M1A2 є значною модернізацією старішого M1A1, головним чином через те, що A2 працює на цифровій системі, на відміну від аналогової системи A
An international ransomware network that extorted more than $100 million from hundreds of victims around the world has been brought down following a monthslong infiltration by the FBI, the Department of Justice announced Thursday.
The group known as Hive targeted more than 1,500 victims, including hospitals, school districts and financial firms in more than 80 countries, the Justice Department said. Officials say the most recent victim in Florida was targeted about two weeks ago.
In a breakthrough, FBI agents armed with a court order infiltrated Hive’s computer networks in July 2022, covertly capturing its decryption keys and offering them to victims, saving the targets $130 million in ransom payments, officials said.
“Cybercrime is a constantly evolving threat. But as I have said before, the Justice Department will spare no resource to identify and bring to justice, anyone, anywhere, who targets the United States with a ransomware attack,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a press conference.
Working with German and Dutch law enforcement, the FBI on Wednesday took down the servers that power the Hive network.
“Simply put, using lawful means, we hacked the hackers,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said.
While no arrests have been made in connection with the takedown, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned that anybody involved with Hive should be concerned, because this investigation is very much ongoing.
“We’re engaged in what we call ‘joint sequenced operations’ … and that includes going after their infrastructure, going after their crypto and going after the people who work with them,” Wray said.
In a ransomware attack, hackers lock in a victim’s network and then demand payments in exchange for providing a decryption key.
Hive used a “ransomware-as-a-service” model where so-called “administrators” develop a malicious software strain and recruit “affiliates” to deploy them against victims.
Officials said Hive affiliates targeted critical U.S. infrastructure entities.
In August 2021, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hive affiliates attacked a Midwest hospital’s network, preventing the medical facility from accepting any new patients, Garland said.
It was only able to recover the data after it paid a ransom.
Hive’s takedown is the latest in the Biden administration’s crackdown on ransomware attacks that are on the rise, costing businesses and organizations billions of dollars.
U.S. banks and financial institutions processed nearly $1.2 billion in suspected ransomware payments in 2021, more than double the amount in 2020, the Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen) reported in November.
Roughly 75% of the ransomware attacks reported in 2021 had a nexus to Russia, its proxies or persons acting on its behalf, according to FinCen.
The top five highest-grossing ransomware tools used in 2021 were connected to Russian cyber actors, according to FinCen.
Officials would not say whether Hive had any link to Russia.
The Biden administration views ransomware attacks not just as a “pocketbook issue” that affects ordinary Americans but increasingly as a growing national security threat that calls for a coordinated response.
Last year, the White House hosted a two-day international ransomware summit where participants from 36 countries agreed to create a fusion cell at the Regional Cyber Defense Center in Lithuania, followed by an International Counter Ransomware Task Force later this year.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Thursday a series of sanctions targeting individuals associated with Russia’s paramilitary Wagner Group, including its leader and associated front companies, for waging war in Ukraine, including battlefield activities and the targeting of civilians.
In a statement, Blinken said the sanctions will target five entities and one individual linked to the Wagner Group and its head, Yevgeniy Prigozhin, as well as several other individuals and entities, for their status as government officials and for being part of Russia’s military industrial complex.
Blinken’s statement said the State Department also is designating three individuals for their roles as heads of the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service, which has been reported to facilitate the recruitment of Russian prisoners into the Wagner Group, and subsequently sent to the front lines to fight in the conflict in Ukraine.
Additionally, the top U.S. diplomat said the U.S. Treasury Department is designating the Wagner Group a “significant transnational criminal organization” for actions taken in Africa.
The statement said the “group’s pattern of serious criminal behavior includes violent harassment of journalists, aid workers, and members of minority groups and harassment, obstruction, and intimidation of U.N. peacekeepers in the Central African Republic, as well as rape and killings in Mali.”
In the statement Thursday, Blinken noted, “The United States is steadfast in our resolve against Russia’s aggression and other destabilizing behavior worldwide. [Thursday’s] designations will further impede the Kremlin’s ability to arm its war-machine that is engaged in a war of aggression against Ukraine, and which has caused unconscionable death and destruction.”
After a recent military pullout, only about 400 French troops remain in Burkina Faso to help the government fight Islamist militants linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State. But now many in the country want Russia to help and the government has ordered all French troops to leave within the month. Reporter Kader Traore has more from Ouagadougou in this report narrated by Vincent Makori.
«OCA вірить у об’єднуючу силу спорту та що всі спортсмени, незалежно від їхньої національності чи паспорту, повинні мати можливість брати участь у змаганнях»
Сьогодні Мінфін США для зниження спроможності Росії вести війну проти України запроваджує санкції проти шести осіб та 12 організацій
Раніше стало відомо, що «Слуга народу» виключила Миколу Тищенка з партії
Політична сила не назвала конкретних причин звільнення Тищенка, але раніше посольство в Таїланді анонсувало його зустріч із місцевою громадою
Діяльність об’єднань, визнаних екстремістськими, автоматично є забороненою
Як йдеться в заяві, Артур Е. привіз до Росії інформацію, отриману співробітником Служби зовнішньої розвідки Німеччини
Для України боротьба за отримання танків була лише початком, тепер тривають внутрішні дебати про постачання Україні винищувачів
25 січня ЄСПЛ визначив дату початку окупації Росією окремих районів Донецької та Луганської областей з 11 травня 2014 року
Ukraine declared an air raid alert over most of the country early Thursday as authorities in Kyiv warned of a possible Russian missile attack while heavy fighting continued unabated in the east, where Moscow’s forces have been increasing pressure on Ukrainian defenders.
Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukraine’s presidential administration, wrote on Telegram, “the first Russian missiles have already been shot down,” without specifying the locations.
Authorities asked citizens not to ignore the danger signal and to remain in shelters.
Electricity firm DTEK said it was performing emergency power shutdowns in Kyiv and the region around the capital as well as in the regions of Odesa and Dnipropetrovsk due to the danger of missile attack.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, speaking just hours after Germany and the United States pledged to provide Kyiv with advanced battle tanks, called on Kyiv’s Western allies to deliver long-range missiles and military aircraft to beef up Ukraine’s air defense.
Zelenskyy said in his regular nightly video address Wednesday that it is now necessary to “go ahead with the supply of aircraft for Ukraine.”
On the battlefield, Ukrainian forces continued to sustain incessant pressure from Russian attacks in the east, mainly in Bakhmut and Avdiyivka in Donetsk region and Chervopopyivka in Luhansk, Ukraine’s General Staff said in its daily report Thursday.
Ukrainian forces destroyed 24 drones, including 15 over Kyiv, that Russia launched in overnight attacks, it said, warning about the danger of more Russian air raids.
“Despite suffering numerous losses, the enemy did not halt its offensive actions,” the General Staff said, adding that Ukrainian defenders also repelled attacks in Lyman, Kupyansk, Zaporizhzhya, and Kherson.
Russia has been “intensifying” its offensive near Bakhmut, where it deployed a “superior number of soldiers and weapons” in what has become a hot spot in the 11-month-old invasion, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said Wednesda, adding that “the enemy is intensifying pressure in the Bakhmut and Vuhledar sectors” of the front.
Ukrainian officials on Wednesday also acknowledged their loss to Russian forces of the Donetsk-region salt-mining town of Soledar as many military experts are forecasting a Russian spring offensive in the area.
Berlin and Washington agreed to provide the tanks following months of intense debate among NATO allies in the hope of helping stem the expected push by Russia.
Zelenskyy praised the allies’ commitment to deliver advanced tanks and urged them to provide large numbers of tanks quickly.
“The key now is speed and volumes. Speed in training our forces, speed in supplying tanks to Ukraine. The numbers in tank support,” he said. “We have to form such a ‘tank fist,’ such a ‘fist of freedom.'”
“It is very important that there is progress in other aspects of our defense cooperation as well,” Zelenskyy said.
“We must also open the supply of long-range missiles to Ukraine. It is important — we must also expand our cooperation in artillery, we must enter into the supply of aircraft for Ukraine. And this is a dream. And this is the task.”
President Joe Biden on Wednesday said the United States will send 31 of its highly advanced Abrams tanks in a move he said was not a threat to Russia.
Moscow has warned that it regards the Western supply of advanced battle tanks to Ukraine a dangerous provocation.
Speaking from the White House, Biden said the NATO tanks for Ukraine would help “improve their ability to maneuver in open terrain.”
He praised Berlin’s similar announcement as evidence that “Germany has really stepped up.”
Chancellor Olaf Scholz said hours earlier that Germany will supply 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and will also allow third countries to reexport their own German-made Leopards.
Scholz said the decision, approved Wednesday, was “the right principle” in the face of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of its neighbor.
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius added that the first Leopard tanks could be in Ukraine within three months.
With reporting by Reuters, The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and dpa.
South Korea, with a world-class arms industry, is facing mounting pressure to find a way to get needed arms and munitions to Ukraine without unduly angering Russia, which has hinted that it could resume military cooperation with North Korea.
Experts interviewed by VOA say the most likely solution under consideration in Seoul is for the nation’s commercial arms manufacturers to make private sales to the United States, allowing the U.S to ship more of its own armaments to Ukraine without depleting its stockpiles.
A spokesperson for the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs told VOA Korean Service on Wednesday that the administration in Seoul “has been providing humanitarian support to the people of Ukraine” but “there has not been a change” in its position that it “will not send lethal weapons to Ukraine.”
Since the Russian invasion, Washington’s military aid to Kyiv has depleted U.S. weapons stockpiles.
The Ukraine Defense Contact Group, a U.S.-led coalition of about 50 countries, has been sending Kyiv weaponry ranging from High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) to howitzers. The U.S. and Germany announced Wednesday that they will send 31 M1 Abrams tanks and 14 Leopard 2 tanks, respectively. Additional tanks have been promised by other NATO countries.
Ukraine is using about 90,000 artillery rounds per month while the U.S. and European countries are producing only half that amount among them, according to The New York Times, citing U.S. and Western officials.
The U.S. has asked the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) to route some of its equipment stockpiled in South Korea to Ukraine, USFK spokesperson Isaac Taylor told the VOA Korean Service on Jan. 19.
And Washington “has been in discussion about potential sales of ammunition” from South Korea’s “non-government industrial defense base,” said Pentagon spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Martin Meiners to the VOA Korean Service on Jan. 18.
“The Republic of Korea has a world-class defense industry which regularly sells to allies and partners, including the United States,” Meiners added. South Korea’s official name is the Republic of Korea (ROK).
South Korea’s arms sales
Experts said arms sales from South Korea’s private defense companies to the U.S. could elevate South Korea’s standing as “a global pivotal state,” a stated foreign policy aspiration of President Yoon Suk Yeol since he took office in May.
Yoon said in August that South Korea’s goal is to become one of the top four global arms sellers. He reiterated the goal of boosting weapons sales in November.
South Korea was the world’s eighth-largest exporter of weapons in 2017-21 according to a 2022 report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) which said the United States, Russia, France, China and Germany are the top five sellers.
“President Yoon has called South Korea a global pivotal state,” David Maxwell, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said. “… Providing support to Ukraine directly or indirectly is an example of that.”
Experts said that by allowing the private arms sales to proceed, South Korea could shore up its alliances with Western powers and help to demonstrate to authoritarian neighbors like China and North Korea that the kind of aggression launched by Russia in Ukraine will not succeed.
But the move will likely come at the cost of further deterioration in Seoul’s relations with Moscow, which are already fraying over South Korea’s support of the sanctions the U.S. imposed on Russia after it invaded Ukraine.
“South Korea has the same interest about peace, stability, territorial sovereignty, protecting [against] states that are invading through outright aggression,” said Terence Roehrig, a professor of national security and Korea expert at the U.S. Naval War College.
“It is about South Korea making the decision that it needs to stand with the West on those issues with some degree of hedging by being reluctant to send direct military assistance to Ukraine,” he added.
“You will not see South Korea directly contributing arms to Ukraine. It will only be about backfilling other states who might be doing that.” That, he said, is because of concerns that Russia could “play a role on North Korea” through potential technology transfers and weapons development.
In October, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned South Korea that sending ammunition to Ukraine would ruin their relations.
“We have learned that the Republic of Korea has made a decision to supply weapons and ammunition to Ukraine. This will destroy our relations,” said Putin as reported by Russian state-owned Tass. “How would the Republic of Korea react if we resumed cooperation with North Korea in that sphere?”
Until it collapsed in 1991, the Soviet Union provided military support to North Korea. The Ukraine war has drawn Russia and North Korea closer together. On Friday, the U.S. released a photo of what it said was evidence of North Korea sending weapons to the Wagner Group, a Russian private military organization, via trains to Russia.
VOA Korea contacted the Russian embassy in Washington and Foreign Ministry in Moscow for comment, but they did not respond.
Andrew Yeo, the SK-Korea Foundation chair at Brookings Institution, said the proposed private weapons sales to the U.S. “would suggest greater support for the Ukrainian cause and further sour relations with Moscow, although Moscow has already placed Seoul on its list of hostile countries.”
In March, Russia placed South Korea on a list of countries that commit “unfriendly actions,” according to Tass. According to the Tass report, countries on the list imposed or joined the sanctions imposed on Russia after it invaded Ukraine.
“Seoul is eager to preserve a workable relationship with Moscow, so in some way drawing down U.S. weapons in [its bases in South] Korea is more palatable than selling them directly,” said Patrick Cronin, the Asia-Pacific security chair at Hudson Institute.
“But South Korea also has an abiding interest in ensuring that Russian aggression in Ukraine cannot prevail,” he added. “That would be a bad precedent for South Korea’s neighbors.”
25 січня Німеччина і Сполучені Штати оголосили про рішення надати Україні танки Leopard і Abrams відповідно
Facebook parent Meta is reinstating former President Donald Trump’s personal account after a two-year suspension following the January 6, 2021, insurrection.
The company said in a blog post Wednesday it is adding “new guardrails” to ensure there are no “repeat offenders” who violate its rules.
“In the event that Mr. Trump posts further violating content, the content will be removed and he will be suspended for between one month and two years, depending on the severity of the violation,” said Meta, which is based in Menlo Park, California.
Trump, in a post on his own social media network, blasted Facebook’s decision to suspend his account as he praised his own site, Truth Social.
“FACEBOOK, which has lost Billions of Dollars in value since “deplatforming” your favorite President, me, has just announced that they are reinstating my account. Such a thing should never again happen to a sitting President, or anybody else who is not deserving of retribution!” he wrote.
He was suspended on January 7, a day after the deadly 2021 insurrection. Other social media companies also kicked him off their platforms, though he was recently reinstated on Twitter after Elon Musk took over the company. He has not tweeted.
Banned from mainstream social media, Trump has been relying on Truth Social, which he launched after being blocked from Twitter.
Russia and Pakistan emphasized in bilateral talks Wednesday the need for “practical engagement” with Afghanistan’s Taliban but ruled out formal recognition of the Islamist rulers until they address international concerns over women’s rights and inclusive governance.
The Russian presidential envoy for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, led his delegation in the talks with Pakistani officials in Islamabad and briefed them on his meetings earlier this month with the Taliban in Kabul.
Kabulov said Moscow was continuing to engage with the Taliban but was not considering granting legitimacy to the de facto Afghan rulers “for the time being,” official Pakistani sources privy to Wednesday’s meetings told VOA.
The sources quoted the Russian envoy as saying he “advised” the Islamist Taliban to move toward creating a politically inclusive government and easing curbs on women, saying that otherwise there can be no movement forward on the issue of their legitimacy, nor can Afghanistan get any substantial support from the world.
A brief Pakistani statement posted on Twitter after Kabulov’s meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said the two sides “emphasized [the] need for practical engagement with the interim Afghan government.”
The Pakistani side also reiterated that Islamabad was not considering giving the Taliban formal recognition and would do so only collectively with the international community, the sources said.
The foreign ministry in a formal statement issued later offered few details of the meeting and did not mention the issue of recognition of the de facto Afghan authorities.
The statement quoted Khar as urging the international community “to continue extending assistance and support, in order to address urgent humanitarian needs and to provide a sustainable pathway for Afghanistan’s prosperity and development.”
The Taliban reclaimed power in Afghanistan in August 2021 following the end of almost 20 years of U.S.-led foreign military intervention in the conflict-torn South Asian nation.
The world has not yet formally recognized the male-only Taliban government, mainly over human rights concerns and curbs it has placed on women’s access to work and education.
While the United States and Western nations at large shifted their Afghan diplomatic missions to Qatar after the Taliban captured Kabul, several countries, including Pakistan, Russia, China, Turkey and Iran, have kept their embassies open and maintain close contacts with the hard-line rulers.
Last week, newly appointed Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang spoke with his Taliban counterpart, Amir Khan Muttaqi, and reaffirmed Beijing’s support for the group to establish what he called “a broad and inclusive political structure” in Kabul.
Afghan women have been excluded from most areas of the workforce and have been banned from using parks, gyms and public bath houses. The Taliban have refused to reopen secondary schools for girls beyond grade six since returning to power.
The hard-line Taliban reject criticism of their administration, saying the government represents all ethnic and political groups in Afghanistan. They also strongly defend restrictions on women, saying the policies are in line with Afghan culture and Islamic law, or Shariah.
Last month, the Taliban authorities closed universities to female students until further notice, and they forbade women from working for national and international nongovernmental organizations.
The Taliban’s curbs on Afghan female aid workers have forced major international charity groups to halt some of their programs in a country where 97% of the estimated population of 40 million lives below the poverty line and nearly half of them need humanitarian assistance.
President Joe Biden announced the U.S. will send 31 Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine just hours after Germany said it will send 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. The moves are part of a united effort to help Kyiv defend itself against invading Russian forces. VOA’s Senior Diplomatic Correspondent Cindy Saine reports.
Рішення ухвалене після аналогічного кроку з боку Twitter