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Yahoo says 1 billion user accounts hacked in 2013

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Thursday, Dec 15th, 2016

Yahoo has discovered a 3-year-old security breach that enabled a hacker to compromise more than 1 billion user accounts, breaking the company’s own humiliating record for the biggest security breach in history.

The digital heist disclosed Wednesday occurred in August 2013, more than a year before a separate hack that Yahoo announced nearly three months ago . That breach affected at least 500 million users, which had been the most far-reaching hack until the latest revelation.

“It’s shocking,” security expert Avivah Litan of Gartner Inc.

Both lapses occurred during the reign of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, a once-lauded leader who found herself unable to turn around the company in the four years since her arrival. Earlier this year, Yahoo agreed to sell its digital operations to Verizon Communications for $4.8 billion – a deal that may now be imperiled by the hacking revelations.


Yahoo didn’t say if it believes the same hacker might have pulled off two separate attacks. The Sunnyvale, California, company blamed the late 2014 attack on a hacker affiliated with an unidentified foreign government, but said it hasn’t been able to identify the source behind the 2013 intrusion.

Yahoo has more than a billion monthly active users, although some have multiple accounts and others have none at all. An unknown number of accounts were affected by both hacks.

In both attacks, the stolen information included names, email addresses, phone numbers, birthdates and security questions and answers. The company says it believes bank-account information and payment-card data were not affected.

But hackers also apparently stole passwords in both attacks. Technically, those passwords should be secure; Yahoo said they were scrambled twice – once by encryption and once by another technique called hashing. But hackers have become adept at cracking secured passwords by assembling huge dictionaries of similarly scrambled phrases and matching them against stolen password databases.

That could mean trouble for any users who reused their Yahoo password for other online accounts. Yahoo is requiring users to change their passwords and invalidating security questions so they can’t be used to hack into accounts. (You may get a reprieve if you’ve changed your password and questions since September.)

Security experts said the 2013 attack was likely the work of a foreign government fishing for information about specific people. One big tell: It doesn’t appear that much personal data from Yahoo accounts has been posted for sale online, meaning the hack probably wasn’t the work of ordinary criminals.

That means most Yahoo users probably don’t have anything to worry about, said J.J. Thompson, CEO of Rook Security.


News of the additional hack further jeopardizes Yahoo’s plans to fall into Verizon’s arms. If the hacks cause a user backlash against Yahoo, the company’s services wouldn’t be as valuable to Verizon, raising the possibility that the sale price might be re-negotiated or the deal may be called off. The telecom giant wants Yahoo and its many users to help it build a digital ad business.

After the news of the first hack broke, Verizon said it would re-evaluate its Yahoo deal and in a Wednesday statement said it will review the “new development before reaching any final conclusions.” Spokesman Bob Varettoni declined to answer further questions.

At the very least, the security lapses “definitely will help Verizon in its negotiations to lower the price,” Litan predicted. Yahoo has argued that news of the 2014 hack didn’t negatively affect traffic to its services, strengthening its contention that the Verizon deal should be completed under the original terms.

“This just adds to fuel to the fire and it won’t help Yahoo’s cause,” said Eric Jackson, a longtime critic of the company’s management. Although he has in the past, Jackson doesn’t currently own Yahoo stock.

Investors appeared worried about the Verizon deal. Yahoo’s shares fell 96 cents, or 2 per cent, to $39.95 after the disclosure of the latest hack.

City of Toronto under extreme cold alert and special weather statement

news staff | posted Thursday, Dec 15th, 2016

A special weather statement is in effect for the City of Toronto, warning of the potential for significant snowfall starting Friday night and continuing into Saturday.

A possible rise in temperatures could also see mixed precipitation, according to Environment Canada.

“…the snow may mix with or change to rain over portions of southwestern Ontario and the Golden Horseshoe later Saturday while other models indicate that snow could continue into Saturday night,” the agency noted on its website.

Earlier Wednesday, Toronto’s Acting Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Barbara Yaffe, issued an extreme cold alert.

The city is reminding outdoor workers to dress appropriately and advising residents to keep an eye out for vulnerable people.

CityNews meteorologist Adam Stiles says the wind chill, expected to reach -20 on Wednesday night, will add to the risk.

“We are going to see fairly persistent wind over the next few days in addition to the cold temperatures,” he said. “Hypothermia and frost bite risks are the main concerns for those that will be out in the element for a significant amount of time.”

“We will only see a brief break from the cold over the weekend with a fairly sloppy system on Saturday, but by Sunday we are right back into the cold air and wind.“


Recovery continues after fatal Port Colborne fire

The Canadian Press | posted Thursday, Dec 15th, 2016

Fire crews in Port Colborne will try to sift through the charred remains of a home where four members of a family died.

One body was recovered from the debris Wednesday morning, but firefighters expect to find three more bodies.

Police have not named the victims, but friends and family identify them as 37-year-old Tammy Burd, her two children, aged 15 and 2, as well as their grandmother, 83-year-old Eva Burd.

Two men, including the children’s father, were able to escape the flames.

Adrienne Gerry, who lives across the street from the home and witnessed the chaos, says the father was in a frenzy as the fire grew and begging people to save his “babies.”

The cause of the blaze is still under investigation, but fire officials say there were no working smoke alarms in the home.

Meanwhile, Ontario Provincial Police say residents of a home engulfed in flames on a southern Ontario First Nation remain unaccounted for.

The fire broke out late yesterday morning on the Oneida Nation of the Thames, southwest of London.

Police have not yet indicated how many people are unaccounted for.

Join us at the 11th-annual BT Christmas Party!

Winston Sih | posted Wednesday, Dec 14th, 2016

It’s been a tradition for the past decade… the BT Christmas Party is back for its 11th anniversary, and you’re invited!

The morning of Friday, Dec. 16 is the BT Christmas Party and we will be broadcasting live from the lobby of the Sheraton Centre (across from Nathan Phillips Square). The morning is in support of Daily Bread Food Bank.

Plus, now confirmed to perform at the BT Christmas Party include The Elwins and Virginia To Vegas!


There’s a special rate if you want to stay with us on the night of the 15th – just make your way to the hotel lobby in the morning!

  • Festively priced at just $149
  • Book by calling 1 (866) 716–8101 and mentioning code “BTXMAS” or online
  • Click for more details HERE.

Stay at the hotel with $20 from every guest room going to Daily Bread . It’s a great rate and giving back to Daily Bread – perfect for holiday shopping – hotel connected via PATH to The Eaton Centre, so leave your boots and coats in your guest room.

Not able to make it on Dec. 15? The Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel is offering special savings from Dec. 2 through Dec. 30, 2016. For every room booked, $20 will be donated to the Daily Bread Food Bank.

Donate to the Daily Bread Food Bank:


Road toll proposal passes at city council

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Dec 14th, 2016

Toronto city council has given the green light to Mayor John Tory’s proposal to implement road tolls on the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway.

Council voted 32-9 in favour of pushing ahead with the plan, which will now be studied further.

During the next phase of study, Toronto and GTA residents can expect to hear more about pricing.

While the cost of the tolls has not been decided, Tory said a $2 fee would bring in more than $200 million every year. All drivers would pay the toll, not just those living outside Toronto.

Tory has said money raised from the proposed fees would pay for infrastructure projects including his SmartTrack transit plan.

The debate, which lasted more than 11 hours, was passionate, with councillors like Giorgio Mammoliti and Stephen Holyday speaking out against road tolls.

“I urge my colleagues on council [to] stop ripping the city apart with these type of initiatives. It is tearing us in half,” Holyday said.

“Hang on to your wallets because you’re about to get robbed with these tolls.”

Mammoliti and Tory got into a heated debate as they sat side by side in council chambers.

“None of them would mind paying $2 if it is going to something meaningful – that’s what you said, or this has been the grossest misquotation in the history of Toronto politics,” Tory said.

“The fight isn’t over,” Mammoliti said after the vote passed.

On Monday, Mammoliti took a strong stance against road tolls, unfurling a banner and encouraging drivers to honk if they oppose the fees. Mammoliti said tolls would be Tory’s downfall.

“Mayor Tory said he [was] going to try when he got elected to bring the city together. Instead, he is dividing the city; he’s dividing the suburbs with the downtown part of the city with these kinds of initiatives. I think it’s his demise quite frankly,” he said.

Mammoliti did not say how he would raise funds for city services.

The tolls would still need approval from Queen’s Park. Premier Kathleen Wynne has suggested the Liberals would not block any official request from Toronto for road tolls.

Senior dead, two children unaccounted for in Port Colborne fire

news staff | posted Wednesday, Dec 14th, 2016

One person is dead and at least three other people are unaccounted for after a fire at a home in Port Colborne.

The fire broke out on Nickel Street near the Welland Canal around 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

An 83-year-old woman was pulled from the home but was pronounced dead at the scene.

It’s believed three people are still inside the home, including a 13-year-old and a two-year-old.


The fire has been extinguished, but hot spots remained and it was not yet safe enough for investigators to enter the two-storey house.

Niagara Region police Const. Phil Gavin said it was too early to determine the cause of the fire and that the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office would investigate.

With files from The Canadian Press

Laceration hazard prompts recall of some Cuisinart food processors

The Canadian press | posted Wednesday, Dec 14th, 2016

A recall has been issued for about 300,000 Cuisinart food processors sold in Canada because of a laceration hazard.

Health Canada says the recall covers a silver-coloured blade in certain models which is attached by four rivets. The agency says the riveted blade can crack over time and small metal pieces can break off into processed food.

Health Canada says as of the end of November, there have been 10 reports of cracked or broken riveted blades in Canada, including two reports of mouth laceration or tooth injury.

In the United States, where about eight million units were sold, there have been 69 reports of broken pieces of blade and 30 reports of injuries.

The affected products, sold in Canada from 1996 through December 2015, were manufactured in China and distributed in Canada by Conair Consumer Products ULC of Woodbridge, Ont.

Health Canada says consumers should immediately stop using the processor’s riveted blade and contact Conair for a free replacement blade.

The recall covers processors with model numbers on the bottom of the unit that begin with the following: CFP-11, DFP-7, DFP-11, DFP-14, DLC-5, DLC-7, DLC-8, DLC-10, DLC-XP, DLC-2007, DLC-2009, DLC-2011, DLC-2014, EV-7, EV-10, EV-11, and MP-14.

Canadian actor Alan Thicke dies at age 69

MESFIN FEKADU, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Wednesday, Dec 14th, 2016

Canadian Alan Thicke, a versatile performer who gained his greatest renown as the beloved dad on a long-running sitcom, has died at age 69.

Carleen Donovan, who is a publicist for Thicke’s son, singer Robin Thicke, said the Kirkland Lake, Ont., actor died from a heart attack Tuesday in Los Angeles. She had no further details.

Thicke starred in the ABC series ‘Growing Pains’ from 1985 until 1992. He played Dr. Jason Seaver, a psychiatrist and father-knows-best who moved his practice into his home so his wife could return to work as a reporter. Along with his clients, he had three (later four) kids under foot, including his oldest son, Mike, played by breakout heart-throb Kirk Cameron, who served as a constant source of comedic trouble for the family.

Thicke, who was also a composer and a writer, had a prolific career that included cameos in recent years on the comedy ‘How I Met Your Mother’ and the Netflix series ‘Fuller House.’ He was also a frequent pitchman for ads on Sirius.

Thicke was born in 1947 and was a popular talk show host on Canadian television before making his name in the United States. He was nominated for three Emmy Awards for his work in the late 1970s as a writer for Barry Manilow’s talk show, and later for a satirical take on the genre in the variety show ‘America 2-Night.’

Perhaps his boldest move on the U.S. market was as a virtual unknown taking on the King of Late Night, Johnny Carson. ‘Thicke of the Night’ was a syndicated talk-music-and-comedy show meant to go head-to-head against NBC’s ‘The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.’

It premiered in September 1983 with great fanfare, boasting an innovative format and regulars including Richard Belzer, Arsenio Hall, Gilbert Gottfried and Fred Willard. But all too quickly, it was evident that Carson wasn’t going to be dethroned, and the ambitious ‘Thicke’ disappeared into the night after one season.

Thicke was also the composer of several popular theme songs, including the original theme to ‘The Wheel of Fortune,’ and shows such as ‘The Facts of Life’ and ‘Diff’rent Strokes.’

Several Canadian entertainers have reacted to Thicke’s death with sadness.

“I am shocked and devastated at the news of Alan Thicke’s death. A friend for many years, he wrote and produced so many of my TV specials,” said singer Anne Murray.

Comedian Howie Mandel called Thicke a “good man” who gave him some big breaks in his early days. Actor William Shatner added on Twitter that he was “saddened over the loss of my friend Alan. Condolences to his family.”

Like any good Canadian, Thicke was a hockey fan, frequently attending Los Angeles Kings games. He took credit for introducing the sport to some celebrities. He began playing at age 5, but acknowledged he wasn’t very good at it.

“You were expected to play,” he said in 1998. “I was never good enough for the big time, but I always had fun at it.”


In 2003, Thicke received 30 stitches and lost five teeth after he was struck by a puck while practicing for a celebrity fundraising hockey game. “I won’t be playing any leading men roles in the next couple of months,” he joked after the accident.

He had the satisfaction of seeing his musical skills passed down to son Robin, a successful singer-songwriter and producer who, with brother Brennan, were born to Thicke and the first of his three wives, Gloria Loring.

In an email, Loring described Thicke’s passing as “a shock. We were all just together for Thanksgiving. He was funny, talented and deeply devoted to his family.”

Thicke also leaves a son from his marriage to second wife Gina Tolleson. He had been married to Tanya Callau since 2005.

With files from The Canadian Press


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