LONDON (Reuters) – US travel management firm CWT paid $ 4.5 million this week to hackers who stole tons of sensitive company files and said they took 30,000 computers offline, according to an account rendering of ransom negotiations seen by Reuters. Part of the payment negotiations between ransom-seeking cybercriminals – marked “Support” – and a representative of travel giant CWT – marked “You” can be seen in this photo taken in Washington, DC, USA, on July 30, 2020. REUTERS / Raphael SatterThe attackers used a strain of ransomware called Ragnar Locker, which encrypts computer files and renders them unusable until the victim pays for access to be restored. The ensuing negotiations between the hackers and a representative from CWT remained publicly available in an online discussion group, offering rare insight into the strained relationship between cybercriminals and their victimized businesses. CWT, which reported $ 1.5 billion in revenue last year and claims to represent more than a third of companies in the US S&P 500 stock index, confirmed the attack but declined to comment details of what she said was an ongoing investigation. “We can confirm that after temporarily shutting down our systems as a precaution, our systems are back online and the incident has now ceased,” he said in a statement. “Although the investigation is at an early stage, we have no indication that any personally identifiable information / customer and traveler information has been compromised.” CWT said it immediately informed US law enforcement and European data protection authorities. A person familiar with the investigation said the company believed the number of infected computers was significantly lower than the 30,000 hackers told CWT they had infected. DIGITAL RANSOM NOTE The hackers initially demanded a payment of $ 10 million to restore CWT’s files and remove all stolen data, according to messages reviewed by Reuters. “It’s probably a lot cheaper than the legal costs (sic), the loss of reputation caused by a leak,” the attackers wrote on July 27. CWT’s representative in the negotiations, who said they were acting on behalf of the company’s chief financial officer, the company said. had been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and agreed to pay $ 4.5 million in bitcoin digital currency. “Okay, let’s get things done. What are the next steps? “Said the representative after accepting the ransom. A public ledger of digital currency payments, known as blockchain, shows that an online wallet controlled by hackers received the requested payment. of 414 bitcoins on July 28. Messages sent to email addresses used by hackers went unanswered. In a ransom note left on infected CWT computers and screenshots posted online, hackers claimed to have stolen two terabytes of files, including financial reports, security documents, and employee personal data such as email addresses and salary information. It was not clear whether the data belonged to any of the CWT customers, including Thomson Reuters, was compromised Slideshow (3 Images) Western security officials say ransomware attacks are a constant and serious threat to businesses and private companies, despite the increased attention generally paid to the antics that make the headlines of state-sponsored hackers. These attacks are believed to cost billions of dollars each year, either in extorted payments or in collection costs. Cyber security experts say the best defense is to keep data backups secure, and paying ransoms encourages further criminal attacks with no guarantee that the encrypted files will be restored. Additional reporting by Raphael Satter in WASHINGTON; Edited by Gareth Jones Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. .
(Reuters) – There is no ‘zero risk’ strategy for countries easing restrictions on international travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, and essential travel for emergencies should remain the priority, the organization said World Health Organization (WHO). FILE PHOTO: A traveler walks through Tegel Airport, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Berlin, Germany, July 29, 2020. REUTERS / Axel Schmidt In an update Long-awaited from its travel advice, the UN agency for global health said cross-border travel for emergencies, humanitarian work, transfer of essential personnel and repatriation would constitute essential travel. “There is no ‘zero risk’ when considering the potential import or export of cases in the context of international travel,” he said in the updated guidance posted on its website Thursday. A wave of new infections in many parts of the world has prompted some countries to reintroduce certain travel restrictions, including screening and quarantining incoming passengers. The WHO announced in June that it would update its travel guidelines before the summer vacation in the northern hemisphere. WHO guidance can be used by governments and industries to help shape policy, but it is not applicable. The updated travel advice is little changed from the previous advice, which also included infection control advice applicable to other parameters such as social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands, and doing so. ‘avoid touching the face. WHO has urged each country to conduct its own risk-benefit analysis before lifting any or all travel restrictions. Authorities should take into account local epidemiology and transmission patterns, he said, as well as national health and social distancing measures already in place. Countries that choose to quarantine all travelers upon arrival should do so after assessing the risks and taking into account local circumstances, the WHO said. “Countries should plan and continually assess their peak capacities to test, track, isolate and manage imported cases and quarantine contacts,” he said. The WHO said this week that international travel bans cannot stay in place indefinitely and that countries will need to do more to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus within their borders. Reporting by Bhargav Acharya and Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Written by Kate Kelland, edited by Diane Craft, Marguerita Choy, Grant McCool and Timothy Heritage Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. .
MILAN – The Italian Senate chose to lift Matteo Salvini’s immunity, paving the way for former interior ministers and opposition leaders to face possible trials for refusing to allow a ship carrying 150 migrants to dock in Italy last year, and bring migration issues to Europe back to the surface. when continents try to stem the spread of coronavirus.
Prosecutors in Sicily are trying to sue Mr. Salvini, who leads the right-wing League, by illegally detaining migrants by forcing them …
More than 11 million people in Latin America “marched to the brink of starvation” due to economic conditions exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, UN Food Agency Chief David Beasley has warned.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has just devastated Latin America, where the economic storm clouds have gathered,” Beasley said in a statement issued by the World Food Program (WFP) on Wednesday after his trip to Ecuador and Panama. “Families are struggling to buy basic materials such as food and medicine, because livelihoods are destroyed and the number of people who lost jobs in the region reaches 44 million.”
“We have seen a substantial increase in more than 11 million people marching towards the threshold of hunger,” he said in a video taken in Ecuador during his trip.
Before he traveled, Beasley told CBS News that Latin America was a “time bomb”. He underlined the point when he returned, arguing that WFP needed $ 328 million in additional funding to support relief and recovery operations in the region.
A spokeswoman for WFP, Shaza Moghraby, shared Beasley’s concerns, telling CBS News that “This visit confirms our concern about the profound impact of a pandemic on the lives of millions of people and the possible consequences of regional stability.”
Latin America and the Caribbean are estimated to have a 269% increase in the number of people with “severe food insecurity” in the coming months, according to analysis presented this week by WFP. That means that 16 million people won’t know where their next meal will come from, up from 4.3 million last year.
“When corona virus cases soar, Latin America has become the region most affected by COVID-19 globally, accounting for more than a quarter of world cases,” said WFP. “Health pandemics encourage hunger and food insecurity that risk triggering conflict and political unrest and forcing vulnerable families to migrate.”
Beasley also warned that the situation might be made worse by someone.
“You will experience political destabilization, mass migration, economic setbacks, supply chain disruptions and many people will starve in addition to COVID itself,” he said.
“You can’t just deal with COVID-19 by itself or starve yourself,” he added. “They must be dealt with together. If we do it right, we can save lives. If we don’t do it right, people will die.”
The Federal Government is under renewed pressure to step up to China in the disputed South China Sea ahead of an important meeting between top US and Australian officials this week.
- Australia has hardened its position against Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea
- The ministers will likely discuss Australia’s participation in AUSMIN talks in Washington this week
- The US said it wanted Australia to participate in freedom of navigation operations
Last week, ABC revealed that Australian warships met with the Chinese navy while sailing through the region to the Philippine Sea training exercises with the American and Japanese navies.
Australia has now hardened its position on Beijing’s territorial claims in the disputed South China Sea, labeling the activity as illegal in a statement to the United Nations.
Secretary of Defense Linda Reynolds and Secretary of State Marise Payne will likely discuss regional flashpoints with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper at the annual AUSMIN talks in Washington.
The US has increased the number of freedom of navigation operations (FONOPS) in the South China Sea and made no secret that they want to see other countries – including Australia – do the same.
“We always want to see more like-minded countries participate because it builds an international consensus and puts pressure on the PRC. [People’s Republic of China] to fit the international consensus, “said a senior US official.
The Australian Government has successively directed navy ships to sail through the South China Sea, but never within 12 nautical miles of land features claimed by Beijing.
In his biography, former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said his government had never sent naval vessels within the 12-mile limit because he feared they would be hit or deactivated by the Chinese navy.
“If America supports us, then China will back down. But if Washington is hesitant or, for whatever reason, decides not to or cannot immediately intervene, then China will achieve a huge propaganda victory, by exposing the US to tiger paper. unreliable by its allies, “he wrote.
‘This is China against like-minded countries’
But senior US officials said if more countries were operating in the region, it might actually reduce tensions in the region by “removing US-Chinese binaries from the equation”.
“This is not China against the US because they want to describe it, this is China against like-minded people [nations]”they say.
“Are other countries doing FONOP or just sailing together or doing more joint operations … which reinforces the message that we support an order based on regulations and China is a country that diverts from that.”
Debate about the behavior of the Chinese Government in the important trading waters of the South China Sea flared up again as wider competition between Washington and Beijing increased.
Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Mark Esper signaled that the US navy would continue to sail through the region and would help other countries in the region to push back against Chinese naval aggression.
“In 2019, we carried out the greatest amount of freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea in the 40-year history of the FONOPS program, and we will continue to follow this year,” he said.
“We want to strengthen our relations in the region so that Southeast Asian countries can defend and defend their own waters.”
Meanwhile, Australia anticipates an angry reaction from Beijing over its new legal stance which debates the Chinese Government’s sovereignty claim.
The Chinese Communist Party’s tabloid hawk The Global Times has accused Australia of “carelessly provoking” and warned Chinese leaders could respond by sanctioning trade in Australian wine and beef.
The US Ambassador to Australia Arthur B Culvahouse Jr. praised the Federal Government’s legal statement.
He said, “Australia’s strong and sustainable leadership in the region helps secure our shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific”.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo Calls For Federal Investigations into New York City Deportation Trusted Traveler Safety Programs By MARINA VILLENEUVE and MICHAEL HILL Associated Press July 24, 2020, 9:18 PM 3 min read for Federal Deportation Inquiries New York Trusted Traveler Safety Programs on Friday, claiming it was an illegal act of political abuse by Trump administration officials. The charge of the Democratic governor came a day after Republican President Donald Trump’s administration overturned and told a court it had twisted the facts in a lawsuit over programs allowing controlled travelers to avoid long security lines at airports. The Department of Homeland Security announced Thursday that New Yorkers would once again be allowed to enroll and re-enroll in Global Entry and other federal travel programs. “They got caught. It was politics all the time. It was exploitation all the time, ”an irate Cuomo told reporters at a briefing. He said the move had increased congestion at airports this year at the same time the coronavirus was spreading from Europe. “What they have done is illegal,” he said. Cuomo called for investigations by Attorney General William Barr and Congressional Democrats, adding that the state will seek civil damages from DHS. The governor singled out Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf and Acting Assistant Secretary Ken Cuccinelli for contempt. “I believe that Mr. Wolf and Mr. Cuccinelli have possible criminal liability. I believe there is civil liability. It was clearly an abuse of government power for political ends, ”he said. The Trump administration said in February it was starting New York from programs because a newly enacted state law allowing unauthorized immigrants to obtain a driver’s license cut off some federal access to motor vehicle records of State. But in a filing Thursday, federal attorneys representing DHS revealed that federal officials misled the court about some key facts. For example, the administration had erroneously claimed that New York’s policy restricting access to criminal background information in motor vehicle records was unique among states. Several states as well as Washington, DC, also do not provide access to driving history information, the lawyers wrote. And yet, all of those states, including California, have been allowed to stay in the program. Sen. Charles Schumer on Friday separately called for an investigation by the DHS Inspector General over “potential violations of criminal law.” A spokesperson for the Justice Department said the agency had no comment on the request for an investigation. An email has been sent to DHS for comment. In its readmission announcement Thursday, DHS officials said that while New York City amended its law to restore some federal access, it remains “antithetical” to the agency’s mission and data access policies. “Nonetheless, local New York law continues to maintain provisions that undermine the safety of the American people and purport to criminalize information sharing between law enforcement agencies,” Wolf said. .
(Reuters) – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has said the state may seek damages after the Trump administration admitted to making false statements in a US lawsuit against New Yorkers. Yorkers banned from a program allowing the use of fast lanes at US airports. The attorney’s office in Manhattan admitted Thursday evening to making inaccurate statements in a New York state lawsuit over the Trusted Traveler program. He said the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would immediately lift the ban. “I believe there is civil damages that New York State is owed and we will pursue possible claims for that,” Cuomo said. “It was clearly an abuse of government power for political ends.” Cuomo suggested that the acting head of the Department of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, and the acting deputy, Ken Cuccinelli, “violated their oath of office” and said they could face “a possible criminal liability ”. DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Separately, New York Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer asked DHS Inspector General to investigate. “We don’t have a full account of why and how false statements were made by DHS officials,” Schumer wrote. “Lying in federal court is a very serious matter and those involved must be held to account.” “They got caught. It was all politics, all the time, ”Cuomo said Friday. “You cannot use the Department of Homeland Security as a political tool. It doesn’t work that way. And that’s just not fair, unethical, and immoral. It’s illegal. “In February, DHS cut New York City off the program in response to the state’s passage last June of a law allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses and restricting access. Federal to licensing information. FILE PHOTO: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a daily briefing following the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Manhattan, New York, New York, USA, July 13, 2020. REUTERS / Mike Segar / File Photo The administration has acknowledged that some other states and territories have not disclosed driver information but have been allowed to participate. New York has sued DHS in February, saying the policy would bar 175,000 New Yorkers whose program membership expires this year from re-enrolling and “cut” 80,000 New Yorkers with pending applications. In April, the state amended a law that prevented federal authorities from immi gration to access certain records of the State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Reporting by Jonathan Allen and David Shepardson; Edited by Richard Chang and Daniel Wallis Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. .
Warning: This article discusses conversion therapy in detail as well as suicide.
A highlight highlights the practice of conversion therapy that is taking place in the UK, even though it is labeled as “inhuman” and “degrading” in latest report by the United Nations.
Conversion therapy is defined as having the goal of changing one’s sexual orientation or to suppress one’s gender identity.
This can take many forms, from prayer sessions, electroshock therapy and pseudo medical procedures to rape and exorcism.
The UN report, presented to the global human rights body by Victor Madrigal-Borloz, called for a worldwide ban, saying, “It not only causes severe pain and suffering, but also leaves physical and long-term psychological damage.”
In canada, amendments to the Criminal Code proposed in March outlining the creation of five new violations to ban the practice.
However, the law was postponed because MPs only dealt with issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This practice is banned in a number of provinces including Ontario and Manitoba, as well as cities such as Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton.
There are also a number of surveys, reports and studies on the topic, including one by The Trevor Project, published in the July edition The American Journal of Public Health.
One of the main findings is that “LGBTQ youth who undergo conversion therapy are more than twice as likely to report suicide attempts and are more than 2.5 times more likely to report several suicide attempts in the past year than those who did not.”
“There are many in society who want to practice this saying that this is a matter of free speech, and no, this is not a matter of free speech. This is torture, “said Jayne Ozanne, a famous gay evangelist who works to support LGBTQ2 people of all religions.
“Most who have passed have been injured. They seem to, like me, lose most of their friends and often family members, “Ozanne said.
Andrew Scheer will not comment on Derek Sloan’s statement about conversion therapy
In Britain, a ban has been discussed about returning at least seven years.
In 2017The Church of England called on the British government to take action and ban the practice after Ozanne filed a motion in January of that year.
The following year, in July, Rt. Hon. Minister of Women and Equality Penny Mordaunt promised“We will submit a proposal to end the practice of conversion therapy in the UK
“This activity is wrong, and we don’t want to let them continue.”
However, two years later, there has been no concrete action.
A online petition gained traction in part because a large number of celebrities and activists, such as Munroe Bergdorf and Elton John, have fought for the cause by sharing links on social media and signing open letters to the government.
The petition was launched by 15-year-old Mahed Asad.
“I have LGBT friends and I just think they will experience psychological trauma and in some cases physical trauma and that surprised me,” Asad said.
Now, the petition has received more than double the support needed to bring the matter to MPs for possible debate on this issue.
“Seeing the extraordinary support shows that the community understands and is more progressive than you think and the unwavering support that the LGBT community really has,” Asad said.
However, with the end of the current session, and MPs immediately leaving for summer vacation, those who have an advocacy group Stone wall afraid of what it means to delay longer for vulnerable members of society.
“Every day, every week that passes where conversion therapy is still valid and practiced, more and more LGBT people will continue to be offered and undergo conversion therapy,” said Josh Bradlow, Stonewall’s policy manager.
Ottawa introduced a ban on LGBTQ2 conversion therapy
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
The mayor of Naples has joined human rights groups in calling for “truth and justice” after the death of an Italian United States volunteers who have carried out peace missions in Colombia.
Mario Paciolla, 33, from Naples, was found dead on July 15 at his home in San Vicente de Caguán, a town in the jungles of southern Colombia that has long been used as a strategic rearguard for rebel groups and drug dealers.
“We embrace their families and reassure them of our support for truth and justice,” Luigi de Magistris, mayor of Naples, told AFP on Thursday.
Colombian authorities said Paciolla, who also worked as an investigative journalist, had committed suicide but his family and friends were doubtful.
“We want the truth. Our son is very scared, “Anna Motta, Paciolla’s mother, be told La Repubblica. “It is impossible that our Mario, a brilliant traveler in the world and UN observers took his own life.”
Motta said that during his last days, Paciolla worried about “something he had seen”.
Luigi Corvino, Paciolla’s lifelong friend, told the Guardian: “He is the type of person who really wants to make the world a better place and has the skills, experience and attitude to do it. Someone took it from him, and I think the world owes him at least the truth. “
In a letter to Paciolla published in El Espectador on Wednesday, investigative reporter Claudia Julieta Duque described her dead friend as “always laughing before absurd people”.
Duque also expressed doubts that Paciolla had committed suicide, writing that “your love for yourself is contrary to the idea that you are able to end your life in a place far from friends, family and love, and from Naples”.
De Magistris and human rights groups have joined the call for an investigation into Paciolla’s death, which they compare with unsolved the murder of Italian doctoral researcher Giulio Regeni, who was tortured and killed in Egypt in 2016.
The Italian foreign minister, Luigi Di Maio, told parliament on Wednesday that the details of the case were “unclear”, adding that the autopsy, which was jointly arranged by Italian authorities, had to explain what had happened. “I guarantee maximum commitment from the foreign ministry and my staff for a case involving a bright young man who is involved in a complicated mission,” he said.
A group of friends Paciolla has launch the petition, calling on the foreign minister to see that justice is served.
Paciolla is a member of the UN mission that oversees the implementation of the 2016 peace agreement signed between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces Colombia (Farc), a Marxist rebel group. The agreement officially ended the 52-year civil war that killed 260,000 people and forced 7 million to flee their homes.
But the implementation of the agreement has been filled with violence when Farc dissidents, right-wing paramilitaries and organized crime groups are still fighting for territory. On the same day when Paciolla was found dead, all demobilized Farc warrior villages were moved by the government after the killing of 11 residents since the agreement began.
European Commission spokesman, Nabila Massrali, said on Thursday that the European Union was closely following the situation.
“It is clearly important that the facts are established and that the necessary investigation is carried out by the Colombian authorities,” he said.
US President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, participates in an event on how to reopen safely … [+] American schools during the Covid-19 pandemic. This comes as Trump announces that European, British, and Irish students holding international student visas in the United States are now exempt from his travel ban on arrivals to Europe. Getty Images International students from Europe, the United Kingdom and Ireland are now exempt from President Trump’s travel ban to the United States. The ban no longer applies to students from these places who already have study visas, the US State Department told Congress last week. “Students traveling from Schengen, the UK and Ireland with valid F-1 and M-1 visas do not need to apply for a national interest exception to travel,” says the Department. state on its website. “Students from these regions who travel on a D-1 can contact the nearest embassy or consulate to request an exception.” Trump’s ban, in effect since March, previously applied to any traveler wishing to visit America from the Schengen area, the United Kingdom, or Ireland. It is if they have spent the last 14 days in one of these countries. Students are now dodging this ban. Who is exempt: F-1 visas or “student visas” are used by foreign nationals to attend school in the United States at different educational levels. M-1 visas are intended for non-university or professional studies. J-1 visas are exchange visas for researchers, teachers and others. These visa holders are not immediately exempt but can apply for one. There are no such waivers announced for students from China, Brazil and Iran who “face similar travel bans,” reports Reuters. “… students from these countries were not included in the US exemptions.” Students also do not wait for interviews at American embassies and consulates. Earlier in July, the United States said it would not allow international students to stay in the country … [+] if all their classes were moved online in the fall due to the coronavirus crisis. It is now decided to abandon this plan, but only authorizes European, Irish and British students. They are now exempt from Trump’s travel ban on arrivals to the EU. Students from China, Brazil and other countries are banned. AFP via Getty Images The move comes days after the Trump administration canceled a controversial plan for online courses only for international students. He is said to have seen tens of thousands of them stripped of their visas and threatened with expulsion. “The reversal occurred amid the legal challenges of large universities and pressures from business and technology companies,” said the report. Are there other exemptions? Yes but not much. Exceptions continue to enter the United States for “purposes related to humanitarian travel, public health response and national security,” the government said. According to the Wall Street Journal and Reuters, a note sent to lawmakers also raised the possibility of extending the exceptions to au pairs and family members of US visa holders. Spouses and children of foreigners with the “H-1B prized for highly skilled workers” may also be exempt, he said. These possible additional exemptions have not yet been announced by the State Department, with the Trump administration gradually reopening international travel. Reciprocity at stake? A traveler is displayed on a monitor while passing a thermal camera test system which … [+] check body temperatures at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), California. The system is tested until September and can report passengers with fever upon arrival. Getty Images The decision to exempt only students for now is an interesting one. Given that the European Union has recommended its members to do the exact same thing. The EU started to lift travel restrictions for tourists and other “non-essential” travelers from 1 July. The list of safe countries to which it has opened its borders was reviewed on July 15. The United States is still not on this list of 13 nations. Two countries have been abandoned due to their Covid-19 epidemiology. The ban on the Americans should be in place for some time. Although it is revised every two weeks. The EU however urges its members to make more exceptions for students, au pairs, highly skilled workers, long-term partners and family members of EU citizens. Only some, including Denmark, have formalized these exceptions. The echo of the exemptions granted to students on both sides of the Atlantic highlights the reciprocity policy in force in these travel bans. The EU has not hidden this (China, for example, has received the green light for travel to Europe, but only if it does the same for Europeans). Travel ban is for everyone Maxence Dellacherie, Harvard graduate student, attends rally in Boston at State House … [+] on July 13 against the visa rules of the ICE which provided for the withdrawal of international students in the United States their visas, the expulsion of many of them and the prevention of others from returning. Now, this plan has been abandoned as Trump announces the lifting of his travel ban in Europe for those from the EU, Britain and Ireland on student visas. Boston Globe via Getty Images Apart from the students, it seems that the travel ban is not avoided for anyone traveling from the Schengen area. Despite Trump’s promise almost two months ago that there would soon be “announcements” about the opening of the United States to travelers from low-risk countries in Europe and elsewhere. For now, Europeans who want to get around Trump’s ban must spend 14 days elsewhere before continuing to America. Many have done so in Serbia, or in other non-Schengen European countries. .