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11-year-old Indian-origin girl sells secure passwords in US

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New York: Mira Modi, an 11 year old girl of Indian origin in the US has started her own website where dice rolls generate cryptographically secure passwords.

The sixth grader in New York City charges $2 to generate a six-word Diceware passphrase for her customers.

Diceware, a familiar system which goes decades back, uses dice rolling as a way to generate random numbers, which are then matched to a long list of English words.

The passphrases are then created by combining these words into a non-sensical string which is very random and thus, difficult to crack. However, these passphrases have been proved to be easily memorized by humans.

“This whole concept of making your own passwords and being super secure and stuff, I don’t think my friends understand that, but I think it’s cool,” Modi told ‘Ars Technica’.

Julia Angwin, Modi’s mother, is a veteran journalist and author of Dragnet Nation. As a part of research for her book, Angwin employed her daughter to generate passphrases.

It was at this time that Modi thought of turning this into a business.

Modi physically rolls a dice for each order she gets, and looks up the words in a printed copy of the Diceware word list. She then notes down the corresponding password string onto a piece of paper and sends it to the customer by post.

“I think (good passwords are) important. Now we have such good computers, people can hack into anything so much more quickly,” Modi said.

(Inputs from Economic Times)

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Heavy Cyber Attacks From Russia, US, China In India

These honeypots are developed to deceive even elite hackers and appear to be serving a specific purpose or organisation.

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A man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him in this illustration picture. VOA

India has been the target of over 4.3 lakh cyber attacks from five countries including China, Russia and the US while more than 73,000 attacks were initiated from India between January and June this year, says a Finnish cybersecurity company.

According to F-Secure’s honeypot data, Russia, the US, China, the Netherlands and Germany targeted India with 436,090 attacks. This is nearly 12 times more than which originated from India.

Honeypots are basically decoy servers that emulate the real IT environment of a business enterprise.

cyber attacks
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

Russia accounted for most cyber attacks on India (255,589), followed by the US (103,458), China (42,544), the Netherlands (19,169) and 15,330 attacks from Germany.

On the other hand, the top five countries that were targeted by Indian cyber attackers were Austria, the Netherlands, the UK, Japan, and Ukraine — a total of 36,563.

F-Secure gave the break-up: Austria (12,540), the Netherlands (9,267), the UK (6,347), Japan (4,701) and 3,708 attacks targeted Ukraine’s businesses.

“The relatively higher number of inbound attacks on Indian honeypots reflects how the fast-digitising country is becoming more lucrative for global cyber criminals,” Leszek Tasiemski, Vice President of cyber security products R&D at F-Secure, said in a statement on Sunday.

Cryptocurrency, cyber attacks
Experts: Cyber attacks Growing Increasingly Sophisticated. Pixabay

“We are gathering and analysing all the pertinent data to ensure that our customers stay protected given the dynamically evolving threat landscape,” he added.

To track these cyber attacks, F-Secure has deployed 41 honeypots across the globe.

“Our public honeypots are a valuable source of threat intelligence and an integral part of the infrastructure that powers our various security offerings, including our Rapid Detection and Response Service,” Tasiemski said.

Honeypots are set up explicitly to grab attention of attackers. They are used to gain critical insights on attack types, popular targets, sources, volume and TTPs (Tactics, Techniques and Procedures).

Such insights are collected by deliberately allowing potential attackers to gain unauthorized access to the emulated services of a server and then studying the attack path to the point that the attacker realizes it is a honeypot, F-secure said.

Also Read: U.S. Government Warns People Against China-Linked Hacking Group

These honeypots are developed to deceive even elite hackers and appear to be serving a specific purpose or organisation.

They enable F-Secure to collect the latest malware samples or shell scripts and new hacking techniques.

The research data is then processed to further benefit F-Secure customers via product enhancements and threat intelligence reports. (IANS)