Iranian hackers exploited US officials for three years

A bunch of Iranian hackers made a successful attempt in compromising the high profile U.S. officials, including military and law and enforcement officials. The operation which was running for past three years came to knowledge when a security firm, iSIght, brought it into day light. It is still unknown what and how much of data has been compromised, the hackers used social networking websites such as YouTube, Facebook and Google Plus for the targeting the victims.

Pretending as journalists and government officials, the hackers made their way to the victims by connecting more than 2000 people in the process. “While it’s low sophistication technically, it’s actually one of the most elaborate social media, or socially engineered, espionage campaigns we’ve ever seen,” said Tiffany Jones, a senior vice president at iSight, ““The fact that this has gone largely unnoticed for three years suggests they’ve been very successful in this approach,” he included.

The firm said, there aren’t any concrete proofs about it, but “the targeting, operational schedule, and infrastructure used in this campaign is consistent with Iranian origins.”

Keeping themselves beneath the reach of radar, hackers were able to spy on the officials for almost three years. They used social engineering techniques to trick U.S. officials. During the initial stages of the operation, hackers started developing a trust by sharing legitimate links to the articles and other websites, and later in an attempt to take over the computers they started sending out the links to malicious websites.

Although FBI has not yet spitted a word about it, Facebook and other social networking websites, including LinkedIn, has started removing the fake accounts from their websites. Officials are now being warned about not accepting friend requests from unknown people.

Security is a process not a product and the biggest loophole to it are the humans, there is no patch for the human stupidity.

Studies Find Breast Reconstruction Safe After Mastectomy

Many women who undergo mastectomies for breast cancer turn to breast reconstruction surgery. Getting the surgery done at the same time as the mastectomy used to be controversial until multiple studies showed that it is safe.

Marjorie Belson saw many changes in her body after cancer was found in both of her breasts.

“I’d walk down Park Avenue, and my jacket was open, so I’d look in the mirror and I’d say, ‘Oh my!’ As I started the process and my figure, my silhouette, began to change, I said, ‘Oh my! This is nice,’” Marjorie Belson said.

There are many women who might say this about their figure, or at least wish they could.

“I opted for bilateral mastectomies. I don’t want to go back and forth anymore. The anxiety was too much. I held myself together, but there I was approaching my limit,” Belson said. “I didn’t think of it that way. I thought that once the process was explained to me, all I would be losing was cancerous tissue, and if taking the cancerous tissue from my breasts would give me an opportunity to have a rest of a life, that was all that was important to me.”

Not only did Belson have breast reconstruction, she had it done at the same time as her mastectomies.

“The complication rate from the reconstruction plus the mastectomy is no higher than the two procedures done separately,” said Dr. Mark Sultan, of St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital in New York. “It has been shown with large studies that there is no increased risk with recurrence if one has had reconstruction.”

There are a variety of techniques used to reconstruct breasts. A woman’s own tissue can be used, or there’s implants — either saline or silicone — like Belson chose. Putting them in is a relatively simple, but multistep procedure.

Not only is the procedure safe, but a very recent study found women who chose breast reconstruction actually had better survival odds than women who didn’t.

“It’s possible that women who are offered reconstruction initially are possibly healthier, or that, afterwards, because they had been reconstructed and felt healthier, that they might more frequently come back to their physician for follow-up,” Sultan said. “They might take better care of themselves, might eat better, etc.”