Technology
Bug fear looms in 900 million Android smartphones: Report
Researchers have reportedly found major security flaws in chips being used in nearly 900 million Android smartphones globally that could give cyber criminals complete access to the data.
 
According to the team from Israel-based software and hardware giant Check Point, the bugs were uncovered at the software running on chipsets made by US firm Qualcomm, BBC reported on Monday.
 
Qualcomm processors are found in about 900 million Android phones, Check Point said, adding that there is no evidence of the vulnerabilities currently being used in attacks by cyber thieves.
 
"I am pretty sure you will see these vulnerabilities being used in the next three to four months," Michael Shaulov, head of mobility product management at Checkpoint, was quoted as saying.
 
The flaws, which were found in software that handles graphics and in code that controls communication between different processes running inside a phone, were revealed after six months of work to reverse engineer Qualcomm's code.
 
The attackers can exploit the bugs to gradually take control over a device and gain access to data. "It is always a race as to who finds the bug first, whether it is the good guys or the bad," Shaulov added.
 
According to the report, Check Point handed information about the bugs and proof of concept code to Qualcomm earlier this year.
 
In response, Qualcomm is believed to have created patches for the bugs and started to use the fixed versions in its factories.
 
As a security measure, Android owners should download apps only from the official Google Play store.
 
According to Check Point, affected devices include: BlackBerry Priv and Dtek50, Blackphone 1 and Blackphone 2, Google Nexus 5X, Nexus 6 and Nexus 6P, HTC One, HTC M9 and HTC 10, LG G4, LG G5 and LG V10, New Moto X by Motorola, OnePlus One, OnePlus 2 and OnePlus 3, US versions of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung S7 Edge and Sony Xperia Z Ultra.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
  

 

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CAG report slams ONGC for incorrectly reporting crude oil production
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has slammed the "over-reporting and incorrect reporting" of crude oil production by the ONGC, and recommended that the company should not include items like condensate, basic sediment and water as crude oil production.
 
"The over-reporting and incorrect reporting of crude oil production has presented an inaccurate picture of performance of the company on crude oil production and has led to the company sharing an additional subsidy burden of Rs 18,787.43 crore from 2012 to 2015," said the CAG report tabled in Parliament on Monday.
 
It said the "measurement and metering system" for crude oil production in the state-run company also had "several infirmities".
 
The CAG report recommended that the company should report condensate as a "separate stream as opined by the international consultant".
 
The official auditor maintained that in western offshore for the ONGC operations, the reported production quantity measured at offshore platforms were higher than the actual sale quantity "with the bulk of differences in volume arising during transportation of crude oil in a closed pipeline".
 
The CAG added: "Reasons for the differences should have been investigated and corrective action should have been taken."
 
Moreover, the report said: "In onshore areas, it was noticed that to reconcile over-reported production, fictitious inflating of closing stock of crude oil, erroneous reporting of theft of crude oil and reporting non-existent pit oil as stock were adopted."
 
The CAG said: "The company should strictly adhere to prescribed schedules laid down for calibration of all crude oil measuring devices such as storage tanks and Mass Flow Meters, Turbine Meters, Auto Suppliers etc in both offshore and onshore assets to ensure accuracy of their measurement".
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Why people 'pass the buck' when needed to make decisions
When making a business decision, choosing a hotel, ordering meals, or even participating in experiments, people are more likely to assign decision making to others or "pass the buck" when faced with such choices that affect others.
 
However, it doesn't happen when those decisions affect only themselves, says a new study.
 
The findings showed that decisions are more likely assigned, when it has potentially negative consequences.
 
People are two or three times as likely to assign an unappealing choice on behalf of someone else than one on their own behalf.
 
In an experiment, in the study, participants imagined that they or their bosses needed a hotel reservation for an upcoming business trip. 
 
They were more likely to assign the choice to an office manager when the reservation was for a boss than for themselves, especially when the options were unappealing two-star hotels rather than luxurious five-star hotels.
 
"People care more about avoiding blame for bad outcomes than getting credit for good outcomes," said Mary Steffel, Assistant Professor at Northeastern University in Massachusetts, US. 
 
In another experiment, participants were again faced with the challenge of choosing a hotel from a list of unappealing options. 
 
The researchers found that people were more likely to assign when the reservation was for their bosses than for themselves, regardless of whether their bosses would know they made the reservation, showing that avoiding blame is not the only reason people delegate choices for others.
 
"Assigning isn't just about avoiding blame," Steffel said, adding, "the mere prospect of feeling responsible for others' poor outcomes is enough to increase delegation."
 
Individuals avoided delegating if they themselves would still be held officially responsible for the choice outcomes, the researchers said. 
 
In addition, they also avoided delegating to co-workers below them, regardless of who would be officially held responsible, because, researchers said, they believed that they would still maintain responsibility and blame if the choice were to turn out poorly.
 
The study sheds greater light on understanding when and to whom people are likely to delegate decisions. 
 
Furthermore, "it also reflects why managers sometimes fail to delegate decisions to their employees even when not doing so creates organisational inefficiencies - because they expect to assume blame for the choice regardless of whether they made it themselves." Steffel concluded in the study published in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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