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Indian-origin Google Researcher Neel Mehta links ransomware Attack to North Korea

Cyber Attacks, VOA

London/Washington, May 16, 2017: As the world struggles to identify cybercriminals behind the global ransowmware attack that hit 150 countries, an Indian-origin security researcher working with Google has claimed that the hackers may have links to North Korea.

According to Neel Mehta’s discovery, the “Lazarus Group” that works on behalf of North Koreans may be behind the attack as the hacking group has, in the past, used the same coding and tools as were used in “WannaCrypt” — the software used in the current hacking into the Microsoft operating software, the BBC reported on Tuesday.

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“Neel Mehta’s discovery is the most significant clue to date regarding the origins of WannaCrypt,” the report quoted Moscow-based cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab as saying.

“Lazarus Group”, that according to Mehta is based in China, was responsible for a major hack on Sony Pictures in 2014 and another on a Bangladeshi bank in 2016.

Kaspersky Lab, however, noted that a lot more information was needed about earlier versions of “WannaCrypt” before any firm conclusion could be reached.

“We believe it’s important that other researchers around the world investigate these similarities and attempt to discover more facts about the origin of ‘WannaCrypt’,” the cyber security company added.

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Though North Korea has never admitted any involvement in the Sony Pictures hack, security researchers and the US government are confident in the theory and neither can rule out the possibility of a false flag.

There are possibilities that skilled hackers might have simply made the hack look like it had origins in North Korea by using similar techniques.

Kaspersky noted that false flags within “WannaCrypt” were “possible” but “improbable”, as the shared code was removed from later versions.

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There is another possibility that “Lazarus Group” may be working independently and without the instructions from North Korea, the report added.

Meanwhile, the White House said on Monday that less than $70,000 has been paid in the ransomware attack globally.

“We are not aware of payments that have led to any data recovery,” White House Homeland Security adviser Tom Bossert said at a daily briefing.

Specially, no US federal systems are affected, he said. (IANS)

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Paytm more preferred by Indian professionals than Google: LinkedIn

The rankings are based on analysis of flexible hours, a good parental leave policy, and time-off to do more than work to attract and retain good talent.

Paytm Logo, Wikimedia
  • Indian professionals prefer Paytm
  • After it, Amazon is the second most preferred app
  • Other preferred apps include Oyo, Flipkart, uber, etc.

Professionals in India prefer home-grown technology and mobile Internet companies such as One97 Communications (Paytm), Directi and Flipkart more than global giants such as Google Inc. and Amazon as their workplace, reveals a new report by LinkedIn which was published on Wednesday. The report includes the ranking of 25 most sought-after companies in India according to professionals, based on proprietary LinkedIn data as well as billions of actions by over 546 million professionals present on the platform.

Paytm is the most preferred app by indian professionals.Wikimedia Commons
Paytm is the most preferred app by Indian professionals. Wikimedia Commons

Amazon, which previously the second spot for the past two years in the list, consecutively, is now ranked fourth in the list after the top three companies namely Directi, Flipkart, and One97 Communications. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has been ranked seventh in the “Top Companies” list by Indian professionals on the social network site.

“The ‘Top Companies’ list highlights the companies where professionals in India want to work now, from homegrown companies to global giants,” said Adith Charlie, India Editor, LinkedIn. “Data shows us that an opportunity to work at solving big problems, rewriting the rules of one’s industry or simply putting a big name on one’s résume could be powerful motivators,” he added said.

Also Read: Popular App Paytm likely to merge Wallet Business with Payments Bank Operation

Ola saw a drop of 11 spots as it came down to the 16th this year from the fifth position in 2017, while McKinsey & Company made a significant jump to the sixth position from 24th last year. This year, more than 50 per cent of the companies in the list are new entrants including Directi (first), Anheuser-Busch InBev (fifth), EY (ninth) and Daimler AG (11th) which have given stiff competition to all the usual top runners namely Adobe (12th), Ola (16th) and Reliance Industries (24th).

Amazon is the second most preferred app. Wikimedia Commons

These rankings are based on analysis of flexible working hours, a great parental leave policy, and time-off to do more than work in order to attract as well as retain good talent. KPMG India and OYO, which is a network of budget hotels in the country, are the other companies which featured on the list of top 10 most preferred companies by Indian professionals. IANS