A hacking campaign that used a U.S. tech company as a springboard to compromise a raft of U.S. government agencies is “the largest and most sophisticated attack the world has ever seen,” Microsoft Corp President Brad Smith said.
The operation, which was identified in December and that the U.S. government has said was likely orchestrated by Russia, breached software made by SolarWinds Corp, giving hackers access to thousands of companies and government offices that used its products.
The hackers got access to emails at the U.S. Treasury, Justice and Commerce departments and other agencies.
Cybersecurity experts have said it could take months to identify the compromised systems and expel the hackers.
“I think from a software engineering perspective, it’s probably fair to say that this is the largest and most sophisticated attack the world has ever seen,” Smith said during an interview that aired on Sunday on the CBS program “60 Minutes.”
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The breach could have compromised up to 18,000 SolarWinds customers that used the company’s Orion network monitoring software, and likely relied on hundreds of engineers.
“When we analyzed everything that we saw at Microsoft, we asked ourselves how many engineers have probably worked on these attacks. And the answer we came to was, well, certainly more than 1,000,” Smith said.
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U.S. intelligence services said last month that Russia was “likely” behind the SolarWinds breach, which they said appeared to be aimed at collecting intelligence rather than destructive acts.
Russia has denied responsibility for the hacking campaign.
(Reporting by Brad Heath; Editing by Heather Timmons and Peter Cooney)
© 2021 Reuters
Toys R Us exposure warning issued as P.E.I. confirms 2 new COVID-19 cases – CBC.ca
P.E.I. has confirmed two new cases of COVID-19 and one public exposure site — at the Toys R Us store on Buchanan Drive in Charlottetown.
Anyone who was at the store on Tuesday, Feb. 23 from 10 a.m. to noon could have come in contact with the coronavirus. People in that position are being told to immediately self-isolate and seek a COVID-19 test as soon as possible.
The new cases involve two women, one in her 20s and one in her 30s, and are both related to travel within Atlantic Canada. A news release from the Chief Public Health Office says the cases are linked to another positive case in the Atlantic region.
The statement said both women are isolating and being followed by public health daily. Contact tracing is underway.
The CPHO said anyone who visited Toys R Us during the two-hour period of risk on Tuesday should stay away from others starting immediately, and plan to visit a drop-in testing clinic on Thursday.
Even after receiving a negative result from that first test, the statement says, individuals who were at the toy retailer should continue to monitor themselves closely for symptoms of COVID-19 and get tested again if symptoms develop.
Prince Edward Island now has three active cases of COVID-19 and has had a total of 117 positive cases of COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic.
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The Huawei Mate X2 proves that Samsung was right about foldables all along – XDA Developers
This week, Huawei launched its third foldable phone, the Mate X2, and it appears to be an awe-inspiring piece of hardware, which is par for the course for Huawei. From the way the hinge folds completely flat, to the less noticeable crease, to the fact Huawei managed to cram a Periscope zoom lens into a folding device, these are all hardware accomplishments that one-ups the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2.
However, there’s no getting around the elephant in the room: the Huawei Mate X2 is a backtrack in folding philosophy for Huawei.
There are only two directions to fold a single sheet of bendable glass: either inward, with the screen closing in on the user; or outward, with the display side bending backward away from the user. Huawei’s first two foldables, the Mate X and Mate XS, took the outward-fold approach, while all three of Samsung’s foldable devices to date fold the other way around.
As is the case whenever two philosophy emerges, each side had its supporters and detractors. In tech media, most writers/reviewers, including myself, preferred Samsung’s inward-fold approach because the flexible screen is protected when folded.
But there were quite a few reviewers who preferred the outward-fold style, mainly because they didn’t like that the inward-fold style required a second smaller screen on the outside.
With the Mate X2, Huawei has conceded that the inward-fold style is the superior way to fold. This normally wouldn’t be an issue, in my opinion, were it not for the fact that Huawei’s consumer boss Richard Yu had criticized the inward-fold approach during the Mobile World Congress 2019. I was in attendance at the press conference when he criticized the need for a second screen.
I have used both Huawei and Samsung’s previous foldable phones extensively in the real world as my daily driver, and the experiences couldn’t be more different. With the Huawei Mate XS, I never felt fully comfortable using it in the real world because the soft, plasticky, bendy screen was always exposed. I felt like I had to baby the device all the time. Whenever I put it down on a tabletop, I’d do so gently, so the screen wouldn’t get scratched or dinged.
With the Galaxy Fold or the Galaxy Z Fold 2, I was able to use it with much more peace of mind because the most important/fragile/expensive part of the device is protected when it’s not in use. I can shove a folded Galaxy Z Fold 2 into my bag pocket or just put it on a table without needing to go out of my way to be gentle.
That said, I really like what I see from the Huawei Mate X2. The outer (secondary) 6.4-inch screen has an aspect ratio of 21:9, which is still slightly narrow, but nowhere near as cramped as the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s 25:9.
And as mentioned earlier, Huawei found a way to cram its best possible flagship camera system into the Mate X2, while Samsung compromised and used an inferior camera system for the Galaxy Z Fold 2 compared to what was available on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. The hinge is also less visible thanks to dual fold structure, similar to the hinge seen in Motorola’s foldable Razr series.
Of course, the Mate X2 is only sold in China for now, and it won’t be able to run Google’s core services without some unofficial hack, so it’d be hard to use for most people outside of China even if they decide to import one.
But as a piece of foldable hardware, this may be the most impressive one yet — it’s just so clearly a testament that Samsung had the right folding idea all along. The Android market flourishes with experiments, but recognizing what works better resets the room and drives innovation in a more focused direction. With the Mate X2 now folding in with top-notch hardware, we can expect to see Samsung take some more risks with its own foldables. Perhaps as a reaction, Samsung is now giving users a 100-day return policy to try out the Galaxy Z Fold 2, giving us a glimpse at what this focused competition can really do for consumers at the end of the day.
What do you think? Which approach do you figure is better for foldables?
EA cancels BioWare's Anthem revamp, servers will remain live – MobileSyrup
Electronic Arts (EA) has officially cancelled BioWare’s planned overhaul of its Anthem multiplayer shooter.
In a blog post, Christian Dailey, executive producer at BioWare Austin, attributed the cancellation to COVID-19 related development hurdles and a desire to renew the team’s focus on other projects.
“2020 was a year unlike any other however and while we continue to make progress against all our game projects at BioWare, working from home during the pandemic has had an impact on our productivity and not everything we had planned as a studio before COVID-19 can be accomplished without putting undue stress on our teams,” wrote Dailey.
He noted that development had started on the overhaul — also known as ‘Anthem Next’ — in late 2019 and the team had been “doing brilliant work” on it.
“Game development is hard. Decisions like these are not easy,” said Dailey. “Moving forward, we need to laser focus our efforts as a studio and strengthen the next Dragon Age, and Mass Effect titles while continuing to provide quality updates to Star Wars: The Old Republic.”
Anthem was originally developed by the main BioWare team in Edmonton and released in February 2019. However, the game received negative reviews for an overall lack of content, light story, shallow endgame and more. After a number of updates shortly after launch, Anthem received minimal post-launch support until February 2020, when then-BioWare general manager Casey Hudson confirmed that a “substantial reinvention” had begun to improve the game.
This relaunch was taken on by BioWare Austin, the studio behind Star Wars: The Old Republic, due to its more extensive experience with multiplayer games than the historically single-player experience-focused Edmonton team.
Dailey says Anthem‘s servers will remain active so players can continue to access the game “as it exists today.”
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