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Rajnath Singh hints at reducing security forces in north-east

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Guwahati: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday expressed concern over the large-scale deployment of security forces in the northeast and asked the chief ministers to conduct a “reality audit” for deployment in their states.

Rajnath Singh, who reached Assam on Friday evening, chaired a meeting of the chief ministers of the northeastern states on security and development on Saturday.

The home minister assured deployment of central forces when actually needed, saying reduction in deployment in the region without compromising on security was needed to encourage outsiders to think positively about the northeast.

“There has been significant improvement in the security scenario in the entire northeast in the past few years. The overall insurgency level is at an all-time low,” he said.

Stating that Mizoram, Tripura, a large part of Assam and Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh were “almost free of insurgency”, he said there was a strong desire for peace in Nagaland and Manipur too.

Rajnath Singh said that at present, the deployment of forces was even more than when insurgency was at its peak.

“We must plan to reduce the security deployment so as to make the environment easy to encourage positive thinking among outsiders about the region. I would like to urge all the chief ministers to have a realistic audit of deployment of the Central Armed Police Forces,” he said.

While there was curfew in Manipur, author Binalakshmi Nepram tweeted pictures of agitation between security forces and protestors.

Rajnath Singh expressed concern over the recent activities along the India-Myanmar border, saying there were reports of insurgents, weapons and drugs crossing the international border.

“I have constituted a committee headed by Joint Intelligence Committee chairman R.N. Ravi to review how to effectively manage the India-Myanmar border. The committee has reviewed the matter and is expected to submit its report soon,” he said.

The home minister said there was a need to tighten vigil along the Bangladesh border too.

Rajnath Singh also took up the issue of people living near the international border.

“We should not ignore the people on the border. There are some 240 villages along the India-Mynamar border and over two lakh people within 10 km of the India-Myanmar border. This large population is without any worthwhile security cover and they are at the mercy of insurgents. A similar situation prevails along the India-Bhutan border,” he said, appealing to the chief ministers to pay attention to this crucial area.

“You may consider opening and strengthening of police stations in the border areas,” he said.

Rajnath Singh also appealed to the chief ministers to provide land for border fencing.

On the issue of withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the region, the home minister said it would be withdrawn wherever the situation improves.

(IANS)

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Another Security flaw is Revealed By Intel in its Chips

Intel has disclosed a new variant of the Spectre and Meltdown security flaws in the chips that hackers may use to extract sensitive data from hundreds of millions of computers and mobile devices.

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With ML, an attacker doesn't even need to know what exactly is occurring as the computer is trained on a series of inputs and outputs of a system
Due to its nature, the chip is physically unclonable and can, thus, render the device invulnerable to hijacking, counterfeiting or replication by cyber-criminals. pixabay

Intel has disclosed a new variant of the Spectre and Meltdown security flaws in the chips that hackers may use to extract sensitive data from hundreds of millions of computers and mobile devices.

Intel is calling the new strain — Speculative Store Bypass (Variant 4) — and it is similar to the earlier flaw that taps into many of the same security vulnerabilities that were first revealed in January.

However, this time around it uses a different method to extract sensitive information, CNET quoted Intel as saying.

The new vulnerability also includes firmware updates for CPUs and Intel has already delivered microcode updates for Speculative Store Bypass in beta form to original equipment manufacturers.

Intel is classifying Variant 4 as a medium risk because many of the exploits it uses in web browsers, like Safari, Edge, and Chrome were fixed in the original set of patches, according to a blog post from the company.

IoT devices will become affordable with the help of Microchips.
Microchips, Wikimedia Commons

Intel has promised that the patches would be rolled out broadly in the next few weeks. The firmware updates would set the Speculative Store Bypass protection to off-by-default.

“If enabled, we have observed a performance impact of approximately two-to-eight per cent based on overall scores for benchmarks,” Leslie Culbertson, Intel’s Security Chief, was quoted as saying.

As a result, end users would have to pick between security or optimal performance.

Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities have been causing problems to companies like Intel, Arm and AMD that are major producers of chips for computers, laptops and mobile devices.

While Meltdown impacts only Intel chips, Spectre affects all other chips, including ARM and AMD. The vulnerabilities allow attackers to read sensitive information on users’ CPU.

Also Read: This Way China Can Help India In The Terms of Artificial Intelligence

While companies like Intel, Apple and Microsoft have issued updates to patch the flaws, the fixes have not always worked as intended, sometimes causing computer problems.

Earlier this year, following the news of the bugs getting out, all major tech players such as Microsoft, Google, Apple, including Intel, released security patches to help protect users from potential data theft. (IANS)