SYDNEY (BBC): Austria’s foreign ministry has been targeted by a cyber-attack that is suspected to have been conducted by another country.

The ministry said the seriousness of the attack suggested it might have been carried out by a “state actor”. The hack started on Saturday night and experts warn it could continue for several days.

The breach occurred on the same day Austria’s Green party backed forming a coalition with conservatives .

It was recognised very quickly and countermeasures taken immediately, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

“Despite all intensive security measures, there is never 100% protection against cyber-attacks,” the ministry said.

Other European countries have fallen victim to similar attacks in the past.

The German government’s IT network experienced a “very serious” cyber-attack in March 2018.

A Russian group called Fancy Bear was suspected to have been involved and was blamed for a similar attack on the German parliament in 2015.

BLUB- Other European countries have fallen victim to similar attacks in the past

Chinese study finds aromas help plants resist cold weather

BEIJING (Xinhua): Aromatic plants not only have a sweet smell but also a strong tolerance to cold weather. A new Chinese study found that adding a floral scent to tea plants may help them withstand low temperatures.

Cold weather is an environmental stress factor that can limit the distribution, survival and growth of various plants. But the study published in the scientific journal New Phytologist says that increasing the concentration of aromatic substances in tea plants can enhance their resistance to cold temperatures.

Researchers from east China’s Anhui Agriculture University have discovered that nerolidol, an aromatic substance accumulated in tea plants in cold weather, can be converted into a type of glucose by a key gene UGT91Q2. As the glucose is produced, it feeds the plant and is then gradually converted into other nutrients that promotes plant survival and growth when the temperature drops, subsequently enhancing the plant’s cold tolerance.

CES 2020 to kick off next week in Las Vegas

LOS ANGELES (Xinhua): The 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the world’s premier tech show, will kick off on Jan. 7 in Las Vegas.

More than 4,500 exhibitors will launch nearly 20,000 new transformative tech products to more than 170,000 attendees, encompassing 5G connectivity, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, smart cities and resilience, sports, robotics and more, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), organizer of the CES.

“Trends on the show floor will include the latest in 5G and mobile connectivity, vehicle technology, smart cities and digital health,” CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro told Xinhua in an interview ahead of the annual show.

“Top Chinese companies, including BYTON, Changhong, DJI, Haier, Hisense, Huawei, Konka, Lenovo, Segway, TCL and ZTE, are returning to CES 2020, along with hundreds of others,” Shapiro said.

CES 2020 will feature new and expanded exhibit areas, 300 conference sessions with 1,100 speakers, and more than 1,200 startups from over 45 countries.