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Court allows environmentalist R.K. Pachauri to visit TERI offices

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New Delhi: A court here on Friday allowed environmentalist R.K. Pachauri, accused in a sexual harassment case, to visit all the offices of TERI, except two establishments in one of which the complainant worked.

Additional Sessions Judge Raj Kumar Tripathi allowed Pachauri’s plea seeking permission to visit The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) premises, but barred him from visiting the organisation’s offices in Lodhi Colony in south Delhi and Gurgaon.

Delhi Police, opposing Pachauri’s plea, told the court that the victim was working at the Gurgaon office and some of the witnesses who were working at the Lodi Colony office were yet to be examined.

After the sexual harassment complaint, Pachauri, who denied all allegations, stepped down as chairperson of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in February and proceeded on leave from TERI as its director-general.

Citing several SMS texts, e-mails and WhatsApp messages as evidence, the woman accused Pachauri of sexually harassing her soon after she joined TERI in September 2013 and filed a complaint in February.

Pachauri was granted anticipatory bail on March 21 but was directed not to enter the TERI offices till the investigation is complete and not to leave the country without the court’s permission.

(IANS)

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Delhi Police And Microsoft Work Together To Catch Cyber Thugs

Microsoft, that invests more than a billion dollars a year in security research, innovation and development, reached out to 126 organisations in India last year.

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A man walks past a Microsoft sign set up for the Microsoft BUILD conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco, April 28, 2015. Microsoft says it’s requiring its U.S. suppliers to offer their employees at least 12 weeks paid leave to care for a new child. The company announced the new parental leave policy Thursday. VOA

In a significant operation earlier this month, the cyber cell of Delhi Police arrested 24 people who posed as Microsoft tech support staff and duped several US citizens.

This could not have been possible without the the real-time monitoring of cyber crimes by Microsoft’s Digital Crime Unit (DCU) in Redmond that is using Cloud, Big Data, Machine Learning (ML) and Business Intelligence (BI) to improve the security of its products and services, protect vulnerable populations, fight malware, and reduce digital risks.

The real-time data analytics and sharing of key inputs with relevant law enforcement agencies helped bust 10 companies that were illegally running call centres at various places in Delhi that targeted Microsoft Windows users.

 

Microsoft
A sign for Microsoft is seen on a building in Cambridge. VOA

 

“It was real-time monitoring that helped us crack the Delhi gang behind the large-scale tech support fraud. The whole operation has been encouraging in our fight against cyber crimes,” Shilpa Bratt, Director (Shared Services) of Digital Crimes Unit, told IANS.

“We worked closely with our DCU staff in India and Singapore to nail the culprits. I believe there are more such cyber criminals out there and we will up the ante against their sinister plans,” Bratt added.

The cyber criminals impersonated as Microsoft tech support staff after they managed to fraudulently pop up messages on users’ screens that their systems had been affected by malware.

In order to fix the systems, they charged any sum between $100 and $500 from the victims.

According to the Delhi police, incriminating evidence in the form of cheques from customers in the name of Microsoft Tech support, call recordings, virtual dialers, Microsoft Tech support training material, call log transcripts detailing the conversation with victims of fraud, payment gateway records and servers were seized.

 

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Delhi Police (representational Image), VOA

 

According to a Microsoft survey released this month, 68 per cent users in India experienced tech support scams in the past year and some of them (14 per cent) even lost money.

The problem is not limited to India alsone. Tech support scams are a problem worldwide, with three out of five people globally having experienced one in the past year and one in five losing money to fraudsters, according to the “Tech Support Scam Survey 2018” released by DCU.

In 2014, the DCU filed a civil lawsuit in federal court in the central district of California against some companies and related entities in India for unfair and deceptive business practices and trademark infringement.

According to the lawsuit, 3.3 million Americans fall victim to technical support scams annually, losing $1.5 billion.

The scammers claim to find non-existent computer viruses and infections, and then con people out of their hard-earned money for bogus tech support, in addition to stealing personal and financial information or even installing new malicious software.

Microsoft
Tech support scams are a problem worldwide, with three out of five people globally having experienced one in the past year.

“At DCU, we are constantly monitoring such scammers. The fight against them will only intensify in days to come,” Bratt noted.

In the last two days, informed Bratt, over 2 billion connected devices were affected with active threats globally and India was at the second spot after Vietnam in the top affected countries.

The data was generated by Microsoft’s real-time “Threat Monitor”.

The DCU – with 22 employees at its Redmond headquarters and 60 overall at 30 offices globally including in India — is working round-the-clock to intercept, analyse and mitigate threats, thus creating a road-map for various industry stakeholders globally to plan relevant actions.

In total, a team of 3,500 professionals at Microsoft is looking at security, built into the company’s products and services, using frameworks such as the security development lifecycle and operational security assurance.

Also Read: Google Launches New Cyber Security Unit For Play Store

Microsoft’s Cybersecurity Engagement Centre in New Delhi is already empowering organisations with information and techniques to secure critical information infrastructure and help reduce malware and digital risk.

Microsoft, that invests more than a billion dollars a year in security research, innovation and development, reached out to 126 organisations in India last year.

“Our big worry is attacks from nation-state actors as law enforcement is challenged by borders. The cross-border nature of cyber crime has created safe havens for bad actors. We need a stronger global security law to deal with such situations which are increasing by the day,” Bratt emphasised.  (IANS)