UK cyber agency targets Kaspersky in warning on Russian software

Eugene Kaspersky makes a presentation at a press conference in London early this week, in defending against accusations the company he founded works on the behalf of Russian intelligence. (Reuters)
Updated 02 December 2017
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UK cyber agency targets Kaspersky in warning on Russian software

WASHINGTON/BENGALURU: Britain’s main cybersecurity agency on Friday warned British government agencies to avoid using anti-virus software from Russian companies, the latest in a series of moves targeting Moscow-based security software maker Kaspersky Lab.
In a letter to departmental permanent secretaries, the director of the UK National Cyber Security Center, Ciaran Martin, said Russian-made anti-virus software should not be used in systems containing information that would harm national security if it was accessed by the Russian government.
He said his agency is in talks with Kaspersky Lab to develop a system for reviewing its products for use in Britain.
Kaspersky’s anti-virus software was banned from US government networks earlier this year on concerns the company has close ties to intelligence agencies in Moscow and that its software could be used to enable Russian spying.
“We are in discussions with Kaspersky Lab ... about whether we can develop a framework that we and others can independently verify,” Martin said in the letter, which was publicly released.
Kaspersky Lab said in a statement that it looked forward to working with the NCSC on the issue.
Kaspersky has strongly denied allegations about the safety of its products or ties to the Russian government, saying it has become a scapegoat in the midst of rising tensions between Washington and Moscow.


Japan to trial ‘world’s first urine test’ to spot cancer

Updated 17 April 2018
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Japan to trial ‘world’s first urine test’ to spot cancer

  • Previous research has shown a new blood test has potential to detect eight different kinds of tumors before they spread
  • The research starts in April and will run until September

TOKYO: A Japanese firm is poised to carry out what it hailed as the world’s first experiment to test for cancer using urine samples, which would greatly facilitate screening for the deadly disease.
Engineering and IT conglomerate Hitachi developed the basic technology to detect breast or colon cancer from urine samples two years ago.
It will now begin testing the method using some 250 urine samples, to see if samples at room temperature are suitable for analysis, Hitachi spokesman Chiharu Odaira told AFP.
“If this method is put to practical use, it will be a lot easier for people to get a cancer test, as there will be no need to go to a medical organization for a blood test,” he said.
It is also intended to be used to detect paediatric cancers.
“That will be especially beneficial in testing for small children” who are often afraid of needles, added Odaira.
Research published earlier this year demonstrated that a new blood test has shown promise toward detecting eight different kinds of tumors before they spread elsewhere in the body.
Usual diagnostic methods for breast cancer consist of a mammogram followed by a biopsy if a risk is detected.
For colon cancer, screening is generally conducted via a stool test and a colonoscopy for patients at high risk.
The Hitachi technology centers around detecting waste materials inside urine samples that act as a “biomarker” — a naturally occurring substance by which a particular disease can be identified, the company said in a statement.
The procedure aims to improve the early detection of cancer, saving lives and reducing the medical and social cost to the country, Odaira explained.
The experiment will start this month until through September in cooperation with Nagoya University in central Japan.
“We aim to put the technology in use in the 2020s, although this depends on various things such as getting approval from the authorities,” Odaira said.