Australian rescue under way to save French yachtsman

Updated 20 January 2013
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Australian rescue under way to save French yachtsman

SYDNEY: An Antarctic cruise ship was racing yesterday to rescue a French yachtsman who had abandoned his boat and was drifting in a life raft hundreds of nautical miles off Australia’s southern island of Tasmania.
Australian authorities are coordinating the rescue of the round-the-world sailor, who was forced to leave his yacht after it lost its mast and sustained damage to the hull in rough conditions on Friday.
The expedition cruise vessel, Orion, was not expected to reach the Frenchman until late yesterday and a spokesman for the company said the ship could be in for rough seas on arrival, with seven-meter waves.
“He is a very experienced sailor,” a spokeswoman for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority told AFP, adding that when officials had been in contact with him via radio he had not reported any injuries.
“Obviously he got into some trouble on Friday. An associate of his in France made contact with us.” She declined to name the man but said he had been at sea for a number of months as he attempted a round-the-world voyage on his yacht Tchouk Nougat.
The yacht is skippered by accomplished sailor Alain Delord and supporters left messages on his Facebook page wishing him “bon courage”. Three aircraft attended the scene yesterday and dropped communications equipment, food, water and a survival suit. AMSA said it believed the sailor had recovered most of the equipment.
A French interpreter was onboard one of the aircraft and it was hoped they would gain further information on Delord’s condition.
Up to three aircraft will attend the area throughout the night.


FBI warns Russians hacked hundreds of thousands of routers

Updated 17 min 53 sec 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.