COVID-19: Moneylife Foundation’s Relief Work Continues
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to run rampant in India with an ever-increasing number of infected people and deaths due to the virus. With a growing number of cases, our health care facilities are being overwhelmed, with doctors and medical professionals running short on essential protective as well as other basic supplies. 
 
Moneylife Foundation has been continually helping hospitals across Mumbai with essential supplies, fulfilling requests that we have received on a specially created WhatsApp group consisting of doctors from various hospitals. We have thus far managed to provide personal protective equipments (PPEs), face masks, face shields, hand sanitizers, paper bags and oxygen masks. Our efforts have also helped install a ‘Smart COVID OPD’ at several hospitals in Mumbai, with the individual support of certain donors. 
 
 
This week, we were able to procure more PPEs, 3-ply masks, face shields, infrared thermometers and oxygen masks. They were distributed to Nair Hospital, Shushrusha Hospital (Vikhroli and Dadar), KJ Somaiya Hospital, Cama & Albless Hospital, St George’s Hospital, Sion Hospital, Hindu Balasaheb Thackeray (HBT) Trauma Hospital, Acworth Municipal General Hospital For Leprosy, KB Bhabha Hospital, Cooper Hospital and Rajawadi Hospital. 
 
This week, we have also managed to complete the installation of two new Smart COVID OPDs at KB Bhabha Hospital and Nair Hospital. Such OPDs have now been installed at six major hospitals across Mumbai with the hope that it would help in mass screenings of patients while keeping doctors safe. 
 
 
Although Moneylife Foundation has been trying its best to fulfill requests, we are still not able to meet the requirements of certain hospitals as there is a growing need. Hospitals continue to be understaffed and short on essential supplies. Opportunistic manufacturers have also attempted to take advantage of the situation by raising prices on protective equipment, and masks and it has been a tough battle for us to procure certain items at a reasonable rate even when purchasing in bulk. 
 
With the recent viral video of dead bodies lying unclaimed and wrapped in garbage bags in Sion Hospital, we are now looking at procuring body bags from a certified manufacturer. With the support of our donors, we shall be continuing this COVID-19 relief work till the end of May.   
 
 
We request individuals and companies to come forward and support our relief efforts.
 
If you would like to contribute for this activity, please click the link to DONATE NOW
 
Please do mark your donation as General Donation, so as to enable us to identify and use the funds appropriately for the Relief Work. You can also share the details on [email protected]
 
Let's fight this all together.
 
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    Apple-Google prohibit contact tracing apps from accessing users' location data
    Apple and Google have issued new updates about their exposure notification apps (earlier called contact tracing technology) where apps are prohibited from seeking permission to access users location services.
     
    Use of the Application Programming Interface (API) will be restricted to one app per country to promote high user adoption and avoid fragmentation. 
     
    If a country has opted for a regional or state approach, the companies are prepared to support those authorities, the tech giants said in a statement.
     
    On April 10, Google and Apple announced a joint effort to enable the use of Bluetooth technology to help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of COVID-19 through contact tracing, with user privacy and security core to the design.
     
    Both the companies have provided developers with new resources to help them make exposure notification apps, including user interfaces (UI) and sample code for both iOS and Android. 
     
    "Apps must be created by or for a government public health authority and they can only be used for COVID-19 response efforts. Apps must require users to consent before the app can use the Exposure Notifications API," said the new update.
     
    Apps must require users to consent before sharing a positive test result, and the "Diagnosis Keys" associated with their devices, with the public health authority.
     
    "Apps should only collect the minimum amount of data necessary and can only use that data for COVID-19 response efforts. All other uses of user data, including targeting advertising, is not permitted," according to the new update.
     
    In order to help developers build great apps, the companies will continue to release additional updates to their software and SDKs leading up to the shipping releases later this month. 
     
    Last week, Apple and Google released the very first version of their exposure notification API to select developers associated with public health authorities (PHAs) around the world.
     
    That was a developer-focused release, with both the companies deliver beta copies of their software at the same time.
     
    Aimed at helping developers begin testing in anticipation of the API's release in mid-May, another goal of the release is to encourage feedback that will help improve the various features.
     
    Amid the growing debate over privacy and security around contact tracing technology, the tech giant also announced updates to allay such fears, saying the Bluetooth-driven exposure notification system to enable iOS and Android phones trace the spread of coronavirus is completely safe.
     
    Google and Apple have already released documentation on the Bluetooth and cryptography specifications as well as an API framework.
     
    In addition, Apple is releasing Beta 3 of iOS 13.5, the first pre-release version of iOS to contain the code needed to run apps built using the exposure notification API.
     
    Similarly, Google has delivered its beta Google Play Services update with the exposure notification API and the accompanying SDK privately to select developers who can begin testing using Android Developer Studio.
     
    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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    Bluetooth-enabled Contact Tracing Apps Aare At High Hacking Risk
    As tech giants like Apple and Google plan COVID-19 contact tracing app using the Bluetooth technology, security researchers have questioned the move, saying tracing apps that allow attackers to access a users Bluetooth also allow them to fully read all Bluetooth communications.
     
    The Apple-Google contact tracing system uses Bluetooth to identify and list phones users in your circle and if the owner of one of those phones gets infected with COVID-19, you will receive an alert.
     
    In Singapore, the government has urged people to download and use the Trace Together app - a Bluetooth-enabled contact tracing application developed by the Government Technology Agency, and mentioned that other apps are also being developed.
     
    According to Niels Schweisshelm, technical programme manager, HackerOne which is San Francisco-based bug bounty platform, the entire attack surface of these contact tracing applications has to be properly investigated. 
     
    "The potential privacy concerns surrounding these contact tracing solutions should remind governments developing them that the security community will scrutinise these apps more than any app in recent years," Schweisshelm told IANS. 
     
    Android recently released a patch for a critical vulnerability related to the implementation of the BT protocol. 
     
    This vulnerability allowed an attacker to remotely take over specific Android devices without any required user interaction from the victim. This vulnerability was responsibly disclosed to the vendors and, therefore, not exploited by malicious threat actors. 
     
    "This does, however, demonstrate that the protocol and its implementation used by these contact tracing apps up until recently suffered from a critical vulnerability," informed Schweisshelm.
     
    Joshua Berry, associate principal security consultant at Synopsys Software Integrity Group, said that contact tracing applications use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) advertisements to send and collect messages to identify contacts made with other users. 
     
    In general, the reception of messages can present an opportunity for an attacker to send malformed data that could be mishandled by devices and applications. 
     
    "This is one way that a device could be compromised. However, in the case of a contact tracking app, the message content sent to devices over BLE contains data that is intended to be passively collected and stored by the mobile application," Mr Berry said. 
     
    A mobile application that only performs this basic functionality would not alone present sufficient functionality for an attacker to be able to exploit to gain control over a mobile device. 
     
    "An attacker could attempt to overload a user's device with BLE messages that appear to the mobile device as sufficiently valid to store which could cause the application to not function as desired or to later receive false positive contact notifications," he explained.
     
    Even if a contact-tracing application does not collect and share GPS location data, this data could be shared with other people as part of the contact tracing process. 
     
    According to Samantha Isabelle Beaumont, Senior Security Consultant, Synopsys Software Integrity Group, users can protect themselves by limiting the number of applications they download.
     
    "They can limit the number of Bluetooth items they pair, the number of Bluetooth items they keep as whitelisted, known devices, and the amount of information they are transferring over mechanisms such as Bluetooth," said Beaumont.
     
    On its contact-tracing app, according to Apple, "Privacy, transparency, and consent are of utmost importance in this effort, and we look forward to building this functionality in consultation with interested stakeholders. We will openly publish information about our work for others to analyze."
     
    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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