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Two Russian FSB Officers, Two Others Indicted for Yahoo Hack

Segun Balogun

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Two officers of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) along with a fugitive from the FBI’s most wanted list and a Canadian resident have been indicted on a litany of charges connected with hacking attacks against Yahoo that impacted half a billion accounts.

A grand jury in the Northern District of California indicted four men for computer hacking, economic espionage and other criminal offenses connected to the September 2014 Yahoo security breach.

The defendants are FSB officers Dmitry Aleksandrovich Dokuchaev, 33, and Igor Anatolyevich Sushchin, 43. Alexsey Alexseyevich Belan, aka “Magg,” 29, a Russian national and resident; and Karim Baratov, aka “Kay,” “Karim Taloverov” and “Karim Akehmet Tokbergenov,” 22, a Canadian and Kazakh national and a Canadian resident were also indicted.

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“Cyber-crime poses a significant threat to our nation’s security and prosperity, and this is one of the largest data breaches in history,” said Department of Justice Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “But thanks to the tireless efforts of U.S. prosecutors and investigators, as well as our Canadian partners, today we have identified four individuals, including two Russian FSB officers, responsible for unauthorized access to millions of users’ accounts. The United States will vigorously investigate and prosecute the people behind such attacks to the fullest extent of the law.”

The Justice Department is accusing FSB officers Dokuchaev and Sushchin of protecting, directing, facilitating and paying “criminal hackers to collect information through computer intrusions in the U.S. and elsewhere.” In the case of Yahoo’s breach, they are accused of working with co-defendants Belan and Baratov.

Belan was indicted both in September 2012 and June 2013 and was named one of the FBI’s Cyber Most Wanted criminals in November 2013. Belan was arrested in a European country on a request from the U.S. in June 2013, but escaped to Russia before he could be extradited. An Interpol notice seeking his arrest has been in place since July of 2013. The Justice Department is suggesting that rather than turn Belan in, Dokuchaev and Sushchin used him to gain unauthorized access to Yahoo’s network.

Aside from allegedly paying Belan, the FSB agents are said to have paid Baratov to access webmail accounts outside of Yahoo’s systems.

It is thought Baratov also used Yahoo’s network to line his pockets, as well, by searching Yahoo user communications for credit card and gift card account numbers. The hacker responsible also redirected a portion of Yahoo search engine web traffic to make commissions and enable the theft of the contacts of at least 30 million Yahoo accounts for a spam campaign.

“The criminal conduct at issue, carried out and otherwise facilitated by officers from an FSB unit that serves as the FBI’s point of contact in Moscow on cybercrime matters, is beyond the pale,” National Security Division acting assistant attorney general Mary McCord said. “Once again, the Department and the FBI have demonstrated that hackers around the world can and will be exposed and held accountable. State actors may be using common criminals to access the data they want, but the indictment shows that our companies do not have to stand alone against this threat. We commend Yahoo and Google for their sustained and invaluable cooperation in the investigation aimed at obtaining justice for, and protecting the privacy of their users.”

According to the Justice Department, hackers used unauthorized access to Yahoo’s systems to steal information from a minimum of 500 million Yahoo accounts and then used some of the data to gain access to the contents of accounts at Yahoo, Google and other webmail providers, including those of Russian journalists, U.S. and Russian government officials and private-sector employees of financial, transportation and other companies.

Dokuchaev, a former hacker who was apparently strong-armed into working for the FSB, is already in jail in Russia on treason charges, making it pretty unlikely that he will ever be extradited to stand trial in the U.S.

Baratov was arrested in Canada and is awaiting extradition while Sushchin and Belan remain at large, likely in Russia.

The four men, if convicted, face lengthy prison sentences in the U.S. Sentences for the various charges range in length from two to 20 years.

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Editorials

Happy New Year 2021: Messages, Greetings, Poems For Friends and Family

Segun Balogun

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2020 has been a difficult one for most of us, from the Coronavirus pandemic to agitations around the country — and the rest of the world, 2020 is a year that will not be forgotten in a hurry — One that will continue to affect our lives even when this whole nightmare is over. Yet, humanity is not be taken lightly either. We will continue to hold on to hope and persevere for a brighter and better tomorrow. The upcoming year has a lot of people’s hope riding on it, and the start of a new decade has never seemed more promising.

Happy New Year 2021 Messages

Wishing you a Happy New Year with the hope that you will have many blessings in the year to come.

Out with the old, in with the new: may you be happy the whole year through. Happy New Year!

Counting my blessings and wishing you more. I hope you enjoy the New Year in store.

I resolve to stop wasting my resolutions on myself and use them to repay you for the warmth you’ve shown me. Happy New Year!

Nights will be dark but days will be light, wishing your life to be always bright – Happy New Year.

Let us look back at the past year with the warmest of memories. Happy New Year.
Let the old year end and the New Year begin with the warmest of aspirations. Happy New Year!

One more year loaded with sweet recollections and cheerful times has passed. You have made my year exceptionally uncommon, and I wish this continues forever. With you around, each minute is a unique event for me. I wish you to have a year as incredible as you are.

On this New Year, I wish that you have a superb January, a dazzling February, a Peaceful March, an anxiety-free April, a sensational May, and joy that keeps going from June to November, and then round off with an upbeat December.

On this New Year, may you change your direction and not dates, change your commitments and not the calendar, change your attitude and not the actions, and bring about a change in your faith, your force, and your focus and not the fruit.

May you live up to the promises you have made and may you create for you and your loved ones the happiest New Year ever.

May this year bring new happiness, new goals, new achievements, and a lot of new inspirations on your life. Wishing you a year fully loaded with happiness.
Wishing every day of the new year to be filled with success, happiness, and prosperity for you. Happy New Year.
May the new year bring you warmth, love, and light to guide your path to a positive destination

Here’s wishing you all the joy of the season. Have a Happy New Year!

Inspirational and Motivational 2021 New Years Messages to your loved ones

A New Year is like a blank book, and the pen is in your hands. It is your chance to write a beautiful story for yourself. Happy New Year.

As the New Year approaches us with hopes anew, here is to wishing you and your family a wonderful year ahead.

As the New Year dawns, I hope it is filled with the promises of a brighter tomorrow. Happy New Year!

Every end marks a new beginning. Keep your spirits and determination unshaken, and you shall always walk the glory road. With courage, faith and great effort, you shall achieve everything you desire. I wish you a Happy New Year.

On the road to success, the rule is always to look ahead. May you reach your destination and may your journey be wonderful. Happy New Year.

No one can go back in time to change what has happened, so work on your present to make yourself a wonderful future.

You’re supposed to let go of the past and start off new. You’re supposed to forgive all those who have hurt you and be open to new relationships, with open arms. That is why it is called the ‘New’ Year. May you have a Happy New Year.

End each year with a few good lessons and start the new one by showing that you have learnt the lessons of the past well.

The New Year has brought another chance for us to set things right and to open up a new chapter in our lives.
Unlike what most people think it is never too late to be what you wish to be.

new years card with religious message
Failure doesn’t influence your inner resilience, and failing simply means that you’ve discovered another false way to move your life forward. Profit from it.

At precisely the moment you feel like giving up, victory is always within reach. Remember this moving into the New Year.

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity, and its first chapter is New Year’s Day

Happy New Year Poems 2021

Brush away old heartaches.
Learn from our mistakes.
Another year is finally over.
A new dawn awakes.

Let the old year out.
Welcome the new one in.
Bury the bad things of the past
As a new year now begins.

Make your New Year wishes
As simple as you can.
Pray for peace and love,
Not for wealth or fame.

Pray for health and happiness.
Pray for your fellow man.
Pray for all the ones you love.
Pray for those who’ve lost their way.

As the midnight hour chimes,
We leave the old and embrace the new.
I wish the things you wish for yourself,
And may God’s love stay with you.

What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That’s not been said a thousand times?
The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.
We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.
We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.
We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our brides, we sheet our dead.
We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that’s the burden of the year.

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true…

Beautiful lights and decorations
Surround us this day.
They promise to meet the aspirations
And point the right way.
Happy 2021!

Happy, Happy New Year,
We wish you all the best,
Great work to reach your fondest goals,
And when you’re done, sweet rest,
We hope for your fulfillment,
Contentment, peace and more,
A brighter, better new year than,
You’ve ever had before.

Many of us are dreamers, in 2021 become doers.
Make your thoughts, actions and become pursuers.
Don’t make resolutions without an action plan.
The secret to success is right in your hands.

Happy New Year to you!
May every great new day
Bring you sweet surprises–
A happiness buffet.

Happy New Year to you,
And when the new year’s done,
May the next year be even better,
Full of pleasure, joy and fun.

I’m writing this in a state of shock,
Watching the clock—tick tock, tick tock,
Advancing, approaching, relentlessly,
A brand new year; Oh, can it be?

The calendar says the same thing, too;
Time races, vanishes for me; Boo hoo!
No, wait! If time flies, I’m having fun!
A year of fun! It’s gone! It’s done!

I now embrace the blur of time,
Because it simply means that I’m
Too busy with pleasure, joy, delight
To mourn the passing days’ swift flight.

So I’m wishing you fast, happy days,
Pleasuring you in myriad ways,
Filled with happiness and cheer,
Oh Happy, Happy Bright New Year!

As the world celebrates
With fireworks and cakes
I’m standing here alone
Far away from home
With nothing but a suitcase and memories

As the stars surround me like water
I raise my hands in full surrender
To God, my Redeemer
Lord, this year is far from ordinary
I’ve never seen such extraordinary
People, places and things
Amazing human beings
Searching for purpose, just like me.

Looking around, I wonder
Since a year is like clashing thunder
Booming suddenly
Then vanishing instantly
Why waste time uselessly?
The old year came and went
I hope your time was wisely spent
On helping others and working hard
So that many people may regard
Your lifetime as truly great
And not just because of fate
So learn this lesson, but not from me!
Try it yourself and you will see
Making a difference starts with one step
With one foot, then the next

So walk right now into the light
And find yourself shining bright
Don’t worry what people think
Because right now you’re on the brink
Of showing others what is true
Happy New Year, from me to you.

 

Here’s wishing you all the joy of the season. Have a Happy New Year!

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Tech News

Google’s piecemeal privacy changes now let users auto-delete their data

Segun Balogun

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Google said Wednesday it’s making a handful of privacy changes for users.

In a blog post, the search giant said it’ll make it easier for users to go “incognito” and pause data collection as they use Google’s mobile apps. It’s also adding proactive account security recommendations to its Security Checkup tool.

Google also said it’ll allow its users to auto-delete their data after 18 months.

It explains: Starting today, the first time you turn on Location History — which is off by default — your auto-delete option will be set to 18 months by default. Web & App Activity auto-delete will also default to 18 months for new accounts. This means your activity data will be automatically and continuously deleted after 18 months, rather than kept until you choose to delete it. You can always turn these settings off or change your auto-delete option.

The privacy changes come months after European regulators opened an investigation into Google’s processing of location data on the continent.

Meanwhile, stateside, Google is one of many Silicon Valley tech giants also facing renewed questions about how they reconcile protecting users’ privacy while still providing their technology to law enforcement, amid protests against police brutality in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.

Over a thousand of Google’s own employees have asked the company to stop selling its technology to police departments across the United States. Amazon, IBM and Microsoft have already pulled the plug on selling their facial recognition technology to police, but left a wide berth to still sell to federal law enforcement.

Google is also facing a $5 billion class action suit in California for allegedly pervasively tracking the internet use of its users through their browser’s “incognito” mode.

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Internet Security

Pax8 and NewCloud Networks Announce New Partnership

Segun Balogun

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Pax8, the best place to buy cloud solutions, today announced a new partnership with NewCloud Networks®, global provider of cloud computing services, to offer cloud storage and compute resources for Veeam® Cloud Connect Backup and Disaster Recovery.

“Pax8 is in the business of simplifying the cloud buying journey for MSPs, and this partnership with NewCloud enables our partners to seamlessly go to market with Veeam-powered backup and disaster recovery cloud solutions,” said Ryan Walsh, Chief Channel Officer at Pax8. “Together, our certified cloud experts will help partners with their cloud deployments in a cost-effective and secure way. This partnership will also save our partner community time because it eliminates the need to report monthly Veeam usage.”

NewCloud Networks is a Platinum level Veeam Cloud and Service Provider (VCSP) with data centers in nine locations across the USA. Pax8 partners can now offer their end users a cloud repository without the hassle of deploying and managing their own data centers, while seamlessly integrating NewCloud Networks’ cloud infrastructure as a backup and disaster recovery target.

Veeam Cloud Connect is a fully integrated feature of Veeam Availability Suite v10. The solution enables MSPs to offer any Veeam customer a modern approach to data protection and business continuity. NewCloud removes the complexity and offers the support MSPs need to sell and install Veeam-powered backup and disaster recovery solutions for their clients.

“We are excited to become a Pax8 vendor partner and to offer our best in breed cloud solutions, powered by Veeam Cloud Connect, to Pax8’s partner ecosystem,” said Sam V. Kumar, NewCloud Networks’ Founder & CEO. “NewCloud’s nationwide ultra-low latency network with data centers in nine locations makes it easy for partners to leverage and scale existing cloud infrastructure, rather than deploy their own. With the help of Pax8, we will expand our MSP network and enable more partners take advantage of monthly recurring revenue through cloud solutions.”

Partner benefits of the Pax8 and NewCloud partnership include:

  • Unlimited storage for backup as a service for Workstations and Microsoft 365 backup
  • Simplifies the Veeam licensing and eliminates the need for partners to report monthly Veeam usage or commit
  • Support for both Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere virtual environments
  • SLA backed Disaster Recovery to help partners meet their end client RPO and RTO needs
  • Fully integrated to the Veeam Availability console for simplified management
  • Offers simplified management of backup environment
  • SOC 2 and HIPAA compliant
  • No ingress or egress bandwidth fees
  • 24/7 support
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