three Of Bihar’s 243 Legislators Say they may return government’s presents

3 Of Bihar's 243 Legislators Say They Will Return Government's Gifts

On Friday, the country‘s schooling department had given microwave ovens really worth Rs. 11,225 eachto 243 legislators.
PATNA: a day after snap shots of Bihar’s 243 legislators being gifted a microwave oven each by using thekingdom‘s training department caused outrage, the competition BJP says its senior leaders will go backthe present.

Senior Bihar BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi introduced his intention on Twitter. “Lakhs of faculty teachers(are) without earnings for last 4 months. Prem Kumar, Mangal Pandey and myself will return presents like micro oven back to executive (sic),” Mr Modi tweeted.

protecting the exercise that has gone on for two decades, consisting of while the BJP was in strengthfor 8 years, education minister Ashok Chaudhary had stated, “Our MLAs want to tour to their constituencies to look into mid-day food. So when they pass, they are able to take the microwave oven with them and warmth meals and consume.”

“GOB has given ridiculous justification that Bihar MLA’s are terrible & will use micro oven to flavor Mid Day Meal. MLA’s paid 1.5 Lakh according to month,” Mr Modi said in another tweet.

It isn’t clear even though whether or not different BJP legislators will observe fit. The BJP has fifty threemembers in a house of 243.

The Bihar government though keeps to protect the pass to hand out microwave ovens to the legislators from a branch that is suffering to pay teachers‘ salaries in time. “it’s been a lifestyle from starting. Theitems given had been cheaper than last year. It become an revolutionary idea to display the middayfood,” Mr Chaudhary repeated today.

Ransomware Hackers Are Borrowing Customer-Service Tactics, Say Experts

Ransomware Hackers Are Borrowing Customer-Service Tactics, Say Experts

When hackers set out to extort the town of Tewksbury, Massachusetts with “ransomware,” they followed up with an FAQ explaining the attack and easy instructions for online payment.

After baulking for several days, Tewksbury officials decided that paying the modest ransom of about $600 was better than struggling to unlock its own systems, said police chief Timothy Sheehan.

That case and others show how cybercriminals have professionalised ransomware schemes, borrowing tactics from customer service or marketing, law enforcement officials and security firms say. Some players in the booming underworld employ graphic artists, call centers and technical support to streamline payment and data recovery, according to security firms that advise businesses on hacking threats.

The advancements, along with modest ransom demands, make it easier to pay than fight.

“It’s a perfect business model, as long as you overlook the fact that they are doing something awful,” said James Trombly, president of Delphi Technology Solutions, a Lawrence, Massachusetts, computer services firm that helped three clients over the past year pay ransoms in Bitcoin, the virtual currency. He declined to identify the clients.

Ransomware victims reported total costs from such attacks of $209 million (roughly Rs. 1,386 crores) in the first three months of this year, the FBI said, citing a tally of complaints it has received. That’s up dramatically from $24 million (roughly Rs. 159 crores) for all of 2015.

(Also see:  New Generation of Ransomware Is Emerging)

Costs for victims, beyond ransom, can include large bills for technical support, consultants and security software.

In the December 2014 attack on Tewksbury, the pressure to pay took on a special urgency because hackers disabled emergency systems. That same is true of additional attacks on police departments and hospitals since then. But all sectors of government and business are targeted, along with individuals, security firms said.

Some operations hire underground call centers or email-response groups to walk victims through paying and restoring their data, said Lance James, chief scientist with the cyber-intelligence firm Flashpoint.

Graphic artists and translators craft clear ransom demands and instructions in multiple languages. They use geolocation to make sure that victims in Italy get the Italian version, said Alex Holden, chief information security officer with Hold Security.

While ransomware attacks have been around longer than a decade, security experts say they’ve become far more threatening and prevalent in recent years because of state-of-the-art encryption, modules that infect backup systems, and the ability to infect large numbers of computers over a single network.

Law enforcement officials have long advised victims against paying ransoms. Paying ransoms is “supporting the business model,” encouraging more criminals to become extortionists, said Will Bales, a supervisory special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

But Bales, who helps run ransomware investigations nationwide from the Washington, DC office, acknowledged that the payoffs make economic sense for many victims.

“It is a business decision for the victim to make,” he said.

Run-of-the-mill ransomware attacks typically seek 1 bitcoin, now worth about $420, which is about the same as the hourly rate that some security consultants charge to respond to such incidents, according to security firms who investigate ransomware cases.

Some attacks seek more, as when hackers forced Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital in Los Angeles to pay $17,000 to end an outage in February.

Such publicized incidents will breed more attacks, said California State Senator Robert Hertzberg, who in February introduced legislation to make a ransomware schemes punishable by up to four years in prison. The Senate’s public safety committee passed the bill on Tuesday and sent it to the appropriations committee for further review.

Some victims choose not to pay. The Pearland Independent School District near Houston refused to fork over about $1,600 in ransom demanded in two attacks this year, losing about three days of work from teachers and students. Instead, the district invested tens of thousands of dollars on security software, said Jonathan Block, the district’s desktop support services manager.

“This threat is real and something that needs to be dealt with,” Block said.

The town of Tewksbury has also upgraded its security technology, but Sheehan says he fears more attacks.

“We are so petrified we could be put into this position again,” he said. “Everybody is vulnerable.”

© Thomson Reuters 2016

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Tags: Apps, Hackers, Internet, Ransomware
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Right time for angel investments, say experts

Angel investors should ideally help start-ups by leveraging their own domain expertise, guide them in customer acquisition and become quasi-entrepreneurs themselves and assist in scaling the business.

Angel investors should ideally help start-ups by leveraging their own domain expertise, guide them in customer acquisition and become quasi-entrepreneurs themselves and assist in scaling the business.

Bengaluru: Start-up funding may be slowing, but this is the right time to make angel investments, since companies being built now will mature when the market becomes favourable again, seasoned investors at a conference for angel investors said.

“When we used to do workshops, we would start the workshop saying, at the end of it, 50% of the people would not want to be angel investors, which is okay. So, the idea is not to grow the numbers, the idea is to get those who get angel investment to enable them to become investors and to make people understand that this is a high risk asset,” said Shanti Mohan, co-founder of LetsVenture, an online platform for start-ups and angel investors that organized the LetsIgnite conference.

India has about 4,000 start-ups, the third largest concentration of start-ups in the world, according to software industry body Nasscom. Many people who want to get a piece of this pie start with angel investments—small amounts for companies beginning to build their businesses. This capital is crucial for start-ups, but what’s also crucial is for the first-time investors to understand that angel investment is about more than putting in some money in a company.

According to Sharad Sharma, a well-known angel investor and Shekhar Kirani, partner at Accel Partners, who jointly conducted a workshop for angel investors at the event, if there is momentum in a specific sector, and if it is being billed as “hot”, then it is too late to invest in it.

“You have to be at least 18 months ahead of the market and think about what’s going to happen at that point,” said Kirani, who was an angel investor in Filpkart Ltd, before his venture capital firm itself invested in the company.

Angel investors should ideally help start-ups by leveraging their own domain expertise, guide them in customer acquisition and become quasi-entrepreneurs themselves and assist in scaling the business.

Both Sharma and Kirani advised first-time investors to start off as passive angel investors and learn from other experienced investors, then become co-leads on a couple of deals and only then become lead angel investors on a deal.

“It is very tempting to fast-forward this, because in India, there is an acute gap in the amount of capital that entrepreneurs want and in the amount of capital that is available, but self-knowledge for an investor is important to realise that it takes time to become an expert angel investor from a novice investor,” said Sharma, who is an angel investor in companies like Druva, Ezetap and Frrole, among others.

Sanat Rao, partner, IDG Ventures, said angel investment will continue despite the overall slowdown.

“While there may be an overall slowdown in the quantum of angel investment if the market itself slows down, angel investment will continue because people who did well at well-funded companies, founders and those below them, are investing themselves now, and all these guys get the best deal flow as entrepreneurs know each other. This is here to stay. It is not going to disappear tomorrow,” said Rao, who made seven angel investments before he became a venture capitalist.

[“source-Livemint”]

US Police Say Criminals Like Apple’s iPhone Because of Encryption

US Police Say Criminals Like Apple's iPhone Because of Encryption

Some criminals have switched to new iPhones as their “device of choice” to commit wrongdoing due to strong encryption Apple Inc has placed on their products, three law enforcement groups said in a court filing.

The groups told a judge overseeing Apple’s battle with the US Department of Justice on Thursday that, among other things, they were aware of “numerous instances” in which criminals who previously used so-called throwaway burner phones have now switched to iPhones. They did not list a specific instance of this practice.

The brief by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association and two other also cited a jailhouse phone call intercepted by New York authorities in 2015, in which the inmate called Apple’s encrypted operating system “another gift from God.”

The government obtained a court order last month requiring Apple to write new software to disable passcode protection and allow access to an iPhone used by one of the shooters in the December killings in San Bernardino, California.

Apple asked that the order be vacated, arguing that such a move would set a dangerous precedent and threaten customer security.

Tech industry leaders including Google, Facebook and Microsoft and more than two dozen other companies filed legal briefs on Thursday supporting Apple. The Justice Department received support from law enforcement groups and six relatives of San Bernardino victims.

(Also see:  Husband of San Bernardino Attack Victim Takes Apple’s Side in FBI Spat)

The law enforcement groups said in their brief that Apple’s stance poses a grave threat to investigations across the country.

They listed several instances where Apple previously turned over data, and in one case, that cooperation helped clear an innocent man suspected of a homicide.

Apple has said it respects the FBI and has cooperated by turning over data in its possession. “Apple complies with valid subpoenas and search warrants,” Tim Cook said in a letter to customers last month.

The San Bernardino request is different, Apple says, because it requires them to crack a phone with a software tool that does not currently exist.

Law enforcement officials have said that Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, were inspired by Islamist militants when they shot and killed 14 people and wounded 22 others on December 2 at a holiday party in San Bernardino. Farook and Malik were later killed in a shootout with police, and the FBI said it wants to read the data on Farook’s work phone to investigate any links with militant groups.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

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Tags: Apple, Apple vs FBI, Encryption, FBI, iPhone, Tim Cook
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