WannaCry is a software that has infected and taken control of Microsoft-operating software computers in at least 150 countries, requiring the owners to hundreds of dollars to obtain their files beginning Friday, May 12, 2017. The hacking tool was made possible by a backdoor in Microsoft's Windows software which was used by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) for its own use. The tool ended up in the hands of a mysterious hacking group known as the Shadow Brokers, which also published the exploits online. There has been a recurrent theme of the creation of backdoor exploits that leak into the the public domain and cause widespread damage (Volz, 2017).
Fortunately, a 22-year-old malware researcher by the name of MalwareTech, has inadvertently halted the spread of (one version of) WannaCry by purchasing a unregistered domain name in the randsomware for $10.69. While MalwareTech significantly prevented the spread of WannaCry, it is still possible for out-of-date Windows computers to become infected through other domain names (Larson, 2017).
MalwareTech stated, "...my registartion of [the domain] caused all infections globally to believe they were inside a sandbox and exit…thus we initially unintentionally prevented the spread and and further ransoming of computers infected with this malware. Of course now that we are aware of this, we will continue to host the domain to prevent any further infections from this sample" ("How to Accidentally Stop a Global Cyber Attacks | MalwareTech", 2017).
How to Accidentally Stop a Global Cyber Attacks | MalwareTech. (2017). Malwaretech.com. Retrieved 20 May 2017, from https://www.malwaretech.com/2017/05/how-to-accidentally-stop-a-global-cyber-attacks.html
Larson, S. (2017). Researcher accidentally stops massive cyberattack from spreading. KHON2. Retrieved 20 May 2017, from http://khon2.com/2017/05/13/researcher-accidentally-stops-massive-cyberattack-from-spreading/
Volz, D. (2017). Ransomware attack again thrusts U.S. spy agency into unwanted spotlight. Reuters. Retrieved 20 May 2017, from http://www.reuters.com/article/us-cyber-attack-blame-idUSKCN18C02D?il=0
“Monsanto even started the aptly-named ‘Let Nothing Go’ program to leave nothing, not even Facebook comments, unanswered; through a series of third parties, it employs individuals who appear to have no connection to the industry, who in turn post positive comments on news articles and Facebook posts, defending Monsanto, its chemicals, and GMOs,”
More concerning, revealed by the documents, Monsanto allegedly “quietly funnels money to ‘think tanks’ such as the ‘Genetic Literacy Project’ and the ‘American Council on Science and Health”– organizations intended to shame scientists and highlight information helpful to Monsanto and other chemical producers,”.
At the US District Courthouse in San Francisco, the plaintiffs claim that exposure to the herbicide Roundup caused them or their relatives to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma, while Monsanto concealed the potential risks. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, has been classified as a probable carcinogen, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization.
The claims against Monsanto are backed up by a group of emails, used as evidence in the court, composed by Monsanto executives, instructing third parties to "ghost-write" sections of "scientific" papers, upon which some "scientists" would just edit and sign their names on the publication.
“A less expensive/more palatable approach might be to involve experts only for the areas of contention, epidemiology and possibly MOA (depending on what comes out of the IARC meeting), and we ghost-write the Exposure Tox & Genetox sections,” the letter’s excerpt reads. “An option would be to add Greim and Kier or Kirkland to have their names on the publication, but we would be keeping the cost down by us doing the writing and they would just edit & sign their names so to speak. Recall that is how we handled Williams Kroes & Munro, 2000.”
Monsanto denies the allegations, continuing to claim that "glyphosate does not cause cancer".
Monsanto Accused of Hiring Army of Trolls to Silence Online Dissent – Court Papers | Global Research - Centre for Research on Globalization. (2017). Globalresearch.ca. Retrieved 16 May 2017, from http://www.globalresearch.ca/monsanto-accused-of-hiring-army-of-trolls-to-silence-online-dissent-court-papers/5588396
Ruskin, G. (2017). MDL Monsanto Glyphosate Cancer Case Key Documents & Analysis. U.S. Right to Know. Retrieved 16 May 2017, from https://usrtk.org/pesticides/mdl-monsanto-glyphosate-cancer-case-key-documents-analysis/
The Coalition for the Homeless states that the primary cause of homelessness is lack of affordable housing. Events triggering homelessness include eviction, overcrowded housing, domestic violence, loss of job, and hazard housing conditions.
In an effort to combat the spike in homelessness, the city if opening 90 new shelters spread across the city to offer housing and aid. Additionally, the city is implementing StreetSmart, a comprehensive tool, in concert with nearly 400 outreach workers to collect information about their health, income, demographics, and history, among other information, ultimately to view and manage the homeless population on a daily basis.
StreetSmart it able to aid the outreach workers in any moment, featuring an embedded map to determine the location of interactions with the homeless, and able to evaluate the effectiveness of various housing facilities. The tool, essentially, is able to integrate services to keep the homeless population off the streets.
Will This Be Used to Help or Criminalize People?
As stated by the Coalition for the Homeless, a large majority of the homeless in New York Ciry are living with a mental illness. Furthermore, homeless single adults have much higher rates of serious mental illness, addiction disorders, and other severe health problems.
Tracking and tracing the homeless population. This is where this technology begins. Where will it end up?
Basic Facts About Homelessness: New York City - Coalition For The Homeless. (2017). Coalitionforthehomeless.org. Retrieved 12 May 2017, from http://www.coalitionforthehomeless.org/basic-facts-about-homelessness-new-york-city/
Lapowsky, I. (2017). NYC’s New Tech to Track Every Homeless Person in the City. WIRED. Retrieved 12 May 2017, from https://www.wired.com/2017/05/new-york-citys-businesslike-tech-fighting-homelessness/?mbid=nl_5617_p2&CNDID=26934920
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