Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 06 March 2018
Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 06 March 2018
Saposhi: A New Malware threat
A new threat looms large on the horizon of cyberspace.
After Mirai and Reaper, cybersecurity agencies have detected a new
malware called Saposhi, which is capable of taking over electronic devices
and turning them into bots.
These can then be used for any purpose, including a Distributed Denial
of Service attack which, with enough firepower, can cripple entire
A senior cyberpolice officer that Saposhi was detected around 15 days
ago, and is currently being watched and studied.
“Saposhi is similar in its intensity to Reaper, which was taking over
millions of devices at the rate of 10,000 devices per day. Various
cybersecurity agencies are currently keeping tabs on it to get a better idea
of what it is capable of,” he said.
In October last year, the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), a
Central government body that deals with cyberattacks, had issued an alert
It is a highly evolved malware capable of not only hacking devices like
Wi-Fi routers and security cameras, but also hiding its own presence in the
bot — a device taken over by a malware.
Sources said that while the CERT has not yet issued any alert regarding
Saposhi, guidelines for protecting devices from Saposhi are likely to be
issued in the days to come.
Malwares like Saposhi, Reaper and Mirai are primarily aimed at DDoS
attacks, in which the malware first creates a network of bots — called a
botnet — and then uses the botnet to ping a single server at the same time.
As the number of pings are far beyond the server’s capacity, the server
crashes and denies service to its consumers.
For example, if a large botnet attacks the server of a fleet cab
provider, its server will crash, and scores of consumers will be unable to
avail of its services, causing chaos in daily commuting as well as massive
losses to the company.
In July 2016, small and medium internet service providers in Maharashtra
fell prey to a DDoS attack, which caused disruption in the services of
several Internet Service Providers (ISP) in the State.
Another malware, Mirai, using a botnet of 5 lakh devices, had caused the
servers of Dyn, a leading domain name service provider, to crash, affecting
services of popular websites like Twitter, Netflix and Reddit.
‘Ama Gaon, Ama Bikas’ programme by Odisha Govt.
In a new initiative, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday launched
the ‘Ama Gaon, Ama Bikas’ (Our village, Our development) programme from the
State Secretariat to reach out to people in rural areas and involve them in
the development process.
The programme was launched on the occasion of the birth anniversary of
former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik, which is observed as Panchayati Raj Day
in the State every year.
Mr. Patnaik reminded the people about Biju Patnaik’s contribution to
strengthen the Panchayati Raj institutions in the State.
He interacted with people of four gram panchayats -- Narayanpatna
panchayat in Koraput district, Khairabad panchayat in Jajpur district,
Sasana panchayat in Sambalpur district and Sanakuda panchayat in Ganjam
district – through videoconferencing during the inaugural session.
During his interaction with Panchayati Raj representatives, Mr. Patnaik
sanctioned a sum of ₹2 crore for as many as 32 projects in the four
panchayats and stressed the need for their early completion.
The panchayats were selected on the basis of performance of the
Panchayati Raj institutions and the need for development work in those
Video vans were sent in advance to the panchayats concerned to
facilitate the programme.
According to official sources, Mr. Patnaik will hold such interactions
twice a week to discuss with the people at the panchayat level about
development of villages and pass orders as necessary.
A series of mini-marathons and meetings were organised by different
government and voluntary organisations as well as the ruling Biju Janata Dal
in Bhubaneswar and other places during the day to pay tribute to the memory
of Biju Patnaik.
1st Day of budget Session in Haryana
The Haryana Government announced that a Cooperative Election Authority
would be set up in the State for supervising the election process in
Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki, addressing the Assembly on the
first day of the budget session, said that the government believes in
strengthening the cooperative sector to enable people to capitalise on their
“The government has taken a historic step by approving establishment of
a Cooperative Election Authority for superintendence, direction and control
of the election process in the cooperative organisations,” he said.
He said that during this year, cooperative banks had extended loans
amounting to ₹5,414.01 crore to the State’s farmers up to January 2018; 1.23
million Kisan Credit Cards have also been issued till December 2017.
Mr. Solanki said that the State government was giving final touches to a
comprehensive State action plan on sexual and gender-based violence to
address all major components of crime afflicting women and children in the
“The action plan would clearly delineate the responsibilities of various
stakeholders on the steps to be taken by them in a time-bound manner. The
government is committed to empowering women so that they may live with
dignity and contribute as equal partners in the development process in an
environment free from violence and discrimination,” the Governor said.
On the controversial issue of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal, Mr. Solanki
said the “concerted efforts” of the government have resulted in a favourable
verdict from the Supreme Court on a presidential reference.
Since then has been vigorously pursuing the matter for initiation of the
long-pending construction work on the remaining portion of the canal.
India and China are seeking to step up the pace in improving ties, with
two high-level ministerial meetings this month leading to a summit meeting
between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, and a
slew of engagements through the year.
“The leaders had decided during their [post-Doklam] Xiamen meeting in
August last year that they must heighten the frequency and level of
meetings, and we hope to see many more engagements in 2018 than before,” a
senior diplomat said.
He referred to 2017 as a “difficult year” for ties, with the 73-day
Doklam standoff and differences over Masood Azhar and the Nuclear Suppliers
Group membership raising temperatures.
In signs that the two sides are also setting the stage for more
harmonious dealings ahead, China agreed to Pakistan’s nomination to the FATF
grey list on terror finance last month, while New Delhi has reportedly asked
officials to be careful of China’s sensitivities.
Sources said the Defence Ministry had put off its Institute of Defence
Strategic Analysis (IDSA) Asian Security Conference scheduled for March 6 to
8 ,which was expected to take a more hawkish line on Chinese security policy
and the Belt and Road initiative (BRI).
“It appears India doesn’t want hard opinions on China aired from the
government’s most prominent defence think-tank,” a source privy to the
Later this month, the government will host Guo Yezhou, Vice- Minister of
the International Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC), a key
figure in the party overseeing foreign policy formulation.
The dates of Mr. Guo’s visit, who will be part of a high- level
delegation, have not been confirmed yet, primarily because of the ongoing
session of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s parliament, which
will continue till March 20.
Meanwhile, Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan or his deputy are
expected to visit for talks with Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu aimed at
improving trade imbalances.
Officials hope they will attend an informal ministerial meeting of the
World Trade Organisation (WTO) organised by the Commerce Ministry on March
19 and 20.
The WTO ministerial meeting is being seen as a significant platform of
countries worried by the U.S.’s tough position on tariffs and President
Donald Trump’s threats of a “trade war”, even as he called the WTO a
“disaster for America”.
The next important engagement will be the India-China strategic economic
dialogue, held between officials of the NITI Aayog and China’s top planning
body, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
“This is a highly important dialogue where the nuts and bolts of
specific projects in five different areas will be discussed threadbare,” a
diplomatic source said.
Five working groups will hold detailed discussions on infrastructure,
energy, hi-technology, investments and resource conservation.
Mr. Modi is expected to meet President Xi in June at the Shanghai
Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Qingdao.
But at least two officials did not rule out the possibility of an
“informal summit” before that.
All eyes are also on India’s participation at the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA)
meeting in Beijing from April 8 to 11, which is China’s equivalent of the
World Economic Forum.
In November, India has agreed in principle to participate in the
high-profile import exhibition in Shanghai, despite reservations about
China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Additional Liquidity of Rs.1 lakh crore to banks
The Reserve Bank on Monday said it would inject additional liquidity of
Rs. 1 lakh crore in banks through longer tenor instruments to enable
flexibility towards meeting their fund needs.
This is to address additional demand for liquidity and with a view to
providing flexibility to the banking system in its liquidity management
It was “prepared to inject adequate additional liquidity using a
combination of appropriate instruments.”
This will be in addition to normal Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF)
“After reviewing the current and evolving liquidity conditions in the
banking system, it has been decided to conduct additional variable rate repo
operations for longer tenors to provide additional liquidity support to
banks in March 2018,” it said.
The RBI will conduct four variable rate term repo auctions of Rs. 25,000
crore each in March 2018.
Karthik Srinivasan, ICRA, said the proposed injection of additional
liquidity “should help cap the short-term rates and also aid in lowering the
rate volatilities” for the rest of the month.
Aim to enhance entrepreneurship: Committee
The Centre has set up a steering committee under the chairmanship of the
Economic Affairs Secretary to look into the development and regulation of
the fintech sector in India, it said.
The move follows an announcement by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the
The objective of the panel is “to consider various issues relating to
development of fintech space in India with a view to make fintech-related
regulations more flexible and generate enhanced entrepreneurship in an area
where India has distinctive comparative strengths vis-à-vis other emerging
The panel will also focus on how fintech can be leveraged to enhance
financial inclusion of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
The panel will also include among its members
the Electronics and Information Technology Secretary,
the Financial Services Secretary, the MSME Secretary,
the Chairperson of the Central Board of Excise and Customs,
Chief Executive Officer of the Unique Identification Authority of India,
a Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India and
a Joint Secretary Department of Economic
Infosys Report on Digitalisation in India
Companies are facing an “ever-increasing” pressure to be more open,
responsive and efficient with more ‘hype’ and emphasis being placed on
This is according to a report on digitalisation by India ’s second
largest software exporter, Infosys.
“The rules of the game are changing and traditional players are being
dislodged from positions of comfort and familiarity,” the report, titled
‘How digital enterprises are steering through digital disruption,’ stated.
Industries are increasingly being disrupted by new entrants with digital
technology at the heart of their business.
With digital technologies becoming more commonplace in organisations,
and “more hype and emphasis being placed on ‘becoming digital,’ there is an
ever-increasing pressure on organisations to be more responsive, more open,
and more efficient.”
Infosys commissioned Vanson Bourne, a firm specialising in technology
research, to conduct research for the report. In October and November 2017,
the study was carried out, interviewing 1,000 senior IT and business
decision-makers in organisations that use digital technologies.
Respondents from Australia, China, France, Germany, India, UK and the
U.S. were interviewed.
“For many, the journey will prove difficult, but for those that can
adapt, the benefits will be significant,” it stated.
Rapid advancements in digital technologies are allowing corporations to
collect and analyse data and new ways of improving flexibility and
efficiency are emerging within the firms.
Nekkei India Services Business Index
Business activity in the services sector contracted in February due
primarily to a decline in new orders, according to a survey.
The Nikkei India Services Business Activity Index came in at 47.8 in
February compared with 51.7 in January. A reading above 50 implies an
expansion while one below 50 denotes a contraction.
“Business conditions in India’s service sector deteriorated modestly in
February,” the report said. “Activity and new work declined for the first
time since November, with rates of contraction the fastest since August.
“The seasonally-adjusted Nikkei India Services Business Activity Index
fell from 51.7 in January to 47.8 in February, its lowest level since
August,” the report added.
“The headline figure signalled the first fall in output for three
months, but one that was modest. Panellists commented that poor underlying
demand conditions had weighed on activity.”
The fall in the services index outweighed the upturn seen in the
manufacturing index, according to the report, which meant that the
seasonally adjusted Nikkei India Composite PMI Output Index fell from 52.5
in January to 49.7 in February.
“Service providers remained optimistic towards the 12-month outlook for
output,” the report said.
“Business confidence was underpinned by expected improvements in demand,
according to anecdotal evidence. Nonetheless, the level of positive
sentiment fell slightly in February and was below the series average.”
“Both activity and new work declined for the first time since November,
with rates of contraction the strongest since August,” Aashna Dodhia,
economist at IHS Markit, and author of the report, said.