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Police Linked to Hacking Campaign to Frame Indian Activists

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POLICE FORCES AROUND the world have increasingly used hacking tools to identify and track protesters, expose political dissidents’ secrets, and turn activists’ computers and phones into inescapable eavesdropping bugs. Now, new clues in a case in India connect law enforcement to a hacking campaign that used those tools to go an appalling step further: planting false incriminating files on targets’ computers that the same police then used as grounds to arrest and jail them. 

More than a year ago, forensic analysts revealed that unidentified hackers fabricated evidence on the computers of at least two activists arrested in Pune, India, in 2018, both of whom have languished in jail and, along with 13 others, face terrorism charges. Researchers at security firm SentinelOne and nonprofits Citizen Lab and Amnesty International have since linked that evidence fabrication to a broader hacking operation that targeted hundreds of individuals over nearly a decade, using phishing emails to infect targeted computers with spyware, as well as smartphone hacking tools sold by the Israeli hacking contractor NSO Group. But only now have SentinelOne’s researchers revealed ties between the hackers and a government entity: none other than the very same Indian police agency in the city of Pune that arrested multiple activists based on the fabricated evidence.

“There’s a provable connection between the individuals who arrested these folks and the individuals who planted the evidence,” says Juan Andres Guerrero-Saade, a security researcher at SentinelOne who, along with fellow researcher Tom Hegel, will present findings at the Black Hat security conference in August. “This is beyond ethically compromised. It is beyond callous. So we’re trying to put as much data forward as we can in the hopes of helping these victims.”

SentinelOne’s new findings that link the Pune City Police to the long-running hacking campaign, which the company has called Modified Elephant, center on two particular targets of the campaign: Rona Wilson and Varvara Rao. Both men are activists and human rights defenders who were jailed in 2018 as part of a group called the Bhima Koregaon 16, named for the village where violence between Hindus and Dalits—the group once known as “untouchables”—broke out earlier that year. (One of those 16 defendants, 84-year-old Jesuit priest Stan Swamy, died in jail last year after contracting Covid-19. Rao, who is 81 years old and in poor health, has been released on medical bail, which expires next month. Of the other 14, only one has been granted bail.)

Early last year, Arsenal Consulting, a digital forensics firm working on behalf of the defendants, analyzed the contents of Wilson’s laptop, along with that of another defendant, human rights lawyer Surendra Gadling. Arsenal analysts found that evidence had clearly been fabricated on both machines. In Wilson’s case, a piece of malware known as NetWire had added 32 files to a folder of the computer’s hard drive, including a letter in which Wilson appeared to be conspiring with a banned Maoist group to assassinate Indian prime minister Narendra Modi. The letter was, in fact, created with a version of Microsoft Word that Wilson had never used, and that had never even been installed on his computer. Arsenal also found that Wilson’s computer had been hacked to install the NetWire malware after he opened an attachment sent from Varvara Rao’s email account, which had itself been compromised by the same hackers. “This is one of the most serious cases involving evidence-tampering that Arsenal has ever encountered,” Arsenal’s president, Mark Spencer, wrote in his report to the Indian court.

In February, SentinelOne published a detailed report on Modified Elephant, analyzing the malware and server infrastructure used in the hacking campaign to show that the two cases of evidence fabrication Arsenal had analyzed were part of a much larger pattern: The hackers had targeted hundreds of activists, journalists, academics, and lawyers with phishing emails and malware since as early as 2022. But in that report, SentinelOne stopped short of identifying any individual or organization behind the Modified Elephant hackers, writing only that the “activity aligns sharply with Indian state interests.”

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4 Important Tips for Having a Vacation Abroad

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4 Important Tips for Having a Vacation Abroad

Are you planning to go abroad but still don’t know what to prepare? People dream of going abroad, especially to countries like America and Europe. If this is your first time going abroad, you should check the following tips!

Prepare All Important Documents

The first thing you need to do is prepare important documents. For example, passports, ID cards, visas, and international driving licenses if you are going to drive abroad. Make sure you know whether the country you are going to visit is visa-free or not. For Southeast Asian countries, the Maldives and Turkey are visa-free, so you only have to have a passport. But a visa is still needed if you want to go to South Korea, Europe, or America. Make sure to scan your document and save it in the cloud like Google Drive or iCloud. Oh, yes, remember to check your vaccination status. Because every country needs your health information.

Make Itineraries

Itinerary is important for those who want to travel abroad. The reason is holidays abroad cost a lot of money, so when you can, take advantage of it with a well-planned schedule. Research in detail the tourist destinations you want to visit. For example, what is unique in it, ticket prices, transportation to get there, to the distance from the inn you’re staying. Remember to include places to eat that you want to try. Make sure the place to eat is according to your preferences, such as halal or free of certain food allergies.

Book Tickets in Advance

When you know how long you will be on vacation with the itinerary that has been prepared, it’s time to book plane tickets and lodging. Find cheap tickets by:

  1. Using promos and discounts on travel agent applications.
  2. Comparing which price is lower and what kind of facilities you will get.
  3. Choosing accommodation that fits your budget but is still comfortable.

Oh yes, also remember to check how the pandemic situation is in the country you are going to visit. Do you have to quarantine or not? Because it will affect your itinerary and accommodation. Due to the pandemic conditions that have not fully recovered, check whether there is still Indonesia quarantine after returning from vacation.

Exchange Money and Check Your ATM Cards

Exchange your currency into the destination country’s currency, for example, yen, euros, dollars, won, and others. But remember, don’t carry too much cash because it’s also prone to theft, besides being wasteful. For the rest, you can do cashless transactions. Check your bank’s ATM card to see if it has Visa, MasterCard, or Cirrus logos. This row of stamps indicates that your bank is working with banks abroad. Or you can also use a credit card to make your transaction easier.

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Down 43%, Is This Tech Stock Worth Buying Right Now?

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Down 43%, Is This Tech Stock Worth Buying Right Now?

Skyworks Solutions (NASDAQ: SWKS) announced its fiscal 2022 fourth-quarter results (for the three months ended September 30) on November 3, and the supplier Apple’s stock price has risen 11% since then.

Skyworks beat expectations and showed solid growth at a time when smartphone sales were declining, but forecasts show the chipmaker is about to hit a bump. With that said, let’s take a closer look at the latest results from the chipmaker. Let’s take a closer look at whether the stock can sustain new momentum after losing 43% of its value in 2022.

Skyworks solutions deliver reliable results for non-mobile businesses
Skyworks’ fourth-quarter revenue increased 7% year-over-year to a record $1.4 billion. The company also reported non-GAAP (adjusted) earnings of $3.02 per share, up 15% year-over-year. Skyworks easily justified analyst estimates of $2.91 per share. For the year, the company’s revenue increased 7% to $5.5 billion and earnings rose similarly to $11.24 per share.

The strong growth of chipmakers in the fourth quarter was the result of successful diversification into new markets such as Internet of Things (IoT) and automotive, as well as relationships with major smartphone original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Yes, it helped make up for it. Weakness in the smartphone market. space. However, it was the non-mobile business that put a lot of effort into Skyworks last quarter.
As CFO Chris Sennesael noted in the report, the company generated $500 million in revenue from broad market segments (counting chip sales for non-mobile applications like IoT), up 30% from the previous year. Last earnings conference call. Broad market companies contributed 36% of Skyworks’ revenue last quarter, up from 29% in the same period last year.

It’s also worth noting that Skyworks earned $2 billion in revenue from this segment for the entire fiscal year. That’s almost 43% more than the $1.4 billion in revenue last fiscal year. The good news is that the company’s business in a wide range of markets can maintain its momentum. This is because, as Skyworks showed in its earnings report, it is attracting new customers in high-growth niches like IoT.

“In IoT, we continue to win new customers and expand our content. We have partnered with Vodafone to launch the UK’s first WiFi 6E platform. We have launched a solution for Fi 6 hotspots.”

Skyworks also enables the deployment of O-RAN (Open Radio Access Network) and delivers record quarterly results in the high-growth automotive business niche. For example, the O-RAN market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 42% until 2030. Meanwhile, according to Mordor Intelligence, the demand for connected cars will grow by 19% per year until 2027.

These catalysts explain why Skyworks expects its broad commercial segment of the market “to be a major driver in FY23 and beyond.”

The mobile business was not in its best last quarter
Skyworks’ mobile business generated approximately $907 million in revenue last quarter (this is total revenue minus $500 million from the broader market business). By comparison, 71% of Skyworks’ $1.31 billion in revenue last year came from its mobile business, worth nearly $931 million.

Thus, the company’s mobile business, which generates most of its revenue, declined year-over-year in the most recent quarter. This is not surprising given that smartphone sales have been declining for the past five quarters. Skyworks considers Apple its biggest client, with the smartphone giant generating 58% of its revenue last year.

Last quarter, Apple shipped 48.5 million smartphones, 6.4% more than last year. However, the overall smartphone market was down 9% year-over-year. And now things could get even worse for Skyworks.

All of this explains why Skyworks management is targeting a sharp drop in sales and profits. The chipmaker expects revenue of $1.3 billion to $1.35 billion and adjusted earnings of $2.59 per share in the first quarter of fiscal 2023. These numbers show double-digit declines in both revenue and earnings compared to the last year.

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Tech Shares May Weigh On Taiwan Stock Market

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Tech Shares May Weigh On Taiwan Stock Market

(RTTNews) – The Taiwanese stock market fell nearly 230 points (1.7%) on Tuesday after falling for two days. The Taiwan Stock Exchange is currently just above the 14,700 plateau, but selling pressure is likely to resume on Wednesday.

The global outlook for Asian markets is mixed, with little change ahead of major economic events that could affect the interest rate outlook. European and US markets were mixed and flat, followed by Asian equities.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange closed sharply higher on Tuesday after gains in financial, technology and cement stocks.

The index closed at 14,709.64, up 152.77 points (1.05%) after trading between 14,449.05 and 14,716.58.
Among assets, Cathay Financial was up 3.45%, Mega Financial was up 1.78%, CTBC Financial was up 2.93%, Fubon Financial was up 2.94%, First Financial was up 1.35%, E Sun Financial rose 1.66%, Taiwanese semiconductor company rose 1.35% and United Microelectronics rose 1.35%. Corporation and Catcher Technology rose 0.56%, Largan Precision shed 0.22%, MediaTek rose 1.42%, Delta Electronics rose 1.71%, Novatek Microelectronics rose 0.51%, China Steel rose 0.51%. 2.87%, Formosa Plastics shed 0.22%, Nan Ya Plastics rose 0.92%, Asia cement rose 1.48%, Taiwanese cement rose 1.67%, and Hon Hai Precision remained unchanged.

Wall Street’s lead indicates a slight negative bias as the leading average rose, then fell in the middle of the session, but then rose to end the mix almost unchanged.

The Dow rose 3.07 points (0.01%) to close at 33,852.53, while the NASDAQ fell 65.72 points (0.59%) to close at 10,983.78, and The S&P 500 fell 6.31 points (0.16%) to 3957.63.

Volatile trading on Wall Street comes amid continued uncertainty about the situation in China following widespread outcry over the country’s Covid restrictions.

Traders may also have been reluctant to make any significant moves ahead of comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell today that could provide further clues about the rate outlook. Unemployment data continues to be released on Friday.

In terms of economic news, the Conference Board released a report showing a moderate decline in US consumer confidence in November.

Crude oil futures ended higher on Tuesday, extending gains from the previous session on hopes that OPEC could cut production to support prices later this week. West Texas intermediate oil futures rose $0.96, or 1.2%, to $78.20 a barrel in January.

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