With fewer than two months before tax returns are due, the FBI is warning of an increase in new scams that try to trick taxpayers and employers into sending employee records, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and other sensitive information.The scams are most often directed at human resources departments in an attempt to trick workers into sending records for large numbers of employees."Individual taxpayers may also be... targeted, but criminals have evolved their tactics to focus on mass data thefts," FBI officials wrote in an advisory published Wednesday."This scam is just one of several new variations of IRS and tax-related phishing campaigns targeting W-2 information, indicating an increase in the interest of criminals in sensitive tax information."Using a technique known as business email compromise (BEC) or business email spoofing (BES), fraudsters posing as executives send emails to payroll personnel requesting copies of Forms W-2 for all employees.The Form W-2 contains the employee's name, address, Social Security number, income and withholdings.
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For over a decade, Customs and Border Protection has failed to properly verify e-passports (which contain biometric data) as "it lacked the software to do so," according to a new letter sent by two top senators.According to a 2010 report authored by the Government Accountability Office, the problem needed fixing then—and eight years later it still hasn’t been resolved.An e-passport is essentially a passport that includes machine-readable RFID chips containing a traveler's personal information.These more digitally secure passports, which began to be required by the United States for visitors form visa waiver countries beginning in 2007, are scanned at the border by a CBP agent’s computer.However, without a digital signature, it is impossible to validate that the data contained on the passport is actually authentic.Matthew Green, a professor of cryptography at Johns Hopkins University, called out CBP on Thursday about the issue.
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Absolut Vodka is a uniquely Swedish company, but even as it touts its ‘Nothing to Hide’ campaign with naked employees in its home country, the global brand travels a more hipster route for its latest campaign in New York City.The New York-centric campaign launched in late 2017 with out-of-home billboards and wild postings in specific neighborhoods around the city that captured and reflected insider takes on the New York experience.Now, the campaign has been expanded, using mini-documentaries featuring eight New York celebrities, icons and influencers.In the video shorts, people like journalist Michael Musto, rapper Jim Jones, DJ Stretch Armstrong, author Lizzie Goodman, model/singer Amanda Lepore and radio personality Miss Info give their takes on their favorite neighborhoods and venues, their takes on what it means to be a New Yorker and what makes the city so inclusive and accepting.“Absolut was determined to work with the people who were not only the best fit for the brand, but also the campaign, which is all about a distinctly New York dialect of honesty and freedom of expression,” said vice president of strategy Douglas Brundage, of Team Epiphany, which worked with Absolut on the project.“We wanted to work with real people who are iconic in New York City, and ideally also harken to Absolut’s history as a progressive brand that launched in the US for the first time in 1979 right here in New York City.
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HTC has laid off several employees from its US offices, as reported by Digital Trends and independently confirmed by The Verge.The job cuts followed HTC’s president of smartphone and connected devices Chialin Chang’s resignation last week.The Taiwan-based company has laid off a significant but unspecified number of its US-based staff, keeping only HTC Global employees in US offices.In an emailed statement to The Verge, HTC says the company will undergo some reorganization, merging its smartphone and virtual reality businesses to reduce operation cost.Today, we announced a restructure in North America for the HTC smartphone business that will centralize the reporting structure within the region,” HTC said.“In doing so, there have been some employee reductions to align the businesses and empower the teams to share more resources.”
Xiaomi has made no secret of its plans to expand its reach to global audience.Since the Chinese market has now become super competitive, the only way to justify $45 billion valuations is to look for sales elsewhere.Xiaomi seems keen to expand to the US and a new development might be very helpful.According to a new report, Xiaomi has now inked a pact with US software giant Microsoft.The deal involves patent transfer agreements and pre-installation of Microsoft’s software on Xiaomi devices.After the agreement, it was announced that Xiaomi will start shipping a number of Xioami devices from September with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Skype.
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Yesterday, federal prosecutors unsealed a new indictment against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.The indictment contains new evidence that Manafort hid millions of dollars in overseas income from US authorities, and it charges Manafort and his associate Richard Gates with numerous counts of tax and bank fraud.The indictment also suggests that Manafort's lack of technology savvy helped prosecutors build a case against Manafort and Gates.The pair allegedly submitted a variety of fraudulent documents to lenders in order to borrow money against properties purchased with overseas funds—funds that were never reported to the IRS.One reason prosecutors were able to build a paper trail against the pair: Manafort needed Gates's help to convert a PDF document to Word format and back again.In 2016, Manafort allegedly wanted to create a fake profit-and-loss statement for his company, Davis Manafort Partners, in order to inflate his income and qualify for a loan.
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Researchers are only now starting to unravel the potential long-term ramifications of a seemingly minor traumatic brain injury (mTBI), or concussion, to our health.Part of the difficulty has been in even figuring out when someone has a concussion in the first place, leading to lots of unnecessary and not entirely risk-free brain imaging tests.But a new blood test, approved by the US Food Drug and Administration (the FDA) on Thursday, is poised to make that task much easier.The test, known as the Banyan Brain Trauma Indicator, tests for two proteins, called UCH-L1 and GFAP, that are released into the bloodstream by the brain following a head blow that causes visible lesions to form.In its largest trial, which involved blood samples taken from nearly 2,000 people suspected of having a concussion, the test was compared against computed tomography (CT) scans.CT scans are considered the gold standard of concussion detection, but the majority of people who are suspected of having a concussion—via a diagnostic questionnaire—fail to show any visible brain lesions.
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International Symposium on Medical Robotics – March 1-3, 2018 – Atlanta, Ga., USAHRI 2018 – March 5-8, 2018 – Chicago, Ill., USANASA Swarmathon – April 17-19, 2018 – Kennedy Space Center, Fla., USARoboSoft 2018 – April 24-28, 2018 – Livorno, ItalyICARSC 2018 – April 25-27, 2018 – Torres Vedras, PortugalNASA Robotic Mining Competition – May 14-18, 2018 – Kennedy Space Center, Fla., USA
With "Ex Machina," writer and director Alex Garland delivered a complex, thought-provoking sci-fi thriller that explored artificial intelligence, robots and what it means to be human.With "Annihilation,"which opens in theaters in the US on Friday, he aims to take us on an even more mind-bending journey in a sci-fi fantasy laced with horror.This time, a crew of scientists led by biologist Lena (Natalie Portman) is on a quest to find the source of an unexplained alien phenomenon called "The Shimmer.""Instead of going back and rereading it and underlining passages, I did an adaptation from my experience of having read it ..."I don't know how to direct the gaze in...VR, which you do in film easily with lighting and focus," he said.But I've got two children and they've never seen anything I've worked on.
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There’s some good news for those interested in bagging an ARM-powered Windows 10 laptop, as HP has announced that its Envy x2 convertible is now up for pre-order in the US and will ship on March 9.But, the not-so-great news is that it will set you back a rather eye-watering $1,000 (around £715, AU$1,280).For that outlay, you get a 2-in-1 laptop built around a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip – bringing with it LTE connectivity for getting online when out and about – with 4GB of system memory and 128GB of storage.Aside from LTE, you also get battery life in spades – with a promised 20-hour longevity – but this seems like a lot of money to pay for a convertible when you consider some of the limitations the use of the Qualcomm processor entails.The Asus NovaGo starts at $599 (around £430, AU$770) – also with 4GB of RAM, although half the storage at 64GB – a far more attractive price point.Now admittedly, as we noted in our first look at the HP Envy x2, it is incredibly svelte – the tablet portion is 6.9mm thin, in fact – and benefits from an impressively premium design, but it seems like you really pay for that privilege.
Last Friday, Rob Goldman, a vice president inside Facebook’s Ads team, rather ill-advisedly published a series of tweets that seemed to confirm the Trump administration’s allegations regarding the recent indictments of 13 Russian nationals by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.But when you’re on the inside, like Rob is and like I was, and you have access to the revenue dashboards detailing every ring of the cash register, your worldview tends to follow what advertising data can and cannot tell you.But no matter how you look at them, Russia’s Facebook ads were almost certainly less consequential than the Trump campaign’s mastery of two critical parts of the Facebook advertising infrastructure: The ads auction, and a benign-sounding but actually Orwellian product called Custom Audiences (and its diabolical little brother, Lookalike Audiences).Rather than simply reward that ad position to the highest bidder, though, Facebook uses a complex model that considers both the dollar value of each bid as well as how good a piece of clickbait (or view-bait, or comment-bait) the corresponding ad is.If Facebook’s model thinks your ad is 10 times more likely to engage a user than another company’s ad, then your effective bid at auction is considered 10 times higher than a company willing to pay the same dollar amount.That’s why, if you’ve noticed a News Feed ad that’s pulling out all the stops (via provocative stock photography or other gimcrackery) to get you to click on it, it’s partly because the advertiser is aiming to pump up their engagement levels and increase their exposure, all without paying any more money.
Mitsubishi has announced that its new Eclipse Cross has arrived in the US.The automaker has offered up images of the first boatload of the new SUV rolling off the ship and onto our shores.The new Eclipse Cross SUV isn’t The Buster’s Eclipse.The Eclipse Cross is a compact CUV promising a “stimulating design” and an aggressive price.The Eclipse Cross will start at $23,295 when it goes on sale early next month.Mitsubishi will off the vehicle with an available panoramic sunroof, direct-injection turbo engine, and the available Super All-wheel Control system.
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Javelin notes in its report that cyber thieves have changed tactics over the past year, which has made them more efficient and effective.In addition, nearly 1 in 3 Americans were notified of a data breach in 2017, a significant jump from 1 in 8 in 2016, Javelin reports.As if the loss of names, addresses, social security numbers, and/or birthdates wasn’t enough, Equifax quietly informed the Senate Banking Committee earlier this month that even more information had been accessed in their data breach than it first reported.Equifax told the committee that for an unknown number of persons, email addresses, driver license numbers (including issue date and state), as well as expiration dates for credit cards, were also stolen.Equifax downplayed its sluggish disclosure, saying that its tardy revelation wasn’t an attempt to mislead those affected—or government investigators—about the breach.One might get an inkling of what that information might be by examining another major security lapse at the end of last year involving the marketing analytics firm Alteryx, which has an appropriately ironic slogan of “Experience More Data-Ha Moments with Alteryx.”
As lawmakers and federal investigators continue to try to understand the chaos foreign actors were able to create during the 2016 election, the US Department of Homeland Security has taken a central role in helping secure the next election.The agency declared the US election system, which is run by a fragmented group of officials in all 50 states as well as dozens of smaller local governments, to be a part of the nation's "critical infrastructure" in January 2017.The agency doesn't have any legal authority over election officials, but it offers programs to help them keep hackers out of voting machines, voter registration databases and public-facing election websites.She serves as the National Protection and Programs Directorate Assistant Secretary for the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications at Homeland Security.Manfra also talked with us about why she thinks a return to paper ballots wouldn't create a totally secure election, what Homeland Security has done to secure the federal government since the disastrous Office of Personnel Management data breach in 2015, and how she thinks the government can help make the internet of things safer.We issued a few public statements over the past couple of days about a series of meetings with industry, with state and local government officials.
Certain areas of the United States get little or no coverage from either of the four major carriers.The FCC is paying the carriers $4.5 billion over the next ten years to get 10/1 Mbps LTE speeds to those neglected spots.The 10/1 Mbps speed is what the FCC decided is the national median, which counters T-Mobile’s offer of 5/1 Mbps.As part of its Mobility Fund Phase II auction, the FCC has agreed to pay out over $4.5 billion over a ten-year period to the four major U.S. wireless carriers.The intention is for AT, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile, to use the cash to expand their wireless service in rural areas of the United States that currently get spotty service, or sometimes no service at all.If you look at a map of the coverage offered by the major carriers, there are certain places that all four companies just don’t cover.
We were always going to be interested in Mr.After years of l33t TV hackers aimlessly pounding away at keyboards from a parent’s basement on your Law & Order of choice, USA’s unexpected hit series clearly stood out as different from its very first scene.Elliot, a quiet, enigmatic, and savvy IT pro, sits in a cafe talking about gigabit Internet speeds, Tor networking, and the downfalls of onion-routing protocols due to exit nodes.Frankly, it may have become the best television hacker portrayal on the merits of that opening sequence alone.Over its three seasons, the show’s creative team has demonstrated time and again that they follow the infosec community as closely as any respectable tech journalist—there has been PwnPhones and cantennas, Kali Linux and crypto-ransomware.And with the show boasting former FBI agents, IT pros, tech journalists, and infosec analysts among its advisors and writers, we shouldn’t be surprised.
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The US security forces in charge of protecting Team USA receive word of an explosion outside the main entrance of the hockey arena, where teams have been battling for gold.His first question to the room full of special agents, analysts, and intelligence experts goes to Mark Woods-Hawkins, deputy Olympic security coordinator at the Diplomatic Security Service: How do you start gathering the information the team will need to address the unfolding crisis?“We’ll first reach out to our people in the venues to get reporting and accountability,” Woods-Hawkins says, referring to the agents stationed at the arena, several of whom would likely already be moving the U.S. athletes to a secure area.Others will reach out to local hospitals to gauge casualty numbers and identities, to US Forces Korea (the Department of Defense’s longstanding military presence in the country) to discuss possible medevac flights, and to Korea’s crisis response teams to determine the nature of the blast, whether intended or accidental.All of this would transpire within minutes—were it to be a real incident—and precede a full initial report to Washington, DC, outlining what is currently known.Troops north of the DMZ mobilize, prompting the White House to order the evacuation of thousands of US civilians from the Korean peninsula—all confused and terrified by the prospect of high-spirited athletics suddenly igniting global war.
Six Essential Email Marketing Tips [Infographic]Looking for email marketing success?This six tips can help you — and your emails — reach the right target.Google Brings the Popular Stories Format to AMP: Is It Worth Using?Google announced a new story format for AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) this week.Google describes the new shiny thing as “a visual driven format for evolving news consumption on mobile.” Econsultancy
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Over in the US, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has officially published an order overturning previously established net neutrality protections, which could have major ramifications for everyone online – but the pushback against the move has already started.As Reuters reports, a coalition of 22 state attorneys general and Washington yesterday refiled a legal challenge that aims to stop this in its tracks (this action was previously initiated last month, but then withdrawn as the move had to wait for the FCC’s publication of the order).The attorneys general have put forward the case that the FCC is making ‘arbitrary and capricious’ changes to policies here, and accuses the commission of disregarding “critical record evidence on industry practices and harm to consumers and businesses.”What does the repeal of these net neutrality protections actually mean?In short, it gives ISPs free reign over throttling traffic and the ability to prioritize certain services as they wish.In other words, services who pay ISPs or are otherwise favored by them will run faster than others, effectively creating a multi-tiered internet rather than a level playing field when it comes to speeds.
The Federal Register shows that the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) net neutrality rules will come to an end on April 23.The killing blow entered the register on Thursday, February 22, stating that the FCC returns to the “light-touch regulatory scheme” that kept America’s public-accessed internet in check since the 1990s.That means internet service providers (ISPs) no longer fall under the government-regulated “utility” umbrella.They didn’t do that prior to the creation of the net neutrality rules, and likely won’t resort to evil plotting once the rules expire this spring.Yet there is still an uncertainty about what happens next.The big fear is that, with the net neutrality rules now eliminated, ISPs will start regulating internet traffic based on content and price.
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