Washington: Iran has increased its offensive cyberattacks against the U.S. government and critical infrastructure as tensions have grown between the two nations, cybersecurity firms say. In recent weeks, hackers believed to be working for the Iranian government have targeted U.S. government agencies, as well as sectors of the economy, including oil and gas, sending waves of spear-phishing emails, according to representatives of cybersecurity companies CrowdStrike and FireEye, which regularly track such activity. Also Read – Merkel warns UK Brexit deal ‘unlikely’ without compromise: LondonIt was not known if any of the hackers managed to gain access to the targeted networks with the emails, which typically mimic legitimate emails but contain malicious software.The cyber offensive is the latest chapter in the U.S. and Iran’s ongoing cyber operations targeting the other, with this recent sharp increase in attacks occurring after the Trump administration imposed sanctions on the Iranian petrochemical sector this month. Tensions have escalated since the U.S. withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran last year and began a policy of “maximum pressure.” Also Read – India, China should jointly uphold peace and stability, resolve disputes through dialogues: Chinese ambassadorIran has since been hit by multiple rounds of sanctions. Tensions spiked this past week after Iran shot down an unmanned U.S. drone an incident that nearly led to a U.S. military strike against Iran on Thursday evening. “Both sides are desperate to know what the other side is thinking,” said John Hultquist, director of intelligence analysis at FireEye. “You can absolutely expect the regime to be leveraging every tool they have available to reduce the uncertainty about what’s going to happen next, about what the U.S.’s next move will be.” CrowdStrike shared images of the spear-phishing emails with The AP. One such email that was confirmed by FireEye appeared to come from the Executive Office of the President and seemed to be trying to recruit people for an economic adviser position. Another email was more generic and appeared to include details on updating Microsoft Outlook’s global address book.
OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says sales at cannabis stores in the two weeks after legalization totalled $43 million.The agency started collecting data for in-store and online sales from cannabis retailers as of Oct. 17, when fresh or dried bud, oil, plants and seeds became legal for recreational use in the country.The first set of data released Friday as part of the agency’s broader monthly retail trade figures only encompassed two weeks, but will reflect a complete reference month in the future.Efforts underway to convert 10 Coffee Time shops into cannabis stores in Ontario‘Consolidate, or get left behind’: Aleafia scoops up Emblem in first significant cannabis merger since legalizationUse cash, not credit, Privacy watchdog warns legal cannabis buyersStatistics Canada says different retail structures in each province and territory affected cannabis availability across the country.The agency says retail figures will vary as new stores continue to come on line and the marketplace evolves.Recreational pot supply shortages have been a persistent problem since legalization with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently calling the supply shortfall the biggest challenge associated with the change. He noted, however, that he expects the problem to disappear within a year.Edibles have yet to be allowed to be legally sold, but Health Canada released draft regulations Thursday for the sale of edibles. They will become legal no later than Oct. 17, 2019.The regulations, which ask for public input until Feb. 20, would restrict the sale of cannabis-infused booze, and packaging or labelling beer or wine products together with cannabis.Packages of edibles won’t be permitted more than 10 milligrams of THC, while extracts and topicals could not exceed 1,000 milligrams of THC.The regulations propose restrictions on ingredients that could make the products more appeal to children, as well as requiring plain and child-resistant packaging that displays a standard cannabis symbol with a health warning.