Victoria records 15th day of no new cases as rest of country moves towards re-opening; US record numbers continue as Trump claims credit for vaccines


Health Minister Martin Foley said the government had removed 515 cases from the tally of mystery cases after establishing connections to known infections.

“As case numbers have come down over the past few weeks, the DHHS… has created and tested, an algorithm that has identified some additional 515 historical cases that are connected to close contacts, or establish outbreaks,” he said.

“And as a result of those connections now being drawn the data has been updated.”
Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng said the algorithm allowed authorities to mine case data and was backed by manual reviews.

“It did take a bit of time to go back through all of these to make sure that that was correct. We obviously didn’t know the source than we do now,” he said.

“Obviously this is historical and this goes back to, mainly July and August but it’s important to correct the record so that we can analyse the data correctly, and make sure we have learnings for next time.”

Professor Cheng said the run on zero case days was “about as good as it can get”.



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Microsoft retires TLS 1.0 & 1.1 to Office 365 as of October 15th 2020


Users of older browsers to connect to Office 365 to get their day’s work done are, from today, being given another incentive to upgrade.

Microsoft is withdrawing support of encryption technology TLS versions 1.0 and 1.1, so anyone attempting to connect to their O365 account using the protocol — such as from an older browser — will find themselves unable to log in. Redmond is making the move because the protocols, which have a history going back several decades, are prone to compromise from a range of attacks.

The most affected users by number will probably be those still running Windows 7 or earlier (like the Windows XP hold-outs who remain, still, in significant numbers), Android version 4 users, and those running Mac OS X from versions 10.8 down.

Microsoft is keen to point out that its own implementations of TLS have “no known security issues”, although the protocol is known to be inherently exploitable.

Transport Layer Security runs on top of internet protocols such as FTP and HTTP and replaced SSL around the turn of the millennium. It works by two machines encrypting traffic between them symmetrically after they have exchanged a pre-agreed cryptographic key.

Clearly, each silicon party has to “trust” the other, a situation that is increasingly attractive to bad actors with the massive rise of machine-to-machine interactions on the modern internet.

Spoofing machine certificates, for example, is one way that attackers have been able to compromise digital comms between computers in the past, so Microsoft’s decision makes the Office 365 environment a great deal safer.

Kevin Bocek of Venafi, a company specializing in machine identity management, said, “TLS is the standard for communication on the Internet and depends on machine identities – digital certificates – to establish trust and authentication. TLS certificates are a vital type of machine identity, part of the system of online trust that our entire digital world is built on. They enable machines to know what can or can’t be trusted, and communicate with each other securely.”

He continued: “Yet still today some services allow the use of decades-old TLS 1 and 1.1 protocols that have been found to be vulnerable to a number of cryptographic attacks. Microsoft’s decision to remove these outdated protocols from tomorrow is, therefore, a major boost for the security of Office 365 users: the risk of attackers tricking, spoofing, and looking trusted is reduced thanks to the power of TLS machine identities. Yet for the handful of those still using older browsers, they’ll need to upgrade, or face the prospect of losing their connections to Office 365 services.”

Readers wishing to learn more about machine identity management can do so by listening to TechHQ‘s podcast, Tech Means Business, series 2, episode 3.

With today’s businesses increasingly reliant on cloud-based services, ensuring the security of traffic to and from endpoints on the internet is now as important as, if not more so, than perimeter security, as epitomized by firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and packet-scrubbing proxies, for example.

Ironically, Microsoft’s own advice has been to remove such proxies that might exist internally when using O365 in order that they not negatively impact users’ experiences by slowing traffic or blocking ports to required services. The company’s insistence on a modern browser to connect to O365 is, therefore, a positive step, but one that has to be seen in the overall context of maintaining a proactive security posture by internet users.





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Demonstrators March in Minsk on 15th Day of Presidential Election Protests


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Demonstrators March in Minsk on 15th Day of Presidential Election Protests

Protesters filled the streets of Minsk, Belarus, on Sunday, August 23, for the 15th consecutive day of demonstrations over the country’s presidential election results, according to local media reports. Anti-government protests ignited after it was announced on August 9 that President Alexander Lukashenko was re-elected for a sixth term. He has been in power since 1994. The main opposition candidate, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, claimed the vote was rigged. This video posted on Sunday shows a crowd of protesters marching through Minsk. Vladislav Davidzon, who filmed the video, said demonstrators were chanting “tribunal, tribunal, tribunal!” Local media said a crowd gathered near the Minsk Hero City Stele on Sunday, with protesters getting “closer and closer to the security forces.” Authorities were calling for demonstrators to disperse, according to reports. Credit: Vladislav Davidzon via Storyful



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Adelaide record 15th consecutive loss after Western Bulldogs masterclass


The Adelaide Crows going an entire season without a win is no longer a lingering possibility — it’s a genuine threat.

The struggling club was utterly outclassed by the Western Bulldogs during Sunday’s encounter at Metricon Stadium, suffering a mammoth 16.15 (111) to 8.6 (54) defeat.

With only five games remaining in the 2020 premiership, Adelaide will be desperate to somehow muster a victory and avoid ending the season with zero points on the ladder.

Meanwhile, Matthew Nicks climbs to fourth spot on the list of most VFL/AFL games as coach without registering a victory.

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After slotting four majors in the first quarter, the Western Bulldogs showed no mercy and obliterated their hapless opponents on the Gold Coast. During a particularly one-sided period of the encounter, the Bulldogs outscored Adelaide 76-5.

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A handful of late goals in the fourth quarter ensured the Crows passed 50, but the result was already well beyond doubt — the Bulldogs comfortably trumped Adelaide in disposals, kicks and inside, almost doubling their tally for the latter.

Three-time premiership player Terry Wallace told AFL Nation: “The first 50 minutes of the game was adequate for Adelaide, then they dropped away completely. At least they are finishing off reasonably.”

Cricket journalist Daniel Brettig tweeted: “You’ve got to wonder whether the first winless VFL/AFL season since 1964, by one of the league’s richest clubs in a well and truly socialised competition, will be accepted as the Crows just being that bad.”

MasterChef star Adam Liaw cheekily posted: “Low percentage could hurt (Adelaide) later in the year if we’re in the frame for finals.”

Channel 7 reporter Mikey Nicholson tweeted: “The Sydney Swans apologised to the entire state of WA, it can’t be long until the Crows have to do the same to South Australia.”

Key forward Aaron Naughton was the star performer for the Bulldogs, scoring six majors in a career-best performance.

“Naughton is playing on Daniel Talia, one of the hardest guys to get a kick on in the whole competition … And he’s just beating him with athleticism,” Wallace said.

Meanwhile, skipper Marcus Bontempelli and young gun Bailey Smith contributed 32 and 35 disposals respectively.

After securing their sixth victory of the season, the Western Bulldogs will climb to tenth spot on the ladder, while the Crows have set up camp in 18th.

Next weekend, the Bulldogs will take on Melbourne on the Gold Coast, while the Crows will host the Geelong Cats.



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