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China’s renminbi weakens

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Beijing: The central parity rate of the Chinese currency, the renminbi (yuan) weakened by 137 basis points to 6.5169 against the US dollar on Tuesday, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trading System.

The yuan hit its lowest level in more than four years in both onshore and offshore trade on Monday, as bad news about the country’s manufacturing activity unnerved investors, Xinhua reported.

The Caixin General China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), an indicator of manufacturing activity, edged down to 48.2 in December from November’s 48.6 percent. The reading was the lowest since September.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion while a reading below 50 represents contraction.

The yuan has largely been trending down since China’s central bank revamped its foreign exchange mechanism last August to make the currency more market-based.

The yuan has been losing ground as the Chinese economy hit its slowest pace in a quarter century due to outstanding issues such as housing overhang and excess capacity.

Meanwhile, the US raised its interest rates in December and more hikes are expected in 2016.

The PBOC said in August that there is no basis for steady depreciation of the yuan. (IANS), (image courtesy: fortunedotcom.files.wordpress.com)

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Cybercrimes cost businesses $600 billion globally: McAfee report

Cybercrime losses are greater in richer countries; however, the countries with the greatest losses are mid-tier nations that are digitised but not yet fully capable of cybersecurity, the report noted.

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Russia, North Korea and Iran are the most active in hacking financial institutions, while China is the most active in cyber espionage.
Russia, North Korea and Iran are the most active in hacking financial institutions, while China is the most active in cyber espionage. Wikimedia Commons

Cybercrimes have cost businesses close to $600 billion globally — or 0.8% the global GDP — which is up from $445 billion reported three years back, a report said on Thursday.

The report by the global cybersecurity firm McAfee, prepared along with the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), said that over the last three years, cybercriminals have quickly adopted new technologies to ease the process of engaging in cybercrimes.

“Ransomware-as-a-Service Cloud providers efficiently scale attacks to target millions of systems, and attacks are automated to require minimal human involvement,” Steve Grobman, Chief Technology Officer for McAfee, said in a statement.

Also Read: Indian companies more prone to cyber attacks

“Add to these factors cryptocurrencies that ease rapid monetisation, while minimising the risk of arrest, and you must conclude that the $600 billion cybercrime figure reflects the extent to which our technological accomplishments have transformed the criminal economy as dramatically as they have every other portion of our economy,” he added.
The report, titled “Economic Impact of Cybercrime — No Slowing Down”, said that banks remain the favourite target for cybercriminals.

McAfee, Inc. is an American global computer security software company.
McAfee, Inc. is an American global computer security software company. Wikimedia Commons

Russia, North Korea and Iran are the most active in hacking financial institutions, while China is the most active in cyber espionage.

“Our research bore out the fact that Russia is the leader in cybercrime, reflecting the skill of its hacker community and its disdain for Western law enforcement,” said James Lewis, Senior Vice President at CSIS.

“North Korea is second in line, as the nation uses cryptocurrency theft to help fund its regime, and we’re now seeing an expanding number of cybercrime centres, including not only North Korea but also Brazil, India and Vietnam,” Lewis added.

Cybercrime losses are greater in richer countries; however, the countries with the greatest losses are mid-tier nations that are digitised but not yet fully capable of cybersecurity, the report noted. (IANS)

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