Archive for November, 2018

TORONTO – Apple announced a rare security breach over the weekend that means some Canadians may have unwittingly infected their iPhones and iPads with malware that could expose their iCloud passwords and other personal data.

Apple Inc. has removed some applications from its app store after developers in China were tricked into using software tools that added malicious code to their work.

Apple hasn’t provided details about which companies’ apps were affected.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

READ MORE: Canadian researchers help uncover problems with South Korean app putting children at risk

But Tencent Ltd. said its popular WeChat app was hit; the company released a new version after spotting the offending code. Chinese news reports said others affected included banks, an airline and a popular music service.

Many of the affected apps were only available on the App Store in China, yet some that were reportedly infected by the malware – including WeChat, business card rolodex CamCard and file extractor WinZip – are available in Canada.

Users are advised to uninstall the affected apps or update to the latest version released after the malware was discovered, and to change their iCloud passwords.

The malicious code spread through a counterfeit version of Apple’s Xcode tools used to create apps for its iPhones and iPads, according to the company. It said the counterfeit tools spread when developers obtained them from “untrusted sources” rather than directly from the company.

The malicious software collects information from infected devices and uploads it to outside servers, according to Palo Alto Networks, a U.S.-based security firm. The company said the breach could result in fake password prompts aimed at harvesting iCloud details or other logins.

READ MORE: Here are the new features coming to your iPhone, iPad with iOS 9

It was first publicized last week by security researchers at Alibaba Group, the Asian e-commerce giant, who dubbed it XcodeGhost.

The creators of the malware took advantage of public frustration with Beijing’s Internet filters, which hamper access to Apple and other foreign websites. That prompts some people to use copies of foreign software or documents that are posted on websites within China to speed up access.

“Sometimes network speeds are very slow when downloading large files from Apple’s servers,” wrote Claud Xiao, a Palo Alto Networks researcher, on its website. Due to the large size of the Xcode file, “some Chinese developers choose to download the package from other sources or get copies from colleagues.”

Companies with apps that were affected include taxi-hailing service Didi Kuaidi, Citic Industrial Bank, China Southern Airlines and the music service of NetEase, a popular Web portal, according to the newspaper Yangcheng Evening News.

The incident is the only the sixth time malicious software is known to have made it through Apple’s screening process for products on its App Store, according to Xiao.

– With files from the Associated Press

©2015

HALIFAX – 35-year-old Jean-Marie Richard Bertrand has been charged in connection with a string of assaults that happened on Thursday of last week, Halifax police say.

Between the hours of 7:30 am and 8:30 pm on Thursday police responded to seven separate incidents where a man was approaching women on the street in the south and west end of Halifax.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

In five incidents, the man grabbed the women while they were walking or jogging. In another incident, he touched a women in a sexual manner over her clothes and attempted to force her into an alley, but she was able to fight him off.

In the final incident, the man made an obscene comment to a woman, but didn’t touch her.

Some of the incidents that were originally classified as assaults were determined to have sexual overtures, so police laid sexual assault charges in three of the seven incidents.

Bertrand was arrested on Thursday evening and held in the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility over the weekend.

He is scheduled to appear in Halifax Provincial Court on Monday on two counts of assault, four counts of sexual assault, and one of forcible confinement in connection with six of the incidents.

Over the weekend, police received a call about a suspicious circumstance where a 40-year-old woman reported being followed to her car after she left a building on Marginal Road just before midnight on September 16. The woman said the man pressed himself against the window of her car, but didn’t say anything or touch her.

The man was described as a white man, 30-40 years old wearing baggy jeans, and about 5’9″ in height.

Police are investigating whether this incident may be connected to the others.

They also ask anyone who has experienced a similar incident, or has information on the incidents that have happened to call police at 902-490-5016, or contact Crime Stoppers.

©2015Global News

Entertainer Miley Cyrus and her brother, Braison, spent the weekend on B.C.’s central coast, as the pop star visited Klemtu to meet First Nations and discuss the province’s plan for an expanded wolf kill.

A video was posted to YouTube of her travelling in a boat with a dozen or so locals and joining them in song.

Earlier this month, Cyrus asked her Instagram followers to sign a petition by Pacific Wild, a local conservation group, aimed at stopping the killings. The petition has since grown to almost 200,000 signatures.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

According to Pacific Wild, the sister and brother-duo spent two days with members of the Kitasoo/Xai’Xais First Nation, two biologists and an American ecologist.

“When I first spoke out, I knew in my heart that the wolf cull was wrong,” Miley said in a statement from Pacific Wild. “But after this visit, I know science is on my side, not just on the wolf cull, but also on the trophy hunt issue.

“Both are unsustainable and both are horrific. Both have to end,” she said.

Both Miley and B.C.-native Pamela Anderson have recently criticized the hunt. On Thursday, Anderson called on B.C. Premier Christy Clark to find a better solution to save caribou than the slaughter of wolves.

In response to Cyrus, Clark said she didn’t think the American singer knew enough about B.C.’s environmental plan to save caribou herds to be jumping into the debate, reported.

“If we need help on our twerking policy in the future, perhaps we can go and seek her advice,” Clark said on Friday.

In an open letter to the B.C. premier, Anderson said she’s “deeply disturbed that my beloved province is allowing people to hunt and kill wolves.”

“We all want to restore the populations of endangered caribou, but gunning down wolves is not the answer,” the honorary director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said in the letter.” Rather than spending millions in taxpayer dollars to kill more animals, we need to invest in a plan to protect Canada’s forestland.”

B.C. is aiming to increase the number of wolves it kills this winter in the second year of a plan to save endangered caribou.

with files from

©2015

Imagine being raised as a girl and then, when puberty hits, developing a penis.

Puberty is a difficult time for anyone, but for those who go through this, it can be more difficult than we can imagine.

A BBC2 documentary series, Countdown to Life: The Extraordinary Making of You, has examined children in a small village in the Dominican Republic with this condition. The children there are called “guevedoce,” which translates to “penis at twelve.”

The science of our bodies

The way we develop is a complicated process.

You may remember that the typical human being has 46 chromosomes that come in 23 pairs. One pair is the sex chromosomes: Y for male, X for female.

Men carry both the X and Y chromosomes; women, just the X. If two X chromosomes pair, the fetus develops into a female. If you get an XY pairing, a male develops.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

X and Y chromosomes

Development of external reproductive organs is controlled by something called dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

An enzyme called 5-alpha reductase converts testosterone into DHT. Both males and females start off with the same bits, but if DHT is missing, then genitalia develops into the female parts, with the genital folds remaining unfused. If DHT is present, then the folds enlarge and wrap around the penile urethra, becoming the penis.

‘Penis at 12’

In 1974, Doctor Julianne Imperato, an endocrinologist from Cornell University went to study the children of the Dominican Republic who had been rumoured to have been born with female genitalia but who had developed male genitalia at puberty.

What she discovered was that these children were lacking DHT at birth. But when they reached puberty, they got a surge of the enzyme, which then increased testosterone levels and caused the development of penises. This condition was called 5-alpha reductase deficiency (5-ARD).

That’s not to say that those with 5-ARD have nothing that resembles a male. The children have undescended testicles, and a small penis that looks more like a clitoris as well as an underdeveloped prostate. However, in most cases, these children are raised as girls.

The condition isn’t just relegated to the Dominican Republic. There have been cases around the world including New Guinea, Turkey and the United States.

Follow @NebulousNikki

©2015

As recessions go, Canada just experienced about as mild of a downturn as it gets in the first half of the year, and is once again in growth mode, economists from TD Bank said in a new forecast on Monday.

“The weakness in the first half of the year is in the rear-view mirror and the Canadian economy stands ready to resume growth,” the new report said.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

Related

  • Canada’s job market posts steady gains, despite recession worries

  • How low can oil go? To about $20 a barrel, report warns

The country’s economy will expand by 1.2 per cent for the whole year, according to TD, but “the annual figure masks a rebound in the second half of the year” as growth kicks back into gear at an annualized clip of 2.5 per cent.

Not great most economists would say, but not bad either.

MORE: ‘Best. Recession. Ever.’

A lower loonie and rising U.S. demand means exports are finally “back in the game,” as evidenced by strong trade numbers in June and July, the latest data available. A discounted Canadian dollar – which TD now sees dropping to as low at 73 cents US – is also fueling the second-half rebound through increased tourism, with foreigners taking advantage of the currency drop.

Low interest rates should keep households in the spending mood, too, buoyed by “modest” employment and income gains, TD said, “resulting in steady, if unremarkable, consumption growth.” All told, the economy will grow just over 2 per cent next year through 2017.

That’s if all goes to plan. But as always, there are risks.

MORE: 5 things to know about the economy ahead of federal leaders debate

“While we consider this the most likely outcome, we cannot ignore a number of prominent downside risks to the outlook,” TD chief economist Beata Caranci, deputy chief economist Derek Burleton and economist Brian DePratto, said.

‘Largest risk’

The biggest potential disruption to Canada’s growth plans is admittedly a broad one consisting of several components, the biggest being China and the slowdown now gripping the world’s second-biggest economy.

A slowdown abroad, led by China, poses a bigger threat than a housing bust or debt bubble among Canadian households, TD said.

What happens in China matters to Canada, which is a net exporter of commodities. China accounts for as much as 80 per cent of new metal demand at any given time, and a third of worldwide oil demand, according to TD’s economists.

“China is a major driver of global [commodity] prices,” they said.

MORE: 5 reasons why China’s ‘new normal’ is rattling world markets

While U.S.-bound exports are poised to rise, it remains uncertain what the slowdown in China will mean for exported goods and materials headed for it as well as other regions – a Chinese slowdown is symptomatic of a slowing global economy, experts say.

TD’s 2016 outlook “depends” on a Canadian export boom next year for more than a quarter of the bank’s estimated GDP growth. “Any disappointment in exports presents a key risk to our outlook,” the economists said.

Here’s how TD sees Canada’s economic growth quarter by quarter over the next couple of years:

WATCH: With Canada in a recession, the economy is going to be top of mind for voters. Here’s a quick explainer on how we got into a recession and what it means to Canadians.

©2015