Thursday August 22, 2019
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‘269 dead in Tamil Nadu floods, Chennai turned into island’

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(Source: ADGPI - Indian Army)

New Delhi: The heaviest rains in Tamil Nadu in over a century and floods have left 269 people dead, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday, describing the situation as “alarming”.

The minister also told the Lok Sabha that 54 people had been killed in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and two in Puducherry.

“There are no two opinions that the situation in Tamil Nadu is alarming. It is not an exaggeration to say that Chennai has turned into an island,” Singh said.

He said all highways leading to Chennai were closed.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the flood destruction must be declared a national disaster, and requested Rs 5,000 crore as immediate aid to the state.

Responding to Jayalalithaa’s request, Modi announced the release of Rs 1,000 crore from the NDRF.

Chennai, the Home Minister said, had received torrential rains, and the meteorological department had forecast more rains in the next two-three days.

Singh said 30 teams of the National Disaster Response Force and seven columns of the army were engaged in relief and rescue work. The navy had also deployed boats and divers.

He said the central government would provide all necessary assistance sought by the Tamil Nadu government.

Singh said he spoke to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa as well as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and Puducherry Chief Minister A N Rangasamy.

Referring to Odisha, he said more money would be released in the wake of Cyclone Phailin which hit the state in 2013.

He said the centre would take necessary steps on West Bengal’s demand for central assistance in the wake of the heavy rains in the last monsoon.

Sudip Bandopadhyay of Trinamool Congress said the central team decided on assistance without consulting the chief minister.

He said West Bengal had suffered both drought and floods. Expressing unhappiness over the minister’s reply, Trinamool Congress members staged a walk out.

Bhartruhari Mahtab of Biju Janata Dal said the minister had not given a concrete reply over the state’s demands in the wake of cyclone Phalin during which nearly 10 lakh people were evacuated to safer places.

Deputy Speaker M. Thambidurai, an MP from the AIADMK, said the central government should accept all the demands of the Tamil Nadu chief minister relating to the flood situation.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the central government should call a meeting of Niti Aayog and increase the amount of assistance to the states.

Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav suggested creating a separate department to deal with natural disasters.

Rajnath Singh said: “The central government has been providing maximum assistance to states and will continue to do so.”

(With inputs from agencies)

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Chennai-Based Security Researcher Wins $30,000 after He Spotted Flaw in Instagram

He discovered it was possible to take over someone's Instagram account by triggering a password reset

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Muthiyah said the vulnerability allowed him to to "hack any Instagram account without consent permission." Pixabay

Chennai-based security researcher Laxman Muthiyah has won $30,000 as a part of a bug bounty programme after he spotted a flaw in Facebook-owned photo-sharing app Instagram.

Muthiyah said the vulnerability allowed him to to “hack any Instagram account without consent permission.”

He discovered it was possible to take over someone’s Instagram account by triggering a password reset, requesting a recovery code, or quickly trying out possible recovery codes against the account.

“I reported the vulnerability to the Facebook security team and they were unable to reproduce it initially due to lack of information in my report. After a few email and proof of concept video, I could convince them the attack is feasible,” Muthiyah wrote in a blog post this week.

Chennai, Researcher, Instagram
Chennai-based security researcher Laxman Muthiyah has won $30,000 as a part of a bug bounty programme after he spotted a flaw in Facebook-owned photo-sharing app Instagram. Pixabay

Facebook and Instagram security teams fixed the issue and rewarded me $30,000 as a part of their bounty programme, he added.

Paul Ducklin, Senior Technologist at cyber security major Sophos, however, warned while the vulnerability found by Muthiyah no longer existed, users should familiarise themselves with the process of getting back control of their social media accounts, in case they get hacked.

“In case any of your accounts do get taken over, familiarise yourself with the process you’d follow to win them back. In particular, if there are documents or usage history that might help your case, get them ready before you get hacked, not afterwards,” Ducklin said in a statement.

Muthiyah earlier identified not only a data deletion flaw, but also a data disclosure bug on Facebook.

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The first bug could have zapped all your photos without knowing your password; the second meant tricking you to install an innocent-looking mobile app that could riffle through all your Facebook pictures without being given access to your account.

“To be clear: he found those holes in compliance with Facebook’s Bug Bounty programme, and he disclosed them responsibly to Facebook,” Ducklin said.

“As a result, Facebook was able to fix the problems before the bugs became public, and (as far as anyone knows) these bugs were patched before anyone else found them,” he remarked. (IANS)