‘Liberia Still Under Cyber Attack’

first_imgThe recent wave of cyber intrusion that hit Liberia in a bid to keep it disconnected from the global network is still continuing with hackers still sending massive volumes of artificial data to block internet links, a press statement from Lonestar Cell MTN said yesterday.As a result of these cyber activities internet connectivity is slow and in most cases intermittent. This has left many frustrated internet users in Liberia complaining about the services of telecommunications companies.Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) has denied that the country’s internet access was interrupted by malicious cyber activities. “Monitoring systems on the nation’s internet exchange point, where domestic traffic joins the global network, showed no evidence that the link had been overwhelmed,” Jarsea Burphy, LTA spokesperson said in a statement.According to its statement, Lonestar Cell MTN, one of the country’s leading providers, is reporting repeated cyber-attacks in the form of Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) from hackers. It may be recalled that the company in a statement recently called on the government to investigate the cause of the attacks. “We are calling on the Government through its security apparatus to institute immediate investigation into the matter as these DDOS attacks amount to economic sabotage. We also call on the LTA to ensure that Liberia urgently joins Africa CERT, an organization that protects countries around Africa against cyber threats,” the release said.These DDOS attacks, the statement added, are undermining government’s revenue intake and denying Lonestar Cell MTN subscribers adequate services. The Government of Liberia needs to take the call made by Lonestar Cell MTN seriously as these attackers have the ability to spread their activities to businesses, including banks, and other government entities. Cyber-attacks are fast becoming a global issue, and must not be taken lightly in Liberia. The attacks on Liberia captured the pages of many anti-cyber sites and multiple international wires. The BBC reported recently that “Liberia has been repeatedly cut off from the internet by hackers targeting its only link to the global network. The attacks were the first to send overwhelming amounts of data from weakly protected devices, such as webcams and digital video recorders that had been enrolled into what is known as a botnet. A botnet variant called Mirai was identified by security firms as being the tool used to find and compromise the insecure devices. The source code for Mirai has been widely shared and many malicious hacker groups have used it to seek out vulnerable devices they can take over and use to mount what are known as Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks,” according to the press statement.The government needs to go beyond denial and ensure that these activities are curtailed as service providers and Liberians are still complaining of intermittent denial of internet services, the statement noted.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

How The Texas Democratic And Republican Party Platforms Compare

first_imgDemocrats have long opposed subsidizing private school education but added language to this year’s platform to argue that such subsidies would particularly affect access to special education services for Texas students with disabilities. The GOP modified its platform, which has long supported school choice, to assert that “no child should be forced to attend a failing school,” and to “reject the intrusion of government in private, parochial, or homeschools.”OUR TAKE: OUR TAKE:Texas Republicans softened their language opposing homosexuality and same-sex marriage in this year’s platform. Two years earlier, the platform described homosexuality as “a chosen behavior that is contrary to the fundamental unchanging truths.” The GOP maintained its support for a bill regulating which restrooms transgender Texans can use.The Democrats’ LGBTQ Rights plank is nearly identical to the 2016 one, including support for the right of transgender Texans to use facilities consistent with their gender identity regardless of what gender they were identified as having at birth. Texas Republicans and Democrats recently held their respective state party conventions, where they approved the latest versions of their platforms. These documents, updated every two years, set out what each party’s base views as its core principles. Over dozens of issues, the two parties set very different agendas for the future of Texas.Here’s a look at where the two state parties, and the state’s voters overall, stand on some high-profile issues:OUR TAKE: Republicans first added support for letting Texans carry a handgun without a permit — what’s also known as “constitutional carry” – to their platform in 2012. Democrats have long supported strengthening and reforming current gun laws, and their 2018 platform calls for the repeal of current laws allowing for “open carry” of handguns and assault rifles.Following this year’s shooting at Santa Fe high school that left 10 dead, both parties expanded the sections of their platforms dealing with guns. The GOP platform now includes opposition to “red flag” laws, which allow for the temporary removal of firearms from someone who poses an immediate danger. The Democrats added a plank to support allowing law enforcement to confiscate firearms from suspects charged with domestic violence, stalking, human trafficking and other crimes. Neither party’s position on this issue has drastically changed in recent years. But Democrats added language to their platform this year in support of “complete adherence to the federal ‘Motor Voter’ laws” which allows states to give residents the opportunity to register to vote at the same time that they apply for or renew their driver’s licenses.The Republican platform calls for the repeal of those laws. In May, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily blocked a lower court ruling mandating Texas enact a voter registration system that would allow drivers to register to vote when they renew their driver’s licenses online. OUR TAKE: OUR TAKE: Texas Republicans this year passed a plank in support of border security funding that mentioned “a border wall, or fence everywhere along the border where it is feasible and useful.” This replaced an earlier plank that called for “building a high wall with a wide gate … where it is deemed effective and cost-efficient.” Democrats’ denouncement of a border wall is nothing new; similar language was present in the 2016 platform. OUR TAKE: Republicans have inched the platform away from a firm anti-marijuana stance in recent years. This year, the party passed a plank that supports decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana. Democrats have advocated for marijuana decriminalization since 2012, but this year, they tweaked platform language to call for full legalization. Sharelast_img read more