Rupee slips 7 paise to 70.63 vs USD in early trade

Agencies
September 30,2019

Mumbai, Sept 30: The Indian rupee opened on a cautious note and fell 7 paise to 70.63 against the US dollar in early trade on Monday tracking weak opening in domestic equities and foreign fund outflows.

Forex traders said increasing demand for the US dollar vis-a-vis other currencies overseas and rising crude oil prices weighed on the domestic unit.

At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened on a strong note at 70.37 then lost momentum and fell to 70.63 against the US dollar, showing a decline of 7 paise over its previous closing.

The Indian rupee on Friday had closed at 70.56 against the US dollar.

Domestic bourses opened on a negative note on Monday with benchmark indices Sensex trading 255.85 points down at 38,566.72 and Nifty lower by 83.20 points at 11,429.20.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) offloaded shares worth Rs 213.60 crore on Friday, according to provisional exchange data.

The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, rose by 0.03 per cent to 99.13.

Forex traders said rising crude oil prices weighed on the rupee. Crude oil benchmark, Brent Futures, rose 0.05 per cent to USD 61.94 per barrel.

Meanwhile, the 10-year government bond yield was at 6.70 per cent in morning trade.

Meanwhile, on the global front, China will send its top trade negotiator to US for trade talks. China's top trade negotiator will lead an upcoming trade talks with the United States, a senior Chinese official said Sunday.

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Entire Earth vibrating less due to COVID-19 lockdowns says study

Agencies
July 25,2020

In a study conducted in 117 countries, researchers have found that the world is experiencing the most dramatic reduction in the seismic noise (the hum of vibrations in the planet's crust) in recorded history due to global COVID-19 lockdowns.

Measured by instruments called seismometers, seismic noise is caused by vibrations within the Earth, which travel like waves and the waves can be triggered by earthquakes, volcanoes, and bombs - but also by daily human activity like travel and industry.

This quiet period was likely caused by the total global effect of social distancing measures, closure of services and industry, and drops in tourism and travel, the study published in the journal Science, reported.

The new research, led by the Royal Observatory of Belgium and five other institutions around the world including Imperial College London (ICL), showed that the dampening of 'seismic noise' caused by humans was more pronounced in more densely populated areas.

"Our study uniquely highlights just how much human activities impact the solid Earth, and could let us see more clearly than ever what differentiates human and natural noise," said study co-author Stephen Hicks from ICL in the UK.

For the findings, the research team looked at seismic data from a global network of 268 seismic stations in 117 countries and found significant noise reductions compared to before any lockdown at 185 of those stations.

Researchers tracked the 'wave' of quietening between March and May as worldwide lockdown measures took hold.

The largest drops in vibrations were seen in the most densely populated areas, like Singapore and New York City, but drops were also seen in remote areas like Germany's the Black Forest and Rundu in Namibia.

Citizen-owned seismometers, which tend to measure more localised noise, noted large drops around universities and schools around Cornwall, UK and Boston, US - a drop in noise 20 per cent larger than seen during school holidays.

The findings showed that countries like Barbados, where lockdown coincided with the tourist season, saw a 50 per cent decrease in noise.

"The changes have also given us the opportunity to listen in to the Earth's natural vibrations without the distortions of human input," the study authors wrote.

Earlier in April, a study published in the journal Nature, reported at least a 30 per cent reduction in that amount of ambient human noise since lockdown began in Belgium.

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Siddaramaiah says BJP trying to destabilise Congress government in Rajasthan

News Network
July 28,2020

Bengaluru, Jul 28: Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Monday alleged that BJP is trying to destabilise the Congress government in Rajasthan.

"It is the duty of the Governor to act according to the decision of the state cabinet. But he is acting like a central government puppet," he said at a protest organised here by Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC).

He said the Congress is protesting across the country to save democracy and save the constitution.

"We are not fighting through violence. We are protesting peacefully. The Constitution has given the right to protest in a democratic system," he said.

He accused the BJP of "being disrespectful" to the Constitution.

"Governments must walk within the framework of the Constitution. The Constitution gives everyone rights and duties. BJP destabilises elected governments and buys our legislators by horse-trading by spending crores of money. The same thing happened in Karnataka as well," he alleged.

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India’s cybersecurity agency warns people of credit card skimming via e-commerce sites

Agencies
July 18,2020

New Delhi, Jul 18: India's national cybersecurity agency CERT-in, has warned people of credit card skimming spreading across the world through e-commerce platforms.

Attackers are typically targeting e-commerce sites because of their wide presence, popularity and the environment LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP), the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) said in a notice on Thursday.

Recently, attackers targeted sites which were hosted on Microsoft's IIS server running with the ASP.NET web application framework, it said.

Some of the sites affected by the attack were found to be running ASP.NET version 4.0.30319, which is no longer officially supported by Microsoft and may contain multiple vulnerabilities, CERT-In said.

The notice also included a list of best practices for website developers including the use of the latest version of ASP.NET web framework, IIS web server and database server.

The advisory is based on research by Malwarebytes which found that this skimming campaign likely began sometime in April this year.

Credit card skimming has become a popular activity for cybercriminals over the past few years, and the increase in online shopping during the pandemic means additional business for them, too, Malwarebytes said in a blog post, adding that attackers do not need to limit themselves to the most popular e-commerce platforms.

Researchers from global cybersecurity and anti-virus brand Kaspersky had warned in December last year that more cybercriminal groups will target online payment processing systems in 2020. 

It said that over the past couple of years, so-called JS-skimming (the method of stealing of payment card data from online stores), has gained immense popularity among attackers. 

Kaspersky researchers in their report said they are currently aware of at least 10 different actors involved in these type of attacks.

Their number will continue to grow during the next year, the report said, adding that the most dangerous attacks will be on companies that provide services such as e-commerce as-a-service, which will lead to the compromise of thousands of companies.

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