eBay Users Should Change Password due to Breach

All eBay users should change their passwords immediately.  Due to a security breach, customer account information for eBay’s millions of users has been compromised.  To reset your password, here is the eBay password-reset page link .

In a post yesterday on the company’s official blog, eBay said the “database, which was compromised between late February and early March, included eBay customers’ name, encrypted password, email address, physical address, phone number and date of birth. ”  You can read the rest of the blog here.

According to reports and the company, the breach did not affect PayPal systems.  However, eBay and PayPal are affiliated entities and you might also consider changing your PayPal password.  It is always best to use a unique password for every online account.

Users should be especially wary of “phishing” attacks.  Just like during other major events, criminals will use keywords such as “eBay” and “password change” to lure victims into clicking malicious links in emails.  Don’t get tricked – never click links in emails.  Instead, type the website name into your browser for safety.

Watch the Seattle Channel’s elections coverage and remember to vote by Tuesday, November 6

This is the first Presidential Election that King County has voted all by mail. Voters are reminded to turn ballots into ballot drop boxes before 8 pm on November 6 or make sure the ballot is postmarked November 6 or earlier.

If you’re a new voter and you haven’t registered yet, it’s not too late. New voters can register in person until Oct 29. Here’s how:  http://www.kingcounty.gov/elections/registration.aspx

Registered voters should receive ballots no later than October 23. Track your ballot packet and get questions answered at http://www.kingcounty.gov/elections.aspx.

The Seattle Channel has covered the election during the last few weeks, and a roundup of the video election coverage can be found below:

 Don’t forget to vote on or before Nov. 6!

Evergreen Apps Challenge to award $75,000 in prizes at Oct 1 event

Winners of the Evergreen Apps Challenge will be named on October 1, 2012, at Seattle City Hall. Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantine will kick off  the event with $75,000 in prizes  awarded for the best new civic apps, including two people’s choice awards. The people’s choice awards will be decided by those in attendance and everyone who registers gets a vote.

 “The intersection of technology and society inspire our storytelling at GeekWire, and this event combines these themes along with one that is close to my heart: doing well by doing good.  I can’t wait to see what the app developer community has created for this challenge,” said Rebecca Lovell of GeekWire, who is emceeing the awards ceremony.

Registration is free at http://bit.ly/UQkLvy. The event will be held Monday, October 1, in the Bertha Knight Landes Room, Seattle City Hall, 600 4th Avenue, in Seattle, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Music and light refreshments will be provided.

See entire announcement here: http://www.seattle.gov/news/detail.asp?ID=13122



$75,000 in prizes for best apps – deadline Sept 6

The State of Washington, King County, and the City of Seattle are alerting local applications developers that the deadline for submitting apps to the Evergreen Apps Challenge is only one week away. Eligible entries should be submitted before 5 pm PST on Thursday, Sept 6.

The Challenge is open to people who live, work or study in Washington State and Washington small businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

 “The Evergreen Apps Challenge encourages people to find interesting and innovative ways to use government data to improve their community”, said Ted Schmitt, chair of Seattle’s Citizens Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board. “This is a great opportunity for application developers, designers, entrepreneurs and anyone with ideas for improving their community to leverage the data our government creates everyday to create fun, useful and accessible tools for everyone.”

 The StateCounty, and City have all made datasets available for public use, though any data about Washington State, King County or Seattle can be used for the challenge. Review detailed rules at http://www.evergreenapps.org/ to see if your application or idea is eligible.

 Prizes will be awarded on October 1 at a celebration at Seattle Center.



What do you want to ask Mayor McGinn?

Wednesday, August 22, at 7 p.m. is Ask The Mayor on the Seattle Channel. Got a burning question?  

Here’s how to get your question to Mayor McGinn:

  1. Call 206-684-8821 during the live show from 7-8 p.m. on Wed., Aug. 22.
  2. Email: askthemayor@seattle.gov
  3. Submit a question online: seattlechannel.org/AskTheMayor
  4. Twitter: @SeattleChannel
  5. Facebook: facebook.com/SeattleChannel


Geeks on a Ferry – August 14

Application developers, entrepreneurs, designers and students who are interested  the Evergreen Apps Challenge and government data are invited to take a ferry ride from Seattle to Bremerton and work on their entries.  Geeks on a Ferry will take place August 14 from 3 p.m. until 10 p.m. aboard a Washington State Ferry and at the Kitsap Conference Center in Bremerton. 

Participants will board the 3 p.m. ferry in Seattle and have the use of free wi-fi onboard, provided by Boingo Wireless, Inc. Once in Bremerton they will spend four-five hours at the Kitsap Conference Center where dinner will be provided along with presentations about building applications with Socrata Open Data and ESRI Maps. Wi-fi will also be available on the return ferry ride.

 The registration fee is $35 for professionals and $15 for students and includes the ferry ride and dinner. Please register at http://evergreenapps.eventbrite.com/.

The Evergreen Apps Challenge is sponsored by Seattle, King County and Washington State and offers more than $75,000 in prize money for development of apps that use government data and stimulate economic development throughout the state. State support comes from the Washington State Broadband Office, which is funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and is charged with coordination, programming, and outreach on broadband issues including opportunities for funding.  The challenge is open to small businesses and individuals who live, work or study in Washington State. Learn more about the challenge at www.evergreenapps.org.

The Evergreen Apps Challenge closes September 6, 2012, and awards will be presented on October 1 in Seattle.


15 Organizations Receive 2012 Boost grants

The Department of Information Technology has awarded the 2012 Communities Online Boost Grant to 15 Seattle organizations.   Funds of up to $1000 per organization were used to help enhance the use of online tools for community building and civic engagement. Congratulations to the following organizations awarded Boost Grants for 2012:

206 Zulu – The goals of the 206 Zulu project are to update their website as the ultimate resource hub for all things Hip Hop and community related. The site will include content and resources for the community to learn about the local history, news, resource directory, access archived multimedia, and be able to contribute their own stories through the site’s own integrated social media capabilities.

Afrique Service Center – The goals of Afrique Service Center’s project are to create a blog for their current website, creating an environment for community feedback and opportunities to collaborate on solutions to neighborhood and community issues.  The blog will also offer more opportunity to develop community partnerships, working together, and improving the local communities and neighborhoods

Backpack Academy – Backpack Academy will use Boost grant funds to develop a website for their local program, which will include a blog, event calendar and parent resources such as online registration and program schedule.  There will be a link to Seattle Public Schools and additional educational materials to help parents access their child’s student records and progress.

Coleman Neighborhood Association – The Colman Neighborhood Association will use Boost grant funds to transition their email listserv to a website using NextDoor.  They will also be purchasing 2 netbooks to be placed in two cafes where residents can go to blog and post other useful content relevant to their community.

El Centro de la Raza – The goals of this project are to create and online volunteer management system using their current Salesforce contact management system.  They anticipate this will lead to greater retention of their current volunteers and facilitate the recruitment of new volunteers, as more content will be available remotely.  They will continue to partner with NPower on this project as NPower originally created a customized Saleforce database for El Centro de la Raza.

El Comite Pro-Reforma Migratoria y Justicia Social – El Comite Pro-Reforma Migratoria y Justicia Social is seeking completely redesign their website, which will include a blogging feature, event calendar and education tool.  They will be using funds to purchase a desktop computer to better facilitate the upkeep of their site.

Feet First – Feet First will develop a widget for their current website that will allow city residents to report problem areas that prevent walkability.  The project will eventually lead to integration with a smart phone app.  Residents will be able to see the status of their actions, as this project will coordinate with SDOT and other city departments as needed.

Pinehurst Community Council – The goals of this project are to better integrate their web presence of their web blog/website (www.pinehurstseattle.org) and our Facebook and Twitter accounts using WordPress plugins and widgets.  They anticipate that by doing this they will be able to better focus on content and engaging with their audience, while making it easier for their audience to post content as well.

Powerful Voices – Powerful Voices will use grant funds to expand the use of social media to build community and connections with their stakeholders. The focus of this project is to continue implementing their strategies on these platforms: YouTube, Facebook, website, Pinterest and Constant Contact, while also launching a blog to support development of unique content.

Raja for Africa – Raja for Africa will use Boost grant funds to develop blogging capabilities for their website.  They will also be hosting classes for youth and parents to learn how to blog. The project seeks to have more engaged youth in news and blogging, building community through social media, developing user’s knowledge about Internet use, and promoting media literacy to generate real world impact.

South Beacon Hill Association – The South Beacon Hill Association will use Boost funds to create a website for their neighborhood, which will include a blogging feature, event calendar and feeds from the Seattle Police Department.

South Park Area Redevelopment Committee – The goals of the South Park Area Redevelopment Committee project will be to update their current home page with new website architecture.  The project will make it easier to navigate around the site; give a comprehensive overview of what the neighborhood has to offer; and give better connections to their government partners.

Southeast Seattle Education Coalition – SESEC has developed a basic WordPress website, www.allfivesinfive.org. This project will develop sister website pages branded for the All Fives in Five Action Summit. We will leverage WordPress functionality, including Event Manager, to manage the event and develop other functionality, including a members-only section where Action Teams can collaborate.

Unified Outreach – Unified Outreach will use Boost grant funds to expand their website to include updatable news/blog pages.  This new portion of the website will act as a hub for local artists and youth interested in participating in their charity’s programs.

Urban Financial Services Coalition – UFSC Puget Sound Chapter will upgrade their website by adding the capability of managing their contacts, connect with volunteers and to better interact with the community at-large.  They will be adding features such as a Community Talk link that will connect with government, exploring the use of Constant Contact to manage volunteer hours, and creating both volunteer and blog portals

Read more about the Seattle Communities Online Project, Neighborhoods on the Net, and access training materials and  resources at http://www.seattle.gov/communitiesonline/

Comments to FCC support digital literacy and broadband

This week the City of Seattle and the Washington State Council on Digital Inclusion submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on proposed changes in rules that would expand telephone support programs to include broadband deployment and adoption.

Comments support the FCC’s desire to use savings from the Lifeline Program/Universal Services Fund to support programs and services to improve digital literacy and broadband adoption among Americans who face barriers to benefitting from these technologies. 

Here are the key positions taken in the comments:

  • A wide range of disadvantaged residents need these programs to help them access jobs, education, health information, and essential services. These include immigrants and refugees, disabled, communities of color, and seniors. Let local communities propose projects that best serve local needs and leverage community assets.
  • Community based non-profit organizations and local governments should be eligible organizations in addition to schools and libraries.
  • The FCC should build on organizations with training expertise and what has been begun by the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).  
  • The FCC should develop other funding mechanisms, as well as encouraging industry incentives and partnerships that sustain digital literacy training programs and do not reduce funding for existing voice and broadband programs.
  • The FCC should support sharing of best practices and training in delivery of digital literacy.
  • We support the American Libraries Association position that money should also not be taken away from E-rate for this effort.

The City of Seattle has been a leader in digital inclusion efforts with programs including the Technology Matching Fund program, Seniors Training Seniors in Technology, RecTech/Parks Department computer learning centers, and Access for All cable broadband program for non-profit tech learning centers. See www.Seattle.gov/tech

See more about the Washington State Council on Digital Inclusion on the Communities Connect Network learning and resource hub at www.communitiesconnect.org. This includes a directory of technology learning centers across the state.


Link to the FCC filing:

http://bit.ly/JIO0vg or http://seattle.gov/tech/docs/WA_DigInclusionCouncil_City_of_Seattle_Comments.pdf


Hackers Get Access to N.J. School Data System

Hackers Get Access to N.J. School Data System
By Robert McMillan | January 24, 2011 07:40 PM ET

IDG News Service – Users of the 4chan online message board managed to get access to the online student information system used by a New Jersey school district after the school’s administrative password was posted to 4chan last week.

The problem started last Tuesday, according to the Plainfield Board of Education, which serves a small school district just west of Newark. That’s when somebody posted a link to the login page and the administrative username (“admin”) and password (“poopnugget”) of the district’s Genesis Student Information System to 4chan, a popular but anarchic message board best known as the place where David Kernell posted details of his break-in of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s Yahoo e-mail account.

The Web-based Genesis software is used by about 160 New Jersey schools to manage their student records and communicate with students and parents.

It’s not clear how much damage was caused, but 4chan members soon started posting screenshots showing how they were able to mess with the school’s system. One screenshot shows school lunch prices reset to $9,000 per meal. Another post claims that “every class is now an elective, and requires only 1 credit to graduate.”

In another screenshot, it appears as though the 4chan intruder could have sent a message to students and parents using the school’s emergency notification system, designed to send text messages and e-mails to parents in the event of a major disaster.

It’s not clear whether the message went out, but if it did, parents in Plainfield would have received a technically accurate but tedious lecture on the difference between the Linux kernel and the GNU/Linux operating system.

The district’s interim superintendent, Anna Belin-Pyles, confirmed the breach in a statement posted to the district’s website on Saturday. There were “unauthorized breaches of one of the District’s computer systems in an attempt to vandalize electronic data and to disrupt school district operations,” she said.

Although some residents are worried that student records may have been tampered with, Belin-Pyles said that any damage to the system’s data was, at worst, only temporary. “There has been no permanent damage to the electronic files and steps are being taken to remedy the situation and further secure the system,” she wrote. The school district didn’t return calls seeking comment for this story.

Genesis fixed the problem on Wednesday after discovering the stolen password, the company said. On Friday, Genesis posted a brief note offering customers some basic password protection tips.

A criminal investigation into the incident has been opened, Belin-Pyles said.

Research: Robert Cazares
Source: www.computerworld.com/s/article/9206178/Hackers_get_access_to_N.J._school_data_system

All Forms of Fraud Will Continue to Strike Banking Institutions in 2011

All Forms of Fraud Will Continue to Strike Banking Institutions in 2011
December 27, BankInfoSecurity.com – (National)

Fraud in all its forms will continue to strike banking institutions across all channels in 2011. And until banks and credit unions increase their investments in analytics and channel integration, they will continue to suffer losses.

Fraud in all its forms will continue to strike banking institutions across all channels in 2011. And until banks and credit unions increase investments in analytics and channel integration, they will continue to suffer losses. That’s the overall message from the Faces of Fraud: Fighting Back survey, whose results were released in an Executive Summary by Information Security Media Group. The survey, which include responses from more than 230 financial leaders and security officers at financial organizations of all sizes, reveals keen insights into the fraud landscape. The study found credit and debit card fraud ranks No. 1 among current forms of fraud, with 81 percent of respondents saying they were impacted by payment card incidents this year. Check fraud came in second, with 63 percent saying it remains a problem. Phishing and vishing-related fraud was third, getting 48 percent of respondent votes. But only 20 percent of respondents said they are prepared to fight and prevent phishing and vishing attacks. The survey also found cross-channel fraud detection is not being widely implemented, with 55 percent saying they continue to rely on manual techniques. Only 26 percent have a plan or team in place for cross-channel detection; and 63 percent said they either have no cross-channel plan or team, are working on a plan or team, or simply do not know. The study indicated 76 percent of respondents first learn of fraud incidents only when customers and members notify them. To reduce vulnerability to fraud, 63 percent said they improved customer and employee awareness through education, 40 percent said they invested in new technology and 17 percent have increased budgets and/or staff. In 2011, 34 percent of respondents will increase budgetary investments and/or personnel to improve fraud prevention.

Research: Robert Cazares
Source and more information here: www.bankinfosecurity.com/articles.php?art_id=3206