Storm strands US holiday travelers, more than 1,240 flights canceled

Travelers wait for taxi at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on Nov. 25, 2018. More than 350 flights already canceled ahead of blizzard-like storm taking aim at Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Updated 26 November 2018

Storm strands US holiday travelers, more than 1,240 flights canceled

  • The storm was bringing winds from 30 to 35 miles per hour, say meteorologists
  • Most of the cancelations were of flights departing or arriving at Chicago's airports

WASHINGTON: Many holiday travelers in the United States were stuck at airports on the final day of Thanksgiving weekend after more than 1,240 flights were canceled because of a blizzard that swept across the Midwest, according to weather officials.
Blizzard warnings were issued in areas stretching across northeast Kansas to Chicago, with snow already falling in some regions including Kansas, central Missouri, southeast Nebraska and southern Iowa, said Bob Oravec, meteorologist for the National Weather Service.
The storm was bringing winds from 30 to 35 miles per hour (48-56 kph), with gusts of up to 45 to 50 miles mph (72-80 kph). Snowfall totals were expected to be 6 to 12 inches (15-30 cm) across those areas.
Oravec said Kansas and Chicago were likely to see “high impact” blizzard conditions later on Sunday.
More than 1,240 fights headed to or from the United States were canceled by Sunday evening, according to FlightAware.com.
Most of the cancelations were of flights departing or arriving at Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Chicago Midway Airport, which combined saw a total of about 900 flights canceled. At Kansas City International Airport, nearly 200 flights were canceled.


Interpol warns of ‘alarming’ cybercrime rate during pandemic

Updated 42 min 53 sec ago

Interpol warns of ‘alarming’ cybercrime rate during pandemic

  • Cybercriminals are increasingly using disruptive malware against critical infrastructure and health care institutions
  • There was also an increase in the spread of fake news and misinformation which sometimes itself conceals malware

LYON: Global police body Interpol warned Monday of an “alarming” rate of cybercrime during the coronavirus pandemic, with criminals taking advantage of people working from home to target major institutions.
An assessment by the Lyon-based organization found a “significant target shift” by criminals from individuals and small businesses to major corporations, governments and critical infrastructure.
“Cybercriminals are developing and boosting their attacks at an alarming pace, exploiting the fear and uncertainty caused by the unstable social and economic situation created by COVID-19,” said Interpol Secretary General Juergen Stock.
“The increased online dependency for people around the world is also creating new opportunities, with many businesses and individuals not ensuring their cyberdefenses are up to date,” he added.
The report said cybercriminals were sending COVID-19 themed phishing emails — which seek to obtain confidential data from users — often impersonating government and health authorities.
Cybercriminals are increasingly using disruptive malware against critical infrastructure and health care institutions, it added.
In the first two weeks of April 2020, there was a rise in ramsomware attacks, in which users have to pay money to get their computer to work again.
There was also an increase in the spread of fake news and misinformation which sometimes itself conceals malware, said Interpol.
From January to April, some 907,000 spam messages, 737 incidents related to malware and 48,000 malicious URLs — all related to COVID-19 were detected by one of Interpol’s private sector partners, it said.
The agency warned the trend was set to continue and a “further increase in cybercrime is highly likely in the near future.”
“Vulnerabilities related to working from home and the potential for increased financial benefit will see cybercriminals continue to ramp up their activities and develop more advanced and sophisticated” methods, it said.
Once a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, Interpol said, “it is highly probable that there will be another spike in phishing related to these medical products as well as network intrusion and cyberattacks to steal data.”