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More birth defects seen in parts of U.S. with local Zika spread Findings show need for strong birth-defect surveillance networks
ATLANTA, Jan. 25, 2018 -- Birth defects most strongly linked to Zika virus infection during pregnancy have increased in parts of the United States that have had local Zika virus transmission, according to a report in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Areas with local transmission of Zika – southern Florida, a portion of south Texas, and Puerto Rico – saw a 21 percent increase in births with outcomes most strongly linked to Zika virus in the last half of 2016 compared with births in the first half of that year.
It is not known if this increase is due to local transmission of Zika virus alone, or if there are other contributing factors. Most of the mothers who had babies with the Zika virus-linked birth defects did not have laboratory evidence of Zika virus infection—either because they were not tested, were not tested at the right time, or were not exposed to Zika virus. All cases with birth defects potentially related to Zika virus infection are monitored by birth defects surveillance systems.
"Babies with Zika-related birth defects need all the help they can get, as soon as possible and for as long as they need it," said CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. "This report highlights the critical importance of documenting birth defects possibly related to Zika and our need to maintain vigilance."
CDC looked at nearly 1 million births in 2016 in 15 U.S. states and territories, including Florida (select southern counties), Georgia (select metro-Atlanta counties), Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York (excluding New York City), North Carolina (select regions), Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas (select regions), Utah, and Vermont.
About three out of every 1,000 babies born in 15 states and territories in 2016 had a birth defect possibly associated with Zika virus infection in the mother:
About half (49 percent) were born with brain abnormalities and/or microcephaly (small head size)
2 in 10 (20 percent) had neural tube defects and other early brain abnormalities
1 in 10 (9 percent) had eye abnormalities without brain abnormalities
More than 2 in 10 (22 percent) had nervous system damage, including joint problems and deafness, without brain or eye abnormalities
Because many pregnant women exposed to Zika virus in late 2016 gave birth in 2017, CDC researchers anticipate that there could be another increase in possible Zika-related birth defects when 2017 data are analyzed.
CDC uses tracking systems to find birth defects that might be related to Zika virus:
U.S. Zika Pregnancy and Infant Registry tracks pregnancies with laboratory evidence of Zika virus infection.
Zika Birth Defects Surveillance system tracks birth defects possibly related to Zika virus infection, regardless of exposure or laboratory testing.
"Our pregnancy and birth defects surveillance networks are a collaborative effort with state, local, and territorial health departments and are essential to protect mothers and babies affected by Zika virus," said Peggy Honein, Ph.D., M.P.H., acting director, Division of Congenital and Developmental Disorders, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. "These networks can also be used as models to help track other known and emerging health threats for mothers and babies."
For more information about Zika virus and pregnancy visit www.cdc.gov/pregnancy/zika.
US Department of Health and Human Services
CDC works 24/7 protecting America's health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America's most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.
Contact: CDC Media Relations
SOURCE Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
FBI Director Christopher Wray announced the appointment of Michael McGarrity as the assistant director of the Counterterrorism Division at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Mr. McGarrity most recently served as the special agent in charge of the Criminal Division of the New York Field Office.
Mr. McGarrity joined the FBI in 1996 and began his career in the New York Field Office, where he investigated violent gangs, Colombian drug trafficking organizations, and international money laundering networks. After the terror attacks on September 11, 2011, Mr. McGarrity transferred to the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, where he investigated international terrorism matters.
Throughout his career, Mr. McGarrity has held leadership positions as the FBI detailee assigned to the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, as the FBI’s deputy on-scene commander in Afghanistan, as the supervisor of the FBI’s extraterritorial investigation squad in the Washington Field Office, as the director for Counterterrorism on the White House National Security Staff, as the FBI’s legal attaché in Switzerland, and as the first director of the Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell, where he led national efforts to secure the safe recovery of U.S. nationals held hostage abroad.
Before joining the FBI, Mr. McGarrity was a prosecutor in New York City and an economist for the U.S. Department of Energy. He obtained his law degree magna cum laude and undergraduate degree in economics from The Catholic University of America. He also attended Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government Senior Executives in National Security program.
Mr. McGarrity will report to Washington, D.C. in February.
IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 24, 2018 -- Pasternack, a leading provider of RF, microwave and millimeter wave products, has unveiled a new line of compact waveguide Gunn diode oscillators that are tunable and generate signal levels that exhibit low phase noise at popular K and Ka band frequencies. Typical applications include transmit and receive oscillators for radio communications, local oscillator source that can be multiplied for higher mm-wave frequency test and measurement, military and commercial radar sources, police radar, Doppler sensors and security screening.
Pasternack's new Gunn diode oscillators incorporate high performance devices and machined aluminum cavities. Due to the extremely high external Q and temperature compensation mechanism, these oscillators exhibit excellent frequency and power stability, lower phase noise and higher anti-load pulling characteristics. There are two models in this series, the PEWGN1001 model is a K-Band waveguide Gunn oscillator module that generates a center frequency of 24.125 GHz with a tuning range of +/- 1.0 GHz. The PEWGN1000 model generates a Ka band center frequency of 35 GHz with a tuning range of +/- 3.0 GHz. Both models incorporate self-locking tuning screws.
Performance specifications include phase noise as low as -98 dBc/Hz typical at 100 KHz offset and frequency stability as low as -0.2 MHz/°C maximum. The output power of these oscillators is +10 dBm min with power stability of -0.03 dB/°C maximum. Bias supply is +5 to +5.5 Vdc at 200 to 250 mA typical with an operating temperature range of -40°C to +85°C. The rugged and compact package designs support output frequency ports with fully integrated Mil-grade waveguide flanges of WR-42 UG-595/U for K band and WR-28 UG-599/U for Ka band.
"Our new series of K and Ka band Gunn diode oscillators offer popular center point frequencies of 24.125 and 35 GHz that are tunable. Designers will find these devices extremely useful for sensitive communication, radar and test and measurement applications. Pasternack offers both models available in stock with detailed datasheets and ready for immediate shipment," said Tim Galla, Product Manager.
Pasternack's new Gunn diode oscillators are in stock and ready for immediate shipment with no minimum order quantity. For detailed information on these products, please visit https://www.pasternack.com/pages/rf-microwave-and-millimeter-wave-products/waveguide-gunn-diode-oscillators.html.
For inquiries, Pasternack can be contacted at +1-949-261-1920.
A leader in RF products since 1972, Pasternack is an ISO 9001:2008 certified manufacturer and supplier offering the industry's largest selection of active and passive RF, microwave and millimeter wave products available for same-day shipping. Pasternack is an Infinite Electronics company.
Responding to Cyber Attacks: LegalCIO 2018 Roundtable Offers Practical Advice for Law Firms and Legal IT Professionals
, -- , a global provider of cyber security and risk management services, announced today that it will host a roundtable on incident response best practices on as part of the LegalCIO conference. The conference is held in conjunction with Legalweek New York 2018 January 29 – at the New York Hilton Midtown. experts John Hawley, VP of Product Strategy and , Manager, ActiveResponse, will lead a discussion on, "Is Your Organization Prepared for a Cyber Attack? Key Takeaways from Real-Life Incidents."
and Cook will share learnings from recent incident response engagements with participants, along with insights on best practices. Other topics of discussion will include:
WASHINGTON – Beginning February 5, 2018, residents of American Samoa will no longer be able to use territory-issued driver’s licenses or identification cards to fly domestically, or enter federal buildings and military installations. On that date, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin enforcing compliance with the Real ID Act to better protect the American people.
American Samoa formerly had an extension that allowed federal agencies to continue to accept its driver’s licenses and identification cards. However, that extension expired on October 10, 2017, triggering a three month grace period before enforcement would begin on February 5, 2018. American Samoa has subsequently not been able to demonstrate a clear achievable plan for compliance as needed to receive a new extension.
DHS continues to work with American Samoa on what actions it can take to receive a new extension. DHS has provided grants and offers technical assistance to support compliance with the REAL ID security requirements.
IMPACT ON AMERICAN SAMOA RESIDENTS
As a result of today’s decision, a driver’s license or ID issued by American Samoa (AS) will no longer be an acceptable document to board a federally-regulated commercial aircraft. American Samoa is the only state or territory that has not reached compliance or received an extension. As a result, starting February 5, 2018, American Samoan residents should bring to the airport an identity document acceptable to TSA. TSA provides a list of acceptable documents here.
To allow for a smooth transition, between February 5, 2018 and May 6, 2018, TSA will provide assistance to American Samoans who arrive at an airport without an acceptable identification document.
For federal buildings and military bases, REAL ID only affects locations where individuals are required to present an identification document for access. It does not require individuals to present identification where it is not otherwise required. When planning a visit to a Federal facility or military base, residents of American Samoa should contact the facility to determine what, if any, identification is needed for access.
BACKGROUND ON REAL ID
Based on a recommendation of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission, REAL ID is a coordinated effort by the states and the federal government to inhibit terrorists’ ability to evade detection by using fraudulently-obtained driver’s licenses and identification cards. The REAL ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005, and is designed to ensure that people boarding a flight or entering a federal building are who they say they are.
REAL ID established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. This includes incorporating anti-counterfeiting technology, preventing insider fraud, and using documentary evidence and record checks to ensure a person is who he or she claims to be. It also prohibits federal agencies from accepting non-compliant licenses and identification cards for access to federal facilities, nuclear power plants, and commercial aircraft. The goal of REAL ID is to improve the reliability and accuracy of state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards used for Federal official purposes.
Because of the potential for confusion about the REAL ID enforcement milestones, residents can use the following guidelines to be fully informed and prepared.
- Be aware of changes to American Samoa’s status. You can check for updates on REAL ID compliance or extensions at www.dhs.gov/real-id.
- Read answers to frequently asked questions at www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs.
- Bring identity documents to the airport that are acceptable for flying domestically. TSA provides a list of acceptable alternative documents at www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification. If you need to obtain a new form of ID, please allow sufficient processing time before you travel. For example, the current processing times for U.S. passports are 6-8 weeks for routine service and 2-3 weeks for expedited service.
DHS is working closely with American Samoa to implement their REAL ID requirements and stands ready to provide additional assistance as needed. The women and men of DHS will continue to work tirelessly to put protections in place to keep our country and our people safe.
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Two Top Leaders in Italy and Five Us Residents Indicted for Racketeering, Health Care Fraud and Drug Trafficking Conspiracies to Distribute Opioids Resulting in Deaths Involving “Pill Mills” Operating in Tennessee and Florida
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney J. Douglas Overbey of the Eastern District of Tennessee and Special Agent in Charge Renae M. McDermott of the FBI’s Knoxville Division made the announcement.
“Throughout this country, and certainly in Tennessee and Florida, the illegal and unconscionable mass-distribution of prescription opioids through the operation of illegal pain clinics has taken a heavy toll on our citizens, families and communities,” said Attorney General Sessions. “This sort of profiteering effectively trades human lives for financial riches. The U.S. Department of Justice is determined to stamp out the operation of illegal pain clinics by all legal means, including finding and arresting those responsible wherever they may be in the world.”
“The Eastern District of Tennessee has been at the forefront in the battle against illegal pain clinics and mass-prescribing of opioids for years,” said U.S. Attorney Overbey. “Now, under the leadership of Attorney General Sessions, additional resources have been made available through recent Department of Justice initiatives, including the Opioid Fraud and Abuse Task Force. This latest indictment is a real and tangible result of all of those combined efforts. The citizens of East Tennessee can be assured that we are committed to ridding our district of illegal pill mills.”
Luca Sartini, 58, of Rome, Italy, and Miami; Luigi Palma aka Jimmy Palma, 51, of Rome, Italy, and Miami; Benjamin Rodriguez, 42, of Delray Beach, Florida; Sylvia Hofstetter, 53, of Knoxville; Courtney Newman, 42, of Knoxville; Cynthia Clemons, 45, of Knoxville; and Holli Womack aka Holli Carmichael, 44, of Knoxville, are charged in a third superseding indictment filed in the Eastern District of Tennessee.
On Jan. 19, Sartini and Palma were arrested in the Rome, Italy-area by Italian authorities. Extradition is being sought by the United States. Rodriguez is set to self-surrender. All other defendants were previously charged in prior indictments. The case has been assigned to Chief U.S. District Court Judge Thomas A. Varlan in Knoxville.
According to the indictment, Sartini, Palma, Rodriguez, Hofstetter and a co-conspirator charged in another indictment, from about April 2009 to March 2015, ran the Urgent Care & Surgery Center Enterprise (UCSC), which operated opioid based pain management clinics, “pill mills,” in Florida and Tennessee, where powerful narcotics were prescribed and/or dispensed. The defendants are alleged to have hired medical providers with DEA registration numbers, which would allow the providers to prescribe controlled substances. The prescriptions were primarily large doses of highly addictive and potentially deadly controlled substances. As alleged in the indictment, individuals seeking prescriptions would often travel long distances purporting to suffer from severe chronic pain.
The superseding indictment alleges the defendants distributed quantities of oxycodone, oxymorphone and morphine sufficient to generate clinic revenue of at least $21 million. As per the indictment, the clinics did not accept insurance, received gross fees and ordered unnecessary drug screenings defrauding Medicare. Shell companies were set up to launder the proceeds.
As alleged in the indictment, approximately 700 UCSC enterprise patients are now dead and a significant percentage of those deaths, directly or indirectly, were the result of overdosing on narcotics prescribed by the USSC Enterprise. As alleged in the indictment, the narcotics prescribed by the UCSC enterprise contributed to the deaths of another significant percentage of those patients.
The indictment further alleges that many patients arrived in groups, who were sponsored by drug dealers who paid for the pain clinic visits and prescriptions to obtain all or part of the opioids and other narcotics prescribed to the purported pain patients. In return, drug addicted patients would receive a portion of prescribed narcotics for free from the sponsor.
To date, as a result of this investigation, approximately 30 narcotics traffickers have been charged and convicted federally, and approximately 80 to 90 smaller narcotic distributers have also been charged and convicted. Today’s superseding indictment is among 35 related indictments charging approximately 140 individuals, including medical providers who worked at the pill mills, with various crimes.
The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The superseding indictment is the result of an investigation conducted by the the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee, Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section, , and the FBI High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) which is comprised of investigators assigned to the task force by the Loudon County Sheriff’s Office, Knoxville Police Department, Blount County Sheriff’s Office, Roane County Sheriff’s Office, Harriman Police Department and Clinton Police Department. Other agencies provided invaluable assistance, including the Rome Attaché of the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs; the FBI’s liaison in Rome; the FBI Miami Health Care Fraud Strike Force; the Hollywood, Florida Police Department; the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; the Tennessee Department of Health; and the DEA’s Knoxville Diversion Group. The Department of Justice extends its gratitude to Interpol and the Italian Financial Police (Guardia di Finanza) for their assistance in locating and apprehending the defendants.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tracy L. Stone and Anne-Marie Svolto of the Eastern District of Tennessee, and Trial Attorney Kelly Pearson of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section, are prosecuting the case.
In light of the nationwide opioid epidemic which led to the declaration of a public health emergency by the Acting Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services on Oct. 26, 2017, this superseding indictment represents just the latest in a series of federal efforts in the Eastern District of Tennessee meant to combat the scourge of prescription opioids.
Vulnerability Note VU#584653
CPU hardware vulnerable to side-channel attacks
Spectre attacks take advantage of a CPU's branch prediction capabilities. Modern CPUs include a feature called branch prediction, which speculatively executes instructions at a location that the CPU believes it will branch to. Such speculative execution helps to more fully utilize the parts of the CPU, minimizing the time waiting, and therefore improving performance. When a branch is successfully predicted, instructions will retire, which means the outcomes of the instructions such as register and memory writes will be committed. If a branch is mispredicted, the speculatively-executed instructions will be discarded, and the direct side-effects of the instructions are undone. What is not undone are the indirect side-effects, such as CPU cache changes. By measuring latency of memory access operations, the cache can be used to extract values from speculatively-executed instructions.
With Spectre variant 1 (CVE-2017-5753), the instructions after a conditional branch are speculatively executed as the result of a misprediction. With Spectre variant 2 (CVE-2017-5715), the CPU executes instructions at a location determined by a mispredicted branch target.
With both variants of the Spectre attack, the impact is that a process may leak sensitive data to other processes on a system. Spectre may also allow one part of an application to access other parts of the same process memory space that would otherwise not be permitted.
While the Spectre attack itself does not cross a user/kernel memory privilege boundary, depending on the configuration of the target platform, the Spectre attack may indirectly allow a user-space application to access kernel memory. For example, the Project Zero blog post describes a scenario that uses eBPF to exfiltrate kernel memory contents into user-space code. This is made possible because eBPF JIT allows for userspace applications to inject code that is executed in kernel space. While this code is verified by the kernel, eBPF-compliant code will be allowed to execute with kernel permissions. The exploit described by Project Zero leverages eBPF to execute the Spectre attack in kernel space, while exfiltrating the data to user space. It is possible that other technologies that allow in-kernel code execution may also possibly be leveraged to leak kernel memory using Spectre.
Meltdown is related to the Spectre attack in that it also uses a cache side channel to access data that otherwise wouldn't be available. The main difference is that it leverages out-of-order execution capabilities in modern CPUs. Like speculative execution due to branch prediction, as used by Spectre, out-of-order execution on a CPU is a technique for ensuring fullest utilization of the CPU's parts. Although instructions may appear sequentially in the machine language, a CPU that supports out-of-order execution may execute instructions in a non-sequential manner, which can minimize the time that a CPU spends idle.
Meltdown leverages insecure behavior that has been demonstrated in Intel CPUs and may affect CPUs from other vendors. Vulnerable CPUs allow memory reads in out-of-order instruction execution, and also contain a race condition between the raising of exceptions and the out-of-order instruction execution. The Meltdown attack reads a kernel memory value, which raises an exception because code running with user-space privileges are not permitted to directly read kernel memory. However, due to the race condition, out-of-order instructions following the faulting instruction may also execute. Even though instructions appear after the faulting instruction, out-of-order execution allows them to execute, using data retrieved from the instruction that raises the exception. By the time the exception is raised, some number of out-of-order instructions have executed. Although the raised exception causes the CPU to roll back the out-of-order instructions, the cache state is not reverted. This allows data from out-of-order instructions to persist beyond the point when the exception has been raised.
The impact of Meltdown is that a process running in user space is able to view the contents of kernel memory. Meltdown may also allow Spectre-like memory content leaking that does not cross the user/kernel privilege boundary.
The Linux kernel mitigations for Meltdown are referred to as KAISER, and subsequently KPTI, which aim to improve separation of kernel and user memory pages. Because the Spectre attacks do not cross user/kernel boundaries, the protections introduced with KAISER/KPTI do not add any protection against them.
HIAWATHA, Iowa, Jan. 17, 2018 -- Crystal Group Inc., a leading designer/manufacturer of rugged computer hardware for industry and defense, is introducing the first product in the new Crystal Group RACE™ (Rugged Autonomous Computer Equipment) line, engineered to accelerate autonomous vehicle (AV), automated driving system (ADS), and unmanned (UAV) projects. The Crystal Group RACE0161 high-performance, rugged computer is specifically designed to help engineers shorten development time, bringing autonomous vehicle innovations to market ahead of their competitors. The fast-paced autonomous industry is estimated to be worth trillions of dollars.
Autonomous driving technology is quickly ushering in a new economy predicted to achieve unprecedented growth and reach $7 trillion by 2050, according to a new study by Intel Corporation and Strategy Analytics. Crystal Group and Intel have partnered together to provide autonomous solutions for several leading OEM's to date. The partnership will continue to tap the booming autonomous market with leading edge technology of Crystal Group's new RACE offerings.
Crystal Group's latest autonomous vehicle computer provides the horsepower AV and ADS projects need, combining robust I/O, multiple GPU capacity, dual Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors, sophisticated thermal management, and other high-quality components stabilized in a rugged, aluminum enclosure measuring just 6.5 x 14.1 x 15.6 inches and weighing 30 to 40 pounds. Processing real-time data of LIDAR, RADAR, image, and sensor fusion, the Crystal Group RACE0161 combines impressive compute power, data-handling capabilities, and storage capacity in a compact, rugged solution capable of withstanding harsh environmental conditions, including potholes, collisions, and extreme temperatures that are likely to cause traditional systems to fail.
"The new RACE0161 and the entire line of Crystal Group RACE™ products ease AV and ADS development and give our customers the advantage of quick time-to-market with a safe, reliable, high quality AV solution," Crystal Group Executive Vice President of engineering, Jim Shaw says. "Our RACE solutions leverage decades of experience engineering rugged, reliable compute solutions for US and international military programs, as well as some of the world's largest car manufacturers," adds Shaw.
Crystal Group RACE systems are built for safety and reliability, tapping 30 years of experience tailoring high-performance, fail-safe rugged hardware for hundreds of military and aerospace missions, as well as challenging industrial, critical infrastructure, and commercial programs, including some of the hottest OEM autonomous vehicles. Crystal Group also offers its award-winning RS363S15F 3U Rugged Server, designed and developed in collaboration with Intel®, for use in autonomous vehicles.
About Crystal Group Inc. Crystal Group Inc., a technology leader in rugged computer hardware, specializes in the design and manufacture of custom and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) rugged servers, embedded computing, networking devices, displays, power supplies, and data storage for high reliability in harsh environments. An employee-owned small business founded in 1987, Crystal Group provides the defense, government and industrial markets with in-house customization, engineering, integration, configuration management, product lifecycle planning, warranty, and support services.
Crystal Group products meet or exceed IEEE, IEC, and military standards (MIL-STD-810, 167-1, 461, MIL-S-901); are backed by warranty (5+ year) with in-house support; and are manufactured in the company's Hiawatha, Iowa, USA, facility certified to AS9100C:2009 and ISO 9001:2008 quality management standards.
© 2018 Crystal Group Inc. All rights reserved. All marks are property of their respective owners. Design and specifications are subject to change.
SOURCE Crystal Group Inc.