National / International News

Spoofing: An explanation using bananas

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-04-22 09:37

London-based trader Navinder Singh Sarao, and his company are accused of using software to manipulate the S&P’s futures contracts through a practice known as "spoofing.”

Spoofing means fooling the markets – making it look like you’re doing something, when you’re actually not. How about an analogy?

Imagine you have a booth at the farmers market, where you are selling bananas at two bucks a pound. Suddenly, this guy sets up an empty stall beside you and starts shouting about selling bananas for a dollar a pound. His truck is just coming up the street, he says – the bananas will be here in a minute. All your customers start lining up at his stall! It’s a nightmare!

So now you have to cut your price and sell your bananas for a buck a pound. You sell several boxes to a woman in a green hat. And suddenly, the guy beside you has disappeared! There’s no truckload of bananas coming!

You decide to raise the price back up to two dollars a pound again. When, suddenly, you get a phone call from your wife, who has spotted the truckload of bananas guy at the other end of the market. He’s selling bananas right out of the box, helped by a woman in a green hat. You have been spoofed! They fooled you into selling your bananas at half price, and now they’re selling them at two bucks a pound. 

Site Of Capsized Migrant Boat Was 'Like A Floating Cemetery'

NPR News - Wed, 2015-04-22 09:35

Even to experienced emergency crews that have been working to save migrants at sea, it was a shocking sight: survivors bobbing among corpses in the Mediterranean Sea.

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My country’s a mess and no one understands

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 09:32
BBC Trending presents: an idiot's guide to the Yemen conflict

On Your Mark, Get Set, Grow: A Guide To Speedy Vegetables

NPR News - Wed, 2015-04-22 09:31

Impatient gardeners don't have to wait for summer to harvest salad fixings. A surprising variety of crops will bring homegrown produce to your table in as little as three weeks.

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Reagan gunman pushes for release

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 09:31
A lawyer for the man who shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981 tells a court in Washington his client should be released from a mental hospital.

Army sergeant 'did not slap bottoms'

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 09:26
An army sergeant accused of a string of sex attacks on female cadets denies he was in the "habit" of smacking their bottoms as they left the office.

Biker dies after coming off road

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 09:22
A 34-year-old motorcyclist dies after coming off the road on the A85 near Taynuilt in Argyll.

Man charged with Latvian's murder

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 09:20
A man is due to appear at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court on Thursday charged with the murder of Latvian national Aleksandrs Sokolovs.

N.Y. Judge Amends 'Habeas Corpus' Order For Chimps

NPR News - Wed, 2015-04-22 09:20

The amended order suggests that the court has made no decision on whether the two research chimps at Stony Brook University can be treated as legal persons.

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Italy 'at war' with migrant smugglers

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 09:11
Italy says it is "at war" with people traffickers, and has urged the EU to take robust action to stop more people dying in the Mediterranean.

Farage: I used tone to 'get noticed'

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 09:07
UKIP leader Nigel Farage admits the tone he has used on issues including immigration and HIV was designed to "get noticed".

Nadal sees off Almagro in Barcelona

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 09:06
Rafael Nadal makes amends for last year's defeat by Nicolas Almagro with victory over his fellow Spaniard at the Barcelona Open.

Will clubs follow West Ham's example?

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 08:57
West Ham are to offer the cheapest adult Premier League season ticket - BBC Sport asks the other clubs whether they will follow suit.

Morgan backs Polish language A-levels

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 08:44
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan tells exam boards to reverse their decision not to offer A-levels and GCSEs in minority languages such as Polish and Bengali.

At RSA, desperate for data to help understand threats

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-04-22 08:39

The annual RSA Conference is the largest security trade show in the world, and this year, there’s an extra level of desperation in the air. Security vendors and IT chiefs are looking to big data to help them understand how to protect companies from the ever-increasing tide of hackers looking to break in.

 The RSA Conference is, at its heart, a show where the makers of security products come to pitch their wares to big enterprise buyers. Those buyers, of course, are more interested than ever, since big companies and consumers are both reeling from a string of high-profile breaches at <a href="http://www.marketplace.org/topics/tech/sony-hack-dissected">Sony</a>, JP Morgan, Home Depot, <a href="https://soundcloud.com/marketplace/target-credit-hack-relied-on">Target</a> and others.

 Insiders say there’s a palpable shift in tone from how the security industry used to treat breached companies. They used to be pariahs: companies that had failed and obviously had inferior infrastructure.

 Now, though, the incoming president of RSA tells Fortune magazine flatly that <a href="https://fortune.com/2015/04/21/rsa-conference-amit-yoran-keynote/">"security has failed."</a>

Security products used to promise prevention and protection. At past conferences, a security company might terrify IT officers with tales of potential security flaws and then tout an ironclad fix.

More recently, as breaches got more common and ironclad fixes less believable, the focus shifted to "intrusion detection." Security experts started telling companies that they shouldn’t wonder if a breach might happen — only when.

 So, the next wave of products promised to detect those inevitable breaches sooner, before they got out of control and compromised mass amounts of data (remember, the Target and JP Morgan hackers were roaming around inside the company’s networks for months before anyone noticed). 

So this year, the product focus is something more like troubleshooting.

 "Half the vendors here are talking about some app that can provide intelligence or 'threat intelligence,'" says Chris McClean, a risk and security analyst at Forrester Research. "That’s the buzzword of the year here."

From what I can tell, "threat intelligence" is really just a dramatic way of saying "figure out what’s happening and hopefully what might work to stop the bad guys."

For example, I interviewed Vikram Phatak, CEO of a company called NSS Labs, which is a security research and advisory company that just launched a new product to help companies gather data about where they’re vulnerable to attack and how well their security products are working.

NSS Labs <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/14/idUSnMKWr1G6wa+1c8+MKW20150414">just raised $7 million in funding</a> to grow its spectacularly named Cyber Advanced Warning System. It’s basically a subscription service with a web dashboard that offers analytics about a company’s security.

There are lots of points of possible failures. Most companies layer on multiple products, like an intrusion detection service, a firewall and a so-called "endpoint solution" (basically an antivirus or antimalware product like McAfee). And then there’s all the potentially vulnerable software the company runs, like Windows, Java, Flash, Internet Explorer and so on.

The Cyber Advanced Warning System dashboard might show, for example, that lots of attacks are getting through the firewall but being stopped by the antivirus software, but that the company is running an outdated version of Java and needs to update it before someone exploits it and takes over company systems.

 The goal, says Phatak, is to help security pros understand how to better use the software they have, deploy the right settings on their company networks and get "situational awareness" about their overall security systems.  

 McClean says that approach — looking to the data — is a big theme at RSA this year.

 "The message is right," he says. "If you are telling an enterprise, we can take all of the disparate sources of information, we can tell you where you risks are and help you make better business decisions, how to allocate and where to prioritize and whether to use certain vendors in certain regions, then as a vendor, you’re in great shape." 

Still, he says there could be a whole new approach to security by next year, because cybersecurity threats are going to keep increasing for the foreseeable future — that is, there's always something to be afraid of. 

"Every year we say that in the last year we’ve seen breaches that are unprecedented and this totally changes the game," he says. "Next year we’ll say there are new breaches that have changed the game; in three years there will be more breaches that change the game. The game will always have changed."

Bail For Alleged 'Flash Crash' Trader Set At More Than $7M

NPR News - Wed, 2015-04-22 08:35

U.S. prosecutors say the U.K. man contributed to the 2010 "flash crash" that wiped about $800 billion from the value of shares. He told a London court that he opposes extradition to the U.S.

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Disney makes people speak gibberish

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 08:33
Disney's research arm develops a program that can automatically dub a video with alternative speech that fits a speaker's lip movements.

Trains 'had to queue' at Auschwitz

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 08:32
So many trains full of Jews used to arrive at Auschwitz that often two would have to wait while people from the first were "processed", a former Nazi SS guard says at his trial.

Pipe bombs 'meant to kill or maim'

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 08:29
Three pipe bombs are made safe by Army bomb experts in County Londonderry.

Young backs England selection policy

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 08:27
Wasps' Dai Young backs England policy on overseas Test players, and says failing to do the same has "wrecked" Welsh regions.

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