MIS4596 Sec 001 Fall 2017

Information Systems Integration – Tony Messina

Botnets and the IoT

Botnets are a network of infected computers or devices that are controlled remotely by cybercriminals to orchestrate spam campaigns, commit fraud, and create traffic for distributed denial-of-service attacks. Botnets have been around since the early 2000’s but have become more difficult to defend against.

Today, the Internet of Things has become a target for cybercriminals. Devices and gadgets such as webcams, DVRs and routers are being hacked, due to the lack of security that they have, to build large botnets that can be used to bring the victim’s system to a crawl and inevitably crash.  The most recent example of this type of attack was with the domain name provider Dyn.  This caused sites like Twitter and Netflix to temporarily disappear from the internet.

The reason IoT devices are not secure is because they are cheap devices that neither the seller nor the buyer cares about security because it does not effect them in any way.

How can this ever growing threat be neutralized? Is there any way that IoT device manufacturers will produce more secure products?

Sources:  MIT Technology Review, Schneier, Internet of Things

Self Driving Cars Will Get Rid of Millions of Jobs!

There are currently 3.5 million truck drivers in America who are at risk of losing there jobs to self driving cars when the technology is finally implemented. Self driving cars are very appealing to companies because they will get to there destinations quicker because the cars don’t have to stop for breaks like human drivers. Self driving trucks will also save companies millions of dollars on drivers salaries they will no longer need to pay.

Ford has set the deadline of 2021 to roll out its first fully autonomous vehicle. General motors has come out and said they want to roll out there first fully autonomous vehicle as soon as possible with no hard deadline. Companies like Uber and Lyft are looking to utilize this technology to reduce the cost of rides for consumers. Overall, self driving cars will improve efficiency in our society but will come at the cost of millions of jobs.



Role of AI in Our Digital Future

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Movies and literature have warned us about the cliched AI running rampant and destroying, or almost destroying, all of humanity. However, the advancement of AIs has continued unabated, and they are becoming integrated into our everyday lives. Google uses AIs to monitor their platforms, such a YouTube, which has sparked some outrage. The use of AIs on YouTube has faced significant backlash from creators as content is falsely flagged and their videos demonetized. This isn’t the only place AIs are used, Twitter also employs its own AI to monitor its platform. These AIs are designed to learn and become accurate in their policing, similarly to the AIs from the various science-fiction dystopian futures.


The future for AIs is uncertain, as its use is mostly used behind the scenes and do not directly interact with the public. Though it is clear, that will soon change as major tech companies invest more into AIs. The benefits of Artificial Intelligence are easily seen; autonomous, efficient, and tireless, AIs could replace jobs across a variety of industries. From factories to law-enforcement, they can be implemented virtually anywhere and outperform their human counterparts.


The rise of Artificial Intelligence could reshape the world as we know it. Do AIs cause more harm than the benefits they produce? Should we allow the advancement of AIs to continue, or stop before it’s too late?

Kaspersky Looking for Trust

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Kaspersky Lab is a nationally popular cyber security company that has found large popularity for its top quality services and products. Recently however they were accused of having ties with the Russian government because of Russian laws that ‘could’ be used to take advantage of its usage in the US government. Accordingly the department of Homeland Security stopped all agencies from using any Kaspersky products. Kaspersky is denying all allegations and labels them as inaccurate assumptions.

From a crisis management perspective Kaspersky seems to be doing the right things here: immediate and swift response, creating their transparency centers to bring together plans on reviewing source code with a third party contractor, and working with stakeholders to further solidify future transparency plans and compliance. I myself have used Kaspersky products and, while I acknowledge and respect how they are responding, the accusations made bring a great deal of worry from a domestic customer standpoint. Do I have anything I wouldn’t want the Russian government to see? No, (not really..) but, the fact remains it really shakes consumers from wanting anything at all from them.

What do you guys think about the Kaspersky brand, will it ever recover? How else could Kaspersky prove its innocence, or is it even innocent?


Will adobe become better at editing photos than you?


Adobe Max Demos

Adobe’s new software will utilize algorithms that use reference photos or drawings  in order to apply a similar look to your photos and drawings.  Another feature that Adobe is rolling out this year is automated colorization of black and white photos. The software  will analyze a scene and then apply color with accuracy. Overall these advancements will make amateur photographers and selfie takers lives a lot easier thanks to the new Adobe software.

Can Delaware Val. Become Next Home to Amazon HQ?

Earlier today, it was announced that Amazon received 238 proposals from cities to be the home to their new headquarters.  Among that number are two local cities: Philadelphia and Bristol Township.  Bristol is offering just below 300 acres of land for them to build on that is currently owned by Dow Chemical Company, who is looking to sell.  Living so close to both towns, I might be a little biased but ultimately feel that either one would make a great fit for the new HQ.  Here are some of the requirements:

  1. Metropolitan area with more than 1 million people
  2. Strong labor force with expertise in computer software development and engineering, executive management, legal, and accounting
  3. Access to mass transportation (airport, railroad, highways)

Do you think that the Delaware Valley is a good location for the next Amazon HQ?  Do you foresee any infrastructural issues?

The company is expected to make its announcement in 2018.  Whichever city becomes home to the new HQ can expect at least 50,000 newly-created jobs, and that’s not even considering the several thousand jobs created for the construction of the new facility.

I know most of us in this section are seniors, do you think the competition for skill jobs would be competitive?  Do you think Temple and the other Philadelphia universities are create enough of a talent pool to compete in the race?






Money is Becoming Harder to Fake

With the use of micro-optics technology, paper currency is becoming increasingly harder to counterfeit. The technology uses microscopic lenses to create images on the bills that will signal authenticity. Nearly 1 million of these lenses are used to magnify underlying micro-images on each of the newest $100 bills. When you tilt the bank note, Liberty Bells on the ribbon seem to change into the numeral 100. If you tilt the note left and right, the images appear to move up and down. If you tilt the note up and down, the images appear to move left and right. The quick method for validation makes it easier for humans to identify counterfeit bills on the market.

This is an interesting use of a technology, but to me it seemed unnecessary once I learned there is only an estimated $863,100 worth of counterfeit $100 bills in circulation.

Benefits of Technology in Business

Technology is now the root of improvements and automated solutions. In small businesses technology has an obvious benefit of increasing productivity to lower structure costs and some other benefits that can help the bottom line grow. Technology has allowed businesses to come up with an automated process that helps increase revenue and reduce costs, which is all possible with improved speed, the ease of sharing and storing information and a decrease in human error.

Speed and time are the two major aspects for small businesses to consider when dealing with big businesses as competitors. Being a smaller company quickly is important and IT has made communication and data sharing simple. Thanks to IT smaller businesses have the competitive advantage of coming up with a decision faster. Storing data is now easier and more cost-efficient. Being able to buy the exact space needed and storing it virtually is both saves the business money and allows sharing files easier, faster and more secure. Finally, automation eliminates the need to hire an employee in some cases for smaller companies, which allows them to save labor cost and focus more on current goals and strategies.

How do you think IT is affecting businesses today? and Aside from business how has IT made your personal life easier or more manageable?




Technology and Traffic?

Seoul has 25 million people in the city whichis halfof South Korea’s population. The United Nations predict more than 6 billion people will be in the world’s cities which is crazy to think. Seoul uses real time data to predict and control traffic. They gather information on buses, gps in taxis, and smart tickets in the subways to maximize efficiency.

When reading his article of how Seoul can use technology to control traffic it made me thinks of the future of autonomous cars. I can see traffic being controlled by the communication of autonomous cars. This may be far fetched but I can see cars communicating with each other so the traffic flow is smooth and efficient. This can also decrease or completely eliminate accidents. When a new car turns on and enters the road the traffic pattern will adjust by communicating with the new car.

With this I raise the question of, what do you see as the future of autonomous cars and/or traffic? Also, what are your reactions to my theory of autonomous cars communicating with each other to control traffic?



Police Cars in the Future Using AI

coban 2A new dashcam from Coban Technologies was announced last week that uses artificial intelligence to identify cars, people, and weapons. Sgt. Daniel Gomez, the leader of the LAPD tactical technology section, said that his department is testing one of the cameras and sees it being used for traffic stops and automatically identifying vehicles. He also says that the departments want to add facial recognition in the future if they’re allowed to since Coban Technologies plans on adding the feature in cameras anyway. This technology is concerning to those who feel like this is violating their privacy and the concept of police using facial recognition. I believe that it would be wrong for police to use facial recognition technology in their cameras because they could track and read any citizen even if they’re not doing anything wrong, although it could cut down crime. What is your opinion on these cameras using AI technology? Do you think this would cut down crime significantly enough since it would expensive to roll this technology out? What other artificial intelligence technologies do you think will come out soon?


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