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Monthly Cyber Security Tips Newsletter – 2014 Cyber Security Outlook

As we look ahead toward the cyber threats facing us this year, some key challenges will result from the advancements in technology that are becoming part of our daily lives. Ranging from the Internet of Things to online currencies, devices and systems have never been more interconnected. Before we adopt these new technologies, we need to ensure we understand the security implications, and have appropriate layers of defense in place.    

Below are highlights of several of these new advancements and how they may affect us:  

The Internet of Things 

What is the Internet of Things?  Put simply, the Internet enables connectivity from virtually any end-user device or thing. The latest trend is connecting things such as small appliances, refrigerators, personal medical devices, wearable health trackers, and many other items. 

One of the most common examples of how the Internet of Things impacts our daily lives is the automobile, which has become a sophisticated computer device. Researchers have demonstrated the ability to hack an automobile’s systems to control the brakes, steering wheel, and even shut down the engine. Numerous discussion forums focus on the use of vehicle-to-vehicle (or V2V) technology, which will allow vehicles to talk to each other via wireless connectivity. 

Bluetooth, a standard feature in many automobiles with options to include a personal hotspot, can allow a modern smartphone to connect to the automobile’s stereo system to receive continuous Twitter feeds, or a system that may allow a technician to provide assistance in case of emergencies. Researchers have discovered ways to inject malicious codes/programs through CD players or iPod connectors. Theoretically, an infected song on your iPod or CD, when played in your automobile, potentially can spread malicious code from the automobile’s entertainment network to other components of the automobile without many restrictions. 

In another example of how the Internet of Things can impact us is from a recent news story that suggested electric tea kettles and other small appliances were able to exploit unencrypted WiFi and send data back to foreign servers [1].  

Internet-connected devices that are able to process sensitive personal information tend to be high priority targets for cyber criminals. It will become increasingly critical in 2014 to protect these devices from unintended or unauthorized connectivity. 


A Bitcoin is a digital currency stored in a downloadable wallet on a user’s personal computer or with an online wallet service provider. Each wallet has a unique identifier that allows users to transfer bitcoins to other users’ wallets. Bitcoin is a decentralized, peer-to-peer payment system, currently with no regulatory authority. It is gaining popularity, with mainstream businesses adopting it as an alternative form of payment or investment.      

 While the long-term use of Bitcoin is uncertain, for at least the near term in 2014, the increasing adoption and publicity will continue to draw the interest of cyber criminals who target Bitcoin users’ wallets for theft, or compromise systems to generate bitcoins via malware infection.      

 Mobile Transaction Risks 

 Every new smartphone, tablet or other mobile device provides an opportunity for a potential cyber attack. New features such as Near Field Communications (NFC), as well as AirDrop and Passbook for Apple, will continue to expand in 2014, increasing the opportunities for cyber criminals to exploit weaknesses. NFC and AirDrop allow for similarly configured smartphones to communicate with each other by simply touching another smartphone, or being in proximity to another smartphone. This technology is being used for credit card purchases, boarding passes, and file sharing, and will most likely be incorporated into other uses in 2014.     

 Risks of these technologies could include eavesdropping (through which the cyber criminal can intercept data transmission such as credit card numbers) and transferring viruses or other malware from one NFC/AirDrop-enabled device to another.  


 Before adopting any of the myriad new technologies that are rapidly being deployed, it’s important to understand the implications and risks. While interconnectivity can yield many benefits, the risk could outweigh the benefit if the devices, systems, and technologies are not properly secured.  

 Additional Resources: 

 NYS Office of Information Technology Services Enterprise Information Security Office Newsletters :

Georgia Tech: Emerging Cyber Threats Report:

 Sophos: Security Threat Report 2014

 Websense: 2014 Security Predictions

 Symantec: 2014 Predications


    Disclaimer: These links are provided because they have information that may be useful. The Center for Internet Security (CIS) does not warrant the accuracy of any information contained in the links and neither endorses nor intends to promote the advertising of the resources listed herein. The opinions and statements contained in such resources are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions of CIS. 


Brought to you by: the Center for Internet Security  

 William F. Pelgrin, President and CEO

Posted in Current Events, Links, Web/TechComments Off on Monthly Cyber Security Tips Newsletter – 2014 Cyber Security Outlook

All the Important and Surprising Trends in Mobile Web Browsing, in Seven Charts

Adobe has just issued its report, State of Mobile Benchmark.
View article…

Posted in Links, Web/TechComments Off on All the Important and Surprising Trends in Mobile Web Browsing, in Seven Charts

DISA and Mobile | InformationWeek Government

DISA Mobile Decision Sends Potent Signal

Defense Information System Agency’s commitment to off-the-shelf mobile tech is likely to ripple across the government as well as health, financial and other security-sensitive industries.

Posted in Links, Web/TechComments Off on DISA and Mobile | InformationWeek Government

2013 ASIS&T SIG-USE Symposium: Call for Participants

Please distribute widely. Thank you!

Theme: Information Behavior on the Move: Information Needs, Seeking, and Use in the Era of Mobile Technologies

Date: November 2, 2013 (Saturday)

Time: 1:30 to 6:30 pm

Location: Centre Sheraton, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Keynote Speaker: TBA


We live in a time when mobile technologies are becoming more ubiquitous within people’s everyday lives, facilitating new forms of information seeking, sharing, creation, and re-use of information and data. Personal computer ownership has been far surpassed by mobile phone ownership and nearly equaled by smartphone ownership. In many developing countries, mobile computing has leapfrogged over personal computing in order to provide online access where none existed. Such prevalent use of cellphone and mobile technologies to access information has a significant impact on the study of information needs, seeking and use. These dramatic changes in technology preferences and use can be seen as altering the very ecology for the study of information behavior, and indeed, blur the contexts of systems and users. It can be argued that even those interactions that do not involve mobile technologies are influenced by the increasing mobility of information use.

The 13th Annual SIG-USE Research Symposium at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) will explore the ways in which information “on the move” is transforming or changing the nature of people’s information behaviors and the ways in which people’s information behaviors are, in turn, shaping technologies, services, work and leisure. We will also consider the impact of this transformation on the general assumptions and premises informing the research domain of information behavior. In this Symposium, we will explore the above themes through a keynote speech, short presentations, and small and large-group discussions.



1:30-1:45 Welcome and introduction

1:45-2:30 Keynote presentation

2:30-2:45 Break

2:45-3:20 Small group discussions

3:20-4:10 First round of Ignite talks

4:10-4:20 Break

4:20-5:10 Second round of Ignite talks

5:10-5:45 Small group discussions

5:45-6:15 Chatman Award research presentations by 2013 winner(s) (5 minutes), and 2012 winners, Joung Hwa “Joy” Koo, Yong Wan Cho, and Melissa Gross of Florida State University (20 minutes). Joy and her colleagues will present their research regarding the information seeking practices of North Korean refugees in South Korea, with a focus on the relationship between the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms of this population and their information needs and information-seeking behaviors. Their award-winning research project is entitled “Is Ignorance Really Bliss?: Understanding the Role of Information-Seeking in Coping with Severe Traumatic Stress among Refugees.” This portion of the Symposium will conclude with a presentation of this year’s SIG USE awards (5 minutes).

6:15-6:30 Wrap-up: Large group discussion and evaluations



For the short presentations, we invite researchers, graduate students, and practitioners to submit a ONE page proposal (no more than 500 words) in which they outline the topic and themes they would like to address during their Ignite talk. Each presenter will have 5 minutes to deliver his/her Ignite talk – 15 seconds to address each of the 20 slides they will have prepared for their talk, and will have an additional 3 minutes to take any questions that SIG-USE attendees may have. For an example of an Ignite talk, see


Proposed themes for submissions include:

● Theoretical perspectives/frameworks that constitute the social, cultural and technological underpinnings of information behavior “on the move”;

● The extent to which new information and communication technologies (e.g., social media, mobile technologies) are revolutionary vs. evolutionary within various information behavior contexts;

● How environments in which information is literally “on the move” are providing a technological platform that facilitates the kinds of informal, social information sharing practices desired by users;

● How a better understanding of people’s changing information behaviors might be used to inform the future development of information and communication technologies, services, practices, management and education;

● What innovative strategies of inquiry and methods of data collection might be used to systematically investigate and fully capture and map “information behavior on the move”;

● Any other themes that relate to the Symposium topic of “information behavior on the move”.


Submission guidelines for Ignite talk proposals:

● Include your name, title, and institutional affiliation at the top of your proposal

● Proposal text must not exceed 1 page (max. 500 words)

● Submit proposal in pdf format

● Name your file according to the following convention: ‘2013_SIGUSESymposium_Lastname.pdf’

● E-mail your proposal to Beth St. Jean ( by midnight EST on September 13, 2013. Please use “SIGUSE Ignite Talk Proposal” as the subject line of your e-mail.

● When you e-mail your submission, please be sure to indicate in the text of your e-mail whether or not we may post your proposal to the public SIG-USE website both before and after the Symposium is conducted.



September 13, 2013: Ignite talk proposals are due

October 4, 2013: Notification of acceptance of Ignite talk proposals

October 25, 2013: E-mail your slides for your Ignite talk for uploading



* SIG-USE Members: $110

* ASIS&T (but not SIG-USE) Members: $120

* Non-Members: $135

The registration fee will cover workshop costs, wireless Internet access, and coffee breaks.


Please forward any questions that you have to Mega Subramaniam ( or Beth St. Jean (


Mega Subramaniam (Co-Chair), University of Maryland;

Beth St. Jean (Co-Chair), University of Maryland;

Isto Huvila, Åbo Akademi University, Finland;

Eric Meyers, University of British Columbia, Canada;

Pei Lei, Nanjing University, China;

Michael Olsson, University of Technology Sydney;

Maria Souden, University College Dublin, Ireland;

Xiaojun (Jenny) Yuan, University at Albany, State University of New York.


To register for the 2013 ASIS&T Annual Meeting: (early bird registration deadline: September 20, 2013)


For more information about SIG-USE:

Hope to see you there!

Mega Subramaniam & Beth St. Jean

2013 ASIS&T SIG-USE Symposium Co-chairs

Beth St. Jean, Assistant Professor

College of Information Studies – “Maryland’s iSchool”

Room 4117K Hornbake Bldg., South Wing

University of Maryland

College Park, MD 20742

(301) 405-6573

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