The Unsupervised

by Daniel Miessler
The newsletter version of my Unsupervised Learning show–where I handpick articles each week in InfoSec,Technology, and Humans, and talk about why they matter.
Information Security news  

The ShadowBrokers have released a new collection of content related to the Equation Group, i.e., the supposed NSA hacking team, this time involving lists of IPs supposedly used by the group. Link

Homeland Security held a conference call with 18 major internet service providers after the recent DDoS attacks. They're evidently working on a new set of strategies for security IoT devices. Link

A researcher found a way to counter-hack incoming Mirai botnet connections to make them stop sending requests. Interesting, but not always a great idea. People should think about this type of thing very seriously before they consider it part of an actual defensive plan. Link

Booz Allen Hamilton is doing a comprehensive security review to try to restore its reputation as a vendor that can be trusted. Both Snowden and a new contractor stole content from the NSA while working for the company and they're looking to fix their reputation. Link

Palantir could be close to going public. Link

Google Brain has invented two separate AIs that have evolved their own cryptographic algorithm to hide their communications from a third AI, which they also made up. Google Brain is based out of Mountain View, and is different from Deep Mind who beat the world's best human Go player. All the researchers told the two AIs was to hide their communication from the third, and they did the rest. Link

Extracting keystrokes by monitoring VOIP streams. Link

Technology news                                                    

Microsoft launched a Surface Studio desktop designed for creative professionals a day before Apple announced new MacBook Pros. The Studio got rave reviews while the MBP has been largely panned due to the seemingly minor upgrades. I personally think these sentiments will reverse within a year's time, but we'll see. Link

Apple launched their new MBP with a few key changes: 1) it's thinner and lighter, 2) they've removed the function keys and added a contextual touch interface that changes based on the application you're in, and 3) they integrated TouchID into the new power button so you can now login and make purchases using your fingerprint. Link

Tesla debuts new solar roof tiles that work in conjunction with their new Powerpack 2 home energy storage unit. The upgraded unit can now store double the energy (200 kWh). Link

Apple has exited the display business, and highlighted offerings from LG in their MacBook Pro media event. Link

We have no idea how neural networks actually learn, and a new technique might give us some additional insight. Link

Twitter has cancelled its Vine product and is laying off another 300 people as part of its restructuring. Given the fact that the buyout's seemed to have fallen through (at least for now) they seem to be orienting for a potentially independent 2017. Link

Engineers working on ultra-low power transistors that can function by using scavenged energy and last for months or years without needing a battery. Link

Wireless carriers are building entirely new networks for IoT devices because battery life, cost, and coverage issues. Link

Human news                                                  

Aboriginal Australians and Pacific Islanders carry DNA of an unknown human species (not Neaderthal and not Denisovans), according to new research. The theory is that this group comes from Sahul, the continent that used to include Tasmania, Australia, and New Guinea around 50,000 years ago. Link

Ideas, trends, and concepts

The Power of Bottom-up (Evolution) vs. Top-down (Design) Link

How AI Will Improve Human Customer Service (Right Before it Kills It) Link

Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook Can Only Go So Far Without a Mobile Play Link

DEVOPS is Fundamentally About Practice and Improvement Link

On Apple's Innovation and Quality Link

See what Facebook Thinks of You Link

The Future of Automated Value Exchange for Online Content Creators Link

Facebook talks about how they automate the continuous restores on their databases, not just the backups. Fascinating. Link

A fascinating article on the the theory that Tim Cook is just like Steve Balmer in that he's great at executing and increasing revenue, but is also missing major technology trends (Ballmer with mobile, and Cook with AI Services). I don't have an opinion yet, but the article is quite interesting. Link

An unbelievable piece talking about how battery technologies could be massively disruptive to the economy as a whole because so much of everything is backed by an assumption of high oil prices. Link

A great piece on how startups should solve specific problems, and that once you let yourself drift into solving general ones you might be in trouble. Link

Why a lot of people (Andy Stern in this case) are predicting up to 5 million human jobs being eliminated by AI by 2020. Link

Recommended Links

The Evidence Guccifer 2.0 is Russian Intel Link

Cyber Security Base With F-Secure is a new, free series of information security courses put on by the University of Helsinki and F-Secure. Link

Online GeoIP lookups using Link

I did some basic analysis of IoT Botnet traffic hitting a honeypot. Looked at the most common countries seen and credentials used over a two hour period. Link

BruCON 2016 Videos Link

Kayak: A CANBUS Analysis Tool Link

CANSpy: A CANBUS Auditing Platform Link

A Cognitive Bias Cheatsheet Link

Tips,  announcements, and miscellanea

If you're worried about not having an ESC key on your new MBP because of Vim, consider remapping your ESC key to "jk" so you never have to leave the home keys. I hardly ever use my ESC key and I basically live in Vim. Link 

Collecting Links Using the Safari Reading List Link

How I Produce my Podcast Link

How to Unlink Microsoft OneNote from the Cloud (for security reasons) Link

I continue to experiment with the format of the show--specifically around doing fewer stories with more analysis or more stories with less. If you have an opinion on the matter hit me up on Twitter or via email. Thanks! Link


“In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted."

~ Bertrand Russell

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