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Monday, August 14, 2017

India immediately shut down Internet

In a democracy like India, internet shutdowns have become a norm. The authorities suspend mobile internet and broadband services whenever there have been violence, widespread protests because of social media posts or otherwise.
According to Brookings Institution report, India lost over Rs. 6, 548 cores in business due to internet shutdowns in the past 3 years.
Similarly, The Software Freedom Law Centre’s has an internet shutdown tracker which lets everyone check data on internet services being suspended.
Below is the list of internet shutdowns that have taken place at India in 2017 so far.
Jammu and Kashmir
The valley has led the list in facing the most number of internet shutdowns in India. In 2017 so far, there have been 10 cases of internet suspensions due to various incidents. Recently, due to the killing of Amarnath Yatris in Kashmir, internet services were terminated as a precaution. Earlier, internet services were suspended for around 17 days after the killing of killing of Burhan Wani. In total the valley has seen around 40 internet shutdowns since 2011.
Rajasthan
India’s largest state by area and known for its forts and palaces has seen 3 internet shutdowns so far in 2017. In June 2017, mobile internet services were suspended in Nagaur and Churu as there were vehement protests by Rajputs over the encounter of gangster Anandpal Singh. Earlier in March, a scuffle had broken out between two rival groups because of which services were suspended in Rajasthan’s Sikar district.
Haryana
The state has seen 5 shutdowns so far in 2017. In March, internet services and bulk mobile messaging was suspended in the apprehension of any untoward incidents which might occur due to the proposed Jat agitation to Delhi. Earlier in January 31st, the Jat quota agitation resulted in internet services being suspend in certain sensitive areas to prevent the spread of rumour.
Uttar Pradesh
Internet services have so far been suspended for 2 times in the state. In June 2017, after the main accused of the Saharanpur violence was arrested, internet services were shut down across the entire district for two days.
Earlier, the UP government had suspended internet services in the Saharanpur area to stop rumor mongering and violence after clashes took place between the Dalit and Rajput community.
Madhya Pradesh
So far this year, there has been only one instance of internet shutdown after police opened fire during a farmers protest at Mandsaur. Later on, Internet services in Mandsaur, Ratlam and Ujjain were suspended.
West Bengal
Mobile internet services were taken down 3 times so far in West Bengal. Due to a Facebook post, intense clashes broke out in Baduria and Basirhat in North 24 Parganas after which internet services were disrupted. Similarly, due to unrest in Darjeeling over Gorkhaland agitation, web services were taken down.
Nagaland
Mobile internet services were taken down multiple times from January 30th 2017, as clashes took place between urban local bodies and the state government over reservation in civic body elections. So far internet services have been taken down 2 times in 2017.
Maharashtra
Mobile internet services were taken down once in Nasik on 5th June, 2017 due to the state wide protests by the farmers.
Odisha
So far internet services have been taken down 2 times in 2017. Firstly in April, services were suspended for 48 hours in the wake of “objectionable post” on social media
BY TECHGIG
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Friday, May 12, 2017

11 things you can do to protect against ransomware, including Cryptolocker


1. Back up your data
The single biggest thing that will defeat ransomware is having a regularly updated backup. If you are attacked with ransomware you may lose that document you started earlier this morning, but if you can restore your system to an earlier snapshot or clean up your machine and restore your other lost documents from backup, you can rest easy. Remember that Cryptolocker will also encrypt files on drives that are mapped. This includes any external drives such as a USB thumb drive, as well as any network or cloud file stores that you have assigned a drive letter. So, what you need is a regular backup regimen, to an external drive or backup service, one that is not assigned a drive letter or is disconnected when it is not doing backup.
The next three tips are meant to deal with how Cryptolocker has been behaving – this may not be the case forever, but these tips can help increase your overall security in small ways that help prevent against a number of different common malware techniques.
2. Show hidden file-extensions
One way that Cryptolocker frequently arrives is in a file that is named with the extension “.PDF.EXE”, counting on Window’s default behavior of hiding known file-extensions. If you re-enable the ability to see the full file-extension, it can be easier to spot suspicious files.
3. Filter EXEs in email
If your gateway mail scanner has the ability to filter files by extension, you may wish to deny mails sent with “.EXE” files, or to deny mails sent with files that have two file extensions, the last one being executable (“*.*.EXE” files, in filter-speak). If you do legitimately need to exchange executable files within your environment and are denying emails with “.EXE” files, you can do so with ZIP files (password-protected, of course) or via cloud services.
4. Disable files running from AppData/LocalAppData folders
You can create rules within Windows or with Intrusion Prevention Software, to disallow a particular, notable behavior used by Cryptolocker, which is to run its executable from the App Data or Local App Data folders. If (for some reason) you have legitimate software that you know is set to run not from the usual Program Files area but the App Data area, you will need to exclude it from this rule.
5. Use the Cryptolocker Prevention Kit
The Cryptolocker Prevention Kit is a tool created by Third Tier that automates the process of making a Group Policy to disable files running from the App Data and Local App Data folders, as well as disabling executable files from running from the Temp directory of various unzipping utilities. This tool is updated as new techniques are discovered for Cryptolocker, so you will want to check in periodically to make sure you have the latest version. If you need to create exemptions to these rules, they provide this document that explains that process.
6. Disable RDP
The Cryptolocker/Filecoder malware often accesses target machines using Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), a Windows utility that allows others to access your desktop remotely. If you do not require the use of RDP, you can disable RDP to protect your machine from Filecoder and other RDP exploits. For instructions to do so, visit the appropriate Microsoft Knowledge Base article below:
7. Patch or Update your software
These next two tips are more general malware-related advice, which applies equally to Cryptolocker as to any malware threat. Malware authors frequently rely on people running outdated software with known vulnerabilities, which they can exploit to silently get onto your system. It can significantly decrease the potential for ransomware-pain if you make a practice of updating your software often. Some vendors release security updates on a regular basis (Microsoft and Adobe both use the second Tuesday of the month), but there are often “out-of-band” or unscheduled updates in case of emergency. Enable automatic updates if you can, or go directly to the software vendor’s website, as malware authors like to disguise their creations as software update notifications too.
8. Use a reputable security suite
It is always a good idea to have both anti-malware software and a software firewall to help you identify threats or suspicious behavior. Malware authors frequently send out new variants, to try to avoid detection, so this is why it is important to have both layers of protection. And at this point, most malware relies on remote instructions to carry out their misdeeds. If you run across a ransomware variant that is so new that it gets past anti-malware software, it may still be caught by a firewall when it attempts to connect with its Command and Control (C&C) server to receive instructions for encrypting your files.
If you find yourself in a position where you have already run a ransomware file without having performed any of the previous precautions, your options are quite a bit more limited. But all may not be lost. There are a few things you can do that might help mitigate the damage, particularly if the ransomware in question is Cryptolocker:
9. Disconnect from WiFi or unplug from the network immediately
If you run a file that you suspect may be ransomware, but you have not yet seen the characteristic ransomware screen, if you act very quickly you might be able to stop communication with the C&C server before it finish encrypting your files. If you disconnect yourself from the network immediately (have I stressed enough that this must be done right away?), you might mitigate the damage. It takes some time to encrypt all your files, so you may be able to stop it before it succeeds in garbling them all. This technique is definitely not foolproof, and you might not be sufficiently lucky or be able to move more quickly than the malware, but disconnecting from the network may be better than doing nothing.
10. Use System Restore to get back to a known-clean state
If you have System Restore enabled on your Windows machine, you might be able to take your system back to a known-clean state. But, again, you have to out-smart the malware. Newer versions of Cryptolocker can have the ability to delete “Shadow” files from System Restore, which means those files will not be there when you try to to replace your malware-damaged versions. Cryptolocker will start the deletion process whenever an executable file is run, so you will need to move very quickly as executables may be started as part of an automated process. That is to say, executable files may be run without you knowing, as a normal part of your Windows system’s operation.
11. Set the BIOS clock back
Cryptolocker has a payment timer that is generally set to 72 hours, after which time the price for your decryption key goes up significantly. (The price may vary as Bitcoin has a fairly volatile value. At the time of writing the initial price was .5 Bitcoin or $300, which then goes up to 4 Bitcoin) You can “beat the clock” somewhat, by setting the BIOS clock back to a time before the 72 hour window is up. I give this advice reluctantly, as all it can do is keep you from having to pay the higher price, and we strongly advise that you do not pay the ransom. Paying the criminals may get your data back, but there have been plenty of cases where the decryption key never arrived or where it failed to properly decrypt the files. Plus, it encourages criminal behavior! Ransoming anything is not a legitimate business practice, and the malware authors are under no obligation to do as promised – they can take your money and provide nothing in return, because there is no backlash if the criminals fail to deliver.
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