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Reliance Jio Continues to Be Number One in the National Captial, Adds 1.80 Crore New Users

Image for Representation (IANS)

Image for Representation (IANS)

Reliance Jio’s network currently has more than 110 Jio stores and Reliance Digital stores put together and having a strong 25000+ retailer-base in Delhi.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: June 30, 2020, 1:28 PM IST

Reliance Jio continues to be the leader among the telecom companies in terms of subscribers in New Delhi as it added over 1.80 crore new users and captured 33.57% Customer Market Share in the month of February. Furthermore, the company has also added 2.44 lakh new subscribers in the same month, as per the latest subscriber data released by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

Reliance Jio’s network currently covers 100% of the population and has a strong retail network of more than 110 Jio stores and Reliance Digital stores put together and having a strong 25000+ retailer-base in Delhi. There are 34 Jio Centers in Delhi that helps in assisting with customer services.

Jio Platforms in India has more than 388 million subscribers, with significant investments made across the digital ecosystem that includes broadband connectivity, smart devices, cloud and edge computing, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, augmented and mixed reality and blockchain.

Interestingly, Reliance Jio headed by Mukesh Ambani has received investments to the tune of Rs 104,326.95 crores from the biggest names in the industry, with the likes of Facebook, Silver Lake, Vista Equity Partners, General Atlantic, KKR, Mubadala, ADIA, TPG, L Catterton investing in the company since April.

Disclaimer: News18.com is part of Network18 Media & Investment Limited which is owned by Reliance Industries Limited that also owns Reliance Jio.


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TikTok, Shareit, UC Browser and 56 Other Chinese Apps Banned by India over National Security Concerns

India on Monday banned 59 apps with Chinese links, including hugely popular TikTok and UC Browser, saying they were prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity and security of the country.

The ban, which comes in the backdrop of current stand-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh with Chinese troops, also includes WeChat and Bigo Live.

The list of apps that have been banned also include Helo, Likee, Cam Scanner, Vigo Video, Mi Video Call, Xiaomi, Clash of Kings as well as e-commerce platforms Club Factory and Shein. This marks the largest sweep against the Chinese technology companies.

The Information Technology Ministry in a statement said it has received many complaints from various sources, including several reports about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorised manner to servers which have locations outside India”.

“The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures,” the statement said.

The IT Ministry said it has invoked its power under section 69A of the IT Act and rules, and has decided to block 59 apps in view of information available that they are “engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”.

The move will “safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace”, it added.

The list included prominent names like TikTok (which has over 200 million users in India), SHAREit, WeChat, UC Browser, Helo, Likee and Cam Scanner, among others.

The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs, has also sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these malicious apps, the statement said, adding that there has been a strong chorus in the public space to take strict action against apps that harm India’s sovereignty as well as the privacy of citizens. Likewise, there have been similar bipartisan concerns, flagged by various public representatives, both outside and inside Parliament.

“On the basis of these and upon receiving recent credible inputs that such apps pose threat to sovereignty and integrity of India, the Government of India has decided to disallow the usage of certain apps, used in both mobile and non-mobile Internet enabled devices,” it added.

Comments from these companies could not be immediately obtained.

“There have been raging concerns on aspects relating to data security and safeguarding the privacy of 130 crore Indians. It has been noted recently that such concerns also pose a threat to sovereignty and security of our country,” the statement said.

Over 2015-19, Chinese investors including Alibaba, Tencent, TR Capital and Hillhouse Capital, have invested over USD 5.5 billion in Indian startups, according to Venture Intelligence that tracks private equity, venture capital, M&A transactions and valuations, in India.

Union Minister of Communications, Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said the move was taken to ensure the country’s integrity and protect data and privacy of Indians.

Congress leader Ahmed Patel also welcomed the decision, adding that the government has to take more substantial measures in light of the Chinese intrusion and unprovoked attack on Indian Army.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said the ban will be a big support to its ‘Boycott Chinese Goods’ campaign.

“This huge unprecedented step will go a long way in strengthening the ‘Boycott China’ campaign of CAIT. Boycott China movement is now well and truly a national reality and seven crore traders of India stands in solidarity with the Union Government,” CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said in a statement.

ShareChat Director Public Policy Berges Malu also welcomed the move. “This is a welcome move from the government against platforms that have had serious privacy, cyber security and national security risks. We expect the government to continue their support for the Indian startup ecosystem,” he said.

The full list of banned apps is as follows:

TikTok, Shareit, Kwai, UC Browser, Baidu map, Shein, Clash of Kings, DU battery saver, Helo, Likee, YouCam makeup, Mi Community, CM Browser, Virus Cleaner, APUS Browser, ROMWE, Club Factory, Newsdog, Beauty Plus, WeChat, UC News, QQ Mail, Weibo, Xender, QQ Music, QQ Newsfeed, Bigo Live, SelfieCity, Mail Master, Parallel Space, Mi Video Call – Xiaomi, WeSync, ES File Explorer, Viva Video – QU Video Inc, Meitu, Vigo Video, New Video Status, DU Recorder, Vault- Hide, Cache Cleaner DU App studio, DU Cleaner, DU Browser, Hago Play With New Friends, Cam Scanner, Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile, Wonder Camera, Photo Wonder, QQ Player, We Meet, Sweet Selfie, Baidu Translate, Vmate, QQ International, QQ Security Center, QQ Launcher, U Video, V fly Status Video, Mobile Legends, DU Privacy.

(With inputs from PTI)


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National IDs of More Than 1 Lakh Indians Have Ended Up On The Dark Web: All The Details Here

Image for Representation

Image for Representation

The leaked data seems to have originated from a third party and not from the government system, the report by cyber intelligence firm Cyble said.

  • PTI
  • Last Updated: June 3, 2020, 4:10 PM IST

Over 1 lakh scanned copies of Indians’ national IDs, including Aadhaar, PAN card and passport, have been put on dark web for sale, cyber intelligence firm Cyble said on Wednesday. The leaked data seems to have originated from a third party and not from the government system, according to a report by Cyble.

“We came across a non-reputed actor who is currently selling over 1 lakh Indian National IDs on the dark net. With such a low reputation, ideally, we would have skipped this; however, the samples shared by the actor intrigued our interest — and also the volume. The actor is alleged to have access to over 1 lakh IDs from different places in India,” Cyble said. The personal data leaked by cybercriminals leads to various nefarious activities such as identity thefts, scams, and corporate espionage. Many criminals use the personal details in the IDs to win trust of the people over a phone call for fraudulent activities.

The Cyble researchers acquired around 1,000 IDs from the seller and confirmed that the scanned IDs belong to Indians. “Preliminary analysis suggests that the data originated from a third party, and no indication or artefact is indicating that it came from a government system. At this point, Cyble researchers are still investigating this further — we are hoping to share an update soon,” Cyble said.

The scanned ID documents indicate that the data may have been leaked from a company’s data base in the segment where they have to comply with ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) norms. “Cyble researchers have also learned about a surge in KYC and banking scams — leaks such as this are often used by scammers to target individuals, especially elderlies,” Cyble said.

The cyber intelligence firm has recommended people to refrain from sharing personal information especially financial information over phone, e-mail or SMS. “Regularly monitor your financial transaction, if you notice any suspicious transaction, contact your bank immediately,” the company said.

In May, Cyble showed two instances where personal data of 7.65 crore Indians have been put on sale in the dark web. In one instance, the seller claimed to have sourced data of 4.75 crore Indians from online directory Truecaller and in other, the seller claimed to have sourced from job websites. Truecaller, however, had denied the claim of breach in its database.




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National Technology Day 2020: All You Need To Know

(photo for representation, image: File photo)

(photo for representation, image: File photo)

This year, on behalf of the Ministry of Science & Technology, Technology Development Board has organised a conference to celebrate the day.

  • Trending Desk
  • Last Updated: May 11, 2020, 12:59 PM IST

National Technology Day is celebrated on May 11. The day is observed to commemorate the achievements of the science fraternity. It was on this day in 1998 when India had its breakthrough moment in the field of technology by successfully carrying out nuclear tests at Pokhran. This year, on behalf of the Ministry of Science & Technology, Technology Development Board (TBD) has organised a conference to celebrate the day. The theme of the conference is ‘Rebooting the Economy through Science, Technology and Research Translations titled RESTART’.

Expressing his gratitude towards the scientists and remembering the Pokhran nuclear tests, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote, “On National Technology Day, our nation salutes all those who are leveraging technology to bring a positive difference in the lives of others. We remember the exceptional achievement of our scientists on this day in 1998. It was a landmark moment in India’s history”.

PM Modi went to salute the science fraternity who are at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19. “Today, technology is helping many in the efforts to make the world free from COVID-19. I salute all those at the forefront of research and innovation on ways to defeat Coronavirus. May we keep harnessing technology in order to create a healthier and better planet,” read the tweet.

On this day, various seminars and workshops are organized by the companies whose technologies have been supported by TDB. This year a virtual exposition is organized by the companies. Candidates who are interested to participate can register via this link: https://www.ciidigitalevents.in/SignUp.aspx?EventId=E000000003.




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Mitsubishi Electric Cyber Attack May Have Breached National Defence Data, Says Japan

The Japanese defence ministry said late on Monday that sensitive data on defence equipment may have been breached as a result of cyberattacks on Mitsubishi Electric Corp, a major supplier of the country’s defence and infrastructure systems. The company has told the ministry that potentially stolen data included requirements for defence equipment that the ministry specified for contract bidders in October 2018, the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said it was still in the process of investigating the security impact of the potential leak. Mitsubishi Electric did not win the contract in the auction. Mitsubishi Electric initially denied the possibility of a breach of sensitive defence and infrastructure data when it first reported on the 200-megabyte cyberattacks by a third party on Jan. 20. But subsequent checks at the company revealed that the defence ministry’s information that required special care was included in data potentially stolen by the attacks, Mitsubishi Electric said in a separate statement on Monday.

The company has said it first discovered the cyberattacks in June last year, more than half a year before it disclosed them to the public. The move follows a worrying trend in the cyber world, where targeted attacks are being held on companies that are contracted in increasingly important national projects. The increasing frequency of the attacks have often prompted many activists, regulators and legislators to call for establishing laws, practices and governance on how such data must be dealt with.

However, it has been increasingly difficult to deal with such issues, since the nature of cyber attacks have been constantly evolving. Going forward, it remains to be seen how nations deal with the prospect of such attacks, and how new laws are framed taking such variable factors into account.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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FASTag Becomes Mandatory on all National Highways: Here's Everything You Need to Know

The government extended the deadline to make FASTag payment tags mandatory on all national highways from December 15 to January 15, 2020. There was a recent report that said to facilitate the smooth flow of traffic, FASTag norms for 65 toll plazas with high cash transactions have been relaxed to allow them to convert up to 25 percent of “FASTag lane of Fee Plaza” into hybrid lanes for 30 days. A road ministry statement said that the move is temporary for 30 days and has been done on the request of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) so that the citizens are not put to any inconvenience.

But what exactly is a FASTag? A FASTag is a sticker that is attached to the windshield of your car, from the inside. This is Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) enabled via the barcode and is linked with the registration details of your vehicle. That information is stored in the barcode itself. As you drive though any toll plaza on any national highway in India, there will be dedicated lanes that have FASTag readers installed overhead—and as your vehicle passes beneath them, the RFID code is detected for your vehicle, processed and the necessary toll amount is deducted from the prepaid balance. All this without you having to stop, interact with a human being at a toll plaza and having to pay cash.

According to the National Highways Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules 2008, there are lanes at toll plazas reserved exclusively for FASTag users. You drive into that lane, the FASTag is detected by the readers installed overhead, the payment is made seamlessly, and you are on your way. The process is so quick, you don’t need to stop. The government push towards automated digital payments at toll plazas across India is multi-pronged. One advantage is reduced cash handling by the concessionaire as well as the authorities running toll plazas to allow for better transparency in the system. It is also expected to reduce the rush and waiting times at toll plazas, which is often because of cash collections, people trying to find the exact change or sometimes even arguments about the exact toll amount. And finally, the lesser time you spend at a toll plaza, you waste less fuel just sitting there in a queue and that also reduces pollution.

It was in October that the Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari announced that FASTags will become mandatory for all vehicles from December this year. However, there have been extensions of this deadline since. The December 1 deadline was shifted to December 15, and now it is January 15, 2020. The idea is to have all private and commercial vehicles equipped with this contactless payment system for paying the necessary road usage charge at toll plazas on national highways (NH) across India. There could be many reasons for this extention. Reports of increased queue times at many toll plazas, issues with FASTags being read incorrectly by the readers installed at toll plazas, or not be detected at all and incorrect amount of toll being deducted, are some of the issues users have complained about on social media. But we could say these are teething problems?

“We need FASTags to avoid delays due to traffic and toll lines, FASTag has been implemented across 524 toll plazas across the country. FASTags seek to establish the largest, scalable and interoperable electronic toll collection system in the world,” says Ravi Mathur, CEO, GS1 India. It is the encoding with a GS1 identification standard (Global Individual Asset Identifier – GIAI) that allows unique identification of vehicles and that means a single tag on a vehicle can be used to make the payment at any toll plaza on the national highways across India. FASTags are part of the National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) program developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). And we are seeing increased adoption of Fastags ahead of the mandatory implementation. According to the NPCI numbers shared with the media, as many as 9.67 lakh transactions were processed daily through FASTags across all toll plazas on national highways in India in the month of September, which is a total of 34% of all transactions done by vehicles commuting on the national highways.

Each tag and car pairing works with the GS1 unique identification numbers, which are encoded in the FASTags. That way, each vehicle is identified in a standardized and common manner that is understood by the digital payments systems deployed by state and central governments, the Traffic Police, insurance companies and toll collection authorities. If the same method is also activated for payment for parking as well as for paying for fuel fill-ups, the same standards will be followed by the municipalities and private operators as well. “FASTags would also enable toll payments across State and district highways and even for parking in cities in the near future. This would help commuters in seamless movement across city parking to State to national highways. Through use of GS1 standards (the Electronic Product code), information exchange can be facilitated about vehicle movement, road accidents, traffic predictions, etc across stakeholders by police, traffic management authorities, insurance, toll collection authorities, and municipal bodies. It also reduces fuel consumption levels, pollution and travel time,” adds Mathur.

If you need to buy a FASTag for your car, you can either physically buy one at certain toll plazas across India, by carrying your identification as well as the vehicle registration documents with you. This is a mandatory KYC process. Or, and this could perhaps be simpler as well—you could buy one on Amazon.in or approach certain banks for these FASTags. The banks that currently offer FASTags include HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank as well as the Airtel Payments Bank and Paytm Payments Bank. The advantage of buying the FASTag from the bank where you have your savings or salary account is that they can pre-link it with your bank account for easy recharge later. If it is a mobile wallet for instance, then you can simply keep enough balance in that account for this to work.

Interesting enough, there seem to be offers on the purchase of a new FASTag depending on which vendor you choose to buy from. And these keep changing, depending on offers and schemes applicable at the time. If you buy it from Paytm for example, the FASTag will cost you Rs 500. This includes Rs 100 for the tag, Rs 250 as refundable security deposit and Rs 150 as the first recharge for your FASTag. The minimum balance threshold amount for the Paytm issued tag is also Rs 150. Airtel, for example, is offering a cashback of Rs 150 for prepaid and postpaid users if you buy a FASTag from them. If you decide to buy from HDFC Bank, the tag costs you Rs 400—this includes Rs 100 for the tag, Rs 100 as reissuance fee and Rs 200 as security deposit. Incidentally, HDFC Bank has Rs 100 as the minimum threshold for your account to remain active. And these are just some examples.

That is not all. There are cash backs as well every time you use this. For instance, you can avail a cashback of 2.5% on all National Toll payments using FASTag in FY 2019-20. Irrespective of whether you buy the FASTag from HDFC or Paytm, you will get 2.5% Cashback on all National Highway Toll payments for FY 2019-20. FASTag issuers may have more offers from time to time.

Then there is the question of recharging the balance on the FASTag. You can log in to the payment system of the bank which has issued the FASTag and make the recharge from your bank account. Or if you bought it from Paytm, you recharge your linked Paytm account and the balance shall be deducted from that every time you pass through a toll plaza on a national highway. You can also download the My FASTag app (free for Android on the Google Play Store) and recharge your FASTag via the unified payments interface (UPI) there. “The online NHAI FASTag has been conceived in a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) concept wherein a customer can self-activate it by entering customer and vehicle details in My FASTag mobile app. Thereafter, the customer will have to link the tag to an existing bank account of his/her choice,” the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said in an official statement released in May when the FASTag was made available on Amazon India.