NSA Monster Mash | Tech Talk Today 42

NSA Monster Mash | Tech Talk Today 42

Snowden warns of the NSA’s MonsterMind, a system built to automatically respond to cyber attacks. Google wants to put Now in business and the big improvements coming to LTE.

Plus Microsoft’s CEO gets dunked and more!

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Show Notes:

Google Now for businesses reportedly on the table as HP chases a Google partnership

Google and HP have been discussing an enterprise partnership for the past year with little progress made, according to a new report. Topics have included a “Nexus tablet” with hardware encryption, as well as a version of Google Now for business data.

In fact, the report says that HP had also talked to Apple about a “Siri for enterprise,” which was nixed when the IBM deal was announced.

So Google needs to respond soon or businesses could find themselves locked into the iOS ecosystem before Android has its enterprise act together. HP is a potential partner with connections in the business IT market, and a Google Now for business data would be a feature that Apple couldn’t match. Details of its implementation are unclear at this point, as it’s not an official product, but would center around voice searches for information like financial data or product inventory. This raises several questions about whether Google would need access to data from businesses’ proprietary, private databases.

Meanwhile, HP is working on its own mobile voice search, which it is internally calling “Enterprise Siri.” It’s perhaps not the best sign for a product in development when its codename refers to the rival service it is copying.

HP Wanted To Make A Nexus Phone For Enterprise | Digital Trends

HP reportedly wanted to partner with Google to make a Nexus smartphone specifically aimed at business users. It would have incorporated several business-centric features, such as the ability to add high-end encryption. However, HP encountered internal resistance from Google, in particular from Andy Rubin, who was in charge of Android. Rubin was replaced by Sundar Pichai in March 2013

AT&T will send LTE media broadcasts to your phone in 2015

Verizon may be the first out of the gate with LTE-based media broadcasting in the US, but it won’t be the only game in town. AT&T’s John Stankey has revealed that his carrier will have its own Multicast service sometime in 2015. It’ll first launch in areas where AT&T can start immediately, but it should expand as the provider gets comfortable with both the technology and content partners.

Meet MonsterMind, the NSA Bot That Could Wage Cyberwar Autonomously | Threat Level | WIRED

The NSA whistleblower says the agency is developing a cyber defense system that would instantly and autonomously neutralize foreign cyberattacks against the US, and could be used to launch retaliatory strikes as well. The program, called MonsterMind, raises fresh concerns about privacy and the government’s policies around offensive digital attacks.

Snowden tells WIRED in an extensive interview with James Bamford that algorithms would scour massive repositories of metadata and analyze it to differentiate normal network traffic from anomalous or malicious traffic. Armed with this knowledge, the NSA could instantly and autonomously identify, and block, a foreign threat.

Think of it as a digital version of the Star Wars initiative President Reagan proposed in the 1980s.

Snowden suggests MonsterMind could one day be designed to return fire—automatically, without human intervention—against the attacker.

Spotting malicious attacks in the manner Snowden describes would, he says, require the NSA to collect and analyze all network traffic flows in order to design an algorithm that distinguishes normal traffic flow from anomalous, malicious traffic.

“[T]hat means we have to be intercepting all traffic flows,” Snowden told WIRED’s James Bamford. “That means violating the Fourth Amendment, seizing private communications without a warrant, without probable cause or even a suspicion of wrongdoing. For everyone, all the time.”

MonsterMind sounds much like the Plan X cyberwarfare program run by Darpa. The five-year, $110 million research program has several goals, not the least of which is mapping the entire internet and identifying every node to help the Pentagon spot, and disable, targets if needed. Another goal is building a system that allows the Pentagon to conduct speed-of-light attacks using predetermined and pre-programmed scenarios. Such a system would be able to spot threats and autonomously launch a response, the Washington Post reported two years ago.

It’s not clear if Plan X is MonsterMind or if MonsterMind even exists. The Post noted at the time that Darpa would begin accepting proposals for Plan X that summer. Snowden said MonsterMind was in the works when he left his work as an NSA contractor last year.

Bonus Friday Tech Talk Today w/Special Guest Angela

Microsoft’s CEO Dares Google, Amazon Execs In Ice Bucket Challenge

Today, Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella allowed the winning team from his company’s internal hackathon to pour a large amount of chilly dihydrogen monoxide onto his expecting pate.

Then, Nadella challenged Google and Amazon CEOs Larry Page andJeff Bezos to do the same. Bezos, like Nadella, doesn’t keep much on top. Page, on the other hand, has a more natural defense.

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