News Roundup 5/1: Getting dressed with machine learning, billion-dollar hacking, and Senate security flaws
1 May 2017
Amazon’s Echo Look dresses you up with machine learning
Unless your closet looks like Mark Zuckerberg’s, you’ve probably spent ten minutes in front of the mirror deciding whether you really want to wear those pants today. Amazon’s solution to your indecisiveness? The Echo Look.
The Echo Look uses machine learning to help Alexa (Amazon’s Siri-like personal assistant) dress you up. Its camera pairs with an app that combines machine learning algorithms with advice from fashion specialists to make judgment calls on your outfit. Based on previously captured images of your clothes, the Look learns your style preferences and suggests new brands and styles. The more information you feed it, the better its predictions will be.
The latest hacking target: billion-dollar tech companies?
You’d think a sophisticated tech company would be immune to phishing scams. Think again! Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted a Lithuanian man for carrying out a devious business email scheme against two major internet companies. The DOJ did not reveal the names of those companies, but Fortune has discovered their identities: Google and Facebook, two of the world’s most trafficked sites.
The fraudster, Evaldas Rimasauskas, created fake email addresses, invoices, and corporate stamps to impersonate Quanta Computer, a real manufacturer that did businesses with Google and Facebook. Convinced that he was affiliated with Quanta, the companies transferred Rimasauskas over $100 million. The fraudster carried out the daring heist for two years before anyone realized what was amiss.
Letter reveals alarming flaws in U.S. Senate security
The U.S. Senate is known to deal with important, sensitive information, so they probably have world-class security and strict privacy settings on their devices, right? A recent report suggests that might not be true. Last week, Senator Ron Wyden sent a letter to the Senate’s Committee on Rules and Administration chiding the legislative branch for its lax security measures. Among other problems, the letter highlighted the Senate’s failure to use two-factor authentication on their devices.
Even more notable, though, is a security flaw in the Senate’s ID cards. While members of the executive branch are required to carry a PIV card with a smart chip, legislators instead carry a card with a picture of a smart chip. Yeah, you read that right.