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Obama defends Iran n-deal, calls it best alternative

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Washington: US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that the Iran nuclear agreement was the best way to avoid a nuclear arms race and more wars in the Middle East, urging Congress to approve the n-deal.

“Without a deal, there would be no limits to Iran’s nuclear programme and Iran could move close to a nuclear bomb,” Obama said during a press conference held at the White House. “Without a deal, we risk even more war in the Middle East,” Xinhua quoted him as saying.

While stressing that other countries in the region would feel compelled to pursue their own nuclear weapons programmes, Obama defended the deal “is our best means of assuring that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon”.

Negotiations_about_Iranian_Nuclear_Program_-_the_Ministers_of_Foreign_Affairs_and_Other_Officials_of_the_P5+1_and_Ministers_of_Foreign_Affairs_of_Iran_and_EU_in_Lausanne

Obama announced on Tuesday that a comprehensive long-term Iran nuclear deal has been reached between Iran and six world major countries, claiming it will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and makes US and the world “safer and more secure”.

The agreement is seen as a political triumph for Obama.

Republican lawmakers and US ally Israel, however, blasted the deal vehemently. Critics said Obama abandoned many of his goals set for the negotiations and made too much concessions to Tehran in striking such a deal.

“I’m hearing a lot of talking points being repeated,” Obama said. “What I haven’t heard is what is your preferred alternative?” He scolded the critics of deal, including Republicans in Congress and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for ignoring the facts of the deal.

“My hope is that everyone in Congress also evaluates this agreement based on the facts,” Obama said. “Not on politics. Not on posturing. Not on the fact that this is a deal that I bring to Congress, as opposed to a Republican president. Not based on lobbying.”

Obama on Tuesday urged Congress to approve the deal and threatened to veto any vote against it.

“I believe it would be irresponsible to walk away from the deal, but on such a tough issue, it is important that the American people and the representatives in Congress get a full opportunity to review the deal,” Obama said.

“I am confident that this deal will meet the national security interests of the United States and our allies, so I will veto any legislation that prevents the successful implementation of this deal.”

US Congress has 60 days to review and vote on the Iran nuclear agreement. (IANS)

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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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