AFER MINISTRY OF DEFENCE WEBSITE HACKED, SOME OTHER CENTRAL MINISTRIES WEBSITES DOWN

After website of the Ministry of Defence was hacked, websites of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Law and the Ministry of Labour are also down now.

The MHA site is off-line while the sites of Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Law and Department of Legal Affairs, MoL&J, GoI have gone through some unexpected error.

The hacked Ministry of Defence website was earlier showing certain letters saying the website encountered an unexpected error and please try again later.

Now the site has also been taken down as restoration work is going down on it. And the similar experiences with MHA, Law Ministry and MoL says they might also have faced such problems.

The hacked website has a Chinese Zen character on top of it that says some Chinese hackers may be behind it as the relations between both countries have been quite high tense in recent days. Zen means rigorous self-control, meditation and insights into personal nature and it might be a warning for India, as most of the Chinese thinkers (hackers here) keep on doing.

On MoD hacking, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says action has been initiated to trace down the cause and the website will be restored shortly. She has also assured of steps taken to prevent such an eventuality in future.

Nirmala Sitharaman‏ @nsitharaman
Action is initiated after the hacking of MoD website ( http://mod.nic.in ). The website shall be restored shortly. Needless to say, every possible step required to prevent any such eventuality in the future will be taken. @DefenceMinIndia @PIB_India @PIBHindi

A detailed response from the Government of India is yet to come.




The government websites are continuously hacked in India but when it happens with important ministries like the Ministry of Defence, it is worrisome.

Between April 2017 and March 2018, over 22,000 websites were hacked in India and they included 114 government portals, data from the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) says. The information was given by the Minister of State for Electronics and IT K.J. Alphons in the Lok Sabha.

The National Informatics Centre (NIC) data also reveals that total 74 websites including six government websites hosted on NICNET were hacked in 2017 and till February 2018.

Before that, the Lok Sabha was informed in February 2017 that over 700 websites of central ministries and departments were hacked between 2013 and 2016.

©SantoshChaubey

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MINISTRY OF DEFENCE WEBSITE HACKED, MINISTER SAYS ACTION HAS BEEN INITIATED

The Ministry of Defence website has been hacked. On opening the website, only certain letters can be seen which say “the website encountered an unexpected error and please try again later.

The hacked website has a Chinese Zen character on top of it that says some Chinese hackers may be behind it as the relations between both countries have been quite high tense in recent days. Zen means rigorous self-control, meditation and insights into personal nature and it might be a warning for India, as most of the Chinese thinkers (hackers here) keep on doing.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says action has been initiated to trace down the cause and the website will be restated shortly. She has also assured of steps to be taken to prevent ny such eventuality in future.

Nirmala Sitharaman‏ @nsitharaman
Action is initiated after the hacking of MoD website ( http://mod.nic.in ). The website shall be restored shortly. Needless to say, every possible step required to prevent any such eventuality in the future will be taken. @DefenceMinIndia @PIB_India @PIBHindi

https://mod.gov.in/
Ministry of Defence
रक्षा मंत्रालय
Error
The website encountered an unexpected error. Please try again later.

The government websites are continuously hacked in India but when it happens with important ministries like the Ministry of Defence, it is worrisome.

Between April 2017 and March 2018, over 22,000 websites were hacked in India and they included 114 government portals, data from the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) says. The information was given by the Minister of State for Electronics and IT K.J. Alphons in the Lok Sabha.

The National Informatics Centre (NIC) data also reveals that total 74 websites including six government websites hosted on NICNET were hacked in 2017 and till February 2018.

Before that, the Lok Sabha was informed in February 2017 that over 700 websites of central ministries and departments were hacked between 2013 and 2016.

©SantoshChaubey

MINISTRY OF DEFENCE WEBSITE HACKED

The Ministry of Defence website has been hacked. On opening the website, only certain letters can be seen which say “the website encountered an unexpected error and please try again later.

The hacked website has a Chinese Zen character on top of it that says some Chinese hackers may be behind it as the relations between both countries have been quite high tense in recent days. Zen means rigorous self-control, meditation and insights into personal nature and it might be a warning for India, as most of the Chinese thinkers (hackers here) keep on doing.

https://mod.gov.in/
Ministry of Defence
रक्षा मंत्रालय
Error
The website encountered an unexpected error. Please try again later.

The government websites are continuously hacked in India but when it happens with important ministries like the Ministry of Defence, it is worrisome.

Between April 2017 and March 2018, over 22,000 websites were hacked in India and they included 114 government portals, data from the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) says. The information was given by the Minister of State for Electronics and IT K.J. Alphons in the Lok Sabha.

The National Informatics Centre (NIC) data also reveals that total 74 websites including six government websites hosted on NICNET were hacked in 2017 and till February 2018.

Before that, the Lok Sabha was informed in February 2017 that over 700 websites of central ministries and departments were hacked between 2013 and 2016.

©SantoshChaubey

PAKISTAN TO OBSERVE SOLIDARITY DAY WITH KASHMIR, PLANS TO SEND DELEGATIONS TO DIFFERENT COUNTRIES

The article originally appeared on India Today.

Pakistans federal cabinet has decided to observe Friday as Kashmir Solidarity Day against the killing of 13 militants on April 1. Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir today.

Continuing the anti-India Pakistani propaganda, he addressed the state legislature telling that Pakistan would soon send delegations to different countries to apprise them about so-called deteriorating situations in Jammu and Kashmir.

Emphatically stating that Pakistan stands shoulder to shoulder with the Kashmiri people for their right to self-discrimination, he demanded plebiscite in J&K under the UN Security Council resolution, a stand that India does not recognise.

The UNSC mandate required Pakistan to remove its troops from PoK and to hold the plebiscite which Jawaharlal Nehru had agreed to. However, Pakistan didnt remove its troops. Instead, it chose to give Indian Territory under its occupation to Indias rival, China.

Primarily, the state of Jammu and Kashmir was legally part of India with the Instrument of Accession (IoA) signed by ruling king of the state Maharaja Hari Singh.

Calling Indian occupation of J-K a reign of terror, the Pakistani PM said that Indian forces in the valley have been threatening the people. He added that separatist voices and protests have always been there and Pakistan is politically united to support them.

He said Kashmir is an internationally recognized dispute and is a challenge to the conscience of the international community and demanded that India should allow the UN Human Rights Commission to investigate if there are cases of human rights violations in the state.

©SantoshChaubey

DEALING WITH FAKE NEWS: HOW COUNTRIES ARE MOVING?

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention, the Information & Broadcasting Ministry has withdrawn the proposed guidelines on fake news and accreditation of journalists. The ministry had proposed new rules yesterday that saw massive outrage.

The proposed move sought to put in place provisions to suspend journalists even mere on the complaints of a fake news and the irony was, the journalists had to remain so till any conclusion of the news alleged to be fake. And a third time publication of fake news invited permanent cancellation of accreditation as well. The bill certainly contained provisions against journalists that could have been misused.

But if we go by the facts, we know that accredited journalists and mainstream media institutions are not at core of fake news prevalence but it is largely driven by tech giants like Facebook, Google, their associated networks and other such sites. The new rules never talked about it and about the non-journalists who really spin and twist news items on these platforms that have raised many international controversies like spread of fake news in the US presidential election or France’s allegations that Russia tried to affect the French elections through internet last year.

The threat has been so critical that many countries have started making laws against fake news and the collaborators behind them, especially after the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica leakage controversy in the US presidential polls that has set the world on storm.

GERMANY: Germany enacted a law last year for social media outfits that asks them to remove fake news from their platforms within 24 hours. A delay is fined with upto $61.5m.

IRELAND: In December, the country introduced a bill to handled fake news. The Online Advertising and Social Media (Transparency) Bill 2017 is aimed at ensuring integrity of online media and targets the prevailing undemocratic practices happening there.

UNITED KINGDOM: UK is planning to treat entities like Facebook and Google as publishers and not just as information sources so that the regulations around them can be tightened. Though UK still has no specific law to deal with fake news, its Prime Minister Theresa May has warned the biggies of the social media to face fines if they fail and a legal solution may well be in offing.

FRANCE: On January 3 this year, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that he was going to introduce a new law to curb fake news through social media content as much of it was affecting the flow of societies and democracies. His pre-election campaign was also largely affected by it.

ITALY: Italy is running programmes to make its citizens aware of conspiracy theories and fake news online. The same has also part of the high-school curriculum in the country. And the country is taking help of sites like Facebook as well in this effort.

EUROPEAN COUNCIL: The Cambridge Analytica led Facebook controversy has forced the European Council to take precautionary measures. Warning that issues like profile leaks from Facebook can ‘subvert our democratic systems’ and the election to the European elections can really be a target of a massive Eurosceptic disinformation run, the council is working on to legislate a law.

UNITED STATES: Fake news has been made a globally known term by US President Donald Trump as he terms most of controversial coverage about him in US media as fake news. And this time around also, the country is in the middle of the storm with the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica controversy.

The US Congress has summoned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for clarification and as the US, for long, has dealt with the phenomenon, with provisions of its Federal Communication Commission for fake news on television and radio broadcasts, the related social media releases may soon be defined as well if they indeed cause much public harm.

INDONESIA: In January, Indonesia launched a cyber security agency to aim religious extremism and fake news on online platforms. The country took the step as more than half of its population is now internet users and the government needed a measure to ensure cyber security.

MALAYSIA: Yesterday, Malaysia’s parliament passed a law to deal with fake news. The bill though criticised by many has a fine of $128,000 and prison term of upto six years. It covers digital publications and social media outfits and targets collaborators who use wholly or partly false data to publish stories.

MALAYSIA: Malaysia’s parliament on April 2 passed a law prohibiting fake news that critics fear will be abused to silence dissent ahead of a general election. Despite warnings such a law would lead Malaysia closer to dictatorship, the bill was approved 123 to 64 after a heated debate. The bill originally proposed a 10-year jail term and a fine of up to 500,000 ringgit ($128,000) for offenders, but the approved legislation sets the maximum prison sentence at six years.

SINGAPORE: Singapore conducted a survey where more than 90% of its residents opinionated for stronger laws to tackle fake news and the country is expected to come up with the one soon, in 2018, as informed by K Shanmugam, its Law Minister. Singapore is a country of high internet density and its people are from various races and religions, so the country needs a stronger law even more, Mr Shanmugam said.

Now, let’s see what India really does on this fake news spread where a guideline to control accredited journalists and mainstream media cannot really work.

©SantoshChaubey

WHY THESE APPOINTMENTS WERE QUESTIONED?

CHIEF ELECTION COMMISSIONER ACHAL KUMAR JOTI

Appointed Chief Election Commissioner In July 2017, is in office till January 2018.

Former Election Commissioner and former Chief Secretary, Gujarat (2010-2013).

Was appointed Election Commissioner in May 2015, is a 1975 Batch IAS officer.

It is said he maintains low profile and largely had remained non-controversial before becoming the CEC.

The Opposition is alleging him of working on the government’s behest after delayed announcement of the Gujarat election last year.

He was also accused of bias by Arvind Kejriwal in ‘offices of profit case of 21 AAP MLAs.

ENFOREMENT DIRECTORATE (ED) – DIRECTOR KARNAL SINGH

Appointed ED Director in October 2016, was due to retire in August 2017 but got extension in February last year following a Supreme Court order. He was given a fixed tenure of two years to make it compliant with the CVC Act and accordingly, he will retire in October 2018.

Before it, he was ED Special Director and was holding additional charge of ED Chief.

He is a 1984 Batch IPS officer.

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram has accused the ED of abusing power on direction of the Modi Government – ED is probing Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis Case.

CENTRAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (CBI) DIRECTOR ALOK VERMA

Former Delhi Police Commissioner, appointed CBI director in January 2017.

From AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territories) Cadre.

Before it, Verma had never worked in the CBI, so his appointment was a departure from norms.

The Supreme Court guidelines say the person heading the CBI should have prior CBI experience.

The Government cited his experience in vigilance behind his appointment as the CBI Director.

Congress didn’t support his appointment – The Leader of the Opposition (LoP) in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge Said “Selection must be made according to law, merit and seniority.”

The three-member panel that selected him included Prime Minister Narendra Modi, then Chief Justice of India JS Khehar and Mallikarjun Kharge.

Congress was supporting RK Dutta, a senior official from the Ministry of home affairs, saying Dutta had over 17 years of CBI experience.

CENTRAL VIGILANCE COMMISSION (CVC) CHIEF K V CHOWDARY

KV Chowdary was appointed CVC in June 2015, for a term of four years.

He is a former Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer, 1978 Batch.

Former Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chief, Chowdary’s appointment by the Modi Government was again departure from established norms.

Before Chowdary, all other CVCs, since its inception in 1964, were IAS officers.

His appointment was criticised by Ram Jethmalani and Prashant Bhushan – they raised the point that he lacked credentials for the job

Bhushan wrote a letter to PM Narendra Modi where he alleged that Chowdary had visited former CBI Director Ranjit Sinha while the 2G probe was on. All such visits to Sinha by various people during the 2G probe were considered suspicious by the top court.

Bhushan further alleged that Chowdary’s investigation into 2G related tax evasion cases gave clean chit to all, unlike the progresses made by agencies like CBI and ED in other 2G cases.

Bhushan also alleged that Chowdary himself was under suspicion in a stock scam.

Jethmalani also wrote a letter to Modi alleging that Chowdary was totally unfit for the job – he also alleged that Chowdary was involved in a stock scam.

©SantoshChaubey

NORTH KOREA: CHINA CALLS US LED MEETING ILLEGAL AND A COLD WAR VESTIGE

The article originally appeared on India Today. 

Just a day after Donald Trump and Xi Jinping phone conversation over North Korea, China has strongly objected to a US led meeting in Canada’s Vancouver that called for strict implementation of sanctions imposed on North Korea.

Calling the meeting illegal and a Cold War vestige, a spokesperson of China’s Foreign Office said, “It will only drive a wedge among the international community and undermine the concerted efforts to seek proper settlement of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.”

The US and Canada hosted Vancouver Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula on 16th January. The meeting was aimed at “the Complete, Verifiable, and Irreversible Denuclearization of North Korea”, as the US State Department summed it.

Rex Tillerson, the US Secretary of State, said the purpose of the meetings was to improve the effectiveness of the maximum pressure campaign and combat North Korea’s attempts to evade sanctions.

China raised objections over meeting and its participants, the 20 countries of the United Nations Command (UNC) that supported South Korea during the 1950s Korea War, “We all know that the so-called UN Command, as a product of the Cold War era, has long lost its relevance. As initiators of the meeting, the US and Canada co-hosted the meeting under the banner of the so-called UN Command sending states. That is Cold War mentality pure and simple.”

The meeting that excluded China and Russia was attended by 20 nations including the US, Canada, South Korea, Japan, France, Britain, the Philippines, Sweden and Australia and none of them had any trade relation with North Korea last year.

China argued that when no major parties of the Korean peninsula issue were present in the meeting, expecting any solution through it was a futile exercise, questioning the ‘legality and representativeness’ of the meeting.

China also countered the tough message of the military option that the US led meeting sent to North Korea. China’s Foreign Office said on the move, “Only through dialogue, equally addressing the reasonable concerns of all parties, can a way to an effective and peaceful resolution be found.”

Tillerson had warned that the ultimate responsibility for producing a new future lies with North Korea and it can only be achieved by abandoning its current path of pursuing missile and nuclear weapons technologies.

But if the North doesn’t do so and diplomacy fails, it may trigger military confrontation, “We have to recognize that the threat is growing and that if North Korea does not choose the pathway of engagement, discussion, negotiation then they themselves will trigger an option,” Tillerson had added.

The daylong meeting concluded with a joint announcement that a nuclear-armed North Korea was not acceptable and if the country desired a future, it must follow the path of complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization.

In spite of the international sanctions against its missile and nuclear weapons programme, North Korea successfully test fired many missiles last year including nuclear capable inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBM) and detonated a hydrogen bomb as well.

The country has now declared itself a nuclear power, threatening the world with its recent military advances and its acts like firing missiles over Japan or threatening the US military base at Guam in the Pacific, coupled with its no holds barred war rhetoric, have escalated the tension like never before.

©SantoshChaubey

NORTH KOREA: DONALD TRUMP’S THREATS ARE SPASMS OF A FRIGHTENED LUNATIC

Article originally on India Today:

After a brief hiatus, North Korea has resumed its verbal assault against US President Donald Trump. And the country’s latest jibe at the US President tells the world that his acts are like ‘spasms of a lunatic’.

The trigger behind the latest outburst was Donald Trump’s ‘nuclear button’ tweet on 3rd January. In his typical fashion to exact fire and fury against North Korea through his tweets, Trump hit back on North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un’s claims that the later had a nuclear button on his table and the whole America was in the striking range of his nuclear missiles.

Adding humiliating and stinging words for Kim Jong-un’s and his predecessors’ rule, calling it a depleted and food starved regime, Trump asserted that he, too, had a nuclear button which really worked, and in fact was a much bigger and more powerful one than Kim Jong-un’s.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times’. Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a nuclear button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my button works!

– Donald Trump on Twitter

Though it took two weeks for North Korea to hit back, probably due to the recent thaw in ties with South Korea and the North’s participation in the Winter Olympics in the South next month, the verbal retort from the country was equally humiliating and stinging, mocking Trump on a scale that could match the buzz created by his tweet a fortnight ago.

A commentary in North Korea’s state-run publication Rodong Sinmun called Trump’s ‘bigger nuclear button’ tweet warning a bluff, ‘just a spasm of a lunatic frightened by the might of North Korea,’ by a person who has the habit and making reckless remarks, “Recently, Trump who is crazy about the hostile policy toward North Korea, has once again stunned the world by twitting that he has a ‘big and strong nuclear button.’ After these reckless remarks were twitted, they have become the target of scoff and criticism.”

Using choicest of words for him, like North Korea has been doing all along, the commentary added, “The spasm of Trump in the New Year reflects the desperate mental state of a loser who failed to check the vigorous advance of the army and people of the DPRK.” Trump’s mental health has been a favourite theme in North Korea’s anti-America propaganda and the country has used terms like ‘psychopath and mentally deranged dotard’.

And like the country has done in past, time and again, alleging Trump of escalating tension and ratcheting up war rhetoric, the commentary further said that the tweet, in fact, revealed who wants peace and who wants a nuclear war, “Experts on the Korean issue said that it is not fitting for the president to put the dangerous and serious issue like a nuclear war on twitter and it is an irresponsible behaviour leading the situation to the brink of a war.”

Trump, in fact, was widely panned after this ‘nuclear button’ tweet. Critics said the tweet would needlessly provoke North Korea at a time when the North had declared itself a nuclear power and the possibility of a nuclear war was more real than ever.

Also, after persistent demand from different quarters, Twitter, in fact, had to issue clarification that Trump’s tweet did not violate rules against abusive behaviour.

NORTH KOREA AND THE US

Tension between North Korea and the US has heightened to unprecedented levels since Donald Trump became US President last year.

Trump has been an advocate of adopting tough measures against the North, a rogue nation that is seen as a terror sponsor and nuclear proliferator.

Last year’s successful inter-continental ballistic missile and nuclear tests by the North only added to it.

Comments like ‘North Koreans will be met with fire and fury this world has never seen before’ or ‘the rocket-man or madman, Trump’s inventions for Kim Jong-un, will be tested like never before’ are common.

The North, in response, has its own range of words for Trump like ‘a gangster fond of playing with fire’, ‘unprecedented rude nonsense’, ‘frightened dog’, ‘psychopath’, ‘mentally deranged dotard’ or the latest one, ‘spasms of a lunatic’.

©SantoshChaubey

INDIA: FDI INFLOW AND OUTFLOW

STATALES 

FDI: FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT – INVESTMENT MADE BY ENTITIES/ORGANISATIONS IN INDIA.
OFDI: OUTWARD FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT – INVESTMENT MADE BY ENTITIES/ORGANISATIONS IN OTHER COUNTRIES.

SEPTEMBER 2017 – THE LATEST MONTH UPTO WHICH THE DATA FOR BOTH, FDI AND OFDI, ARE AVAILABLE.

DURING THE 12 MONTH PERIOD FROM OCTOBER 2016 TO SEPTEMBER 2017,

FDI INFLOW: RS 3,10,050 CRORE / $47.2 BILLION
OFDI: RS 1,42,754 CRORE / $22.3 BILLION

©SantoshChaubey

SO, LONDON MAYOR REVEALS WHY DONALD TRUMP CANCELLED HIS BRITAIN VISIT YET AGAIN

Earlier this week, London Mayor Sadiq Khan released a statement after US President Donald Trump cancelled his London visit due next month. He claimed the real reason that forced Donald Trump to cancel the visit is – he is very unpopular in his country.

Khan said Donald Trump finally got the message that he was not welcome in London after many Londoners ran campaigns to say ‘no to Donald Trump’ for pursuing a divisive agenda and asserted that ‘in case Trump visited London, he would, without doubt, meet by mass protests.

Earlier, Trump had tweeted to let the world know that he was cancelling his London visit. The reason he cited was his distaste about the Barack Obama Administration decision of selling the existing embassy building, best located and finest embassy in London, for peanuts and shifting it to an off location, and that too, for a cost of $1.2 Billion.

But as Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted, Trump is quite unpopular in Britain. Last year, he had to cancel his state visit to Britain on British Prime Minister Theresa May’s invitation as he feared he was too unpopular in Britain, something that Khan highlighted in the message he tweeted, ‘what a mistake it was for Theresa May to rush and extend an invitation of a state visit in the first place’.

Trump’s Britain state visit was scheduled for June last year but it was postponed for October after fears of backlash over Trump’s controversial travel ban targeting seven Muslim majority nations, a report in The Sun said. Many British MPs had then snubbed Trump and protests were planned. “In June it was said the trip was being postponed again until people support him coming to the UK,” the report further added.

According to The Guardian, he even called Theresa May to inform her that he did not want to come to Britain if there were large-scale protests and he was postponing his state visit to the UK “until the British public supports him coming.” And with this cancellation, it can be said that Trump still fears that Britishers don’t like him.

Also, Trump misrepresented facts to make his point here. He tweeted that the decision to shift the London Embassy was taken by the Obama Administration but the fact is, the process to shift the US Embassy was initiated by the government of George Bush, in October 2008, another report by The Guardian said.

The Obama Administration finalized the deal and the amount was certainly not in peanuts. The US Embassy building at Mayfair, London was sold for £500m ($684 Million today). Barack Obama won the US Presidential Election in November 2008 and his government was inaugurated in January 2009.

©SantoshChaubey