Spam campaign targets Google users with malicious link

Spam campaign targets Google users with malicious link

Reuters

Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) warned its users to beware of emails from known contacts asking them to click on a link to Google Docs after a large number of people turned to social media to complain that their accounts had been hacked.

Google said on Wednesday that it had taken steps to protect users from the attacks by disabling offending accounts and removing malicious pages.

The attack used a relatively novel approach to phishing, a hacking technique designed to trick users into giving away sensitive information, by gaining access to user accounts without needing to obtain their passwords. They did that by getting an already logged-in user to grant access to a malicious application posing as Google Docs.

“This is the future of phishing,” said Aaron Higbee, chief technology officer at PhishMe Inc. “It gets attackers to their goal … without having to go through the pain of putting malware on a device.”

He said the hackers had also pointed some users to another site, since taken down, that sought to capture their passwords.

Google said its abuse team “is working to prevent this kind of spoofing from happening again.”

Anybody who granted access to the malicious app unknowingly also gave hackers access to their Google account data including emails, contacts and online documents, according to security experts who reviewed the scheme.

“This is a very serious situation for anybody who is infected because the victims have their accounts controlled by a malicious party,” said Justin Cappos, a cyber security professor at NYU Tandon School of Engineering.

Cappos said he received seven of those malicious emails in three hours on Wednesday afternoon, an indication that the hackers were using an automated system to perpetuate the attacks.

He said he did not know the objective, but noted that compromised accounts could be used to reset passwords for online banking accounts or provide access to sensitive financial and personal data.

Reporting by Alastair Sharp and Jim Finkle in Toronto

Desjardins introduces new flood coverage for Canadians

LÉVIS, QC, March 13, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ – Thanks to new flood coverage—Endorsement 16d in insurance jargon—customers of Desjardins (Desjardins Insurance, The Personal and State Farm Canada) who live in low-risk areas will automatically be covered, at no charge, for damage caused by an overflowing waterway or dam break, for instance. And, with an additional premium, clients living in medium-risk areas can also take advantage of the new coverage.

95% of Desjardins policyholders can benefit from flood coverage:

  • 80% insure properties in low-risk areas
  • 15% insure properties in medium-risk areas

Desjardins is committed to developing products and services that offer peace of mind and meet the current and future needs of their clients. “We listened to our customers and designed this coverage with them in mind. We want to help people avoid unpleasant surprises because dealing with water damage is already difficult enough,” says Denis Dubois, President and Chief Operating Officer of Desjardins General Insurance Group.

“Our flood coverage has fewer exclusions than the protections offered by the majority of our competitors. It’s free for most clients and remains optional for policyholders who would have to pay for it. This gives clients the flexibility to adapt their coverage to suit their needs and their reality,” adds Dubois.

Did you know?
Home insurance policies cover accidental water damage, such as a burst water pipe, leaking dishwasher or overflowing bathtub. This basic coverage can be enhanced with other optional coverage, including:

  • Ground water and sewer back-up (Endorsement 16c) – Because of climate change, heavy rain events are becoming increasingly frequent, causing sewers to back up or water to pool around houses and seep in through the foundations. At Desjardins, 85% of clients have this endorsement on their home insurance policies.
  • Above ground water (Endorsement 42) – 90% of Desjardins clients have this endorsement, which covers damage caused by water seeping in through the roof, for instance.

The flood endorsement (16d) launched today completes the range of optional coverage already offered by Desjardins.

Higher-risk areas
A minority of Canadians live in areas with a higher risk of flooding. As it stands, they still don’t have access to appropriate insurance coverage.

“We’re continuing to work with the industry and the federal government to help make it easier for all Canadians living in high-risk areas to get insurance and minimize the number of homes without adequate coverage,” says Dubois.

About Desjardins General Insurance Group
A subsidiary of Desjardins Group, Desjardins General Insurance Group (DGIG) is Canada’s third largest provider of property and casualty insurance. The company distributes insurance under the Desjardins Insurance, The Personal, and State Farm Canada brands. DGIG is also a leader in Canada in white label distribution.

 

SOURCE Desjardins Groupe d’assurances générales

Drought predicted for Alberta this summer

Drought predicted for Alberta this summer

Posted by

Farmers in central and northern Alberta should brace for drought this summer, according to AccuWeather.

“We think it’s going to be a very warm summer,” said Canadian weather expert Brett Anderson.

It is also going to be a dry summer. June will have near normal precipitation but July and August will turn dry as a high pressure system suppresses storm activity across the prairie region.

Anderson said it will be particularly hot and parched in a wide swath stretching from northwestern Alberta to southeastern Saskatchewan.

“Northern and central Alberta really sticks out like a sore thumb in terms of dryness,” he said.

He is not as concerned about the rest of the prairie region.

“I don’t think we’re going into a drought in Saskatchewan. I think we have enough moisture in the ground,” said Anderson.

Manitoba will receive thunderstorms from time to time throughout the summer months and is not expected to be as warm as the other prairie provinces.

“The odds of seeing any widespread drought in that (province) are probably 30 percent or less,” he said.

Anderson said his forecast has nothing to do with a weak El Nino forming. He doesn’t expect that to have any impact on weather patterns until fall or winter.

It is more about the disappearance of a blob of warm water in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of North America. The blob sent moisture across Western Canada the last couple of years.

In its absence, a high pressure system will form over the prairie region.

“That acts like a big bubble,” said Anderson.

“Any fronts that come in from the north and west, they kind of move around that bubble and the dryness builds across the region.”

The good news is the bubble will reduce the threat of severe thunderstorms because there isn’t the wind energy aloft that is transferred down to the ground.

It also reduces the threat of hail because the persistent high pressure system results in warmer temperatures aloft and the less likelihood of hail formation.

Source: The Western Producer

Can A Landlord Be Sued For Historical Contamination Potentially Caused By Its Tenant?

Last Updated: April 27 2017

Article by Kirsten Mikadze

A recent decision on a summary judgement motion underscores the difficulty inherent in suing a landlord for contamination caused by its tenant.

In Sorban Investments Ltd v Litwack, 2017 ONSC 706, several Defendants successfully brought a motion for summary judgement dismissing the plaintiff’s claims against them. The Plaintiff owns land abutting the property formerly owned by the Defendants, and was seeking damages in nuisance, strict liability (Rylands v Fletcher), and negligence as well as under section 99 of the Environmental Protection Act. The Plaintiff’s property became contaminated by PCE and other chemicals used in dry-cleaning operations, the fact of which was discovered in 2010. In the early- to mid-1990s, the Defendants leased their property for use as a dry cleaning operation. The Defendants sold the property in 2007.

The Court did not address whether the Plaintiff could establish that the Defendants’ land was a source of the contamination on the Plaintiff’s land. Instead, it assumed for the purpose of the motion that it was.

Among other findings of fact, the Court found that the Defendants did not know that their dry-cleaning tenant was emitting contaminants; that prior to 2006 the Defendants had no reason to believe that their land was contaminated or was the source of the contamination on the Plaintiff’s land; that from about 2006 to 2007 the Defendants had reason to, and did in fact, investigate whether their land was a potential source of contamination; and that the Defendants acted reasonably in their investigations of the contamination.

The Court confirmed that landlord liability in such instances flows from the foreseeability that the nuisance would occur as an inherent part of the activity to be undertaken on the property. As espoused by the Divisional Court in its decision in Durling v Sunrise Propane Energy Group Inc, 2013 ONSC 5830, a landlord may be held liable for the actions or nuisance of its tenants only “when the use from which the damage or nuisance necessarily arises was plainly contemplated by the lease.”

In this case, there was no written lease in evidence, and there was no evidence one had ever been entered into. There was no evidence that the Defendants had authorized their tenant to contaminate the Defendant’s land; were involved in the operation of the dry-cleaners; had any knowledge that any escape of contaminants had occurred; or were aware of the contamination until 2006. Moreover, the nuisance created by the tenant, assuming nuisance was ultimately established, was not foreseen or foreseeable as “inherently part of the activity to be undertaken”—namely, a commercial dry cleaning operation. Even after the Defendants had discovered contamination on their property, the Defendants were advised by their environmental consultant that no remediation was necessary and had no reason to believe the contamination was migrating to the neighbouring property.

In terms of negligence, the Court agreed once again with the Durling court that the mere fact of being a landlord does not establish sufficient proximity to ground a duty of care to an abutting landowner. Finding a duty of care in such circumstances would have the effect of burdening landlords with the duty to involve themselves in the activities undertaken by their tenants on their properties in order to protect themselves from liability.

Only rarely does a landlord potentially owe a duty of care to third parties for the negligence of a tenant. As has been held by the Superior Court in Canadian Tire Real Estate Ltd v Huron Concrete Supply Ltd, 2014 ONSC 288, the geographic proximity of a landowner’s property to another property may be sufficient to ground a duty of care to the owner of that abutting property. However, for a landlord landowner of an abutting property to owe a duty of care related to the negligence of its tenant, it must be foreseeable that the tenant’s activities are inherently unsafe, dangerous, or illegal such that the alleged harm to the abutting property was likely to result. The facts must be “out of the ordinary” for a landlord owner of an abutting property to be found owing a duty of care to a third party.

The Defendants were also assisted by the fact, agreed by the parties, that the contamination was historical and not ongoing. By the time that the Defendants had discovered their lands were contaminated, the Plaintiff’s lands had already been contaminated (which it alleged occurred in 2006). There would also be no duty of care owed if the Plaintiffs could not establish that the lands were contaminated prior to the spring of 2007, when the Defendants sold the property.

The Court had little difficulty dismissing the Plaintiff’s section 99 claim given both the lack of evidence of a “spill,” as defined in the EPA, and the lack of evidence that the Defendants either owned or controlled any pollutant immediately prior to its first discharge.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

So you like to BBQ? Is the Big Green Egg Grill Worth It?

By Paul Hope | Consumer Reports

Why this charcoal grill has a cult following of Eggheads

We aren’t here to judge the cultural phenomenon that has formed around the Big Green Egg since its 1970s debut. Let’s just say that this ceramic beast of a charcoal grill and smoker has hatched numerous copycat cookers and die-hard devotees, who call themselves Eggheads.

We can, however, evaluate its performance and help you answer the question: Does anyone really need a $1,120 charcoal grill? For that price, you might expect an actual fossilized dinosaur egg, not a grill that looks like one. After all, some of our top-rated gas models cost a quarter of that price.

But the Big Green Egg isn’t trying to be an alternative to gas grills, and frankly, it doesn’t share much in common with the cooking experience of most charcoal grills, either. Rather than arranging coals to concentrate heat, you fill the lower hemisphere to capacity with lump hardwood charcoal. Once the coals are going, the design starts to make sense. Cast-ceramic walls an inch thick and a heavy lid with a heatproof gasket team up to trap heat. That allows you to use the dampers to precisely control temperature.

Its design differences explain how the Big Green Egg is able to maintain low temperatures for long, slow cooking and also produce a roaring fire for searing steaks or grilling pizzas. We tested the Big Green Egg for both capabilities, and it performed extremely well.

For the low-and-slow test, our experts had no problem maintaining a temperature around 330° F for 6 hours. The impressive part is that we didn’t need to add coal or adjust the dampers once we dialed in the sweet spot—exactly the kind of control you’d want for ribs or pulled pork.

When we tested the Big Green Egg for high-heat cooking, we recorded an average temperature of 850° F at the grates. That puts the Egg on par with the commercial broilers used in some of the world’s best steakhouses, which allow chefs to char the outside of a porterhouse while leaving it perfectly medium-rare inside.

As nice as it is to be able to cook at both of these extremes, the burgers and brats you’re likely to cook this summer need nothing more than an even-burning fire. The Big Green Egg heats evenly, but it won’t do anything for your franks that a kettle grill wouldn’t. And it costs about 10 times as much. All of which is to say, the Egg is definitely not for the casual summer griller. But if you grill or smoke meats year-round or you routinely make coal-fired pizza, it might be worth considering this extraordinarily rare breed.

$120,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Chronic Pain with Somatization Issues

Adding to this site’s archived postings of ICBC chronic pain cases, reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, reasons for judgement were published this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for chronic pain in a Plaintiff pre-disposed to somatization.

In the recent case (Alafianpour-Esfahani v. Jolliffe) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2012 rear end collision that the Defendant was responsible for.  The Plaintiff alleged brain injury altogether this claim was not proven at trial.  The court found the plaintiff was pre-disposed to somatization and suffered from a chronic pain disorder following the collision.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $120,000 Madam Justice Sharma provided the following reasons:

[123]     In light of the following factors, I find Ms. Alafianpour-Esfahani is entitled to $120,000 in non-pecuniary damages:

a)    the accident caused soft tissue injuries to her neck, back and shoulder that resulted in headaches and developed (in combination with her predisposition to somatization) into chronic pain;

b)    she has not likely reached maximum medical improvement of her physical symptoms, but any further improvement depends upon the success of addressing the reactivity of her nervous system, which will be challenging;

c)     her physical symptoms have been prolonged because of her psychiatric condition characterization by a vulnerability to somatization and pathological nervous system reactivity;

d)    her prognosis for improving her condition by following a thorough program of desensitization is fair, but that is tempered by the chronicity of her condition because it has been left untreated fro 3 ½ years;

e)    the accident has negatively impacted all aspects of her life, including her relationship with her family, her social interaction, her ability to work, her recreational activities, her ability to maintain her home and yard, her ability to cook for family and friends; her ability to provide emotional support to her children, especially her daughter and her ability to travel.

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