Interfor International - Weekly Security Matters Digest - Nov 9

Interfor International – Weekly Security & Covid Digest – November 9

Interfor’s Weekly Security & Covid Digest – November 9, 2021

Global Security Matters

  • Xu Yanjun, a Chinese intelligence officer, was found guilty by a US jury of five counts related to stealing secrets from aviation companies.  Yanjun was arrested in Belgium in 2018 and extradited to the US. 
  • Security firm Palo Alto Networks, in conjunction with the National Security Agency, uncovered efforts by suspected foreign hackers to breach nine organizations in the defense, energy, health care, technology and education sectors. 
  • Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s home was attacked by armed drones in a failed assassination attempt.  Though no group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, Iran-backed Shia Muslim militias are suspected. 
  • Trading platform Robin Hood announced that a breach of their system resulted in the leak of nearly 5 million account holders’ email addresses, though no further sensitive information was compromised. 

Covid-19 Updates

Total Deaths: 5,054,520 (755,273 in United States) 

At least one dose administered: 52.4% Globally (United States:  67% of population)

  •  The US reopened its international borders for fully vaccinated foreigners, ending more than 18 months of restrictions on international travel.  
  • Following the approval of the Pfizer vaccine for children between the ages of 5-11, more than 360,000 US children under 12  have received at least one dose.
  • More than 250 million cases have been reported globally.
  • A US federal appeals panel temporarily blocked a new coronavirus vaccine rule requiring large businesses to mandate vaccinations or conduct weekly testing. 
  • Two new pills to treat COVID- 19: Pfizer says its pill,  Paxlovid , reduced the risk of death or hospitalization by 89%. Merck says its capsule, Molnupiravir, reduced the risk by about 50%.
  • The World Health Organization expressed “grave concern” over the rising pace of coronavirus infections in Europe, as Germany registered its biggest daily increase since the start of the pandemic.
  • Singapore will stop covering COVID-19 costs for those who decline to be vaccinated.