Storm Carlotta weakens over Mexico’s Pacific coast, two dead

Updated 17 June 2012
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Storm Carlotta weakens over Mexico’s Pacific coast, two dead

ACAPULCO, Mexico:Tropical Storm Carlotta weakened into a tropical depression yesterday after battering Mexico’s Pacific coast and killing at least two children whose house collapsed in a landslide.
The government of Mexico previously lifted the hurricane warning from Salina Cruz to Acapulco after Carlotta made landfall in the southern state of Oaxaca on Friday night, dumping rain on mountainous villages along the coast.
Carlotta became a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson intensity scale before weakening to a tropical storm earlier yesterday.
A mud-brick house collapsed in the town of Pluma Hidalgo, Oaxaca, killing a 13-year-old girl and her 7-year-old sister, said Cyntia Tovar, a spokeswoman for the state’s emergency services department. The girls’ mother survived but was badly injured and taken to the hospital, Tovar said.
“The damage occurred during the night so we are still gathering information. There was no major flooding but a lot of rain and strong winds,” said Tovar.
Farther north, heavy rains lashed the tourist resort of Acapulco overnight. Skies were overcast in the resort on Saturday, but tourists returned to the beaches and hotel pools.
Melquiades Olemedo, head of emergency services for Acapulco city, said no major damages were reported - only sporadic power outages and trees downed by winds that reached 40 mph (60 kph).
Carlotta was located 50 miles (80 km) north-northeast of Acapulco on Saturday mid-morning as winds decreased to 35 miles per hour (55 kph), the US National Hurricane Center said.
The storm is forecast to swirl inland over southern Mexico for the next couple of days, dumping between 4 to 8 inches (100 to 200 mm) of rain through Monday, the Miami-based center said.
“These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides,” the center said, adding that isolated rains of up to 15 inches (375 mm) are possible.
Carlotta, the third named storm of the Pacific hurricane season, passed north of Mexico’s biggest refinery, the 330,000 barrel-per-day Salina Cruz installation, which remained open.
The storm’s path was far from the Baja California resort of Los Cabos, where the Group of 20 leaders of top economies are convening on Monday and Tuesday. Authorities said they did not expect Carlotta to have much of an impact there.

 


FBI warns Russians hacked hundreds of thousands of routers

Updated 25 min ago
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FBI warns Russians hacked hundreds of thousands of routers

WASHINGTON: The FBI warned on Friday that Russian computer hackers had compromised hundreds of thousands of home and office routers and could collect user information or shut down network traffic.
The US law enforcement agency urged the owners of many brands of routers to turn them off and on again and download updates from the manufacturer to protect themselves.
The warning followed a court order Wednesday that allowed the FBI to seize a website that the hackers planned to use to give instructions to the routers. Though that cut off malicious communications, it still left the routers infected, and Friday’s warning was aimed at cleaning up those machines.
Infections were detected in more than 50 countries, though the primary target for further actions was probably Ukraine, the site of many recent infections and a longtime cyberwarfare battleground.
In obtaining the court order, the Justice Department said the hackers involved were in a group called Sofacy that answered to the Russian government.
Sofacy, also known as APT28 and Fancy Bear, has been blamed for many of the most dramatic Russian hacks, including that of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 US presidential campaign.
Earlier, Cisco Systems Inc. said the hacking campaign targeted devices from Belkin International’s Linksys, MikroTik, Netgear Inc, TP-Link and QNAP.
Cisco shared the technical details of its investigation with the US and Ukrainian governments. Western experts say Russia has conducted a series of attacks against companies in Ukraine for more than a year amid armed hostilities between the two countries, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damages and at least one electricity blackout.
The Kremlin on Thursday denied the Ukrainian government’s accusation that Russia was planning a cyberattack on Ukrainian state bodies and private companies ahead of the Champions League soccer final in Kiev on Saturday.
“The size and scope of the infrastructure by VPNFilter malware is significant,” the FBI said, adding that it is capable of rendering peoples’ routers “inoperable.”
It said the malware is hard to detect, due to encryption and other tactics.
The FBI urged people to reboot their devices to temporarily disrupt the malware and help identify infected devices.
People should also consider disabling remote-management settings, changing passwords and upgrading to the latest firmware.