Ransomware Attacks Grow, Crippling Cities and Businesses

Experts Worry About Your Personal Data in 2020 Election ; No One Can Explain Why Planes Stay in the Air ; and More Picks

ransomware attacks, increasing, business
The author writes, “The frequency of ransomware attacks — among the scariest and most costly online assaults — has been hard to pinpoint because many victims quietly pay off their attackers without notifying the authorities. Now, an array of new data provides perhaps the best available picture of the problem. In 2019, 205,280 organizations submitted files that had been hacked in a ransomware attack — a 41 percent increase from the year before, according to information provided to The New York Times by Emsisoft, a security firm that helps companies hit by ransomware.” Photo credit: Richard Patterson / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
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Experts Worry About Your Personal Data in the 2020 Election (Reader Pat) 

The author writes, “Cambridge Analytica made headlines for a major privacy breach. Another company with former employees has links to the president’s 2020 campaign.”

New Estimate of How Much Thawing Permafrost Will Worsen Warming (Mili)

From Ars Technica: “The thawing of permafrost represents a positive feedback that amplifies warming by releasing more greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. But characterizing plausible future scenarios in which that release takes place hasn’t been easy. Making careful measurements of local permafrost thawing has enabled scientists to simulate the general behavior and incorporate that into models. So far, however, those models have been limited to the gradual change that occurs as warming temperatures allow the thawing to reach slightly greater depths each successive summer. But a new study … simulates something different, based on a recent data-gathering effort: abrupt-thaw processes.”

US Law Enforcement: Leader of US Nazi Terror Group Is a Russian Spy (Chris)

The author writes, “Rinaldo Nazzaro aka ‘Norman Spear’, formerly of New Jersey, is now living in St. Petersburg, Russia. The founder of [a] U.S white supremacist domestic terror group is a Russian intelligence asset with previous connections to U.S intelligence agencies, according to documents, intelligence analysts, U.S. law enforcement sources, and former members of The Base.”

Study: Solitary Confinement Heightens Post-Incarceration Death Risk (Chris)

From the Cornell Chronicle: “Solitary confinement, even for just a few days, may significantly increase inmates’ risk of death after serving their sentences, new Cornell research shows. The analysis of the Danish prison system found that 4.5% of former inmates who had spent time in solitary confinement — most for less than a week — died within five years of being released. That was 60% more than those who were not placed in solitary.”

No One Can Explain Why Planes Stay in the Air (Gerry)

The author writes, “On a strictly mathematical level, engineers know how to design planes that will stay aloft. But equations don’t explain why aerodynamic lift occurs. There are two competing theories that illuminate the forces and factors of lift. Both are incomplete explanations.”

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