Friday December 14, 2018

Your ATM Machine may be full of Germs, can also cause Sexually Transmitted Disease (STDs) : Researchers

The researchers in June and July 2014 took swabs of keypads from 66 ATM machines from Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn, in the US

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New York, Nov 18, 2016: Be careful the next time you visit the nearby automated teller machine (ATM), as the keypad may be loaded with bacterias from spoiled food to parasites that may also cause sexually transmitted disease (STDs), researchers say.

[bctt tweet=”Automated teller machine (ATM) keypads represent a specific and unexplored microhabitat for microbial communities. ” username=””]

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“Our results suggest that ATM keypads integrate microbes from different sources, including the human microbiome, foods, and potentially novel environmental organisms adapted to air or surfaces,” said Jane Carlton, Professor at New York University, US.

“DNA obtained from ATM keypads may therefore provide a record of both human behaviour and environmental sources of microbes,” Carlton added.

The researchers in June and July 2014 took swabs of keypads from 66 ATM machines from Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn, in the US.

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Specifically, the most common identified sources of microbes on the keypads were from household surfaces such as televisions, restrooms, kitchens and pillows, as well as from bony fish, mollusks and chicken.

Residual DNA from a meal may remain on a person’s hands and be transferred to the ATM keypad upon use, the researchers suggested.

ATM keypads located in laundromats and stores had the highest number of biomarkers with the most prominent being Lactobacillales (lactic acid bacteria), which is usually found in decomposing plants or milk products.

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In other samples, the researchers observed the biomarker Xeromyces bisporus, which is associated with spoiled baked goods.

In addition, the team found a parasite typically seen in the gut of humans and other mammals, along with a species closely related to the human parasite Trichomonas vaginalis, which can potentially cause STD.

However, there is no significant difference was found in the keypads from ATMs located outdoors versus indoors, the researcher noted, in the paper published in the journal ‘mSphere.’ (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google, Facebook face greater scrutiny in Australia. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?