Hackers attack Indian healthcare website, steal 68 lakh records

Agencies
August 22,2019

In a startling revelation, US-based cyber security firm FireEye said on Thursday that hackers broke into a leading India-based healthcare website, stealing 68 lakh records containing patient and doctor information.

Without naming the website, FireEye said cyber criminals -- mostly China-based -- are directly selling data stolen from healthcare organisations and web portals globally including in India in the underground markets.

"In February, a bad actor that goes by the name "fallensky519" stole 6,800,000 records associated with an India-based healthcare website that contains patient information and personally identifiable information (PII), doctor information and PII and credentials," FireEye said in its report shared with media.

Between October 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019, FireEye Threat Intelligence observed multiple healthcare-associated databases for sale on underground forums, many for under $2,000.

FireEye said it continues to witness a concerted focus on acquiring healthcare research by multiple Chinese advanced persistent threat (APT) groups.

"In particular, it is likely that an area of unique interest is cancer-related research, reflective of China's growing concern over increasing cancer and mortality rates, and the accompanying national health care costs," the cyber security agency noted.

Open source reports indicate that cancer mortality rates have increased dramatically in recent decades, making cancer China's leading cause of death.

As the People's Republic of China (PRC) continues to pursue universal healthcare by 2020, controlling costs and domestic industry will surely affect the PRC's strategy to maintain political stability," said the FireEye report.

Another probable motivation for APT activity is financial: the PRC has one of the world's fastest growing pharmaceutical markets, creating lucrative opportunities for domestic firms, especially those that provide oncology treatments or services.

"Targetting medical research and data from studies may enable Chinese corporations to bring new drugs to market faster than Western competitors," the report claimed.

In early April this year, suspected Chinese cyber espionage actors targeted a US-based health center-with a strong focus on cancer research - with "EVILNUGGET" malware.

APT22 - a Chinese group that has focused on biomedical, pharmaceutical, and healthcare organizations in the past, and continues to be active - also targeted this same organization in prior years.

In the same month, several researchers at the MD Anderson Cancer Research were dismissed following concerns over theft of medical research on behalf of the Chinese government.

One theme FireEye has observed among Chinese cyber espionage actors targeting the healthcare sector is the theft of large sets of personally identifiable information (PII) and Protected Health Information (PHI).

Beyond Chinese-nexus groups, FireEye Intelligence has observed a wide variety of other cyber espionage and nation state actors involved in targeting the healthcare sector, including Russia-nexus APT28.

"The valuable research being conducted within some of these institutions continues to be an attractive target for nation-states seeking to leapfrog their domestic industries," the report emphasised.

As biomedical devices increase in usage, the potential for them to become an attractive target for disruptive or destructive cyber attacks - especially by actors willing to assume greater risk - may present a more contested attack surface than today," said the report.

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85-year-old Shantabai Pawar displays `lathi-kathi' skills on Pune streets, video goes viral

Agencies
July 24,2020

Pune, Jul 24: Agile and dexterous, 85-year-old Shantabai Pawar wields sticks with absolute ease as she displays 'lathi-kathi' on the streets of Pune.

A video of her, displaying her skills in the Indian martial art form for livelihood, has gone viral on social media.

Pawar told media persons that she learnt the art form when she was only eight and has been practising it since then. The ancient martial art s believed to be linked to Dombari community, a nomadic tribe in Maharashtra.

"I have been pursuing the art of lathi-kathi since I was eight. I have never left it. It is part of me and it is an honour to practice it. My father taught me this. He taught me to work hard," Pawar told media persons.

In the video, the sari-clad octogenarian takes a warrior-like stride and effortlessly rotates a stick several times in a second in her hand and around her head and then does it with two sticks together with a smile on her face. She also tosses a stick in the air and catches it with ease.

The assembled gathering is impressed and enthused.

"People come and say, 'Well done Daadi!' I practice it to earn money for my children and grandchildren," she said.

Pawar leaves her home in the morning in the conditions created by coronavirus and performs the art form on roads and streets.

"I go to various areas to perform the art form and people give money," she said.

The artiste also uses thali and stick to gather the attention of people as most of them are indoors due to conditions created by COVID-19.

Senior citizens have been advised against venturing out due to their greater susceptibility to coronavirus but Pawar said she is not afraid to step out.

"People do advise me to not go out due to fear of COVID-19 but I am not scared. Whenever I step out, I pray to my God and he has kept me safe so far," she said.

Aishwarya Kale, a dancer and the person who uploaded the video on social media, said that it is "only an artist who can understand what help another artist needs".

"I was in that area shopping for some items and it was then I saw her performing and thought that I should film her and upload her video on social media. But I never thought that the video would go viral and she would receive financial help not just from people in the country but overseas as well," Kale told media persons.

"She is now getting honour for her craft that she couldn't get in the last 85 years. I feel good that through my small video, her art form has become viral," she added. 

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NCW issues notice to celebrities on complaint against company promoter for 'sexually assaulting' girls

Agencies
August 2,2020

New Delhi, Aug 2: The National Commission for Women (NCW) has issued notice to some Bollywood celebrities named in a complaint against the promoter of a company for allegedly blackmailing and sexually assaulting a number of girls on the pretext of giving them a career in modelling.

Taking cognizance of the complaint filed by social activist Yogita Bhayana of People Against Rape in India (PARI), the NCW scheduled a virtual hearing presided by its chairperson on August 6.

The complaint against Sunny Verma, promoter of a company named IMG Ventures with its headquarter in Chandigarh, alleged that he has been blackmailing and sexually assaulting a number of girls on the pretext of giving them career in modelling.

PARI's Yogita Bhayana wrote a complaint letter to NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma.

"Through his company, he (Sunny Verma) invites the girls on the pretext of organising a Miss Asia contest with a claim that the contest will launch them as models. To make it look genuine, his company has also been taking an entry fee of Rs 2,950. Once the girls apply, they are alluded by the female accomplices of Sunny Verma to submit their nude pictures in order to get the better ranking in the contest," the complaint letter said on July 31.

It alleged that Verma, after receiving the pictures and sometimes even before, used to get in touch with the girls and ask for completely nude pictures and videos.

The complaint letter said that Verma also used to allude as well as threaten the girls to submit to his sexual desires if they were interested in modelling as a career or wish to win the contest.

"Once he established a physical relationship with the girls, he used to blackmail them for regular sexual favours. Many girls from across the country have suffered a sexual and mental assault from Sunny and his accomplices," said the complaint citing several letters, texts and audio clips from several girls as proof of this modus operandi of Sunny Verma and his company.

The complaint also said that Sunny Verma has been previously also arrested on charges of sexual assault.

"We would demand that NCW should investigate the case to its depth and get the guilty punished so that any other person should not dare to exploit these kinds of innocent girls on any pretext. It will be a message to people like Sunny Verma and all associated Bollywood stars. Looking forward to strict action from NCW against sexual offenders like Sunny Verma & others," the complaint said.

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IndiGo to raise funds worth Rs 4000 crore by issuing equity shares

Agencies
August 11,2020

InterGlobe Aviation, which operates airline major IndiGo, has decided to raise funds worth Rs 4,000 crore. Accordingly, the company will issue equity shares by way of a qualified institutions placement to raise the funds.

The decision was taken by the company's board in its meeting held on Monday.

"We hereby inform you that the Board of Directors of lnterGlobe Aviation limited, at its meeting held today, i.e., August 10, 2020, has considered and approved the raising of funds for an aggregate amount not exceeding INR 4,000 crore through an issue of equity shares by way of a qualified institutions placement, in accordance with the relevant provisions of applicable law and subject to approval of the Company's shareholders and receipt of applicable regulatory approvals," the company said in a regulatory filing.

The decision comes days after the company posted its highest ever quarterly net loss at Rs 2,844.3 crore for the first quarter of 2020-21.

It had posted a profit of Rs 1,203.1 crore in the like period of the previous fiscal.

"IndiGo had a total cash balance of Rs 184,498 million comprising Rs 75,276 million of free cash and Rs 109,222 million of restricted cash. The capitalised operating lease liability was Rs 211,779 million. The total debt (including the capitalised operating lease liability) was Rs 235,516 million," the company had said in a statement last month.

In its outlook, the company said it expects the Q2 fiscal 2021 to be around 40% of Q2 FY20.

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