Hollywood hospital paid ransom — $17K in bitcoin, not millions
See the official statement linked in this updated report. Speed and efficiency drove the payment. Given the difference between the original amount reported and the amount paid in ransom, one might wonder if there was a chaining of devices, or if many less important devices will be bricked.
Laser pointed at Pope Francis’ plane over Mexico
Someone pointed a laser at the Pope’s flight just before it landed in Mexico City yesterday, one of the highest profile incidences of “lasering” to date. The incident follows an international flight forced back to Heathrow on Monday after one of its pilots suffered eye injury from a laser. Thousands of laserings happen every year; it’s illegal in the U.S. and the U.K. both, but the U.S. issues much stiffer penalties including fines of $10,000 and prison time. If Mexico doesn’t already treat lasering firmly, it should after this embarrassing and threatening incident.
Air strike on Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières’ Syrian hospital spurs call for investigation
It’s absolutely ridiculous how many MSF medical facilities have been hit air strikes over the last year, the latest west of Aleppo in Syria. MSF has now called for an independent investigation into this latest attack which killed nine medical personnel and more than a dozen patients. This particular strike is blamed on the Syrian government-led coalition, but Russia and the U.S. have also been blamed for attacks on MSF facilities this year, including the hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan last October. You’d think somebody had it out for MSF specifically.
Is China rousing over Korean peninsula escalation?
Tension spawned by North Korea’s recent nuclear test, missile and satellite launches, as well as South Korea’s pull back from Kaesong industrial complex and U.S. F-22 flyovers have increased rhetoric in media.
- [Analysis] Geopolitical tensions now posing risk to S. Korean economy (The Hankyoreh-South Korea)
- Seoul’s spy service says North Korea is preparing cyber and other attacks (South China Morning Post)
- China calls for demilitarisation in South China Sea (GBtimes)
- Chinese military adviser Major General Wang Haiyun: “[China] must adjust the force deployment along northeastern borders…” (South China Morning Post)
Just as it is in the U.S., it’s important to note the origin and politics of media outlets covering China. GBtimes, for example, covers Chinese stories, but from Finland. ~head scratching~
All Apple, all the time
A huge number of stories published over the last 24 hours about Judge Sym’s order to Apple regarding unlocking capability on San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook’s iPhone.
- Some of the stories followed Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s reaction — was he or wasn’t he supportive of Apple’s position in his tweet-only response?
- Some posts claim Apple can comply with the order and FBI’s request — technically speaking, yeah, they can.
- Others oppose compliance as it may establish a new precedent and increase risks to other law-abiding iPhone users’ personal data.
- This is a pretty decent overview of the entire FBI vs. Apple case.
I wonder if this is really a Third Amendment case, given the lack of daylight between the FBI and the U.S. military by way of Joint Terrorism Task Force involvement, and the case at hand in which a non-U.S. citizen’s illegal activities (Farook’s wife Tashfeen Malik) may have triggered related military counterterrorism response. Has the U.S. government, by demanding Apple create code to permit unlocking the shooter’s iPhone, insisted on taking private resources for government use? But I’m not a lawyer. What do I know?
That’s it for now. Thursday, February 18th is also “Teen Missed the Bus Day”; ‘Agapitos’ he is not at the moment. Kid’s going to owe me some time helping with the next morning post.