Connect with us


Indian Computer Emergency Response Team issues advisory on wannacry ransomware




Government’s cyber security arm CERT-In has alerted vital institutions including RBI, stock markets and NPCI against the latest cyber attack that has infected thousands of systems globally.

It has issued a list of do’s and dont’s to these agencies and advised installation of relevant “patches” to protect against any data breaches.

According to official sources, the government has made necessary arrangements to handle the situation.

“No major incident of cyber attack has been brought to the notice of Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT- In) yet,” they added.

Reports suggest that nearly 100 countries, including India, were hit by the massive cyber attack.

A new ransomware named “Wannacry” is spreading globally that encrypts files on the infected Windows PCs.

Once infected, users are asked to pay USD 300 worth of cryptocurrency Bitcoin to retrieve their files.

As per the advisory issues, the ransomware infects other computers on the same network and is also spreading through malicious attachments to e-mails.

The cyber attack was first reported from Sweden, Britain and France, the US media outlets reported.

An increase in activity of the malware was noticed yesterday, security software company Avast reported, adding that it “quickly escalated into a massive spreading”.

Within hours, over 75,000 attacks have been detected worldwide, the company said. Meanwhile, the MalwareTech tracker detected over 100,000 infected systems over the past 24 hours.

In Spain, major companies including telecommunications firm Telefonica were infected. The most disruptive attacks were reported in the UK, where hospitals and clinics were forced to turn away patients after losing access to computers.

Security firms have suggested that users immediately disconnect the infected device from the local network to contain the infection.

“Also, report the incident to the appropriate local law enforcement authority. Each country handles incidents of electronic crime differently, but in general most national law enforcement agencies urge companies to report incidents and avoid paying any ransom demanded,” F-Secure Asia Pacific Head (Corporate Business) Amit Nath said.



Sushma should apologize to 39 bereaved families for ‘misleading’ them: Congress



Randeep Surjewala

New Delhi, March 20 : The Congress on Tuesday demanded that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj should apologise to families of the 39 Indians, killed in Iraq, for “misleading” them and also demanded that the Narendra Modi government compensate them.

The party also accused the government of crossing all limits of “insensitivity, inhumanity, and being merciless” as well as politicising the issue.

“The 39 Indians were kidnapped in June 2014. The entire world and the neighbouring countries had confirmed that they were not alive,” said Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.

However, the government had however assured the country and the families seven times from 2014 till July 2017 that they were and being provided basic amenities and food, he said.

“When Indian media went to Mosul in July 2017 and reported that the Indians were not alive, Sushma Swaraj and Modi government rejected it. When an eyewitness came forward said that the ISIS have killed the Indians, they rejected it too.

“Sushma Swaraj had said when Iraqi Prime Minister comes to India, the government will confirm it from him, but didn’t do anything,” he added.

“Did the government think about the families even once, when they were desperately waiting for their dear ones for four years.

“Now they are blaming us for politicising it. 39 Indians have died, but the minister is praising the government and thanking the PM and her junior minister,” he said.

Surjewala also asked what was the need to give the statement in a hurry. “Was it not because Iraq’s Martyrs Foundation was going to hold a press conference in the afternoon today (Tuesday) and was about the reveal the truth about the killing of 39 Indians? She, therefore, gave the statement in a hurry.

“She gave the statement when the issue of no-confidence came up. Sushma Swaraj and Modi government should not have done politics with this….Unfortunately, even today they are politicising it.”

“We demand, if there is slightest of humanity left, the minister should visit all the families and apologise to them for misleading them. Modi government must also compensate the families respectfully for the long wait of four years,” he demanded.

Continue Reading


Aadhaar exposes transgenders to surveillance, harassment: SC told

Appearing for Swatantra, advocate Jayana Kothari told the court that agencies collecting demography information for Aadhaar could not insist on the disclosure of gender identity as it is covered under privacy.



Majority of transgendera

New Delhi, March 20 : The Supreme Court was told on Tuesday that the parting of personal biometric and demographic information by transgenders and sexual minorities under the Aadhaar Act exposes them to “violence, surveillance and harassment by the State and private persons”.

“Once the personal demographic details of transgenders and sexual minorities is declared, it exposes them to surveillance, violence, and discrimination including infringement of their fundamental right to life and liberty, equality, free speech and movement,” NGO Swatantra told a constitution bench.

The five-judge bench, comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justices A.K. Sikri, A.M. Khanwilkar, D.Y. Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, is hearing a batch of petitions including by former Karnataka High Court Judge K.S. Puttuswamy, Magsaysay awardee Shanta Sinha, feminist researcher Kalyani Sen Menon and others challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act.

Appearing for Swatantra, advocate Jayana Kothari told the court that agencies collecting demography information for Aadhaar could not insist on the disclosure of gender identity as it is covered under privacy.

Pointing to the Supreme Court granting transgenders the legal status by recognising them as the third gender, Kothari said the compulsory disclosure of gender identity while parting with biometric and demographic information was violative of the Constitution’s Article 14.

Referring to the top court judgment upholding right to privacy as a fundamental right, Kothari said this would also include the right to informational privacy which permits individual control over the dissemination of personal information including gender identity.

Mentioning past and prevailing laws, including the Karnataka Police Act and Telangana Eunuchs Act, Kothari said “these laws continue to enable the State to target and prosecute (people from the) transgender community solely on the basis of their gender identity”.

Kothari told the court that Telangana Eunuchs Act is a “draconian colonial legislation” which empowers the State to make arrests solely on the basis of gender identity.

“A brief review of existing legislation, ongoing litigation and State action (and)prosecution confirms that wherever the State has been permitted to aggregate information about transgender community it has often led to systematic discrimination and oppression of the community in India,” Kothari said.

Continue Reading


Amarinder urges Centre to extend help to kin of hostages killed in Iraq

Expressing grief at the news, the Chief Minister said it had come as a shock to the families and to everyone else in Punjab, as they had been hoping and praying for the well-being of the hostages, who had been abducted by the ISIS in 2014.



Amrinder Singh

Chandigarh, March 20 : Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday asked External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to provide all necessary assistance to the families of the hostages killed in Iraq in performing the last rites, along with an ex-gratia relief for them.

The Chief Minister, who wrote to Sushma Swaraj on the issue, also called her to speak to her personally to ensure that the central government makes all efforts to bring the mortal remains of the deceased to India for the last rites.

The External Affairs Minister assured Amarinder Singh that the Indian government was making arrangements to bring the last remains in coffins with due respect being accorded to the deceased, a statement by the state government said.

The Chief Minister told her that his government would make arrangements for the coffins to be delivered to the families of the victims for the final rites.

Amarinder Singh said he had already directed state government officials to personally visit the bereaved families to share the sad news.

In his letter to the Union Minister, the Chief Minister pointed out that 24 of the deceased hailed from Punjab.

While the state government had been providing a monthly assistance of Rs 20,000 to the bereaved families, he said he would be grateful if the Centre could also give them due assistance in view of the extra-ordinary circumstances surrounding the matter.

Expressing grief at the news, the Chief Minister said it had come as a shock to the families and to everyone else in Punjab, as they had been hoping and praying for the well-being of the hostages, who had been abducted by the ISIS in 2014.

Amarinder Singh earlier told reporters outside the state assembly here that the deaths of the 39 hostages should have been confirmed by the central government immediately after the lone survivor revealed that the remaining had been taken hostage.

The families had been living under a pall of uncertainty all these years, which would naturally have aggravated their miseries manifold, he added.

Continue Reading

Most Popular