[Net-Gold] ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE: Biologist’s Ant Research Provides Long-Term Look at Effects of Climate Change

 

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ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE:

Biologist’s Ant Research Provides Long-Term Look at Effects of Climate Change

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Biologist’s Ant Research
Provides Long-Term Look at Effects of Climate Change

Date:  December 30, 2016

Source: Bowling Green State University

Summary:

Many scientists have attempted to tackle how climate change will affect the natural world by determining the thermal tolerance of various species, then predicting what will happen to them as our world warms. However, this approach as a way to understand nature has its drawbacks because one species never acts alone, so comprehending how global change impacts these interactions is crucial to a holistic understanding.

BGSU biologist Dr. Shannon Pelini

Science Daily

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161230103209.htm

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The world of forest ants may provide a macrocosm of the complex reactions and interactions among species affected by global climate change, according to a research project involving Bowling Green State University biologist Dr. Shannon Pelini.

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As escalating amounts of carbon dioxide are introduced into the atmosphere, a chain reaction is induced, leading to increasingly warmer temperatures, Pelini said. This is taking place at an alarming rate, making it more important than ever that we understand how climate change will affect our natural world.

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Many scientists have attempted to tackle this issue by determining the thermal tolerance of various species, then predicting what will happen to them as our world warms. However, this approach as a way to understand nature has its drawbacks because one species never acts alone. Individuals are constantly interacting with other species and the environment in which they live, so comprehending how global change impacts these interactions is crucial to a holistic understanding.

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Pelini and her colleagues have made significant progress in this direction with their new study, “Climatic Warming Destabilizes Forest Ant Communities,” which looks at complex interactions of ant communities and their responses to warming. The study was published in the Oct. 26 edition of the journal Science Advances.

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Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Program for Ecosystem Research and the National Science Foundation, the long-term experiment looked at the interactions ants exhibit over nesting structures in two distinctly different geographical areas. As a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University, and in collaboration with investigators from the University of Vermont, the University of Tennessee and North Carolina State University, Pelini designed and built large warming chambers within Harvard Forest in Massachusetts. These chambers were also replicated in Duke Forest in North Carolina to provide a comparison to the cooler Harvard Forest.

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“It’s one of the biggest climate change experiments in the entire world, which is a really exciting thing to be a part of,” Pelini said. “We were shooting for understanding what goes on with ant communities that exist in a cooler northern latitude and how their responses compare to the same suite of species in populations that occur in the warmer lower latitude.”

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The researchers, led by Dr. Sarah Diamond, now an assistant professor of biology at Case Western Reserve University, placed artificial nest boxes in the warming chambers and checked them once a month for five years to measure which species of ants were utilizing them. They were interested to see if the ant species in the nest boxes would differ depending on the intensity of the warming treatment.

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“We literally put heaters around the forest floor and warmed the ant communities up to see what would happen so we could more precisely ask how extinction and colonization and occupancy of these local habitats change,” Pelini said.

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In fact, Pelini and her colleagues found some interesting and unexpected results. In warmer chambers, there was more occupancy of heat-loving ants, which is intuitive. However, less expected was the amount of time those ants were remaining in one single nest.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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[Net-Gold] ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE: Biologist’s Ant Research Provides Long-Term Look at Effects of Climate Change

[Educator-Gold] ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE : TEMPERATURES AND CLIMATE: 2016 to Break Heat Record, Challenging Climate Change Skeptics.

 

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ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE :

TEMPERATURES AND CLIMATE:

2016 to Break Heat Record, Challenging Climate Change Skeptics.

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2016 to Break Heat Record, Challenging Climate Change Skeptics.

Third straight year of record-breaking heat

LISA M. KRIEGER

PUBLISHED: December 31, 2016 at 2:21 pm

UPDATED: December 31, 2016 at 2:56 pm

Mercury News

http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/12/31/ 2016-to-break-heat-record-challenging-climate-change-skeptics/

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http://tinyurl.com/zstq4ty

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Two days before the presidential inauguration, scientists are expected to announce that 2016 was the hottest year on earth since record-keeping began in 1880 ? news that will test national, state and economic leadership on climate change.

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Even as Washington D.C. and California bundle up against winter chill, records ?will ?show that extreme heat blanketed large areas of every continent this year, pushing up average temperatures for the third year in a row.

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2016 will break the global temperature record that was set in 2015, which broke the record that was set in 2014, said climate change scientist Noah S. Diffenbaugh, professor of the Department of Earth System Science at Stanford University.

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This reality is not going to simply disappear by denying that it exists, or by dismissing it as a hoax, or by claiming that it is too complicated to understand or to address, said Diffenbaugh, who studies the role of human-caused greenhouse gases in climate variability.

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President-elect Donald Trump has claimed publicly that nobody really knows about the causes of climate change. He has said that one of his first steps as president will be to reverse restrictions on gas and oil leasing and development. Several of his cabinet nominees are linked to fossil fuel industries.

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In contrast, California Gov. Jerry Brown has vowed to defend the states tough policies to fight climate change. Governors, legislatures and regulators set building codes, determine how utilities buy power and decide whether to invest in energy efficiency. For instance, California has set a goal of 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on its roadways by 2025.

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Other even larger forces are reducing emissions, as well: technology and economics. As tools improve, the costs of efficiency and clean energy drop below the cost of fossil fuels.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
David Dillard
Temple University
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[Educator-Gold] ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE : TEMPERATURES AND CLIMATE: 2016 to Break Heat Record, Challenging Climate Change Skeptics.

[Net-Gold] MEDICAL CONDITIONS: OBESITY: Fat Used to be Celebrated in Guatemala, Now Unhelpful Obesity Advice is Causing Weight Anxiety

 

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MEDICAL CONDITIONS: OBESITY:

Fat Used to be Celebrated in Guatemala,
Now Unhelpful Obesity Advice is Causing Weight Anxiety

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Fat Used to be Celebrated in Guatemala,
Now Unhelpful Obesity Advice is Causing Weight Anxiety

12/31/2016 09:31 am ET

Emily Yates-Doerr,

University of Amsterdam

The Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/the-conversation-global/ fat-used-to-be-celebrated_b_13911788.html

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In a recent study published by the Lancet, doctors advised or actively helped patients to lose weight, even though they had not sought weight loss advice. The scientists who conducted the study worried that doctors are too hesitant to talk with patients about weight.

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Based on their findings, they suggested that doctors, internationally, should be less concerned. If physicians act in accordance with the guidelines, patients are likely to welcome the intervention and lose a significant amount of weight.

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This led to breathless headlines in major media publications. The Telegraph declared GPs should put overweight patients on diets regardless of their reason for visiting, while The Guardian proclaimed GPs should not worry about offending obese patients, finds study.

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The research made its way from the BBC into social media as The 30 second chat can trigger weight loss. The message that quick weight loss education is necessary and effective quickly spread through Canada, New Zealand the United States and beyond.

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But the idea that doctors should necessarily put patients on diets is harmful, as is the accompanying message that fat people need more information about their weight.

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I say this as an anthropologist who has studied obesity prevention programmes in highland Guatemala over the past decade. As obesity has become a health concern globally, weight loss information has proliferated throughout the country – with questionable effect on the prevalence of obesity.

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Information overload

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Fatness in Guatemala has long been a marker of health, beauty and prestige. In recent years, body weight scales have appeared in rural marketplaces, on street corners, and in central parks. For a few cents, people can step on them to learn how much they weigh. Sometimes they do so just for the novelty.

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In recent years, body weight scales have appeared in rural Guatemala.
Emily Yates-Doerr, Author provided

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But very often people weigh themselves because they have been taught that weight is unhealthy. They have learned that one can be over a recommended weight, that weight is something to be watched.

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That message is stressed by the advertising that surrounds them, which promotes diet foods through images of health and happiness. Health campaigns underscore the point as well. Women who once padded their handwoven dresses to make them look plumper are now taught in both clinics and community-run classes to lose weight.

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Educators in Guatemala are quick to attribute obesity to a lack of information, saying, People dont even know they are overweight. Ive heard this from health workers in rural and urban settings on numerous occasions. But its often incorrect. Word about the dangers of being fat has travelled quickly and spread widely.

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My findings are not isolated. Anthropologists working in India, Samoa, and numerous other countries where fatness was recently desirable have all found that people now know they are supposed to be thinner.

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And yet obesity rates still continue to rise both worldwide and in Guatemala.

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Hidden dangers

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What didnt make the headlines about the recent Lancet study is that the doctors involved in the intervention didnt simply talk to patients about weight loss. They supported patients to find effective, group-oriented weight management programmes that were free of cost, thanks to socialised health care in the United Kingdom where the study took place. They also provided free follow-up care.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
David Dillard
Temple University
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[Net-Gold] MEDICAL CONDITIONS: OBESITY: Fat Used to be Celebrated in Guatemala, Now Unhelpful Obesity Advice is Causing Weight Anxiety

[SportMed] MEDICAL CONDITIONS: OBESITY: MEDICAL CONDITIONS: OBESITY : GLOBALISATION : SEDENTARY LIFESTYLES: Globalization Responsible for World’s Obesity Crisis: Study

 

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MEDICAL CONDITIONS: OBESITY:

MEDICAL CONDITIONS: OBESITY :

GLOBALISATION :

SEDENTARY LIFESTYLES:

Globalization Responsible for World’s Obesity Crisis: Study

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Globalization Responsible for World’s Obesity Crisis: Study

Updated: Dec 28, 2016 09:18 IST

AFP

Hindustan Times

http://www.hindustantimes.com/health-and-fitness/globalisation-
responsible-for-world-s-obesity-crisis-study/story-
L647Yly6NZ3eBAe7wcGryN.html

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An international study by the London School of Economics has highlighted the link between globalisation and rising obesity levels, with authors confirming that our modern lifestyles have had a profound effect on our overall health.

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The analysis of 30 years of data by the LSE, which was published in the journal Food Policy, surveyed 26 countries between 1989 and 2005, and compared the link between globalisation and obesity, measuring two kinds of globalisation  economic, which leads to lower food prices and increased trade, and social, which has led to increased sedentary recreation activities.

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The research concluded that the current obesity crisis is largely driven by our increasingly modern lifestyles, which have allowed people to become so interconnected that they barely need to leave their desks or sofas to work, socialise or shop (via The Telegraph UK).

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The result is a generation of people who expend so little energy each day that they no longer need to consume the same amount of calories as their parents, rendering traditional, recommended calorie counts  which have been about 2,500 for men and 2,000 for women since the First World War virtually obsolete.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
David Dillard
Temple University
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[SportMed] MEDICAL CONDITIONS: OBESITY: MEDICAL CONDITIONS: OBESITY : GLOBALISATION : SEDENTARY LIFESTYLES: Globalization Responsible for World’s Obesity Crisis: Study

[SportMed] SPORTS MEDICINE : SPORTS INJURIES: TREATMENT AND THERAPY : CANNABIS: Cannabis Is Sports Medicine: Concussions, CTE And Traumatic Brain Injury

 

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SPORTS MEDICINE :

SPORTS INJURIES: TREATMENT AND THERAPY :

CANNABIS:

Cannabis Is Sports Medicine: Concussions, CTE And Traumatic Brain Injury

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Cannabis Is Sports Medicine: Concussions, CTE And Traumatic Brain Injury

Jason Barker

December 20, 2016, 11:45 am

Weed News

http://www.weednews.co/cannabis-is-sports-medicine-
concussions-cte-and-traumatic-brain-injury/

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/gr4sfmn

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Currently, there is no effective drug for the treatment of traumatic brain injury, CTE and concussions. In the U.S., there are nearly 52,000 deaths and roughly 80,000 cases of severe disability related to traumatic brain injury every year. There are more than 5.3 million people in the U.S. living with disabilities related to traumatic brain injury  numbers far greater than those for multiple sclerosis, Parkinsons disease and Alzheimers disease.

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What is the most common sport causing head injury? While football tends to dominate the discussion of sports-related head injuries, research shows that bike accidents account for far more traumatic brain injuries each year. Football accounted for 47,000 of those head injuries, and baseball played a role in 38,394. Cycling was also the leading cause of sports-related head injuries in children under 14, causing 40,272 injuries, roughly double the number related to football for that age range(21,878).

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In recent years, the clear link between playing football and traumatic brain injuries has been prevalent in the sporting world news.  After a 2013 NFL settlement of $765 million for concussion-related injuries, and new lawsuits springing up as more research comes out, it is more clear than ever that action needs to be taken against such brain injuries. Concussions are also sometimes referred to as mTBI (Mild Traumatic Brain Injury). Concussions are injuries to the head which cause a temporary lapse in the normal operation of brain function. Concussions have many symptoms which could be displayed in a physical, psychological or emotional manner.

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snip

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CTE is a progressive degenerative disease caused by repetitive trauma to the brain. Symptoms include memory loss, migraine headache, confusion, impaired judgment, paranoia, impulse control problems, aggression, depression, and progressive dementia. The brain degenerates even after the trauma has ended and can appear months or years after the trauma has ended. Because of the feelings of depression that are linked to CTE, those afflicted may experience thoughts of suicide.

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In recent years, too many professional athletes have already been lost to this, who have committed suicide and were suffering from CTE.

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snip

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Dr. Dustin Sulak, DO, says, Cannabis could potentially be beneficial to all sports, but especially those with high risk for head injury, because it can likely protect participants from the long term consequences of concussion and brain trauma. THC and other naturally occurring cannabinoids act on brain injury as a general neuroprotective agents with antioxidant properties, which can have crucial roles in treatment of Concussions, CTE and Traumatic Brain Injury.  Post-concussion syndrome is symptoms that can linger following a concussion. Studies have shown cannabis reduces damage caused from brain injuries and can help athletes manage the symptoms of the syndrome.

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By definition, neuroprotection is an effect that may result in salvage, recovery or regeneration of the nervous system, its cells, structure and function. It is thought that there are many neurochemical modulators of nervous system damage. An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals, leading to chain reactions that may damage cells. Antioxidants such as thiols or ascorbic acid (vitamin C) terminate these chain reactions. Thats right, just like vitamin C  THC and CBD all do the body good.

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These cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants are also why the U.S. Patent Office issued patent #6630507 to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department. The patent lists the use of certain cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant as useful in additional neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimers, Parkinsons, and HIV dementia.

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Since cannabis contains compounds recognized and endorsed by an agency of the U.S. government- Why is it that cannabis remains on the Federal Schedule One list of drugs? As this patent is a direct contradiction of the governments own definition for the classification of a Schedule I drug and it should provide the professional sports world reason enough to allow for the use of cannabis.

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The non-psychoactive part of cannabis known, as CBD, also has the potential to treat and even prevent concussions. The NFL should set an example by investing in cannabis research to see how it can help improve the health of its players. The new studies have found that certain properties in cannabis can help shield the brain from injury. Like all cannabinoids, CBD helps the body by imitating the endocannabinoids produced in the body as part of the endocannabinoid system, and has also been found to have the potential to reduce inflammation in the brain when brain trauma occurs.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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[SportMed] SPORTS MEDICINE : SPORTS INJURIES: TREATMENT AND THERAPY : CANNABIS: Cannabis Is Sports Medicine: Concussions, CTE And Traumatic Brain Injury

[SportMed] PHYSICAL EXERCISE AND FITNESS : MEDICAL CONDITIONS: OBESITY: Exercising Tough for Overweight People Due to Chemical Imbalance: Research

 

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PHYSICAL EXERCISE AND FITNESS :

MEDICAL CONDITIONS: OBESITY:

Exercising Tough for Overweight People Due to Chemical Imbalance: Research

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Exercising Tough for Overweight People Due to Chemical Imbalance:
Research

Submitted by Diana Bretting on

Saturday 12/31/2016 – 10:46

PerfScience

http://perfscience.com/content/2145210-exercising-tough-
overweight-people-due-chemical-imbalance-research

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http://tinyurl.com/jaeubjw

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Exercising and regular physical activity are considered among the top ways to shed extra weight but physical activity is usually found low among people in overweight and obese categories. A new research conducted by researchers at the National Institutes for Health (NIH) has suggested that a chemical imbalance in brain makes is really difficult for overweight individuals to raise their level of physical activity or exercise. The research team found that diet-induced obesity leads to changes in functioning of brain. People in this category might have a higher tendency to move less compared to people who have ideal weight.

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The NIH study was conducted on lab mice. The research team found that obesity leads to changes in dopamine. Dopamine is brain chemical which impacts our mood, motor control and appetite. Many people make New Year resolutions to shed extra weight. And, research has suggested that most of the resolution related to weight control or higher physical activity are broken within first couple of weeks of New Year. NIH study team found changes in brains of overweight mice. Overweight mice became couch potatoes. The research team controlled the DR2 receptor using a drug, to control impact on lean and overweight mice.

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The study has been published in journal Cell Metabolism. Sedentary lifestyle has been blamed in combination with high calorie, high sugar diet for obesity issues in United States and many other countries.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Article

Basal Ganglia Dysfunction Contributes to Physical Inactivity in Obesity

Danielle M. Friend9, Kavya Devarakonda9, Timothy J. O’Neal9, Miguel Skirzewski, Ioannis Papazoglou, Alanna R. Kaplan, Jeih-San Liow, Juen Guo, Sushil G. Rane, Marcelo Rubinstein, Veronica A. Alvarez, Kevin D. Hall, Alexxai V. Kravitz10,correspondencePress enter key for correspondence informationemailPress enter key to Email the author

Publication stage: In Press Corrected Proof

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2016.12.001

Cell Metabolism

http://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/fulltext/S1550-4131(16)30596-4

Summary

Obesity is associated with physical inactivity, which exacerbates the health consequences of weight gain. However, the mechanisms that mediate this association are unknown. We hypothesized that deficits in dopamine signaling contribute to physical inactivity in obesity. To investigate this, we quantified multiple aspects of dopamine signaling in lean and obese mice. We found that D2-type receptor (D2R) binding in the striatum, but not D1-type receptor binding or dopamine levels, was reduced in obese mice. Genetically removing D2Rs from striatal medium spiny neurons was sufficient to reduce motor activity in lean mice, whereas restoring Gi signaling in these neurons increased activity in obese mice. Surprisingly, although mice with low D2Rs were less active, they were not more vulnerable to diet-induced weight gain than control mice. We conclude that deficits in striatal D2R signaling contribute to physical inactivity in obesity, but inactivity is more a consequence than a cause of obesity.

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[SportMed] PHYSICAL EXERCISE AND FITNESS : MEDICAL CONDITIONS: OBESITY: Exercising Tough for Overweight People Due to Chemical Imbalance: Research

[Net-Gold] NEWS: FAKE NEWS : ENERGY ELECTRIC POWER PLANTS : ENERGY ELECTRIC POWER GRIDS : COMPUTER: HACKING AND HACKERS : COUNTRIES: RUSSIA : COUNTRIES: UNITED STATES: STATES: VERMONT : FAKE NEWS : INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND DIPLOMACY: Russian Malware Found At Vermont Electric Company, But Accusations of Fake News Fly

 

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NEWS: FAKE NEWS :

ENERGY ELECTRIC POWER PLANTS :

ENERGY ELECTRIC POWER GRIDS :

COMPUTER: HACKING AND HACKERS :

COUNTRIES: RUSSIA :

COUNTRIES: UNITED STATES: STATES: VERMONT :

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND DIPLOMACY:

Russian Malware Found At Vermont Electric Company,
But  Accusations of Fake News Fly

.

.

Russian Malware Found At Vermont Electric Company,
But  Accusations of Fake News Fly

David Z. Morris

Updated: 12:06 PM Eastern

Fortune

http://fortune.com/2016/12/31/russian-malware-vermont-electric/

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.

However, even as media and politicians reacted with alarm to this apparent new evidence of Russian malfeasance, critics took shots at the Post for what they said was a hyperbolic headline and misleading story. The story was originally titled Russian hackers penetrated U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont, officials say. But, speaking to the Burlington Free Press after the Post storys publication, a Vermont utility official clarified that the software was found only on one computer, which was not connected to the electrical grid, and that the grid was not in danger.

.

snip

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Glenn Greenwald, calling the story a symptom of Russia Hysteria, points out that the presence of Russian-made malware isnt necessarily evidence of a Russian operation, as the Posts amended headline still claims. The software could have been placed by nearly anyone. Meanwhile, The Daily Caller describes the Posts report as a False News Story.

.

snip

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The two have different reasons for questioning an emerging status quo that paints Russia as a hacking villain. Greenwalds association with Wikileaks and Edward Snowdens NSA leak gives him a personal stake, since those players are increasingly being tarred as having more than incidental ties to Russia. But Greenwald, a veteran opponent of the Iraq War, also sees overstatements about Russian hacking as a symptom of the same sort of group-think, fear-mongering, [and] coercive peer-pressure that silenced critics in that era.

.

The Caller, meanwhile, seems to be falling in line with a right-wing anti-consensus that regards the Russia hacking story primarily as a bid to discredit President-elect Donald Trump. Conservative outlets have also begun aggressively labelling stories from the mainstream media fake news, at least partly to push back against another post-election narrative that had misleading stories swaying voters towards Trump.

.

Regardless of attribution, the detection of the malware should be extremely worrisome.

.

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The complete articles may be read at the URLs provided for each.

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Sincerely,
David Dillard
Temple University
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[Net-Gold] NEWS: FAKE NEWS : ENERGY ELECTRIC POWER PLANTS : ENERGY ELECTRIC POWER GRIDS : COMPUTER: HACKING AND HACKERS : COUNTRIES: RUSSIA : COUNTRIES: UNITED STATES: STATES: VERMONT : FAKE NEWS : INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND DIPLOMACY: Russian Malware Found At Vermont Electric Company, But Accusations of Fake News Fly

[Educator-Gold] NEWS: FAKE NEWS : ENERGY ELECTRIC POWER PLANTS : ENERGY ELECTRIC POWER GRIDS : COMPUTER: HACKING AND HACKERS : COUNTRIES: RUSSIA : COUNTRIES: UNITED STATES: STATES: VERMONT : FAKE NEWS : INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND DIPLOMACY: Russian Operation Hacked a Vermont Utility, Showing Risk to U.S. Electrical Grid Security, Officials Say (PART TWO)

 

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NEWS: FAKE NEWS :

ENERGY ELECTRIC POWER PLANTS :

ENERGY ELECTRIC POWER GRIDS :

COMPUTER: HACKING AND HACKERS :

COUNTRIES: RUSSIA :

COUNTRIES: UNITED STATES: STATES: VERMONT :

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND DIPLOMACY:

(PART TWO)

Fake News? The Russians Did Not Hack the U.S. Power Grid

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.

Fake News? The Russians Did Not Hack the U.S. Power Grid

Sarah Lee 1 hour

The Blaze

http://www.theblaze.com/news/2016/12/31/ fake-news-the-russians-did-not-hack-the-u-s-power-grid/

.

A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/j28756o

.

.

The Washington Post caused a mild social media stir Friday when they posted a story alleging that the Russians had hacked the U.S. power grid via a utility company in Vermont.

.

In a story boasting the ominous headline, Russian hackers penetrated U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont, officials say,

.

A code associated with the Russian hacking operation dubbed Grizzly Steppe by the Obama administration has been detected within the system of a Vermont utility, according to U.S. officials.

.

While the Russians did not actively use the code to disrupt operations, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a security matter, the discovery underscores the vulnerabilities of the nations electrical grid. And it raises fears in the U.S. government that Russian government hackers are actively trying to penetrate the grid to carry out potential attacks.

.

However, by late Friday night, after The Burlington Electric Department was finally contacted and could release a statement  something the Post didnt obtain before publishing their piece  the headline had changed to something less ominous due to the utility companys statement.

.

The Daily Caller reports that the statement read as follows:

.

Last night, U.S. utilities were alerted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of a malware code used in Grizzly Steppe, the name DHS has applied to a Russian campaign linked to recent hacks, a spokesman for the Burlington Electric Department said. We acted quickly to scan all computers in our system for the malware signature. We detected the malware in a single Burlington Electric Department laptop not connected to our organizations grid systems.

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The Vermont Public Service Commissioner Christopher Recchia told The Burlington Free Press, The grid is not in danger.

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The complete articles may be read at the URLs provided for each.

.

.

Russian Malware Found in Vermont Power Utility Laptop

By Daniel Politi

Slate

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/12/31/russian_malware_
in_vermont_utility_laptop_raises_concerns_over_electrical.html

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http://tinyurl.com/hbj8vwh

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Malware that has been linked to Russian hackers was discovered in a laptop of a Vermont power utility laptop, raising fears about the vulnerability of the U.S. power grid. The code was connected to the hacking operation that has been dubbed Grizzly Steppe, which is the same one that is suspected of having carried out operations to try to influence the presidential election. The laptop was not connected to the power grid, the Burlington Electric Department said in a statement. We took immediate action to isolate the laptop and alerted federal officials of this finding, the company added.

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The discovery came a day after the Department of Homeland Security sent out a public alert about the malware code. “We acted quickly to scan all computers in our system for the malware signature. We detected the malware in a single Burlington Electric Department laptop not connected to our organization’s grid systems,” the company said.

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The Washington Post was first to report the story although it initially claimed the Russian hackers had penetrated the U.S. electrical grid before toning down the story once the Vermont utility said the laptop was not connected.

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Officials expressed confidence there was no damage to the electrical infrastructure. “The grid is not in danger,” Vermont Public Service Commissioner Christopher Recchia told the Burlington Free Press. “The utility flagged it, saw it, notified appropriate parties and isolated that one laptop with that malware on it.” Still, that doesnt mean they arent concerned and Gov. Peter Shumlin called for a a full and complete investigation of this incident. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont noted that the discovery is beyond hackers having electronic joy ridesthis is now about trying to access utilities to potentially manipulate the grid and shut it down in the middle of winter.

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Its far from clear when the malware entered the computer and what the intent of the hackers might have been. They could have wanted to disrupt operations, sure, but also may have simply wanted to know whether a breach was possible. An unnamed source tells Reuters the whole thing could be the result of a much less nefarious episode, such as visiting a questionable website, meaning its possible Russian hackers werent directly involved at all.

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==============================

Events like this one, whether fake or real are likely to impact diplomatic relations between countries and industries like international business and tourism between countries.  Computer hacking and fake news, both, are bound to have huge impact on trade, tourism and diplomacy.

Sincerely,
David Dillard
Temple University
(215) 204 – 4584
jwne@temple.edu
http://workface.com/e/daviddillard

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[Educator-Gold] NEWS: FAKE NEWS : ENERGY ELECTRIC POWER PLANTS : ENERGY ELECTRIC POWER GRIDS : COMPUTER: HACKING AND HACKERS : COUNTRIES: RUSSIA : COUNTRIES: UNITED STATES: STATES: VERMONT : FAKE NEWS : INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND DIPLOMACY: Russian Operation Hacked a Vermont Utility, Showing Risk to U.S. Electrical Grid Security, Officials Say (PART TWO)

[Educator-Gold] ENERGY ELECTRIC POWER PLANTS : ENERGY ELECTRIC POWER GRIDS : COMPUTER: HACKING AND HACKERS : COUNTRIES: RUSSIA : COUNTRIES: UNITED STATES: STATES: VERMONT : INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND DIPLOMACY : NATIONAL CYBERSECURITY AND COMMUNICATIONS INTEGRATION CENTER NCCICC/FBI : UNITED STATES: GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS: Reference Number: JAR-16-20296 December 29, 2016 GRIZZLY STEPPE Russian Malicious Cyber Activity

 

.

.

ENERGY ELECTRIC POWER PLANTS :

ENERGY ELECTRIC POWER GRIDS :

COMPUTER: HACKING AND HACKERS :

COUNTRIES: RUSSIA :

COUNTRIES: UNITED STATES: STATES: VERMONT :

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND DIPLOMACY :

NATIONAL CYBERSECURITY AND COMMUNICATIONS INTEGRATION CENTER NCCICC/FBI :

UNITED STATES: GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS:

Reference Number: JAR-16-20296 December 29, 2016  GRIZZLY STEPPE
Russian Malicious Cyber Activity

https://www.us-cert.gov/sites/default/files/ publications/JAR_16-20296A_GRIZZLY%20STEPPE-2016-1229.pdf

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/h4mm3w3

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https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2016/12/29/ GRIZZLY-STEPPE-Russian-Malicious-Cyber-Activity

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/z729vaq

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GRIZZLY STEPPE  Russian Malicious Cyber Activity

Original release date: December 29, 2016

https://www.us-cert.gov/security-publications/ GRIZZLY-STEPPE-Russian-Malicious-Cyber-Activity

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/j7rt7jr

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GRIZZLY STEPPE  Russian Malicious Cyber Activity

Original release date: December 29, 2016

On October 7, 2016, the Department Of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) issued a joint statement on election security compromises. DHS has released a Joint Analysis Report (JAR) attributing those compromises to Russian malicious cyber activity, designated as GRIZZLY STEPPE.

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The JAR package offers technical details regarding the tools and infrastructure used by Russian civilian and military intelligence services (RIS). Accompanying CSV and STIX format files of the indicators are available here:

GRIZZLY STEPPE Indicators (CSV)

GRIZZLY STEPPE Indicators (STIX xml)

DHS recommends that network administrators review JAR-16-20296.pdf below for more information and implement the recommendations provided.

Revisions

December 29, 2016: Initial release

December 29, 2016: Updated CSV and STIX xml files with additional indicators

December 29, 2016: Replaced JAR-16-20296 with JAR-16-20296A, which contains corrected NCCIC contact information

View Publication

PDF icon JAR_16-20296A_GRIZZLY STEPPE-2016-1229.pdf

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Robert M. Lee

Critiques of the DHS/FBIs GRIZZLY STEPPE Report

December 30, 2016

http://www.robertmlee.org/critiques-of-the-dhsfbis-grizzly-steppe-report/

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This description in the report wouldnt be a problem for a more generic audience. If this was the DHS/FBI trying to explain to the American public how attacks like this were carried out it might even be too technical but it would be ok. The stated purpose though was for network defenders to discover new RIS tradecraft. With that purpose, it is not technical or descriptive enough and is simply a rehashing of what is common network defense knowledge. Moreover, if you would read a technical report from FireEye on APT28 or APT29 you would have better context and technical information to do defense than if you read the DHS/FBI document.

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Closing Thoughts

.

The White Houses response and combined messaging from the government agencies is well done and the technical attribution provided by private sector companies has been solid for quite some time. However, the DHS/FBI GRIZZLY STEPPE report does not meet its stated intent of helping network defenders and instead choose to focus on a confusing assortment of attribution, non-descriptive indicators, and re-hashed tradecraft. Additionally, the bulk of the report (8 of the 13 pages) is general high level recommendations not descriptive of the RIS threats mentioned and with no linking to what activity would help with what aspect of the technical data covered. It simply serves as an advertisement of documents and programs the DHS is trying to support. One recommendation for Whitelisting Applications might as well read whitelisting is good mmkay? If that recommendation would have been overlaid with what it would have stopped in this campaign specifically and how defenders could then leverage that information going forward it would at least have been descriptive and useful. Instead it reads like a copy/paste of DHS most recent documents  at least in a vendor report you usually only get 1 page of marketing instead of 8.

.

This ultimately seems like a very rushed report put together by multiple teams working different data sets and motivations. It is my opinion and speculation that there were some really good government analysts and operators contributing to this data and then report reviews, leadership approval processes, and sanitation processes stripped out most of the value and left behind a very confusing report trying to cover too much while saying too little.

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We must do better as a community. This report is a good example of how a really strong strategic message (POTUS statement) and really good data (government and private sector combination) can be opened to critique due to poor report writing.

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The complete documents may be read at the URLs provided for each.

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Russia Grizzly Steppe Hacking Started Simply, U.S. Says

by Chris Strohm

December 29, 2016, 7:22 PM EST December 30, 2016, 7:45 AM EST

Spearfishing technique cited by the FBI, Homeland Security

Report issued after Russia and Trump demanded the evidence

Bloomberg

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-30/ russia-s-grizzly-steppe-cyberattacks-started-simply-u-s-says

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/z8goaah

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GRIZZLY STEPPE  Russian Malicious Cyber Activity

Posted by Dissent at 4:15 pm Commentaries and Analyses, Hack,

December 29, 2016

Joint Analysis Report

Reference Number: JAR-16-20296      December 29, 2016

https://www.databreaches.net/grizzly-steppe-russian-malicious-cyber-activity/

Summary

.

This Joint Analysis Report (JAR) is the result of analytic efforts between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). This document provides technical details regarding the tools and infrastructure used by the Russian civilian and military intelligence Services (RIS) to compromise and exploit networks and endpoints associated with the U.S. election, as well as a range of U.S. Government, political, and private sector entities. The U.S. Government is referring to this malicious cyber activity by RIS as GRIZZLY STEPPE.

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Previous JARs have not attributed malicious cyber activity to specific countries or threat actors. However, public attribution of these activities to RIS is supported by technical indicators from the U.S. Intelligence Community, DHS, FBI, the private sector, and other entities. This determination expands upon the Joint Statement released October 7, 2016, from the Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security.

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This activity by RIS is part of an ongoing campaign of cyber-enabled operations directed at the U.S. government and its citizens. These cyber operations have included spearphishing campaigns targeting government organizations, critical infrastructure entities, think tanks, universities, political organizations, and corporations leading to the theft of information. In foreign countries, RIS actors conducted damaging and/or disruptive cyber-attacks, including attacks on critical infrastructure networks. In some cases, RIS actors masqueraded as third parties, hiding behind false online personas designed to cause the victim to misattribute the source of the attack. This JAR provides technical indicators related to many of these operations, recommended mitigations, suggested actions to take in response to the indicators provided, and information on how to report such incidents to the U.S. Government.

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Read the full report on US-CERT.

https://www.us-cert.gov/sites/default/files/publications/JAR_16-20296.pdf

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Related Posts:

.

Joint DHS and ODNI Election Security Statement

https://www.databreaches.net/joint-dhs-and-odni-election-security-statement/

DHS Report Details Persistent Cyber Targeting of

https://www.databreaches.net/
dhs-report-details-persistent-cyber-targeting-of-police-emergency-services/

OR

http://tinyurl.com/grhcsob

FBI Update on Sony Investigation

https://www.databreaches.net/fbi-update-on-sony-investigation/

DHS Announces Cyber Incident Reporting Information: US-CERT

https://www.databreaches.net/ dhs-announces-cyber-incident-reporting-information-us-cert/

OR

http://tinyurl.com/hnxyw4q

InfoArmor: Yahoo Data Breach Investigation

https://www.databreaches.net/infoarmor-yahoo-data-breach-investigation/

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Executive Summary of Grizzly Steppe Findings from Homeland Security

Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Todd Breasseale

Release Date: December 30, 2016

For Immediate Release

Office of the Press Secretary

Contact: 202-282-8010

https://www.dhs.gov/news/2016/12/30/executive-summary-grizzly-
steppe-findings-homeland-security-assistant-secretary

OR

http://tinyurl.com/h2pyshd

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WASHINGTON  Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Todd Breasseale issued an executive summary today of the U.S. governments findings of Russian malicious cyber activity known as Grizzly Steppe.  The executive summary is below.

GRIZZLY STEPPE: Russian Malicious Cyber Activity

Russias civilian and military intelligence services engaged in aggressive and sophisticated cyber-enabled operations targeting the U.S. government and its citizens. The U.S. Government refers to this activity as GRIZZLY STEPPE. These cyber operations included spearphishing campaigns targeting government organizations, critical infrastructure entities, think tanks, universities, political organizations, and corporations, and theft of information from these organizations. This stolen information was later publicly released by third parties.

In operations targeting other countries, including U.S. allies and partners, Russian intelligence services (RIS) have undertaken damaging or disruptive cyber-attacks, including on critical infrastructurein some cases masquerading as third parties or hiding behind false online personas designed to cause the victim to misattribute the source of the attack.

How Do Russian Intelligence Services Operate in Cyberspace?

RIS often uses spearphishing to gain access to targeted systems (see Figure 1 below). In one 201516 operation (detailed in our Joint Analysis Report (JAR)), Russian cyber actors conducted a spearphishing campaign to establish presence and persistence on a target network, obtain higher-level privileges, and steal (or exfiltrate) information.

These actors tricked recipients into changing their passwords through a fake website that was designed by the Russians cyber actors to appear legitimate. The actors then used those credentialsthe username and passwordto access the network as if they were legitimate users. They installed other malicious files, moved freely throughout the target network, gathered data and information, and exfiltrated it from the target network. Russian cyber actors continue to conduct spearphishing campaigns, including one launched as recently as November 2016, just days after the U.S. election.

What is the U.S. Government Doing?

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released a Joint Analysis Report (JAR), which provides details of the tools and infrastructure used by Russian intelligence services (RIS) to compromise and exploit networks and infrastructure associated with the recent U.S. election, as well as a range of U.S. government, political, and private sector entities. The JAR also arms network defenders with the tools they need to identify, detect, and disrupt Russias global campaign of malicious cyber activity. We urge users and administrators to use this information to better protect your networks.

What Is Spearphishing?

Spearphishing is the use of forged emails, texts, and other messages to manipulate users into opening malware or malicious software or clicking on malicious links.

Spearphishing attacks can lead to credential theft (e.g., passwords) or may act as an entry point for threat actors into an organization to steal or manipulate data and disrupt operations.

For more information, see the US CERT Tip on Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks.

Screenshot of email that states: Incoming eFax: Elections Outcome could be revised [Facts of Elections Fraud]. Sent by Taylor Fax <securefaxsolutions@gmail.com> on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at 10:39 To undisclosed-recipients. Attachment: election-headlines-FTE2016.docm (1.1 MB). Preview. eFax Solution. You have received a secure message from eFax Solution Corp. Please open the attachment election-headlines-FTE2016 in this email and enter PIN CODE: 3209. SUBJECT: ELECTIONS OUTCOME CUOLD BE REVISED [FACTS OF ELECTIONS FRAUD]. Please note: if you have trouble opening the message, please try the following 1. In your web browser, delete the temporary internet files and cookies. 2. Close the web browser. 3. Open the election-headlines-FTE2016 file in your secure email. End of screenshot.

Figure 1: Sample of Russian Post-Election Spearphishing

Lifecycle of Successful Spearphishing Operation. Starts on the left in Adversary Space, Russian Intelligence Services. Grizzly Steppe 1.) Leverages Operational Infrastructure (Neutral Space, in the middle) 2.) Crafts email with malicious link 3. ) Sent to Recipient (in Victim Space, on the right) 4.) Clicks on link and enters credentials into Website that looks legitimate (in Neutral Space), 5.) Gathers credentials in operational infrastructure, 6.) Uses credentials to Access Targeted System (in Victim Space) 7.) Install malicious files and 8.) Move through targeted systems and 9.) Gather Data of interested which is 10.) Exfiltrated to Operational Infrastructure (in Neutral Space).

Figure 2: Lifecycle of Successful Spearphishing Operation

What Information is in the JAR?

The JAR includes information on computers, servers, and other devices around the world that RIS uses to conduct command-and-control activity between compromised devices, send spearphishing emails, and steal credentials. The JAR identifies these devices by each ones Internet Protocol (IP) address, which is a set of numbers that serves as an address for each computer and is used to transmit data between computers. Because RIS is using other peoples networks without their owners knowledge to hide their malicious activity, the computers at these IP addresses typically also host legitimate websites or other Internet services. In some cases, the cybersecurity community was aware of this infrastructure. In other cases, this information has been newly declassified by the U.S. government. The map in Figure 3 shows the 60 countries in which newly declassified IP addresses are located. The JAR also includes information on how RIS typically conducts their activities. This information can help network defenders understand how this adversary operates and can help identify new activity or disrupt ongoing intrusions by RIS.

Declassified IP Addresses by Country of Registration. United States: 47. Canada, Mexico, India, Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vitenam, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Ukraine, Sweden, Finaldn, Poland, Slove, UK, Spaine, Italy, Austria, Poland, and Ghana: Less than 10. France: 12. Germany: 14. Netherlands: 20. China: 45.

Figure 3: Declassified Worldwide Infrastructure Co-Opted by Russian Intelligence Services

How You Can Protect Yourself and Your Networks

A commitment to good cybersecurity and best practices is critical to protecting networks and systems. Here are some questions you may want to ask of your organization to help prevent and mitigate against attacks.

Backups: Do we backup all critical information? Are the backups stored offline? Have we tested our ability to revert to backups during an incident?

Risk Analysis: Have we conducted a cybersecurity risk analysis of the organization?

Staff Training: Have we trained staff on cybersecurity best practices?
Vulnerability Scanning and Patching: Have we implemented regular scans of our networks and systems? Do we appropriately patch known system vulnerabilities?

Application Whitelisting: Do we allow only approved programs to run on our networks?

Incident Response: Do we have an incident response plan? Have we practiced it?

Business Continuity: Are we able to sustain business operations without access to certain systems? For how long?

Penetration Testing: Have we attempted to hack into our own systems to test the security of our systems and our ability to defend against attacks?

What to Do If You See Signs of Malicious Cyber Activity

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If you find signs of malicious cyber activity, we encourage you report it to DHSs National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCICCustomerService@hq.dhs.gov or 888-282-0870) or the FBI through your local field office or the FBIs Cyber Division (cywatch@ic.fbi.gov or 855-292-3937).

.

Topics:  Combat Cyber Crime, Cybersecurity
Keywords:  cyber security, Cybersecurity, cybersecurity activity, Russia

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GRIZZLY STEPPE  Russian Malicious Cyber Activity Database Search Results

Google

https://www.google.com/#q=GRIZZLY+STEPPE+ %E2%80%93+Russian+Malicious+Cyber+Activity

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A shorter URL for the above link:

.

http://tinyurl.com/j3cuawt

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Google Domain Limited Web Search (NEWS)

http://tinyurl.com/hy3qypu

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Google Domain Limited Web Search (BLOGS)

http://tinyurl.com/hg8cdcp

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WEBBIB1617

http://tinyurl.com/gtdzaq3

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Sincerely,
David Dillard
Temple University
(215) 204 – 4584
jwne@temple.edu
http://workface.com/e/daviddillard

Net-Gold
https://groups.io/g/Net-Gold
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/net-gold
http://listserv.temple.edu/archives/net-gold.html
https://groups.io/org/groupsio/Net-Gold/archives
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Temple University and Google Sites Research Guides
AND Discussion Group Directory
http://tinyurl.com/ngda2hk

OR

https://sites.google.com/site/researchguidesonsites/

FAKE NEWS
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EMPLOYMENT
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DISABILITIES AND EMPLOYMENT
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INDOOR GARDENING
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Twitter: davidpdillard

Temple University Site Map
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Bushell, R. & Sheldon, P. (eds),
Wellness and Tourism: Mind, Body, Spirit,
Place, New York: Cognizant Communication Books.
Wellness Tourism: Bibliographic and Webliographic Essay
David P. Dillard
http://tinyurl.com/o4pn4o9

Rail Transportation
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Improve Your Chances for Indoor Gardening Success
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.

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Please Ignore All Links to JIGLU
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The Net-Gold relationship with JIGLU has
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[Educator-Gold] ENERGY ELECTRIC POWER PLANTS : ENERGY ELECTRIC POWER GRIDS : COMPUTER: HACKING AND HACKERS : COUNTRIES: RUSSIA : COUNTRIES: UNITED STATES: STATES: VERMONT : INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND DIPLOMACY : NATIONAL CYBERSECURITY AND COMMUNICATIONS INTEGRATION CENTER NCCICC/FBI : UNITED STATES: GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS: Reference Number: JAR-16-20296 December 29, 2016 GRIZZLY STEPPE Russian Malicious Cyber Activity

[Educator-Gold] NEWS: FAKE NEWS : ENERGY ELECTRIC POWER PLANTS : ENERGY ELECTRIC POWER GRIDS : COMPUTER: HACKING AND HACKERS : COUNTRIES: RUSSIA : COUNTRIES: UNITED STATES: STATES: VERMONT : FAKE NEWS : INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND DIPLOMACY: Russian Operation Hacked a Vermont Utility, Showing Risk to U.S. Electrical Grid Security, Officials Say (PART TWO)

 

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.

NEWS: FAKE NEWS :

ENERGY ELECTRIC POWER PLANTS :

ENERGY ELECTRIC POWER GRIDS :

COMPUTER: HACKING AND HACKERS :

COUNTRIES: RUSSIA :

COUNTRIES: UNITED STATES: STATES: VERMONT :

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND DIPLOMACY:

(PART TWO)

Fake News? The Russians Did Not Hack the U.S. Power Grid

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Fake News? The Russians Did Not Hack the U.S. Power Grid

Sarah Lee 1 hour

The Blaze

http://www.theblaze.com/news/2016/12/31/ fake-news-the-russians-did-not-hack-the-u-s-power-grid/

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/j28756o

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The Washington Post caused a mild social media stir Friday when they posted a story alleging that the Russians had hacked the U.S. power grid via a utility company in Vermont.

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In a story boasting the ominous headline, Russian hackers penetrated U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont, officials say,

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A code associated with the Russian hacking operation dubbed Grizzly Steppe by the Obama administration has been detected within the system of a Vermont utility, according to U.S. officials.

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While the Russians did not actively use the code to disrupt operations, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a security matter, the discovery underscores the vulnerabilities of the nations electrical grid. And it raises fears in the U.S. government that Russian government hackers are actively trying to penetrate the grid to carry out potential attacks.

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However, by late Friday night, after The Burlington Electric Department was finally contacted and could release a statement  something the Post didnt obtain before publishing their piece  the headline had changed to something less ominous due to the utility companys statement.

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The Daily Caller reports that the statement read as follows:

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Last night, U.S. utilities were alerted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of a malware code used in Grizzly Steppe, the name DHS has applied to a Russian campaign linked to recent hacks, a spokesman for the Burlington Electric Department said. We acted quickly to scan all computers in our system for the malware signature. We detected the malware in a single Burlington Electric Department laptop not connected to our organizations grid systems.

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The Vermont Public Service Commissioner Christopher Recchia told The Burlington Free Press, The grid is not in danger.

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The complete articles may be read at the URLs provided for each.

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Russian Malware Found in Vermont Power Utility Laptop

By Daniel Politi

Slate

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/12/31/russian_malware_
in_vermont_utility_laptop_raises_concerns_over_electrical.html

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/hbj8vwh

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Malware that has been linked to Russian hackers was discovered in a laptop of a Vermont power utility laptop, raising fears about the vulnerability of the U.S. power grid. The code was connected to the hacking operation that has been dubbed Grizzly Steppe, which is the same one that is suspected of having carried out operations to try to influence the presidential election. The laptop was not connected to the power grid, the Burlington Electric Department said in a statement. We took immediate action to isolate the laptop and alerted federal officials of this finding, the company added.

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The discovery came a day after the Department of Homeland Security sent out a public alert about the malware code. “We acted quickly to scan all computers in our system for the malware signature. We detected the malware in a single Burlington Electric Department laptop not connected to our organization’s grid systems,” the company said.

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The Washington Post was first to report the story although it initially claimed the Russian hackers had penetrated the U.S. electrical grid before toning down the story once the Vermont utility said the laptop was not connected.

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Officials expressed confidence there was no damage to the electrical infrastructure. “The grid is not in danger,” Vermont Public Service Commissioner Christopher Recchia told the Burlington Free Press. “The utility flagged it, saw it, notified appropriate parties and isolated that one laptop with that malware on it.” Still, that doesnt mean they arent concerned and Gov. Peter Shumlin called for a a full and complete investigation of this incident. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont noted that the discovery is beyond hackers having electronic joy ridesthis is now about trying to access utilities to potentially manipulate the grid and shut it down in the middle of winter.

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Its far from clear when the malware entered the computer and what the intent of the hackers might have been. They could have wanted to disrupt operations, sure, but also may have simply wanted to know whether a breach was possible. An unnamed source tells Reuters the whole thing could be the result of a much less nefarious episode, such as visiting a questionable website, meaning its possible Russian hackers werent directly involved at all.

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Events like this one, whether fake or real are likely to impact diplomatic relations between countries and industries like international business and tourism between countries.  Computer hacking and fake news, both, are bound to have huge impact on trade, tourism and diplomacy.

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[Educator-Gold] NEWS: FAKE NEWS : ENERGY ELECTRIC POWER PLANTS : ENERGY ELECTRIC POWER GRIDS : COMPUTER: HACKING AND HACKERS : COUNTRIES: RUSSIA : COUNTRIES: UNITED STATES: STATES: VERMONT : FAKE NEWS : INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND DIPLOMACY: Russian Operation Hacked a Vermont Utility, Showing Risk to U.S. Electrical Grid Security, Officials Say (PART TWO)