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Taliban is Likely to Increase Attacks during Ramadan, say Security Experts

Taliban will surge their attacks in the month of Ramadan to show that they are not dead

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Muslims around the world celebrating first day of Ramadan. Image Source: Reuters

The Taliban in Afghanistan is likely to increase attacks during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in an effort to demonstrate that the recent death of the group’s leader has not affected it in any way, Afghan security experts say.

Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan last week.

Photo taken on cellphone purports to show the destroyed vehicle in which Mullah Mohammad Akhtar Mansour was traveling in the Ahmad Wal area in Baluchistan province of Pakistan, near Afghanistan's border, May 22, 2016. Image source: AP
Photo taken on cellphone purports to show the destroyed vehicle in which Mullah Mohammad Akhtar Mansour was traveling in the Ahmad Wal area in Baluchistan province of Pakistan, near Afghanistan’s border, May 22, 2016. Image source: AP

“In order to show the world that they are not dead, Taliban will surge their attacks in the month of Ramadan”, said retired Afghan National Security General Wahid Taqat.  The Muslim holy month begins June 6.

Afghan security officials insist they are prepared for any increase in attacks during Ramadan or any other time.

“Afghan security forces are ready more than ever”, said Afghan National Security Council spokesperson Tawab Ghorzang.

Meanwhile, Afghan officials officials Sunday reported fierce fighting in southern Helmand province.

They say the hostilities erupted overnight after Taliban insurgents staged simultaneous attacks in three districts. Both sides claim to have inflicted heavy casualties on the other.

 Afghan officials confirmed a senior police commander was also killed. Helmand is the largest Afghan province where the Taliban controls several districts.  (VOA)

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Smart Bulbs Can Steal Personal Information Through Hacking

Now researchers have conducted a review of the security holes that exist in popular smart-light brands

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The owner might not know about the hack because the Hacking commands are communicated within the owner's home Wi-Fi network, without using the internet. Pixabay

Smart bulbs are expected to be a popular purchase. But could lighting your home open up your personal information to hackers? Now a new study from an Indian-origin researcher shows that the hacker’s next prime target could be that smart bulb for Hacking your Personal Information.

Some smart bulbs connect to a home network without needing a smart home hub, centralised hardware or software device where another internet of things (IoT) products communicate with each other.

Smart home hubs, which connect either locally or to the cloud, are useful for IoT devices that use the Zigbee or Z-Wave protocols or Bluetooth, rather than Wi-Fi.

“Your smart bulb could come equipped with infrared capabilities, and most users don’t know that the invisible wave spectrum can be controlled. You can misuse those lights,” said study lead author Murtuza Jadliwala, Professor from the University of Texas at San Antonio in the US.

“Any data can be stolen: texts or images. Anything that is stored in a computer,” Jadliwala added.

Earlier this year Amazon’s Echo made global headlines when it was reported that consumers’ conversations were recorded and heard by thousands of employees.

Now researchers have conducted a review of the security holes that exist in popular smart-light brands.

According to the analysis, the next prime target could be the smart bulb that shoppers buy.

If these same bulbs are also infrared-enabled, hackers can send commands via the infrared invisible light emanated from the bulbs to either steal data or spoof other connected IoT devices on the home network, the study said.

The owner might not know about the hack because the hacking commands are communicated within the owner’s home Wi-Fi network, without using the internet.

Hacking
Smart bulbs are expected to be a popular purchase. But could lighting your home open up your personal information to hackers? Now a new study from an Indian-origin researcher shows that the hacker’s next prime target could be that smart bulb for Hacking Personal Information. Pixabay

Smart bulbs have moved beyond novelty to a lucrative mature market. Last year consumers spent close to $8 billion, and that amount is expected to more than triple to $28 billion in less than a decade.

“These bulbs are now poised to become a much more attractive target for exploitation even though they have very simple chips,” Jadliwala said.

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Jadliwala recommends that consumers opt for bulbs that come with a smart home hub rather than those that connect directly to other devices. (IANS)