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Fri, 31 Mar 2023
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Big Pharma Discredited by Twitter Drug-Pushing

Not supposed to punt prescription stuff to the public

A pharmaceutical company's use of Twitter to promote medicines discredited the industry, a regulatory body has ruled.

The Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA) said that Bayer Healthcare had violated the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry Code of Conduct (ABPI Code). The Code sets rules on what companies can say when informing the public about prescription-only medicines.

Bayer was in breach of the parts of the Code which prohibits the advertising of prescription-only medicines to the public, the PMCPA said. The company also breached a rule that prohibits companies releasing information about prescription-only medicines that would encourage the public to ask their doctor for the product. Bayer also failed to maintain high standards and brought discredit upon, and reduced the confidence in, the pharmaceutical industry - two other rules written into the Code.

An advertisement publicising Bayer's case was published in The Nursing Standard on 17 August. Further adverts will run in the British Medical Journal and The Pharmaceutical Journal on 20 August.


Insulin pump attack prompts call for federal probe

Security of medical devices questioned

The hack of a commercially available insulin pump that diabetics can control wirelessly has attracted the attention of US lawmakers who oversee the safety of the nation's airwaves.

In a letter drafted earlier this week, US Representatives Anna Eshoo and Edward Markey asked members of the Government Accountability Office to ensure that wireless-enabled medical devices "will not cause harmful interference to other equipment" and are "safe, reliable, and secure."


AntiSec hackers target Vanguard Defense exec

The hacktivist group AntiSec says it has released a gigabyte of private documents from Vanguard Defense Industries, including e-mails from an executive connected with a cybersecurity organization it has targeted previously.

In a post on Pastebin this morning, AntiSec said the e-mails belong to Richard Garcia, a senior vice president at Vanguard who is also a board member at InfraGard, an FBI program that teams up public and private cybersecurity efforts. In June, AntiSec affiliate LulzSec hacked the Web site of InfraGard Atlanta, releasing passwords and other sensitive information.


Libya: Rebel hackers seize Libyan domain name registry

Also much of meatspace capital

As fighting rages around Colonel Gaddafi's compound in Tripoli, hackers have taken the fight online to the country's domain name registry nic.ly.

The site's homepage now hosts an image of the rebel flag and the message "bye bye Gaddafi", as well as the date 17 February, the day Libyan protestors started demonstrations and were shot at by security forces, computer security firm Sophos reported.

© The Register
The hackers' flipped bird
Heavy fighting is being reported in the streets of Tripoli today after rebels seized large parts of the city on Sunday. Gaddafi's whereabouts remain unknown, but it has been widely reported that the rebels claim to have captured his son Saif al-Islam.

Today's fighting has followed a sustained push by rebels to topple the Gaddafi regime. Protests in early February in Benghazi turned violent when security forces opened fire on the protestors, leading to the first military action at the end of the month when Anti-Libyan government militias took control of Misurata.

In March, the Libyan National Council declared itself the sole representative for the country and began gaining recognition from Western nations, as well as Middle Eastern states including Qatar. By mid-March, NATO began its military intervention with airstrikes in the country.


Chinese government caught on film hacking the West

© v3
The Chinese government has finally been caught red-handed launching cyber attacks against the West, after eagle-eyed security researchers spotted a damning piece of footage in a Chinese military documentary programme.

F-Secure chief research officer Mikko Hyppönen explained in a blog post that the 20-minute documentary was aired last month in China on the government controlled channel CCTV 7, Military and Agriculture.

"The programme seems to be a fairly standard 20-minute TV documentary about the potential and risks of cyber warfare. However, while they are speaking about theory, they actually show camera footage of Chinese government systems launching attacks against a US target," he explained.


China: Government orders a major internet crackdown

Warns ISPs to control online content over fears of revolt

The glorious people of Republic of China has ordered a widespread crackdown on the internet in attempts to prevent uprisings like those seen in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

The secretary of the Communist Party, Liu Qi has warned internet service providers (ISPs) in the country that they must tighten control of online content to "prevent the spread of fake and harmful information" and that the internet companies should "resist" such information, the Associated Press reports.

It's not clear how the Chinese government expects the ISPs to control content online, but it's likely that it wants them to monitor people's online activities and disconnect those participating in the spread of dissenting views.

The exact punishment for not cooperating was not disclosed, but Beijing could shut down an ISP altogether if it proves defiant.

The government-approved Beijing Internet Media Association also called on its 104 members to police the internet for "rumors or vulgar contents", saying that the public "should be led toward a correct direction" - the proper direction being support of the government, of course.


US: Individuals Who Pose A Threat Cleared To Work In Airports

© unknown
A decade after the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history the Homeland Security agency created to protect the nation's transportation system clears "individuals who pose a threat" to work in "secure" areas of American airports.

It may seem like a bad joke but it's reality at the perpetually inept Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the 55,000-employee monster created after 9/11 to avoid another terrorist attack. Instead the agency that embarrasses innocent citizens with invasive, genital-groping personal searches has been marred by a series of gaffes that have left the country vulnerable amid increasing threats of terrorism.

Since its creation the TSA has made headlines for regularly missing guns and bombs during random tests at major U.S. airports, approving background checks for illegal immigrants to work in sensitive areas of busy airports and clearing dozens of illegal aliens to train as pilots just as several of the 9/11 hijackers did. The agency has also seen several agents arrested for official misconduct, including stealing from passengers' bags at some of the nation's busiest airports.

Eye 1

US: Google To Pay $500 Million Settlement For Ads By Illegal Online Pharmacies

Regulators will announce Wednesday that Google will pay $500 million to settle government charges that it has illegally shown ads for online pharmacies that operate outside the law, according to two people briefed on the investigation.

The investigation was first revealed in May, when Google said in a government filing that it set aside $500 million for the potential settlement of a Department of Justice investigation into its advertising practices, which decreased its quarterly profits by 22 percent.


Israel: IDF Retaliates - Ceasefire Breached Again as 7 Rockets Hit South

© Yaniv Ohana
Grad hits Beer Tuvia Regional Council
Rockets explode near Ashkelon, Ofakim and Eshkol Council after Islamic Jihad vows to avenge death of terrorist in IAF air strike. No injuries reported. IAF targets Islamic Jihad terrorist cell in Gaza, kills one

The Israel-Hamas ceasefire was breached again Wednesday as seven rockets hit southern communities. A rocket fired from the northern Gaza Strip exploded in an open field south of Ashkelon Wednesday evening. Minutes later, two additional rockets hit an open area near Ofakim. Shortly thereafter, two other rockets landed near the Eshkol Regional Council, which later saw two extra Qassam landings.

There were no reports of injuries or damage. An alarm was sounded in Beersheba and other southern communities.

Bad Guys

US: Cheney Says He Had Secret Resignation Letter

© Photographer: Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney secretly put a signed resignation letter in a safe shortly after taking office, in part because of concerns about his health, according to excerpts from an NBC News interview.

Cheney, 70, who suffered four heart attacks before becoming President George W. Bush's vice president, was worried about the possibility "that I might have a heart attack or a stroke that would be incapacitating," he said in the interview. "There is no mechanism for getting rid of a vice president who can't function."

Cheney signed the letter in March 2001, two months after the inauguration. Bush knew about it as did a member of the vice president's staff, according to the NBC excerpts.

The former vice president has been beset by heart trouble. In February 2010, he was hospitalized for what doctors described as a "mild" heart attack, his fifth, and he underwent surgery later that year to implant a pump to assist his heart.