November 24, 2019

Here is a useful roundup of information for those interested in machine learning. Forbes presents a thorough collection of observations, citing several different sources, about the impact of deep learning on the AI field in, “Amazon Saw 15-Fold Jump in Forecast Accuracy with Deep Learning and Other AI Stats.” As the title indicates, under the heading AI Business Impact, writer Gil Press reports:

“When Amazon switched from traditional machine learning techniques to deep learning in 2015, it saw a 15-fold increase in the accuracy of its forecasts, a leap that has enabled it to roll-out its one-day Prime delivery guarantee to more and more geographies; MasterCard has used AI to cut in half the number of times a customer has their credit card transaction erroneously declined, while at the same time reducing fraudulent transactions by about 40%; and using predictive analytics to spot cyber attacks and waves of fraudulent activity by organized crime groups helped Mastercard’s customers avoid some $7.5 billion worth of damage from cyberattacks in just the past 10 months [Fortune]”

A couple other examples under AI Business Impact include the Press Association’s RADAR news service, which generated 50,000 local news stories in three months with the help of but six human reporters; and the Rotterdam Roy Dutch Shell refinery’s sensor data analysis that helped them avoid spending about $2 million in maintenance trips.

Press arranges the rest of his AI information into several more headings: AI Business Adoption, where we learn nearly all respondents to an IFS survey of business leaders have plans to implement AI functionality; AI Consumer Attitudes, where he tells us a pessimistic 10% of Mozilla-surveyed consumers think AI will make our lives worse; AI Research Results, under which is reported that AI can now interpret head CT scans as well as a highly trained radiologist; AI Venture Capital Investments; AI Market Forecasts; and AI Quotable Quotes. The article concludes with this noteworthy quotation:

“‘To make deliberate progress towards more intelligent and more human-like artificial systems… we need to be able to define and evaluate intelligence in a way that enables comparisons between two systems, as well as comparisons with humans’—Francois Chollet

We recommend interested readers check out the article for its many more details.

Cynthia Murrell, November 22, 2019

Factualities for September 4, 2019

September 4, 2019

Editor’s Note: Factualities will not appear on September 11, 18, and 25. International travel and conference commitments will interrupt our presentation of amazing outputs from individuals and organizations afflicted with the incurable disease Spreadsheet Fever.

Summer is nearing its end. Nevertheless, incredible numbers, statistics, and forecasts are thriving.

Our incredible number of the week is:

16. The number of students in a study reported by the BBC. The researchers determined that 25 percent (4 students) conducted an inner dialog when reading. Now the analysis: Either 3 percent of sample’s recorded thoughts involved an inner voice or there was 0.48 of a person talking to himself or herself. A sample of 16! Source: BBC

Other fascinating numbers include these statistical stunners:

53. The percentage of social media log in attempts which are fraudulent. Source: Naked Security

55. The percentage of consumers who use videos for purchase decisions. Source: Search Engine Journal

100. Number of active high tier criminal sites on the Dark Web. Source: Cyberscoop

200. The percentage increase in cyber crime attacks thus far in 2019. Source: ZDNet

210. Number of channels about the Hong Kong protests which have been “removed” by Google/YouTube. Source: MIT Technology Review

250. The number of sciences which account for half of the citations in a scientific online database of research results. Source: Nature (You may have to pay to read the original, presumably from scientists who do not cite themselves.)

400. Number of police agencies which work with Amazon for data from its Ring video door bell system. Source: GeekWire

613. Number of sites researchers found with click jacking scripts. Aren’t there more than 35 billion Web sites? Source: ZDNet

3,500. Number of donated kidneys the US discards each year. Source: CNN

$115,000. Amount of money an outfit called Crown Sterling to get a booth and a slot on the program at Black Hat. Source: The Register

360,000. Number of Huawei tablets which will get a Russian operating system called Aurora (based on Sailfish). Source: OSNews

29 million. Number of cyber attacks

80 million. Number of monthly users of the video game Fortnite. Source: Trofire

$150 million. The amount Google will pay to make  the most recent YouTube privacy judgment go away. Source: Bloomberg

$700 million. The total of defense contracts signed by the US DoD on one day. Source: Bulgarian Military

5 billion. The number of DVDs Netflix has shipped to its members. Source: Slashdot

$12 billion. The amount Purdue Pharma has offered to pay to make its opioid problem become a fuzzy, less problematic dream. Source: USA Today

$5 trillion. Estimated business losses due to cyber crime by 2024. Source: IT Wire

Stephen E Arnold, September 4, 2019

Factualities for August 28, 2019

August 28, 2019

Summer is coming to an end. But the flow of undocumented, slightly crazy statistics continues.

Our crazy number of the week is:

33. Number of counts of theft and attempted theft leveled at Xoogler Anthony Levandowski, the self driving car wizard. Source: New York Times

Other factualities we noted are:

3. Number of unicorns in Japan. Source: Financial Times (pay walled, you lucky reader)

22. Number of regions for Amazon AWS’ 69 availability zones. (No, we don’t know what regions and zones are either.) Source: Infoq

70. The percentage of the total crypto market Bitcoin has. Source: Next Web

74. The percentage of streaming video sessions throttled by AT&T. Source: Engadget

2,000. Number of surveillance cameras from unauthorized vendors in use by the US government. Source: Forbes

4,100. Number of unsafe or recalled product listings on Amazon. Source: Arstechnica

20,000. Size of the police case backlog created after a cyber security firm found its cyber security system breached. Source: Inquirer

30,000. Number of devices US Customs and Border Patrol searched without a warrant in 2018. Source: TechCrunch

501,000. The number of “fewer jobs” the US has. We think this means, more people out of work or just chilling with their mobiles. Source: AP

21.6 million. The number of fake accounts Microsoft LinkedIn has block in the first six months of 2019. Source: Geekwire

57 million. Number of people in the US living with a disability. Are those mobile apps accessible? Source: Next Web

$100 million. Number of probable downloads of the malware dropper Android CamScanner from the Google Play Store. Source: Bleeping Computer

$150 million. Cost of electricity to power the new Cray super computer for five years. Source: The Next Platform

12 trillion. The number of transistors on a new chip specifically designed for artificial intelligence/machine learning. Slashdot

Stephen E Arnold, August 28, 2019

Factualities for August 21, 2019

August 21, 2019

Editorial note: Factualities will not appear in September and October 2019. Due to international travel and conference commitments, it will be able to post this summary each week. If significant “fact related” news surfaces and we have access to our publishing system, we will put the item in the daily DarkCyber posts. (The posts between September 10 and September 21, 2019, will be published automatically. Internet access in some of the areas from which the team will be operating may not be available.)

The craziness factor of some of the “facts” served up in the last seven days is keeping pace with the heat wave in the United States. Our factuality of the week is a stunner from ScienceAlert:

55.1. Hours per week a female performs housework when the male is the breadwinner. Here’s a table of the data “proving” women work harder than men.


Other “factualities” which caught our attention in the last seven days include these numerical wonderments:

10. Number of hours per day senior citizens in the US spend accessing and using their computing devices. Source: Economist

15. Percent of log in attempts which use compromised passwords. Source: IT Pro

20 percent. Percentage of California law makers identified as criminals by Amazon Rekognition facial recognition system. Source: Vice

45. The percentage increase in R&D spend by the Top 100 Chinese Internet companies. The spend amounts to 10 percent of the firms’ overall revenue. Source: ZDNet

278. The earnings of US CEO are 278 greater than the average workers’ compensation. Source: Common Dreams

9,088. Number of patents granted to IBM in 2018. (Note: Google obtained 2,597 in the same time period.) Source: PCMag

10,057. Number of pages in one person’s Facebook profile. Source: Slate

293,000. Number of products Amazon sent to a garbage dump in a nine month period. Source: Verge

$629,000. Amount the government of Columbia will fine Uber for obstructing a regulatory visit. Source: Reuters

1.2 million. The number of Dutch citizens who were victims of cyber crime in 2018. [Note: The population of the Netherlands is about 18 million.] Source: NLTimes

$2 million. Rumored amount WordPress’ parent paid Verizon for Tumblr. [Note: Yahoo paid more than $1.1 billion for Tumblr in 2013.]

24 million. Number of jobs which Apple is responsible. Source: Apple Insider

$5.2 million. Amount France spent for 30,000 square feet (0.6 kilometers) of solar road. The solar road project was cancelled because it did not stand up to traffic, leaves, and harsh weather. Source: Science Alert

$1.5 billion. Amount the Trump administration has paid Palantir Technologies for its surveillance system and services. Source: The Next Web

US$17.6 billion. Operating profit of the top 10 Korean conglomerates. One year ago the operating profit of this group was more than US$30 billion. Source: Korea Times

$400 billion. The value of Amazon’s cloud business. Source: Motley Fool

1.5 quintillion. The number of calculations per second the new HP Cray Shasta supercomputer can compute. (Notes: [a] 1.5 quintillion is 1.5 ExaFLOPs. [b] A quintillion is one billion billion operations per second, or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000. An iPhone X can perform only five trillion operations per second or 5,000,000,000,000, but the iPhone is smaller and consumes less energy.) Source: Tom’s Hardware

Stephen E Arnold, August 21, 2019

Factualities for August 14, 2019

August 14, 2019

Kick back at the beach, grab a pen, and craft some numbers.

The number of the week is:

3. The rank of medical error as a cause of death in the US. Source: Science Alert

Other notable confections, examples of sleeping in Statistics 101, and the deliria from spreadsheet fever are:

40. Number of Windows drivers which contain privilege of escalation vulnerabilities. Source: Neowin

60. The percent increase in fraud attacks on the food and beverage market. Source: Restaurant Technology

74. Percent of digital transactions handled by Amazon. Source: Search Engine Watch

90. Percentage of startups which fail. Source: Inventiva

200. The percentage increase in destructive malware attacks since January 2019. Source Silicon Angle from IBM

$880. Amount Verizon charged a library for less than 500 megabytes of “roaming” data. Source: ArsTechnica

10,000. Number of medical records lost by the New York Fire Department. Source: Engadget

42,000. Number of fake soldiers receiving pay in Afghanistan. These fakes are called “ghost soldiers.” Source: Military.com

$1 million. Amount Apple with pay for a specific iPhone exploit. Source: Digital Trends

$1.05 million. Amount the US Department of Energy has allocated to a blockchain energy management program. Source: Coin Telegraph

$3 million. Amount Facebook has allegedly promised specific publishers news to participate in a Facebook “news” service.  Source: Apple Insider

$8.6 million. Amount Cisco Systems paid as a fine because its security product did not secure. Source: TechDirt

$1.5 billion. Palantir’s government contracts. Source: BizJournals from Lantinx (Note: Paywalls used to protect this high value data about a privately held company doing business related to some low profile work.)

$2 billion. The amount North Korea allegedly stole from cyber crime victims in order to pay for weapons. Source: Computing

$4.25 billion. Amount Apple spent on research and development in the June 2019 quarter1. Source: Apple Insider

$5.24 billion. Uber’s loss in a single 90 day period. In case you are wondering, that works out to more than $50 million per day. Source: MarketWatch

$16 billion. That’s the size of the blockchain solution market in 2023, a mere four years in the future. Evidence? Nope. Source: Crypto browser.io

20 billion. The number of data events Badoo handles each day. Yep, Badoo, not Baido. Evidence: Nah. Source: Infoq

Stephen E Arnold, August 12, 2019

DarkCyber for August 13, 2019, Now Available

August 13, 2019

DarkCyber for August 13, 2019, is now available at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress and on Vimeo at https://www.vimeo.com/353202530. The program is a production of Stephen E Arnold. It is the only weekly video news shows focusing on the Dark Web, cybercrime, and lesser known Internet services.

DarkCyber (August 6, 2019) reviews on way for organization compromised via ransomware to address the problem. The approach is free and can work in many cases. Europol, a number of national police agencies, and more than 20 commercial vendors have created NoMoreRansom.org. The site provides specific information and decryption methods for more than 100 widely used ransomware systems. Each of the decryption tools is available with a how-to user manual and links to the code required to decrypt the encrypted data. If a user cannot identify the specific malware used to attack an organization, the site includes a feature which can identify the specific ransomware used in an attack. For those unfamiliar with the mechanics of ransomware, the site includes a Frequently Asked Questions section. The information is clear, concise, and designed for a person with average computing expertise. Most system professionals will find the site intuitive and designed to allow quick access to the needed decryption tools.

Other stories in this week’s DarkCyber include:

Setting up a front company. DarkCyber reports that an online information service has published information explaining how to set up a front company in the US. Front companies or “fronts” are useful for tax evasion, money laundering, and fraud. Few states in the US require basic information about those setting up the front company. Data about directors of the company is not required in dozens of states. The procedure is simple, and in some states, the registration of the front company can be handled by a representative such as a law firm. Front companies are used to hide ownership of assets; for example, other companies.

The US government has published a report about the security lapses at Equifax, a credit checking service. The company lost more millions of customers’ personally identifying information. DarkCyber provides a direct link to this informative government report. Bad actors, however, may find the information in the report useful in determining how to attack a financial services firm in the US.

The United States Postal Service cyber intelligence team is adding tactics. The USPS will make us of some of the techniques popular with cyber criminals. The mail services in Western Europe and the US have been used to deliver contraband and enable other illegal activities. The new approach will make it possible for investigators to join closed forums and discussion groups and adopt other behaviors in wide use by bad actors.

Researchers at the University of California-Berkeley have developed a method for enhancing solar cells. With the new technology, drones could greatly extend their flight time. The technique enhances the voltage generated by solar cells using sophisticating reflective coatings and new manufacturing procedures. Surveillance drones, for example, could remain aloft for weeks or months, not hours and days.
A new multipart series about Amazon policeware initiative begins on November 1, 2019. Programs are available on Vimeo.com and YouTube.com.

The last program in this series will be on August 27, 2019. DarkCyber will return in November 2019 with a new series focused on Amazon’s policeware.

Kenny Toth, August 13, 2019

Factualities for August 7, 2019

August 7, 2019

The summer doldrums have had no suppressing effect on those spreadsheet jockeys, wizards of pop up surveys, and latte charged predictors.

Here’s our fanciest number of the week. It comes from an outfit called The Next Web:

1 billion. The number of people who watch esports. Esports are video games. Does Amazon Twitch, Google YouTube, and Ninja’s new home report verifiable data? Yeah, sure. Source: TNW

There was a close race for craziest. We have recognized a runner up, however, we marveled at this figure:

13. Percentage of apps on the Google Play app store which have more than 1,000 installs. And 13 apps have more than 10 million users. (How many Android phones are there in the world? More than 2 billion, if NewZoo data are “sort of correct.”) Source: ZDNet

Here’s our “normal” rundown of factualities:

(20). The percentage decrease in malware. Source: Computing UK

12. Minutes per hour devoted to TV commercials on the AT&T owned Turner television network. Source: Los Angeles Times

$5. The amount Google paid people for permission to scan their faces. Source: The Verge

33. The percentage of businesses running Windows XP which was rolled out in 2001. Source: Slashdot

50. The percentage of companies which do not know if their security procedures are working. Source: IT Pro Portal

50. The percentage of the cloud market which Amazon has. Source: Marketwatch

50. The percentage of “workers” who was half their time struggling with data. Source: ZDNet

82. Percentage of people who will connect to any free WiFi service available to them. Source: Slashdot

89. Percentage of Germans who think France is a trustworthy partner. Source: Reddit

100,000. Estimated staff IBM terminated. An unknown percentage of these professionals were too old to make IBM hip again. Source: Bloomberg

$8.6 million. Amount Cisco Systems had to pay for selling a security product which was not secure. Source: DarkReading

106 million. Number of people whose personal details were stolen in the Capital One breach of an Amazon AWS system. Source: Washington Post

250 million. Number of email accounts stolen by trickbot. Source: Forbes

1 billion. Number of people who watch esports (online games). Source: Next Web

$4.769 trillion. The net worth of 13,650 Harvard grads. Source: MarketWatch

Stephen E Arnold, August 7, 2019

Factualities for July 31, 2019

July 31, 2019

Heat is making some numericists stumble from the pool to the bar and back to the pool.

The craziest number we spotted in the last week is:

$989,000,000. The amount of money spent on Alphabet Google “moon shot” projects in the last 12 weeks. In the same period, one year ago, the Googlers spent “only” $732,000,000 in 12 weeks. No payoffs from these “investments” yet. Source: Engadget

There were some other interesting numbers, including this gem:

(42%). Gartner’s prediction for the coming price decrease in DRAM pricing. One DRAM dollar today will cost $0.58 soon, real soon. Source: Tech.net

Here are others the DarkCyber team jotted down:

0. Number of bad actors captured in an Amazon assisted Colorado police sting designed to snag package thieves. Source: Techdirt

15. Numbers of workers who went on strike on Amazon Prime Day. Source: Business Insider (may be paywalled).

24. Number of months from today when Intel will deliver 7 nanometer chips. Note: AMD has been shipping 7 nm chips for more than a month. Source: Techquila

45. Average age of a successful startup’s founder. Source: Harvard

66. Percentage of small business owners who believe their businesses are safe from cyber attacks. Source: TechRadar

1,000. Number of private conversations Google’s partners leaked from Google Assistant. Source: Slashdot

10,000. Alleged number of crypto currency holders the IRS is tracking down. Source: Seattle Times

12,500. Number of student identities stolen in a Lancaster University breach. Source: The Register

600,000. Number of daily Tor users in Russia. Source: BBC

1,000,000. The number of hours Google Loon balloons have been aloft. Source: CNet

1,000,000. Number of TV customers AT&T lost after boosting its price for dish service. Source: Arstechnica

$2,848,975.50 The amount lost to cyber crime every minute, an estimate output by TechRadar

$3,920,000. Cost of a data breach. Rate of increase in incidents: +12 percent over five years. Source: ZDNet

$4,533,333. Amount of money lost by Tesla every 24 hours over the last 90 days. Source: Arstechnica

23,000,000. Number of stolen credits being traded / sold on the Dark Web. Source: ZDNet

$700,000,000. Equifax data malfeasance fine. Source: CRN

2.3 billion. Number of files exposed online now. Source: Digital 3Munition

Stephen E Arnold, July 31, 2019

Factualities, July 24, 2019

July 24, 2019

There were not too many facts for the DarkCyber team to extract from the Facebook Versa hearing. Bummer. We did find a few, including the craziest Factuality of the week.

$152 billion. Revenue from game streaming in 2019. Source: Fortune Magazine

Here are other numerical gems we spotted in the last week. Read on.

7. The number of stalkerware apps (downloaded 130,000 times by consumers) removed from the Google Play Store by Google itself. Source: 9to5 Google

10. Number of months Google’s blog management tool survived before termination with extreme prejudice. Source: Android Police

40. The increase in hate speech on 4chan in the last 12 months. Source: Vice

50. The percentage of time “older” Americans spend alone. (Note: No data about the presence of a mobile phone owned by this group.) Source: Pew Research

68. Percentage of information technology managers who cannot keep up with cyber attacks. Source: OodaLoop

1,000. Number of private conversations record via Google Assistant leaked. Source: CNBC

1,500. Number of digital textbooks Pearson (which once owned a wax museum) will be digital first. Source: BBC

3,200. Number of changes to “search” Google made in 2018. Source: Search Engine Roundtable

700,000. Number of podcasts available at this time. Source: New York Times

$1,800,000. Amount bad actors demand from a college compromised by ransomware. Source: Naked Security

$10,000,000. Amount a now-former Microsoft engineer stole via customer fraud. Source: The Register

13,000,000. Number of daily users of Microsoft’s Slack clone service. Source: Slashdot

63,000,000. Number of Amazon Prime members as of July 2019. Source: ZDNet

$301,000,000. Amount stolen per month via business email compromises. We find the “1” a nice touch. It communicates accuracy. Source: Bleeping Computer

1,000,000,000. Number of installs of Word on Android OS mobile phones. Source: MSPowerUser

$4,500,000,000. Size of Google Venture’s arm. Source: Business Insider

$14,300,000,000. Size of the consumer drone market in 2029. Note: This is one tenth the size of today’s game streaming market. Source: Reuters

$45,000,000,000. Cost of financial crime in 2018. Source: Dark Reading

We still admire the “one” in the estimate of losses from phishing. Precision is good, especially when a “one” is involved.

Stephen E Arnold, July 24, 2019

Factualities for July 17, 2019

July 17, 2019

A new feature appears in this week’s round up of remarkable numbers, statistics, and quantifiable things. This is “Craziest Number of the Week.” DarkCyber must admit that identifying just one craziest number is difficult work. But we did it.

Craziest Number of the Week:

Virtual agents will add $2 trillion in business “value.”

The number comes from a font of predictions, Gartner Group. Here’s the number for fans of zeros: 2,000,000,000,000. Yeah, virtual agents. Why ask questions like What?, How?, Method? Waste of time. It’s 12 zeros and may sell some consulting work or a new outstanding report. Source: Venture Beat

Regular Fantastical Data

-26. Percentage decline in CNN viewers in the last 12 months. Source: Summit News

1. Number of electric scooter injuries per 5,000 rides. Source: Boing Boing

3. Rank of Florida in terms of danger among the 50 US states. Source: WPTV

5. Number of automobiles emitting pollution required to equal the environmental impact of an organization’s training one “modest” machine learning model. Source: Boing Boing

50 percent. Amount of untagged (not indexed) data in the world now. Source: Information Management

50 percent. Employees who don’t follow email security protocols. Source: InfoSecurity

62 percent. Percentage of UK millennials who believe their generation will be worse off that their parents’ generation. Source: Telegraph

97. Number of virtual private networks owned by 23 companies. Source: VPN Pro

219. Number of years in prison for UCLA professor who stole missile secrets for China and got caught. Source: Newsweek

1,000. Number of Android apps which harvest user data after the user has denied permission for such harvesting. Source: CNet

3,500. Number of sex trafficking cases reported to US National Human Trafficking Resource Center in 2018. Source: Christian Journal

$500,000. Amount stolen from 7-Eleven’s secure mobile payment system. Source: The Verge

5,500,000. The number of monthly viewing hours in the US on smart TVs. “But growth is slowing.” Source: Mediapost

10,000,000. Number of fake installs of a Samsung app. Source: How to Geek

£183,000,000. Fine levied against British Airways for data breach. Source: BBC

25,000,000. Number of new Android malware installations via doppelgangers. Doppelgangers! Source: ZDNet

$32,000,000. Amount of digital currency stolen from Bitpoint in possibly one day. Source: ZDNet

$800 million. Value of meth seized by Australian police in a single drug bust. Source: Time

$38,000,000,000. Amount Jeff Bezos paid his ex wife in a divorce settlement. Source: Reuters

Keep counting.

Stephen E Arnold, July 17, 2019

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