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New Ransomware Spreads Through Russia and Europe

Ramya GovindRaj



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BadRabbit, a new ransomware, the next big cyber attack since ‘NotPetya,’ has been spreading across Russia, Ukraine and other Eastern European countries. Ukraine’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) has confirmed the news regarding the new wave of hacks infecting computer systems in the country. 

According to media reports, the ransomware is targeting corporate networks, computer systems for the Kiev Metro, Ukraine’s Odessa International Airport and several Russian media outlets. The malware has also reached Turkey and Bulgaria in addition to Germany and a few other countries. Currently, ESET and Kaspersky’s cybersecurity researchers are keeping a track of the attack.

According to ESET, the malware used for the cyber attack was Diskcoder.D, which is a new variant of ransomware also known as Petya. In June this year, the previous variant of Diskcoder, NotPetya, was used in a damaging cyber attack on a global scale. According to Wired, Kaspersky has counted close to 200 BadRabbit victims out of which 50 or 60 are Ukrainian government computers. However, ESET estimated only 12. 2% of victims were from Ukraine while 65% of the victims were in Russia.

Speaking about the latest cyber attack, Roman Boyarchuk, the Head of the Center for Cyber Protection in Ukraine said, “A lot of systems have been manually disconnected because of the attack, in part to control the spread of the ransomware.” While the outbreak has affected only a small fraction of the size of the NotPetya epidemic, Kaspersky found strong evidence tying the new attack to the creators of the NotPetya ransomware. The cybersecurity firm noted 30 sites which were used to spread Petya also began the distribution of the BadRabbit malware on Tuesday.

The Director of Kaspersky’s Global Research and Analysis team, Costin Raiu, said, “This indicates that the actors behind ExPetr/NotPetya have been carefully planning the BadRabbit attack since July.” The new ransomware, according to Kaspersky, spreads by using the Windows Management Instrumentation Command Line in combination with user credentials the malware steals using the open source tool Mimikatz. Similar to NotPetya, BadRabbit also uses Microsoft’s Server Message Block protocol to spread between computers, using the credentials hardcoded into its software.  

Despite the various similarities, it’s still unclear who is behind the recent attack. All computers affected with the malware were directed to a .onion Tor domain and asked to pay 0.05 Bitcoins or roughly $ 276 in exchange for their data. However, all infected users are discouraged from paying the ransom as it is not yet clear if BadRabbit actually decrypts the data after collecting the ransom. 

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Elon Musk Works 120 Hours a Week, Stays In Factory For 4 Days



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In an interview with The New York Times, Elon Musk said he has been working 120 hours a week. It is more than three times the national average work week, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As the CEO of two major companies, Tesla and SpaceX, Musk seems to be having a hard time delegating his work. This is making him overworked.

“The classic problem as an entrepreneur is that they have a hard time delegating,” Robert Pozen senior lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management. “But that’s really crazy. Recruiting other executives is critical, so is dealing with customers and dealing with regulators. Those are functions that only the top founders can do.”

Silicon Valley has been criticized for glorifying overworking. “A culture of overwork is damaging because it turns brief binges of hard work into a long-term strategy, and, worse still, an expectation. When managers start measuring the worth of their employees according to how quickly they return emails at 3 a.m., that particular work culture is broken,” said Adam Alter, a professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business.

Musk realised that this behaviour is harmful and has been affecting his life drastically.

“There were times when I didn’t leave the factory for three or four days – days when I didn’t go outside,” Musk said. “This has really come at the expense of seeing my kids. And seeing friends.”

Elon Musk also revealed that he has not been on vacation since 2001, he has spent his most recent birthday at work. Musk added, he has trouble sleeping “it is often a choice of no sleep or Ambien.”

It has been reported that the Tesla executives are looking for a number two, to take on some of Musk’s daily responsibilities. Musk said that he is not aware of this search and has no plans to step away from his many roles at Tesla.

As the CEO of two major companies, Musk is known to keep an intense daily routine. Inc. previously reported that the CEO ignores most phone calls, abstains from getting stuck dealing with emails, and breaks his entire day into a series of five-minute slots. But apparently, he’s still there for 120 hours a week.

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Google Parent invests $ 375 Million In Oscar Health



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Google’s parent company, Alphabet has invested $ 375 million in an insurance startup company, Oscar Health.

Post the investment, Alphabet will own 10% of the stake in the startup. Alphabet through its venture firm CapitalG and the life sciences division Verily participated in a $ 165 million funding round for Oscar Health.

Founded in 2012, Oscar Health is a technology-focused health insurance company that is headquartered in New York City.

Oscar Health co-founder and CEO Mario Schlosser said, “it’s fantastic for us because it will really allow us to focus fully on the core model we’ve been building for the past 6 years, which is: use technology, use data, use design, use a human approach to build a very different health care experience,”

The startup offers health coverage through ObamaCare in six states. Oscar Health is planning to introduce new innovation like providing a “concierge” team, which includes a nurse. The nurse will help the people enrolled to find suitable doctors.

Schlosser announced the news in an interview,  “We can hire more engineers, we can hire more data scientists, more product designers, more smart clinicians who can think about health care a different way. It’s the acceleration of that product roadmap that fascinates us the most. The second, more tangible piece, is that we’re launching new product lines.”

The co founder of Oscar Health, is Josh Kushner, the brother of Jared Kushner. Jared Kushner is Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser. This relationship is quite intriguing looking at Oscar Health’s participation in ObamaCare.

Schlosser in an interview said Josh Kushner’s connection to Trump “does not affect what we do.” He added, “Whatever happened in the press, whatever happens on the regulatory side, I have personally always thought, and I think the company shares in this, that if we have something that leads to lower costs and happier members in some shape or form we’ll be able to turn this into a successful company.”


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No Work Between 6 PM – 8 AM At Amazon India



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Amit Agrawal, CEO of Amazon India said “No business decision should be made between 6 PM – 8 AM”  in an email to the senior team members of Amazon. Agrawal asked members of the Amazon India team to maintain a healthy “work-life harmony.” This would encourage the employees to be more productive during work hours.

This announcement comes after Amazon was criticised at an international level for over working their employees. Amazon India is making changes for the better and is building a wholesome relationship with their employees with this recent announcement.

This decision might bring about a change in the Indian work culture as Indian’s on an average work 8.1 hours more than any employee from Europe and North America. Due to this destructive relationship of Indians with their work, it is appreciated Amazon India took this step to recognise the problem and address it head on.

It is not clear if this decision was made by Agrawal solely or was ordered by the company’s global leadership. Amazon recently listed 237 new “work from home” positions in and outside of the US, 235 of which are full time. By the looks of it, Amazon is actively tackling its toxic work culture and might succeed in so doing.

According to a study from Switzerland’s University of Zurich and the U. S., University of South Florida, people who do not separate work life and personal life, tend to be more exhausted. This hinders their productivity and creativity. “Organizational policy and culture should be adjusted to help employees manage their work-non-work boundaries in a way that does not impair their well-being,” lead study author Ariane Wepfer said.“ After all, impaired well-being goes hand in hand with reduced productivity and reduced creativity” Wepfer added.

What do you think about this announcement by Amazon India? Do you agree with it? Let us know in the comment section below!

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