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National Research Council computers hacked by Chinese says Canadian spy agency

OTTAWA — Chinese hackers have infiltrated the computer systems at the National Research Council, forcing it to shut down its IT network for an extended period, the federal government revealed Tuesday.The Treasury Board Secretariat said there is no evidence that other government computer systems or data have been compromised.But the NRC’s computers have been isolated from the rest of the government’s systems as a precaution.And the council said it could be some time before a new, more secure system is up and running.“NRC is continuing to work closely with its IT experts and security partners to create a new secure IT infrastructure,” the council said in a statement.“This could take approximately one year however; every step is being taken to minimize disruption.”In a separate statement, the government said one of Canada’s spy agencies, the Communications Security Establishment, detected and confirmed the cyber attack.The intrusion came from “a highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor,” said the Treasury Board.“We have no evidence that data compromises have occurred on the broader Government of Canada network,” the statement said.Still, the NRC said it has notified the Privacy Commissioner and its clients and stakeholders about the breach.The agency said it would not release further information, citing security and confidentiality reasons.However, it planned to update Canadians on the situation by Thursday.Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird raised concerns over the breach with Chinese government officials in Beijing Tuesday, according to a spokesman for the minister.“The minister took the opportunity to discuss the situation with his counterpart, and they had a full and frank exchange of views on the matter,” said Adam Hodge.“The government takes this issue very seriously and we are addressing it at the highest levels in both Beijing and Ottawa.”Baird is currently on a three-country tour of Asia to promote economic ties among Canada, China, Mongolia and Japan.The National Research Council touts itself as “the Government of Canada’s premier organization for research and development,” which partners its scientists, engineers and business experts with private industry to bring new technologies to market. read more

US factory orders drop 15 per cent biggest setback since July as

FILE – In this Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, file photo, driver Kyle Woodroof loads packages in his delivery truck in Kansas City, Mo. The Commerce Department reports on U.S. factory orders in December on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File) AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Posted Feb 4, 2014 8:28 am MDT WASHINGTON – U.S. manufacturers saw orders for their products decline in December by the largest amount in five months although the setback for a key category that tracks business investment was not as large as first reported.Orders to U.S. factories fell 1.5 per cent in December, the biggest drop since July, with much of the weakness coming from a plunge in aircraft orders, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Orders had risen 1.5 per cent in November after a 0.5 per cent October decrease.Orders in a closely watched category that serves as a proxy for business investment declined 0.6 per cent, a smaller fall than the 1.3 per cent drop estimated in a preliminary report last week. The decrease followed a sizable 3 per cent jump in November, an increase spurred by an expiring tax break.Demand for durable goods, items expected to last at least three years, fell 4.2 per cent, slightly less than the 4.3 per cent preliminary estimate. Orders for nondurable goods such as chemicals, paper and food rose 1.1 per cent in December following a 0.4 per cent November gain.Analysts say part of the weakness in December reflected a temporary slowdown following a rush to purchase capital goods in November to take advantage of expiring federal tax breaks.Orders for all of 2013 totalled $5.82 trillion, up 2.5 per cent from 2012, as manufacturing continued to recover from the Great Recession.For December, demand for commercial aircraft, a volatile category, fell 17.5 per cent after having risen 21.1 per cent in November. While the drop in airplane orders led the declines, there was weakness in a number of categories. Orders for iron and steel fell 10 per cent while demand for construction machinery was down 2.9 per cent and demand for computers and other electronic products fell 6.3 per cent.The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Monday that its index of manufacturing activity fell to 51.3 in January from 56.5 in December. It was the lowest reading since May although any reading above 50 signals growth in manufacturing.The January performance of the ISM index suggests that U.S. manufacturing slowed at the beginning of this year.Auto sales have decelerated and businesses are spending cautiously on machinery and other large factory goods.The slowdown could mean that economic growth in the first three months of this year will get less support from manufacturing.But some economists said that the weak ISM reading may reflect unusually bad weather in January.The Federal Reserve reported that factory output in December rose for a fifth straight month. Manufacturers produced more cars, trucks and appliances in December. US factory orders drop 1.5 per cent, biggest setback since July, as aircraft demand falls read more