‘’Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: Awareness in the field of IT – Alert sounded on malware

IT Ministry asks stakeholders to protect digital payments ecosystem

   What is important to know:

  • The IT Ministry has reached out to key stakeholders like RBI, National Payments Corporation of India, NIC and UIDAI (Aadhaar) to advise them to protect their systems against ‘WannaCry’ ransomware to ensure that the digital payments ecosystem in the country is protected.
  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has also instructed cyber security unit CERT-In to gather information of ‘WannaCry’ ransomware that has wreaked havoc across sectors like healthcare and telecommunications in more than 100 countries.
  • Over the weekend, the ransomware hit systems in over 100 countries, including Russia and the U.K., in one of the most widespread cyber attacks in history. It infected computers running on older versions of Microsoft operating systems like XP, locking access to files on the computer.
  • The cyber criminals have demanded a fee of about $300 in crypto-currencies like Bitcoin for unlocking the device.

   How does the Security Patch works:

  • Security patch Microsoft has introduced a security patch to tackle the situation, and consumers across the globe have been advised to download the solution at the earliest. Noting that no reports have been formally received so far related to the ransomware attack, MeitY said a few systems of the Police Department in Andhra Pradesh were impacted and that the State government has been informed to follow the advisory by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In).
  • MeitY is keeping a close watch on the developments on the ransomware and is working in close coordination with all relevant agencies.
  • The Ministry has also reached out to the Department of Telecom to alert internet service providers to secure their networks. Besides, it has also requested Microsoft India to inform all its partners and customers to apply the relevant patches.
  • In Spain, major companies including telecommunications firm Telefonica have been infected. The most disruptive attacks were reported in the UK, where hospitals and clinics were forced to turn away patients after losing access to computers.

    Source: Press Trust of India

 

‘’Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Effects of Foreign Policies – Mixed signals from Toronto & the issues

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s presence at a Khalsa Day event raises troubling questions

   Illustration:

  • For the the past four decades, terrorism has been an important factor in India’s foreign policy. Long before the 9/11 attacks spurred the United States into announcing a “global war on terror”, India was ighting its own battles: in Kashmir and Punjab, and with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam both internally, as well as internationally, where action on terrorism was a key component of bilateral relations.

   What is consistent:

  • While there were countries where terror groups trained or were funded, such as Pakistan, or Bangladesh (pre-2008), there were still others such as the U.S., the United Kingdom, Germany and Canada where groups sympathetic to these extremists supported their activities.
  • India’s message is simple: each country must adopt a zero tolerance policy to all violent ideologies that threaten ordinary citizens. India’s position has become more strident, with a push for the UN designation of terrorist groups as well as raising the issue of Pakistanbased terrorists at international fora including the G-20, BRICS and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.

   The Issues:

  • The issue isn’t one of free speech or freedom of association. Neither is it to deny the brutal, shameful anti-Sikh violence of 1984. In India too, organisations are allowed to protest the events of 1984, as well as other wrongs perpetrated in India. But the occasion Mr. Trudeau chose to appear at had several other issues with it.
  • First, it included several hard-tomiss posters and loats that gloriied militants who included Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, and Bhai Amrik Singh, who died in Operation Blue Star.
  • Second, the celebrations also honoured two legislators who had authored resolutions in the Ontario Assembly which declared events of 1984 as a “Genocide”.
  • The third reason could have troubling repercussions. The Genocide resolution in the Assembly, which was hailed at the parade wasn’t restricted to the anti-Sikh riots, but to “events of 1984”, and activists say it criticises the Indian Army’s actions in Operation Blue Star as much as the riots.
  • Finally, the Khalsa Day event also displayed lags and signs for “Referendum 2020”, a plan by local groups for a worldwide vote for all Sikhs, including those in Punjab, to vote for a separate homeland.

   Source: Hindu

‘’Paper 4-GS-III, Topic:  Application development in Science & Technology: IIT-B gives a leg-up to thermal imaging tech

The details of the work have been published in the prominent journal Current Science in April 2017

   What you need to know:

  • Night-vision devices like goggles or telescopes are a key part of modern military and security operations. Whether you’ve seen them in movies or television shows or read about them in novels, the concept has been around for a number of years.
  • What is less known, perhaps, is that while the Indian Army relies heavily on these devices for a range of operations, they have never been produced indigenously. A team of scientists from IIT-Bombay has now made a key breakthrough in developing India’s first infrared sensors for thermal imaging. The research started in 2010, with funding from the Defence Research and Development Organisation.
  • The technology, the scientists say, can be used for a range of applications such as night vision, surveillance and — going beyond military and security operations — even in the detection of cancers.

   How Thermal Imaging works:

  • For law enforcement and security staff, thermal imaging detects suspicious activity over long distances in total darkness and through fog, smoke, dust, foliage, and many other obscurants. This allows officers to approach in stealth mode and make better informed decisions more quickly. Cameras may be handheld, vehicle-mounted, tripod-mounted, or weapon-mounted.
  • For security and surveillance systems, thermal imaging cameras complement CCTV cameras to provide comprehensive threat detection and integrate seamlessly with larger networks.
  • For predictive maintenance, thermal imaging reveals “hot spots” where failure may be imminent in many electrical and industrial facilities and installations.

   Source: Hindu/Pr-Infrared