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The FBI has revealed the results of a month-long campaign designed to thwart an infamous ransomware group known for extorting hospitals, school districts and critical infrastructure. On Thursday, the agency announced that it had worked with law enforcement agencies in Germany and the Netherlands to take control of the servers used by the Hive criminal gang to communicate with its members, thus cutting off its ability to extort its victims.
The group’s dark web site now displays a message in both English and Russian stating: “This hidden site has been seized. The Federal Bureau of Investigation seized this site as part of a coordinated law enforcement action taken against Hive Ransomware.”
Another message indicates that this action was taken by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida and the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the Department of Justice with substantial assistance from Europol.
Cyberattacks on state institutions in the Kaliningrad region and Moscow's energy infrastructure are simulated during NATO exercises that the UK conducts on a regular basis, Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov said in an interview with TASS.
"The UK is systematically targeting Russia with their offensive capabilities in the information sphere. Exercises are held on a regular basis, including under the auspices of NATO, to model attacks using information and communication technologies on Russian vital information infrastructure facilities. In particular, attacks on state institutions in the Kaliningrad region and the energy system of Moscow are simulated," he said.
Commenting on The Times reports about UK national cybersecurity forces purposefully recruiting IT specialists who speak Russian, Syromolotov noted there is "nothing surprising" in these attempts.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has dismissed proposals issued this week in Washington by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Under Secretary, Victoria Nuland. Zakharova has confirmed that Russia’s military plan for the Ukraine will not be interrupted or delayed.
“It is not necessary to talk about what will happen if someone does something [in the Ukraine],” Zakharova said. “There is a situation on the ground that we are solving. Everything. This is not a question of guesswork, but of our assessment of what is happening. This is based on the situation on the ground and direct political statements by Western politicians. Given that all negotiations have been terminated by Ukraine, this issue will be resolved on the ground. Under pressure or on its own, Kiev has banned any negotiations with Russia at the government level. So that’s it. The rest is for the military experts.”
Russia has also dismissed German Chancellor Olaf Scholz as the successor of the Nazi Wehrmacht and the puppet of the US Government. Scholz, according to Zakharova, is one of the Germans who “lack[s] the spirit to make the right choice, not to repeat the mistakes of their ancestors, for which the people of Germany, among others, paid a huge price… We remember well what German tanks are. These are machines which have become a symbol, not just of death and deadly ideology, but of hatred of humanity — a global, existential threat to the entire planet… What do they expect in Germany? That armoured vehicles in camouflage cover with iron crosses – symbols of the German armed forces both then and now will pass through our cities and villages? We remember how it ended then. Do they remember in Berlin?.. The day of the decision on the supply of Leopards to Ukraine…is also historic because [it is] the total loss of Germany’s sovereignty. [Olaf] Scholz has forever signed the rejection of an independent German foreign policy. He has abandoned everything that his predecessors had built decades after the Second World War.”
The European Union should move its economy to a wartime footing amid the Ukraine conflict, Manfred Weber, the president of the European People’s Party (EPP), suggested on Thursday. He said that the move is required to ramp up the bloc's own defense potential, and that of Kiev.
Speaking to the newspapers of the Funke media group, Weber called for the reorganization of the EU arms industry. The MEP believes that the bloc needs “a kind of war economy… in order to be able to guarantee stability and security”.
“The European states are currently not in a position to provide the necessary armaments quickly enough, neither for our own defense, nor for Ukraine,” he lamented. To remedy the situation, Weber argued, the EU should “break new ground,” pointing out that complex allocation structures are not working the way they are supposed to.
The MEP pointed out that Germany had established a €100 billion ($109 billion) special defense fund amid the Ukraine conflict, but “hardly anything happens because the bureaucracy is paralyzing.” “A year after the start of the war, the armaments companies have hardly received any orders,” he added.
The US is leaving no room for compromise on sanctions and potential negotiations with Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.
His statement came after US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland suggested that restrictions on Moscow could be eased if it hands back its newly incorporated territories to Ukraine.
“We still don’t see anything [new] in Madame Nuland’s words. We are absolutely not inclined to exaggerate their importance,” Peskov told reporters.
The spokesman added that Nuland “has practically repeated the set of theses that show… the lack of flexibility in the position of the US, which, in turn, is completely different from our position.”
During a hearing in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday, Nuland suggested that Secretary of State Antony Blinken would “favor sanctions relief” if Moscow decides to “negotiate seriously and withdraw its forces from Ukraine and return territory.”
The mom of an 18-year-old Italian woman who was raped and murdered by a Nigerian drug dealer wore a T-shirt showing the teen’s dismembered body in court to protest his appeal of part of his conviction.
Pamela Mastropietro was raped and butchered by 32-year-old Innocent Oseghale in the central Italy town of Macerta in January 2018.
Oseghale — who stuffed the teen’s mutilated remains inside two suitcases and dumped them in a ditch — was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of murder, rape and destruction of a body.
On Wednesday, the brute appeared in court in Perugia to appeal his rape conviction, claiming he did not sexually assault Mastropietro in a bid to shorten his sentence, the Italian news outlet ANSA reported.
The victim’s mother, Alessandra Verni, attended the hearing wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with harrowing images of her daughter’s remains — including her decapitated head lying on a pathologist’s table.
The anguished woman and Oseghale nearly came to blows and had to be separated as he was led away shouting: “Enough judicial oppression!”
As she confronted the ruthless killer, Verni screamed: “Tell me! Tell me what you want!”
A woman who was a public official in a Michigan community admitted Wednesday that she broke a seal on a ballot box to ensure that votes could not be recounted in her 2020 race, prosecutors said.
Kathy Funk, 59, pleaded no contest to misconduct in office, a felony, under an agreement that includes no time in jail.
Funk, a Democrat, was the Flint Township clerk in 2020 with responsibility over elections. She was accused of sabotaging a ballot box after the August primary that year, an act that would make those ballots ineligible for a recount.
Funk had won the race by just 79 votes out of about 5,300. A recount was not conducted.
Election officials who “undermine the very foundation of our democracy and will be held accountable,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has updated its list of medicines to stockpile for 'radiological or nuclear emergencies', just hours after the EU warned that Russia 'is at war with the West'.
The global health body issued guidance on how to survive a nuclear catastrophe in a new report today, warning against 'intentional uses of radioactive materials with malicious intent'.
Thursday, during an appearance on FNC’s “The Story,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) blasted President Joe Biden’s record, citing several metrics calling into question the economic health of the United States.
The Louisiana Republican suggested he would be ashamed if he had a record comparable to Biden’s record.
“I think that President Biden is the only person in the Milky Way who thinks our country is headed in the right direction,” Kennedy said. “Look at the facts. Last year, our economy grew at 1% — 1%. China’s economy was shut down. It grew at 3%, 13.5% inflation cumulatively. That’s what President Biden has given us in two years. Average rent up 12%, average 30-year mortgage is gone from 3% to 6.5%. Average wage is down 4% because President Biden wouldn’t stand up to the teachers’ unions, our kids have experienced the largest learning loss in modern history. I don’t mean any disrespect. But if that was my record, I would had my head in the bag. And it doesn’t give me joy to say that, Martha, but those are the cold, hard facts.”
One portion of the footage shows police knocking on the door of Pelosi's home, before the door opens to reveal Paul Pelosi and suspect David DePape.
People often think they know what causes chronic depression. Surveys indicate that more than 80% of the public blames a “chemical imbalance” in the brain. That idea is widespread in pop psychology and cited in research papers and medical textbooks. Listening to Prozac, a book that describes the life-changing value of treating depression with medications that aim to correct this imbalance, spent months on the New York Times bestseller list.
The unbalanced brain chemical in question is serotonin, an important neurotransmitter with fabled “feel-good” effects. Serotonin helps regulate systems in the brain that control everything from body temperature and sleep to sex drive and hunger. For decades, it has also been touted as the pharmaceutical MVP for fighting depression. Widely prescribed medications like Prozac (fluoxetine) are designed to treat chronic depression by raising serotonin levels.
Yet the causes of depression go far beyond serotonin deficiency. Clinical studies have repeatedly concluded that the role of serotonin in depression has been overstated. Indeed, the entire premise of the chemical-imbalance theory may be wrong, despite the relief that Prozac seems to bring to many patients.