US federal agency compromised in suspected APT attack

A sophisticated threat actor has gained access and has backdoored the internal network of a US federal government agency, antivirus maker Avast reported this week.

The security firm did not name the agency in its report, but The Record understands that the target of the attack was the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

According to its website, the USCIRF is tasked with monitoring the right to freedom of religion and belief abroad and then making policy recommendations to the President, Secretary of State, and US Congress.

The agency has a primary role in shaping US policy in regards to human rights violations and possible sanctions that the US may impose on misbehaving states, and as a result, it is very likely to have access to reports of current abuses across the world.

But despite the sensitive nature of the data it processes, Avast said in a report on Thursday that the agency was unresponsive after notifying it of a security breach of its internal network.

Helsingin yliopiston tutkimus: Hevibändien asuinalueilla muuta maata alhaisempi kuolleisuus

Metallibändiharrastuksella voi olla monia terveydelle positiivisia vaikutuksia.

Raskaaksi luonnehdittu metallimusiikki ei aiheuta terveyshaittaa. Hevibändien kansoittamilla alueilla on havaittu muuta maata alhaisempaa kuolleisuutta ja sairaalakäyntejä. Kuvassa Lordi. MATTI MATIKAINEN.

Metallimusiikkiharrastus voi ehkäistä vakavia terveysongelmia ja kuolemia.

Tuoreen suomalaistutkimuksen mukaan kaupungeissa, joissa on jonkin verran metallibändejä, on hevibändittömiä alueita alhaisempi kuolleisuus. Samoin sairaalakäyntien määrät olivat alhaisempia metallibändien kotiseuduilla.

Helsingin yliopistossa tehdyn tutkimuksen ovat toteuttaneet professori Pekka Martikainen yhdessä Kaarina Korhosen ja Lasse Tarkiaisen kanssa. Tutkimus julkaistiin tiedejulkaisu British Medical Journalin joulunumerossa.

落とし物トラッカーをクレジットカードに。「三井住友カードTile」登場

三井住友カードとSB C&Sは、探し物トラッカー「Tile(タイル)」機能を搭載したVisaカード「三井住友カード Tile」を共同開発した。

クレジットカードに落とし物トラッカーを搭載したことで、スマートフォン上からカードを落とした場所を確認できるようになる。カード上にボタンとスピーカーを内蔵しており、スマートフォンから鳴らして、カードやカードを入れた財布を見つけられる。また、カード上のボタンを押せば、スマートフォンを鳴らし、見つけることもできる。国際ブランドはVisaで、ICチップを搭載し、「Visaのタッチ決済」にも対応。Tileの機能を取り込みながら、通常のカードの厚みを実現している点が大きな特徴となる。カードの薄さ(0.76mm)に収めることのできる超薄型バッテリーを採用し、1,000回以上の屈曲テストをクリア。新開発のEMVチップは充電端子も兼ねており、付属の専用充電器でフル充電した場合、最長半年間の利用が可能となる。カードの重さは6g。

Oracle has agreed to buy medical-records systems provider Cerner for about $28.3 billion, a deal that would add a broad customer…

Oracle Corp. agreed to acquire medical-records systems provider Cerner Corp. for about $28.3 billion, a deal that would add a broad customer base in the health care industry to bolster the software maker’s cloud-computing and database businesses.

The all-cash transaction, Oracle’s biggest-ever deal, will see Oracle pay $95 a share, the companies announced Monday in a statement. The price represents a 20% premium over Cerner’s market value last Thursday, before the deal talks first became public. Oracle shares slid 4.3% at 1:40 p.m. Monday in New York, while Cerner shares gained less than 1% to $90.57.

Oracle Chief Executive Officer Safra Catz said the acquisition should be “immediately accretive to Oracle’s earnings” on an adjusted basis in the first full fiscal year after closing and contribute “substantially more to earnings in the second fiscal year and thereafter.” The transaction is expected to close next year, the companies said.

Microsoft’s Bing told by China to suspend auto-suggest search feature for 30 days

・The Bing search engine, which censors its results in mainland China, is accessible in the country, unlike rival Google
・Microsoft recently pulled LinkedIn from China and introduced a new job search app without a social feed

China has ordered Microsoft’s Bing search engine to pause its auto-suggest feature for 30 days, the US company said on Friday, dealing a new complication for the firm after it replaced its LinkedIn platform in the country with a special app that has no social feed.
Microsoft, the world’s second largest company by market cap, announced in a post on Chinese social media platform WeChat that “Bing China has been required by the relevant government agency to suspend the search auto-suggestion feature in mainland China for 30 days”, without elaborating on the reason.