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Another Global Cyber Attack likely to hail on Monday after Ransomware

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London, May 15, 2017: Another major cyber-attack is imminent after Friday’s global hit that infected more than 125,000 computer systems and could come on Monday, a security researcher warned on Sunday.

The UK security researcher “MalwareTech”, who helped to limit the ransomware attack, predicted “another one coming… quite likely on Monday”, the BBC reported.

The virus, which took control of users’ files, spread to 100 countries, including Spain, France and Russia.

In England, 48 National Health Service (NHS) trusts fell victim, as did 13 NHS bodies in Scotland.

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Some hospitals were forced to cancel procedures and appointments, as ambulances were directed to neighbouring hospitals free from the computer virus.

After taking computers over, the virus displayed messages demanding a payment of $300 in virtual currency Bitcoin to unlock files and return them to the user.

MalwareTech, who wants to remain anonymous, was hailed as an “accidental hero” after registering a domain name to track the spread of the virus, which actually ended up halting it.

“We have stopped this one, but there will be another one coming and it will not be stoppable by us,” the 22-year-old told the BBC on Sunday.

“So there’s a good chance they are going to do it… maybe not this weekend, but quite likely on Monday morning.”

He also warned hackers could upgrade the virus to remove the “kill switch” that helped to stop it.

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“Version 1 of WannaCrypt was stoppable but version 2.0 will likely remove the flaw. You’re only safe if you patch as soon as possible,” he tweeted.

Investigators are working to track down those responsible for the ransomware used on Friday, known as Wanna Decryptor or WannaCry.

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The virus exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows software, first identified by the US National Security Agency. IANS

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‘Digital drive brings India closer to cyber attack risk’

"Countries like India are developing very fast which opens doors for more cyber attacks," MD of Kaspersky Lab Asia Pacific added.

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  • India remains one of the prey of hackers
  • One of the recent attacks included WannaCrypt
  • The most vulnerable targets are the financial institutions

Rajnish Singh

Singapore, July 16: India’s growing economy and digital push have caught the attention of hackers and an increasing wave of cyber attacks could soon badly impact the country, experts from Russian cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab have warned.

India and other South Asian countries are now on the radar of cyber attackers, said experts, adding that the government and corporates need to procure state-of-the-art, New Age security solutions to thwart their plans.

The impact of recent global cyber attacks were clearly visible in India as “WannaCrypt” — that affected 150 countries globally — and the recent “Petya” malware attack hit computers in the country.

“India’s growing economy and digitalisation are really a big concern as cyber attackers have now begun focusing on developing countries with big populations and average incomes,” Eugene Kaspersky, Chairman and Chief Executive of Kaspersky Lab, told IANS on the sidelines of the recently-concluded “Interpol World 2017” conference in Singapore’s Suntec City.

His comments came as the Moscow-based cyber security firm found that the “Petya” attack hit Gateway Terminal India operated by AP Moller-Maersk at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), a facility near Mumbai which is India’s biggest container port.

Cyber attacks
There are considerable hike in malware attacks due to rampant digitization

The terminal was unable to load or unload because of the attack as it failed to identify which shipment belongs to whom.

According to Vitaly Kamluk, Director of Global Research and Analysis Team for APAC at Kaspersky Labs, there was no cyber security threat till 2010 and India was quite safe till then.

But now, India and other “developing countries are most vulnerable, especially the financial sector. We perceive that banks are most vulnerable in India”, Kamluk told IANS.

Stephan Neumeier, Managing Director of Kaspersky Lab Asia Pacific, stressed the need to educate people to save them from becoming victims of cyber attacks.

“As India’s economy is growing fast, more and more people are now getting access to Internet. They have 4G access and Android devices are becoming popular. They need to be educated about anti-virus solutions as mandatory for devices and be made aware about not falling for phishing attacks,” Neumeier emphasised.

He suggested that malicious emails or links should also be part of the awareness process.

“Countries like India are developing very fast which opens doors for more cyber attacks,” Neumeier added.

The experts also recalled how over 200,000 users were affected in 150 countries after the “WannaCrypt” virus attack which paralysed computers — with a demand being made for a payment of $300 in bitcoins (crypto-currency or virtual currency) for a system to be unblocked.

Citing reports, Kaspersky Lab said that cyber crime costs the world $450 billion per year, which is almost the annual budget of Russia, China and Japan.

The experts said the hackers target government ministries, banks, utilities, other key infrastructure and companies nationwide, demanding ransom in crypto-currency.

Giving the example of Bangladesh, the experts said the hackers recently made a bank heist in the country and made away with $1 billion in one attack, since the security was vulnerable.

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Cows up for Online Sale after Government’s Ban on Trading of Cattle

A rapid search on online marketplaces, such as OLX, shows that hundreds of cows are up for sale in the virtual world

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Cows, Pixabay
  • Government imposes ban of the sale of cattle
  • Sale of cows is surging in virtual market
  • The law is expected to leave many low-class group jobless, critics says

June 02, 2017: As the government’s restrictions on the sale of cattle advances, farmers and livestock traders have become more equipped digitization buttressing the long term of Modi’s Digital India. A rapid search on online marketplaces, such as OLX, shows that hundreds of cows are up for sale in the virtual world.

Last week, The environment ministry announced animal markets could only trade cattle for agricultural purposes, such as ploughing and dairy production. The law is introduced against animal cruelty, but critics say they are aimed at pacifying hard-line Hindu supporters of the Modi government. The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday suspended the order for four weeks.

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The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday suspended the order for four weeks.

Ravi Sharma, the resident of Varanasi was suspicious when asked about his online post, selling a desi brown cow for Rs 75,000. He then stated he has no interest in selling to a certain minority group.

In Ghazipur, close to Varanasi, Bheem Singh wants to get rid of three cows at the earliest, thus selling at 50 percent less than the market price. “It’s too dangerous keeping cows anymore. Anyone can come and beat us,” he said.

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The past two years witnessed a rise in attacks on Muslims and lower caste Hindus involved in the cattle trade, leading to several deaths.

On May 26, a group of “cow protectors” thrashed two meat traders on the suspicion that they were carrying beef. Police in Rajasthan’s Bhilwara arrested five people, including an alleged member of the RSS who torched a truck last week, which they thought was carrying cows for slaughter.

Several state governments have appealed to the PM to revoke the order, which they say was issued without discussing them. While some have decided to drag the matter to the court.

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Environment Minister, Harsh Vardhan,  said cattle bought and sold directly from farms would not be affected by the government’s order. “The aim of the rules is only to regulate the animal market and sale of cattle in them and ensure (the) welfare of cattle” in the markets,” he said.

However, many critics see the move as a blow to beef and leather exports that will leave thousands of people jobless and deprive millions of Christians, Muslims and poor Hindus of a cheap source of protein.

Cows have been sold on e-commerce websites earlier also but were only available occasionally under the pets section. However, ever since the BJP swept to power in Uttar Pradesh in March with priest-turned-politician Yogi Adityanath becoming the chief minister, there has been a swift surge and the rise of the gau rakshaks, or cow vigilantes.

Critics say a sense of fear has been instilled in farmers and cattle owners who feel safer trading within the restraints of the internet rather than an open market.

– by Staff writer at Newsgram

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5 Benefits of Therapeutic Landscapes : Forest Therapy

Forest are therapeutic landscapes which are endowed with multiple health-related benefits.

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Pixabay

June 01, 2017: Forest therapy is a unique blend of nature and spirituality, which drives you towards the state of nirvana, and away from the hustle bustle of city life. The idea originated in Japan, where it is called ‘Shinrin-yoku’ (forest bathing). The therapy entails you to absorb yourself in the woodland and imbibe the aroma, sounds and sights in your senses.

Forest are therapeutic landscapes which are endowed with multiple health-related benefits.

A Forest.Pixabay
Let us now understand the benefits that will take you closer to forest therapy:
Stress reduction

Forest settings lower the levels of cortisol and blood pressure, slows down heart rates, mobilises the activity of parasympathetic nerves that promote relaxation, and reduces the activity of sympathetic nerves associated with “fight or flight” reactions to stress.

Improves concentration

A walk in the grasslands of the forest shows better results as compared to strolling in residential settings. Secluded from the chaotic scenes of city, pasture lands boosts the spirits and minds of the person.

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Controls Diabetes  

Wood Walkers have low blood glucose, improved insulin sensitivity, and decreased levels of haemoglobin A1c, an indicator of a person’s average levels of blood sugar over the past 3 months.

Alleviates Pain

Sighting a nature scene and listening to nature sounds is a safe and sound approach to reducing pain during bone marrow biopsy.

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Fights Cancer

Nature walks is an important lifestyle factor in the prevention of cancer as well as helpful adjunctive therapy for people diagnosed with cancer.

-By staff writer at Newsgram