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CNN10 2021-12-15

CNN 10

Last Show Covers Security Flaw In Popular Software; Man's Work To Protect Freshwater; Young Pilot's Flight Towards Record. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired December 15, 2021 - 04:00:00 ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi, I'm Carl Azuz. It is our last show of the season, our last show of the year and we're thankful your taking 10 minutes to watch it. Let's just jump right in. There is a bug in popular computer software and if hackers are able to take advantage of it, they could use that bug to break into computer systems worldwide. The problem was discovered in software known as Log4j.

It's a library that keeps track of error messages in computer programs, but Log4j has a security flaw. One that could make it possible for hackers to take control of servers, and because the software is so widely used throughout the technology industry, attackers could go after its flaw in countless places. This could affect some pretty big companies, Amazon Apple, Google, Linkedin, Tesla, Twitter.

The game Minecraft has already been affected. Its owner is Microsoft and it's had to put a patch or fix in place to lock the hackers back out. So now other technology companies and businesses are being told to figure out if they've been affected by the software flaw. And if so, to quickly take the steps necessary to fix it.

What makes things more complicated is that computer engineers didn't know about it and therefore prepare for it until news broke late last week that hackers were using the flaw to break into networks. And in the first 72 hours after the flaw became public, cybersecurity firm Check Point said 800,000 attempts were made to take advantage of it. The timing wasn't good either.

Check Point and the technology website CNET, said with the holidays approaching, information technology specialists maybe taking time off.

That could make it harder for companies to move quickly to patch the flaw. Before they started moving to do that, hundreds of millions of devices might have been vulnerable to the bug. What can individual users do? Not much. According to CNET, people could just make sure they update their devices, software and applications whenever they're prompted to do it. But that's a security step that computer users are encouraged to take anyway.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most of us are walking a tightrope when it comes to protecting ourselves from the hackers, living on the edge thinking oh I won't fall. That's why it's so important to protect yourself. Just like you do a safety check before you perform a big stunt, you need to do a security check on your computer to make sure you're running the latest version of your operating system. And you also have to do a backup of your most important files just in case, but if all that security lets you down encrypt your files with (Inaudible) or Bitlocker.

And to be on solid ground, always run anti-virus software. I'm going to log to log, but you probably feel like you're going from log in to log in, password to password. There are so many opportunities for the hackers to get their hands on those. So you should use two-step sign in. That way every time you have to answer your password, you also get a code sent to your phone. So even if the hackers steal your password, they won't get their hands on your Smartphone.


AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. What is the world's largest freshwater lake by volume? Lake Superior, Lake Baikal, Lake Victoria or Lake Michigan.

According to geology.com, Russia's Lake Biakal has as much water as the five great lakes combined.

Seventy-one percent of the Earth's surface is covered by water, but most of that's saltwater, what's fresh only accounts for about three percent and most of that is trapped in the ice sheets of Antarctica. Still, freshwater plays an incredibly important role in life as we know it. Though it's considered a renewable resource, it has its limits. Two of the biggest threats to freshwater are pollution and overuse. In an effort to preserve it by encouraging people to use less of it, a biologist in South Africa has utilized an unexpected tool, his camera.


JEREMY SHELTON, FRESHWATER CONSERVATION BIOLOGIST: Rivers really are the arteries of our planet. They transport cool, clean water from the mountains, down across landscapes and give us this critical resource that we rely on so heavily for drinking, for farming, for industry, without these arteries bringing us clean water we'll be in trouble.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jeremy Shelton is a biologist and photographer at the Freshwater Research Center in South Africa. A world wildlife (inaudible)

reports of freshwater fish featured Shelton's images which caught the attention of actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio who shared them on Instagram.

SHELTON: It's all about inspiring people to become more aware of the natural world around them. Being able to take these snapshots, bring them above the surface, share them with people that have never had a chance to see this world that I care so much about and once that connection is forged to change the way they behave.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: More than half of all fish live in freshwater environments, which are increasingly under pressure from a variety of threats including climate change, pollution and invasive alien species.

SHELTON: Behind me here, you can see the Rondegat River, a beautiful mountain stream here in the Cederburg Mountains and this is actually the site of the first freshwater fish restoration project here in South Africa, where alien freshwater fishes were removed to create room for indigenous species that were running out of habitat in the wild. A huge (inaudible) and a big conservation game for freshwater ecosystems in South Africa.

The stability of our planet is intimately linked to having healthy, functioning ecosystems, whether it's the forests that take a lot of their carbon dioxide out of our atmosphere. Or the freshwater ecosystem that really feed those forests and allow them to grow. It's all connected and it's really in our best interest to ensure that all of these different kinds of ecosystems stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The situation is urgent. In 2018, South Africa released a report on biodiversity which revealed that freshwater fish were the most threatened species group in the country. Shelton is determined to do all he can to save these precious resources.

SHELTON: I'm hoping that through connecting with this previously unseen world that people will treat them a little bit more gently. That people will be a little bit more thoughtful about the way we live our lives and about the way we interact with these natural ecosystems. Whether it's taking a shorter shower or accessing rainwater, or brushing our teeth for a minute less. Every little bit of water saving can help. The conservation needs for freshwater life are extremely high and it's really reaching a tipping point now where it's take action or we stand to lose a lot of these species and the ecosystems in which they evolve.


AZUZ: The youngest woman ever to fly solo around the world made the trip at age 30. Zara Rutherford is 19, and while her attempt hasn't been completed yet, she is making progress. Zara took off from Belgium in August. She's been to Greenland, North America, South America and Russia since then.

She landed in Asia a couple of days ago and was on the island of Taiwan when we put this show together, and while she'd originally hoped to be home by Christmas, weather and passport delays slowed her down and different country's COVID restrictions have kept her from sightseeing on the ground.

But Zara says it's been an adventure and if it's smooth flying from here, she's scheduled to be back home in Belgium in mid-January.

A lot of people look at their neighbors Christmas lights and think, I could do better than that. Well, here's a new challenge. A family in New York State just broke their own world record for having the most Christmas lights on a residential property. Their 2014 record was a little less than 602,000 lights. This year they went for an even higher energy bill with almost 687,000 lights.

It took them eight weeks and eight miles of extension cords to build, and they don't only share the display with their community. They share the donations they receive with firefighters and local charities.

So, it's still a "mint" for a good cause. Lit up like the "North Star" for Santa Claus, because on the foggiest nights with rain and snow "present" he could guide his sleigh by that "incandescent" display on Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, "Socket" and "Circuit" and "Voltage" resistance. "Fuses that disfuse" and all filled with light on a shameless plug bringing all a good night. "Sandtastic". Our last shout out of the year goes out to Bellevue East High School. It is in Bellevue, Nebraska. We want to thank all of you for being the best part of CNN.

It is a blessing to serve such an extraordinary audience as you guys. We hope that if you celebrated you had a Happy Hanukah. We wish you a Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year. We'll look forward to seeing you again in early January. I'm Carl Azuz for CNN.