iOS vs. Android vs. BlackBerry vs. Windows Phone

'...One of the most exciting parts of this week's Apple Watch launch was the example of the BMW watch app.

This app allows you to see the charging status of your BMWi electric car, right from your wrist.

You can also check the status of the doors of your car (important information such as if they are locked or not!). Although the star of the show was the watch app, APIs had a cameo appearance, since the information shown on the watch is fetched in real-time from APIs.....

Attackers clone malware-laden copies of popular apps

'...Criminal hackers have hacked/cloned most of the top 100 paid apps and top 20 free apps for Android and iOS, according to data from Arxan�s State of Mobile App Security report, 2014. These attackers use the infected apps to gain entry to the enterprise in order to compromise its most treasured information...'

How to protect from threats against USB enabled devices



'....Reports have been circulating that e-cigarette chargers from China were corrupted and infected machines with malware. Many journalists took the story at face value, even though the only source was a single post on the subreddit r/talesfromtechsupport. As the story goes, an executive�s system was infected by malware. IT �scoured� the system for answers and finally found out the only possible source was the executive�s e-cig charger. The device was made in China and the assumption was the malware was loaded intentionally onto the charger�s firmware....'


Cyber crooks go after enterprise millions with Dyre malware, social engineering



'...."An experienced and resource-backed cybercrime gang" is using the relatively new Dyre/Dyreza banking Trojan coupled with effective social engineering to steal millions from businesses, IBM Security Intelligence researchers John Kuhn and Lance Mueller warned.

The campaign, dubbed "Dyre Wolf" is still active, and starts with spear-phishing emails delivered to enterprise employees, some of which are tricked into downloading an attachment that contains the Upatre downloader....'

Notice Board
  Training and Awareness Programmes - April 2015
- Apri 8h -10th April Awareness on Industry Based Training � CRC Lectures National Inland Fisheries & Aquaculture Training Institute, Kalawewa.
April 26th -1st May Orientation Programme for newly recruited ICT Graduate Teachers National Inland Fisheries & Aquaculture Training Institute, Kalawewa.

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