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Federal probe launched after Equifax data breach

Published: Thursday, September 14, 2017 @ 10:06 AM

143 Million Could Be Affected by Equifax Data Breach

The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday confirmed that it is investigating a massive data breach at credit reporting giant Equifax that exposed the sensitive information of millions of Americans.

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Peter Kaplan, FTC’s acting director of public affairs, said that the agency typically does not comment on ongoing investigations in a statement obtained by Politico.

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“However, in light of the intense public interest and the potential impact of this matter, I can confirm that FTC staff is investigating the Equifax data breach,” Kaplan said.

Equifax, one of America’s three major credit bureaus, said last week that a “cyber security incident” might have exposed the names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and addresses of 143 million Americans. Driver’s license numbers might have also been accessed, the company said.

The breach took place from mid-May through July 2017, according to Equifax.

>> Related: Equifax reports massive data breach that could affect 143 million in U.S. 

Equifax set up a website to help affected consumers and keep them abreast of updates in the company’s investigation. On a frequently asked questions section of the site, Equifax officials identified the flaw that allowed hackers to access sensitive information as one flagged publicly last year.

A patch for the vulnerability, Apache Struts CVE-2017-5638, was released by The Apache Software Foundation in March, Bloomberg reported.

>> Related: Equifax cyberattack: What to know

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, a member of the Banking, Budget and Finance committees and cofounder of the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus, on Wednesday called for an investigation into the data breach. 

“The volume and sensitivity of the data potentially involved in this breach raises serious questions about whether firms like Equifax adequately protect the enormous amounts of sensitive data they gather and commercialize,” Warner wrote in a letter addressed to FTC Acting Chairwoman Maureen Ohlhausen.

>> Related: Equifax cyberattack: How to get a free credit report, protect your identity

He called the incident “one of the largest, and potentially most impactful, breaches in recent history.”

In this July 18, 2012, file photo, a pedestrian walks past credit card logos posted on a downtown storefront in Atlanta. On Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, Equifax said it has made changes to address customer complaints since it disclosed a week earlier that it exposed vital data on about 143 million Americans. Equifax has come under fire from members of Congress, state attorneys general, and people who are getting conflicting answers about whether their information was stolen. Equifax is trying again to clarify language about people's right to sue, and said Monday it has made changes to address customer complaints. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)(David Goldman/AP)

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These types of pet foods could cause heart disease in dogs, report says

Published: Saturday, July 14, 2018 @ 11:15 PM

FDA Warns These Types of Pet Foods Can Cause Heart Disease in Dogs

Want to keep your pup healthy? You may have to avoid certain foods, because some could cause heart disease, according to the United States Food and Drug Administration. 

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The agency issued a warning this week after assessing reports that have associated certain diets with cardiovascular disease. 

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Researchers found that pet foods with peas, lentils, potatoes and other legume seeds have been linked with instances of canine dilated cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle in dogs. The condition can enlarge the heart, often leading to heart failure.

Although the illness is typically found in larger breeds like great Danes and Newfoundlands, the FDA said “highly unusual” reports of dogs not vulnerable to the disease have contracted it. 

“That’s why the FDA is conducting an investigation into this potential link,” the organization wrote in the statement. “The FDA has been in contact with the pet food manufacturers and the veterinary community to discuss these reports and will provide updates as more information becomes available.”

For now, experts are advising pet owners to consult their veterinarians before making any changes to their pets’ diets. 

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'Sea creature' may have bitten 14-year-old girl at Florida beach, officials say

Published: Sunday, July 15, 2018 @ 3:55 AM

How to Avoid a Shark Attack

A teenage girl was airlifted to the hospital Saturday after possibly being bitten by something on Playalinda Beach in Florida, according to Brevard County Fire Rescue.

>> Watch the news report here

The 14-year-old girl came out of the ocean with a severe cut on her leg, firefighters said. 

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Officials said they have not yet determined if the cut was surfboard-related or from a “sea creature.” 

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The girl was airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center, officials said. 

On Friday, Fernandina Beach police said two people were bitten by a shark, closing the beach there.

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Endangered sea turtle found dead with beach chair around neck prompts viral plea

Published: Sunday, July 15, 2018 @ 5:29 AM

File photo of a Kemp's ridley sea turtle on the beach.
skeeze / Pixabay.com
File photo of a Kemp's ridley sea turtle on the beach.(skeeze / Pixabay.com)

An Alabama conservation group has issued a graphic warning after an endangered sea turtle was reportedly found dead, tangled in an old beach chair.

According to WMBBFort Morgan Share the Beach posted a now-viral Facebook photo Saturday of the dead Kemp’s ridley turtle, which washed ashore at the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge.

>> On WFTV.com: ‘Sea creature’ may have bitten 14-year-old girl at Florida beach, officials say

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“This makes me so mad,” the post read. “How many hundreds of times do we have to ask people to pick their stuff up? It should just be common decency. I think I am going to print this out and carry it with me next time I have to ask.”

>> See the post here (WARNING: Graphic photo)

By Sunday morning, the post had been shared more than 2,700 times, prompting hundreds of comments.

“Come on, people, if you want to ‘adult,’ then be one and pick up after yourselves,” one commenter wrote. “This is their habitat, be mindful and respect it.”

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“Please, please. Only leave footprints,” added another. “How do we make visitors understand this?”

Read more here.

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Drive-thru marijuana dispensary opens in Washington state

Published: Sunday, July 15, 2018 @ 8:12 AM

Five Fast Facts: Marijuana

Washington state's first drive-thru marijuana dispensary is now open for business.

>> Marijuana found in Wyoming city's flower pots after pranksters sneak seeds into planters

Joint Rivers, located at 2121 Auburn Way S. in Auburn, is open every day from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. The store is planning its official grand opening in the coming months and will hold a Vendors' Day on July 30, where attendees can visit 30 vendors.

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“We are grateful and excited to provide great cannabis products with stellar customer service by the most educated and professional team in the Pacific Northwest,” General manager Audra Jaggers told the Federal Way Mirror on Tuesday.

>> On KIRO7.com: Women look to make mark on male-dominated marijuana industry

While Auburn limits the number of retail marijuana dispensaries in its city limits, Joint Rivers was able to open because it is on Muckleshoot tribal land.

>> On KIRO7.com: Calls about children exposed to cannabis increase 40 percent

According to the Federal Way Mirror, the Muckleshoot tribe "processed the application, performed its own building permit review and handled all other planning and development matters related to the business."

While the store is a first for Washington state, Cannabis Marketplace in Las Vegas became the first drive-thru marijuana dispensary in the country when it opened in November 2017.

>> On KIRO7.com: Doctors address illness linked to chronic marijuana use

In November of 2012, Washington voters approved Initiative 502 with 55 percent of the vote, making it legal for adults 21 and older to possess marijuana.

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