‘The rules of engagement have broken’ in cyberspace, says CEO of cybersecurity giant FireEye

FireEye CEO: 'The rules of engagement have broken' in cyberspace

FireEye CEO: ‘The rules of engagement have broken’ in cyberspace   6:44 PM ET Wed, 12 Dec 2018 | 00:56

The global rules of engagement for cyberspace have unraveled in recent years as rogue nations took advantage of their ability to hack companies like Sony Pictures, FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia told CNBC on Wednesday.

“What I’ve seen over the last three years is the rules of engagement have broken,” Mandia, whose firm is partnered with more than 60 governments, told Jim Cramer in an exclusive “Mad Money” interview. “I’m not sure what’s going to happen next for many nations with a modern capability.”

The FireEye chief broke down how these unofficial rules have been eroded: in 2014, North Korean actors scrubbed the data at Sony Pictures after the studio released the controversial film “The Interview.” In 2015, Russian hackers broke into the Pentagon’s computers. In 2016, documents leaked by foreign hackers were center to a presidential election. In 2017, Iranian actors performed more cyber-intrusions on U.S. systems than ever before.

“In 2018, we’re all figuring out: where’s the boundaries? Where does it end? How do we have rules?” Mandia said.

Now, foreign governments are hiring professional cyber-actors to either mount cyberattacks on U.S. companies or scour their systems for information, adding another layer of complexity to the job of security firms like FireEye, the CEO continued.

“You can’t really expect every company to withstand a cyber-military attack. That’s probably not the bar you want to set as a nation,” he told Cramer, adding that these days, state-sponsored hackers are “people, probably in uniform, badging into a building” somewhere abroad.

Mandia said that, eventually, the question that governments around the world will have to answer is what constitutes “fair game” for espionage. Many countries already have rules around traditional espionage, but cyber-spying is a new playing field that nations will collectively have to tackle.

And, unfortunately, no one company will ever perfect incident detection, the CEO argued.

“Outside looking in, a lot of people may have the response, ‘I can’t believe they lost this information.’ Don’t forget: there are professionals on the other side,” Mandia said. “You’re not going to pitch a perfect game in security every day. You’re just not. And you’re up against some of the best hackers in the world.”


Dream Decor: A Whimsical Pink-and-Blue Garden Wedding in Potomac

A few years after a first encounter at Cafe Milano, Rebecca Grunfeld, an attorney, and Ryan Samuel, a real-estate developer, bumped into one another at a Wizards game (her dad is team general manager Ernie Grunfeld). A few weeks later, Ryan called Rebecca to ask her out for coffee, which turned into watching the US men’s soccer team in a World Cup game at Logan Tavern, followed by an early bite at Le Diplomate. On Rebecca’s grandparents’ wedding anniversary a few years later, Ryan proposed in the home he and Rebecca had bought and renovated.

They married in an intimate ceremony at Rebecca’s parents’ house, where Rebecca’s sister-in-law officiated and Ryan’s two children (Rebecca’s “bonus babies”) read a book they made for the bride entitled Ten Things We Love About Becky. In the pool, inflatable swans adorned with floral wreaths added a whimsical touch, and reception decor included embroidered napkins, Chinese statues representing good health and happiness, and Rebecca’s mother’s china. For dinner: a family recipe for Caesar salad, beef tenderloin, penne alla vodka, and mushroom risotto. Dessert included mini cupcakes, Rice Krispie treats, and brownies à la mode, plus a vanilla funfetti wedding cake with strawberry buttercream.

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The forgotten British-Asian physician who changed modern medicine


Before Frederick Akbar Mahomed, the world did not know that human life could be prolonged by reducing blood pressure. The 19th century doctor from Brighton, England, did pioneering research into nephritis and hypertension, and helped introduce the British Medical Association’s collective investigation record, and yet he remains unsung today.

As Britain still recovers from the Windrush crisis and Brexit’s xenophobia, it is appropriate to remind ourselves of the British-Asian Muslim who made foundational contributions to modern British medicine, and whose family was forced to change their Muslim surname in Edwardian London.

Family of firsts

Akbar Mahomed was the grandson of Bengali entrepreneur and traveller, Sake Dean Mahomed, who opened the first curry house in London, was a “shampoo surgeon,” and is considered the first Indian to have written a book in English. Dean Mohamed’s life and work have been chronicled in the painstaking research of Michael H Fischer and Rozina Visram, though his legacy has been reduced to a plaque hidden at the entrance to a realtor’s office at George Street, near Baker Street in London.

Sake Dean Mahomed's business premises, in Brighton. Image taken from Shampooing; or, benefits resulting from the use of the Indian Vapour Bath as introduced by SDM. Second edition.
Sake Dean Mahomed’s business premises, in Brighton. Image taken from Shampooing; or, benefits resulting from the use of the Indian Vapour Bath as introduced by SDM. Second edition. (British Library/Public domain)

His grandson, Frederick Akbar Mahomed, began innovating clinical inquiry in late 19th century British medicine. In Akbar Mahomed’s time, Guy’s Hospital in London was an important site of research on hypertension and kidney diseases. He is believed to have been in the audience when William Gull and Henry Sutton—after whom the Gull-Sutton Syndrome was named—demonstrated their new discoveries with respect to renal conditions, especially Bright’s disease, in 1872.

Before entering Guy’s Hospital in 1869, Akbar Mahomed briefly attended the Sussex County Hospital at the age of 20. Perhaps inspired by the curative powers of vapour baths introduced by his grandfather in his hometown of Brighton, Akbar Mahomed distinguished himself at Guy’s Hospital by winning the Pupil’s Physical Society Prize in 1871 for his work on modifying and improving the use of the sphygmograph—the instrument that measured pulse and blood pressure.

Mahomed’s new sphygmograph better calibrated these measurements and helped diagnose between pulses symptomizing various cardiac or renal diseases. He wrote: “The pulse ranks first amongst our guides; no surgeon can despise its counsel, no physician shut his ears to its appeal…we should study the pulse in its marvellous changes of character and form.”

Akbar Mahomed’s presentation to the Pupil’s Physical Society at Guy’s Hospital in September 1871, in his own hand. (J. Stewart Cameron and Jackie Hicks’ ‘Frederick Akbar Mahomed and his role in the description of hypertension at Guy’s Hospital’.)

Hermeneutics of hypertension

In 1992, professor Michael F O’Rourke described Akbar Mahomed as a “visionary diagnostician”—even before the use of a sphygmomanometer, Mahomed was able to outline “characteristic features of the pressure pulse in patients with high blood pressure and in persons with arteriosclerosis consequent on ageing.”

In 1871, Akbar Mahomed joined the Central London Sick Asylum, where he studied sphygmographic tracings of many of his patients with symptoms of Bright’s Disease. He deduced hypertension to be a primary and separate event causing functional kidney damage, preceding discharge of albumin in urine. While he demonstrated that high blood pressure could exist even in apparently healthy individuals, he also clarified how high arterial tension could affect the heart, kidney, and the brain without the onset of renal diseases, until at an old age. Later, he was a resident medical officer at the London Fever Hospital.

In 1881, Akbar Mahomed qualified for MB Cambridge, following his thesis, Chronic Bright’s Disease without Albuminuria. By then he had earned an MD from the University of Brussels and had been awarded the Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians. He spearheaded the development of a Collective Investigation Record, a precursor of modern collaborative clinical trials, and also pioneered blood transfusion in the haemorrhage of typhoid, and made a significant contribution to the surgical management of appendicitis.

When Akbar Mahomed wrote to the British Medical Journal to introduce the idea of Collective Investigation, he was endorsed by the president of the British Medical Association, Sir George Murray Humphry. When the Collective Investigation Committee was established in 1881, Akbar Mahomed was chosen as its secretary. He also collaborated with Francis Galton to collate photographs of over 400 tuberculosis patients and arrived at the conclusion that facial appearance had no relation with the disease, unlike what was earlier believed. Akbar Mahomed’s efforts culminated in the Collective Investigation Committee bringing out a 76-page Record of over 2,000 patients, in 1883. The collective investigation trend resulted in over 300 families coming forward to submit details of their family history by 1888.

Future generations

Akbar Mahomed’s wife, Nellie Chalk, died in 1876 of septicemia, just a month after giving birth to their second child. After this, Akbar Mahomed appears to have formed a romantic alliance with her sister, Ada Chalk, who was a mother to three more of his children. The family lived on St Thomas’ Street and later at Manchester Square.

In November 1884, Akbar Mahomed passed away after suffering for 24 days from typhoid, which he contracted from a patient. He was only 35. Ada Chalk was the nominee and the trustee in his will, and she ensured, while purchasing a plot at the Highgate Cemetery, that Akbar Mahomed’s gravestone remembered both him and his legal wife, Ellen. The Medical Press and the British Medical Journal mourned the premature demise of Akbar Mahomed as a national and international loss.

Akbar Mahomed’s grave in Highgate cemetery, North London. The cemetery was opened in 1839, and among several illustrious people buried here is Karl Marx. (J. Stewart Cameron and Jackie Hicks’ ‘Frederick Akbar Mahomed and his role in the description of hypertension at Guy’s Hospital’.)

Although Akbar Mahomed was a beneficiary of the enormous possibilities of medical science at Guy’s and Cambridge, racial prejudice cannot be overruled. Some of his students at Guy’s considered his “teaching and his methods…as foreign as his name to the atmosphere of the place”. While his obituaries mentioned his “dark complexion,” The Biographical History of Guy’s Hospital (1892) by Samuel Wilks and GT Bettany, talks of his “Oriental strain.” Sir Clifford Allbutt, who was a contemporary of Akbar Mahomed, went on to accredit the role of the latter in his works on hypertension, but later in his book, Diseases of the Arteries (1915) misrepresented Akbar Mahomed’s findings.

Akbar Mahomed’s son, Archibald Deane (1874-1948), obtained an MB from Aberdeen University, and MD in 1910. He practised at the Children’s hospital at Paddington, the East Suffolk hospital, the Brompton hospital, and Princess Alice Memorial hospital, finally becoming a medical officer at Morris Motors. Archibald Deane was the first of the generation of the Mahomeds to use the new surname—an Anglicised version of his great grandfather’s first name, Deen.

As recounted in 1951 by Jane Deane, Akbar Mahomed’s youngest daughter, the family changed its name since mixed marriages were out of favour and xenophobic attitudes were thickening, during the onset of the Great War. Over successive decades, nothing remained in public memory of the pioneering researcher, save a green plaque in Mayfair.

Today, hundreds of curry houses in Southall or Brick Lane spawned by waves of Bangladeshi immigration to London—in a city where Bengali is the second most-heard language—are beginning to convert or have converted into burger joints, fish and chips shops, or chocolatiers, where Nutella has replaced cardamoms, cinnamons, and the Deanes.


Marketing for the modern age: Every Hotel Should be ‘Remarketing’ itself

We’ve all seen those ads that seemingly ‘follow’ us around the internet. One second, you’re browsing for a new pair of shoes, five minutes later you’re being unwittingly followed by that very pair of shoes on a website completely unrelated.

If it’s not happened to you yet with footwear, it’s almost certainly occurred on your web browser as a result of searching hotels on Expedia or Booking. Minutes, hours or even days later, that hotel you liked the look of in the Cotswolds for the weekend break you’re planning is displayed in front of you again, complete with price, image and a ‘book now’ button.

Google refers to this form of advertising as remarketing – so named as they are ads fed to you only once you’ve visited a particular website or webpage, and literally re-marketed back at you, in a bid to encourage you to return and complete your purchase. Facebook also runs something similar across its network of both Facebook and Instagram.

Needless to say, it’s an incredibly effective way of reminding hotel bookers to return and complete their booking – especially leisure bookers who are looking for that special-occasion stay and perhaps wanting to spend a little more than usual.

Consumers have more choice than ever before, which has inevitably meant the time taken to successfully choose and book a hotel has become longer in recent years. In some cases, leisure bookers are taking weeks to choose the right hotel, on the right platform that represents the highest value based on their own individual booking criteria.

This is why remarketing is so effective – you only need to have a potential booker visit your website once, and Google will allow you to follow that customer for as long as 18 months – for free!

Seems too good to be true, but here’s how it works: a simple piece of coding is placed on your website, dropping a cookie on the user’s web browser. That cookie then triggers your hotel’s ads on a pay-per-click (PPC) basis on websites across the internet. Impressions (views) of these ads cost you (the advertiser) absolutely nothing.

Let’s put this in more pragmatic terms: using this form of advertising, you’ll be able to advertise back to anyone that has previously visited your website in excess of 40,000 times, for about the cost of £40 per month. That would be the equivalent of running advertising all the way around Chelsea Football Club’s stadium, full of potential customers that have shown some interest in your hotel in the last month, and paying just £40 for the privilege.

The reason it’s so inexpensive is primarily due to the click-through-rate (CTR) being extremely low. These ads will appear in the background, gently reminding your potential customers about your hotel but few will click (and you only pay when someone clicks). Rather, they’ll probably need to see your ad 30, 40, 50 times before any action is taken.

Despite the cost being so low, and the targeting being so high, the real magic of this form of advertising, arguably is that so few hotels take advantage of this clever platform. It’s rare to see an individual or an independent hotel advertising in this way. This ultimately means that implementing this form of advertising can give your hotel a distinct advantage over your competition, not to mention the online travel agents!

In terms of the design of these ads; simple is best. An eye-catching image, your hotel’s logo, a ‘book now’ button, and on some of the larger-sized ads, a ‘book-direct’ message is advisable. These ads shouldn’t be a platform to sell all the benefits of the hotel, rather an opportunity to remind the potential customer of your business and hope they return to complete their booking.

At present, Google allow you to run these ads for a maximum cookie duration of 540 days. This means that your ads can be shown to each individual web-browser for up to 18 months, or until they decide to clear their cookies. Given the low cost of this advertising, it’s advisable to utilise this maximum length, as it can never hurt to gently stay in touch, reminding the web-browser that you exist and are open for business.

Typically, best-practice dictates that the style and design of these ads changes every few months, and these ads can even be animated to really catch the eye of your next hotel guest.


China announces roadmap for building stronger modern air force

Image result for China announces roadmap for building stronger modern air force

The Chinese Air Force on Sunday announced a roadmap for building a stronger modern air force in three steps.

The building of a stronger modern air force is in line with the overall goal of building national defense and the armed forces, Lieutenant General Xu Anxiang, deputy commander of Chinese Air Force, said at a press conference on celebrating the 69th anniversary of the establishment of Chinese Air Force held in Zhuhai, south China’s Guangdong Province.

According to Xu, the first step is to, by 2020, build a strategic force that integrates aviation and space power, and strike and defense capabilities, in which the fourth generation of equipment serves as backbone and the third generation of equipment as mainstay. The systematic combat capabilities will be enhanced.

The second step requires the air force to improve strategic capabilities and modernize its theory, organizational structure, service personnel, and weaponry. The building of a modern and strategic air force will be basically completed by 2035, Xu said.

The third step will see the air force fully transformed into a world-class force by mid-21st century, according to Xu.


Dublin city centre flats complexes to be demolished to allow for ‘decent modern accommodation’

Two Dublin flat complexes, designed by renowned architect Herbert Simms, face demolition following a decision to initiate their removal from the Record of Protected Structures (RPS).

The council’s housing committee has voted to start the process of “delisting” Pearse House and Markievicz House so that the dilapidated flats can be demolished and replaced with “decent modern accommodation”.

Residents of the two complexes on Townsend Street in the south-east inner-city have long campaigned for the redevelopment of their blocks and recently protested outside the council’s officers over a rat infestation.

Sinn Féin councillor Chris Andrews, who proposed the delisting of the flats, said they were no longer fit for habitation and should be levelled and rebuilt.

“The drains are constantly blocked, the stairwells are disgusting, some of the flats don’t even have hot water. These flats are more than 80 years old, they are no longer fit for purpose.”

Attempts to refurbish flat blocks of a similar age had proved more costly than building anew, Mr Andrews said.


Peter Rhodes on rhyming headlines, meaningless adverts and the modern scourge of offence archeology

A READER wonders why people have been arrested over the burning of a replica Grenfell Tower but nobody has been arrested over the burning of the real Grenfell Tower.

ONE of the tabloids used an image of the Welsh actress with the headline: “Has Catherine Zeta ever looked sweeter?” I was transported back nearly 50 years to my days with Old Charlie, one of my first editors. Old Charlie believed that all the best headlines rhymed. So when a reader told us how he watched burglars breaking into a shop, Charlie put up the headline: “Mr Drewitt saw ’em do it.” And when a car ran off the road and the driver suffered facial injuries, Charlie’s take on it was: “Car in ditch – bump on snitch.” I believe we had a complaint about that one.

SPEAKING on Today (Radio 4), columnist Toby Young described the modern practice of “offence archeology.” When somebody you disagree with is chosen for public office, you dig up everything they may have said or done, going back many years if necessary, to find any unguarded snippet or non-PC opinion which may scupper them. If you can get somebody else to denounce their views, so much the better. As Toby Young explained, the saintly Mahatma Gandhi himself has been condemned as a racist for some remarks he made in his youth. And that’s the issue – once the offence archeologists get busy, everybody is guilty.

THE Today programme discussion concerned the appointment of the controversial philosopher Roger Scruton as an unpaid housing adviser to the Government. A Guardian columnist, Dawn Foster, said some of Scruton’s past comments on homosexuality and date rape were “the intellectual equivalent of wetting himself for attention.” Whoa there, Ms Foster. What might the offence archeologists make of that choice of words? Incontinence affects millions of people, especially the elderly. It is deeply, gravely, hideously offensive to suggest that people wet themselves to gain attention. A full and sincere apology is needed and, it hardly needs adding, Dawn Foster must never be appointed to public office. Isn’t this fun?

EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier says the EU is under attack from “populist forces” and there is “a Farage in every country.” And why might that be, old chum? Could it possibly be because the perfectly acceptable free-trade area of sovereign democracies morphed into a superstate which nobody voted for and only the federalist zealots wanted? You created a dream, Monsieur Barnier, without bothering to ask if anybody shared it.

MEANWHILE in the real world, a number of you sympathise with the reader who admitted he doesn’t only fail to understand some TV ads but doesn’t even know what the product is. So let us write a few TV ads of our own. All it takes is some profound and quite meaningless phrase, preferably spoken by a serious, deep-voiced American, followed by the name of the product. Her