Unsupervised Learning

Every week I consume ~20 hours of content about security, technology, and life, and then curate what I learned into a digestible summary.

Security News

Attackers are abusing routers running UPnP to proxy malicious traffic through unsuspecting home user networks. Link

Chinese authorities picked a suspect out of a concert crowd of 60,000 using facial recognition technology. Link

Verizon released their 2018 Data Breach Report. I'll be doing analysis soon, but here's the report if you want to read it yourself. Link

BakerHostetler put out a 2018 data security incident response report as well, with a main focus on Cyber Resilience. I'll be doing analysis on this one as well. Link

We got China to ease up on the hacking of U.S. intellectual property a while back, but starting around 2017 they resumed their attack. Link

China is massively clamping down on Chinese researchers' ability to share findings outside of China. So we won't be seeing Chinese nationals winning many hacking competitions anymore. The Chinese government is wanting to keep all that knowledge inside for its own use. Link

There's a growing risk of having your information stolen via a hack of your tax accountant. Attackers are realizing how soft these targets are, and how much information they tend to have one people. I've worried about this for a while. I think law firms are another good example of this class of soft and juicy target. Link

China just made a major show of naval force in the South China Sea, which included 48 warships, 76 aircraft, and President Xi Jinping in military fatigues. Link

Patching: Microsoft & Adobe Patch Tuesday

Technology News

Technology companies claimed the top five spots in the U.S. for R&D spending (again), and Amazon topped the list with $22 billion dollars. Perhaps that's why so many of my tech sections are full of Amazon news. Link

Google is redesigning Gmail, and here's what it looks like. Link

Google Sheets (its Excel competitor) just got macros. Link

AT&T is getting gigabit speeds from their 5G testing, but the 1MM wavelengths still have challenges with penetrating obstacles. Link

Human News

Numerous sources are reporting that Ketamine has 'fast-acting benefits' for depression. Link

Teen jobs are going to be at particular risk for replacement by AI and robotics. Link

Hand driers in bathrooms are basically bacteria launchers. They collect human waste from the air and shoot it onto your hands. Link

Half of college students don't think protecting free speech is important. Link

Dopamine is less about pleasure and more about motivation. Big difference. To me that makes it far more important. Let's start studying the desire to pursue things, like bettering oneself. Link

Libraries are most popular with Millennials. Link

Almost three times as many young adults live with their parents or grandparents today as did in 1970. 33% of 25-29-year-olds in 2016. Extraordinary. Link

Trillions of viruses evidently fall from the sky every day. Link

Ideas, Trends, & Analysis

If social media loses major trust, it could be enough to bring back blogging and RSS.

To eliminate racism and other types of bias in machine learning / "AI", we'll have to eliminate them in real life first. AI just reflects what it finds in the real world. When Microsoft launched an AI bot that learned how to be a teenager from watching other teenagers, it became a racist Nazi within hours. That's not an AI problem—that's a humanity problem.

“We cannot have a society in which, if two people wish to communicate, the only way that can happen is if it’s financed by a third person who wishes to manipulate them”. ~ Jaron Lanier at TED recently

Here's an interesting argument: Programmers should not call themselves engineers because they neither 1) build things for the public, or 2) build things according to strict standards. Link

This person cured his depression with skydiving. I've always thought that were I to become afflicted with depression I'd try to jumpstart my sensations through something like this. Link


This Facebook tool will tell you if your data was leaked to Cambridge Analytica. Link

Yale's super famous course on Happiness—The Science of Well-being—is now available for free on Coursera. It's a course that stresses work-life balance when choosing a career rather than just income potential. Link

Apple is buying an adaptation of Asimov's Foundation series. Link

A Taxonomy of Technical Debt, by Riot Games Engineering Link

When Ready Player One was initially released as a book, it contained Easter Eggs that yielded Dolorians if you solved them. Link

Henry James Thoreau refused to pay taxes because he opposed slavery and went to jail for a night. He was one of the first Americans to engage in civil disobedience. He also graduated from Harvard but refused to pay $.25 for the diploma. Said they should include it in tuition. Link

Drawing Venn Diagrams Link

Game of Thrones just wrapped a 55-day fight scene shoot, which is evidently the longest one in TV history and is over twice as long as it took to shoot The Battle of the Bastards. Link

Talk to Books — Browse book passages using experimental AI from Google Link

PowerHammer — Exfil data across an air gap by going through power lines. Link

Data & Statistics

82% of teens own an iPhone, and 84% expect their next phone to be an iPhone. These numbers are rising as well. Since Android has most of the smartphone marketshare there seems to be a very clear young vs. old effect here. Link

Apple Music just hit 40 million subscribers, and will likely pass Spotify in the U.S. this summer. Link


🔥🔥🔥 MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: I'm announcing here for the first time the soft launch of my new company, called HELIOS. It's a service that actively monitors a company's external attack surface in near-realtime and notifies you when it finds anything dangerous. Examples include databases sitting on the internet, misconfigured servers, certificates that are about to expire, blacklisted domains, unauthorized VPNs, unprotected admin portals, rogue remote access, etc. I've been waiting for years to launch this, and it's finally happening. You can learn more at the website, and/or sign up to hear more and set up a POC !!! Email Directly Website

I am now reading everything (5 books) written by Nassim Taleb, of Black Swan fame. Update: I'm now done with the first three books and am currently reading Antifragile. Link

I saw a couple of great talks at BSidesSF today. Sasha Faust had a great talk on using Graph to do asset management and querying. It'll be online soon.

If you're not yet a member then you missed last week's edition of the newsletter (the free version is only bi-monthly), but you can sign up now and get all future versions (every week). Basically, members get every edition, and free subscribers get the odd releases. BECOME A MEMBER

For people going to RSA, I'm doing a presentation / panel titled Machine Learning Demystified at 3PM on Tuesday at the IOActive IOAsis. Stop by and say hello. The IOAsis is a small separate venue from Moscone where you can come relax, get free drinks, and enjoy good conversation and some talks/panels in a more relaxed environment. Link

Don't forget that Craig Smith and I are working on the OWASP IoT Security Top 10 for 2018 right now. We have a small project team getting together every two weeks right now, but if you want to be part of the project come to the OWASP Slack channel and find us at #iot-security.


Send a sentence like this—preferably in email—to everyone you love:

Do not worry if I die in an unexpected way, if we were fighting at the time, or if we had not spoken in some time. I have always loved you. I loved you when I died, and I will love you forever”.

This simple act could bring great peace to someone who feels guilt over how you last interacted before you passed. Plus they'll probably like reading it now as well. : )


“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary”.

~ Nassim Taleb

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