5 Following


Abney and Associates Tech Research: Bitcoin gets easier to buy and spend


It's getting easier for consumers to buy and spend bitcoin, the cybercurrency that has captured much of the tech world.


With each passing month, Bay Area entrepreneurs are rolling out new technology for consumers to buy and store bitcoin, shop online with the virtual currency and send it to friends. Last week, a bitcoin ATM was unveiled in Mountain View -- put in a few hundred bucks, out comes a bitcoin. And more retailers -- from consumer electronics to coffee roasters and pizza delivery -- are accepting bitcoin, making it easier for consumers to choose the Internet currency over dollars.


"It's all about to change over the next 12 to 24 months," said Marshall Hayner, a San Francisco entrepreneur who this month will launch bitcoin app QuickCoin. "We are going to see all kinds of people adopt it. It's going to power transactions on the Internet."


Bitcoin is a cybercurrency and payments network created in 2009 by a mathematical formula as an alternative to banks and government-controlled currency systems. Bitcoins are added one at a time to the network by computer programmers around the world, and most bitcoin is bought and traded on global Internet exchanges.


The Bay Area bitcoin community is filled with entrepreneurs and investors pouring millions of dollars into their projects. But for the rest of us, still buying with cash and plastic, bitcoin is a bit of a mystery.


"You've got people out there who are software engineers who don't understand it," said Vinny Lingham, co-founder of Gyft, a San Francisco digital gift card app that accepts bitcoin. "It's far too complicated out there for the average consumer to understand. But that will change."


Cary Peters is hoping to uncomplicated bitcoin for consumers with the ATM he unveiled at Hacker Dojo, a nonprofit shared tech space in Mountain View. His is the first bitcoin ATM in California, and anyone can use it by setting up an account with a phone number, ID, and face and palm scan, which is used to run a background check to rule out potential fraud.


"Regulation has to be implemented," Peters said, a position rarely heard in the libertarian bitcoin community, but one that experts say is necessary to gain the trust of consumers. After about five minutes, the machine sends a text message that the user can start buying and selling bitcoin. Many bitcoin websites take about four or more days for transactions, and that delay doesn't work for everyone.


"Something you decide you want to do today you may not want to do in four days," said Hami Lerner, a Sunnyvale resident who works in tech and visited the ATM on Tuesday. Bitcoin valuation can fluctuate wildly on any day; in February, it fell more than 85 percent in less than two hours. Recently valuation has ranged between about $450 and $500, about half its all-time high of more than $1,200 in November.


Read full article at Mercury News

3 Recommendations of Fighting Fraud in Real Time, an Abney & Associates Technology Updates

Article Source


When it comes to fraud investigation, historically the process has been anything but quick.


Insurers are obsessed with cycle time. They count the days it takes to make a claim adjudication decision, the minutes it takes to complete the loss intake process and the seconds it takes to process a transaction. Especially in high-volume environments, time is money.


In the wisdom of insurance claims executives, faster claim payments generally equate to better customer satisfaction and loyalty. Anything that slows the process is burdensome and costly.


Of course, accuracy is important too. Just printing checks for anyone who calls in to the claim center would be quick, but not terribly accurate. So the key to all great claims organizations is to strike the right balance between speed and accuracy.


When it comes to fraud investigation, historically the process has been anything but quick. Many organizations still rely on a manual process where adjusters identify red flags and notify the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) by email or even a paper form. There is some sort of triage process, and then an assignment to an investigator within the company or from a vendor partner. And then of course, it takes time to do the actual investigation: Schedule and reschedule appointments for interviews, track down witnesses, review evidence and document the findings.


Many organizations are implementing analytics to help streamline the fraud detection process. The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud reports that more than 80% of US insurers are using some kind of fraud detection technology today, and nearly one-third expect increases in technology budgets with predictive models being a top area of investment.


How fast is too fast?


Analytical fraud detection models provide insurers with a great advantage. They are ever-vigilant, always scanning the data and not letting anything fall through the cracks. They can quickly identify risk flags in new information as it is added to a claim file. Models can look across large numbers of claims to see patterns and identify relationships that would not be detectable by a human.


But one of the greatest benefits is speed. Optimized models can scan an entire book of business very quickly. Inevitably, when implementing this technology, the subject of "real-time" processing will come up. While speed is a key benefit of analytics, insurers must be mindful of how the analytics will be deployed. Insurers should define what is meant by "real-time." For many technology providers, real-time transaction processing involves sub-second response times most often used in credit card processing. While it is possible to design a similar solution for the insurance environment, it is expensive and often unnecessary. When evaluating processing needs, insurers should ask themselves a key question: Even if it is possible to get a "real-time" response, are we prepared to consume the results in real time? If not, other less expensive options might be preferable.


When considering options for implementation of an analytical fraud detection platform, there are a few options for processing. Real-time processing provides instantaneous response times, often measured in milliseconds. It is generally appropriate for high-volume transactions with a limited number of highly consistent variables when an immediate decision is required.


Near-real-time processing provides a short delay in response time, often measured in seconds or minutes. It can often be done by running intra-day batch cycles.


Batch processing is generally used when processing time takes minutes, hours, or even days. It can accommodate very large or very complex data and computations at a reasonable cost.


In many implementations, a combination of these approaches can be used. For example, fraud scoring on long-tail workers' compensation claims could be run on a weekly batch basis while short-tail auto damage claims could use an intra-day batch process that runs every 15 minutes.


Another approach is to use batch processing for very complex calculations like advanced network building and text analytics while using faster processing engines for transactional claim scoring.


Where speed really matters


In the claims environment, most organizations can get by with batch processing for fraud detection scoring. However, there are several places where real-time detection can pay big dividends. Here are three recommendations:


1. Point of sale processing. During the application and underwriting process, especially with more insurers expanding their direct Internet channel, real-time interdiction is critical. If a high-risk application is flagged in real time, it can be routed for more thorough validation and underwriting before unnecessary risk is taken.


2. First Notice of Loss (FNOL) processing. Insurers are always looking to streamline their loss intake process. For claims accuracy and customer satisfaction purposes, it is best to get the correct resources assigned to the claim as fast as possible. During intake, it would be advantageous to run fraud risk scoring models, which could direct the intake processor to ask for additional information or automatically route the file to a more experienced adjuster or SIU contact.


3. Claims workflow processing. As information is added to the file throughout the life cycle of a claim, new decisions need to be made. Supporting resources for medical case management, SIU, subrogation, etc. need to be assigned. This is traditionally handled by libraries of business rules. But more advanced analytical approaches can predict the need for these types of resources. Implementing real-time analytics that work in conjunction with claim system workflow processing engines can yield the best results.


The future is faster


Technology is ever-changing, and the current focus on big data analytics is driving innovation, especially in the ability to process large and complex data sets very quickly. High performance analytics takes advantage of improvements in grid computing, in-database and in-memory processing, and low-cost commodity hardware. In the future, insurers may not have to worry as much about the tradeoffs between speed and cost. But for now, it pays to make an informed decision.


Visit the world of internet technology and infotech update @

Abney and Associates PC Speak

An Abney and Associates Internet and Technology Research Lab Articles



All Major Tech Companies Say NSA Actions Put Public Trust in Internet at Risk

Kashmir Hill reported here at the end of October, to taking their case to President Obama and members of Congress directly in anopen letter published today. At risk is the public’s trust in the internet itself and all of the economic and cultural benefits it contains.


The letter, signed by AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo, urges the U.S. to “take the lead and make reforms that ensure that government surveillance efforts are clearly restricted by law, proportionate to the risks, transparent and subject to independent oversight.” Microsoft’s general counsel, Brad Smith, released a statement asserting that, “People won’t use technology they don’t trust. Governments have put this trust at risk, and governments need to help restore it.”


This is a striking development given the varying degree to which these same companies have cooperated and/or collaborated with the NSA’s data collection efforts. Clearly the balance has tipped and America’s tech companies now feel emboldened to call for sweeping reforms even as the Democratic chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein of California, is sponsoring a bill maintain the security agencies’ right to continue to collect bulk data.


The Big-8, with a combined valuation of $1.4 trillion, are trying to convince their billions of users worldwide that they can still trust American tech companies. “For our part,” the open letter reads, “we are focused on keeping user’s data secure — deploying the latest encryption technology to prevent unauthorized surveillance on our networks and by pushing back on government requests to ensure that they are legal and reasonable in scope.”


Google, Twitter, Yahoo and Microsoft have all beefed up their internal encryption systems. ”The security of users’ data is critical,” says Google CEO Larry Page, “which is why we’ve invested so much in encryption and fight for transparency around government requests for information.”


This may all sound political, but as with most things coming out of Silicon Valley (and Redmond), it is primarily economically motivated. America’s leadership role in consumer-facing internet technology is clearly at risk, as are the benefits of true global connectivity for businesses and individuals. As governments around the world have expressed their displeasure with the Snowden revelations, a thicket of international regulation threatens to choke the global growth of the Internet giants. The Guardian explains that “The eight technology companies also hint at new fears, particularly that competing national responses to the Snowden revelations will not only damage their commercial interests but also lead to a balkanization of the web as governments try to prevent internet companies from escaping overseas.”


The Guardian’s role, particularly, in providing journalistic support for Snowden’s leaked material (more of which is still to come) has made it hard for American tech companies to deny the extent to which their own infrastructure has been compromised and repurposed for the cause of state surveillance. These companies have a mixed track record in terms of their relationship with the NSA, but most have expressed outright anger (and in some case expletives!) as these revelations have rolled out about the degree of their infiltration.


How will Obama and Congress respond? That depends on how the story plays in D.C. The real story here is that the security risk of terrorism to America is considerably less than the economic risk of losing the global primacy of our tech companies. But to really make that case, the tech companies will have to admit that they have not yet created the kind of broad-based economic benefits that would justify such special status. Government surveillance is not the only reason that the populace might be mistrustful of the internet. Much of the blame should go to the tech companies themselves who have centralized the collection of data within their servers—for arcane commercial purposes—where it could be bulk collected by the NSA in the first place.



Did you know…?


America’s biggest tech companies have gone from begging congress for surveillance reform.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/anthonykosner/2013/12/09/all-major-tech-companies-say-nsa-actions-puts-public-trust-in-internet-at-risk

National Crisis of Cybercrime Poses Major threat to SA Business, Abney and Associates AA Code 85258081704



When the police release the latest annual crime statistics tomorrow, chances are there will be little or no reference to cybercrime. 

Perhaps it is because the concept of cybercrime is still relatively new and not everyone is aware of the risks. Businesses are complicit in the lack of awareness of the threat because cybercrimes are hugely under-reported. This urgently needs to change.

In the words of Beza Belayneh, CE of the South African Centre for Information Security, cybercrime is a national crisis. Business is affected by crimes such as fraud, murder and robbery; and indirectly through the effects of crime on insurance, investment and business confidence. Cybercrime will also affect business, directly and indirectly, with direct losses including electronic cash theft, identity theft, information theft, deleting information from systems and rendering systems unworkable. The indirect effects includes the cost of securing against intrusions, replacing equipment, appointing specialist security staff, compensation to clients who suffered losses, insurance costs and loss of customer confidence.

According to a study by cyber security firm Wolf pack Information Risk, the three sectors hardest hit by cybercrime in South Africa were government, banking and telecommunications. They were conservatively estimated to have lost R2.6bn between January 2011 and August last year. What we do not know is how much cybercrime goes unreported or undetected.

Because police statistics do not precisely categories cybercrime, they do not tell us the extent to which South Africa has become a victim of it. What we do know is that it is a critical threat to be taken very seriously.

The National Cyber security Policy Framework was approved by the Cabinet in March last year, but is not yet publicly available. As a result, the only official definition of cybercrime is contained in the 2011 draft policy framework, which says cybercrime is "illegal acts, the commission of which involves the use of information and communication technologies." Police record all kinds of fraud, forgery, misappropriations and embezzlement as "commercial crime".

But crimes related to the "increasing role of computerization and electronic communication in commercial activity" is still referred to as "so-called cybercrime", without it being specified or quantified.

All businesses are potential targets, but small businesses are now on the front line. According to Symantec’s 2013 Internet Security Threat Report, 50% of all targeted attacks last year were aimed at businesses with fewer than 2,500 employees. The largest growth area for targeted cybercrime attacks was businesses with fewer than 250 employees.

David Szady, vice-president of the US security conglomerate Guardsmark, was quoted in South Africa safety and security magazine Servamus in August last year as saying thousands of intrusions into corporate networks, government systems and personal computers are occurring every day; though the real threat is in the "continuous transfer of wealth from national economies".

Szady believes that if the trend towards rapidly increasing cybercrime is not reversed, it will have a catastrophic economic effect, resulting in reduced economic growth, impaired competitiveness and job losses.

Verine Etsebeth, a lecturer in information security and data protection at the University of the Witwatersrand, says cybercrime is bigger than the global black market in marijuana, cocaine and heroin combined. She said earlier this year that there were twice as many cybercrime victims as newborn babies. It is useful to consider the experience of a country such as the UK, which has a substantially bigger economy and which is typically a few years ahead of South Africa in technology trends and risks. More than 9-million adults in the UK have had online accounts hacked and 8% of the population say they have lost money to cybercrime in the past year. Cyber security experts at the University of Kent report that 2.3% of the UK population reported losing more than £10,000 to online fraud and cybercriminals. Read more here.

Source: http://www.edocr.com/doc/142388/abney-and-associates-aa-code-85258081704-national-crisis-cybercrime-poses-major-threat--0

Abney and Associates cyber piratage commentaires sur Facebook aime

Lien source



Facebook aime sont au cœur de l'appel interactif du site. Mais Channel 4 News peut révéler que les cyber-criminels sont détournant les comptes d'utilisateurs pour comme pages que leurs victimes ne veulent rien faire avec.


À première vue, Richard Southard ressemble à un utilisateur régulier de Facebook. Il aime deux douzaines de films, émissions de télévision et une poignée de jeux.


Mais alors, vous voyez le nombre de pages qu'il aime: 4 787.


Apparemment Richard Southard aime tout, de "Sexe et Sexy Girls" à  "Suppléments de Gain musculaire" et même "I Love soudure"..


Sauf qu'il ne fonctionne pas. Channel 4 News a traqué le real Richard Southard. Il est cadre supérieur à un réseau de télévision américain et nous a dit qu'il croit que son profil a été piraté.


"Je ne pense pas que j'ai jamais 'aimé' quelque chose. "je n'ai vraiment les temps pour Facebook," dit-il. "Je suis allé là-bas tout à l'heure et remarqué, il y avait beaucoup d'aime. J'ai essayé de les supprimer, mais alors ils sont revenus. »


Ventilateurs à vendre


Milliers de Monsieur Southard de goûts sont juste une fraction de l'aime de 4,5 milliards sur Facebook chaque jour - un chiffre qui a augmenté de 67 % depuis l'an dernier.


Mais Channel 4 News a découvert des preuves que cette croissance est alimentée en partie par piratage informatique, avec les cyber-criminels pénétrer les sites Web et à l'aide de virus pour attiser un énorme marché noir dans Facebook aime.


Facebook a augmenté de 1,15 milliards d'utilisateurs, gagne "likes" ou ventilateurs, le réseau social est devenu une précieuse occasion de marketing pour les entreprises. Une société d'intelligence sociale mettre la valeur d'une type à £114, et le nombre de fans sur Facebook - ainsi que les adeptes de Twitter et YouTube hits - est devenu un marqueur de popularité à l'ère numérique.


Mais alors que les entreprises de commercialisation légitimes ont vu le jour pour aider les fans de coup de pouce, il y a tout autant entreprises illégitimes qui offrent des ventilateurs à vendre.


Une "sensation de gêne '


M. Southard fut l'un des 1 000 personnes qui ont aimé une page créée par Channel 4 News, dans le cadre de l'enquête de données bébé.


Nous avons acheté des lots de fans Facebook d'entreprises en ligne - une aubaine, à seulement 12,99 £ 500 - et leur a demandé d'être assignés à une page de fan de gâteau et une page de fan de "brownie", créé par notre identité bébé données Rebecca Taylor.


Dans les trois jours, les goûts sont arrivés, dont un du compte de Richard Southard. Un autre était de Penny Lewis (photo), un chef à Abergavenny, pays de Galles. Ainsi que de la page des fans de Rebecca "brownie", compte de Penny a aimé "Fun Hot", "Non censurée de la polygamie" et "Questions de taille", un site de l'élargissement du pénis.


Ces  ‘likes’  Voir la place sur le fil de nouvelles de son compte et peuvent être consultés par tous ses amis Facebook.


Mme Lewis a déclaré à Channel 4 News: "J'ai jamais considéré qu'il y aurait aucune raison de ne pas se sentir en sécurité sur Facebook.


"Je ne savais pas que qu'il pourrait être invoqué abusivement. C'est une sensation inconfortable. C'est embarrassant de penser que mes amis pense que j'aime certaines de ces pages".


Quelqu'un, quelque part, avait pris l'argent et le service par piratage Richard et Penny comptes Facebook - et plus encore.




Lire l'article complet ici.....

Jeu En Ligne Les Entreprises Ont Besoin De Faire Davantage Pour Prévenir La Toxicomanie Disent Les Chercheurs



Jeu en ligne les entreprises ont besoin de faire davantage pour éviter que les joueurs en train de devenir trop dépendants afin d'éviter toute intervention du gouvernement, une étude a mis en garde.


Les chercheurs de Cardiff, de Derby et de Nottingham Trent universités dit certains gamers jouer jusqu'à 90 heuresune session, d'élaborer un "pathologiques" la toxicomanie.


Ils disent alors que classiques jeux vidéo ont une fin, les jeux de rôle impliquant de nombreux acteurs peuvent ne pas.


Mais le corps jeux Ukie a dit qu'il fallait la santé des utilisateurs au sérieux.

Il a dit qu'il avait un certain nombre de mesures en place pour s'assurer que les jeux pourraient être apprécié en toute sécurité et de façon intelligente.


La recherche des universités averti si sociétés de jeu n'a pas créer les restrictions pour les joueurs et leurs jeux ont augmenté en popularité, les gouvernements occidentaux n'auront pas d'autre choix que de suivre en Asie et de limiter l'utilisation.

Le personnage devient plus forte et plus riche en déplaçant vers de nouveaux niveaux tout en accumulant trésors, la puissance et l'armement.


Les universités ont dit preuve suggère autour de sept à 11% des joueurs ont des problèmes réels et ont été considérées comme "pathologiques" les joueurs. Certains auraient été jouant pour 40, 60, et même près de 90 heures au cours d'une session.

Le Dr Shumaila Yousafzai de Cardiff Business School dit populaires jeux vidéo en ligne a averti les joueurs ne pas en abuser leurs produits.


"Ces messages d'avertissement indiquent également que les jeux vidéo en ligne l'industrie pourrait peut-être savoir comment le haut pourcentage de sur-utilisateurs est, combien de temps les joueurs dépenser le jeu et quelles fonctionnalités spécifiques à un jeu en particulier plus captivant et passionnant que d'autres," dit-il.

"Alors qu'ils ne sont pas directement l'admettre, en affichant les messages d'avertissement, ils prennent une certaine responsabilité dans leurs propres mains."


Cyber psychologue Dr Zaheer Hussain, de l'Université de Derby, dit messages d'avertissement n'étaient pas suffisamment.


Il a dit: "comme une première étape en ligne aux développeurs et éditeurs de jeux ont besoin de se pencher sur les caractéristiques structurelles de la conception du jeu, par exemple le développement du caractère rapide, taux d'absorption, et multi-player caractéristiques qui pourraient rendre leur accoutumance et ou problématique pour certains joueurs.


"Une idée pourrait être de réduire la durée des quêtes pour minimiser le temps passé dans le jeu l'obtention d'un certain élément précieux."


Le professeur Mark Griffiths, de Nottingham Trent University et directeur de l'International Gaming Research Unit, a ajouté : " la proportion de joueurs qui développer des problèmes et/ou devenir toxicomanes peut rester à peu près constante, mais en tant que jeux en ligne jouer de mieux en mieux et qu'un nombre croissant de personnes découvrir, le nombre de toxicomanes va très probablement augmenter. "


Elle a dit: "Il n'y a aucun diagnostic médical du jeu addiction mais comme pour tout ce qui est agréable dans la vie, il y a des gens qui jouent à des jeux excessivement.


"Nous avons activement promouvoir la sécurité et sensée jeu par notre site askaboutgames.com et encourager tous les acteurs à faire régulièrement des pauses d'au moins cinq minutes toutes les 45 à 60 minutes.


"Le secteur des jeux vidéo prend la question de la santé et du bien-être de tous les consommateurs très au sérieux et a un certain nombre de mesures en place pour assurer que les jeux peuvent être apprécié en toute sécurité et de façon intelligente.


"Il y a aussi systèmes de contrôle disponibles sur toutes les principales consoles de jeux qui peuvent être utilisés pour limiter la quantité de temps passé à jouer jeux, limiter l'accès à internet et de contrôler l'accès à l'âge contenu approprié."Abney Associates



Lire l'article connexe ici :