Thursday, September 27, 2012

Major banks hit with biggest cyberattacks in history

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -There's a good chance your bank's website was attacked over the past week. Since Sept. 19, the websites of Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank and PNC Bank have all suffered day-long slowdowns and been sporadically unreachable for many customers. The attackers, who took aim at Bank of America first, went after their targets in sequence. Thursday's victim, PNC's website, was inaccessible at the time this article was published. Security experts say the outages stem from one of the biggest cyberattacks they've ever seen. These "denial of service" attacks -- huge amounts of traffic directed at a website to make it crash -- were the largest ever recorded by a wide margin, according to two researchers. Banks get hit by cyberattackers all the time and typically have some of the best defenses against them. This time, they were outgunned. "The volume of traffic sent to these sites is frankly unprecedented," said Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder of CrowdStrike, a security firm that has been investigating the attacks. "It's 10 to 20 times the volume that we normally see, and twice the previous record for a denial of service attack."

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Quake watch: 4.5 -Ukiah, California

M4.5 - 4km ENE of Ukiah, California 2012-09-25 15:15:09 UTC

Monday, September 24, 2012

Washington state's first 'zombie bees' reported

Sept. 24, 2012 - SEATTLE (AP) -- Washington state's first "zombie bees" have been reported in Kent. Novice beekeeper Mark Hohn returned home from vacation a few weeks ago to find many of his bees either dead or flying in jerky patterns and then flopping on the floor. He later learned they had a parasite that causes bees to fly at night and lurch around erratically until they die. The infection is called "zombie bees." "I joke with my kids that the zombie apocalypse is starting at my house," Hohn told The Seattle Times. The infection is another threat to bees that are needed to pollinate crops. Hives have been failing in recent years due to a mysterious ailment called colony collapse disorder, in which all the adult honey bees in a colony suddenly die. Hohn had remembered hearing about zombie bees, so when he discovered the dead bees at his 1.25-acre spread, he collected several of the corpses and popped them into a plastic bag. About a week later, Hohn had evidence his bees were infected - the pupae of parasitic flies. The life cycle of the fly that infects zombie bees is reminiscent of the movie "Alien," the Times reported. A small adult female lands on the back of a honeybee and injects eggs into the bee's abdomen. The eggs hatch into maggots. "They basically eat the insides out of the bee," Hafernik said.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

NOAA: 2012 hottest year on record

Nation averaging 4 degrees above average for the year CNN - The first eight months of 2012 were the hottest ever recorded in the continental United States and the summer period of June, July and August was the third hottest ever, the National Climatic Data Center reported Monday. Although the August average of 74.4 degrees Fahrenheit made it only the 16th hottest August on record, the hottest July ever combined with the hottest spring on record to keep January-August 2012 atop the record books. The nation as a whole is averaging 4 degrees Fahrenheit above average for the year. That's a full degree higher than the same period in 2006, the second hottest January-August on record. Record keeping began in 1895.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Today, an asteroid as wide as three football fields is flying past Earth. At closest approach, 2012 QG42 will be 2.8 million km (7.4 lunar distances) away, so there is no danger of a collision. Nevertheless, it is close enough for backyard astronomers to track using large amateur telescopes; the space rock is glowing like a 14th magnitude star. -

Middle East protests spread to more countries

Associated Press- CAIRO -- Angry protests over an anti-Islam film spread across the Muslim world Friday, with demonstrators scaling the walls of U.S. embassies in Tunisia and Sudan, torching part of a German embassy and clashing with security forces at an American fast-food restaurant that was set ablaze in northern Lebanon.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Calif.: Foul stink likely tied to dead fish at Salton Sea, strong winds

Authorities said the foul smell reported by thousands of Southern California residents from Palm Springs to Ventura County was mostly likely caused by a fish die-off at the Salton Sea combined with strong winds overnight that pushed the smell into the Los Angeles area. Officials investigating stressed that they have not determined an official cause — and added they've never heard of the Salton Sea die-off smell spreading so far. But they say the sea is now the focus of the probe.

Skywatch: Double asteroid flyby - A pair of big, near-Earth asteroids will fly by the Earth-Moon system on Sept. 14th. 2012 QG42 is a 300 meter space rock that comes from the vicinity of Mars; it will pass 2.8 million km (7.4 LD) from Earth. 2012 QC8 is even bigger, about 1.1 km in diameter, hailing from the orbit of Jupiter; it will pass about 8.7 million km (22.7 LD) from Earth. Astronomers monitoring the incoming space rocks say they are glowing like 14th-15th magnitude stars, which makes them good targets for advanced amateur telescopes.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Quake alert: Magnitude 7.6 Costa Rica

Magnitude 7.6 Wednesday, September 05, 2012 at 14:42:10 UTC Location 10.120°N, 85.347°W Depth 40.8 km (25.4 miles) Region COSTA RICA Distances 10 km (6 miles) NE of Hojancha, Costa Rica 11 km (6 miles) ESE of Nicoya, Costa Rica 30 km (18 miles) ESE of Santa Cruz, Costa Rica 44 km (27 miles) SW of Canas, Costa Rica