Facebook hackers that stole personal information from users in two widely reported attempts have told BBC’s Russian service that they are trying to sell this information to the highest bidder. While they claim to have data from 120 million accounts, Facebook has denied those numbers stating that only 81,000 user accounts have been compromised and now it has taken strong measures to maintain security. If the hackers claim to have this information it could have been obtained through malicious browser extensions. Facebook has assured users that all possible steps have been taken to prevent other accounts from being affected.
According to details available with BBC details of Facebook users in Ukraine and Russia along with UK, US and Brazil have been most affected. There had been an advertisement online by hackers offering to sell information like private messages for 10 cents per account but that has been removed. Facebook executive Guy Rosen stated that they contacted browser makers to ensure that malicious extensions cannot be downloaded from their stores. Facebook’s team is also working with law enforcement officials and local authorities to remove websites that display information stolen from Facebook accounts.
The breach of Facebook accounts was first discovered when a user nicknamed FBSaler posted an advertisement on an English internet forum stating that they sell personal information of Facebook users and he has database of 120 million accounts. Cyber security firm Digital Shadows that examined the claim confirmed that the sellers had data of more than 81000 profiles containing private messages. Data from another 176,000 accounts were available by the same group though some of the information in it like email ids and phone numbers could have been taken off from member profiles that had not hidden this information. BBC’s Russian service contacted three of the five Russian users whose data was revealed to them in this exercise and they confirmed that these private messages had been uploaded by them.
The relation between the giant retail company, Walmart, and its former issuer of a credit card, Synchrony has been on the downfall for a really long time and matters became worse in the past few weeks as more bad blood was issued between the two of them.
All of this started when Walmart lodged an official lawsuit against Synchrony, claiming that it didn’t stick to its promise of letting Walmart extract maximum benefits from the contract and not causing any undue obstruction in the process. The damages are valued at almost $800 million.
Heavy negotiations have been going between the two parties since July about the appropriate line of action to be taken with respect to almost $10bn which is present as balance. A decision has to be taken whether to negotiate to sell it off or retain it. Walmart has already appointed a new organization called Captial One, to handle its finances as well as the issuing of the credit card.
Synchrony has issued an official statement which said that all the allegations are baseless and is a strategy adopted by Walmart in order to bypass its contractual obligations. It also expressed disappointment at Walmart for not resolving the commercial mess in a more confidential and cordial manner and filing a lawsuit. Walmart has, in turn, reprimanded the statement by saying that Synchrony has been unscrupulous in their working methods and has failed to take responsibility for their actions.
Financially, Synchrony has been at a major loss here as they lost major values in shares and was also dependent on Walmart for almost 10 percent of the total earnings of the bank from the loans taken. As things stand now, matters will only get worse, if appropriate steps are not taken to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
Staying in hospitals overnight has become difficult because of increasing noise levels, suggests research. In-patient surveys show that 40% of patients are bothered by noise from telephones, machinery, staff and trolleys. Noises affect not only patients, but also burnout rates and staff performance. Even with intensive care patients have to tolerate noise levels that go over 100db, making such vulnerable patients prone to intensive care psychosis- a type of delirium which makes patients anxious and paranoid. They even start hearing and seeing things that aren’t there. Other side effects include high BP, poor mental health, greater pain sensitivity and increased stress. Dr. Xyrichis notes that high noise levels make patients leave before they’re fully better, only likely to be rehospitalized later. Coronary care patients that received treatment during noisy periods were more likely to be rehospitalized than those treated during more silent times. Too much noise affects healthcare as staff members fail to hear the patients or each other.
Solutions to this problem have been rather slow with idiosyncratic and piecemeal approaches being undertaken. Researchers say that a more coordinated and patient-friendly approach is needed. The 3 primary areas of focus are consideration of hospital soundscape as a whole, instead of just focusing on just the noisiest elements; detailed research about the response and perception of patients to common hospital sounds; providing transparency and information to patients and their families about noise levels during admission.
Dr. Xyrichis questions if sound is considered while construction or redevelopment works on hospital infrastructure are happening. He puts emphasis on the fact that proper modifications to existing environments can be done at relatively low costs. Noise-warning systems and sound-absorbing panels provide a little relief, as can sound-masking. The lead author of the study stresses that not knowing the sources of sounds cause a lot of agitation and discomfort in patients and this needs to be looked into by researchers. Awareness is the most important thing to achieve in order to solve the problem of noises in hospitals, he adds.
NASA is also about to join the league of private organizations headed by giants like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, & Richard Branson in a race to make space as a tourist spot. As the organizations Virgin Galaxy, SpaceX, and Blue Origin are competing each other for sending out the normal citizens in to the space as tourists, NASA has also started thinking about selling out the space trips for the normal citizens which would fire them off to the ISS, according to a report published in Washington Post. Even if this is the first time when the US will be sending the tourists in the space, Russia on the other hand is sending people since the year 2001.
Space.com had reported that Dennis Tito who is an US based businessman had paid a whopping sum of $20Mn for boarding up the Soyuz in order to visit ISS. The Space Program of Russia has been sending the private citizens in the space since long; it is the one who has brought up the concept of constructing one luxury hotel in the ISS. It has also been reported that those private citizens who would be visiting the hotel would be able to book it for a sum of $20Mn for a vacation that would last for almost 2 weeks.
NASA thinks that starting off the commercial space trip program for the citizens would help it regain its position in the eyes of people. The American space agency is however at the very basic stage of the program presently but would be soon catching up with its rivals in private sector. We might be able to see NASA selling off the tickets of the fights which will be built either by Boeing or SpaceX. This program of NASA is considered as a move to keep behold of public’s attention.