Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: Arctic Sea Ice, Hacking Price List, Zika Funding

EDM Monday Briefing: Arctic Sea Ice, Hacking Price List, Zika Funding


Emergency and disaster management briefing for April 11, 2016: A new report points to a connection between decreasing Arctic sea ice and the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, Dell SecureWorks releases its latest underground hacking report, and the White House reallocates funds to fight Zika virus.

  1. The American Meteorological Society recently published a report linking decreasing Arctic sea ice to the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, and, ultimately, to a rise in global sea level. According to the report, as sea ice in the Arctic continues to decline in summer months, the end result is an overall warming trend involving Greenland.
  2. Dell SecureWorks released a report that covers underground hacking in the English- and Russian-speaking underground marketplaces. The report revealed new hacking trends and listed common items available for hacking, along with a price list for services provided by hackers.
  3. President Barack Obama requested $1.9 billion to combat Zika virus back in February, but that request stalled within Congress, so the White House announced that $589 million will be reallocated to fight Zika. The source of the $589 million is unused Ebola funds -- money that was set aside to fight Ebola but never put into use. The funds will be used for various Zika-related initiatives, including the development of vaccines and tests.
  4. Brazilian scientists discovered a new brain disorder associated with Zika to add to the list of serious health problems linked to the virus. These latest findings linked Zika to an autoimmune syndrome called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), which attacks the brain and spinal cord.
  5. FEMA reported that wildfire recovery assistance for Washington states has now reached $3.5 million. Washington had its worst wildfire season ever last year, and the federal grants offer "significant financial relief for hard-hit communities," FEMA said.
  6. The FBI has started warning utility companies about the threat of cyber attacks on the U.S. power grid. The FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are reportedly conducting a nationwide campaign that includes briefings and online webinars for power companies and security firms.
  7. Amid increasing reports of both individuals and companies getting hit with ransomware attacks, Adobe issued an emergency update to its Flash software late last week. Hackers had reportedly been exploiting a flaw in the Flash software that allowed the takeover of remote computers.
  8. Connecticut's Department of Public Health will be conducting Emergency Preparedness Medical Countermeasures this week, April 11 through April 15. The statewide exercise will test the effectiveness of emergency response systems of federal, state and local entities and organizations in the event of an infectious disease outbreak.
  9. U.S. officials issued an emergency message through the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul this weekend warning U.S. citizens of 'credible threats' in tourist areas of Turkey. The warning focused specifically on the southwest coastal resort of Antalya, but provided no further details.

Matt Mills Matt Mills has been involved in various aspects of online media, both on the editorial side and on the technology side, for more than 16 years. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, and is currently involved in multiple projects focused on innovation journalism.