Technology
Ransomware hoax spreading faster than 'WannaCry'
More than the actual attack of the WannaCry ransomware, it is the hoax now floating around social media and WhatsApp that is creating panic among uninformed users. The hoax messages warn not to use shopping sites, online banking and automated teller machines (ATMs). The attack by WannyCry ransomware held to ransom millions of computers and businesses worldwide, demanding ransom to be paid in bitcoins worth $300-$600 to unlock the data. 
 
Anti-virus and content security provider eScan’s research team has unravelled the truth behind these hoax messages.
 
Here are some of the clarifications to ensure you do not fall prey to these texts: 
RBI orders Shutdown of ATMs until they are patched and safe.
o Status: Hoax
o Reason: RBI has issued clarification that they have not issued such orders.
Avoid using ATMs and do not do any online transaction
o Status: Hoax
o Reason: Any computer system infected with Ransomware would display the message that it has been infected.
Don't do any online transaction. Don't open any shopping cart.
o Status: Hoax
o Reason: Webserver infected with Ransomware would simply be not able to serve the pages. Shopping carts do not store Ransomware.
 
However, while browsing and downloading software make sure that executable files are scanned by an antivirus.
Except Africa all countries IT companies are hacked.
o Status: Hoax
o Reason: No explanations required because it’s fully fake news. When IT organisations get hacked it is all over the internet, TV channels etc. Such news is not limited to your group of friends.
Dance of the Hillary video
o Status: Hoax.
o Reason: There is no such video existing
 
eScan says it has even received an advisory in its mailbox which says:
Power off smart TVs, tablets, and every other smart device.
Turn off Bluetooth, wi-fi, tethering (also known as Hotspot) on your mobile phones.
Switch off your servers (or any other computers that you may leave on 24x7).
Disconnect LAN (network, CAT6, CAT5) cable plugging computers or laptops in the network. If it is a laptop, it may have a physical slide switch or button press to switch off Wi-Fi card inside the laptop - Switch That Off.
 
This advisory, off course is not relevant for stopping an attack from WannaCry. 
 
If possible, wait for news from the eastern world
o Status: Hoax
o Reason: This simply means that we should lead the life of an ascetic.
 
Keep the antivirus software active and updated on all your devices:
Status: 100% True.
Preferably buy a good antivirus, keep it updated, keep your operating system updated, take precautions, never divulge your personal information.
Keep all your important data in back up (if your system has an auto back option available, keep it as auto enabled)  

User

COMMENTS

Vivek Silla

2 months ago

We the common people start spreading hoax messages and make these viral resulting in panic. While the intention is noble, but the result is counterproductive as we do more harm than good by spreading panic through fake and misleading messages.
Each individual should exercise restraint from spreading such viral messages. If any individual really wants to do good to their friends and the society, then he or she should verify the authenticity of such messages and pass on only the ones which are really genuine, ignore the remaining or advise the individual from whom the message was received. Online sites such as hoax-slayer.com, scamanalyze.com etc. or even a simple google search can advise on which message is genuine and which is hoax.

Mohan Sivanand

2 months ago

Correction: it is Windows Defender. It's as good as any antivirus you can pay for. And Microsoft is updating it regularly for new attacks.

Mohan Sivanand

2 months ago

If you already use licensed Microsoft Windows and/or the Microsoft Office pack, you need not spend on any anti-virus software again because Microsoft gives you their own Windows a Defender (new) and Microsoft Security Essentials. Download them for free if you haven't already or Lok in your PC for them. Keep them updated, as also your Windows operating system.

Home Loans: Existing borrowers cannot immediately avail of lower interest rates
Here is good news for new borrowers of home loans as they can now get lower interest rates, with several lenders having reduced the rates. However, for existing borrowers on floating rate basis, there is no immediate respite, as they will have to wait for the next reset date for the marginal cost of funds based lending rate (MCLR). In addition, they may have to pay certain charges to lower their interest rates for home loans. 
 
Several prominent banks, including State Bank of India, the country's largest lender, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Bank of Baroda and Bank of India have reduced the interest rate on home loans of up to Rs30 lakh, to 8.35%. However, this is applicable only for salaried women borrowers. Other borrowers will have to pay 8.40% interest on home loans of up to Rs30 lakh.
 
Last year the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued guidelines on MCLR, which is a tenor-based benchmark rate. Banks are required to review and publish their MCLR for different maturities every month on a pre-announced date. 
 
However, the same tenor-based clause is preventing existing borrowers from getting the benefit of lower interest rates. When one of our readers approached his bank for reduction in interest rate for his home loan, he was told "...MLCR is revised on annual basis, so no changes can be done before that."
 
This is as per the guidelines issued by RBI. For a borrower, the guidelines say, the MCLR prevailing on the day the loan is sanctioned will be applicable till the next reset date, irrespective of changes in the benchmark rates during the interim period. 
 
For example, if the bank has given a one-year reset period in the home loan agreement, then the borrower will continue to pay interest on the same rate till next reset date. If she had taken home loan at 9.5%, then even if the interest rate comes down to 8.35%, she cannot get the benefit and will have to wait for the next reset day and pray that the reduced interest rate prevail on that day.
 
Here are the new interest rates of some banks for the salaried

User

COMMENTS

manish vora

2 months ago

Dear team, existing borrowers are not passed on benefit of reduced interest rate but the article provides incomplete information. NHB circular of 2009 is not followed by leaders, still NHB being watchdog is silent.

Indian Demographic Dividend: The Need is for Quality, Not Just Numbers
With 800 Million persons below 35 years of age, the Indian work force is considered a demographic dividend. However, recent reports about un-employability of Indian youth have put a question mark on the real value of this dividend.  In November 2016, a report by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on higher education stated that almost 93% of graduates from the Master in Business Administration (MBA) and 80% from the engineering stream are not employable. These facts were also echoed by Aspiring Minds, an employability evaluation and certification company, in its national employability report, which stated that 80% of engineers remained unemployable in the software sector.  
 
The reasons for this dismal situation are not far to seek. Of late, getting a degree in India, albeit with some notable exceptions, has become synonymous to purchasing off-the-shelf merchandise. With money, obtaining any degree in the country is possible. Quite of few of these institutions do not even require regular teaching classes. Education too has piggy-backed itself on the online bandwagon. Increasing population has led to increasing demand for colleges. To meet the demand, colleges and universities have mushroomed in the country. People from all walks of life have entered the education business. Real estate tycoons, detergent manufactures, politicos and even sweet shop owners have set up universities and degree colleges. 
 
As education turned into a business and barriers of entry got measured only by financial ability rather than intellectual capability, the results were obvious. Good initiatives, like autonomy to colleges, also got misused. More courses were designed to accommodate larger numbers, regardless of the fact that these courses may be of no use for the future career of students. 
 
Contrast this with the situation elsewhere and we see stark differences. In China, if one wants to join a graduate degree course, there is a national college entrance examination (NCEE). Only those who qualify can move ahead to get a degree. Others, who cannot qualify, join vocational courses. Smaller countries like South Korea too have a similar system, where each person who wants to join a graduate course takes a college scholastic ability test. The results of such early screening are obviously reflecting on the financial growth of these countries. 
 
Against this backdrop, if the employability index in India has to improve, the current scenario of providing degrees to anyone who can afford it, barring a few exceptions, has to change. A common graduate eligibility examination needs to be made mandatory for all aspiring students to achieve a graduate degree, be it online or offline. Only those who clear this common graduate eligibility examination for graduate enrollment can take further examinations for entrance to engineering, commerce, medical or other professions. All others who are not successful could take up vocational courses from various Industrial Training Institutes (ITI’s) and National Skill Development centres in the country.  
 
Alongside screening for degree aspirants, institutions too, autonomous or otherwise, should have standardised courses, which reflect future skill requirements rather than help the finances of promoters.  The clamour for autonomy as far as administration is concerned is fine, but the coursework builds the academic capital of the country and hence needs to be closely monitored.  The formation of new institutions too should be mapped according to future workforce requirements rather than on grounds of financial avarice.
 
Our country’s potential has never been in doubt. With an estimated work force of 250 million in 2030, expected to take India to the position of the third largest economy in the world, changes in the current educational system need serious thought.  Else this promise of demographic dividend may remain a mirage. 
 
(Sanjay Pandey, an IPS officer, is the Deputy Commandant of Home Guards and deputy director of Civil Defence in Maharashtra. He holds a Masters' Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University, US and is a B Tech in Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. Views expressed in this article are personal.)

User

COMMENTS

PulseOn

2 months ago

Education is no more a charity. The faster people realise that true teachers too need to support their aspirations, meet their needs, the better it will be. Demographic dividend is a double edged sword. Job generation is in hands of private sector and that sector is not able to freely function with cronyism. If Tatas is affected, then there is no hope. Brain drain is only solution. Reservations does not help. It should be on basis of economic criteria solely, linking full family income and financial data to arrive at needy persons.

Simple Indian

2 months ago

Fine article. Education has indeed become a business, and it's hurting the education sector like never before. As Mr. Pandey states, there are various dividends from good education which certainly contribute to a country's economic progress. Sadly, in India, everything is controlled by politicians, and over time they have even diluted the once-coveted educational institutions like IITs and IIMs by creating many more such institutions but without the required safeguards against their misuse/abuse. Moreover, the reservation system is also a major factor for erosion of educated people in the country, with undeserving 'creamy layer' usurping the lion's share of quotas meant for truly deserving backward communities. Moreover, India should make everyone compete for jobs and promotions in jobs as equals. Only then will even those who get State-sponsorship for their education really value them. The flawed reservation policy has degraded not just our education system, but also our government mechanism, with more n more from the reserved category occupying govt jobs, but not doing their jobs sincerely, knowing fully well that their jobs are secure (and so are regular promotions) regardless of how they perform.

REPLY

Pradeep Kumar M Sreedharan

In Reply to Simple Indian 2 months ago

If reservation is the evil that waylaid India, then India should have been tops in Olympic Gold medals. But that isn't the case

Pradeep Kumar M Sreedharan

2 months ago

With 12 million entering workforce every year against job creation of about 3.5 lakhs, quality or otherwise, what we have at hand is a ticking time bomb. That is why they talk about Universal Basic Income.

By the way, reservation has been going on for thousands of years, in yesteryears it was enforced by not rule of law, but by pouring molten lead into the ears of the hapless

SuchindranathAiyerS

2 months ago

Quality not quantity?

Vote Banks are made from quantity not quality.

Naturally, an IPS Officer would have to tip toe around the elephant in the room which is "reservations" and the policy of making merit, competence and integrity subservient to the dregs of the ruling PANGOLIN* dispensation:

It was the season in March. My servants were begging for money to pay their children's school fees. It costs Rs. 18,000 per child in a Government School. This is what the parents earn in three months or more! (If they convert to Constitutionally protected and prospered Christianity, they would get better quality education, free for their children)

My Maternal Grand Father (K. Srinivasan) went to a Government School (Fort High School) Bangalore. Like all Government Schools in Maharaja's Mysore, it was free. He topped the ICS examination. (He opted instead for the Mysore Civil Service when his Highness came on horseback to request my Great Grand Father "Controller" Subba Raya Aiyer, who had been sent by Travancore for his integrity and competence to sort out the Mysore Treasury which had been in a mess). My Paternal Grand Father (B. S. Ramaswamy Aiyar) studied free at a Veda Pathashala in Bethelegundu (on the Highlands near Madurai). He topped the Madras Matriculation and the Jesuit Principal of St Joseph's College Tirchinopoly begged his father to send him to study free, and recommended him to Her Majesty's Secretary of State in London for appointment to the Indian Service of Engineers. His first salary of eight gold sovereigns exceeded the combined fortune of his native village. He could be and was generous to a large number of ungrateful, vicious, persons belonging to communities currently Constitutionally certified to be congenitally backward.


From a Great Power in 1947, India has been reduced to 135 out of 172 countries in Human and Social Development and 143 out of 172 countries in Internal Peace and Stability by 2016 (UNDP 2015). It is home to 30% of the World’s poor (World Bank 2016). There were more Bomb Blasts in India in 2016 than any other country. Twice as many as Iraq which came in a proud second.

This is the result of a vicious Constitution and polity that has waged relentless war on integrity, merit and competence. Sir. M. Vishweshwaraya, who raised the Mysore war cry of “Industrialize or Perish” in 1912 has been proved more than right on his resignation letter in 1918 by the villainous, sadistic, anti National PANGOLIN* rulers of the Republic of India. The idea of reservations was implemented by the British since 1921 as part of a comprehensive "Divide to rule" Policy. Ambedkar enlarged it to loot the resources of the Nation and apply them to exclusive benefit of his own community. Nehru blessed it just as he did so many other divisive policies such as partition because it helped him to capture and retain power to abuse and misuse as per his perversions. No ideal state can be achieved when founded on trash. Rose trees do not bloom from Parthanium roots.

Mysore is a classic example of what can happen when founded on ideals and what happens when those same ideals are destroyed. Mysore had universal primary and secondary education with health care and nutrition and NO reservations. Gandhi called it "Rama Rajya" though His Highness Krishna Raja Wadeyar preferred to call it "Camelot". When the British pushed "reservations" as part o their divide and rule policy into Mysore through the Maharaja, the Diwan, Sir M. Vishweshwaraya who has done more for ALL the people of Mysore than any man save Sir Mark Cubbon, resigned. The words in his resignation letter were as prophetic in its way as Sir Winston's prognosis for India. "Only the very best competence and integrity can help raise the wretched of the earth to the status of human beings. There is no short cut. You cannot elevate the wretched and expect them to do the work that the most talented and competent find arduous" Today Mysore has been more thoroughly trashed than any other state of the Indian Union because there was so much more to trash. India is a Constitutional Hypocracy, With inequality under law and exceptions to the rule of law, it is neither secular nor a democracy.

*Note: PANGOLIN: An enemy of India who believes in inequality under law, exceptions to the rule of law and persecution of some for the benefit of others. At present, the sole purpose of the Indian Republic, Constitutional or otherwise, is to pamper and provide for certain constitutionally preferred sections of society who the British found useful to hold and exploit India at the cost of those who the British hated and persecuted. The Pangolin is a creature that is unique to India and feeds on ants that are known in nature to be industrious and hard working if not quite as fruitful as bees who flee to better climes. (PANGOLIN is an acronym for the Periyar-Ambedkar-Nehru-Gandhi-Other (alien) Religions-Communist Consensus that usurped the British Mantle and has worn it with elan to loot, plunder, and rape India since 1921 and re write History and laws to their exclusive benefit since 1947)

Rahul Pande

2 months ago

Well written article.Things will not change till education is in the hands of politicians.

Parimal Shah

2 months ago

Also, we need a compulsory military training for at least 2 years without exceptions to inculcate the values and discipline.

ARUN KULKARNI

2 months ago

quite true Sir, 80% graduates and MBA's of institutes who are unemployable needs to be put on better use by retraining and upping their skill sets.Its dynamic world and we need capable and resourceful people around in the coming days to take this country forward.

Abhijit

2 months ago

Aspiring Minds, an employability evaluation and certification company, in its national Aspiring Minds report, which stated that 80% of engineers remained unemployable in the software sector. Why engineers are expected to be employed only in software sector?

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)