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End of Earth 2000ft asteroid may hit earth on April 2020

Social media is abuzz with news that the world is going to end in April 2020. But is that really true? Why people are speculating about it? Well here’s the answer.

According to US space agency NASA, a large near-Earth asteroid discovered nearly three years ago will fly safely past Earth on April 19th, 2020.

4 New asteroid to hit Earth on March 21 and March 22

The space rock, known as 2014 JO25, is estimated to be 2,000 feet in size. It is expected to fly by Earth at a safe distance of about 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometers), or about 4.6 times the distance from Earth to the moon, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Although there is no possibility for the asteroid to collide with our planet, this will be a very close approach for an asteroid of this size,” NASA was quoted as saying.

Small asteroids pass within this distance of Earth several times each week, but this upcoming approach is “the closest by any known asteroid of this size, or larger, since asteroid Toutatis, a 3.1-mile (five-kilometer) asteroid, which approached within about four lunar distances in September 2004,” NASA said.

The proximity of asteroid has made people believe that it will hit earth and civilisation will end in April 2020.

The next known encounter of an asteroid of comparable size will occur in 2027 when the half-mile-wide (800-meter-wide) asteroid 1999 AN10 will fly by at one lunar distance.

In addition, the encounter on April 19 is also “the closest this asteroid has come to Earth for at least the last 400 years and will be its closest approach for at least the next 500 years,” NASA added.

The asteroid will approach Earth from the direction of the sun and will become visible in the night sky after April 19.

It is predicted to brighten to about magnitude 11 when it could be visible in small optical telescopes for one or two nights before it fades as the distance from Earth rapidly increases, NASA added.

(Inputs from IANS)

Virgin Media clarifies on Data breach incident of 900,000 users

Virgin Media database containing personal details of around 900,000 users was left unsecured and accessible online for 10 months. The company has admitted the incident. Virgin Media has apologized for the incident and really, there’s very little practical advice to offer in the light of this kind of breach, beyond the usual protocol of staying alert to any messages requesting personal information or access to any kind of finance.

As per the Virgin Media statement, this incident is not a Hack or a Cyberattack to Virgin Database. Its a misconfiguration to the user data which is mainly used for the marketing purpose. The issue was addressed by a Security researcher at TurgenSec Last Friday.

We recently became aware that one of our marketing databases was incorrectly configured which allowed unauthorised access. We immediately solved the issue by shutting down access. Protecting our customers’ data is a top priority and we sincerely apologise. Based upon our investigation, Virgin Media does believe that the database was accessed on at least one occasion but we do not know the extent of the access or if any information was actually used,

Lutz Schüler, chief executive of Virgin Media

Virgin Media in order to clarify its customers released Help and Advice in their official portal. The company also alerts its customers not to fall in Phishing if they receive any calls in the name of Virgin Media and requesting confidential details about their account.

What are the details of customers are leaked?

As per the media statement, the complete Database is Neither hacked nor leaked. Here is the list of data that are set open to public without knowledge.

  • Name
  • Home and email address
  • Phone numbers
  • Technical Information
  • Product information, including any requests Customer made using forms on Virgin Media website.
  • In a very small number of cases, it included the date of birth.

Data leaked dose not contain any critical data’s which includes Passwords, financial statements, Credit Card details, and Banking details.

An independent forensics investigation launched after shutting down all access to the database. All Customers are contacted directly by Virgin media to ensure their data security.

In order to ensure the data safety of customer Virgin Media released several list of safety measures for customers.

  • If you ever receive a call claiming to be from Virgin Media that you don’t trust, please hang up and report it to us straight away
  • Please remember, you should never disclose any sensitive information over email, including banking details, and we will never ask you to do so.
  • If you receive an email that you are concerned about, don’t click on any links, open any documents or reply to it.

UK’s 5G network well within safety limits, Ofcom tests find

A man wearing a white t-shirt with a 5G symbol and a red cross through it holds an obscured banner at a protestImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Protesters – like this man in Warsaw in April – have rallied against 5G

The first UK safety tests of 5G base stations has found radiation levels are at “tiny fractions” of safe limits.

The rollout of ultra-fast 5G mobile connectivity has sparked some fears the new transmission masts could be dangerous to humans.

But Ofcom, the UK regulator, found no identifiable risks in its first tests since 5G technology was deployed.

The highest result they found for the 5G band was 0.039% of the recommended exposure limit.

Those limits are set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) – non-ionizing meaning the type that does not damage DNA and cells.

“The emissions at each site were a tiny fraction of the maximum levels set out in international guidelines,” an Ofcom spokesman said.

The tests covered 16 locations in 10 cities across the UK where 5G-enabled mobile base stations had been set up, and measured the strength of the electromagnetic field (EMF).

Put the term “5G” into Facebook’s search box and you can rapidly disappear down a rabbit hole.

Take a group called Working Together to Keep Devon 5G Free – the first post is a YouTube video advancing the theory the coronavirus originated in Wuhan because the Chinese city had rolled out 5G. Another post talks of pressurising a school to shut down its wi-fi network – those campaigning against 5G have often expressed similar fears about previous technologies.

And the campaigns are having some effect – a number of local councils in the south-west of England have voted to “ban 5G”, although it is not clear they have the power to stop the rollout. The councils and campaigners have been calling for evidence 5G is safe.

Now, Ofcom has provided some. But it seems unlikely the scare stories will just fade away.

The highest EMF emissions for 5G were recorded in Birmingham’s Mailbox development. By contrast, the highest strength for all mobile bands was in London’s Canary Wharf, at 1.5% the safe limit – but a zero 5G measurement.

Is there a health risk?

Ofcom has been measuring EMF emissions from mobile phone towers since 2003. But all four major UK networks have launched 5G in the past year, prompting Ofcom to test that band.

It said the rollout of 5G had seen a renewal of interest in the possible health effects of radio waves and it was receiving an “increasing number of queries” about 5G.

“Clearly, the deployment of 5G networks and the take-up of 5G services is at an early stage,” it said in the technical report outlining its findings.

“We will therefore continue to undertake EMF measurements to monitor the overall trends in the long term.”

Despite the public concern, health authorities have consistently declared 5G safe for use.

Public Health England acknowledges adding 5G to the existing technologies used could cause “a small increase in overall exposure to radio waves”.

“However, the overall exposure is expected to remain low relative to guidelines and, as such, there should be no consequences for public health,” it says in its official guidance.

The World Health Organization, meanwhile, classified radio frequency radiation as a “possible carcinogenic”. That puts it in the same category as pickled vegetables or talcum powder but not as dangerous as alcohol or processed meat.

Courtesy BBC

Would you eat a ‘steak’ printed by robots?

Sonova plant making hearing aidsImage copyright Sonova
Image caption Most hearing aids are made by a 3D printing process

You might not know it, but if you wear a hearing aid, you are likely to be part of the 3D printing revolution.

Almost all hearing aids nowadays are produced using the technique.

Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing involves building up layers of material – plastic, metal or resin – and bonding them together, until eventually you have the finished product.

“Previously, production had been the sole preserve of modellers who finished each unique piece by hand in a time-consuming and costly process,” says Stefan Launer, a senior vice president at Sonova, which makes hearing aids.

“Now, once an order is placed, it takes just a few days for the finished product to be delivered, and the customer receives a hearing aid with individual fit,” he says.

Image copyright Sonova
Image caption 3D-printed hearing aids can be made quickly and to individual fits

When 3D printing began to emerge 20 years ago, its boosters promised that it would revolutionise many industries.

And in many ways it has been a big success. In 2018, 1.4 million 3D printers were sold worldwide, and that is expected to rise to 8 million in 2027, according to Grand View Research.

“In terms of the technology, there are constantly new applications discovered, with new materials and machines unveiled each year,” says Galina Spasova, senior research analyst at IDC Europe.

More Technology of Business

The technique has “revolutionised” the dental sector, she says, cutting the time it takes to make crowns and bridges, as well as making them more accurately.

On a bigger scale, Boeing is using 3D-printed parts in its spacecraft, commercial and defence aircraft, while BAE Systems uses the technology to make components for the Typhoon fighter.

There is even a 3D printer on the International Space Station, where it is used to create spare parts.

Image copyright Nova
Image caption Nova’s plant-based steak mimics muscle using 3D printing

But many applications are still on a smaller, experimental scale.

For example, food can be 3D printed. Barcelona-based Nova Meat recently unveiled a plant-based steak derived from peas, rice, seaweed and other ingredients.

Using 3D printing allows the ingredients to be laid down as a criss-cross of filaments, which imitate the intracellular proteins in muscle cells.

“This strategy allows us to define the resulting texture in terms of chewiness and tensile and compression resistance, and to mimic the taste and nutritional properties of a variety of meat and seafood, as well as their appearance,” says Guiseppe Scionti, the founder of Nova Meat.

By next year, he says, restaurants could be printing out the steaks for themselves.

Image copyright Nova Meat
Image caption Layers of ‘steak’ can be laid down in a criss-cross pattern to create texture

One of the most exciting fields for 3D printing is medicine. For some time now, medical professionals have been 3D printing prosthetics, which can be made for a fraction of the usual price.

They can also be easily personalised for the individual patient – indeed, earlier this year a cat in Russia was given four 3D-printed titanium feet after losing its own to frostbite.

Medicines can be 3D printed – something that’s particularly useful when treating small children, who need lower drug doses as standard.

As co-director at NIHR Alder Hey Clinical Research Facility for Experimental Medicine professor Matthew Peak points out, “The majority of medicines available to children have not been designed with children in mind or, indeed, tested in clinical trials involving children.”

Last year, his team became the first in the world to give a child a 3D-printed pill; meanwhile, other researchers are creating pills that are personalised for the individual patient.

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Media captionUS company Desktop Metal aims to make it possible to manufacture 3D-printed parts at industrial scale.

Perhaps most extraordinary of all is the work being done to 3D print human organs. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the US recently announced that they’d developed a way to 3D print living skin, complete with blood vessels, that could be used as a graft for burn victims.

There are still hurdles to overcome – the technique has been used only on mice so far, and work needs to be done to make sure the grafts aren’t rejected. But, says associate professor Pankaj Karande, once grafted onto a special type of mouse, the vessels from the printed skin were able to connect with the mouse’s own vessels.

“That’s extremely important, because we know there is actually a transfer of blood and nutrients to the graft which is keeping the graft alive,” he says.

Image copyright SQ4D
Image caption The walls of this house were built by robots – humans are still needed to build the roof

Some hope the technology can be used on a much bigger scale.

“We believe 3D printing houses and buildings will change the way the world is built,” says Kirk Andersen, chief engineer of New York firm SQ4D.

Earlier this year, his firm built a 1,900 square foot house in just eight days, by using a robot to build up the walls layer-by-layer.

The roof still has to be built by construction workers.

The process “drastically” reduces the amount of material and labour costs used in construction, according to Mr Anderson. The firm estimates that its house costs 70% less to build than an equivalent property built using traditional methods.

The technology is still under development, but a number of 3D-printed buildings have been completed around the world, giving a sense of what could one day be possible.

While 3D printing is common in car making and aerospace where the technique is valued for making prototypes, tools and parts, most of the items you buy are likely to be mass produced on production lines for some time to come.

This article is the third in a mini-series on disruptive industries. You can find the first on blockchain here and the second, on robotics here.

Courtesy BBC

Etika mural becomes Pokemon Go spot in tribute to YouTuber

A mural on a wall in New York City. It is graffiti with the face of Etika, a young male. Beside him are two Nintendo Switch controllersImage copyright @DoubleA_Charged
Image caption The Etika mural in New York City showing the YouTuber beside a pair of Nintendo Switch controllers

Desmond ‘Etika’ Amofah was known for his love of Nintendo games.

When the YouTuber died last year, aged 29, it sent shockwaves through the gaming community, with the term ‘Joyconboyz’ trending worldwide.

The phrase, coined by Etika in reference to the Nintendo Switch controllers known as Joy-Cons, trended again on Tuesday, but this time for a different reason.

The Nintendo fan had become part of a Nintendo game – Pokemon Go.

Pokemon Go is a popular mobile game where people catch virtual Pokemon by walking around in real life.

Now players in New York City will be encouraged to visit the Etika mural in Brooklyn which has become a ‘Pokestop’ – an in-game location which can be visited to receive bonus items.

Pokemon Go gamer Reversal, who has 363k subscribers on YouTube, called the Pokestop “the ultimate tribute” to Etika.

“It means an incredible amount to me as a person,” he told the BBC. “I’m so happy it’s there – I literally cried.

“He was a close friend of mine and I know he really loved Pokemon Go. It could add so much emotional value to people, I think it’s so important he’s part of the game.

“I think people will go to the mural today, spin the Pokestop and think wow, our friend is in the game.”

He said that the pair had met after becoming friends through YouTube and even made plans to meet again – though that never happened.

After the mural was revealed in November 2019, he began campaigning for it to become part of Pokemon Go.

“I went through an extremely difficult time when Desmond died,” he said. “It was everywhere online, it’s so surreal to find out through that sort of means.

“You think about the stuff you wish you said. When I saw the mural was being revealed, I thought it was really cool. We needed to make it a thing.

“I wanted to see it happen because I knew how happy that would make him.”

The mural was organised by DoubleA_Charged and Abe Hunter. It was created by muralist BK Foxx with graffiti artist Kesta, on a wall provided by JMZ Walls.

The inclusion of the Etika mural in Pokemon Go comes as good news at a time when his fans have been fighting a different battle altogether.

The YouTuber’s Twitter account has been suspended since 14 February 2019 – which fans believe is because of inactivity.

The BBC has approached Twitter for comment.

Courtesy BBC

YouTuber ‘became better human’ after race row

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Media captionKian Lawley: ‘I messed up in my life and nobody’s perfect’

YouTuber Kian Lawley says he “became a better human” after a video of him using a racist term resurfaced in 2018.

It resulted in him being fired as an actor from a film inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.

The 24-year-old admits he “messed up” but insists “nobody’s perfect”.

Speaking exclusively to Radio 1 Newsbeat he explains the online criticism he received was “scary” and he didn’t know what impact it would have on his career.

“It was a really big part of my life,” Kian tells Newsbeat at VidCon London, a convention for vloggers and fans that features some of the world’s biggest social-media stars.

“I’ve never claimed to be perfect and I never want to claim to be perfect.”

Image copyright TIFF
Image caption The Hate U Give tells the story of 16-year-old Starr who is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend by a white police officer

Kian used the n-word while rapping with friends.

The controversy led to Kian also being dropped from his talent agency – with the film makers of The Hate U Give explaining he had been removed due to “his past comments and behaviour”.

Set predominantly in a black community, the main character Starr begins to question her place in society and the private school where she is one of a few non-white students.

Kian originally played Chris – Starr’s boyfriend – one of the only major white characters in the film.

After the racism controversy the role had to be recast and scenes were reshot with Riverdale actor, KJ Apa, replacing him as the character of Chris.

The fallout meant Kian, who has 17m followers across social media, experienced “cancel culture” – when someone is boycotted online for something problematic they’ve said or done.

At the time he said he “understood” that “words have power and can do a lot of damage”.

He took a break from posting videos on his YouTube channel and says he knows he was “in the wrong”.

Kian says he used the break “to re-establish and re-find” himself but accepts “not everyone’s going to be on my side”.

Follow Newsbeat on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 weekdays – or listen back here.

Courtesy BBC

Can we fix our way out of the growing e-waste problem?

Francesco CaloImage copyright Francesco Calo
Image caption It only cost Francesco “a few pennies” to repair his TV screen

“I was a kid of the early 80s, when electronic items were quite expensive and were supposed to last for ages.”

Francesco Calo has been learning how to fix his broken TV at a repair event in Tooting, south London.

It might seem a simplistic idea – but repair initiatives such as this one could be part of a solution to the growing amount of electrical and electronic waste.

This waste is becoming a huge problem. The 50 million tonnes of e-waste generated every year will more than double to 110 million tonnes by 2050, making it the fastest growing waste stream in the world, according to the author of a UN report.

Environmental damage

Francesco says the staggering volume of e-waste was one of the main reasons he wanted to get involved in fixing broken gadgets.

He enlisted the help of volunteers at the Restart Project in London. Other, similar projects exist in the UK and around the world.

“This project allows you to reduce waste, extend the life of objects, and it helps people who cannot afford to get rid of items that have developed a fault,” he says.

“The issue of electronic waste is overlooked, as electronic items that could be fixed easily go to waste instead, contributing to pollution and increasing the demand for components like rare earth elements, which can have a damaging impact on the environment when sourced.”

Dr Ruediger Kuehr, of the United Nations University, which produces the UN’s Global E-Waste Monitor, told the BBC that despite having ambitious collection targets in place, “world-wide collections are stagnating or even decreasing”.

The UN’s next Global E-Waste Monitor is due to be published in April, but with only 41 countries producing official e-waste statistics, the fate of the majority of the waste is “simply unknown”, according to Prof Ian Williams of the University of Southampton.

“In countries where there is no national e-waste legislation in place, e-waste is likely treated as other or general waste. This is either land-filled or recycled, along with other metal or plastic wastes,” he says.

But e-waste from discarded electrical and electronic products is only part of the problem. A significant contributor to e-waste is the release of toxins from mining and manufacturing.

The rare earth elements being mined are currently crucial components in high-tech electronics, but they are hazardous to extract.

“There is the high risk that the pollutants are not taken care of properly, or they are taken care of by an informal sector and recycled without properly protecting the workers, while emitting the toxins contained in e-waste,” Prof Williams says.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption 50 million tonnes of e-waste is being generated every year, according to the UN

By far the biggest contributors to the level of e-waste are household appliances such as irons, vacuum cleaners, washing machines and fridges.

But the rapidly-growing “Internet of things” – internet-connected gadgets – is expected to generate e-waste at a faster rate, as connectivity becomes embedded into everyday items.

There are rules on the management of e-waste. Sellers of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) within the European Union must provide ways for customers to dispose of their old household device when they sell them a new version of the same product.

And in October 2019, the EU adopted new Right to Repair standards, which means that from 2021 firms will have to make appliances longer-lasting, and will have to supply spare parts for machines for up to 10 years.

The UK government has pledged to “match and even exceed EU eco product regulations” post-Brexit.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The “Internet of things” is expected to generate e-waste at an even faster rate

Several high-profile electronics companies have faced criticism over a lack of availability of spare parts or upgrades, or alleged built-in obsolescence.

In 2017, Apple admitted that it had deliberately slowed down some models of the iPhone as they aged. Customers had suspected this was to encourage people to upgrade, although Apple said it was to prolong the life of customers’ devices. In 2018, the company introduced its Daisy robot, used to disassemble iPhones to recover and recycle minerals.

In November 2019, owners of Sonos products criticised the speaker manufacturer for no longer issuing software updates for some of its older models. Affected customers were offered discounts on newer devices in return for recycling their existing product.

Increasingly, investors are only looking at companies that are committed to helping create a cleaner global economy.

Amanda O’Toole, a fund manager at AXA Investment Managers, says that e-waste is “a significant and growing issue”.

“We’re starting to see companies that, I think, are very mindful of their reputation investing quite heavily here. They recognise the reputational damage of not doing so.”

Image copyright Mark Phillips
Image caption Repair pop-ups teach people how to repair their broken tech, rather than discard it

But some consumers are taking matters into their own hands – literally. And they don’t want new devices.

Back at the Restart Project in London – part of a wider repair movement of community based projects around the world – Francesco’s succeeded in repairing his TV screen at the cost of “a few pennies” for a new diode, and the help of one of the volunteers. He tells the BBC he is thinking of becoming a volunteer fixer in the future.

“I love the idea of watching and learning to fix, rather than simply having your item fixed.

“I always try to extend the lease of life of the electronic items I own… by using old mobile phones as music players, or old tablets as digital frames.”

Francesco’s may only be one fix, but Prof Williams thinks this type of action plays a small, but important, role in tackling what he calls the e-waste “tsunami”.

“I think that the repair cafes, the reuse clubs, and people who are trying to prolong the life of electronic equipment – they definitely have a role,” he says.

“But the truth is that one in five people – at best – are going to be motivated to do that, so for the remaining four out of five, we need to put systems in place that are convenient, that match their lifestyles and enable us to get the electronic equipment back… into the next item.”

Courtesy BBC

Thousands of mobiles and laptops lost by UK government in a year

A stack of smartphones in various coloursImage copyright Getty Images

UK government employees lost their mobile devices – or had them stolen – at least 2,004 times in 12 months.

The numbers, released under a Freedom of Information request, include smartphones, laptops, and tablets.

The Ministry of Defence reported the most missing devices, with 767 lost or stolen, followed by tax authority HMRC, with 288.

While the large majority of devices were encrypted, nearly 200 may not have been, the information reveals.

The Ministry of Defence said its employees lost more devices because there were more of them. The numbers include military personnel in the Army, the Royal Navy, and Royal Air Force. It also said it had “robust” procedures in place around encryption.

The report was commissioned by mobile communications firm Viasat. It contacted 47 public bodies and said 27 answered its Freedom of Information requests with data from 1 June 2018 – 1 June 2019.

Of the 2,004 devices:

  • 1,474 were reported lost
  • 347 were stolen
  • 183 could have been either lost or stolen
  • 1,629 of the total were lost or stolen in an unknown place

The information requests also showed whether or not the data on the phones was encrypted – which would make it much more difficult to access.

More than 90% were – but 65 phones were not, and another 115 were marked as having an “unknown” encryption status.

Devices lost by department

Top 10 among respondents

A government spokesman said: “Data security is a top priority for the UK government and is supported by £1.9bn of investment under the National Cyber-Security Programme.”

Prof Alan Woodward from the University of Surrey, said that modern security policies reduced the risks, allowing IT administrators to wipe phones remotely, or even locate them via GPS.

Only 249 government devices were recovered, according to the information Viasat received.

Prof Woodward said problems arose when good security policies were not followed.

“There is nothing to stop users using their personal devices to store sensitive information,” he said. That includes simple things like sensitive contact details or calendars – but potentially, other passwords, or access to two-factor authentication.

“They shouldn’t, but it is then very reliant upon the strong Pin code being in place – and it’s surprising just how many people either don’t use a Pin or use weak Pins that can be guessed before the data is erased.”

And even a strong password is not iron-clad, he warned, because “not all phones are equally secure… some phones are easier to recover data from without the user’s Pin”.

Courtesy BBC

Zee News and WION Now on the Google Assistant

Zee News, one of India’s premium Hindi news channel, and WION, the global news and views channel from the Zee Group, have expanded their footprint by integrating their news service into Google Assistant. Over 1 billion mobile and hand-held devices across the world have Google Assistant, which gives unprecedented reach to both the news channels.

Zee News commands a massive and loyal following, especially in the Hindi speaking regions of the country, while WION is a niche platform for the English speaking audience. With the presence of Zee News and WION on the Google Assistant, the news seeker gets one more entry point to find about the latest happenings in India and other parts of the world.

For over 25 years, Zee News has been tracking all the twists and turns which India has witnessed. The channel has been unparalleled in its coverage of the colourful Indian elections. Hindi speakers can now access content on Zee News by simply asking their Google Assistant “Zee News ki khabarein sunao”. 

All the top bulletins, special features and shows of Zee News including Deshhit, Taal Thok Ke and the iconic DNA with Zee News Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary will be available through this integration with the Google Assistant. 

Similarly, saying “Play news from WION” will play news reports from WION. The news bulletins along with premium shows like Gravitas, Tech it out, Pitstop and Traveller can also be accessed by simply asking your Google Assistant. While WION has been available on the TV since August 2016, we are happy to extend it to users of the Google Assistant.

Moreover, just by asking questions about their favourite shows, the user will be directed to the same and can enjoy the offering according to their schedule and comfort.

With this one more additional step closer to audiences, Zee Group’s CEO, Digital Publishing, Rohit Chadda said, “Being one of the largest news networks, our constant endeavour is to maximise the reach of our content. Recent studies suggest that 60% of all smartphone users have tried voice search at least once in the past 12 months. Additionally, the global voice-based smart speaker market is poised to be worth $30 billion by 2024. Given the growth of voice as a medium of content search and consumption, we plan to focus strongly on this new medium to ensure we emerge the leader in the space.”

About Zee Digital

Zee Digital comprises Digital Publishing and OTT business of the group. The Digital Publishing business includes websites/apps for 20 brands across 12 languages in various genres like news, entertainment, technology, cricket, health and lifestyle and consists of flagship brands like ZeeNews.com, WIONews.com, DNAIndia.com, ZeeBusiness.in, India.com, Bollywoodlife.com, BGR.in, TheHealthsite.com, CricketCountry.com etc. The OTT business, Zee5, is one of the leading online video streaming platforms offering an exhaustive array of content to its users with 90+ live TV channels and 1.25 lac+ hours of viewing across multiple languages.

Courtesy : DNA

Cyber-crime profits reached $3.5bn in 2019, says FBI

Silhouette of man on computerImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption The crimes remain similar but the techniques are getting more sophisticated

Criminals netted $3.5bn (£2.7bn) from cyber-crimes reported to the FBI alone in 2019, according to the service’s internet crime complaint centre (IC3).

It received 467,361 complaints from individuals and businesses during the year and has had nearly five million since its inception in 2000.

Phishing and extortion remain the most popular ways of scamming people.

It says techniques are becoming more sophisticated, making it harder for people to tell “real from fake”.

This is especially true of web and email addresses that are fooling people because they look increasingly legitimate.

Last year IC3 had 13,633 complaints from victims of so-called tech-support fraud, which involves a scammer phoning an individual and claiming there is a problem with their computer that needs immediate fixing.

‘Keep reporting it’

Losses amounted to more than $54m and complaints came from victims in 48 countries. The vast majority were over 60 years of age.

Ransomware – where hackers lock down computers and demand a payment to unlock them – netted more than $8.9m over the year, according to the group.

It urged members of the public to continue reporting crimes.

“Information reported to the IC3 plays a vital role in the FBI’s ability to understand our cyber-adversaries and their motives, which, in turn, helps us to impose risks and consequences on those who break our laws and threaten our national security,” said assistant director of the FBI’s cyber division Matt Gorham.

“It is through these efforts we hope to build a safer and more secure cyber-landscape.”

Courtesy BBC