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Facebook, Twitter and Telegram will stop working in Russia due to the weak Runet

Participants of the Zoom conference on the digital future of the country said that the transition to remote work and mass online training became forced testing of Russian Internet services and platforms, most of them failed the tests. The meeting was attended by leading representatives of the Internet industry and experts in digital technology.

It turned out that neither schools nor universities are ready for the online format. "My three children and I experienced the whole "charm" of distance learning: all day we do not so much do tasks as solve technical problems with non-working cameras, communications," said Natalia Kaspersky, President of the Info Watch group of companies.

Ilya Massukh, a member of the software expert Council at the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media, expressed the opinion that Russia is not yet ready to replace "live" services with digital ones. He added that the servers of the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation fell on April 1. "Even these servers, which are designed for heavy load, did not pass the test."

Recently, Moscow authorities reported that they would monitor the movements of citizens through the introduction of QR codes and even developed a special application for this. According to them, now the introduction of QR codes is necessary to monitor compliance with the self-isolation regime. But experts are confident that when the pandemic ends, it will be necessary to re-introduce personal data protection.

It is interesting to note that the Deputy of the State Duma Anton Gorelkin proposed to prioritize the traffic of domestic sites and services for the time of self-isolation. In case of overload of communication networks due to the transition of citizens to remote work, the quality of access to Facebook, Twitter and Telegram and other services that do not comply with the requirements of Russian law will decrease (Facebook and Twitter do not transfer the data of local users to Russia, and Telegram is blocked for not transmitting the FSB encryption keys). The Ministry of Communications and Mass Media and the Federal Antimonopoly Service confirmed receipt of proposals.

Previously, Anton Gorelkin was the author of an initiative to limit the share of foreign capital in significant Internet resources to 20%, which forced Yandex to change the company's management structure.

WhatsApp's Latest Feature will Let Users Verify Forwarded Messages on Google

Owing to the lockdown due to the outbreak of the global pandemic Covid-19, people are once again resorting to their go-to messaging app – WhatsApp to spread misinformation in the name of information. Notably, WhatsApp has continued to be the most favorite platform for the circulation of fake news which also caused a number of untoward incidents in India.

It's mainly because of the rampant forwarding of messages created to promote individuals' or organizations' vested interests. While, public fear, unawareness, and lack of knowledge have a huge role to play in the equation of fake news and the consequences it had on the society, WhatsApp has constantly stood up to the issue and ensured to eliminate the flaws in its software.

The app has a massive reach across the globe with more than 2 billion active users and in an attempt to curb this circulation of misinformation, WhatsApp is reportedly working on a new feature that would allow users to verify the forwarded messages, helping them separate authenticated news from the fake ones.

As per sources, the tool will appear as a magnifying glass icon placed beside the forwarded messages on a user's WhatsApp, when the user will tap on the icon, a pop-up will appear asking him if he would like to search the message on the web, it will enable the user to directly upload the forwarded message on Google and verify the authenticity of the news.

“We are working on new features to help empower users to find out more information about the messages they receive that have been forwarded many times. This featuring is currently in testing, and we look forward to rolling it out in the near future.” WhatsApp told.

In a previous update, WhatsApp introduced a 'forwarded' label at the top of forwarded texts to make identification easier for the users.

The new feature by WhatsApp has already been sent out for testing and will be made available shortly for all the Android users and subsequently for the iOS users.

Russian payment systems will switch to using domestic cryptographic information security tools by 2031

Russian payment systems will switch to using domestic cryptographic information security tools by 2031

Existing payment systems in Russia will have to switch to the use of cryptographic information protection tools of domestic production. This was announced by Ivan Kosyakin, chief engineer of the information security Department of the Bank of Russia, during his speech at the scientific and practical conference "Ruscrypto 2020" held in the Moscow region.

Thus, according to him, Russia's sovereignty in the field of information security for the needs of the banking sector will be increased. So, to achieve this goal, functional technical requirements for payment systems with a terminal core, hardware security modules, payment cards were approved in 2019.

In turn, as noted by Elena Mareeva, Deputy Director for scientific and technical development of Practical Security Systems, in January of this year, requirements for cryptographic information protection tools were approved, according to which automatic security modules used in payment systems must comply with the requirements of Federal Executive authorities and the Bank of Russia, as well as the provisions of international standards.

Moreover, on June 25, 2019, it became known that the technical Committee for standardization "Cryptographic information protection" (TC 26), which is managed by the FSB, has prepared draft recommendations on the use of domestic cryptographic algorithms in key protocols used to protect information on the Internet.

One of the documents contains a set of recommendations on the use of Russian cryptographic algorithms "Magma" and "Grasshopper", developed by the FSB.

According to Russian legislation, domestic crypto-algorithms must be used in information security media certified by the FSB and mandatory for use by state agencies in their electronic document management, and from 2024, according to the requirements of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, they will become mandatory for use in payment systems.

Members of TC 26 claimed that the use of Russian algorithms will improve the security of data transfer. According to Smyshlyaev, director of information security at Crypto-PRO (part of TC 26), the Russian crypto sets of the TLS1.2 protocol, approved in 2018, unlike foreign ones, guarantee control of the amount of data encrypted on one key.

Google Stops Displaying Security Warnings in Microsoft Edge, No Longer Recommends Switching to Chrome

Google has stopped advising Microsoft Edge users to switch to Chrome for a more secure experience as the browser extensions crafted for Google's Chrome web browser are also suitable for the new Microsoft's new Edge browser based on Chromium.

It appeared like Google stoked the flames of browser wars when it subtly encouraged Edge users to shift to Chrome by displaying warnings of potential security threats. The alert displayed by Google read that it "recommends switching to Chrome to use extensions securely". A developer at Edge revealed that the new Microsoft Edge is designed to effectively safeguard its users from malicious extensions, that said, Edge already had Windows Defender Smart Screen and Unwanted Application protection built-in.

Whenever a user visited the Chrome Web Store via the new Microsoft Edge, Google displayed a message in yellow at the top of the webpage recommending users to switch to Chrome in order to use extensions with added safety. However, seemingly, as soon as Google realized that greeting users with a warning message which clearly implied that Microsoft Edge is less secure of a browser is not making them look good, the tech giant softened and decided to take the alert down. Not only that, Google went a step ahead and replaced the previously displayed warning with a fresh one that tells users that now they can add extensions to Microsoft Edge from the Chrome Web Store.

However, still, officially only a few extensions are supported by Microsoft Edge as the installation of all these extensions for the first will seem to be a bit complex. Users need to enable 'allow extensions' from other stores via the settings page. On attempting to do that, Microsoft warns that it doesn't verify extensions downloaded from third-party stores and cautions that doing the same may cause performance issues in Edge. Then it suggests users get verified extensions from Microsoft Edge add-ons site. As soon as the users allow extensions by clicking on 'Allow', they will be able to add extensions to Edge from Chrome Web Store.

OCA Launches First Open Source Language to Connect Security Tools

On Monday, The availability of OpenDXL Ontology - the first open-source language for connecting cybersecurity tools via a common messaging framework has been announced by the Open Cybersecurity Alliance (OCA). The OCA comprises of like-minded individuals, cybersecurity vendors, thought leaders, end-users from across the globe with the mission of finding solutions to the problem of interoperability via tooling, coding and employing procedures and technology they all agree upon. The Project has IBM Security and McAfee as its initial contributors.

As the open-source code is made freely accessible in the cybersecurity ecosystem, OpenDXL Ontology allows any tool to acquire the ability to interoperate and communicate with various other technologies on its own by employing this language. Once this language is released, the need for custom integrations between individual products will be effectively eliminated, reducing the number of engineering resources spent on integration. These saved resources can be efficiently redeployed for other parts amounting to higher value functionality.

OpenDXL, also known as The Open Data Exchange Layer is an adaptive messaging system utilized by more than 4,100 vendors and enterprises to communicate and share intelligence to make accurate and informed security decisions. Any level of integration has to face a common challenge of accuracy and timeliness; when a product is refreshed, it requires all its integrations to be refreshed too. Now, the number of integrations a product will have depends upon the size of the product. More and more integrations given away for free of cost or a very low cost in the open-source space leads to a lot of dead code and hence creates a complex scenario.

In regard of that, the OCA claims that the release of the OpenDXL Ontology now provides, “ a single, common language for these notifications, information, and actions across security products that any vendor can adopt in order to communicate in a standard way with all other tools under this umbrella. This provides companies with a set of tooling that can be applied once and automatically reused everywhere across all product categories, while also eliminating the need to update integrations as product versions and functionalities change.”

While putting the whole idea into perspective, Brian Rexroad, Vice President of Security Platforms at AT&T, told “With the adoption of public cloud and explosion of connected devices, the ability for enterprises to quickly respond to threats across ever-changing technologies, and even beyond perimeters, is critical,"

“OCA is driving an industrial shift in interoperability with the OpenDXL Ontology to support security at scale.” he further added.

Russian software will be installed on smartphones and smartwatches in the summer

Russian maps, search, antivirus and audio-visual services should be installed from July 1 on all new smartphones, tablets and smartwatches, according to the draft resolution on amendments to the law on consumer protection. Previously, in the "law against Apple" mandatory software pre-installation from July was only for smartphones.

The concept of the bill, which was proposed by the Federal Antimonopoly Service in January, provided for the installation of Russian programs on smartphones from July 1, 2020, on tablets and wearable devices - from July 1, 2021, on computers - from July 1, 2022. Later it became known that set-top boxes and Smart TVs should also comply with the new requirements from July 1, 2023.

However, the wording “wireless equipment for domestic use, having a touch screen and having two or more functions” appeared in the project, such electronics should meet the requirements from July 1, 2020. The Director of Public Relations of transport company RATEK Anton Guskov explained that devices with touch screens that perform more than two functions are smartphones, tablets and smartwatches.

The project also introduces requirements for programs: in order for an application to be included in the list of possible Russian alternatives, it must have a monthly audience of at least 100,000 users and the same number of installations. In addition, according to the bill, the device manufacturer may not preinstall Russian software if it has received refusals from all Russian manufacturers of the relevant programs, or such programs are not compatible with the device's OS.

These requirements, instead of encouraging small Russian manufacturers, will provide protection from competition for large software companies, said Guskov. He believes that legal uncertainty and vague language in the requirements in technology requirements could lead to a collapse in the consumer device market.

Recall that on December 2 last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law prohibiting the sale of equipment, including smartphones and computers, without preinstalled Russian software.

A Drug Molecule "Invented" By Artificial Intelligence (AI) To Be

Created by British start-up Exscientia and Japanese pharmaceutical firm Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma a drug molecule “artificial" by artificial intelligence (AI) will be utilized in human trails in a world-first for machine learning in the field of medicine.

Especially to be put to the use of treating patients who have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Exscienta CEO Prof Andrew Hopkins even describes it as a "key milestone in drug discovery".

The molecule- known as DSP-1181 - was made by utilizing algorithms that filtered through potential compounds, checking them against an enormous database of parameters. Normally, drug development takes around five years to finally 'get to trail', but surprisingly enough the AI drug took only a year.

Hopkins told the BBC: "We have seen AI for diagnosing patients and for analyzing patient data and scans, but this is the direct use of AI in the creation of new medicine. There are billions of decisions needed to find the right molecules and it is a huge decision to precise engineer a drug, but the beauty of the algorithm is that they are agnostic, so can be applied to any disease,"

The first drug will enter stage one trails in Japan which, if effective, will be then followed by more tests globally.
The firm is now dealing with potential medications for the treatment of cancer and cardiovascular disease and would like to have another molecule prepared for clinical trials before the year's end.

"This year was the first to have an AI-designed drug but by the end of the decade all new drugs could potentially be created by AI," said Prof Hopkins.

Paul Workman, chief executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, who was not involved in the research, said of the breakthrough: "I think AI has huge potential to enhance and accelerate drug discovery.

And later adds, "I'm excited to see what I believe is the first example of a new drug now entering human clinical trials that were created by scientists using AI in a major way to guide and speed up discovery."

UK to develop a system to track cryptocurrencies

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) of the UK Government has submitted a tender for the development of a system for monitoring financial transfers in digital money. The appearance of such a system in Russia could already have occurred.

Cryptocurrencies can be used not only for transferring funds or paying for services, but also for conducting criminal activities. This position was expressed by the UK tax service HMRC. The purpose of the introduction of this tool is the fight against criminal activity. It includes tax evasion and laundering of criminal proceeds.

Mikhail Mishustin, head of the Federal Tax Service of Russia and now Prime Minister, proposed the initiative to control income received through cryptocurrency for tax purposes in February last year.

"Money that a young person can freely move across the border using cryptocurrencies and other forms of payment, which the state does not notice and for which there is no regulatory framework, is dangerous," said Mishustin.

A similar system can already operate in Russia, suggested Dmitry Kirillov, a senior tax lawyer at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP. He explained this by the fact that in 2018, the contract for the development of the Unified Information System was posted on the public procurement website. The 23rd page of the document states that "a tool should be created to analyze and identify illegal activities, including using cryptocurrencies."

"Apparently, the execution of the contract was completed. Therefore, I will not be surprised if the system already tracks cryptocurrency transactions of Russian users," said Kirillov.

Antonina Levashenko, the head of the Russian Center for Competencies and Analysis of Standards under the President of the Russian Federation, expressed a similar opinion. According to her, financial intelligence units of countries around the world are seeking to acquire effective tools for controlling cryptocurrency transactions, and Russia is no exception.

All experts agreed that a system for controlling transactions in cryptocurrency may appear in Russia. It is likely to focus on the fight against illegal income and the financing of terrorism.

The authorities of Uzbekistan to launch a national mining pool

Uzbekistan plans to legalize mining by providing the status of a participant in the mining pool, which is planned to be created in the Republic. This is stated in the draft resolution of the President "On measures for further development of the sphere of turnover of crypto assets".
Participants of the mining pool will be provided with privileges for paying for electricity. In addition, all transactions with crypto assets, as well as the receipt of income from this activity, will not be taxed.

According to the draft resolution, it is also planned to create a regulatory body for the development of digital technologies Uzbekistan Blockchain Valley. The organization will launch pilot projects to implement blockchain, crypto assets turnover, and other technologies.

In addition, the national mining pool Uzbekistan Cryptocurrency Mining Pool will be created. It will combine hardware mining facilities located in Uzbekistan. Experts believe that the establishment of a pool will legalize mining.

The nationwide mining pool will consolidate mining capacity, create favorable conditions for industrial and private miners on the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan, increase the transparency, security and control of mining processes, as well as increase the efficiency of energy consumption and generally increase the investment attractiveness of Uzbekistan in the eyes of foreign cryptocurrency investors.

Also, from February 1, 2020, it is proposed to oblige industrial miners to undergo licensing, and private and small miners to register, as a result of which they will receive the status of a member of the mining pool.

Discussion of the draft resolution and the introduction of proposals and comments will last until January 31, 2020.

It is interesting to note that in December 2019, the government of Uzbekistan approved a resolution that sets an increased tariff for electric energy for miners. According to the innovations, from March 2020, miners will pay three times more for electricity.

India Invites Huawei and ZTE to Participate in 5G Trials

The demands for bringing fifth-generation (5G) technology of mobile networks in India are on a rise and the government is looking forth to begin the 5G trials, The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has invited all applicants to show use-cases of 5G network in India, including Chinese telecom company Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd and ZTE. On Monday, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad was specifically asked about Huawei, wherein he told that at this stage, all stakeholders are invited.

“5G trials will be done with all vendors and operators,” telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told media. “We have taken an in-principle decision to give 5G spectrum for trials.”

Amid all the ongoing economic and diplomatic tensions between the US and China, the invitation for the 5G trial comes as the very first official stance taken by India on the matter. It also offered Huawei some breathing space after the global scrutiny it has been subjected to regarding network security concerns. The claims made by the US put into perspective the probable exploitation of the equipment, that China can do to spy onto other nations; meanwhile, to its defense, Huwaei constantly denied the allegations.

The US has also alerted the Indian government about the potential risks that will come along with these Chinese companies being allowed to deploy next-generation technology in India, Morgan Ortagus, the US state department’s spokesperson while acknowledging the important role 5G networks will be playing in the upcoming era, also told how high are the stakes of letting companies under the command of authoritarian regimes deploy technology in other nations. “All countries should adopt national security policies in order to prevent untrusted companies from misusing any part of their future 5G network plans,” Ortagus further added.

As India is yet to finalize the framework and devise a clear plan for 5G technology, Prasad said in the Rajya Sabha that, “The government is creating an enabling framework for the deployment of affordable and secure 5G services in India.”

Referencing from the statements given by Vimal Wakhlu, a former chairman of Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd., “Whether it is Huawei or Ericsson or any other company, India needs to build a system, which can detect any malware and not depend on the brand of a company or a country."

“Any country is capable of snooping on us. The reason some people have been advocating a ban on Huawei is that if it is barred, the market for equipment becomes slightly less competitive and hence it can be sold at higher prices."

Rambler claimed the rights to the Nginx web server

Rambler Group claimed a violation of its exclusive copyright on the Nginx web server, which was developed by a former employee of the company Igor Sysoev.

Nginx is one of the most successful IT companies created by Russian programmers. Its main product is software, which is necessary for the operation of sites on the Internet. Now about 33% of all sites in the world are running on the Nginx server. For example, it is used by corporations such as Netflix, Dropbox, Yandex and, by the way, Rambler itself.

Igor Sysoev created the Nginx web server in 2002, while still working at Rambler. Initially, the software was distributed free of charge under an open source license. In 2011, Sysoev quit his job and, together with his partner Maxim Konovalov, founded the company Nginx Inc.
In the spring of 2019, the American company F5 Networks bought Nginx for $670 million.

On December 12, the conflict began between Rambler Group and Nginx. Rambler Group has claimed its development rights: the Internet holding company believes that Nginx is an official work of its former employee and using the program without the consent of Rambler Group violates exclusive rights.

Law enforcement agencies got involved in the case: a criminal case was opened, searches were conducted at the Nginx office in Moscow, at Sysoyev and another Nginx co-founder houses.
Igor Sysoev in 2012 in an interview with the Hacker magazine stressed that he worked on Nginx in his spare time. He added that according to Russian law, the company owns what has been done as part of labor duties or under a separate contract.

Yandex called the conflict between Rambler and Nginx a bad signal for the community of programmers.

"We are absolutely convinced that all technology companies should support and develop open source", said Grigory Bakunov, Yandex’s technology distribution director. Group also advocated the development of an open source culture and support for people who invest time and effort in this area.

The Ministry of Communications of Russia has developed a new service for the sale of cars

According to Deputy head of the Ministry of Communications Maxim Parshin, the Ministry of Communications and the Ministry of Internal Affairs are preparing a new free service that will allow users of the public services portal to form an electronic contract for the sale of cars.

It is assumed that with the help of the new service, a potential car buyer will be able to find out the history of the car and then form an electronic sales contract, which can be verified with a simple electronic signature. Moreover, the new service will avoid errors that often occur when filling out paper contracts.

According to Parshin, "on the basis of the contract, drafts of applications for registration of the vehicle by the new owner and for termination of registration by the previous one are automatically formed". Information about the contract will be displayed in the personal account on the portal of public services.

"The electronic contract will make registration of car sale and purchase transactions faster and safer", explained the Deputy head of Department. According to the data, at the first stage, the new service will be available only to individuals, and its approximate launch date is attributed to 2020.

Electronic contracts will replace paper contracts, notarization of which is optional. According to the newspaper, traffic police officers are regularly faced with incorrectly filled(for example, errors in passport data) and fake (for example, the owner of the car did not give consent to the sale) agreements. Therefore, after numerous appeals from citizens, the State Traffic Inspectorate proposed to the Ministry of Communications to develop a new electronic service. After the entry into force of the government decree, which allows performing on the portal of public services "legally significant actions, including transactions, by creating electronic documents", the project became possible.

The electronic format of the purchase and sale registration process is “convenient and timely, but in 2020, the service is unlikely to work,” said CarPrice CEO Denis Dolmatov.

"It is unclear how the system will be protected from hacking and fake registrations by hackers. In my opinion, the launch next year will be incomplete, improvements will be needed, the launch will be rescheduled", said Dolmatov.

Russian universities to introduce special course on working with artificial intelligence

The office of the Russian Ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova proposed to create in Russian universities special course on artificial intelligence.  The aim of the course is training to counter the threats of artificial intelligence within the discipline of human rights protection.

Moreover, it is expected that the novelty will become part of the training program not only for law students, where the protection of human rights is one of the main disciplines. This special course is also necessary for future technical specialists.

The press service of Moskalkova's office clarified that " the course will be constantly adjusted, filled with new things in accordance with technological development." An interesting fact is that there is an express course on the philosophy of artificial intelligence at Moscow State University.

It should be noted that during the BRICS summit on November 14, Kirill Dmitriev, the head of The Russian Direct Investment Fund, a member of THE BRICS business Council, said that an Alliance for the development of artificial intelligence can be created within the BRICS.

In addition, according to Alexander Bernstein, the head of the neurosurgical Department of the Burdenko Center, artificial intelligence from 2021 will help in the planning of complex neurosurgical operations. Now artificial intelligence is already used in the medical center to remove intracerebral tumors. In the future, the scope is planned to expand.

Recall that on October 10, 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the development of artificial intelligence in Russia. This decree approves the national strategy for the development of artificial intelligence until 2030. The President also spoke about the need for maximum support for startups in the field of artificial intelligence and several times to increase the volume and quality of training for programmers, mathematicians, computer linguists and data processing specialists.

“The ETF Did Not Meet the Necessary Requirements”- SEC

On the contention that the ETF (exchange-traded fund) documenting from Bitwise Asset Management and NYSE Arca didn't meet the fundamental prerequisites, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) dismissed a proposal to list a Bitcoin (BTC) ETF.

The announcement came on Oct. 9, where the regulators expressed that the said applicants didn't meet the vital prerequisites with respect to conceivable market manipulation and illicit activities.

The SEC stated: "Rather, the Commission is disapproving this proposed rule change because, as discussed below, NYSE Arcahas not met its burden under the Exchange Act and the Commission’s Rules of Practice to demonstrate that its proposal is consistent with the requirements of Exchange Act Section6 (b) (5), and, in particular, the requirement that the rules of a national securities exchange be’ designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices.'

The choice by the SEC contradicts the recent remarks from Matt Hougan, managing director and global head of research at Bitwise, who on CNBC on Oct. 7 stated, “We’re closer than we’ve ever been before to getting a Bitcoin ETF approved.”

Hougan had been idealistic about the 'firm's chances to land approval' for a physically-held Bitcoin ETF and he likewise noticed the huge development that has transpired in the crypto space as of late. 

The dismissal of Bitwise's proposition pursues a series of deferrals and solicitations for input from the SEC, and now its decision on the proposition has been additionally delayed by the regulator — together with two other crypto ETF applications — until Oct. 13.

Russians were warned about difficulties with access to Internet pages

The deficit of Internet addresses may occur at the end of September in Russia. Therefore, many users will not be able to visit portals and sites that they previously visited without problems.

A representative of one of the world's largest Internet registries RIPE Network Coordination Center (RIPE NCC) Alexey Semenyaka a few days ago said that by the end of September IP-addresses using IPv4 will end in Russia, as well as in the Middle East and Europe. This is due to the huge number of devices connected to the Network. A week ago there were 1.88 million free addresses in these regions, and on 9 September there were already 1.69 million.

In the fall of 2019, sites will begin to constantly require visitors to confirm that they are real people, not robots. Experts explained that this is due to the Internet features.

So, each user has their own IP address. Sometimes several people have the same IP. If they try to enter with a single IP a site, it can take it for a hacker attack or the actions of bots. This situation is quite likely with a lack of free IP-addresses.

Analysts said that millions of people in Russia will face this problem. So, it is necessary to transfer the Internet network to IPv6 protocol, which should completely replace outdated IPv4. Major providers have already taken care of this. For example, instead will be used 3dfc:0:0:0:0217:cbff:fe8c:0. Available combinations will last for a long time.

However, according to the CEO of Telecom Daily Denis Kuskov, some small regional Internet providers may not have enough resources and competencies to switch to the new Protocol.

It became known this week that ROSKOMNADZOR (Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications ) at the request of the FSB (The Federal Security Service) may suspend the activities of two foreign postal services.

ROSKOMNADZOR demanded from companies Heinlein Support GmbH (owns a paid email service and SCRYPTmail LLC (operates the mail service) to provide encryption keys from user correspondence.

The FSB drew attention to the company's data because false reports of mining came from devices registered on and Representatives of the company refused to comment.

Recall, in the fall of 2017, Telegram was fined 800 thousand rubles, and then blocked in Russia because of the refusal to provide the FSB with encryption keys from user correspondence.

Expert warns cyber threats to worsen with tech advances

Technological advances like Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Automatic Cards and others will throw up new challenges for cyber security and all countries must unite to foresee and combat them, a leading Israeli cyber security expert said on Monday.

"The Internet was not designed for security, hence it is inherently insecure since everything is hackable. It is more difficult to be a cyber security personnel than a hacker. The hacker has to succeed only once, where the the cyber security personnel has to succeed always to remain safe, within many rules and regulations," Menny Barzilay, the CEO, Cyber Research Centre of Tel Aviv University and CEO of Cytactic, said.

He pointed out how "smart people" from different countries are joining hands to commit cyber crimes and hence there is "a need for super-smart people" from around the world to join as cyber security experts.

"Cyber threats don't create a sense of urgency, unlike a bomb threat, and we cannot feel it in our senses. It is therefore more difficult to convince people that the 'cyber' threat is real," said Barzilay, addressing a panel discussion on cyber security at Nehru Science Centre (NSC) via videoconference.

The discussion was also attended by Israeli Consul-General in Mumbai, Yaakov Finkelstein, security experts from the Mumbai Police and students.

Recalling an incident of cyber attack on Sony Corporation after the release of its film, "The Interview", Barzilay said that corporates are not prepared to face cyber crimes and the government must support them during such cyber hits.

"Billions of devices, part of Internet of Things implies they are prone to hacking, a smart device means being vulnerable, it will also affect our privacy. Big companies have lot of data about users and can manipulate them for private gains, something which allegedly happened in the US elections," he said.

Putin said that Russia should become a leader in the IT-sphere

This week, the largest state corporations distributed among themselves the themes of the national project Digital Economy. The Government event took place in the Kremlin on July 10, attended by President Vladimir Putin. This ceremony actually determined the future of Russia.

Agreements were signed at the ceremony between the Government and important Russian state corporations, such as Sberbank, Russian Railways, Rostelecom, etc., in the areas of "Artificial Intelligence", "Quantum Communications", "Wireless Communication of the New Generation", "Technologies for Creating New Materials and Substances", "Quantum Sensors", etc.

The Russian President shared his thoughts on the importance of developing IT-technologies. He is sure that “these directions, without any doubt, determine the economy of the future not only of our country but also of the world. Their use can provide a real breakthrough for Russia”.

“The global competition for the technology of the future has already developed. And our task is not to waste time, to do everything to become one of the leaders, to guarantee Russia technological sovereignty, a worthy place among the leading players in promising new markets, ” Vladimir Putin said.

World experience shows that the corporate sector provides up to 80% of successful research and development. In this situation, the Government can provide large companies with all the necessary assistance and support for the development of high-tech areas.

As a reminder, the Russian Government approved the national program "Digital economy" and allocated 1 trillion rubles (217 billions $) from the Federal budget for the implementation of the presidential task — in six years to triple domestic investment in the digital economy, to create a modern, safe and accessible to all IT-structure, to transfer state agencies mainly to Russian software. In other words, the Government decided to move from the category of countries with developing economies to the list of developed economies at the expense of IT-projects.

Zomato successfully tests its drone technology

E-commerce companies and food-delivery platforms are globally believed to be among the first adopters of drone-based delivery.

Zomato, the online ordering and food delivery platform, on Wednesday announced that it has successfully tested its drone delivery technology. The test, which was conducted using a hybrid drone, was a part of the company's attempts to reduce the time taken to make a food delivery to its customers.

The first test saw Zomato make a drone-based food package delivery under restricted conditions, covering 5 km in 10 minutes and at peak speed of 80 kmph.

"The drone was tested last week at one of the remote sites approved by the DGCA. Such tests are done at very remote sites which are especially designed to conduct such tests," Zomato told IANS.

It comes months after Gurgaon-headquartered firm had acquired Lucknow-based drone startup TechEagle to reduce food delivery times and solve other issues like pollution and traffic. Zomato also revealed that it is forming a consortium as per Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) guidelines to carry out experimental Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone operations.

However, the food aggregator did not reveal the exact location where the drone delivered the package.

According to the notification issued by Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on May 13, interested companies have been asked to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the DGCA for conducting experimental Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations (BVLOS) of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS)/Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).

Currently, while regulations prohibit payload carriage on drones along with disallowing drone operations outside visual line of sight, the government — while announcing rules for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in August last — had said that the norms will be evolved with time as and when companies are able to exhibit newer technologies.

"The only possible way to reduce the average 30 minutes to 15 minutes is to take the aerial route. Roads are not efficient for very fast deliveries.

Russia is ready to supply Vietnam with e-government technologies

The Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation reports that Russia is ready to supply Vietnam with e-government technologies, smart and safe city solutions, as well as information security products.

Rostelecom, Russia's largest provider of digital services and solutions, and Vietnam's leading provider of telecommunication services and information technology services Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) signed a Memorandum of understanding (MOU) aimed at developing cooperation in the field of information and communication technologies.

The Memorandum was signed by President and CEO of VNPT Pham Duc Long and President of Rostelecom Mikhail Oseevsky. The signing was attended by Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Phuk and Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev. In accordance with the text of the Memorandum, the main areas of cooperation are information security, e-government and smart cities.

The Memorandum involves the exchange of media products and programs, the implementation of joint thematic projects, press tours and internships of journalists.

In addition, Russia is ready to share its experience in the transition to digital broadcasting, to offer domestic equipment (digital broadcasting and television transmitters) for the Vietnam market and to establish cooperation in the design and construction of broadcasting networks.

According to Pham Duc Long, VNPT is implementing the digital transformation strategy to become the leading provider of digital services in the region. Cooperation with Rostelecom will help VNPT to successfully implement digital projects and e-government projects in Vietnam, helping to solve the important task of the digital transformation of Vietnam in the direction of digital government, digital economy and society.

Mikhail Oseevsky, President of Rostelecom, said that the business cooperation with VNPT in innovative high-tech platforms has been developing for the second year already. The signed Memorandum was an obvious confirmation of the interest of companies in the further expansion of cooperation.

Sensors existing in smartphones themselves present a gateway to hackers.

According to a study led by an Indian-origin scientist Shivam Bhasin, NTU Senior Research, data from your smartphone sensors can reveal PINs and passwords to hackers and allow them to unlock your mobile devices. Researchers from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore used sensors in a smart phone to model which number had been pressed by its users, based on how the phone was tilted and how much light is blocked by the thumb or fingers.

Instruments in smart phones such as the gyroscope and proximity sensors represent potential security vulnerability, said researchers.

Utilizing machine learning calculations  and algorithms and a combination of data gathered from six different sensors found in smartphones, the researchers accomplished in unlocking Android smart phones with 99.5 per cent precision in just three tries, while tackling a phone that had one of the 50 most basic and common PIN numbers.

The team of specialists took Android phones and installed a custom application which gathered information from six sensors: accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, proximity sensor, barometer, and ambient light sensor.

"When you hold your phone and key in the PIN, the way the phone moves when you press 1, 5, or 9, is very different. Likewise, pressing 1 with your right thumb will block more light than if you pressed 9," said Bhasin.

Albeit every individual enters the security PIN on their phone in a different way, the researchers demonstrated that as information from more individuals is fed to the algorithm after some time, the success rates improved.

So while a vindictive application will most likely be unable to effectively figure a PIN  instantly after installation, but by using machine learning, it could gather information from a huge number of users over time from each of their phones to take in their PIN entry pattern and then dispatch an attack later when the success rate is substantially higher.

The study demonstrates how gadgets with apparently strong security can be attacked using a side-channel, as sensor information could be redirected by vindictive applications to keep an eye on the user behaviour and help to access the PIN  and password data, said Professor Gan Chee Lip from NTU.

To keep Mobile phones secure, Dr Bhasin encourages users to have PINs with more than four digits, combined with other validation techniques like one-time passwords, two-factor confirmations, and unique finger impression or facial recognition.