Attorney General William Barr to hold press conference Thursday on Mueller report

Attorney General William Barr will hold a press conference at the Justice Department on special counsel Robert Mueller’s report at 9:30am Thursday, the department announced.


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Michael Avenatti arrested in alleged Nike extortion scheme: Federal prosecutors’ news conference

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Cyber Saturday—Cybersecurity Gets Googley, NSA Releases Toolkit, RSA Conference 2019

This week the cybersecurity industry’s RSA Conference (perhaps I should say the RA Conference) took place in San Francisco. It’s a mega-marketing and deal-making affair at which vendors spend lavishly to persuade potential customers that their wares can protect them, even when they can’t.

While I did not attend the potlatch, I observed the proceedings from afar. And though I don’t usually cover product debuts, at least two releases merit ink.

First, Chronicle, the cybersecurity startup incubated within Google X–Alphabet’s so-called moonshot factory, now known just as X–unveiled its flagship product, Backstory. The service is designed to keep unlimited logs of network telemetry and security-related data for corporate security staff while managing alerts and providing real-time analytics. The product incorporates learnings and technology from Chronicle’s sister company Google, known for its unparalleled, storage, indexing, and artificial intelligence capabilities.

Perhaps just as important as Backstory’s technical underpinnings is the product’s business model, which does not penalize companies for storing more information. Instead of pricing licenses based on usage, Chronicle offers licenses that are priced based on customers’ employee count. In theory, this lets Chronicle’s customers keep their security-related records in perpetuity at no extra cost–a valuable proposition for hack investigators.

When I suggested on a call with Chronicle CEO Stephen Gillett that Backstory reminded me of Google Photos or Gmail except for cybersecurity, he was quick to point out that Chronicle is a separate company from Google, despite sharing a parent in Alphabet. “Google employees can’t even get into our building,” he said. I got the sense that Gillett wants no one to believe there might be any privacy concern in working with a Google-adjacent business in an area so rich with sensitive data–a challenge that Google Cloud has had to face in marketing its services as well.

Investors needed no persuading. Their response reminded me of the reaction they tend to have when Amazon announces it is entering a new industry. Share prices of incumbents–including IBM, Rapid7, and Splunk–all dropped.

The other product debut worth mentioning was the U.S. National Security Agency’s release of Ghidra, a formerly classified toolkit for reverse-engineering malware, as an open source project. Security researchers are, generally, elated. This free software will greatly benefit digital defenders, providing a powerful new tool to parse and understand hackers’ code–even if the initial version has bugs. (Hey, no one is perfect.)

For all the sales bluster of RSA Conference, these new tools are sure to prove valuable additions to guardians’ arsenals.

Robert Hackett

@rhhackett

robert.hackett@fortune.com

Welcome to the Cyber Saturday edition of Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily tech newsletter. Fortune reporter Robert Hackett here. You may reach Robert Hackett via Twitter, Cryptocat, Jabber (see OTR fingerprint on my about.me), PGP encrypted email (see public key on my Keybase.io), Wickr, Signal, or however you (securely) prefer. Feedback welcome.

THREATS

Facebook’s about-face. Mark Zuckerberg published a manifesto this week, seeking to persuade people that he has seen the light and will double down on private, secure messaging as the future of his media empire. Obviously, people have lots of questions about whether this seeming pivot is actually going to change anything.

The best defense is a good Hua-ffense. Huawei is suing the U.S. government, arguing that the government’s ban on federal agencies using the company’s equipment is unconstitutional. The extradition hearing for Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer, who has been detained in Canada and charged with evading U.S. sanctions on Iran, looks to be set for May 8. Meanwhile, the U.S.’s European allies are skeptical of the U.S.’s warnings that the company poses a threat to national security. In an apparent attempt to win over Europe, Huawei is opening a cybersecurity center in Brussels, the effective capital of the European Union.

Hold the phone (logs). The U.S. National Security Agency has quietly ended a controversial surveillance program that collected phone call and text records, including those of Americans, says a senior Republican congressional aide. The program had been exposed by Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor turned leaker, nearly six years ago. The agency is deliberating whether to end the program, which started under former President George W. Bush in the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks, for good, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Insecticide. A Facebook Messenger bug could have allowed spies to tell who is chatting with whom through the chat service. Google’s Project Zero hacker team found bad vulnerabilities in Apple macOS as well as actively exploited one in Microsoft Windows and Google Chrome. Google’s guidance: Update your Chrome browser, pronto! Also, some IBM interns discovered 19 vulnerabilities in corporate check-in systems.

C’mon, Equifax–do better!

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ACCESS GRANTED

Satanic pitchfork. A year and a half ago, hackers burrowed deep inside the Petro Rabigh petrochemical and refinery complex in Saudi Arabia, a joint venture between the world’s biggest oil company, Saudi Aramco, and Tokyo’s Sumitomo Chemical. They gained entry through a poorly configured firewall, and then they planted dangerous–potentially deadly–malicious software across the plant’s systems. Investigators eventually discovered the intruders’ malware, which they dubbed “Triton.” In an excellent feature, Energy & Environment News bills the finding, not hyperbolically, as “the world’s most dangerous malware.”

On Aug. 4, 2017, at 7:43 p.m., two emergency shutdown systems sprang into action as darkness settled over the sprawling refinery along Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast.

The systems brought part of the Petro Rabigh complex offline in a last-gasp effort to prevent a gas release and deadly explosion. But as safety devices took extraordinary steps, control room engineers working the weekend shift spotted nothing out of the ordinary, either on their computer screens or out on the plant floor.

The reasons for the sudden shutdown were still buried under zeros and ones, nestled deep within the code of the compromised Schneider Electric safety equipment.

ONE MORE THING

Pick your poison. It seems like everyone nowadays is recommending that consumers adopt a VPN, or virtual private network: an Internet traffic-encrypting tool ostensibly designed to enhance people’s security and privacy on the web. So choosing one should be a simple matter, right? Not quite. As Will Oremus learned while reporting this Slate article, picking a VPN is a complicated matter. Performance, data privacy, transparency–no one option seems to have it all.

Fortune

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

CHARITY UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

The governor didn’t get what he needed most out of his press conference: Reaffirmation of support from some of the biggest names in Virginia’s Democratic circles

If Ralph Northam hoped to use his extraordinary press conference on Saturday to convince top Virginia Democrats to side with him as others call for his swift resignation, the governor failed.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Biotech stocks are off to the best start of the year since 2012 on heels of J.P. Morgan conference

Two new deals to the start the year and positive trial presentations at the J.P. Morgan Health Care conference, have breathed new life into some of last year's biggest stock losers.
Health and Science

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Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old Swedish environmental activist, all but shamed the 190 countries represented at the UN’s COP24 conference

Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old Swedish environmental activist, all but shamed the 190 countries represented at the United Nations COP24 conference in Poland last week.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

The UN’s Climate Change Conference is Meeting…in Poland’s Coal Country

World leaders are convening for the United Nation’s latest climate conference in Katowice, Poland to discuss the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement, which aims to lower greenhouse gas emissions globally to limit the worst effects of climate change.

Ironically, this two-week meeting is taking place in the heart of Poland’s coal country. As a fuel source, coal accounts for roughly half of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions worldwide, but the conference center currently dedicated to cutting these emissions is literally decorated with mounds of coal.

Poland is by far the EU’s largest producer of hard coal, and Katowice is known to have terrible air quality due to the area’s strong reliance on burning coal for energy. The country relied on coal for about 80 percent of its electricity in 2015.

Poland has been slowly moving away from coal as part of the EU’s larger mission to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But in his opening remarks Monday, Polish President Andrzej Duda said coal “does not contradict the protection of the climate and the progress of climate protection.”

If the world is to truly prevent climate change–and the extreme weather disasters and rising seas that accompanies it–the attendees of the UN climate conference will have to disagree with Duda.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report published in October, coal will have to be almost entirely phased out by 2050 to limit the rise in global temperatures above 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Fortune

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

CHARITY UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Alphabet kicks off a private two-day conference dedicated to health, featuring AI chief Jeff Dean

The conference is a rare opportunity for Alphabet employees to come together from the various teams dabbling in health care, including Google Fit, Nest, Google Brain, Verily and Calico. It's billed as an academic conference.
Health and Science

U.S.HEALTHCARE UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Fashion Gets Probed at Sustainability Conference

LONDON — What’s Going On?
That’s what The Centre for Sustainable Fashion is looking to answer with a two-day conference marking its 10-year anniversary at London College of Fashion.
The conference, which began Wednesday, comes on the heels of an inquiry into fast fashion’s impact on the environment that was launched in June by the House of Commons’ environmental audit committee and chaired by Mary Creagh, a member of Parliament, who also opened the two-day event.
“The U.K. buys more clothes than any other European country and every year we dispose of 1.1 million tons of clothes and 80 percent of that goes into the landfill,” she said, pointing out her reason for opening the inquiry.
While waste is the industry’s most visible problem, Creagh also addressed the impact of microbeads, plastic packaging, microfibers in waste water and pollution resulting from production. “Fashion has a history of chasing the cheap needle around the globe and turning a blind eye to environmental degradation,” she said.
The committee is working on finding solutions to these problems, she said, citing the microbeads ban that passed in the U.K. earlier this year and calls for industry players to replace their linear model with a circular one.
Dr. Helen Crowley, head of sustainable sourcing innovation at Kering, provided

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Saudi crown prince proclaims investment conference a success despite boycott

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince trumpeted on Tuesday a conference that has drawn investment deals worth $ 50 billion despite a boycott over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, declaring the event as “great – more people more money”.


Reuters: Business News

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Stocks Drop Sharply As Mnuchin Drops Out Of Saudi Conference – U.S. Commentary

After attempting to recover from an early move to the downside, stocks have pulled back sharply in recent trading on Thursday. The major averages have slid firmly into negative territory, partly offsetting the strong gains posted on Tuesday.
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Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Pulls Out Of Saudi Investor Conference

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced Thursday he will not attend an investor conference in Saudi Arabia next week. Mnuchin revealed in a post on Twitter that he decided to drop out of the conference after meeting with President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
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