LOOPHOLES in cyber security are being exploited by the hackers and their likes despite continuous upgradation of firewalls and shields. The rooting out of illegal softwares by Railways in the Tatkal ticket booking system has exposed how deep have the cyber crooks infiltrated in systems for daily use. By using illegal softwares some ticket agents would easily bypass the IRCTC’s system to generate tickets and block Tatkal tickets within minutes thus fooling the genuine users and the national carrier. While general public usually needs around 2.55 minutes to complete the booking process, these agents could do it in just 1.49 minutes. By busting the racket, the Railway Protection Force has done a great service to the common man whose efforts to get a Tatkal ticket was always a game of chance. The IRCTC ticket booking site is just one of the many vulnerable systems of regular use that needs a foolproof cyber shield. The dark web and its practitioners are always a step ahead from the protectors in devising novel methods to breach security algorithms and wreak havoc.
THE impact of the deadly Coronavirus that has accounted for thousands of lives so far is now being felt by the larger region outside China, the epicentre of the epidemic. Already grappling with the mounting number of deaths each passing day, China and the Asia-Pacific (Apac) region now stare at a severe economic impact with credit rating agency Moody’s downgrading the Apac’s growth forecast for year 2020 to 5.2 per cent. The impact will be pronounced for China and India, the two major powers in the region, even as it makes a big dent in the global economy. China’s share in the global economy has surged from 8% in 2002 to 19% at present. The long lockdown of thousands of factories has already impacted global supply chain. Whatever happens in China is of more concern to the rest of the world as key sectors like automobile and drugs have been severely affected. Medical community and multinational institutions like WHO must rise to the occasion and arrest the spread of the virus.