AIIMS study links spike in arthritis symptoms to rising pollution levels

Particulate matter is the lethal dust found in Delhi’s air due to a number of reasons, including vehicular pollution and construction waste.
AIIMS hospital in New Delhi.

IT’s not just respiratory disorders, a three-year study conducted by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has found that increasing particulate matter levels in Delhi’s air has “significant correlation” with a spike in arthritis symptoms. The study also found that a significant percentage of healthy persons who were monitored since 2014 tested positive for autoantibodies, which indirectly suggests a condition referred to as autoimmunity, when the body’s immune system turns against itself and attacks healthy cells.

5 reasons why Google Pixel XL can be the best phone for you

5 reasons why Google Pixel XL can be the best phone for you

On Thursday we reviewed the Pixel XL, which is -- technically -- Google's first phone and its first direct competitor for the iPhone 7. This is a nice phone. No, cross that. It's an awesome phone and not just nice. Yet, overall, we said, the iPhone 7 edges it slightly on the strength of features like stereo speakers, better design and waterproof body. But that doesn't mean that the iPhone 7 is the best phone for everyone willing to spend Rs 60,000.

Experts share their cybersecurity horror stories

From IoT hacks to economic collapse, four security executives share their scariest hacking and attacking scenarios and shine a light on emerging cyber-threats.

Computer hacker silhouette of hooded man with binary data and network security terms
Leo Lintang, Getty Images/iStockphoto

"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."

The hooded hacker hunches over a clacking keyboard, face illuminated by the dim and flickering glow of a monitor. He punches a button and executes the code. He lurks in the dark. He's a monster with the power to annihilate people, governments, and companies.

For most people, the archetypical anonymous and malcontented hacker is as mythological as ghosts and goblins. For enterprise companies, SMBs, and government agencies, however, hackers and hacking teams represent a terrifying threat. According to a recent ZDNet report, the average corporate hack costs companies $4 million. Hacking can can also damage a brand and expose employees and customers to privacy risks.

Cybersecurity experts warn that large-scale, coordinated cyber-strikes targeted at essential infrastructure, like last week's Dyn DDoS attack, could cost the economy billions of dollars in lost productivity and potentially harm individuals.

We spoke with several cyber-defense executives about cybersecurity worst-case scenarios. Each executive—CTO and SVP of customer care and co-founder of security analytics company LogRhythm, Chris Petersen, CEO and Chairman of RedSeal, Ray Rothrock, Corey Williams, Senior Director of Products and Marketing of Centrify, and Domingo Guerra, co-founder and president of Appthority—expressed cybersecurity concerns about the burgeoning IoT market, vulnerabilities with the electric grid, and mobile malware.

When companies are attacked, TechRepublic ordinarily advises them to follow damage-mitigation best practices. In the spirit of Halloween, however, let your fears run wild with these hacking horror stories.

Could someone die or be injured from a hack?

Chris Petersen: Someone could absolutely be killed from a hack, and it is possible someone already has been. We've known for years that medical devices are vulnerable and could be taken over by a malicious actor operating within a hospital's network, who could easily tamper with life support or drug infusion systems, killing someone in the process. What is unique about hacking as a weapon though, is that a killing blow can be thrown from thousands of miles away. If someone hasn't already been assassinated via a targeted hack, it is only a matter of time.

Ray Rothrock: Unfortunately, yes. Car hacking has been demonstrated. Shutting down power to a hospital can threaten lives. Network-connected healthcare devices can be misused. IoT is a new frontier with new risks - the things we're putting on the internet range from convenience devices for comfort and lighting to life-sustaining devices like pacemakers and other medical implants.
Corey Williams: Wearables are deceptively private. Owners may feel that due to their ongoing proximity to the body, they're less likely to fall into the wrong hands. However, hackers don't need to take physical possession of a device to exploit a hole in security. The best news is that solutions already exist that can easily wrap wearables into the identity management picture.

Domingo Guerra: While most hacks aren't life threatening, successful hacks have been executed on a pacemaker, a radiation machine (to give higher than prescribed doses), IV drip therapy devices, etc. Naturally, any attack that alters the operation of life-dependent devices or doses of life-saving drugs puts people at risk of death.

What is the real-world, material threat of a cybersecurity hack?

Ray Rothrock: Exactly the same as the results of Stuxnet. A purely digital attack, carried on a USB stick, caused an industrial controller that had control of a real-world spinning centrifuge to misbehave. A purely digital disruption caused cracking and failure of real equipment processing real Uranium. These are well engineered attacks. In the west, we have nuclear power facilities, fuel processing plants, oil refineries, chemical plants handling toxic substances, dry cleaning facilities, even old-world manufacturing plants dealing with paints and carpets, and the noxious chemicals that go with them. Any and all of these include digital devices that can cause real world damage if connected to a network that is not resilient.

Corey Williams: For example, the Springfield, Illinois, water utility hack from Russia in 2011 destroyed a primary water pump. The hackers stole the usernames and passwords from a third-party vendor that maintained the control software for its customers, and then used those credentials to gain remote access to the utility's network and reconfigure the pump for failure.We have all read stories of hackers remotely taking control of vehicles and interfering with the operations of the vehicle. While only a proof of concept, it constitutes a real-world threat. There is nothing inherent to being in the west that provides extra protection or exemption from the threats of cyber attackers. On the contrary, the west has become a primary target.
Domingo Guerra: Major systems from the internet (upon which much of commerce, defense, and communications are reliant) to the power grid, the water supply, and food distribution can all be disrupted by cyber attacks. In the west this could affect our ports, major industries like tech, manufacturing, and agriculture, and make military installations vulnerable.

Could hackers take down the power grid or tamper with water supplies?

Chris Petersen: Much of the U.S. critical infrastructure is woefully unprepared to defend itself from a highly motivated and capable threat actor. What concerns me most is an attack against our energy grid. A prolonged outage of days would be a damaging blow to our economy and likely result in loss of life. An outage of weeks could unravel our society and be the apocalyptic event "preppers" are preparing for. For more than a decade, we've known that targeted malware can damage industrial control systems (ICS), which are the same types of systems that make up our energy grid. While energy companies and utilities have improved their posture to comply with regulations like NERC / CIP, I think this will be "too little too late" if they're targeted by a highly skilled threat actor with the most sophisticated cyber weapons.

Ray Rothrock: Absolutely, you don't have to blow up a substation to knock out a power grid anymore. It can be done with keystrokes from halfway around the world. The best defense is segmentation - separating networks from each other. Unfortunately, all the momentum these days is in the opposite direction - connecting networks and adding more things to the internet, whether they are ready for a scary, hostile environment or not. We need to plan for resilience - breaks are inevitable. When we build a chemical refinery or toxic waste pipeline, we don't just build it sensibly up front and hope for the best - we plan for failure, we design in emergency procedures and recovery plans. Much of the internet has not yet gotten around to thinking about resilience this way and can therefore fail dramatically if pushed hard.

Corey Williams: Yes. Utilities in general often have aging, and even antiquated, infrastructure that was not designed to withstand the sophistication and ubiquity of hacking tools available today. Utilities need to add a second layer of identity assurance for access to any command and control software. This simple and inexpensive effort would ensure the availability and safety of our most precious resources.

Domingo Guerra: Unfortunately, yes. As an example, Ted Koppel's book Lights Out warns of just how vulnerable these systems are.

In what ways does hacking undermine institutional trust? Not just in the government, but in corporations, service providers, and the economy?
Ray Rothrock: Hacks, and the fear of hacks, increase the tendency for worried people to pull money out of the bank and put it under their mattresses instead, since those mattresses are not yet connected to the internet. We share personal information with many institutions, information that we trust they will keep confidential and secure. When their network and that trust is successfully breached, the foundations of civil society and economic behavior can crumble. Trust, trust in a brand or trust in government, takes a long time to build but can fall apart quickly after a data breach.

Corey Williams: CEOs and executives across all enterprises are being targeted in the exact same manner as our political leaders. If they are not proactive with cybersecurity they will find themselves at the center of the next cyber-attack story. Instead of building customer relationships and brand goodwill, compromised enterprises will instead face huge barriers to regain trust and rebuild their brand.
Domingo Guerra: One example is the slow uptake of mobile banking. Consumer studies have shown that consumers don't trust their banks to have secure mobile apps. Mobile wallet providers also suffer from lack of consumer confidence.

What emerging cybersecurity trends are you monitoring?

Ray Rothrock: Ransomware will be largely countered by better backups, but if attackers find the cost/benefit equation favorable, they will make fancier attacks which lie dormant long enough to infect backups too. IoT has barely gotten started - as we add millions, or even billions, of weakly defended, simple devices to the internet, we are likely to see even more record-breaking DDoS waves. If we put really tempting IoT devices onto the internet, we can express cross-pollination of these attacks - ransomware applied to IoT, where critical sensors will be locked down unless you pay Bitcoins to some hard to trace account. If it's your artificial lung, would you pay? So we are in for more of the same unfortunately. Coordinating attacks from multiple devices will be easier and more common. The recent DDoS attacks are good examples of that. Nothing is being destroyed or stolen, but simply impacting business processes and speed are threats to economic activity.

Corey Williams: As we become accustomed to and even numb to the cyber-breach-of-the-day story, there always seems to be something scarier to top the last story. The recent Dyn DNS DDoS attack that crippled much of the internet is an example where the story has shifted from the "so-what" hacking of IoT devices to much larger scale implications. Botnets that leverage millions of hacked devices are capable of taking not just a single company or utility offline, but potentially whole countries at a time. Imagine if all our cell phones, instant messengers, email, and other forms of communication were impacted for even a short period of time.

Domingo Guerra: We'll see a growing understanding of the link between mobile use and security risk at home and at work. We'll see more IoT attacks and more successful and sophisticated mobile attacks as well. On the bright side, this will also lead to increasing sophistication around detection and deeper threat intelligence. We'll see innovations in extremely advanced mobile app analytics that identify, track, and alert for things like apps making URL requests to known malicious destination addresses, or addresses that are deemed geographically undesirable by IT teams.
Source - Tech Republic

Chief Minister promises shift to public transport

Image result for Chief Minister Siddaramaiah

Delegation claims he is open to review of steel flyover project

The three-member delegation that met Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday night said that while he promised to consider a comprehensive plan to make a modal shift of Bengaluru's traffic from private transport towards mass public transit and walkability, he is open to review of the steel flyover as well. “The Chief Minister promised to look at increased spending towards public transport with a metro link to the international airport, alternative access routes to the airport, significant addition to the existing fleet of BMTC buses and increase walkability,” a statement by Citizens for Bengaluru claimed. To the request that he drop the steel flyover project, he promised to start work from the Hebbal end and review it when it reached Mehkri Circle.

Conviction rate shows KSPCB is a paper tiger

Garbage littered on the bank of Horamavu Agara lake in Bengaluru.— File Photo: K. Murali Kumar

Only 25 convictionssince 1989

Do threats by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) of criminal cases against polluters carry any bite?

The numbers suggest otherwise. Since the formation of the Board, and since the first cases were filed in 1989, KSPCB has managed just 25 convictions – cementing the perception among social activists and officials that it remains a paper tiger.

BDA wants to regularise 3,600 acres of encroachments

Hopes to raise Rs. 5,000 crore, which is enough to fund steel flyover and PRR

A cash-strapped BDA is spearheading a revenue mobilisation drive to fund the steel flyover and Peripheral Ring Road (PRR).

BDA has revived a proposal to regularise over 3,600 acres of encroachments on land notified by BDA in 68 layouts.

The sparkle goes out of firecracker sales in Hosur

People buying crackers in bulk at favourable prices ahead of the festival in Attibele on Thursday.— Photo: K. Murali Kumar

Traders wonder if crackers made in Tamil Nadu have fewer takers after the Cauvery row, or if low-key Deepavali celebrations are becoming a trend now

165 acres of land recovered in Kadugodi

The district administration on Friday took possession of 165 acres of encroached land in Dinnur Plantation, Kadugodi.

The land was encroached upon by Kadugodi Cooperative Agriculture Society, which had built multiple sheds and rented it out as lorry sheds.

No abnormal increase in High Court vacancies: Centre

The HinduThe Delhi High Court. Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

The average annual rate of appointment of judges in the High Courts has not declined during the last two years, though no new appointments were made during April-December 2015 due to hearing of the NJAC matter, government sources said.

If you smoke or drink , Vitamin E can prove really bad for your immunity

The study showed that vitamin E increased pneumonia risk by 68% among men who had the highest exposure to smoking and who did not exercise. (Shutterstock)

Depending on lifestyle choices, taking vitamin E supplements for boosting immunity can have different effects on modifying the risk of pneumonia in older men, a study has found.

Rashtriya Ekta Diwas to be observed on 31st October with “Integration of India” theme

Various activities across ministries/departments being organised all over country 

The Rashtriya Ekta Diwas will be observed on 31st October, 2016 with ‘Integration of India’ as the theme. On this occasion various activities are being organised across ministries/departments all over the country.

Shri Sharad Kumar reappointed as DG, NIA

Image result for Shri Sharad Kumar appointed as DG, NIA

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has reappointed Shri Sharad Kumar (HY:79) (retired) as Director General, National Investigation Agency for a period of one year w.e.f 1.11.2016 or until further orders, whichever is earlier.

First Ever National Day of Ayurveda being celebrated throughout the country today

‘Mission Madhumeh through Ayurveda’ launched 

National Dhanwantari Ayurveda Awards given away 

Logo of National Ayurveda Day

The First ever National Ayurveda Day is being celebrated throughout the country on the occasion of Dhanwantari Jayanti today. A Seminar on “Prevention and Control of Diabetes through Ayurveda” was held in the capital New Delhi today. An Ayurveda Day logo was also released on the occasion. The National Dhanwantary Ayurveda Awards were also given away today.

Odisha govt to announce new tourism policy

Berhampur (Odisha), Oct 29 (PTI) Odisha Government is all set to unveil a new tourism policy soon with a focus on developing infrastructure and promoting hotel industry by providing incentives.

"The draft is almost completed and the new policy will be declared after it is approved by the cabinet," the state Tourism and Culture Minister Ashok Panda said here.

Obama to launch campaign blitz for Clinton

Washington, Oct 28 (AFP) US President Barack Obama will launch a campaign blitz for Democrat Hillary Clinton next week as the race against Republican Donald Trump for the White House enters the final stretch.

The Clinton camp announced today that Obama will make the case for his former secretary of state for three straight days in as many key battleground states.

Saini wins gold and silver in C'wealth wrestling meet

Penang (Malaysia), Oct 28 (PTI) It turned out to be double delight for Indian lifter Shivam Saini as he clinched a silver in senior and gold medal in the junior category at the 2016 Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships here today.

सातवां वेतन आयोग : प्रमोशन नियमों में बदलाव पर पुनर्विचार के लिए तैयार हुई सरकार

सातवां वेतन आयोग : प्रमोशन नियमों में बदलाव पर पुनर्विचार के लिए तैयार हुई सरकार

7thCPC : न्यूनतम वेतनमान-फिटमेंट फॉर्मूला पर नहीं बनी बात, कर्मचारियों की आंदोलन की चेतावनी

7thCPC : न्यूनतम वेतनमान-फिटमेंट फॉर्मूला पर नहीं बनी बात, कर्मचारियों की आंदोलन की चेतावनी

Basant Pratap Singh appointed new MP Chief Secy

Basant Pratap Singh appointed new MP Chief Secy

UPSC prepones next year's civil services prelims exam

NEW DELHI: The civil services preliminary examination, to select IAS and IPS officers among others, will be held in June instead of August next year.

It is after the gap of three years that Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) will be conducting the examination in June, rather than August.

70th Infantry Day celebrated

Image result for 70th Infantry Day celebrated

Udhgamandalam (TN), Oct 27 (PTI) The 70th Infantry Day was celebrated at nearby Wellington Military Station today.

On this day in 1947, the first contingent of Infantry had landed at Srinagar airfield and fought to save Kashmir Valley from intruders.

A solemn but impressive wreath laying ceremony at the war memorial of Madras Regimental Centre was organised, as part of the celebration, a release said.

दिवाली पर रात दस बजे के बाद नहीं चलेगी मेट्रो

Image result for METROदिवाली पर आम दिनों की तरह सुबह 6 ही शुरू हो जाएगी मेट्रो सेवा
दिवाली के मौके पर मेट्रो की सेवाओं में कटौती की जाएगी. रविवार को दिवाली पर मेट्रो रात दस बजे के बाद नहीं चलेगी. डीएमआरसी के मुताबिक दिल्ली मेट्रो की 6 लाइनों पर आखिरी मेट्रो रात दस बजे चलाई जाएगी.

ओलंपिक के 9 एथलीटों से छिने पदक

लुसाने, आइएएनएस। बीजिंग और लंदन ओलंपिक के नौ पदक विजेताओं के नमूनों की पुन: जांच में प्रतिबंधित दवाओं के सेवन की पुष्टि हुई है। इसके बाद अंतरराष्ट्रीय ओलंपिक समिति (आइओसी) ने उनके पदक वापस ले लिए हैं। बीजिंग ओलंपिक के छह एथलीटों से पदक वापस लेने के अलावा तीन और को अयोग्य करार दिया गया है। इन सभी को स्टेरॉयड के लिए पॉजीटिव पाया गया था।

बीएड कॉलेजों में दाखिले के लिए संयुक्त प्रवेश परीक्षा नहीं, फीस स्ट्रक्चर असंवैधानिक

Image result for बीएड कॉलेजों में दाखिले के लिए संयुक्त प्रवेश परीक्षा नहीं, फीस स्ट्रक्चर असंवैधानिक

हाईकोर्टने राज्य के बीएड कॉलेजों में दाखिले के लिए संयुक्त प्रवेश परीक्षा (केट) को कानूनी रूप से सही ठहराया है। कोर्ट ने इसके लिए चांसलर (गवर्नर) द्वारा जारी ऑर्डिनेंस को संवैधानिक रूप से सही करार देते हुए राज्य सरकार और सभी विश्वविद्यालयों को एक महीने में केट लेने का आदेश दिया। हाईकोर्ट ने अपवाद स्वरूप वैसे अल्पसंख्यक कॉलेजों को केट से मुक्त रखा है, जो पिछले 25 वर्षों से परंपरागत तरीके से एक विशिष्ट दाखिला पद्धति अपनाए हुए हैं और जिन पर आजतक सरकार ने अंगुली नहीं उठाई है। 

President’s Salary Set To Be Raised From Rs. 1.5 Lakh To 5 Lakh

President’s Salary Set To Be Raised From Rs. 1.5 Lakh To 5 Lakh

Prime Minister inaugurates National Tribal Carnival 2016

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated First National Tribal Carnival-2016 in New Delhi today. Speaking on the occasion he said this is the first time that tribal groups from across the country would be in Delhi at the time of the festive occasion of Diwali. Shri Modi said the tribal carnival would showcase the capabilities of the tribal communities, in the national capital. The Prime Minister said the life of the tribal communities was marked by intense struggle. Yet, he added, the tribal communities had imbibed the ideals of community living, and of living cheerfully despite troubles. The Prime Minister said the Government was committed to using modern technology such as underground mining and coal gasification, which would minimize disturbance to tribal settlements. He also spoke of the Rurban Mission, which would focus on development of rural growth centres.

Make Sports a Compulsory Subject in Schools and give marks for it: Sports Minister Vijay Goel

The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports, Shri Vijay Goel has said that to impart the desired importance to sports , it is essential that sports is made a compulsory subject at the school level and marks are given to students for their involvement in sports activities. Addressing the 64th meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) here today he said, this is also essential to deal with the growing incidence of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases among children. The Minister said that for realizing the full potential of sports, it is essential that we take effective steps to promote it in educational institutions without any further delay.

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