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Businesses increase cyber defense in wake of ransomeware attacks

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Ransomware
Ransomware

Companies worldwide are bracing themselves for a second, and possibly even more deadly, ransomeware attack similar to the one that took place Friday.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Businesses around the world scrambled Saturday to prepare for a renewed cyberattack, convinced that a lull in a computer offensive that has stopped car factories, hospitals, schools, and other organizations in around 100 countries across the globe was only temporary.

No matter what industry you find yourself in, preventing cyber attacks like these is important. You want to make sure all your data is secure, especially as you never know what people’s intentions are. Before you find a way to prevent this, it would be beneficial to look at a vulnerability assessment template, so you can resolve this issue in the best way possible for your business.

The pace of the attack of a virus dubbed WannaCry slowed late Friday, after the so-called “ransomware” locked up more than 100,000 computers, demanding owners pay to $300 to $600 get their data back.

Securities company Symantec predicted the current infections would cost companies tens of millions of dollars, mostly from cleaning their corporate networks. Ransoms paid so far amount to only tens of thousands of dollars, one analyst said, but he predicted they would rise. Companies rushed to protect Windows systems with patches that Microsoft released last month and on Friday. WannaCry exploited a vulnerability to spread itself across networks.

The code for exploiting the bug, known as “Eternal Blue,” was initially released on the internet in March by a hacking group known as the Shadow Brokers. The group claimed it had stolen the code from a repository of National Security Agency hacking tools. While the identity of the Shadow Brokers remains unknown, many securities experts have said they believe the group to hold its roots in Russia, a major source of ransomware and was one of the countries hit first and hardest by WannaCry.

Those experts, who have been on watch for months for an “Eternal Blue”-based attack, said on Saturday that they expect the computer code to be used in types of cyber attacks beyond extortion campaigns, including efforts to seize control of networks and steal data.

Governments and private security firms on Saturday that they expect hackers to tweak the malicious code used in Friday’s attack, restoring the ability to self-replicate. Those expectations prompted businesses to call in technicians to work over the weekend to make sure networks were protected with security updates needed to thwart Eternal Blue.

Guillaume Poupard, head of France’s national cyber security agency, told Reuters he is concerned infections could surge again on Monday, when workers return to the office and turn on computers.

Renault, the French automaker, said on Saturday it had halted stopped manufacturing at plants in Sandouville, France and Romania to prevent the spread of ransomware in its systems. Among the other victims is a Nissan manufacturing plant in Sunderland, northeast England. German rail operator Deutsche Bahn said some electronic signs at stations announcing arrivals and departures were infected. In Asia, some hospitals, schools, universities and other institutions were affected, though the full extent of the damage is not yet known due to the weekend.

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PM Modi’s Houston reception sold out, 50,000 to attend

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Modi Kashmir SanjayPanda FireEye

HOUSTON (Diya TV) — “Howdy, #Modi!”, the community event in Houston next month featuring Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is sold out, with more than 50,000 people registering for the program. This community summit will be at NRG Stadium, home of the Houston Texans football team. The expected crowd will be the largest for a foreign leader in the United States other than for Pope Francis.

The Indian government has begun to ease restrictions in most areas of Kashmir, with barricades being lifted to allow more freedom of movement of people and traffic. Markets remained shut and phone and internet services are still suspended. Large security measures are also still in place. Students are being asked to return to school, but most classrooms are still mostly empty.

With a lot of narratives online about what’s going on in Kashmir, we asked Indian Counsel General in San Francisco, Sanjay Panda, to give context and sort out fact from fiction.

Fire Eye, an American-based cyber security firm says hackers broke into a leading India-based healthcare website, stealing nearly seven million records containing patient and doctor information. Fire Eye did not publicly name the website, but says the cyber criminals are mostly China-based and are selling the stolen data underground.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Feinstein urges Trump to resolve India trade tensions

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Feinstein Trump India Tension,

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — In a letter to the Trump administration, California Senator Dianne Feinstein, asked to resolve trade tensions with India as quickly as possible. Feinstein explained trade with India had grown dramatically since 2000, with India importing goods worth more $6 billion from California in 2018 alone.

Changes in America’s new H1B visa process could have an impact on the business of IT services, as Indian IT services companies are concerned the process of issuing visas will not be as transparent moving forward.

Tesla and China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd (CATL) are interested in the Indian government’s plan to build large factories to make lithium-ion batteries. The global interest comes amid a push by the government to make India a global manufacturing hub for electric vehicles and their components.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced a proposal to make ‘988’ a designated three-digit number for suicide prevention, much like 911 is for emergencies. The new ‘988’ hotline will connect callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

And we’ll take you to New York City, site of the largest Indian Independence Day in the U.S. and Silicon Valley, where the Indian flag was raised at San Jose City Hall.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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New Zealand eliminates India in cricket World Cup

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New Zealand wins Cricket

MANCHESTER, England (Diya TV) — After a rain delay stopped play between New Zealand and India, when play resumed, the Kiwis held on to win by 18 runs, knocking India out of the Cricket World Cup. It’s on to the championship round for New Zealand.

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raided an Indian restaurant in Washington DC, detaining several employees.

Airbnb, the Silicon Valley couchsurfing startup turned hospitality behemoth, says they made a direct economic impact of around $150 million in India in 2018.

Indian Airbnb hosts collectively made almost $28 million and welcomed nearly 800,000 guests last year. 

Chennai-based speech recognition startup, Uniphore Software Systems, raised $38 million as part of its Series C round. They’ve received funding from California venture capital firm March Capital Partners and former Cisco CEO John Chambers. 

And Indo-Australian Priya Serrao was crowned Miss Universe Australia 2019.

The 26-year-old policy advisor from the state of Victoria said she will use her new platform to promote multiculturalism. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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