U.S. and International Cybersecurity partners Hack the Hackers

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Thursday at the news conference that the FBI and international partners have hacked ransomware gangsters who have infiltrated schools and hospitals and held them hostages to extort significant amounts of money. At the conference, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco and other government officials stated the measure of how the sting operation worked. According to Yahoo Finance, “Simply put, using lawful means, we hacked the hackers,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said at a news conference.

Officials said that the targeted syndicate Hive is one of the top five ransomware networks that has attacked the healthcare system. FBI Director Christoper Wray stated that the FBI placidly accessed its control panel in July and was able to obtain software keys it used with German and other partners to decrypt networks of some 1,300 victims globally. Yahoo Finance cited the article from AP.

Officials didn’t say in detail how it plans to bring justice down upon the well-organized syndicate of ransomware gangs but continue to operate the mission to eventually succeed in prosecuting them. On Wednesday night, FBI agents seized computer servers in LA used to support the network. Two Hive dark websites were captured: One used for leaking data of non-paying victims, the other for negotiating extortion payments.

This infiltration saved at least $ 130 million and was one of the big successes of this sting operation. “Cybercrime is a constantly evolving threat, but as I have said before, the Justice Department will spare no resource to bring to justice anyone anywhere that targets the United States with a ransomware attack,” Garland said. He said the infiltration, led by the FBI’s Tampa office, allowed agents in one instance to disrupt a Hive attack against a Texas school district, stopping it from making a $5 million payment.

This Hive gang used ransomware as a service tool targeting a wide range of businesses,  critical infrastructure, government, manufacturing, and healthcare systems. Hive ransomware broke into 1,300 companies worldwide from June 2021 to November 2022, and obtained about $100 million in payments. Only 20% reported potential issues have been identifiable to law enforcement, Wray said. “Here, fortunately, we were still able to identify and help many victims who didn’t report. But that is not always the case,” Wray said. “When victims report attacks to us, we can help them and others, too.”

It has been announced that some entities would pay hackers for the stolen data without notifying public officials as revealing this information could often lead to decreased trust in the company’s cybersecurity safety and expose it to lawsuits and other backlashes by the public.

37 nations have begun to work for this global task force this week, and it is led by Australia which has been attacked by ransomware that hit major medical insurers and telecom in recent years.

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Modi’s Question by BBC Prohibited in India

The Indian government is oppressing people who watch a documentary called “Modi’s Question” released by the BBC. Many students, activists, lawyers, and members of rival parties have been watching multiple YouTube videos, and Twitter accounts have shared the links to the BBC’s new two-part documentary film, which have been blocked by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB).

According to Yahoo Finance, “Videos sharing @BBCWorld hostile propaganda and anti-India garbage, disguised as ‘documentary’, on @YouTube and tweets sharing links to the BBC documentary have been blocked under India’s sovereign laws and rules,” Kanchan Gupta, senior adviser at MIB, tweeted on Jan. 21—four days after the first part released on TV in the UK. The second aired there yesterday (Jan. 24) on its news website.

The Modi’s Question documentary shows the event of Gujarat riots in 2002 which was three days of inter-communal violence related to the burning of an express train. The coach number S-6 was set on fire, killing 59 passengers, including 27 women and 10 children.

The three days of riots left 1044 killed, 223 missing, and 2,500 injured. More than 75% of the dead were Muslim. By the time of the riots, Narendra Modi (72) (Oct.7, 2001-May, 22, 2014 incumbent at the office) was the chief minister of the Gujarat government, and critics have arisen against Modi since then.

A Special Investigation Team operated by the Supreme Court of India has been investigating Modi’s involvement in the three days riots and the death of many. However, despite all the efforts to investigate Modi, they were unable to find any evidence to initiate a prosecution proceeding against Modi in 2012.

However, the BBC is now covering an event and showing evidence of Modi’s involvement, which is seen as having a huge impact on his reelection in 2024 as Prime Minister. A secret UK department report pins Modi as being directly responsible for the event. According to Yahoo, widespread sexual attacks toward Muslim women in the Hindu region had also been occurring at the time, and considered the event as part of ethnic cleansing activities.

Now the Indian government detained the viewers as protestors. Even Elon Musk has allowed the removal of the links in the Twitter accounts as requested by the PM in India.

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US Plans, and Germany Finalizes, Plans to Send Tanks to Ukraine

The U.S. and German are ready to send their tanks to Ukraine soon. The plan will be executed accordingly. It is unclear how many tanks are being sent over to Ukraine. Ukrainian tank crews are needed to be trained on how to operate and maintain tanks ahead of time to transfer to Ukraine.

The U.S.-made Abrams tanks and The German-made Leopard tanks are going ahead to Ukraine and other countries including Poland. Poland had already requested Berlin for permission to export its own Leopard tanks to Ukraine. According to CBS, the U.S. didn’t answer right away on the request for the tanks by president Zelenskyy, but last Thursday, Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl, said that “We’re not there yet,” justifying the reason as “The Abrams tank is a very complicated piece of equipment. It [is] expensive. It [is] hard to train on… it is not the easiest system to maintain.”

The German-made Leopard 2 tanks account for more than 2,000 in Europe itself including more than 200 located in Germany, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

The U.S. has committed to training 500 Ukrainians per month for a different large scale and level of training between air and ground. The U.S. has committed more than $26.7 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden Administration.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has decided today to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine soon. The US is considering sending the AbramsX, the hybrid electric diesel engine which is more fuel-efficient than the current gas that uses Abrams tanks. Twelve countries have agreed to supply Ukraine with around 100 Leopard 2 tanks according to ABC News. The Leopard 2 tanks have a good reputation, and it is capable of hitting targets 5 km away while on the move. So far, this Leopard 2 tank is in the top-of-the-top tank worldwide. Currently, 19 countries use the Leopard 2 tanks.

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Bolsonaro Supporters Rise in Riot Against the Brazilian Government

Captured from Today.com

Chaos erupted at the capital building on Sunday in Brazil as far-right supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro rushed into various government buildings demanding justice. Former President Jair Bolsonaro lost his bid for reelection against the Leftist party’s Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was sworn in on Jan. 1,  2023.

President Lula da Silva went to Twitter to condemn the act, saying that a riot is a criminal act and that they are collecting photos of who participated in the Sunday riot.

Authorities used tear gas and arrested more than 400 people in the demonstration. Many demonstrators wore the national colors of Brazil: yellow, and green.

President Biden denounced on his Twitter, “I condemn the assault on democracy and on the peaceful transfer of power in Brazil. Brazil’s democratic institutions have our full support and the will of the Brazilian people must not be undermined. I look forward to continuing to work with @LulaOficial.”

Alberto Fernandez, the Government representative of Argentina, stated that
“Quienes intentan desoír la voluntad de las mayorías, atentan contra la democracia y merecen no solo la sanción legal que corresponda, sino también el rechazo absoluto de la comunidad internacional,” on his Twitter account.

As the former President of Brazil, Bolsonaro is in Florida for 30 days on Visa, and Biden was urged to extradite Bolsonaro to Brazil after the riot, NBC news stated on Twitter.

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Sam Bankman-Fried released on $250 million Bail

The FTX founder, Sam Bankman-Fried (30) was released on Thursday with $250 million bail. He awaits trials for eight federal criminal charges related to alleged fraud which led to his crypto companies collapsing. He is under house arrest, and he will stay with his parents in California. Bankman-Fried was extradited from the Bahamas to Westchester County in New York on Wednesday night.
Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang, the two top executives of FTX pleaded guilty Wednesday related to fraud at FTX. Bankman-Fried’s lawyer and prosecutors agreed to issue the $250 million bond. On January 3, he will face his next hearing, enter his plea, and be arraigned.
Until his crypto empire collapsed, He was one of the billionaires in the world. He filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for FTX and Alameda Research. His net worth went up to $26 billion and his net worth was $ 10.5 billion.
On November 11, 2022, Bankman-Fried was considered as having no material wealth, According to Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Bankman-Fried donated to the political campaigns. On December 12, 2022, Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas and extradited to the United States on December 21, 2022. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York charged against Bankman-Fried, with wire fraud, commodities fraud, securities fraud, money laundering, and campaign finance law violations. Bankman-Fried faces up to 115 years in prison if he is convicted on all eight counts.
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Zelenskyy Arrives at DC to meet Biden

The hero of 2022, Ukraine President Zelenskyy visited the US to meet with President Biden and addressed both chambers of Congress. President Zelenskyy visited the U.S. for the first time and is greeted by President Biden and first lady Jill Biden in the White House on Wednesday.

“It’s important for the American people and for the world to hear directly from Mr. President, about Ukraine’s fight and the need to continue to stand together through 2023,” Mr. Biden stated while standing right next to the Zelenskyy in the White House East Room.

President Biden added “as long as it takes” he will support Ukraine and help restore infrastructure that was ruined by the Russian missile attack. He said that “We should be clear about what Russia is doing, and it is purposefully attacking Ukraine’s critical infrastructure, destroying the systems that provide heat and light to the Ukraine people during the coldest, darkest part of the year. Russia is using winter as a weapon,”

President Zelenskyy stated “We really fight for our common victory against this tyranny. And that is real life. And we will win. And I really want [to] win together. Not want, I am sure,” with Ukraine.

The U.S. announced recently that it will help provide Ukraine with $1.85 billion in military aid with a total of $22 billion which will include a Patriot missile battery for the first time to send to repel Russian missiles and aircraft. The new aid package also includes hundreds of thousands of mortars and artillery shells, dozens of armored vehicles, and specialized kits for the fighter jets.

According to CBS, The two leaders of the world exchanged their thoughts. Biden said the U.S. “stands with the great people of Ukraine,” and he called Zellenskyy a “great leader.” Zelenskyy said it was a “great honor” to be welcomed to the White House, and he appreciated Mr. Biden and said “from my heart, from the hearts of Ukrainians, all Ukrainians” for Biden’s “support and leadership.”

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M 6.4 Earthquake Jolts Ferndale, CA leading to loss of power for Tens of thousand residents

Photo from USGS

On December 20, 2022, 10:34:24 UTC, and 2: 34 local time, a magnitude 6.4 earthquake hit approximately 14.6 km (9.1 miles) southwest of Ferndale, in the Humboldt county, CA near the coast of northern California in the vicinity of the Mendocino triple junction. This is the region where the Pacific, North America, and Juan de Fuca/Gorda tectonic plates meet. According to USGS, this rupture occurred due to the strike-slip faulting on a steeply dipping fault striking either southeast or southwest. The location, depth, and faulting mechanism indicate that this event likely occurred within the subduction Gorda Plate.

As a result of this earthquake, tens of thousands have to go without power today. Roads and buildings were damaged. The 1320-foot-long Fernbridge that crossed the Eel river has been damaged by the earthquake. The Fernbridge is temporarily closed.

More than 80 aftershocks were reported on Tuesday morning and have left 2 people dead, and 11 people were injured. Last year, on December 20, 2021, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake occurred in the region.

Be prepared, officials said, now and always. The quake was yet another reminder of earthquake-prone California and the damage that can be done without any warning.

“Damage assessments are currently underway, with significant structural damages, including gas and water lines, observed in the Rio Dell community and moderate damages to properties throughout the Eel River Valley,” according to the Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services, in a statement. Details were not immediately available.

In the past century, there have been at least 40 other earthquakes of M6 or larger, including six earthquakes M7 or larger, within 250 km of the December 20, 2022 earthquake. These prior earthquakes primarily occurred along the Mendocino transform fault, in the Cascadia subduction zone, or within the Juan de Fuca/Gorda plate.

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Auroras can be Hurricanes too!

Last year, scientists announced a spectacular phenomenon: space hurricanes.

With 600 miles in diameter and multiple arms that rotate counterclockwise, with a calm center much like a real hurricane, this one is made from the aurora borealis or the “Northern lights.” Its “rain” is electrons.

Auroras naturally occur near the poles during the winter months (respectively), when particles from the Sun excite the molecules in the upper atmosphere of planet Earth.

However, this new “space hurricane” occurs much higher up the atmosphere, entering at higher latitudes than typical auroras. Of course, much like other auroras, space hurricanes can also disrupt radio waves passing through the upper atmosphere and impact satellite communication and navigation systems. It can also heat up the atmosphere. However, any known special health or safety risks on spacecraft or astronauts do not currently exist.

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Argentina vs France Will Play for the World Cup on Sunday

(Photo from sportingnews.com)

Argentina’s Messi will meet France’s Mbappé this coming Sunday to find out who the real winner of the World Cup is. Lionel Messi (35) and the rising star of the globe, Kylian Mbappe (23) will be the hot topic under the Holiday season food table worldwide this year.

Argentina won over Croatia 3:0 and France won over Morroco 2:0, finally rapping up this month-long competition between continent to continent, country to country, and drama-filled event.

The funny thing is as always when the final comes, people bet on who the winner of the World Cup. This year, however, experts say that Argentina and France are going to go neck the neck, and a clear winner has not been predicted.

This coming Sunday, we are going to set a table in the living room to watch the momentum of the glory. This sensational 2022 World Cup will lead the world as a whole at the end of the Year 2022. Officially, the FIFA rankings No.3 and No.4 will be fighting to become the 2022 World Cup winners, a glory allowed only once every 4 years.

With these World Cup games, the US fans enjoyed when the US Men’s team went up to the Round of 16.

Throughout World Cup history, Argentina and France met 12 times, and Argentina beat France six times, drew three times, and lost three times to France since July 15, 1930, according to sportingnews.com.

This World Cup will be played at 3 pm GMT (6 pm Local time) on Sunday, December 18. The US viewers will be able to watch it at 10 am EST and 7 am Pacific time.

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At least a dozen coffins hanging in the air after Cemetery Building Collapse

It is the so-called Resurrection but much more troublesome. A building also operating as a cemetery collapsed in Italy, and this is the second time where a cemetery building has collapsed this year so far. After the collapse of the marble building, at least a dozen coffins were found hanging in the air bringing critics from the public. No visitors were at the cemetery at the time of the collapse on Monday, and the building had remained closed.

“The collapse was preceded by a bang and a dense cloud of dust,” said Vincenzo Santagada, a Naples councilor who has responsibility for the cemeteries. Families of the dead had a protest on Tuesday. According to The Guardian, A separate investigation is continuing after about 300 burial niches were destroyed in the collapse of a building in another area of the cemetery in January.

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