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Each week, we break down international news into our four quadrants of risk and present ways to mitigate those risks. 

Technology and Information Risks

A newly published report indicates that businesses around the world were targeted by up to eight distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack attempts each day during July-September, 2017; registering an increase of 35% compared to the April-June quarter. According to an investigation by a group of analysts at Quartz, smartphones and tablets running Android have been collecting addresses from nearby cellular towers and sending this information to Google. Early last week, the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) issued an alert regarding multiple vulnerabilities on Intel processors.

Operational and Physical Risks

Per reports last week, Mitsubishi Materials, a core member of the Mitsubishi Group, admitted and "sincerely apologized" for three of its subsidiaries falsifying data for products supplied to the aerospace, automobile, and electric power industries. Per media reports last week, electricity distribution companies (DisCos) in Nigeria have issued a notice to declare “force majeure.” Force majeure indicates unexpected circumstances beyond control due to which one or both parties may refuse to fulfill the obligations specified in the contract. - In the U.S. last week, the groups Demand Progress, Fight For The Future, and FreePress Action Fund announced that they are organizing demonstrations at Verizon stores nationwide on December 7. The groups are protesting the pending vote on December 14 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to end net neutrality.

Market and Economic Risks

On November 21, 2017, the per barrel price of Brent crude oil rose 17 cents to 62.39 in us dollars while U.S. light crude jumped 30 cents to USD 56.72, on anticipation that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its non-OPEC partners will extend their agreement to cut output on November 30. Per reports early last week, the Philippines afforded Chinese companies the “privilege to operate the third telecommunications carrier” in the country. The Chamber of Deputies of Brazil has approved a bill to raise mining royalty rates to a wide range of raw materials, as part of reforms for the sector proposed by President Michel Temer. In Mexico, local media revealed that lawmakers from Quintana Roo are promoting a new mobility law that aims to regulate transportation services in the state, including ride-sharing apps that are already operational.

Hazard and Event Risks

Local media in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur state revealed that violence rates had markedly increased in recent months. Only in the last week, there were at least 30 homicides reported. Law enforcement agencies and medical professionals in the U.S. have reported a sharp increase in counterfeit prescription painkillers and related deaths. The counterfeit pills often appear identical to the originals and contain the drug fentanyl.

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