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Microsoft fixes 120 vulnerabilities, including 2 zero-day bugs

The second zero-day, tracked as CVE-2020-1380, resided in the scripting engine that ships with Internet Explorer.

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New Delhi, Aug 12 : Microsoft has fixed 120 vulnerabilities with its new security patch, including two zero-day bugs in Windows operating system and Internet Explorer that were being exploited by the hackers.

Microsoft has released an August 2020 security update that has patched 120 vulnerabilities across 13 different products, from Edge to Windows, and from SQL Server to the .NET Framework.

Among the vulnerabilities fixed this month, 17 bugs received the highest severity rating of “Critical,” and there are also two zero-days, ZDNet reported on Tuesday.

The first zero-day bug known as CVE-2020-1464 was fixed as part of the new security update.

Microsoft said that an attacker can exploit this bug and have Windows incorrectly validate file signatures.

The second zero-day, tracked as CVE-2020-1380, resided in the scripting engine that ships with Internet Explorer.

Microsoft received a report from cybersecurity firm Kaspersky that hackers found a remote code execution (RCE) bug in the internet explorer scripting engine and “were abusing it in real-world attacks”.

The bug, now fixed, can be exploited by luring users on malicious sites, or by sending them booby-trapped Office files.

India

CAG picks holes in Railway’s elaborate plans for Kumbh Mela

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Prayagraj, Kumbh 2019

New Delhi, Sep 23 : The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India on Wednesday pointed out various shortcomings in Railways’ elaborate plans to control rail traffic during the Kumbh Mela in 2019.

In the report tabled in both Parliament, the government auditor slammed the railways for failing to address issues such as running of special trains, works related to passenger amenities and safety, medical facilities to passengers, and waste management at station premises during the massive religious gathering.

It said that this led to inconvenience to passengers, who were not adequately addressed by the railways.

“Temporary fencing at vulnerable locations (track and station entry point) were not completed. This led to cases of free movement of cattle on tracks and passengers trespassing. Audit noted that the Railway estimated (September 2018) an evacuation of 33 lakh passengers, which was subsequently revised (December 2018) to 45.48 lakh. Railways initiated a figure of 73.66 lakh evacuation of passengers during Mela period,” it said.

It also noted that the Railways planned 821 special trains, but ran only 565.

“A significantly higher number of passengers, with fewer special trains resulted in large overcrowding of trains and caused much inconvenience to passengers,” it said.

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India

Railway Board failed to assess electric locos’ requirement: CAG

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Piyush Goyal

New Delhi, Sep 23 : The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on Wednesday said that despite the target of achieving 100 per cent electrification by 2022, the Railway Board failed to assess the requirement of electric locos properly, resulting in a 20 percent increase in diesel locos during 2012-2018, which adversely affected quality of maintenance.

The findings were mentioned in a CAG report tabled in the Parliament on Wednesday.

In its performance audit on “Assessment and Utilisation of Locomotives and Production and Maintenance of LHB Coaches in Indian Railways”, the government auditor said that the increase in the requirement of electric locos and the simultaneous reduction in utilisation of diesel locos was not adequately considered while assessing loco requirements.

“In the Mission Electrification and De-carbonization, the Minister of Railways issued directives (September 2017) for 100 per cent electrification in Indian Railways by 2022. The Railway Board, while assessing the loco requirements for the period 2012-19, did not properly review the increasing rate of electrification in the Railways. Increase in the requirement of electric locos and the simultaneous reduction in utilisation of diesel locos was not adequately considered while assessing loco requirements,” it said.

The CAG highlighted that the main criteria adopted by Railway Board for the assessment of requirement of locos were based on “previous year’s actual production”.

“Requirement of locos was not decided on the basis of actual need and there was no structured methodology for assessing the requirement of locos based on specifically laid down parameters. This led to more number of diesel locos in the system than required. In fact, the diesel loco holdings in Indian Railways increased by 20 per cent (947) during 2012-18,” it said.

Pulling up the national transporter, the CAG said that the Railways was holding and maintaining locos much more than the homing capacity available and this excess holding adversely impacted the quality of loco maintenance.

“Lack of quality control, use of inferior material, poor supervision and inadequate internal control occurred during scheduled maintenance of locos in loco sheds. Audit noticed unscheduled repairs of 17,530 diesel and 22,078 electric locos during 2012-17.

“On account of defective material in manufacturing etc, 46 per cent new locos failed within 100 days of their commissioning. Audit also noticed that almost half of diesel and electric locos failed after their scheduled maintenance by loco sheds,” it said.

The performance audit on production and maintenance of LHB coaches pointed out that data of accidents and fatalities showed that there is an urgent need to switch over to LHB rakes to ensure safety of the railway passengers, especially in trains with higher speeds.

“During 2013-14 to 2017-18, only 30 per cent of the total 19,327 coaches produced were of LHB type. Modern Coach Factory, Rae Bareli (MCF) was set up only for production of LHB coaches. However, against a combined installed capacity of 5,000 LHB coaches for 2013-18, only 1,842 LHB coaches (shortfall of 63 per cent) were actually produced,” it said.

“During 2015-16 to 2017-18, only 108 ICF conventional rakes out of 195 planned (55 per cent) could be converted into LHB rakes. Meanwhile, out of 49,033 ICF design coaches, 609 coaches have already attained their codal life of 25 years as on 31 March 2018. This has implication on passenger safety. About 13 per cent (6,259 coaches) were between the age of 20 and 25 years and would need to be replaced in the next five years,” it said.

The CAG also said that the Indian Railways need to replace at least 6,868 coaches (14 per cent) over a period of next five years. “However, the present production programme was not able to meet the requirement of coach production,” it said.

It also highlighted that the Indian Railways did not have adequate facilities in their workshops for Periodical Overhauling (POH)/Intermediate Overhauling (IOH) of LHB coaches.

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Business

Airlines on verge of collapse, may shut if situation doesn’t improve: GoAir to SC

SC deferred the hearing of the case for refund of air tickets booked during lockdown period till September 25

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GoAir

New Delhi: A day after aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) informed the Supreme Court (SC) that passengers who booked tickets during lockdown are eligible for refunds, the government recommended that airlines pay 0.5% interest for delayed refunds.

While both Vistara and AirAsia opposed the levy of interest stating that many of their customers prefer credit shell, country’s largest airline IndiGo said it refunded the tickets for the lockdown period in full.

The government also said it is open to considering the interest of any particular segment of passengers if adversely affected.

New Delhi: A day after aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) informed the Supreme Court (SC) that passengers who booked tickets during lockdown are eligible for refunds, the government recommended that airlines pay 0.5% interest for delayed refunds.

While both Vistara and AirAsia opposed the levy of interest stating that many of their customers prefer credit shell, country’s largest airline IndiGo said it refunded the tickets for the lockdown period in full.

The government also said it is open to considering the interest of any particular segment of passengers if adversely affected.

Meanwhile, GoAir pleaded with the apex court that many airlines were on the brink of collapse and might shut down if If the situation doesn’t improve.

SC has deferred the hearing on airlines’ fare refund case for September 25.

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