Hackers try to penetrate the vital ‘cold chain’ for coronavirus vaccines, security team reports

The hackers took measures to hide their tracks, and the cyber-sleuths did not name which state might be behind the campaign.

The IBM team said it was not known why the hackers were trying to penetrate the systems. It suggested that the intruders might want to steal information, glean details about technology or contracts, create confusion and distrust, or disrupt the vaccine supply chains.

The hackers probably sought “advanced insight into the purchase and movement of a vaccine that can impact life and the global economy,” the IBM team said.

Because there was “no clear path to a cash-out” as there is in a ransomware attack, there was an increased likelihood of a state actor’s being involved, IBM said. However, the IBM investigators cautioned, it was still possible that criminals could be looking for ways to illegally obtain “a hot black-market commodity” such as an initially scarce vaccine.

The new

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Hackers Target Covid-19 Vaccine Distribution ‘Cold Chain’: IBM

A special freezer manufactured by Binder, seen here in Tuttlingen, Germany in November 2020.

Photo: Thomas Kienzle (Getty Images)

Hackers “assumed to be state agents” have been waging a phishing campaign against pharmaceutical firms and other institutions involved in the forthcoming distribution of a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, IBM announced on Thursday.

In a post on Security Intelligence releasing their findings, IBM Security X-Force researchers wrote that “precision targeting of executives and key global organizations hold the potential hallmarks of a nation-state tradecraft,” adding the unknown hackers likely sought to obtain “advanced insight into the purchase and movement of a vaccine that can impact life and the global economy.” The target, according to IBM, appears to be the “cold chain”—a term for the logistics network that allows vaccines and other drugs to be carried from point of manufacture to distribution in temperature-controlled shipping containers. What the attackers hoped to accomplish is unknown, with possible motives ranging from theft of

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Will President-elect Biden wage a new Cold War with China?

China is no longer biding its time, as Deng Xiaoping once advised, it is asserting its power throughout the world. China’s rapid economic growth has emboldened Beijing to challenge American hegemony and forge a new global order based on its autocratic, mercantile system. Once coy about their ambitions, Chinese leader Xi Jinping and his supporters are convinced of China’s growing power and U.S. decline and unabashedly promote the “Chinese dream” encapsulated in a 2013 speech by Xi.

In response, a bitterly divided Washington has forged a surprisingly bipartisan consensus that sees U.S. geopolitical and economic competition with China escalating into a new Cold War comparable with the U.S.-Soviet confrontation of the 1950s. Indeed, some consider China already a more dangerous challenge than the Soviet Union.

Not surprisingly, policymakers have turned to the Cold War for ideas on how to navigate the return to great power competition, including mounting calls for

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Hackers Are Targeting the Covid-19 Vaccine ‘Cold Chain’

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, hackers and scammers have focused extraordinary attention on it, whether for espionage or for grift. Now, as pharmaceutical companies prepare to ship long-awaited vaccines, a new round of sophisticated phishing attacks is focused on the complex supply chain that will get them to people in need.

Two of the leading Covid-19 vaccine candidates, by Pfizer and Moderna, have been submitted to the FDA for emergency authorization; the agency is scheduled to evaluate Pfizer’s application on December 10, and Moderna’s one week later. UK regulators approved Pfizer’s vaccine on Wednesday. Which means that the next challenge for both vaccines is transporting them. They must be kept at frigid temperatures—minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit for Moderna, and 94 degrees below for Pfizer—requiring a network of specialists known as the “cold chain.” Today, security researchers at IBM are releasing findings that a campaign has for months targeted a significant

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Puzzling ‘cold quasar’ forming new stars in spite of active galactic nucleus — ScienceDaily

Researchers from the University of Kansas have described a galaxy more than 5.25 billion light years away undergoing a rarely seen stage in its galactic life cycle. Their findings recently were published in the Astrophysical Journal.

The galaxy, dubbed CQ 4479, shows characteristics that normally don’t coexist: an X-ray luminous active galactic nuclei (AGN) and a cold gas supply fueling high star formation rates.

“Massive galaxies, such as our own Milky Way, host a supermassive black hole at their hearts — these are black holes that grow by accreting interstellar gas onto themselves to become more massive,” said Kevin Cooke, lead author and postdoctoral researcher in KU’s Department of Physics & Astronomy. “The end of galactic growth is thought to happen when this gas accretion onto the black hole occurs in sufficient quantities that it produces a tremendous amount of energy. Then, all of that energy surrounding the black

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The pros and cons of advancing forensic technology to solve cold cases in northern Ontario

Police have been laying charges in historic homicides in Ontario recently, and investigators have hinted that advances in forensic technology may have played a key role. 

A flurry of charges have been laid in northern Ontario relating to the Sudbury murder of Renee Sweeney and last week, Ontario Provincial Police laid a first degree charge in the 40-year-old cold case of Micheline St. Amour in East Ferris, near North Bay.

Michele Bobyn, a lecturer with the Department of Forensic Science at Laurentian University, says the developments aren’t surprising.

Especially, she said, after Toronto police recently identified in October, the killer of nine-year-old Christine Jessop, who was abducted from Queensville, Ont., before being raped and killed in 1984. The case resulted in a years-long wrongful conviction of Guy Paul Morin.  

In July of 1980, 20-year-old Micheline St. Amour was found dead in an East Ferris Township home after being stabbed. (Submitted
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Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Patch Notes Revealed For November 24

Developer Treyarch has rolled out another update for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S / Series X. Along with adding an ’80s-inspired Nuketown map, the patch address various bugs and gameplay stability issues.

The headlining feature is the addition of Nuketown ’84, an updated version of the classic Nuketown map flavored with a dash of the ’80s. Nuketown ’84 has been included in the Quick Play Core and Hardcore rotation list, as well as Custom Games, the 24/7 feature playlist, and Onslaught on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. Treyarch has also enabled the Double XP event until November 30 at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET.

The update also addresses stability issues across multiplayer and Zombies, fixes hit detection issues in Zombies, irons out problems with knife camos in multiplayer, and more.

This patch comes a

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Scientists find water microdroplets can transform into hydrogen peroxide when condensing on cold surfaces

Scientists find water microdroplets can transform into hydrogen peroxide when condensing on cold surfaces
Photo shows water microdroplet condensate formed on the surface of a glass container containing cold water (left) and an image of water microdroplets formed on a polished silicon surface (right). Credit: Jae Kyoo Lee and Hyun Soo Han

In its bulk liquid form, whether in a bathtub or an ocean, water is a relatively benign substance with little chemical activity. But down at the scale of tiny droplets, water can turn surprisingly reactive, Stanford researchers have discovered.


In microdroplets of water, just millionths of a meter wide, a portion of the H2O molecules present can convert into a close chemical cousin, hydrogen peroxide, H2O2, a harsh chemical commonly used as a disinfectant and hair bleaching agent.

Stanford scientists first reported this unexpected behavior in forcibly sprayed microdroplets of water last year. Now in a new study, the research team has shown the same Jekyll-and-Hyde

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DNA Technology Could Help Investigators In Prince George’s County Reopen Cold Cases : NPR

Prince George’s County will reopen cold cases with the help of DNA technology.

National Cancer Institute/Unsplash


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National Cancer Institute/Unsplash

A $470,000 grant to use new DNA technology could be the answer to solving cold cases in Prince George’s County.

The county was one of 10 in the nation to receive the three-year-long grant from the Department of Justice. The grant will allow the county to reopen cases, some going as far back as 1979, using forensic genetic genealogy — an investigative tool comparing and analyzing DNA samples from crime scenes and popular genealogy websites like 23andMe and Family Tree. The county’s State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy’s office was the recipient of the grant.

“This is a process that holds great promise for achieving justice and bringing closure for victims of cold case crimes and their loved ones,” Braveboy said in a statement. “It’s important for the community

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Prince George’s will use DNA registries to solve cold cases through new DOJ grant

Prince George’s County is one of 10 jurisdictions across the country that will receive a $470,000 grant from the Justice Department to reopen cold cases using forensic genetic genealogy — a new investigative technique that draws on privately curated DNA databases from popular genealogy websites to compare with samples collected from crimes.

The funding could help investigators reopen as many as 60 cold cases over the next three years, Prince George’s prosecutors and police said at a news conference Thursday.

“This is just another area where we’re going to make a big difference in Prince George’s County,” county State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy said.

There are more than 600 cases of serious and violent crimes in the county in which DNA was collected from the scene but the sample did not generate a match in the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System, often referred to as CODIS.

The leads ran out,

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