December 12, 2017
Fully Committed to Nuclear Missile Pact – Russia
Russia said on Saturday it was fully committed to a Cold War-era pact with the United States banning intermediate-range cruise missiles, a day after Washington accused Moscow of violating the treaty. The U.S. State Department said on Friday Washington was reviewing military options, including new intermediate-range cruise missile systems, in response to what it said was Russia's ongoing violation of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. The warning was the first response by President Donald Trump's administration to U.S. charges first leveled in 2014 that Russia had deployed a ground-launched cruise missile that breaches the pact's ban on testing and fielding missiles with ranges of 500-5,500 kms (310-3,417 miles).
U.S. Unveils New Travel Advisory System – United States
The State Department unveiled Friday a new system for communicating security risks associated with foreign travel in an effort to reduce confusion and protect US citizens abroad. "The Department of State is improving our communications with US citizen travelers to provide clear, timely and reliable safety and security information worldwide," Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Carl Risch said, outlining the new advisory system to reporters ahead of its implementation next month. The existing guidance system will be replaced by a four-tiered advisory system, whereby every country will be assigned one of the following security levels:
- Level 1 - Exercise normal precautions
- Level 2 - Exercise increased caution
- Level 3 - Reconsider travel
- Level 4 - Do not travel
The levels are meant to communicate the risk of travel to each country, but are advisories only. Citizens will not be forbidden from traveling to Level 4 countries unless otherwise barred by the US government. Risch insisted the levels will be "strictly based on security conditions," and not political or diplomatic considerations.
INTEL Chip Vulnerability Exposes Millions of Devices to Malware Attacks – Worldwide
A newly discovered flaw in Intel Chips could make devices vulnerable to malware attacks, according to a new study. Researchers from Positive Technologies revealed at this year’s annual Black Hat Conference in Europe that a specific flaw discovered in Intel chips could make the device vulnerable to malware attack. According to the research team, the flaw has been present in Intel processors since at 2015 and allows malware to infiltrate a device undetected. The malware targets the chip’s Management Engine, which will enable hackers to have full access to the victim’s device, despite encryption methods and other antimalware and antivirus software. As soon as the computer starts up, the management engine in the Intel chip starts running and continues to do so until the computer is switched off. This means that the flawed processor has access to all data from the computer while it’s running.
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