Citizens' Issues
India still lucrative destination for cyber criminals: Report
Bengaluru : Although India has seen a steady decrease in the amount of spam originating from its land, it continues to rank as the third top source of overall malicious activity, including malware, phishing hosts and bots, a new report said on Thursday.
 
According to Symantec, global leader in cybersecurity, after ranking sixth in 2014, India now ranks 18th as a source of spam. 
 
However, the country continues to be a top source as well as destination of cyber attacks, said Symantec's "Internet Security Threat Report". 
 
"The report reveals just how lucrative India is for cybercriminals," Tarun Kaura, Symantec director, solution product management for Asia Pacific and Japan, said in a statement.
 
"In fact, India is the second most favoured destination for Ransomware in Asia with the average number of attacks per day increasing 114 percent to 15 attacks per hour. Almost 10 percent of these attacks were crypto-ransomware posing a threat to consumers and enterprises alike," Kaura added. 
 
November was the busiest month for cybercriminals in India last year, and across the globe an average of 2.5 targeted attacks per day were being aimed at the Indian enterprises in the month.
 
Last year, India witnessed a 156 percent increase in the percentage of social media scams. Every sixth scam impacted an Indian, making it the most targeted country in Asia and second in the world. 
 
The report also mentioned that new professional cybercriminals are extending the reach of enterprise and consumer threats and fuelling the growth of online crime. 
 
"Advanced criminal attack groups now echo the skill sets of nation-state attackers. They have extensive resources and a highly-skilled technical staff that operate with such efficiency that they maintain normal business hours and even take the weekends and holidays off," Kaura noted.
 
"We are even seeing low-level criminal attackers create call centre operations to increase the impact of their scams," added. 
 
The report added that globally, one new zero-day vulnerability is discovered on an average every week in 2015 -- that is 54. This is 125 percent increase from the year before. 
 
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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High Court axes President's Rule in Uttarakhand
Dehradun : In a major blow to the central government, the Uttarakhand High Court on Thursday set aside President's Rule imposed in the hill state last month.
 
After two consecutive days of hearing on a matter filed by ousted Congress chief minister Harish Rawat, the court said the proclamation of central rule in the state stood null and void.
 
The court said central rule should be clamped in a state as a last resort, suggesting this did not happen in Uttarakhand. It fixed April 29 for a floor test in the state assembly.
 
The ruling triggered noisy celebrations outside Rawat's residence by Congress leaders and activists who shouted slogans against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). 
 
Congress leader and former Uttarakhand finance minister Indira Hridayesh said her party "saluted the judiciary for upholding truth and law". 
 
"It is a victory for democracy," the Congress said. 
 
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also hailed the court decision.
 
"This is a huge embarrassment to the (Narendra) Modi government. He should stop interfering with elected governments and respect democracy," the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader tweeted.
 
President's Rule was imposed in Uttarakhand on March 27 after nine Congress legislators defected, depriving majority support in the assembly to the Rawat government.
 
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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Spurt of spectrum deals mainly aimed at data: Study
New Delhi : The spate of deals for sharing and trading of communications spectrum is aimed more at consolidating resources for data, thanks to a 120 percent growth in the segment in the past two years with an appetite for more, ratings agency ICRA has said in a report.
 
"Data services remain major thrust area for telecom companies as the segment is relatively under-penetrated," said the report. "The voice market in India has largely matured. Although the current tele-density is around 82 percent, incremental revenues have been modest."
 
But not so in the case of data services.
 
"On the other hand, growth in data revenues has been robust at around 120 percent over the last two years. This has resulted in increased focus of the telcom companies on enhancing their data services," it said.
 
That's the reason why data has been at the centre of the spectrum deals between Reliance Jio and Reliance Communications, Bharti Airtel and Videocon and Bharti and Aircel Limited -- as also those that did did not materialise, like the one between Idea Cellular and Videocon, it said. 
 
In the case of Reliance Communications, three major developments have taken place recently.
 
The Rs.4,600-crore worth merger of Sistema Shyam with itself in a cashless deal in November, the pact with Reliance Jio for spectrum sharing and trading in the 800 MHz space and the proposal to acquire Aircel.
 
"The growth in demand for data services and deterioration in the network quality of the telcos in the recent past have made spectrum availability and utilisation key aspects of the industry," the report said.
 
"Moreover, spectrum trading allows smaller telcos to monetize underutilized spectrum holdings and the larger telcos to attain spectrum outside the auctions. Thus the trend of consolidation of spectrum holdings of the telcos is expected to continue in the medium term."
 
Giving an update on total spectrum held by these companies, the report's chart says Airtel tops the list with 763 MHz, Reliance Jio is next with 596 MHZ, followed by Reliance Communications (304 MHz), Vodafone (295 MHz) and Idea (271 MHz).
 
At the moment, Bharti and Reliance Communications are the only two companies that have spectrum in all the 22 circles for both voice and 4G data services. Reliance Jio has this in 20 circles for voice, none for 3G data and in all the 22 circles for 4G.
 
In terms of acquisition of spectrum, the report said, Bharti has been quite aggressive.
 
"Since 2010, Bharti has spent a total of Rs.77,800 crore on spectrum acquisition -- in auctions and outside of auctions -- out of which around 50 percent has been to acquire spectrum with data capabilities," it said. 
 
"These acquisitions have improved Bharti’s data spectrum holding and enhanced data capabilities in the 4G space across all 22 circles, ahead of the impending entry of RJio, which till now was the only pan-India 4G spectrum holder," it added.
 
Bharti's drawback: Absence of 800 MHz, considered among the best frequencies for 4G service.
 
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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