Risks Digest 33.18

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Apr 29, 2022, 6:09:44 PMApr 29
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RISKS-LIST: Risks-Forum Digest Friday 29 April 2022 Volume 33 : Issue 18

Peter G. Neumann, founder and still moderator

***** See last item for further information, disclaimers, caveats, etc. *****
This issue is archived at <http://www.risks.org> as
The current issue can also be found at

How Software Saved a Stealth Fighter Jet -- and Its Pilot -- from Crashing
in Alaska (PopSci)
Older Honda and Acura models hit by Y2K+22 bug that resets clocks 20 years
in the past (The Verge)
The risks of attacks that involve poisoning training data for
machine-learning models (techxplore.com)
Power Use Reveals Harmful Chips Hidden on Circuit Boards (New Scientist)
Chip Startups Using Light Instead of Wires Gain Speed, Investments (Reuters)
NextDoor report on "Amazon Fresh store Just Walk Out" (Gabe Goldberg)
CNN+ giving full refund, notices of this are going to spam in Gmail
(Lauren Weinstein)
An Old-Fashioned Economic Tool Can Tame Pricing Algorithms (SciAm)
Bitcoin Is Unlikely to Go Green (Peter Coy)
Must Watch Video: Carl Sagan on Technology, Society, and Politics, 1996
Lauren Weinstein)
Random Twitter Chatter (PGN)
How to Break Twitter (Lauren Weinstein)
Gwyneth Paltrow, Mila Kunis are pushing women to invest in NFTs (WashPost)
US + 60 Partners Launch Declaration for the Future of the Internet
(The White House)
CoVID possibilities and risk management (Rob Slade)
Re: What Can Hackers Do With Stolen Source Code? (dmitri maziuk)
Re: Driverless Cars Can Be Tricked into Seeing Red Traffic Lights
(Martyn Thomas)
Abridged info on RISKS (comp.risks)


Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2022 11:55:08 -0400 (EDT)
From: ACM TechNews <technew...@acm.org>
Subject: How Software Saved a Stealth Fighter Jet -- and Its Pilot --
from Crashing in Alaska (PopSci)

Rob Verger, *Popular Science*, 18 Apr 2022, via ACM TechNews, 20 Apr 2022

The U.S. Air Force Safety Center confirmed that the Automatic Ground
Collision Avoidance System (Auto GCAS), developed by Lockheed Martin, NASA,
and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, saved the life of an F-22 pilot
flying in Alaska in June 2020. The pilot was operating the jet in Instrument
Meteorological Conditions and experienced spatial disorientation. When the
F-22 was at an altitude of 13,520 feet above sea level and traveling about
600 mph with its nose pointed downwards, the onboard Auto GCAS software
initiated an automatic fly-up, steering the plane out of its rapid
descent. The system finished the recovery process when the aircraft was
about 2,600 feet above ground.



Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2022 12:53:13 -0400
From: Gabe Goldberg <ga...@gabegold.com>
Subject: Older Honda and Acura models hit by Y2K+22 bug that resets
clocks 20 years in the past (The Verge)

The problem might not be fixed until August of this year.


Yup -- my 2007 Honda Accord forgot to change to DST this year and I can't
set clock to correct time. Planned obsolescence; they surely figure people
will replace cars when clock is wrong.

[Be grateful that if the car thinks it is 2002, then the engine might
not run if the car thinks it was not built for another five years. Just
sip a little YN2K (wine tokay) and everything will seem better. But not
YL driving. PGN]


Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2022 16:46:52 +0800
From: "Richard Stein" <rms...@ieee.org>
Subject: The risks of attacks that involve poisoning training data for
machine-learning models (techxplore.com)


"Researchers at Google, National University of Singapore, Yale-NUS College,
and Oregon State University have recently carried out a study evaluating the
risks of these type of attacks, which essentially entail 'poisoning' machine
learning models to reconstruct the sensitive information hidden within their
parameters or predictions. Their paper, pre-published on arXiv, highlights
the alarming nature of these attacks and their ability to bypass existing
cryptographic privacy tools."


Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2022 11:55:08 -0400 (EDT)
From: ACM TechNews <technew...@acm.org>
Subject: Power Use Reveals Harmful Chips Hidden on Circuit Boards
(New Scientist)

Matthew Sparkes, *New Scientist*, 18 Apr 2022, via ACM TechNews, 20 Apr 2022

A circuit board's power consumption can reveal malicious tampering designed
to facilitate Trojan attacks to steal sensitive data or crash a device when
triggered. Huifeng Zhu and colleagues at Washington University created the
PDNPulse test to analyze a printed circuit board's power consumption in
order to identify tampering by comparing it to a device known to be secure.
PDNPulse looks for small variations in such a so-called "fingerprint" of
power consumption, based on measurement at several points. Using the test,
the researchers were able to detect Trojan modifications on various circuit
boards with perfect accuracy. While no firm evidence has been found to prove
a circuit board-based Trojan attack has actually happened, Theodore
Markettos at the UK's University of Cambridge said he believes in the
concept's feasibility.


[NOTE: Huifeng Zhu is a PhD candidate with 14 publications.]

[Theo Markettos is the principal author of the Thunderclap paper. He
commented to me that he actually had not yet seen Xhu's paper, and as
quoted was referring to ASIC design in general, not PCB design. He wrote
me: "The paper, which seemingly hasn't been peer reviewed, highlights a
plausible threat in that malicious board fabrication can 'brown out'
selected parts of the circuit, and cause potentially exploitable
malfunctions. The paper does present interesting ways to analyze
anomalies in board fabrication. Theo" PGN]


Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2022 12:09:33 -0400 (EDT)
From: ACM TechNews <technew...@acm.org>
Subject: Chip Startups Using Light Instead of Wires Gain Speed, Investments

Jane Lanhee Lee, Reuters, 26 Apr 2022
via ACM TechNews, 27 Apr 2022

Momentum and capital are building for startups developing chips that process
data via light rather than wires. Ayar Labs, which is developing silicon
photonics technology that harnesses photons in chips, said it had raised
$130 million from investors, including chip behemoth Nvidia. Other startups
using silicon photonics to construct quantum computers, supercomputers, and
chips for driverless vehicles also are attracting major investment. "What
the Ayar Labs guys do so well...is they solved the data interconnect problem
for traditional high-performance [computing]," said Peter Barrett at venture
capital firm Playground Global. "But it's going to be a while before we have
pure digital photonic compute for non-quantum systems."


[What about denial-of-service attacks? reliability? interference? PGN]


Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2022 00:54:34 -0400
From: "Gabe Goldberg" <ga...@gabegold.com>
Subject: NextDoor report on "Amazon Fresh store Just Walk Out"

Someone posted:

Amazon Fresh -- BEWARE "Just Walk Out" Went on Tuesday to check out the new
Amazon Fresh store in Fairfax and try out their "Just Walk Out". It is a
complete failure. It charged us for two packages of expensive steaks that we
picked up to look at and then put back. It also charged us for a box of
strawberries that we didn't touch and didn't catch a jar of olives that we
did get. Then expected a receipt emailed to us by the time we walked to our
car. Instead we didn't get an actual receipt until five hours later. So you
have *no* way to verify before you leave the parking lot that you got
charged accurately. Fortunately we got through on the phone to a very
helpful customer service person (800-250-0688) and got the incorrect charges
reversed. But why go through this hassle. If you try this new store just go
through the normal checkout line! 10440-10450 Fairfax Boulevard, Fairfax VA

[...plenty more gripes from others.]

[Amaz-off rather that Amaz-on? PGN]


Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2022 08:07:51 -0700
From: Lauren Weinstein <lau...@vortex.com>
Subject: CNN+ giving full refund, notices of this are going to spam in Gmail

CNN+ is giving a full refund to original payment methods by May 28.
HOWEVER, Gmail appears to be sending the email explaining this to Spam
in many (or all) cases.


Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2022 12:01:32 +0800
From: Richard Stein <rms...@ieee.org>
Subject: An Old-Fashioned Economic Tool Can Tame Pricing Algorithms (SciAm)


"Price-setting algorithms play a major role in today's economy. But some
experts worry that, without careful checks, these programs might
inadvertently learn to discriminate against minority groups and possibly
collude to artificially inflate prices. Now a new study suggests that an
economic tool dating back to ancient Rome could help curb this very modern

Pricing models can exploit big datasets to personalize consumer prices for
goods and services. But price controls that include a "willingness to pay"
parameter can mitigate predatory algorithms.


Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2022 13:48:57 PDT
From: Peter Neumann <neu...@csl.sri.com>
Subject: Bitcoin Is Unlikely to Go Green (Peter Coy)

Peter Coy, *The New York Times*, Sunday Review, 24 Apr 2022 [PGN-excerpted]

The Willpower to reduce crypto[currency]'s carbon footprint is muted.

Pressure on Bitcoin to switch from proof of work to proof of stake *which
requires much less power) is coming from several directions. The difference
between the two is like the difference in height between the world's tallest
building and a single screw. ... For bitcoin to change direction would
require "almost like a constitutional convention of sorts. Inertia usually
wins." (Ryan Selkis, co-founder of Messari)


Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2022 14:52:20 -0700
From: "Lauren Weinstein" <lau...@vortex.com>
Subject: Must Watch Video: Carl Sagan on Technology, Society, and Politics,

This is the last interview that the late Carl Sagan had with Charlie Rose,
on May 27, 1996. The seek position I have selected is specifically where he
speaks on the dangers of political control of technology, which (as usual
for him) is incredibly prescient. But the entire interview is strongly
recommended. He was one of the greatest minds in my lifetime. -L



Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2022 15:46:51 PDT
From: Peter Neumann <neu...@csl.sri.com>
Subject: Random Twitter Chatter

World's richest jerk blocks Public Citizen, and is already making alarming
comments about Twitter.

Twitter employees fear their safety after comments by Musk draw online mobs

Musk is not supposed to disparage Twitter while trying to buy it. He's
doing it anyway.


Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2022 08:27:05 -0700
From: Lauren Weinstein <lau...@vortex.com>
Subject: How to Break Twitter

Breaking Twitter is easy: If you restore toxic content, you drive away
advertisers. If you move to a subscription model -- even without toxic
content but especially with -- you won't get enough subscribers to be
self-sustaining. Result: No more Twitter -- which may be the plan.


Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2022 14:39:44 -0400
From: "Gabe Goldberg" <ga...@gabegold.com>
Subject: Gwyneth Paltrow, Mila Kunis are pushing women to invest in NFTs

Gwyneth Paltrow, Mila Kunis and other celebs are pushing women to invest in
NFTs, which some see a revival of self-serving feminism.

Gwyneth Paltrow and Mila Kunis joined a Zoom in January to encourage
5,000 women in the audience to break into the male-dominated world of

``We have watched a lot of these bros get together and earn a lot of
money.'' said Paltrow, sporting a black turtleneck, sun-kissed glow and a
disarming smile. ``We deserve to be in this space just as much.''

Kunis had recently launched a cartoon series with her husband, Ashton
Kutcher, that uses NFTs, a digital deed often used to sell digital art that
exploded into a $25 billion market. “We are so conditioned as women to be
risk-averse, `` Kunis said. “I want to take risks and what happens.'' [..]

Like the girlboss, these NFT brands mix hustle culture with the language of
social justice, blurring the line between community and commerce, and
dangling empowerment as a customer acquisition strategy.

Randi Zuckerberg, the older sister of Meta's chief executive, told the BFF
crowd that six months ago, she was just like them.

``I was skeptical, I was confused. Fast-forward to now, I now own more than
100 NFTs!", Zuckerberg said, comparing NFTs of digital art to collecting
designer handbags.r handbags. [...]

The BFF Zoom event from January promised to answer whether NFTs were
all a scam. But there was little discussion about volatility.

A few minutes into the Zoom conference, Morin pointed to an NFT collection
that sold for $69 million at Christie's, telling the crowd, most of whom
reported having little knowledge of the industry. ``This is the type of
wealth that's possible for people that are participating in this new


[Funny, I never told my financial advisor I wanted to "take risks, see what


Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2022 10:43:36 PDT
From: Peter Neumann <neu...@csl.sri.com>
Subject: US + 60 Partners Launch Declaration for the Future of the Internet
(The White House)

28 Apr 2022


The Internet has been revolutionary. It provides unprecedented opportunities
for people around the world to connect and to express themselves, and
continues to transform the global economy, enabling economic opportunities
for billions of people. Yet it has also created serious policy challenges.
Globally, we are witnessing a trend of rising digital authoritarianism where
some states act to repress freedom of expression, censor independent news
sites, interfere with elections, promote disinformation, and deny their
citizens other human rights. At the same time, millions of people still face
barriers to access and cybersecurity risks and threats undermine the trust
and reliability of networks.

Those endorsing the Declaration include Albania, Andorra, Argentina,
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cabo Verde, Canada, Colombia, Costa
Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Estonia,
the European Commission, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary,
Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kosovo, Latvia,
Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Micronesia,
Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, North Macedonia,
Palau, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia,
Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, and
Uruguay. [... and the United States]

[In any event, it is nice that the White House has recognized the
significance of Initial Caps in the second word in "The Internet"!
as it has long been in RISKS. PGN]


Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2022 06:32:41 -0700
From: Rob Slade <rsl...@gmail.com>
Subject: CoVID possibilities and risk management

Very late yesterday, I got an email from my little brother, informing me
that he, and his wife, tested positive for CoVID. I last saw my little
brother fourteen days ago. I don't have any of the common signs or symptoms
of CoVID. No cough, no fever, and I still smell and taste things just fine.
I have not been tested: these days I have no idea if I even qualify to
**get** tested. I assume I am on the extreme outside edge of the
possibility of infection or contagion, and I'm not even sure if "14 days" is
still the recommended quarantine time.

As blind, random chance, and my generally non-existent social life, would
have it, **yesterday** I had grief group, a monthly lunch group, and an
informal, bi-weekly coffee time with the tenants here. **Today** I have Old
Guys Coffee Morning and a Bible study at my emergency backup church. (I
have already sent a warning, and a query as to whether they [both groups]
want me to stay away.) I have warned the groups I was with yesterday. I
have sent a query to the pharmacy as to whether I yet qualify for "rapid"
CoVID tests. (I haven't yet started to research whether there is any
possibility of getting tested any other way.) I have sent a warning to a
friend I had lunch with just after I saw my little brother, and Number Two
Step-Daughter and Number One Grandson, with whom I had dinner a few days
ago. And a warning to my main church, where I served coffee at Easter
service just after I last saw my little brother, and subsequently taught a
Sunday School class for the whole Sunday School ...

(Yesterday I also had a practice session with BSidesVancouver, but that was
over Hopin, so I doubt there was any risk, there. If I *do*, by some
extreme chance, get CoVID, and have to miss CanSecWest, after I get better I
will drive to Ontario and kill my little brother ...)


Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2022 19:31:58 -0500
From: "dmitri maziuk" <dmitri...@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: What Can Hackers Do With Stolen Source Code? (Cosell,

> An attacker with source code will double check each strcmp for a buffer
> overflow.

Considering that we're talking Bing and Cortana here, if their authors still
used strcmp, leaked source code is not their biggest problem. This isn't XX
century code from back when we didn't know any better, Cortana in particular
was released a good decade after secure coding became the thing.

Quick look at the original article that the main concern with that hack is
that the sources (may) also include code signing keys and those are much
more valuable than any "C string library" calls that may or may not exist in
the code.


Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2022 19:06:43 +0100
From: "Martyn Thomas" <mar...@mctar.uk>
Subject: Re: Driverless Cars Can Be Tricked into Seeing Red Traffic Lights
(Ward, RISKS-33.17)

> Cars with drivers can *also* be caused to stop by shining a laser into the
> windscreen.

But can they be tricked into driving through red lights? And would the
logging in the driverless car show that the software thought the light was
green, with resulting liability and reputational damage?


Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2020 11:11:11 -0800
From: RISKS-...@csl.sri.com
Subject: Abridged info on RISKS (comp.risks)

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End of RISKS-FORUM Digest 33.18

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