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The Central Bank of Russia considers the introduction of the digital ruble as a new form of money

The Bank of Russia announced that it is studying the problem of issuing a digital ruble. The initiative has been discussed for several years, and there has always been a lot of controversy around it

The Central Bank is considering the possibility of issuing a digital ruble in Russia in order to increase the competitiveness of the domestic economy. On October 13, the regulator presented a report according to which the so-called digital ruble will become an additional form of money along with cash and non-cash.

It is expected that such a payment system will appear in 2021.

The digital ruble can be used for online payments, as well as in offline mode, without access to the Internet and mobile communications. The Central Bank indicated that the digital ruble will increase the stability of the Russian payment system,  but additional infrastructure will be needed for its turnover.

According to the regulator, the digital ruble can make payments faster, easier and safer. At the same time, its use will reduce the cost of payment services, money transfers, and increase competition among financial organizations.

While cash has a unique number, and non-cash money exists in the form of records on accounts, the digital ruble will receive a unique digital code that will move from one user to another when paying.

The Central Bank will become the Issuer of the digital ruble. The digital ruble will be stored in a special electronic wallet. The regulator emphasizes that its digital currency is an equivalent form of national currency. All three forms of the ruble will be equal and equivalent to each other.

This currency will be introduced into circulation gradually. As the head of the State Duma Committee on the financial market Anatoly Aksakov noted, the law on digital financial assets was adopted in July. The document will come into force on January 1, 2021.

Apple denied Durov's statement about the request to block Telegram channels about Belarus

The founder of Telegram, Pavel Durov, accused Apple of trying to "avoid responsibility for complying with its own rules" by using "tricky language". Durov wrote about this in his Telegram channel.

Earlier, Durov said that the Corporation requested the blocking of three channels dedicated to Belarus. They published photos and personal data of security forces and members of election commissions who, according to the authors, committed violations in the elections. The total number of subscribers was about 100 thousand.

According to Durov, Apple's "trick" lies in the company's claim that it does not require disabling three Belarusian channels that disclose the personal data of security forces involved in suppressing protests. Apple requires not to publish posts that disclose personal information. However, Durov notes, the company does not mention that these channels consist entirely of such posts.

"By hiding its requirements in vague words, Apple is trying to avoid responsibility for complying with its own rules", said the founder of Telegram.

"It's time for Apple to learn to take responsibility for its policies, rather than trying to hide them from users,” added he.

According to Durov, he would prefer to keep these channels. The founder of Telegram suggested that they will eventually be blocked on devices using the iOS operating system, but the channels will remain available on other platforms.

According to Apple, the company received complaints from users that their personal data, including names and phone numbers, was transmitted through channels. These complaints were passed to the messenger team, asking them to remove information that reveals someone's personal data on the Internet without their consent, as well as content aimed at specific people.

Telegram did not raise any objections, but promised to check this information and inform Apple about the results of the check.

Earlier, E Hacking News reported that a group of hackers threatens to bring down the tax, energy and banking systems of Belarus if the head of state Alexander Lukashenko does not comply with the ultimatum.

Russian business expressed fear about the isolation from the global Internet

Representatives of big business warned that banning modern website encryption protocols in Russia is tantamount to disconnecting the country from the global Internet. The adoption of the bill in the proposed form, in their opinion, will formally make it illegal to use smartphones and computers and will entail "catastrophic consequences".

Recall that, in September, the Ministry of Digital Development of Russia proposed banning encryption protocols that allow hiding the name or ID of the site requested by the user. These protocols — TLS 1.3, ESNI, DNS over HTTPS, and DNS over TLS — are already being gradually implemented by some browsers. The department believes that the use of these protocols will prevent the system from restricting access to resources containing prohibited information.

It is noted that any encryption protocols are suitable for vague definitions in the text of the bill, regardless of the scope of application. This means that after the law comes into force, any encryption will be formally outlawed, that is, the use of computers and smartphones as such will become illegal, and the operation of any information (for example, banking) will be paralyzed.

The bill will also entail serious costs for the budget: all "illegal" cryptography in state information systems will have to be upgraded or simply disabled. The business products of Russian IT companies will also suffer — without the support of popular encryption technologies, they will become uncompetitive on the world market. And the personal data of Russians will be visible to any technical specialists of Telecom operators and hackers.

Earlier, E Hacking News was reported that Roskomnadzor has notified one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges  Binance about entering it into the register of prohibited sites.

Roskomnadzor has added the site of the Binance crypto exchange to the list of banned sites in Russia

 

Roskomnadzor (the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media) has notified one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges  Binance about entering it into the register of prohibited sites. So far, the site in Russia is not blocked and continues to work.

"On September 24, 2020, we received a notification from Roskomnadzor of the Russian Federation about the introduction of the site binance.com to the domain name registry containing information prohibited for distribution in Russia. According to the letter, this is information about the possibility of purchasing an electronic cryptocurrency (Bitcoin),” reported the press service of the crypto exchange.

As noted in Binance, the company has not previously received notifications from law enforcement and civil government services, as well as from the judicial authorities about the existence of any lawsuits or court decisions.

"We also continue to provide services to Russian users in full, and customer funds are safe,” said the company.

At the moment, the site in Russia is not blocked and is working.  It is worth noting that the crypto exchange intends to challenge the decision of Roskomnadzor to enter it in the register of prohibited sites in court, told the Director of Binance in Russia Gleb Kostarev.

"Binance values its reputation and does not intend to agree with the court's decision, as well as with the intention of Roskomnadzor… The company plans to challenge the Agency's decision in court,” said Mr Kostarev.

"There have already been precedents in court practice when other crypto sites have challenged such decisions,” added he.

Experts estimate the chances of Binance getting the block cancellation in court as high. Alexander Zhuravlev, managing partner of the law firm EDB, called the court order to block Binance as unfounded. In Russia, there is no ban on the turnover of cryptocurrencies. Last fall, changes were made to the State Code that legalized digital rights, including cryptocurrencies. 

Russian authorities prohibit modern Internet protocols because they make it difficult to block websites


 The Ministry of Digital Development of Russia wants to ban the use of experimental encryption protocols DNS over TLS, DNS over HTTPS and ESNI in Russia, which can be used to bypass access blocks to prohibited sites. Experts warn that to implement such a ban, it will be necessary to block the servers of Google, Cloudflare and Cisco.

On September 21, the Ministry submitted for public discussion a bill that prohibits the use of encryption protocols in the Russian Federation, which allow to hide the name of an Internet page or site. In particular, the Ministry believes that this will help to increase the effectiveness of blocking sites that are prohibited in the territory of the Russian Federation.

According to the head of the Ministry of Digital Development Mister Shadaev, all the advantages of the new DNS request encryption protocols for users are obvious, "but we must understand that their wide distribution will also allow us to bypass all existing filtering and blocking systems for prohibited sites, including sites that contain illegal content."

"Mozilla decided last year to enable DoH Protocol in Firefox by default. DoH Protocol is also already included in the Google Chrome browser. Naturally, all this creates opportunities for many users of these browsers to go to blocked sites and bypass the parental control mode. I don't think that many parents would be very happy about this," the Minister explained the need to develop the bill.

So, mister Shadaev gave an example when, at the request of the UK government, Mozilla agreed not to include the DoH function in its browser by default for users in this country. The head of the Ministry of Digital Development noted that this was done largely under pressure from the public and the Association of British Internet service providers. 

The Antidrone system and a new platform for online voting were created in Russia

The Antidrone system will allow detecting drones that fly up to any object, said Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of the Kaspersky Lab. Depending on the model of the drones, the program can either land it, send it back, or stun it.

"This is necessary at sporting events, at airports, and for private businesses. Do I want someone's drones flying around our office? I don't want. This is the case when simultaneous sales will probably go both in Russia and in Europe," said Eugene Kaspersky.

Another startup of the Kaspersky Lab is an online voting system based on blockchain. According to Eugene Kaspersky, it can only be hacked by infecting a specific device. However, it will be difficult to infect a lot of devices.

"If you infect a thousand devices, it will not affect big elections in any way, but if you infect a million devices, it will be immediately noticeable. Of course, the elections will be disrupted, but we will see it," said Eugene Kaspersky.

The development also includes a process for monitoring online voting.

"If you want to observe the elections, put the server in the blockchain. So we simultaneously increase the blockchain, that is, the number of machines that calculate all this, and give access to observers. That is, if you want to be an observer, come with your computer,” explained the expert.

Also, during the pandemic, the company created its own travel accelerator "Kaspersky Exploring Russia". The program is designed to help tourism startups overcome the crisis and create the basis for further implementation of their projects. During the selection stage, the Kaspersky Lab received more than 500 applications from 47 countries.

Mister Kaspersky also said that Russia trains the world's best programmers, but this sometimes leads to the fact that the world's best hackers also speak Russian.

Russian engineer raised $5 million for Tamagotchi for hackers

Russian techno enthusiast Pavel Zhovner raised almost $5 million for the production of Tamagotchi for hackers Flipper Zero.  The project attracted 37,987 users of the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform.

Zhovner launched the campaign in early August and expected to be able to raise at least $60,000 within a month — the minimum amount needed to start production in China. However, the enthusiast received this money within 8 minutes after the start of the collection. A day later, the project raised $500,000, and by the end of the weekend - more than $1 million. The campaign ended on 29 August with an impressive result of $4 882 784.

“I’m even a little glad that this will finally end, I can breathe out. We are called to continue the campaign on all sorts of IndieGoGo, but we decided to take a break and go into development more tightly, without being distracted by marketing,” wrote Zhovner in his Telegram channel.

Flipper Zero is an electronic multitool equipped with a built-in radio module for receiving and transmitting signals at frequencies of 300-928 MHz, as well as an infrared transmitter for controlling household appliances.

The creator describes the device as a universal tool that can turn into anything in the hands of experts — from remote control for a TV to a device for hacking a Wi-Fi router.

The developers said that Flipper Zero does not fall under the description of a special tool or device for the secret collection of information. The device does not have the ability to capture audio-visual information and is not disguised as household items. The factory firmware will not contain jamming, brute force, or other potentially malicious features.

Also, inside Flipper Zero there is a cyberdolphin that needs to be fed. This mascot is a reference to Johnny Mnemonic, the cult cyberpunk film.

Kickstarter's sponsors are expected to be able to receive their devices as early as February 2021. Later, the creator plans to release Flipper Zero for free sale through online stores and resellers at a price of $169.

Twitter Rolled-out its Latest Feature that Lets Users Limit Reply



In an attempt to make conversations more effective and meaningful, Twitter has rolled out a new feature that will allow users to have a little more control over who is showing up in their mentions, the feature will enable users to get rid of spam in their conversations by limiting who can reply to their Tweets.

Before being launched globally on 11th August for both the Android and iOS users, the feature underwent a brief run in beta. It is now available for the Twitter App on both the platforms and also for the users accessing the platform via the official website twitter.com.

How the feature works?


While posting a tweet, you will come across a small globe icon at the bottom, upon tapping on that, three options will appear to choose who can reply to your tweet. If you choose nothing, the setting will remain default – meaning anyone can reply to the tweet or you can limit replies just to those who are tagged in the tweet; or only to your followers.

After selecting the preferred option, you are all set to compose your tweet and click on the 'Tweet' tab to publish it. One important thing to note here is that once the tweet is posted, you won't be able to change the reply settings for that particular tweet.

However, users must also note that people who are restricted from replying will get a greyed-out icon, but they will still be able to view and share your tweets – they can Retweet, Retweet with Comment, and like the tweet.

The feedback received by the users has been positive so far, indicating that users have felt more comfortable and guarded against abuse, trolls, and spam.

As per a blog post by Director of Product Management, Suzanne Xie, the new feature is successfully preventing about three potentially abusive replies while adding one potentially abusive retweet with comment.

Referencing from Xie's observations, “Sometimes people are more comfortable talking about what’s happening when they can choose who can reply,”
“We’ve seen people use these settings to have conversations that weren’t really possible before. Starting today, everyone will be able to use these settings so unwanted replies don’t get in the way of meaningful conversations," the blog post read.

"Since your Tweet = your space, we've been testing new settings to give people more control over the conversations they start. Sometimes people are more comfortable talking about what's happening when they can choose who can reply. We've seen people use these settings to have conversations that weren't really possible before. Starting today, everyone will be able to use these settings so unwanted replies don't get in the way of meaningful conversations," Xie further said in a statement.

Here's All you Need to Know About Instagram Reels; Launched Globally in Over 50 Countries


As TikTok fell prey to extensive criticism and was labeled as a 'threat to security' by governments, resulting in the banning of the popular video-sharing platform, the creators have long ago started weighing what's next!

In the wake of TikTok's future succumbing to uncertainties, Instagram has rolled out a new feature 'Reels', that appear to be in direct competition with what TikTok had to offer.

Starting today, Instagram is launching "Reels" feature for its users in more than 50 countries, it is seen as a remarkable and well-timed attempt by Instagram to capitalize upon the global turmoil in the creative sphere of social media. It's also a potential opportunity for Instagram to expand its identity from a photo app to a video entertainment platform.

With the expansion, now the feature will be available in major international markets including India, the U.S., the U.K., France, Brazil, Germany, Australia, Mexico, Spain, Argentina, Japan, and many others.

In a similar manner like TikTok, Instagram Reels will allow people to create mini-clips with music that they can share with their followers, these short-form videos will be discoverable while users browse the "Explore" tab on Instagram.

Reels let users record 15 seconds long video clips and add filters, effects, and popular music onto them, the feature is entirely embedded inside Instagram's original app and is not to be mistaken for being an add-on or a separate app. It is not a different world altogether like TikTok or Vine, but just 'yet another thing' one can do on Instagram.

While announcing the release of "Reels", the company said in a blog, "It's a new way to create and discover short, entertaining videos on Instagram."

"Reels invites you to create fun videos to share with your friends or anyone on Instagram. Record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and new creative tools. You can share reels with your followers on Feed, and, if you have a public account, make them available to the wider Instagram community through a new space in Explore. Reels in Explore offers anyone the chance to become a creator on Instagram and reach new audiences on a global stage."

How to Create Reels?


"Select Reels at the bottom of the Instagram camera. You'll see a variety of creative editing tools on the left side of your screen to help create your reel, including:"

"Audio: Search for a song from the Instagram music library. You can also use your own original audio by simply recording a reel with it. When you share a reel with original audio, your audio will be attributed to you, and if you have a public account, people can create reels with your audio by selecting “Use Audio” from your reel.

AR Effects: Select one of the many effects in our effect gallery, created both by Instagram and creators all over the world, to record multiple clips with different effects.

Timer and Countdown: Set the timer to record any of your clips hands-free. Once you press record, you’ll see a 3-2-1 countdown, before recording begins for the amount of time you selected.

Align: Line up objects from your previous clip before recording your next to help create seamless transitions for moments like outfit changes or adding new friends into your reel.

Speed: Choose to speed up or slow down part of the video or audio you selected. This can help you stay on a beat or make slow-motion videos." Instagram explained in the blog.

Pavel Durov called on Apple to oblige to install different application stores


Apple should allow users to install apps not only from its own App Store. This opinion was expressed by the founder of Telegram messenger Pavel Durov. According to him, Tim Cook (CEO of Apple) should be obligated to this at the legislative level.

The day before, high-ranking Telegram Manager, Vice President of the company founded by Pavel Durov, Ilya Perekopsky, spoke at a panel discussion with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and representatives of the IT industry in Innopolis. He said that Apple and Google are holding back the development of startups by charging a tax of a 30 percent Commission from app developers. Almost simultaneously with Perekopsky's speech, Durov published an article in which he called for Apple to be legally obliged to install an alternative App Store on the iPhone.

Durov is sure that if this is not done, then app developers, in particular, from Russia, will be forced to sell their startups for little money. At the same time, Apple's capitalization will only grow.
“Preventing two supranational corporations from collecting taxes from all of humanity is not an easy task. Corporations employ thousands of lobbyists, lawyers, and PR agents, and their budgets are unlimited. At the same time, app developers are scattered and scared, as the fate of their projects depends entirely on the favor of Apple and Google," wrote Pavel Durov.

The head of the TelecomDaily information and analytical agency Denis Kuskov noted that changing the market is quite difficult because these two companies are leading it. Therefore, Durov needs to accept this fact.

Durov recalled that in 2016, Apple banned the Telegram team from launching its own game platform: "We had to remove the telegram games catalog that we had already created and almost the entire platform interface, otherwise Apple threatened to remove Telegram from the AppStore." According to Durov, in a similar way the iPhone manufacturer does with many other developers.

Telegraph service was unblocked in Russia


Russia stopped blocking the popular Telegram messenger almost a month ago. However, the related Telegraph service continued to be blocked. Now Russia has also unblocked the Telegraph platform for publishing and creating articles. 

The Telegraph platform was launched by the Telegram team in November 2016. It is designed to quickly create and publish articles, notes, and other similar content, a link to which can then be easily shared. Registration is not required for publication.

The blocking of the Telegra[.]ph service in Russia began at the end of 2018, a little later than the Telegram messenger.

According to the Roskomsvoboda resource, which closely monitors the registry of blocked sites, all pages with the Telegra.ph domain, which were blocked in Russia by the decision of a particular authority, are now excluded from the blocking registry. The last two similar pages were removed from the blacklist only on July 11.

It is interesting to note, according to Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov, the cancellation of restrictions on access to the Telegram messenger in Russia is perceived positively in the Kremlin, as it is in line with the course of President Vladimir Putin on the development of the high-tech industry.

The Press Secretary of the Head of State also noted as a positive fact the participation of heads of the company that owns the messenger in government events on the development of the IT industry.
Recall that in Russia since April 2018, Telegram was blocked for non-compliance with the requirements for providing encryption keys, but during the coronavirus pandemic, the government began to use the messenger to distribute official information. In this regard, the State Duma even introduced a bill to unblock Telegram.  On June 18, Roskomnadzor decided to remove restrictions on access to the messenger, the creator of which, Pavel Durov, congratulated the Russians on this event.

Google Loses Control Over Blogspot.in, Millions of Sites Inaccessible


Google-owned 'blogspot.in', a blogging website also known as "Blogger" has become inaccessible to Indian users as Google appears to have lost its ownership over the domain.

Blogger.com is a free platform used by millions of users for blogging. As it used to fall under Google's ownership, one could link it to various other Google products such as Picasa, Google AdSense, and social network, Google+. The simplicity in accessibility made blogger widely popular; users just need a Google account to activate blogger.

People who were using Blogger for posting blogs faced issues while accessing their blogs, meanwhile, a number of web pages within the Indian domain became unreachable. According to a report by the Next Web, the issue occurred because of Google losing its ownership over the URLs Blogspot.in, however, the time when Google lost its control over the domain is not clearly known.

Referencing from the Next Web's report on the matter, "Whatever the reason might be, if I host a site or blog with Google, I would expect a company of this size to keep up and know when their domain name ownership expires,"

"If you use a blog regularly, an alternative is to host it on your own domain. But everyone might not want to do that just to keep things easy. And you’d expect Google Webmaster to do better," read the report.

One of the major issues faced by a million users was that the links that they have on put on several websites with the "Blogspot.in" domain became inaccessible. However, the blogs are still there, they were visible when users changed the URLs to blogspot.com. Chances are, this is just a temporary issue and would be taken care of by Google shortly, however, users who were using "Blogspot.in" domain will have to go through the trouble for now as the tech giant has not addressed the issue yet.

Religion Biased Algorithms Continue to Depict How Facebook Doesn't Believe in Free Speech


Facebook's brand image has taken a critical hit long ago falling from the top ten global brands list, the brand value has gone down by remarkable margins as the platform fell short in living up to its own standards and promises and continued making headlines for censure. Amid big scandals like Cambridge Analytica, data leaks, congressional scrutiny, the social media giant has constantly been under the radar for preferring certain gender, ethics groups, and race over others as seen in the company's allegedly flawed ad-serving algorithm. 

Owing to its discriminatory ways, Facebook became a subject of critics' accusations in October 2019 when the social media giant faced a class-action lawsuit for charges of bias against gender and age. To substantiate, with the use of several advertising experiments, researchers from Northeastern University, the University of South California demonstrated in a study that Facebook has been discriminatory in ad targeting for years now and indeed has an automated advertising system delivering ads to selected audiences. 

It's a well-established fact that algorithms are biased and Facebook has been no exception to it. To give you an idea, in 2019, the tech giant faced legal charges by the US government for allowing advertisers to deliberately target ads on the basis of religion, race, and gender – businesses could exclude people of a certain race, age  or gender from viewing housing ads, a blatant violation of Fair Housing Act. While settling its case, the company said that it won't be allowing the businesses to targets ads in discriminating ways, however, the issues were never truly addressed given the recent biases in Facebook's actions. 

'The Enlightened souls(https://6enlightened.blogspot.com/) is a spiritual group posting content regarding enlightenment, spirituality, ancient spiritual practices, goddess worship and etc., the spiritual website became one of the latest victims of Facebook's biased ad-targeting algorithms. 
Religion bias in particular as Facebook removed one of their ads containing images of the goddess 'Kali' along with other goddesses labeling it as sexual content. 
Later, Facebook was seen to be running a Netflix ad about a show wherein the girl was almost naked. The findings are critical of Facebook's claims regarding 'changed Ad tools' wherein the tech giant promised to amend its ways of managing the advertisements and preventing discrimination against certain groups, gender, religion, or age. 

Disappointed by Facebook's never-ending bias and existing issues despite the changes made by the company, 6enlightened made the decision of cutting Facebook off and using Twitter as the only social media.

FACEBOOK SHOULD STOP SUPPRESSING FREE SPEECH 

Given a whopping 2.5 million people use at least one of the Facebook's app, the social media platform should be more responsible in its advertising ways, however, unfortunately, the platform doesn't appear to believe in free speech but in censorship that they have actively practiced – evidently so for years now.

Telegram has withdrawn its appeal against the ban on issuing Gram tokens


The company appealed the court decision in March, but then the founder of the messenger, Pavel Durov, announced the termination of work on the blockchain project

Telegram has withdrawn an appeal against a court order banning the distribution of Gram tokens as part of proceedings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The decision was supported by both parties, the withdrawal was carried out using the standard form based on rule 42.1 — "leaving without consideration".

The appeal was sent in March after a court banned Telegram from issuing Gram tokens.  The court ruled in favor of the SEC, which argued that the Gram tokens were unregistered securities. The court also ruled that Telegram cannot issue tokens even outside the United States since this will give US citizens the opportunity to buy these tokens outside the country as well.

The founder of Telegram in an American court said that people outside the US can vote for their presidents and elect their own parliaments, but they are still dependent on the US when it comes to technology and finance.

On May 12, the founder and CEO of Telegram Pavel Durov announced the termination of work on the blockchain project. He accused the US court of sentencing the TON project before it could be successfully implemented. Investors were offered to return 72% of their investment or sign a loan agreement with a return of 110% in a year.

After that, TON investor Vladimir Smerkis said that the majority of ICO participants are inclined to file a lawsuit against Durov. Smerkis allowed an option in which the Telegram team will need to make concessions to investors and reconsider the option of paying out funds.

Let's remind that on April 1, Federal Judge of the Southern District of New York, Kevin Castel, rejected Telegram's request to clarify the possibility of distributing Gram tokens bypassing American investors.

Russia puts cryptocurrency under a ban


Russian parliamentarians have developed a package of bills that assume administrative and criminal responsibility for the use of cryptocurrencies. Experts believe that such measures can lead to the destruction of the blockchain industry in Russia.

"People who currently own cryptocurrency will be forced to get rid of it before the law comes into force, or risk "going underground", and this is a loss or risk," said Dmitry Kirillov, a senior tax lawyer at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. Based on the amendments, mining or exchanging 3.5 bitcoins will lead to criminal liability.

Penalties are provided for any use of digital assets, from the organization of a crypto exchange and mining farm, attempts to pay with cryptocurrency on the Internet.  Fines range from 500 thousand rubles ($7,000) for individuals and up to 2 million rubles ($28,000) for legal entities.

Founder of the stable cryptocurrency platform Stasis.net Gregory Klumov called the new amendments "putting nails in the coffin of financial innovation and technological progress."
"In fact, it is proposed to build a new iron curtain in the digital economy with their own hands," said Yuri Pripachkin, president of the Russian Association of Cryptoeconomics and Blockchain.

Currently, in the Russian Federation, in addition to software, the hardware is being actively developed - means for storing tokens, cryptocurrencies. Many young specialists from the Russian Federation are already involved in this industry, and experts are worried that the adoption of this bill will put an end to the innovative economy.

Earlier, E Hacking News reported that, according to First Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia, Blockchain is not a panacea, and cryptocurrency is not money. So, the Central Bank of Russia is not going to change its negative attitude to these assets.

Co-founder of Qiwi Solonin provided Durov a loan of $17 million


Sergey Solonin, one of the founders of the Russian payment service Qiwi Group, decided to re-loan his investment in the blockchain project of Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram and Vk, Telegram Open Network (TON), giving him a loan. In 2018, he invested $17 million in this project.

Recall that in 2018, the co-founder of Qiwi invested $17 million in TON. At that time, 175 investors participated in the project, who invested a total of $1.7 billion. The founder of the blockchain project stated that any project based on TON developments or using this name will not be related to Telegram.

On May 12, Durov announced the closure of the TON blockchain platform project and the Gram cryptocurrency blaming the American court. The TON blockchain platform was supposed to start working in October 2019, but then the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) initiated legal proceedings, demanding to recognize that the Gram cryptocurrency is securities, and therefore could not be registered in a simplified form, according to American law. Due to litigation, the launch of TON was postponed several times.

Before closing the project, Durov offered investors based outside the United States two options for choosing: to withdraw 72% of the funds invested in TON and Gram or to receive 110% of the originally invested amount by April 30, 2021. Only one option was offered to US residents - to return 72% of investments.

"Most of the investors with whom I spoke will take 72% of the initial investment," said Durov.
"I decided to re-loan his investment. Pavel has a smart team, I hope they will come up with something," said Mr. Solonin.

Solonin expects that the Telegram founder will be able to find new sources of income or a way to finance the company further within a year.

The “Real-Time Find and Replace” Wordpress Plugin Updated To Address A High Severity Vulnerability



So as to address a high severity vulnerability, the “Real-Time Find and Replace” WordPress plugin was updated as of late in order to forestall the exploitation to infuse code into sites.

The plugin, accessible as open source and has over 100,000 installations is intended to permit WordPress site admins to dynamically supplant HTML content from themes and different plugins with the content on their personal preference before the page is served to users.

The vulnerability recognized by the name of 'Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)' prompting Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), could have permitted an attacker to infuse malignant JavaScript code on a target site, yet just by fooling the administrator into performing explicit actions, such as clicking a link.

The core of the plugin's 'functionality' for including the find and replace rules in the function far_options_page, which didn't confirm the integrity of a request's source, since it didn't utilize nonce verification, WordPress Security Company Defiant had discovered.

 By supplanting an HTML tag like <head> with noxious JavaScript, an attacker would ensure that their code executes on about each page of the targeted site. Utilizing the infused code, the attacker could make another administrative account; steal session cookies, or direct clients to a malevolent site.

Defiant detailed the vulnerability to the plugin's developer on April 22 and the security flaw was tended to the same day.

The security company Defiant says, “Any attacker capable of tricking a site owner into executing an unwanted action could replace any content or HTML on a vulnerable site with new content or malicious code. This replacement code or content would then execute anytime a user navigated to a page that contained the original content. ”

“In the most up to date version, a nonce has been added along with a check_admin_referer nonce verification function to ensure the legitimacy of the source of a request,” Defiant explained further.

Version 4.0.2 or newer of the Real-Time Find and Replace plugin includes a patch for the bug, and users are advised to update the plugin as soon as possible to ensure their WordPress websites are protected.

Digital passes will be introduced in 21 regions of Russia


The Ministry of Communications announced on April 22 that digital passes following Moscow will be introduced in 21 regions. On April 27, the Department plans to start the same in another 14 regions of Russia.

Recall that digital passes began to operate in Moscow and Moscow region on April 15. More than 900 thousand permanent digital passes were issued, and about 400 thousand one-time passes are issued daily.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced last Saturday about additional changes in access control in Moscow due to the situation with coronavirus.

Since April 22, the rules have been tightened by introducing automated surveillance of cars and fines for their unregistered owners. Cameras for the photo-video recording of traffic violations will track the presence of a special pass. Car owners, in order not to get a fine for violation of the pass regime, must include the car's license plate in the digital pass. Cars that are not included in digital passes will automatically be considered violators.

In addition, control over travel by public transport was introduced. Trips on public transport can now only be made if you have a digital pass with a Troika transport card linked to it.
The Moscow Transport Department reported that 15% of motorists drove on the capital's roads without special passes on April 22, while more than 4 million motorists in Moscow have already linked their car numbers to a digital pass.

In addition, about 2.5 thousand people were unable to use the metro in Moscow due to the lack of a pass linked to the card.

The Ministry indicates that a specialized mobile app is used to check passes. The digital pass is valid only upon presentation of an identity document.

Earlier, E Hacking News reported that the system of electronic tracking of people is being introduced into mass use in Moscow right now. And the epidemic is a good reason for such actions.

Pavel Durov: the world will not be the same after the COVID-19 pandemic


Pavel Durov, the Creator of the social network Vkontakte and the Telegram messenger, said that the world can expect a “civilizational shift passing through generations” after the coronavirus pandemic. He wrote about this in his Telegram channel.

The entrepreneur called the spread of the coronavirus "a threat to our entire species." "When the pandemic ends, the world will not return to normal. It depends on us whether the new world will be a better place than the one that we leave behind,” wrote he.

Durov believes that isolation is a chance for everyone to create a "better version of themselves", as well as for technology to prove its value.

The messenger's founder said that this month Telegram verified and started promoting 17 channels of the Ministries of Health in different countries of the world. He also noted that Telegram is not a company that can be considered to cooperate with government agencies, but in this particular case, an exception was made to help governments spread information about coronavirus. The list of channels supported by Messenger also includes the official channel of the Russian operational headquarters for fighting the virus.

In addition to this, Telegram will later present a project that eases the problem of learning during self-isolation, Durov added. He promised to reveal more information about the project in the next few days.

In January, Durov spoke about why using the WhatsApp messenger is dangerous. He noted that users prefer to save backup copies of their conversations on cloud storage when changing their devices, which are not encrypted. Also, the source of danger can be backdoors (secret vulnerabilities intentionally built by developers).

Russia to develop a video platform similar to Zoom


The Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation will develop a similar Zoom platform for video communication by the beginning of the new school year. This was announced on Saturday by Minister of Education Sergey Kravtsov.

"Together with the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media, we are developing a new domestic product Digital educational environment, which will use only domestic developments, only domestic software, including a video platform similar to Zoom and Skype," said the Minister.

The Minister stressed that such a platform is necessary in order to exclude problems related to the instability of foreign systems from the educational process. Kravtsov noted that, for example, the use of Zoom was abandoned in Singapore, because there was "unauthorized access to the education process".

Recall that on March 14, in order to prevent coronavirus, it was recommended to transfer students to distance learning.

Note that the daily audience of the Zoom app in the world in March 2020 compared to December 2019 increased by 20 times.

In addition, Moscow senator Vladimir Kozhin drew the attention of the state to threats posed by Russians in self-isolation. He was talking about a huge array of personal data that now has to be transmitted online for various purposes. The senator believes that this information can become the goal of cybercriminals and lead to serious damage to citizens and businesses.

He proposed "to develop and adopt a number of amendments to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation in the shortest possible time, seriously toughening the responsibility for such crimes."

Earlier, E Hacking News reported that users of the Zoom video conferencing service have become targets of hackers. Scammers create Zoom-disguised websites and malware to steal their personal data.

Moreover, hackers appeared in Networks that offer to issue digital passes for moving around the city on social networks.