US, China set to take action against each other as tensions rise

Washington( CNN) China and the US are set to take action against one another as frictions intensify over commerce, cyber hacking and espionage as US elderly law enforcement officials recognized Beijing as the biggest threat to US national protection on Wednesday.

“As the United States follows a whole of society response to this menace, we must address the vulnerabilities within our system while preserving our values and the open, free and fair principles that have stimulated us thrive, ” E.W. Priestap, the FBI’s assistant director of counterintelligence told the Senate Judiciary Committee. “What hangs in the remaining balance is not just the future of the United States, but the future of the world.”

A bargaining chip

Trump wants to use Huawei case as leverage

Inside the US-China rivalry

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Equifax breach was entirely preventable had it used basic security measures, says House report

A House Oversight Committee report out Monday has concluded that Equifax’s security practices and policies were sub-par and such a system were age-old and out-of-date, and bothering with basic security measures — like patching vulnerable systems — could’ve thwarted its massive data violate last year.

It comes a little over a year after Equifax, one of the world’s largest rating agencies, justified its systems had fallen to intruders. Some 143 million purchasers around the world were affected — most of which were in the U.S ., but also Canada and the U.K. — with the above figures subsequently rising to 148 million customers. Yet, to date, the company has faced virtually no repercussions, despite a string of corporate neglects that led to one of the largest data transgress in history.

The House report was scathing, criticizing the handled with the hack by Equifax’s former chief executive Richard Smith — who went on to “retire” next following the breach.

Smith boasted that the credit monstrou nursed” nearly 1,200 ages” the data held in the Library of Congress every day, but the House report said that Equifax had” failed to implement an appropriate protection program to protect this sensitive data .”

” Such a infraction was only preventable ,” said the report.

The report strengthened most of what was already known, but included new complexion and insights that had already unreported. The credit agency failed to patch a disclosed vulnerability in Apache Struts, a common open root network server, which Homeland Security had issued a alarming about some months before. The unpatched Apache Struts server was powering its five-decades-old (!) web-facing system that allowed consumers to check their credit rating from the company’s website. The intruders used the vulnerability to daddy a network eggshell on the server weeks later, and managed to retain access for more than 2 month, the House panel ascertained, and were able to swivel through the company’s various arrangements by acquiring an unencrypted file of passwords on one server, making the hackers access more than 48 databases containing unencrypted consumer credit data.

During that time, the intruders moved more than 9,000 queries on the databases, downloading data related to 265 separate occasions.

Equifax’s former boss Smith passed the buck onto a single IT staffer for failing to patch the Struts system. In fact, it was just another example in the company’s cavalier posture toward data security, the House report found.

” Equifax did not realize the data exfiltration because the machine to monitor[ the vulnerable server’s] network traffic had been inactive for 19 months due to an expired security certificate ,” such reports said. It took another two months for Equifax to update the expired credential, at which point staff” immediately observed suspicious web congestion .” Even Equifax’s own former foreman message patrolman David Webb — who too “retired” following the incident — told House investigators that the whole occurrence could have been foreclosed had the company updated the most vulnerable groups Struts system within 2 day of the patch’s release.

” Had the company taken action to address its observable security issues prior to this cyberattack, available data infringement could have been thwarted ,” said the report.

Two more months later, Equifax extended public. That was no picnic either.

When Equifax’s” are you at risk ?” website wasn’t crashing, the information was spewing out mistaken results. Then the area was quickly masqueraded — and was inadvertently linked to by Equifax’s own social media personnel. When concerned buyers finally got through to the area, they were offered Equifax’s own recognition freezing busines, which was knocking out weak PIN amounts — the one and only thing that was protecting shoppers’ already vulnerable recognition. The site was afterward plucked offline after another defence investigate found a flaw in the recognition freezing locate that told an attacker siphon off feelings consumer data. This was all while its call centers were overloaded, and many struggled to get fundamental questions answered.

In all, the House report didn’t hold back its commentary — slamming the credit rating agency’s poverty-stricken security rehearses, especially given the data involved — which the report noted that consumers do not” have the ability to opt out of this information collection process .”

Equifax’s response to the House’s report? Go on the defensive.

” We are deeply disappointed that the Committee chose not to provide us with adequate time to review and respond to a 100 -page report consisting of highly technical and important information ,” said Equifax spokesperson Wyatt Jefferies.” During the few hours we were given to conduct a preliminary revaluation we marked significant inaccuracies and do not agree with many of the factual observes ,” the statement continued.

” This is unfortunate and undermines our hope to assist the Committee in producing a credible and careful public asset for those who wish to learn from its own experience managing the 2017 cybersecurity incident ,” the statement continued.

When TechCrunch asked for those” substantial mistakes ,” the spokesperson returned with a bulleted roster of” factual corrects” — or nit-picks — rather than pointing out substantial divergences with the report — including that Equifax offered two years of recognition monitoring and not one year as was stated in the report, and that the report referenced an obvious settlement with a state attorney general that has not occurred.

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How to check your medical records for dangerous errors

When Liz Tidyman’s elderly mothers moved across the country to be closer to their children and grandchildren years ago, they carried their medical record with them in a couple of brown cardboard folders tied with string.

In the waiting area, Tidyman opened the folder. “Very soon I ensure that there were sheets and sheets of notes that referred to a different person with the same refer — a person whose medical conditions were much more complicated and countless than my father’s, ” she said.

Tidyman attracted out membranes with mistaken information and made a mental mention to always check records in the future. “That was a wake-up bellow, ” she said.

Chicago charter school teachers have walked off the job in a first-of-its-kind strike. Here’s why.

( CNN) A impres by contract school teachers in Chicago, described as the nation’s first, ended its first week after staff members asked for better compensations, less mobbed classrooms and abridged work hours.

Classes have been canceled as the impres continues. All extracurricular acts have been canceled, as well.

Fintech investors and founders to judge Startup Battlefield Africa

TechCrunch will soon be returning to Africa to hampered its Startup Battlefield challenger dedicated to the African continent.

The event, in Lagos, Nigeria, on December 11, will showcase the launching of fifteen of the most wonderful startups in Africa onstage for the first time. We’ll too be joined by some of the leading investment firm in individual regions. The event is now sold out, but keep your eyes on TechCrunch for video of all the panels and the Battlefield competition.

Here are only some of the investors and founders who will be evaluating the startups emulating for US $25,000.


Olugbenga Agboola, Flutterwave

Olugbenga Agboola is the CEO of Flutterwave, a payments engineering company headquartered in San Francisco with operating and offices across Africa and Europe. Prior to co-founding Flutterwave, Olugbenga contributed to the development of fintech mixtures at several tech companies and financing institution such as PayPal and Standard Bank, amongst other. He is a serial entrepreneur with two successful departs under his belt. He is a software engineer with a “Masters degree” in Information Technology Security and Behavioral Engineering, as well as an MBA.

Barbara Iyayi, Element

Barbara Iyayi is the chief emergence officer and the executive director of Africa for Element, which distributes AI-powered mobile biometrics software to develop digital stages globally. Barbara was part of the founding crew of Atlas Mara, a London stock exchange-listed companionship, co-founded by Bob Diamond, ex-CEO of Barclays Bank, which was the first-ever entity to parent more than$ 1 billion to invest in, control and organize financial institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa. As the Regional Lead for M& A and Investments, she passed investments into banks and developed the banking platform’s entry into seven countries in Africa. Notably, she preceded the acquisition and first-ever consolidation of two banks in Rwanda, to be the leading innovative retail bank — Banque Populaire du Rwanda — and resulted a $250 million equity investment in Union Bank of Nigeria.

Aaron Fu, MEST Africa

Aaron is an early-stage investor, entrepreneur and tactical advisor to both startups as they scale and corporates as they alter to gain agility for disorderly invention. Over the last five years old he has specifically concentrate on innovation in Africa, working with global brands and entrepreneurs across diverse manufactures, from financial services to health to mobile to agriculture.

As managing director at MEST, he is dedicated to course, the investment in and incubating the next generation of world software entrepreneurs in Africa. He succeeds a portfolio of 30-plus startups encompassing fintech, media, e-commerce and agritech.

Sam Gichuru, Nailab

Sam Gichuru is founder and CEO of Nailab, one of Kenya’ s producing business incubators. His contribution in establishing the startup business ecosystem in Kenya, through Nailab, has been significant, and as a result was invited as a key loudspeaker during the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit, held in Nairobi and officiated by then U.S. President Barack Obama.

Sam has been instrumental in propagating the development of a strong and vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem, and it’s through this commitment that he was most recently selected by Jack Ma to lead, through Nailab, the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative, a $10 million Initiative that seeks to discover, spotlight and subsidize 10 African entrepreneurs every year for the next 10 years.

Olufunbi Falayi, Savannah Fund


Olufunbi Falayi is a partner at Passion Incubator, an early-stage technology incubator and accelerator that invests in early-stage startups. He co-led investment in 12 startups, including Riby, BeatDrone, AdsDirect, TradeBuza and Waracake. Olufunbi likewise a principal at Savannah Fund, driving investment in West Africa.

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VA officials grilled over delayed payments to thousands of student veterans

Washington( CNN) Thousands of student ex-servicemen have still not received education and house fees from the US government due to a series of glitches plaguing the Department of Veterans Affairs’ information and technology system, top VA officials approved during a congressional hearing Thursday.

Problems first arose after the VA started to implement the Forever GI Bill, a measure passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump in 2017, to “enhance or expand education advantages for Veterans, busines members, households, and survivors.”

The legislation did not address the VA’s antiquated IT system used to account for those changes, and the department’s failure to implement the alteration of that organisation has resulted in a cascading succession of faults changing the dispensation of housing payments to veteran students.