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The City Of Baltimore Has Been Taken Over By Hackers Using NSA Tools

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Hackers have recently taken over the computer systems for the City of Baltimore. Many of the City’s operations have been at a standstill for weeks as officials scramble to find a solution.

The hackers are demanding that the city pay a ransom in order to regain control of the network. The ransom started at 13 Bitcoin, which is roughly $100,000 at its current price. However, the hackers said that the city will owe an additional $10,000 for every day after the deadline.

The attack occurred at the beginning of this month, on May 7th. In a ransom note, the hackers gave a deadline of May 17th.

“We won’t talk more, all we know is MONEY! Hurry up! Tik Tak, Tik Tak, Tik Tak!” the ransom note read.

Basic Services Frozen

In the attack, the hackers managed to seize 10,000 of the city’s most vital systems. Once they had control of the network, the hackers were able to put a freeze on basic city services.

The hackers locked the city out of email and voicemail, so city employees set up Gmail accounts as an alternative. The employees were locked out of their Gmail accounts as well, since all of their addresses were marked as spam.

In a later statement, Google explained that this was a glitch in their automated systems.

“We have restored access to the Gmail accounts for the Baltimore city officials. Our automated security systems disabled the accounts due to the bulk creation of multiple consumer Gmail accounts from the same network,” the statement read.

For the past month, Baltimore residents couldn’t pay their bills, and city employees were unable to log into their accounts.

Will The City Pay The Ransom?

Baltimore Mayor Jack Young, initially said that the city is working to restore their networks. Young also said that the FBI is assisting the city in the investigation.

“The restoration efforts also require that we rebuild certain systems to make sure that when we restore business functions. We are doing so in a secure manner,” Young said.

Young initially said that the city would not consider paying the ransom under any circumstances. The mayor said that to pay the ransom would be like “rewarding bank robbers for robbing banks.”

However, it seems that now the city may be desperate and running out of options. In an interview this week, the mayor revealed that he is thinking about paying the ransom.

“To move the city forward, I might think about it,” Young said.

hackers ransom

A view of Downtown Baltimore / Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

NSA Tools

According to a report from the New York Times this week, the hackers carried out the attack using an NSA hacking tool. The tool is called EternalBlue and it was initially developed by the NSA before hackers leaked it to the public.

After hackers used the tools in various cyber attacks, Microsoft blamed the NSA for the crisis. Microsoft said that the agency had a practice of “stockpiling vulnerabilities,” which prevented companies from patching their software.

Previous Hack

In a separate attack last year, Hackers shut down Baltimore’s 911 systems for an entire day. Hackers carried out a similar attack in Atlanta around the same time. In fact, this is a problem that cities all over the country are currently facing. Baltimore is just one of over 20 different cities that hackers have hit with cyber attacks in the past year.

Outdated Technology

Most of these exploits wouldn’t work on your personal computer because only older systems are vulnerable to them. The various cities that have been experiencing cyber attacks are obviously on very outdated systems.

The EternalBlue exploit targets a vulnerability in Microsoft’s Windows XP and Vista systems, which are generations behind most consumers.

According to a recent report from WeLiveSecurity, “there are currently almost a million machines in the wild using the obsolete SMB v1 protocol.”

“Poor security practices and lack of patching are likely reasons why malicious use of the EternalBlue exploit has been growing continuously since the beginning of 2017, when it was leaked online,” the report continued.

Since businesses and governments rarely update their systems, many high-profile targets are currently at risk.

Baltimore officials are currently using manual workarounds to complete real estate deals, but many of the city’s services are no longer functional.

Susan Claire graduated with a degree in microbiology from Ohio State University. Now she lives on the road, in a constant state of travel between research projects and studies. In her free time, she likes to write articles about the most cutting edge inventions, and most recent developments in science.

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Photos Show Epstein Cuddling With Young Girl On Private Jet

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New photos that were recently obtained by journalists at The Daily Mail show Jeffrey Epstein cuddling with a sleeping young girl. The photos are said to have been taken on Epstein’s notorious private jet. The late billionaire pedophile reportedly took the girl to Disney World and was returning home with her when the photos were taken.

The most disturbing image shows Epstein sitting in his airplane with the young girl laying on top of his lap. Other photos showed the group’s trip to Disney World, where Epstein, the young girl, and others were seen posing with Disney characters like “Piglet” from “Winnie The Pooh.”

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Photo: MEGA / The Daily Mail

The young girl in the photos has not been identified, and it is not clear if she was one of Epstein’s victims, but the images certainly paint an ugly picture.

The Disney trip reportedly took place in 2004, which was a few years before he was first arrested. However, many victims say that his abusive behavior goes back far earlier than 2004.

Epstein’s associate and one-time girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell is also believed to have been on the trip, although she does not appear in any of the photos. Some of the faces on the photos are blurred out.

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Photo: MEGA / The Daily Mail

A source who was on the trip said, “It was a fun day. We ate in a restaurant with two of Jeffrey’s friends who he met there. Jeffrey however did not eat lunch. I hardly ever saw him eat at a restaurant. Food always had to be prepared by a personal chef.”

The source also said that Epstein and his entourage had full VIP access to the theme park and never had to wait in any lines.

“We were given a VIP tour of the park and someone was escorting us around from ride to ride. The group never had to be in line for a ride or a rollercoaster, we went to the front of the line each time,” the source told the Mail.

The source also claimed that the photo was innocent, despite how bad it looks in the context of what we now know about Epstein.

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Photo: MEGA / The Daily Mail

“It had been a long day and the girl just fell asleep in his arms. The picture is terrifying based upon what we know now but it was entirely innocent,” the source said.

Epstein reportedly flew about ten other people to Disney World for the Trip, including Ghislaine Maxwell, his personal assistant Sarah Kellen and Slovakian model Nadia Marcinkova.

New details about Epstein’s crimes and his associates are expected to be revealed during the upcoming criminal trial against Ghislaine Maxwell. Epstein and Maxwell were connected with major players on both sides of the political spectrum who have a lot to lose if Maxwell discusses their involvement with Epstein’s criminal network. With how many people that Epstein was connected to there is no telling what can be revealed in the upcoming trial.

Epstein allegedly died in his jail cell on August 10, 2019. The medical examiner ruled the death a suicide. Epstein’s lawyers have disputed the ruling, and there has been significant public skepticism about the true cause of his death.

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Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Were Released In Florida

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Environmentalist groups have been warning about the danger of releasing genetically modified mosquitoes into the wild for years, but a plan to release the GM insects in the United States for the first time is scheduled to continue as planned.

Millions of GM mosquitoes will be released in the Florida Keys as a part of a pilot program that officials hope will reduce the spread of diseases like dengue, yellow fever, and the Zika virus.

The unprecedented release is being orchestrated by the British-based biotechnology firm Oxitec, and the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District (FKMCD), according to Reuters.

The project hopes to reduce the prevalence of the Aedes aegypti species, which is responsible for spreading many infections diseases.

On May 1st, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted an experimental use permit to Oxitecon for the release of the mosquitoes.

While regulators have signed off on the program and are confident of its safety, local residents are obviously very concerned about these insects being released in their back yards.

The plan has already been set into motion, and some of the insects have already been released. Oxitec opened about 6 boxes containing the OX5034 modified mosquito in the Florida Keys last week.

In theory, these genetically modified male mosquitos will mate with wild females, and their genetics will cause the children to die, which they hope will lead to a total collapse of the wild population.

However, there are also many different things that can go wrong with this type of live experiment, and there is growing concern among scientists that this technology may not be ready for deployment. Many experts have also suggested that the risks have not been studied thoroughly enough. Some scientists are warning about the potential unintended consequences that can come from unleashing such insects into the wild. For example, researchers are entirely unaware of what type of allergic reactions that these insects could cause if they interact with people.

Meredith Fensom, Oxitec’s head of global public affairs, told Reuters about the release.

“Inside we have a small container, and this is what we put the mosquito eggs in. We also have a small container for food. We leave it open. And then we fill the box, less than halfway full, with water. We close the lid, and after a week or two, our non-biting male mosquitoes begin to emerge,” she said.

These boxes contained roughly 12,000 mosquitoes, but the Oxitec says that they plan to release tens of millions of these incects in the region throughout the year.

This is not the first time that the company has released GM mosquitoes into the wild, this is just the first time that it has been done in the United States. Oxitec has previously launched similar projects in places like Brazil, Panama, the Cayman Islands and Malaysia, where they claim to have a success rate of over 90%.

The mosquitoes have also been designed to emit a fluorescent glow, so that when they are captured.

“That’s how we monitor for the project before, during and after to understand the mosquito population,” Fensom explained.

However, many experts disagree with the plan and have made attempts to organize against this strange use of genetic technology.

 

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Bill Gates’ Relationship With Epstein Led To His Divorce

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According to a shocking report published this week in the Wall Street Journal, Melinda Gates began meeting with divorce lawyers in October of 2019, which is around the same time that Bill Gates was listed among Jeffrey Epstein’s close associates.

According to sources close to the Gates family that were interviewed by the Journal, and documents shared with the site, Melinda said that her marriage with Bill was “irretrievably broken.”

The divorce was set into motion immediately after Bill Gates was implicated as a close friend of Epstein. In reports at the time, it was noted that Gates began his relationship with the notorious pedophile after he was already convicted of crimes against children.

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Photo: Reuters

However, Bill’s friendship with Epstein was a source of contention in his marriage long before his wife filed for divorce. In fact, she warned him not to associate with Epstein due to his notorious reputation and criminal convictions, an employee of the Gates Foundation told The Daily Beast. Despite this warning, Bill and some of his employees at the foundation continued to meet with Epstein.

When asked for a comment, a spokesman for Bill Gates told the Journal that he denied being friends with the late pedophile, referring to a statement he gave the paper last year saying that, “I met him. I didn’t have any business relationship or friendship with him.”

When pressed by other reporters about the relationship, Gates said that his proximity to Epstein was only a result of them both being so rich.

A statement that Bill and Melinda Gates made on Twitter last week made no mention of Epstein, and instead painted the picture of a professional couple breaking up on amicable terms.

“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage. We have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives,” the statement read.

The couple has been married since 1994 and there was reportedly no prenuptial agreement to decide the terms of their divorce. They have agreed to equally split their assets, although they are claiming that they will give much of the money away. They have made no public comments as to the private reasons behind their divorce, but the timing of the filing is certainly suspicious, and many people close to the family suspect that Bill’s connection to Epstein could have been a factor.

According to prosecutors, Epstein operated a “vast network” for child human trafficking between 2002 and 2005, which allowed him to “sexually exploit and abuse dozens of underage girls.” Many long-time friends like Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, and Prince Andrew have been implicated in Epstein’s illicit activities.

Epstein was arrested a second time on July 6, 2019, on federal charges for the sex trafficking of minors in Florida and New York. He died in his jail cell on August 10, 2019. The medical examiner ruled the death a suicide. Epstein’s lawyers have disputed the ruling, and there has been significant public skepticism about the true cause of his death.

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